Terror$2.00 (+100.00%)
The One Ring (Borderless)$64.99 (+45.55%)
Talisman of Hierarchy$2.42 (+39.88%)
Ondu Spiritdancer$19.24 (+28.27%)
Lazotep Plating$2.98 (-24.94%)
Ghoulish Impetus$7.88 (+23.32%)
Vault of the Archangel$3.00 (-22.48%)
Khabál Ghoul$203.05 (+20.16%)
Waste Not$9.81 (-17.49%)
Spellstutter Sprite$6.12 (+17.24%)
Wheel of Misfortune$10.61 (-15.79%)
Nemesis of Reason$4.76 (-15.75%)
Phyrexian Arena$4.04 (+15.43%)
Food Chain$19.99 (-14.86%)
Decadent Dragon$5.73 (+14.83%)
Mountain (1366)$5.50 (-14.60%)
Mountain (1358)$6.34 (-13.98%)
Radiate$6.16 (+13.86%)
Preordain$2.98 (+13.74%)
Skred$2.93 (+13.57%)
Maskwood Nexus$4.39 (+12.56%)
Mountain (1359)$7.33 (-12.22%)
Knight Exemplar$8.28 (+11.14%)
Samwise Gamgee$2.22 (+11.00%)
Peer into the Abyss$2.98 (+10.78%)
Treebeard, Gracious Host$5.04 (-10.64%)
The Locust God$3.74 (-10.53%)
Relentless Assault$2.77 (+10.36%)
Glissa Sunslayer$2.47 (+10.27%)
Grim Hireling$4.14 (+9.81%)
Virtue of Loyalty$11.42 (+9.81%)
Arcbound Crusher$3.99 (-9.52%)
Mountain Goat$5.82 (-9.49%)
Spiteful Visions$2.42 (-9.36%)
Relentless Rats (0011)$20.43 (-9.36%)
Underworld Dreams$9.28 (-9.29%)
The First Sliver$36.28 (-9.28%)
Manabarbs$2.48 (+9.25%)
Nephalia Drownyard$2.27 (-9.20%)
Hellcarver Demon$5.96 (+9.16%)

History, Restapled: A Mother’s Love and a Land Reborn

27 Apr
by Steve Heisler

Welcome back to another History, Restapled, a Commander-focused column which attempts to validate a newer card’s status as a staple, therefore its potential to command a decent price, by looking at how cards that are similar, synergistic, or competing have fared in the past financially.

Much of the community’s attention is on March of the Machine at the moment, but its arrival means cards from The Brothers' War and Phyrexia: All Will Be One are overshadowed and, therefore, are ripe for plucking off their stems for the staple stew we’re cooking up. Can you smell the fiduciary value boiling over? Time for evasive action.


Skrelv, Defector Mite

Skrelv, Defector Mite


Since her warm embrace became available in Urza's Legacy, players looked to Mother of Runes, whom the community affectionately dubs “Mom,” to provide a one-person protection squad at the low cost of a tap. It was many years until Wizards of the Coast printed Giver of Runes, the first card that could rival Mom’s efficiency and simplicity while tweaking one of Mom’s most enduring qualities: the ability to target herself with her ability. Giver affords protection to another creature, not themselves, but offers protection from colorless sources, unlike the OG.

Skrelv, Defector Mite presents a tweaked version of the one mana protection creature and tweaks the formula a bit. Skrelv doesn’t provide blanket protection and requires a cost to activate—though in 40-life Commander, the cost is minimal. Lack of damage prevention means the creature takes combat damage while blocking and makes it susceptible to board wipes like Blasphemous Act. But the card still enables free attacks and, at worst, instant speed protection for your commander. Plus, Toxic 1 ain’t nothing; as the One More Mana folks pointed out in a recent video, there’s a lot of Proliferate running around, and opponents might be eager to help the cause.

Mom and Giver of Runes aren’t found in an abundance of decks, in Commander or otherwise, but the ones that want them have demonstrated financially that they will accept no substitute. Mom has largely fallen in the $5 range since its original printing, which isn’t bad for an uncommon. And, even after a handful of reprints, the cheapest and most recent reprint in Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate is still a few dollars. Giver of Runes runs along its own financial axis due to how essential it is to the Modern format, particularly in Hammertime, and it remains in the $10-$15 range away from cheap Commander inclusions.


Skrelv currently sits at $4 and is continuing to find its footing. The card is found in a few Standard and Pioneer decks in addition to inching its way into Commander. I’m not convinced we’ve found the floor just yet, especially because packs of ONE are still being cracked, but I’m keeping my eye out for when the card starts reaching for the ceiling. A lot will depend on how many Mom-types are printed in the next year or two, especially if one arrives that rivals Giver in Modern. But at the rate they’re being produced at the moment, Skrelv is our Toxic Daddy in the making, with a price to match.  

STATUS: Niche staple-in-the-making


Skrelv, Defector Mite
Skrelv, Defector Mite (Showcase)
Giver of Runes
Mother of Runes


Perennial Behemoth and Conduit of Worlds

Perennial Behemoth


Conduit of Worlds


As the old saying goes, a fetch in the yard is worth two on the field, and here are two artifacts from the last six months to agree. They join illustrious company as two of only five cards that read, “You may play lands from your graveyard.”

