27, Jul, 23

These 8 Secret Commander Gems are Criminally Underplayed!

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The unfortunate part about a reprint set is that rising stars, unsung heroes, cards with untapped potential and forgotten about MVPs don’t make the cut. Obviously the most celebrated, played and in demand cards should be included first. That being said there’s always room to include a few cards that are starting to pick up steam or have proven future potential. Here are just a few cards that may not have made the Commander Masters cut but can definitely put in work at your local table.


It’s hard to say enough good things about Angelic Renewal. It’s two easy mana. It can save your commander from death at the low end. On the high? It has infinite combos with Sun Titan, Renegade Rallier or Saffi Eriksdottir and any sacrifice outlet just to name a few. The card has incredible top end potential that has not even remotely been explored and will likely see play with the new card Narci, Fable Singer.


A card that is not getting nearly enough play, Wash Away reads “one mana counter target commander, that commander now costs two more to cast” and that’s a pretty incredible floor. Virtually every Commander deck revolves around getting your commander into play and leveraging it. The ability to shut out another deck for an extra turn or two for one mana is excellent. Of course, late game having a backup Cancel sitting in hand is never completely useless, but that’s not the only place Wash can excel. Plenty of decks use Cascade, Flashback or another way to cast from a non-hand zone and Wash Away works against all of them, again for that same one mana. Take a look at your current counterspell package because Wash Away is likely better than one of them.

Read More: Top 10 Most Expensive Cards on The List for MTG Commander Masters


For one mana, getting any card you want to the top of your deck is virtually the same as putting it into your hand, but why pay a premium dollar price for a card like Imperial Seal when Scheming Symmetry does all that and more and does not cost you two life? See the “drawback” on Symmetry is hardly that, it’s virtually an advantage! First, keep in mind Commander is a multiplayer format and diplomacy is something that cannot be underestimated. You can buy a friend on the cheap with this card.

Furthermore, lets say another opponent has a Smothering Tithe in play. Sure you can tutor for an answer but what if they have a counterspell or other interaction? With Symmetry you can give another player an answer to that Tithe and let them handle it. Generally speaking when a player can remove a strong effect in play, they will do so. Finally, there is synergy with Symmetry and cards like Lobelia Sackville-Baggins or Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. Each of these strategic plays turns Symmetry into two cards for you if used correctly which makes it a heck of a good card and way better than the amount of play it’s currently seeing.


An oldie and a goodie Pyroclasm has long been a board wipe against token strategies but has fallen off over the years. It’s a card that has only gotten better, though, with the addition of cards like Torbran, Thane of Red Fell and Solphim, Mayhem Dominus. Four damage is enough to clear a whole lot of boards and two mana is a very cheap price to do so. How many of the EDHREC top 100 commanders does this kill? About ten, give or take, based on game state. The simple fact that this hits a chunk of popular commanders, token decks and is only two mana should make you take a second look at this low cost spell.


This card should be no surprise to regular Commander players as it is likely one of the most seen cards on this list. Still, Manglehorn is underplayed relative to how good it is. Obviously Reclamation Sage stole this Beast’s thunder. Is the fact that it can target Enchantments in addition to Artifacts really so important that it is in the EDHREC top 100 and Manglehorn is not? Now, more than ever, the secondary ability of Manglehorn is even more relevant.

What good is Reclamation Sage against a Dockside Extortionist? Besides stopping Treasure from immediately going off, Manglehorn also stops Food and even Blood. All of the Talismans and Signets which see tons of play turn into Diamonds – mana rocks that enter tapped – which see far less play with a Manglehorn around.

Read More: Old-Fashioned Archetype Picking Up Steam in LOTR-Dominant Metagame!


A highly flexible card, Pure // Simple gives you either a Vindicate versus multicolored or a board wipe for those pesky Auras and Equipments. Is this good? The answer is yes, it’s extremely good. Think about the population of multicolored commanders. It’s massive! So, the floor of this card is a three mana kill spell for a commander. That’s not impressive, but it’s far from a dead card in your hand. Now, move on to Auras and Equipment. Auras certainly are a bit rarer, but it’s Equipment that makes this worth running. So many decks run both Lightning Greaves and Swiftfoot Boots that the odds you will run into them out of the three other decks you face is near 100% so destroying any miscellaneous Auras at the same time is just extra.

Now, there’s an additional factor. Do you play against Voltron style players? If so, this card is their worst nightmare. While meta specific cards are always going to see niche play, I’m arguing that there is enough upside to Pure // Simple where it will always perform adequately in any match up but sometimes be unbelievably powerful. That makes it a good card to test out in your local environment.


Considering all the Food generation in Lord of the Rings, I was shocked to see that so few decks are trying out Clock of Omens. With any mana rock already on the table, it turns your extra artifacts into half a mana or more. If you have a rock that taps for more like Gilded Lotus now each Food would tap for one and a half mana. Additionally, Clock was printed well before the Indestructible Artifact Lands. Running ordinary Artifact Lands was extremely risky as they are easy to remove. However, the enters tapped but two color Artifact Lands having Indestructible lets you worry far less. Given these things, one would expect a lot more decks to consider the Clock as, at worst, an additional turbo charged mana rock. In the right decks, though, it also will give you additional activations of powerful effects like Strionic Resonator or Lithoform Engine. Finally, if you have an Artifact commander with an activated ability, Clock goes off even harder. For all these reasons it seems like it can find a bit more play in a larger slice of decks.

Read More: Commander Masters’ Rarest Cards are a Massive Trap!


This card falls into the weird category of one that just got a reprint in LotR as Glittering Caves of Aglarond but probably should have gotten a Commander Masters reprint instead of that, or in addition to it, like The Great Henge did.

Certainly this card’s nomination is a lot less surprising than the others as Gemstone Caverns already sees a large amount of cEDH play. This trend tends to trickle down to casual tables over time, and it appears to slowly see more and more play. Going first is a huge advantage, but if you can start a game with a land in play before even the first player, it allows you to interact from the get go. This is recognized in cEDH as necessary while also being a source of ramp without having a color restriction. Just like a turn one Sol Ring, when you have three other players who each have a chance of having the Caverns in their opener, it’s not a very rare occurrence for someone to begin with one in play.

Furthermore, because of the free mulligan in Commander it’s not uncommon for players to fish for excellent openers which regularly include this card. With ever more five color cards rolling out of Commander Masters, a five color producing land that is also a ramp effect becomes even more valuable than it already is.

These Gems are Everywhere!

Its easy, and generally a lot less time consuming, to simply take what the majority of other players are doing and do it yourself. There’s a reason why we now see Cultivate and Kodama’s Reach in basically every single casual green Commander deck. The cards are well-known and quite powerful for their budget.

Taking inspiration from only what is known, however, means that many players will miss the opportunity to find gems like these. Many MTG players have a moment, especially when learning how to play Magic, where a card that initially seemed mediocre ends up doing something spectacular, and truly starts to define why Magic is such a beloved card game. We can still have those moments, even after we’ve played the game for quite some time through discoveries like these. Don’t be afraid to take some time and explore the possibilities.

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