Leviathan's picture
By: Leviathan, Mike Morales
Aug 25 2010 8:25am
Login to post comments

I.  Introduction

I thought that it would be worthwhile to take a look at the staples for EDH, and by extension Commander.  It's nice to know about cards that are useful for the colors that you are playing.  However, over at MTGSalvation, they already have a pretty good list that people use.  You can find it HERE.  Just in case you didn't know, MTGSalvation has pretty good forum for EDH stuff, along with the main forums over at Dragonhighlander.com.  In addition, it's always good to look over a list like this just to remember what else is out there, and remind you of cards that you can use.  If you've been having problems with graveyard stuff, or problems with removal, you can just look at the list of cards in the colors you are playing for ideas. 

You don't want to hear me rehash all the top cards, so I am not going to.  Instead of hitting all the top cards, I'm going to add too them.  But first things first.

II.  Cheap Stuff

The cool thing about the list over at MTGSalvation is just how cheap many of the cards are online.  I went through the list and pulled out all the cards that are under a ticket.  All prices are approximate, but they shouldn't have changed too much. 

world queller
thada adel, acquisitor
drana, kalastria bloodchief
Dread - .12
Shriekmaw - .20
hellkite charger
Anarchist - .03
Anger - .25
Rakka Mar - .10
Acidic Slime - .08
Ant Queen - .10
wrexial, the risen deep
artisan of kozilek
Memnarch - .90
Pentavus - .10

There is a ton of good, cheap creatures out there.  Just looking at that list of black cards, you can have a deck with only those.  There's a decent amount of red and green creatures as well. 

Let's take a look at the non-creature spells on the list that come in under a ticket.


Condemn - .20
Oblation - .08
rite of replication
Acquire - .10
Capsize - .25
Fabricate - .35
Hinder - .04
Sunder - .40
Time Stop - .10


Banefire - .90
Boom/Bust - .50
Recoup - .12
Reiterate - .10
Ruination - .60
Starstorm - .35
Wildfire - .10
momentous fall
Abundance - .25
Wild Pair - .12

Mortify - .40
Putrefy - .15
Wargate - .10
pithing needle
Mirari - .15
Sunforger - .10

Not quite as much as was listed in the creature section, but there is still some pretty good stuff.  The point of listing all this out is just to show you that there are plenty of good, cheap cards out there for you to build your decks with.  Sure, everyone wants to own a Survival of the Fittest, but you can do just fine without one.  Cost should not be your barrier for entry, or success, in this format.  

III.  Not the top, but still good
Now, on to the stuff that isn't listed as "the best."  These are going to be cards that are still useful and should be taken into consideration when building your decks.  A lot of these are good cards that you can assume you will think of when you're putting stuff together, but hopefully I throw out a couple of underused cards and cards you hadn't thought of as well.  I'm not going to be presenting solely budget cards here.  This is just a list of good, useful stuff.  However, by just clicking on the links, you will find that a lot of this stuff is still cheap as well.
IV.  Artifacts
Artifacts are great, because they can typically go into any deck.  Although the most common ones involve mana fixing and acceleration, there are plenty of others with fun defensive and offensive effects that you will enjoy.

azorius signetsimic signetrakdos signetorzhov signetizzet signetgruul signetselesnya signetgolgari signetboros signetdimir signet Signets - These are basic building blocks for multi-colored decks.  They help both with mana fixing and acceleration.  Unless you are playing green (in which case you have better land search) you can consider these for any deck playing three colors, and even two colored decks.
phyrexian totemchronatog totemforiysian totemweatherseed totemthunder totem Totems - Often overlooked, these provide acceleration early, and bodies late.  These go well in mono-colored and multicolored decks.  They are good because they dodge the typical sorcery speed mass removal like Wrath of God and Damnation, just like man lands.  Sometimes you just need an additional attacker, or even an additional blocker.  Just remember not to activate Phyrexian Totem with an opponent who is playing red.  Bonus points if you make use of the blue totem in a game.
talisman of dominancetalisman of impulsetalisman of indulgencetalisman of progresstalisman of unity Talismen - These guys don't get much love, but I consider them when I'm dealing with a two colored deck that can use acceleration.  Decks such as the Bladewing the Risen deck I wrote about a while ago.  They are good in that they also provide colored mana, for a price.
Coldsteel Heartdarksteel ingotdreamstone hedroneverflowing chalicefellwar stonemind stone Mana Artifacts - These are the remainder of the often played mana artifacts.  Each of them brings something different to the table.  Darksteel Ingot is a personal favorite, as it can survive mass board wipes will providing mana of any color.  I haven't had the opportunity to try Dreamstone Hedron, but it seems like it could be fun.
armillary spherejourneyer's kite Mana help - These are land search artifacts that can help you fix your colors, or just make sure that you continue hitting your land drops.  The Kite is actually one of my favorite cards.  Many times you are going to have a couple extra mana at the end of your turn, and if you can turn that into a little bit of deck thinning, it's awesome.  Plus, it's so low key, people tend to ignore it.  I definitely recommend you pick one up if you don't have one already.
sword of Kaldrashield of kaldrahelm of kaldrabasilisk collarwhispersilk cloak Equipment - Equipment is the better version of an Aura, in that it won't die when your opponent does.   Each of the equipment in the Kaldra cycle is pretty powerful on its own, and when you get them all out, seeing the Kaldra token is just fun. Basilisk Collar is just good and cheap and can go into any deck. The Cloak helps you get your Commander damage through as well as protect it, which helps shorten up your games.

