The "Don't Forget Me" series usually focuses on sets that were Standard legal at one point in time. This week we're going to take a break from that to focus on the Commander format. The next Commander set is being released on August 10th so pretty close to previews for it! I wanted to take a look at previous Commander sets and figure out what cards haven't been reprinted and starting to get much rarer!
The first thing I want to address is what rarity means in Commander sets. Cards that are printed as a rare or a mythic are only available in one of the decks. Uncommon cards are in multiple but not usually all of them. Commons are in every deck. Command Beacon is a lot like Opal Palace since everyone could play it if they wanted and often do. Many times it basically means you can sacrifice a land to ignore the Commander tax once. Why this was only in one deck is a mystery to me. Outside of a single small Judge foil printing, this card has not been reprinted. At about $20 you would expect this to be playable outside of Commander. Command Beacon is in a rough spot because including it in a Masters set will certainly cause controversy since it's just a glorified Wastes. I think it could easily be a $4-5 card if it was included in all of the decks this year. It's definitely overdue for some love.
It's been 5 years since Primal Vigor has been printed. The most popular card other than it in that deck was Prossh, Skyraider of Kher but he was recently included in Masters 25. At this point, I don't think the deck it's included in will be in a future Commander's Anthology so I'm hoping one of the decks this year has a heavy tokens or +1/+1 counters theme to get it reprinted. While it's not quite as ubiquitous as Doubling Season, Primal Vigor does a lot. I'd have a hard time finding it a place in a future Masters set so I'm expecting it in another Commander product eventually. Much like Command Beacon, I expect this to be $4-5 after it gets reprinted.
Champion's Helm might not look like a Commander original, but it is. For a while, I assumed this was a Kamigawa block rare that had been reprinted, but I was wrong! Champion's Helm is definitely on Wizard's radar because it was actually included as a Kaladesh Invention. While it is great that it is available in foil now, it didn't really do anything to help the price of the card. At about $14, it is in the realm of "probably expensive due to rarity and not usage." If it was to be reprinted, it would probably be a $2-3 card until a really popular equipment Commander is released. This also probably could be included in a Masters set in the design of Dominaria that could support a lot of legendary creatures.
Okay, if you don't play Commander you might not really understand why this card is included. It's big, slow, and beefy but it is effective. It will end the game in a few attacks and makes attacking attractive for players that may otherwise be reluctant to do it. At $15, it is currently one of the most expensive cards from Commander 2016 and wasn't included in the most recent Commander Anthology II. Due to its mana cost, I don't expect it to be an easy inclusion in a Masters set. I don't think there are many draft formats that could support an eight mana 8/8. That being said, I think after a reprint it might stay pretty expensive. Some cards (like Chromatic Lantern) get more expensive after a reprint because more players are aware that the card exists. More casual deck-builders may not look up the most optimal list and often be missing key cards like this from their decklist until they see them in a new set. My expectations is that, if it's a Commander set reprint, it will probably still be $8-10, or $2-3 if it ends up in a Masters set.
I like to make sure to include some lower rarity cards in all of my Don't Forget Me articles, but technically this one breaks my rules. It's in every Commander 2015 deck, it was in Commander Anthology, and then again in Commander Anthology II. To be honest, this is one of the most reprinted cards that were first printed in Commander. I think the only one that beats it is Opal Palace and Command Tower. Despite all of its printings, Thought Vessel is still $7 on average! I think we're at the point where Thought Vessel should just automatically be included in every deck like Sol Ring and Command Tower. There are not a lot of choices for two mana artifacts that make mana, and even if there were, this is still one of the best. At this point I wouldn't be surprised to see it included as an uncommon in a Masters set to get foils into circulation before mass reprinting it in Commander sets. I don't want to make a prediction as to the value of this upon reprint, but I wouldn't expect it to stay much lower than $7. If it goes to $3 I will probably buy a bunch of them for future decks.
I hope you enjoyed this article ahead of the Commander 2018 spoilers. Next article I'm going to take a look at the themes and find which cards are most likely to go up due to being left out. What are you hoping is included in the new decks? I'm expecting The Gitrog Monster will be in the Jund deck and hopefully Enchantress's Presence will be in the Bant deck.