For many players, Commander is the ideal MTG pastime. After all, you get to make use of cards you might not get to otherwise in more competitive Constructed environments. There’s a ton of different generals to build decks around, and each of them have their own unique style. Commander is all about creativity and expression, providing players with a fun and intriguing format.
Unfortunately, though, not all strong Commander cards come cheap. As the most popular format out there, a lot of Commander staples are quite expensive. With this in mind, it can often be important for players to make use of strong budget options to help keep the cost of their Commander decks down. Luckily, there have been some decent budget-friendly cards that have been printed in the last year.
Today, we are going to take a look at the best Commander cards that can be picked up for cheap from this year. Notably, we will only be counting cards that were originally printed for the first time during 2023. As such, strong reprints from various Commander sets will not be included in this list. As such, without further ado, here are the top five MTG Commander cards on a budget from 2023.
#5 Stroke of Midnight
First up, we have Stroke of Midnight. Stroke of Midnight is a card from Wilds of Eldraine, and it is a very nice catch-all to any problematic non-Land permanent that your opponent might play. Cards like Beast Within and Generous Gift have been Commander staples for a while, and Stroke of Midnight is a very similar card.
Importantly, Stroke of Midnight does not have the ability to hit Lands. This means that if your opponent has access to exceptional utility Lands, such as Field of the Dead or even Gaea’s Cradle, you won’t be able to destroy them. Still, getting to answer a Planeswalker or Enchantment that might otherwise be hard to deal with is a nice option to have, and giving your opponent a 1/1 in exchange is not very threatening.
Even though the card sees a decent amount of Commander play, it is only an uncommon. As a result, it currently sits at roughly $2 according to TCGplayer market price, making it a solid option for cheap.
#4 Breach the Multiverse
Next, we have Breach the Multiverse, a strong win condition for decks with big Creatures at the ready. Typically, for decks that want to use cards like Reanimate to return big Creatures from the graveyard to play, you need to first find ways to put big Creatures in the graveyard in the first place. Obviously, cards like Entomb can do the trick, but you usually need access to multiple cards to make this plan work.
What makes Breach such a neat Commander card is that it forces each player to mill ten cards. This means that, even if there aren’t excellent targets to bring back to play, there’s a solid chance some will get milled over. From there, you have the upside of potentially getting a bunch of haymakers in play at once in a multiplayer game, including Planeswalkers.
In this sense, Breach is a solid win condition as long as you can get to seven mana. Even as a rare, the card is only about $4, making it a great budget card for Commander.
#3 Entish Restoration
Entish Restoration is a card that does a lot under the right circumstance. On the surface, the card is quite similar to Harrow. You have to sacrifice a Land, but you get two basic Lands in play at the end of it. Notably, Harrow’s Lands enter the battlefield untapped, while Lands from Entish Restoration enter tapped.
Where the upside lies, though, is with being able to get a third Land into play if you control a Creatures with power four or greater. This is very easy to achieve in Commander, and if you do, you essentially end up with a better version of Cultivate, which already sees Commander play regularly.
Entish Restoration may just be a simple ramp card, but it fills its role quite nicely. As an uncommon, it barely cracks $1, making it a steal for green decks.
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#2 Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff
Lotho, Corrupt Shirriff is a great inclusion for almost any Orzhov deck. Though it’s better in decks that can reliably cast multiple spells in a turn, the fact that Lotho triggers off of other players too means that, chances are, you will end up with a lot of Treasures out of the deal. Sure, you will lose some life in the process, but the risk is certainly worth the reward.
Even as a rare, Lotho is worth roughly $2. Lotho is still an incredibly underrated card. Sure, it doesn’t have the ceiling of Smothering Tithe, but as a two-drop, it doesn’t have to. Feel free to use Lotho as your general or simply as a curve-filler in your Commander deck. Either way, you won’t be sorry.
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#1 Mirkwood Bats
Last but not least, we have Mirkwood Bats. Mirkwood Bats is a rather easy card to take advantage of. If you are playing a deck that can make tokens, be them Treasures, Creature tokens, or anything else your heart desires, Mirkwood Bats is sure to deliver. The fact that Mirkwood Bats affects each opponent is quite strong, and for decks that can reliably sacrifice tokens, such as with Ashnod’s Alter, the life loss will add up quickly.
There are also some combos to be had. Obviously, Mirkwood Bats works with any ways to generate infinite tokens. One cool combo to make use of, though, is done by casting Plague of Vermin with Bats in play. If you have the highest life total, you can cast Plague of Vermin, make a number of tokens equal to the highest life total among other players, and win the game as a result.
Despite being a Commander staple for token decks, because Mirkwood Bats was simply printed as a common, you can get copies of the card for under 50 cents! This easily makes it one of the best budget cards of the year for Commander.
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