Akroma's Memorial Akroma's Memorial - A very good card, turning all of your creatures into Akroma's is nothing to sneeze at.  Your guys will be able to effectively dodge most removal from the moment they hit the table.  This works well with both large beaters and creature swarms.  The casting cost is high, but it's worth it for the effect.
crystal shard Crystal Shard, Erratic Portal - I group these together because they both play bounce effects.  If your deck has a lot of creatures with "enters the battlefield" abilities, why not get more than one use out of them.  Keep in mind that online, you can put Crystal Shard in any deck, as opposed to normal EDH rules.
damping matrix Damping Matrix - A Linvala for everyone, this is good at shutting down Commanders, card drawing, and equipment.  Can definitely hose some decks, and that makes it worth it.
defense grid Defense Grid - Sometimes you want to be able to cast your spells in peace during your turn.  This is a good way to make sure and avoid opposing combat tricks and counterspells, or at the very least, make them more difficult to cast.
eldrazi conscription Eldrazi Conscription - Not really an artifact, but it can go in any deck.  This is great because it turns any of your creatures, from a Birds of Paradise to a Phylactery Lich, into a hulking monstrosity.  There are times when people will be caught with their pants down, and that will make this card worth it.
eldrazi monument Eldrazi Monument - Who wouldn't want to make their team indestructible and have flying?  The trick is being able to pay the upkeep.  Whether this means token creation, using Bloodghast and Nether Traitor, or just sacrificing one of your men, you should be able to beat down your opponents pretty quickly with this card out.
forcefield Forcefield - Being able to play with old school "power cards" online is always fun.  This is very good at reducing Commander damage, as well as damage from other large beaters, for a minimal price.  Unfortunately, it won't work on Uril, but it does work on just about everything else.
jester's cap Jester's Cap - Kind of a catch all card for dealing with problems that your deck can't handle before they hit the table.  If your deck depends on the graveyard, you can search out an opponent for their Relic of Progenitus or Tormod's Crypt.  Or, if you prefer, you can just snag their legendary Eldrazi and remove them from the game.  Although it doesn't effect the board, it can help you in the long run.
proteus staff Proteus Staff - This one is a little dicey.  It gives you the ability to tuck an opponent's Commander, and can do the same for any of the legendary Eldrazi.  The problem is, you might like what pops up even less.  However, if you know what is coming up in your deck, you can use it on one of your creatures as well.
quicksilver amulet Quicksilver Amulet - Nothing wrong with being able to drop large fatties into play on the cheap.  More resilient than Elvish Piper, you have the ability to put a creature into play during combat, or at the end of an opponent's turn.  Works well with something like Woodfall Primus to act as spot removal as well.  Besides, who wants to pay 15 mana for Emrakul.
rings of brighthearth Rings of Brighthearth - A lot of cards in the format have activated abilities, so why not double them up?  Although the most common and busted use is in combination with planeswalker abilities, it works in tandem with everything from cycling lands to enchantments like Sterling Grove.  If your Commander has an activated ability that costs a lot to use, such as Mayael the Anima, you will definitely like this as well.
sculpting steel Sculpting Steel - A lot of times people are going to be playing powerful artifacts.  So why not just copy them?  Who wouldn't want their own Sword of Fire and Ice if their buddy is playing with one?  It's rare when their isn't a good target out there for this card.
spawning pit Spawning Pit - This isn't a tremendously great card, but it does help you recover from board wipes.  There are a lot of mass removal spells played out there, and when you sacrifice your guys in response, you are building up an army for later.  In addition, there are lots of times when sacrificing a creature is beneficial, such as saving your Commander from tuck effects.  Works best in token decks.
sun droplet Sun Droplet - This card has been decreasing in popularity.  It used to be that I would see it just about every game.  Now, I rarely do.  It does well for reducing the damage you take, and also works well in tandem with effects that trigger when you gain life.  It's pretty passive, so many times people will ignore it.  However, if no one has been an aggressor and people are wondering who to attack, they will attack the guy with the Sun Droplet.
tormod's crypt Tormod's Crypt - Just a good overall card.  People don't play with enough graveyard removal.  You should put in at least one or two of these cards, because many of the best and most powerful decks use their graveyard as an additional resource, and you are going to want to cut them off at the pass.

