If you read my article last week and are hoping I don’t mention Limp Bizkit again, don’t worry, I won’t even type the words Limp Bizkit except earlier and also just like a second ago when I typed Limp Bizkit again. Three times, that’s it. If you didn’t read my article last week, you should at least read the first few paragraphs, before I talk about specs, to get caught up on why I am writing about Eriette of the Charmed Apple. The short answer is that it’s because I said I was going to do it last week, so I am. You don’t have to read the entire article, read until I stop talking about Limp Bizkit. Four times, #%$^. That’s the last one, let’s get this week’s specs article rollin’.
Saying that Eriette is the second-most-popular commander in Wilds of Eldraine can be a bit misleading, and I want to clarify a few things before we launch into it. The reason I only do the more popular commanders in a given set is that it isn’t worth it to speculate on cards that won’t get enough demand to change the supply. General Kudro of Drannith may be in a high percentage of Jirina, Dauntless General decks, but 90% of jack is basically jack. I look at the commander or commanders that have a big dropoff in demand after them, like this situation here.
The difference between 810 and 738 isn’t monumental, whereas the difference between 738 and 479 seems substantial. The numbers themselves matter less to me than the ratio - I tend not to make EDHREC-informed decisions based on numbers, but rather ratios. Do I think only 810 people made a Rowan, Scion of War deck? Nope, but I can assume that there will be almost twice as many Rowan decks as Hylda decks because I think EDHREC’s data set is large enough that samples from it are representative of the ratio of Rowan to Hylda decks in the wild. The number 810 isn’t significant, but the number 1 is, and that’s what ranking Rowan had in this set.
Finally, “Best commander in the set” can be misleading. If enough people dusted off their 2015 Nekusar, the Mindrazer decks and every EDH player built a Nekusar deck, I’d be speculating on copies of Teferi's Puzzle Box or Forced Fruition, not anything in Rowan. What good is being the most-built in the set if you’re the least-built on the Earth? Is Eriette the least-built deck on the Earth?
If you’re reading this on mobile, first off let me say thank you for retrieving your device from wherever you threw it the second I posted a pic of the rankings for ants. You don’t need to read the graphics, I’ve got you.
What the graphic shows is that overwhelmingly over the last week, people built Zhulodok, Void Gorger. Rowan, Scion of War was 1st in the set, but only 8th overall, and Eriette 10th. Let me suggest that these are actually really good rankings. The Ur-Dragon and Atraxa, Praetors' Voice decks are going to be built a ton forever. It’s worth it to notice that Anikthea, Hand of Erebos is hanging in there at 5th, not too far behind Zhulodok - you may want to take a second look at Anikthea’s page to see if there is anything that could pop soon.
With so many “always top 10” commanders, Rowan and Eriette making the top 10 is very positive, even if it’s just for one week and that one week is the week the set was fully revealed. The point is that we were correct to look at specs from Rowan and Eriette and we were correct to basically ignore the rest of the set. I’m sure those decks will be fun, but I don’t think they can move the needle. If Eriette can move the needle, what will we want to have copies of to sell in a few weeks?
This isn’t the first time we have had a “enchanting their creatures matters” deck, but it’s among the first times we have seen it in black, and black has a few nasty tricks that we haven’t seen the need for before.
The high synergy cards for this deck are still about 75% enchantress staples. (As a brief aside, synergy % is calculated by taking the % a card is played in a given deck and subtracting the % it’s played in the format in total. It’s why Sol Ring usually has a -1% synergy rating.) Enchantress cards aren’t exactly ubiquitous in the format, especially in decks that also contain black, so you’re seeing a card that’s in 5% of all decks in the format and a card that’s in 90% of Eriette decks have a super high synergy score. However, it also worked as intended and found a card we might have all missed otherwise.
Hateful Eidolon is going to be useful in the future even more than it is now, because they've begun to explore the space of playing enchantments that force creatures to attack more. It’s a great way to force action in EDH, and Eriette rewards you doubly. Why not be rewarded triply with Hateful Eidolon replacing the cards you lost when the creature died? I don’t think Eriette generates enough demand to make the bulk uncommon version go up, but foils are certainly interesting. As a bit of a corollary, let’s look at a card at a lower rarity but printed in the other Theros block.
Grim Guardian is currently $6. I think foils of Eidolon hit $6 if we get another card that wants us to enchant their creatures, which I’m sure will happen again very soon giving, you two chances to benefit from picking Eidolon up now.
Daxos the Returned has only been printed twice - once in Commander 2015, which was a number of years ago (I’ll let you argue amongst yourselves about how many), and once on The List, which hasn’t done much to curb its price. Remember I said Anikthea was getting built quite a bit? This card goes in that deck, too, and it’s under $5 for now. Want to compare the prices of the other commander in that cycle? Just go to the Commander 2015 page on our site and also check EDHREC’s page if you’re more of a visual learner like me.
You know what’s wild? Daxos is the only commander from Commander 2015 that hasn’t been reprinted in a set or Commander Anthology. I like this a lot, but reprint risk is high. That said, the best place to reprint it would have been in Anikthea’s deck and they didn’t. I think Daxos could realistically be worth $8 considering Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest is $8 and that got a reprint at rare in Double Masters, Commander Anthology, AND had a Secret Lair Series drop. Mazirek is more popular than Daxos, but for how long? Anikthea came bundled with Narci, Fable Singer and she is the 5th-most-popular commander in that set (of eight of them, I brought up how she’s 5th to set up a joke, not to say Narci is a factor, but every Narci deck that uses Daxos is gravy). Sold? Let’s move on.
Umbra Mystic’s foil price is at basically an all-time low. Umbra Mystic is much better in this deck than it has been historically - Uril, the Miststalker is more a spooky campfire story to tell people who have been playing EDH for a year or two than it is a deck people remember as the boogeyman. I like non-foils of this card, honestly. It’s not impossible to reprint a card that references Totem Armor, but it has a non-negligible impact on how many products could contain this as a reprint, in case you needed me to hedge, but only a tiny bit. I think there is real potential here.
Vampiric Link went up briefly, but it was so long ago that I don’t remember why, and neither does its current price. This card means their creature still can’t hurt you if Eriette is removed, and you gain life if they use it to chomp another player. Foils are disappearing. Second spike, etc. I think this is honestly a good pick-up even in non-foil considering it’s never been reprinted at all.
The hype from Phyrexians getting to do a whole Avengers: Endgame thing hasn’t even fully died down, and we already have another reason why Glistening Oil is going to go up. Foils are too cheap right now and if you looked at this card a month ago and discounted it like I did, wake up, it’s a brand new month.
If you read my work at MTG Price, you’ll know that me calling Gift of Immortality is basically a meme at this point, but, come on. Look at it how much it’s played. Its time is upon us! It’s already up a bit since last week and there are no NM copies under $6 on TCGPlayer, but it still looks like TCGPlayer is in stock below NM at $1.50. That won’t last - get in before everyone notices.
That’s what I gots for you all this week. If you want to argue with me about this or ask me something or just say hi, come to the mtgfinance subreddit or follow me on social media. Until next time!
Check out these other articles:
Competitive MTG Finance #1 - Wilds of Eldraine and Bowmasters by Edward Eng
Modern Times - Rakdos Scam, and the Unbanning of Preordain by Corey Williams
Over and Under - The Ring and the Titan by Harvey McGuinness