History, Restapled: A Mother’s Love and a Land Reborn
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
Since her warm embrace became available in
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
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
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|
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.
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
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
|Crucible of Worlds|
|Perennial Behemoth (Extended Art)|
|Conduit of Worlds|
|Conduit of Worlds (Extended Art)|
For the next column, I’ll take a look at a few
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 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.