V.  Blue Creatures
Blue typically helps most with card draw effects.  However, it also has some good beaters, with some interesting abilities.

aeon chronicler Aeon Chronicler - Card draw in combination with a big body at the end.  The best part about the Chronicler is that the card draw cannot be countered.  Sure, someone can Stifle the effect once, but you won't see anyone out there try to as they usually have bigger fish to fry.  And a hasty big guy when you're done drawing is nothing to sneeze at.
arcanis the omnipotent Arcanis the Omnipotent - Another card drawing creature, this guy can get pretty crazy.  The good thing is that he comes with a built in ability to protect himself.  He's going to need it, because he definitely comes with a target on his head.  But if you are able to use him just once, he more than pays for himself.
clone Clone - The great thing about Clone is that it doesn't target.  So you can copy shroud creatures with it.  Since this is EDH, there is usually a big scary monster out there, so why not have your own copy?  Once they fix the Commander bug (Commanders are immune to the legend rule online), this card will be even better.
 Dominating Licid - A very good theft card.  You can use this licid's ability at instant speed.  So if someone attacks you, you can use another opponent's creature to block.  You can also steal one creature, then when a better one comes along, unattach the licid and grab the better one.  Good times.
ethersworn adjudicator Ethersworn Adjudicator - Ok, so this technically isn't a blue creature, in that you need to at least be in Esper colors to fully take advantage of it.  But in the late game, you can remove multiple creatures in one turn.  You can also destroy pesky enchantments.  Heck, even if you drop him on turn 5 people will be scared of him.  Plus, he has pseudo-vigilance, which is nothing to be sneezed at.
kira, great glass-spinner Kira, Great Glass-Spinner - Although there's a lot of mass removal out there, there is also a lot of targeted removal.  The best part about this card is that if you have another, more potent creature threat on the board, it takes three targeted removal spells to get rid of it:  Two for Kira, then one for the bigger threat.  If your opponent ignores Kira, he just leaves himself open to having to deal with the next threat you put out there.
lighthouse chronologist Lighthouse Chronologist - I've never seen anyone ever get this guy active.  But it just seems like it would be good, right?  Obviously does better in mono-blue decks.
mnemonic wall Mnemonic Wall - Blue didn't have a whole ton of recursion until recently.  Sure, there is Relearn and Recall.  But this is another way to recur your sorceries and instants, but it leaves behind a blocker!  Which means that it will work well with Crystal Shard to help out with recursion, or just stand in front of a Titan to prevent some damage.
soramaro, first to dream Soramaro, First to Dream - I've never seen anyone else play with this guy, and it makes me sad.  First of all, he has evasion.  Second, he draws cards.  And just by using his ability once, you increase his power and toughness by two!  His ability also works well with Seer's Sundial and landfall cards.  Combined with Reliquary Tower, he's a force to be reckoned with.
sphinx of magosi Sphinx of Magosi - I've definitely seen this guy played.  Again, he is large and has evasion.  He can draw cards and pumps himself each time he uses his ability.  He requires a significant blue investment, but I don't think you'll complain when you have him out.
sun quan, lord of wu Sun Quan, Lord of Wu - How to make all your creatures unblockable.  This is a cheap legend that should definitely see more play.  Although blue isn't typically the color of aggression, it is capable of make some pretty large dudes.  Putting this guy into play can end games in your favor very quickly.
vesuvan doppelganger Vesuvan Doppelganger - Not as popular as Vesuvan Shapeshifter, it's still really good.  As you may have seen in my last article, I was able to use one of these to copy an Eternal Witness when it came into play, then turn into an Eldrazi the next turn without a mana investment.  Being able to copy the best or largest creature on the field isn't a bad ability.  Plus, it doesn't target, just like Clone.
VI.  Blue Spells
Blue excels in card advantage and theft, and the list of cards below aren't going to break that mold.
cast through time Cast Through Time - Who doesn't like free spells?  I actually think this does better in decks that aren't mono-blue, as there are a ton of other spells out there in other colors that you would like to copy.  Demonic Tutor?  Kodama's Reach?  Beacon of Immortality?  And there are definitely other more powerful cards that this one teams up with.
echoing truth Echoing Truth - There are lot of players using token decks out there (I'm one of them), and sometimes it's nice to wipe their board cheaply and at instant speed.  Also can be used as individual removal just fine.
Gather Specimens Gather Specimens - This has two main uses.  First, it's a blowout when people activates Balthor the Defiled or plays Living Death.  Second, you can use it as an expensive Control Magic effect, to steal stuff like an opponent's Eldrazi or Seedborn Muse.  Both uses are perfectly fine. 
honden of seeing winds Honden of Seeing Winds - Phyrexian Arena without the life loss?  Sounds good to me!
inundate Inundate - This would be fun to play in a mono-blue deck.  Clear out everyone's blockers, or just set them behind, and move in for the kill.
Jace Beleren Jace Beleren - Underrated, if only for his ability to get rid of his bigger brother.  If you use his abilities in such a way as to avoid coming close to his ultimate, sometimes people will ignore him, especially if they get a free card every once in a while.

