World Breaker | Oath of the Gatewatch | Art by Jaime Jones
3, Jul, 24

Modern Horizons 3 Commander Decks Drive Price Spikes Of Up To 500%!

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It’s been nearly three weeks since it launched, and still, the financial ripples caused by Modern Horizons 3 have yet to settle. Particularly in the world of MTG Commander finance. New cards have brought fresh eyes to old archetypes, giving long-hidden gems their chance to shine at last. Good news for those who had them in their bulk boxes, but not so good for those of us who don’t and want to play them. Yes, these newly minted Commander staples are spiking hard.

World Breaker

World Breaker | Modern Horizons 3 Commander

It seems like every week now there’s another Eldrazi price spike. The new Eldrazi Incursion precon deck, alongside all of the Eldrazi support cards printed in Modern Horizons 3, has given the archetype a shot in the arm in multiple formats. The latest beneficiary of this? World Breaker, a (relatively) humble green Eldrazi from Oath of the Gatewatch.

Since last week, the price of this card’s latest printing, in the MH3 Commander decks, has shot up from under $1 to over $4. An increase of around 500%, all told. Other printings are climbing steadily also. For anyone keeping an eye on the developing metagame, this shouldn’t be a surprise. World Breaker has been seeing play in not just Eldrazi Commander decks, but also many Modern lists, too.

Whether it’s Eldrazi Tron, or the Gruul Through the Breach variant, World Breaker has been putting a shift in since Modern Horizons 3 dropped. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, its cast trigger lets you exile an artifact, enchantment, or land. There are plenty of good targets for this in Modern right now, perhaps most notable among them being The One Ring. Indestructible does nothing against exile effects, after all.

Secondly, the card costs seven mana. While normally a downside, in Eldrazi decks seven is something of a magic number. It allows you to pitch the card to Ugin’s Labyrinth early if need be, which can be crucial for the deck’s game plan. This is a classic example of an overlooked card getting the recognition it deserves, though a very recent printing may cap its price sooner rather than later.

Lord Of The Unreal

Lord of the Unreal | Magic 2012

Our next card isn’t Eldrazi-related, but it’s certainly another juicy piece of MTG Commander finance. Lord of the Unreal is a wonderful contradiction. It’s one of the best typal lords in the game, but it’s tied to one of the worst creature types in the game: Illusions. Or at least, it’s supposed to be. With the advent of Omo, Queen of Vesuva in Modern Horizons 3, the card is putting in a ton of work alongside creatures that receive an Everything counter.

Such creatures have all creature types, allowing them to receive Lord of the Unreal’s handy Hexproof even if they’re not Illusions originally. That applies to the Lord himself, too, since he doesn’t specify other Illusions you control. In Omo Commander decks, Lord of the Unreal makes you very difficult to interact with. This, in turn, gives you plenty of time to pull off any strategy you desire.

Omo must be a very popular Commander, as this one interaction has caused the price of Lord of the Unreal to climb to new heights. What was once a $3.70 card just a week ago is over $7 today. The card only has a single printing in M12, too, so supply is fairly limited. This one is unlikely to come down again without a reprint, especially with Duskmourn on the horizon. Who knows how many playable Illusions could be lurking in the depths of that set?

Whelming Wave

Commander-Finance-MTG-Whelming-Wave

Next up we have a bit of a weird one. This week, the Commander Legends printing of Whelming Wave has shot up in price, going from $2 to nearly $6. Or at least, that’s how it looks on the surface. If you dive a little deeper, you’ll quickly find that this average price increase is down to two recent sales of the card at $19.49: a rate obviously far too high for a card like this.

Those not well-versed in the world of MTG Commander finance may see this spike and assume it’s genuine, but a few factors prove otherwise. Most notable among them is the fact that every other printing of Whelming Wave is sitting at around $0.40, with plenty of supply. We’ve seen a worrying increase in these kinds of ‘false spikes’ recently. Some of which we’ll cover later. But, interestingly enough, there are genuine reasons why a card like Whelming Wave could have been spiking.

We’ve just finished discussing the popularity of Omo, Queen of Vesuva in Commander. Whelming Wave is a fantastic fit in such a list, given that your creatures will largely have all creature types, thus turning it into a one-sided wrath. In fact, according to EDHRec, the card is in 41% of all Omo lists at present. An impressive figure indeed. I could see this playability translating into a spike later down the line, but for now, it’s either a mistake or an attempt at wash trading. Just pick up one of the $0.40 copies: they play just as well.

Suspicious Activity

Commander-Finance-MTG-Suspicious-Spikes

Unfortunately, Whelming Wave isn’t the only card experiencing a false spike this week. Since the Shriekmaw/Gurmag Angler incident last week, we’ve noticed similar patterns on a range of cards. Resulting in what appear to be price spikes on sites like MTGStocks, but are in fact just illusions. We’ve seen nothing as outrageous as the 10,000% increase those two cards received, but the patterns remain the same.

Take Dualcaster Mage, for example. This is a card with 10 total printings, eight of which are currently priced under a dollar. This past week, the Commander 2021 version of the card spiked to around $4. The reason? A series of suspicious purchases in the $4.70-$4.90 range. Even if the card was suddenly in demand, which it doesn’t appear to be, players would grab copies at a lower cost rather than pay around $5 when the going rate is around $1. The same is true for Emeria Shepherd and Chaos Dragon, too.

This trend is a worrying one to be sure. For those who rely on TCGPlayer averages or MTGStocks reports to guide their purchasing decisions, it’s easy to be misled by average price spikes like this. Those new to the world of MTG Commander finance could easily get sucked into the hype on a card that absolutely doesn’t deserve it. Hopefully, we stop seeing false spikes like this soon, but until the storm passes make sure to do your research before you pay too much for a card. Or buy into a spike that’s nothing more than a quirk of the system.

Read More: MTG Best Commander Decks

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