For the most part, these cards carry a modest price. Crucible of Worlds only recently became a $25 card again, down from $45 after a reprinting in Double Masters 2022. Ancient Greenwarden is at $13 and trending upwards. Ramunap Excavator and the recent Conduit of Worlds are solidly in the single digits.

But Perennial Behemoth is a bulk rare at the moment despite its uncanny resemblance to the others and its own minimal upsides. It’s a creature that can be reanimated and an artifact that can be cheated out. It overtly carries the second highest mana cost but also hides an alternate cost that’s cheaper than any other: For you get a one-turn Crucible for combo purposes or, at the bare minimum, a reuse of a fetch or a Strip Mine plus some combat damage. Throw in an Azusa, Lost but Seeking or Oracle of Mul Daya and you’ll be saying “Crucible what and Ramunap who now?” Plus, check out that big ol’ seven toughness booty on that bad boi.


Conduit of Worlds costs only a few dollars and is likely to drop as ONE packs are cracked, and for only one more mana than Ramunap or Crucible you get the ability to cast something from your graveyard. Sure, it’s the only spell you can cast for the turn, but when the board is empty and the life totals are low, you’ll be pretty psyched if the option is available. The best Commander cards are the ones with flexibility even if they carry a higher mana cost or a weaker overall impact, and Conduit is one such card.

Neither of these cards perfectly maps to Crucible or Ramunap or has the added utility of Ancient Greenwarden, but the ability to play lands from the graveyard at all makes up most of the power anyway. Conduit and Perennial are quite cheap at the moment and are likely to become staples if the Crucible price rises again or players start demanding more redundancy in their green lands-matter decks. Thank power creep and Crucible’s mythic rarity for cementing this situation as an inevitability.  

STATUS: Staple-ish today, staple tomorrow


Ramunap Excavator
Crucible of Worlds
Ancient Greenwarden
Perennial Behemoth
Perennial Behemoth (Extended Art)
Conduit of Worlds
Conduit of Worlds (Extended Art)


Machine Learning

For the next column, I’ll take a look at a few March of the Machine cards catching the community’s attention - I think enough time will have passed by then. For now, grab a Seer of Stolen Sight and meet me in Stapletown…


Check out these other articles:  

New Horizons: March of the Machine Commander by Matt Grzechnik  

Hidden Gems #3 - Something Colorless This Way Comes by Adam Berg  

Modern Times - March of the Machine by Corey Williams

Steve Heisler
Steve Heisler

Steve Heisler is a writer and pop culture journalist covering comedy, games, television, film and the tech industry. His work has been published in Rolling Stone, GQ, Variety, The AV Club, Fast Company and the Chicago Sun-Times. He began collecting Magic cards during Fourth Edition and plays Commander and Modern primarily. He also enjoys tennis, the Dark Souls family of video games and supporting live comedy. He lives in Chicago with his cat, Rosie.

More from Steve Heisler:

History, Restapled - True Value

Steve's back to give you more fresh picks for the coveted status of "Commander Staple." This time he's looking at Wilds of Eldraine and Lord of the Rings.

History, Restapled - The Wilds Bunch

Which under-the-radar cards from Wilds of Eldraine are shooting for Commander Staple status? Find out in this edition of History, Restapled.

History, Restapled - Lands, Ho; Prices, Low

History, Restapled is giving you a 2-for-1 (actually more like a 10-for-1) with this look at several cards from Lord of the Rings and Commander Masters.

History, Restapled - In Full Swing

History, Restapled is back with a few more picks aiming for the Swingline, including some goodies from LOTR, and an underappreciated card from New Capenna.

Rising of the DayTaunt from the RampartAerial Extortionist

History, Restapled -  Un- For the Money

We're once again checking the staple status of recent cards, with this latest installment of History, Restapled. Here we're looking at one LOTR card, and a few from Unfinity.

Champions of Minas TirithExchange of WordsStrength-Testing Hammer

History, Restapled - Walkers This Way

History, Restapled gives you the scoop on the walkers from All Will Be One. Staples or bulk bin?

The Eternal WandererTyvar, Jubilant BrawlerElspeth, Sun\'s Champion

History, Restapled - Tills, We Meet Again

Steve's back and answering that age-old Commander question: Is it a staple?

Tiller EngineStaff of the StorytellerTiller of Flesh

History, Restapled - March to the Beats

On this edition of History, Restapled, Steve digs into March of the Machine to dash our hopes on one card, then perk us back up with two others.

Wrenn and RealmbreakerKami of Whispered HopesDrana and Linvala

History, Restapled - No Warhammer Time Like the Present

Steve is back, and he's demystifying the staple-status of a few Warhammer 40K cards. Do these cards belong in your Commander decks? Come find out!

Bone SabresPrimaris EliminatorAssault Intercessor

History, Restapled: Power Creep Before Dollar Creep

On this edition of History, Restapled, Steve takes a look at some sleepers from recent sets that you should reconsider.

Gix\'s CommandBrazen Cannonade

The information presented on this site about Magic: The Gathering, both literal and graphical, is copyrighted by Wizards of the Coast (a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc.), which includes, but is not limited to, card images, the mana symbols, and Oracle text.
This website is not produced, endorsed, supported, or affiliated with Wizards of the Coast.

Original Content 2023 MTGStocks
Nothing on this site constitutes professional and/or financial advice. Always do your own research