mind springopportunityRecurring Insight Mind Spring, Braingeyser, Opportunity, Recurring Insight - Card draw at it's most basic.  Nothing wrong with that.  Opportunity is instant speed, which is nice.  Recurring Insight is one of my favorite draw spells, and has never failed to draw me a butt load of cards.  Some people will try to dump their hands while waiting for it to rebound, but most of the time they can't do enough.

mystical teachings Mystical Teachings - A good tutor, needs you to play black to be most effective.  Sometimes you just need that Consume the Meek to clear the board.

overwhelming intellect Overwhelming Intellect - Counter and card draw rolled into one.  Keep in mind that you can use this on Emrakul.  You won't counter the Eldrazi, but you will draw a ton of cards.

personal tutor Personal Tutor - Another cheap tutor.  If you have SDT in play, you can draw it and use it the same turn.

spelljack Spelljack - If a counterspell costs 6 mana, then it better be good.  Fortunately, this one is.  You've never lived until you Spelljack someone's Blatant Thievery.

telemin performance Telemin Performance - Every once in a while you will run into someone that is pretty creature light.  This card can bring the pain in those situations.  If they are creature light, the creatures they play are going to be pretty powerful.  Actually, people play powerful creatures in general, so you will be happy most of the time you cast this.
tezzeret the seeker Tezzeret the Seeker - There are a lot of artifact based decks out there that like this guy, but he doesn't have to go into just Sharuum and Arcum decks.  You can use him to tutor up equipment, or mana help.  The ability to tutor multiple times is always useful.
trickbind Trickbind - You don't want Emrakul to give your opponent an extra turn?  Trickbind to the rescue!  There are a lot of effects that get played in these games, so you definitely shouldn't have trouble coming up with something to counter.  Basically a cheaper (in terms of cost) version of Stifle.
twincast Twincast - The blue Fork.  Why not copy someone else's Recurring Insight?  Copying isn't a bad way to go in these games, as there will typically be a bunch of powerful stuff thrown around.

VII.  Green Creatures
Green not only has some big beaters, but some overlooked recursion and card draw.  On top of that, there are some unusual effects provided by some of these cards.
baru, fist of krosa Baru, Fist of Krosa - Baru is especially good in mono-green decks, but can do well in Guild decks as well.  Keep in mind that he pumps all your guys when any Forest comes into play, meaning on your opponent's side as well.  Pumping your guys is good, but giving them trample is even better.
caller of the claw Caller of the Claw - Another form of Wrath insurance, holding this guy back can allow you to overextend a little bit.  Although having bears isn't particularly exciting, at least you will be able to put on some immediate pressure after the board is wiped.
copperhoof vorrac Copperhoof Vorrac - Sort of a big, dumb, beater, this guy can get really, really large anytime you have 3 other opponents.  Giving him trample makes him better, obviously, but you can also combine him with effects like Fling or Greater Good.  Sort of a cheaper Hamletback Goliath.  I've tried to get him into a couple of decks, but for some reason he doesn't quite make the cut.
forgotten ancient Forgotten Ancient - He truly is forgotten.  He can accumulate a stupid number of counters very quickly.  The ability to move those counters around is great and has multiple purposes.   You can stick them on a creature you have with evasion, or put a counter on a Woodfall Primus to re-set it.  There are a ton of uses for this guy, but he never gets played any more.  
frontier guide Frontier Guide - When I first saw this one, I thought it was just a more fragile version of Journeyer's Kite.  However, upon closer inspection, it puts the land directly into play.  This means that if you draw another land, you can play it as well, so you are accelerating essentially every time you get to activate it.  Pretty sweet, if you can get more than a couple uses out of it.
jedit ojanen of efrava Jedit Ojanen of Efrava - He's a large forestwalker.  On top of that, he spits out tokens.  Obviously he isn't as good as Grave Titan, but you can see where they got the idea for the big, black giant.  Don't underestimate his ability to connect and bring the pain. 
mold shambler Mold Shambler - More green removal on a stick.  Although the mold hippo isn't as good as Acidic Slime due to the inability to be abused by blink effects, his ability to get rid of any non-creature permanent is nothing to be sneezed at.  Then, bounce him and do it again.
paleoloth Paleoloth - This is an interesting one.  There are a lot of large creatures out there, and if you play with a few of them, you should be able to get at least one or two cards back from your graveyard.  Good in Mayael decks, but not just limited to those.  Even better with something like Kiki-Jiki or Splinter Twin.  Recursion is always nice.
panglacial wurm Panglacial Wurm - So it's the 13th turn, and you happen to draw Cultivate.  A lot of good that's going to do you.  But wait, you have Panglacial Wurm in your deck!  So basically drawing Rampant Growth late game is the same as an 8/5 trampler.  A big beater that can turn late game search into more than that, this guy can bring the pain and help you out in the end game.  Looking back, I probably should have found a way to include this creature in my Stonebrow deck from last week.
primordial sagegarruk's packleader Primordial Sage, Garruk's Packleader - Creature based card draw.  Many times green decks are a third creatures.  Turning all those guys into cantrips will make you happy.  The Packleader's restriction is pretty minor, actually.
rampaging baloths Rampaging Baloths - A very good landfall creature, in that it comes in a color that can drop more than one land a turn, and it pumps out very large tokens.  Trample is icing on the cake.
scute mob Scute Mob - Not a bad creature after turn five, in which it can get very large very quickly.  There are numerous ways to get him through, mainly through equipment and trample enablers.  And his death with something like Xathrid Demon or Stalking Vengeance is nothing to sneeze at either.
seedguide ash Seedguide Ash - His stats aren't all that impressive, but what is good is the deck thinning, as well as the ability to put ANY three Forests into play upon death.  This means that you can get dual lands and Rav shock lands.  Sort of the precursor to Primeval Titan.
silklash spider Silklash Spider - Flying defense, as well as the ability to Hurricane on demand, without hitting players.  Great against all those dragons out there.
silvos, rogue elemental Silvos, Rogue Elemental - A large, trampling regenerator is nothing to sneeze at.  Along with this 8 power for 6 mana, I think he definitely deserves a shot.
tornado elemental Tornado Elemental - A large elemental that should wipe the board of all flyers upon resolution.  I like this guy better than Cloudthresher many times.  The Thorn Elemental ability is just icing on the cake.
willow satyr Willow Satyr - I've never seen anyone play this but me, and I think that's criminal.  In a format that is based around legendary creatures, being able to steal them should not be overlooked.  If you have the ability to give him haste, he's even better.  Besides, the best way to kill someone is to steal their Commander and beat them to death with it.  Try it, you'll like it.
VIII.  Green Spells
Some of these are situational, or have specific requirements.  But they are all very good in the right decks.
beacon of creation Beacon of Creation - Obviously this requires a lot of forests, but it can spit out a ton of tokens even in two colored decks.  The fact that it shuffles back into your library doesn't come up often, but I know of at least one game where I drew it again 3 turns after casting it the first time.  Lots of tokens are always good.
bear umbra Bear Umbra - This card effectively doubles your available mana.  You can tap out during your first main phase and have all that mana available again for the second main phase.  That should speed you up significantly.  It's great with instant speed pump like Kamahl, Fist of Krosa and other activated ability that require mana but no tapping.  And don't forget the infinite attack steps with Aggravated Assault
crop rotationsylvan scrying Crop Rotation, Sylvan Scrying - Being able to search up specific lands is always good.  There are plenty of specialty lands out there that are helpful, from Reliquary Tower to Gaea's Cradle to Phyrexian TowerCrop Rotation is instant speed search, and all you need to do is sac one little land to get them.  Sylvan Scrying doesn't do it at instant speed, but doesn't require the sacrifice either.
defense of the heart Defense of the Heart - Pretty much a free Tooth and Nail.  Although it is conditional, it's a fairly easy condition to meet.  You may take a beating while waiting for this thing to go off, but it should be worth it when you bust out with Angel of Despair and Ulamog.
explosive vegetationfarseekkodama's reachcultivaterecross the paths Explosive Vegetation, Farseek, Kodama's Reach, CultivateRecross the Paths - Green provides a ton of land search.  This is probably the best stuff out there, but it is the tip of the iceberg.  Farseek can search up dual lands, which is nice.  Explosive Vegetation is one my favorites for putting two lands directly into play and not costing me a land drop.  Recross the Paths has the ability to return to your hand after casting so that you can get multiple uses out of it, and that's always good.
harmonize Harmonize - It may not seem like much, but three cards can dig you that much deeper to an answer.  For a while there, green didn't have a whole lot of card draw, and this was a boon.  Although green has received a lot more draw spells, this is still a very good card.
hibernation's end Hibernation's End - This is a pretty solid creature based tutor that leads to impressive amounts of card advantage.  Although the creatures you get the first couple turns aren't typically that powerful, by turn three you can get some really good stuff.
hurricanesquall line Hurricane, Squall Line - The green "direct damage" spells.  There are a ton of flyers in this environment, and the ability to wipe the board of them is nothing to sneeze at.  The ability to hurt players is a bonus.
kavu lair Kavu Lair - More card draw for big beasts, which green usually excels at producing.
nature's spiral Nature's Spiral - Obviously not as good as Eternal Witness, this is still good enough to get back that Time Warp, Elspeth, or other card you just used.  Recursion is good, and this is another cheap version.
one dozen eyes One Dozen Eyes - Instant army!  This is sort of a pet card, and I usually like dropping it right after someone clears the board.  6 creatures for one card is a pretty sweet deal.
overrun Overrun - Great with token decks, or just decks that like to overextend.  Giving everyone trample is always great, and the power and toughness boost can be what puts the card over the top.
rancor Rancor - The original recurring aura.  A lot of creatures and Commanders in the format are large, but don't have forms of evasion.  This helps get your damage through.  And you don't typically suffer the card disadvantage that most auras suffer.
rude awakening Rude Awakening - An awesome late game card.  You can go from having a clear board, to having an instant unexpected army.  In addition, you can use it to untap all your lands if you need the extra mana.  I know that this has been a game winner for me more than once.
vernal bloom Vernal Bloom - I think that people playing mono-green decks sometimes forget about this card.  It's basically a Nirkana Revenant for green, and that's great.  Most of the time, there isn't a whole lot of other green being played out there, so you don't typically have to worry about helping your opponents.
IX.  Conclusion
Well, this article has already taken a good amount of time, so I think that I'm going to hit up the remainder of the colors in the next article.  If you guys have any favorite cards in blue, green, or artifacts that aren't mentioned here or in the list over at MTGSalvation, please list them in the comments!  There are a ton of cards out there that can be used and are probably overlooked, so speak up!
X.  Addendum
So obviously FTV:  Relics is coming out this week.  The MSRP is $34.99.  Is it worth purchasing this set?  Let's take a look at what you can get for your Commander decks:
Sword of Body and Mind
All but three of these cards are already available online.  Mox Diamond, although not played in Commander, is worth a good amount of cash all by itself.  It may take a price hit, but probably not a big one.  The Disk and Memory Jar are both worth a couple of tickets.  The rest of the stuff that is already available is nice, but much to write home about, and if you like them you probably already own them.  However, these cards are all useful in that they go into just about any Commander deck.
The three cards that are not available online yet are the Sword, Masticore and Sol Ring.  The Sword is coming out shortly, but you have to wait until next year for the Masticore.  The Sword is good, but I'm not a big fan of milling strategies so I don't think it is as good as the originals.  Masticore already has an online equivalent in Razormane Masticore, which isn't great but does the trick in the meantime.  Of course, the stand out here is the third unavailable card that I have not mentioned yet: Sol Ring.  
Just how bad do you want that Sol Ring?  Keep in mind, this is a card that goes into almost every EDH deck.  Can you live without it?  Sure, why not?  We've been doing fine without it for a couple of years now.  But the first time someone drops one on you first turn, you will get pretty envious if you are anything like me.  But the real question is, will it come out in MED4?  Because if it does, you are going to pay significantly less than 35 bucks for it.  And all you will have to do is wait a couple of months.
Looking at the past two From the Vault sets, how did they do?  The Dragons set isn't worth the digital space it occupies.  However, Exiled is pretty good.  Specifically, Strip Mine is worth 16 tickets.  This is due to the fact that this set is the only place you could get the card.  In addition, Mystical Tutor and Goblin Lackey are both over 6 tickets, due to their playability in Legacy.
So, should you get it?  I don't know about you, but I'm getting a set.  The cards are all playable, and Sol Ring is the bomb.  If you are getting this set solely for investment purposes, your investment will be tied up in whether the Ring gets printed in MED4.  If it does, you're screwed, but at least you will still have Mox Diamond in the set.  If it does not get reprinted, though, you will be very happy indeed.
Hope you guys found some stuff to consider for your decks.  Until next time!
Leviathan, aka Tarasco on MTGO
mrmorale32 at yahoo dot com


Awesome by Lythand at Wed, 08/25/2010 - 13:24
Lythand's picture

5 mana symbols 3 snaps and a circle for this article. I actually touch breifly on this subject in my third installment of my commander/edh premire. I may just have to link this article for reference.

A great primer. Though I by Paul Leicht at Wed, 08/25/2010 - 15:00
Paul Leicht's picture

A great primer. Though I can't believe you list Triskelevus over Triskelion under art creatures. I seem to have singles of a lot of the staples here which is really great. I guess my quest to improve my collection since last year has succeeded better than I expected. :)

As for the viability of FTV sets I sold most of my Exiled cards for well over the suggested retail price in total though that took time (3 months or so.)

Unfortunately, after thinking by Westane at Wed, 08/25/2010 - 15:32
Westane's picture

Unfortunately, after thinking it over a lot, FTV Relics has lost nearly all its appeal for me. I've already picked up my Memory Jar for the upcoming implementation of Vintage with MED4 *shakes fist* and I haven't found a good enough reason to pick up the ever-depreciating Mox Diamond. That leaves me with the only other card of interest being Sol Ring. For one, if it is printed in MED4, which would make a lot of sense as both Mana Vault and the P9 are getting printed in MED4 *shakes fist again*, I would be upset for buying an ugly Sol Ring. I'm a sucker for old card art, sue me. However, if I can find one for around ~8 tix, I'll snatch it up in a heartbeat. It's just like how I ignored FTV Exiled but bought the Strip Mine alone before it surely skyrockets in December *more fist shaking*. However, if we get a Strip Mine reprint in MED4, a replacement will be in order.

As for the article, I enjoyed it very much, and will make it a point to skim that list when I'm at home with the client open. This Standard nonsense is giving me a headache, I need me some Commander :p

Thanks guys. Feel free to by Leviathan at Wed, 08/25/2010 - 17:35
Leviathan's picture

Thanks guys. Feel free to mention more stuff that was missed.

As for the Relics set, my concern is what would happen if they don't print Sol Ring in MED4. Then I would have to wait around until the next masters edition set comes out, which I recall hearing wasn't guaranteed. And that would suck but it is entirely possible. So I'm going to be conservative and get it. They haven't reprinted strip mine yet either.

Dont have any by Lythand at Wed, 08/25/2010 - 23:12
Lythand's picture

I may get a relics set. I dont have any of the cards but Sensie's top, so its fine for me.