Black Friday and Cyber Monday are almost here, and there’s no better time to grab a good deal. With so many products, cards, and special editions, it can be overwhelming for many Magic players to find a good offer. In the spirit of the occasion, I’ve made a list of cards and products that are of excellent value at the moment. Whether you’re looking for Modern staples, bling for your Commander decks, or a gift for your playgroup’s Secret Santa, you’ll find something on this list to fit the bill!
Treasures are now a mainstay in Commander, and a very prominent part of the format at that. More and more decks are incorporating a Treasure production angle to accelerate their game plan, with cards like Dockside Extortionist and Smothering Tithe being the most (in)famous of the lot. Xorn further boosts your Treasure production, and it can pair particularly well with Smothering Tithe.
The current price is $2.99 for the regular version, but with the showcase art at the same price, you’d be wise to grab some copies while you can!
Academy Manufactor has started to see more play recently, after being largely ignored upon the release of Modern Horizons 2. As I mentioned above, Treasures are rampant in Commander; finding ways to get more out of your Treasure production is sure to leave your opponents in the dust, and this Assembly-Worker is sure to do just that. Clues and Food are less prominent, but still present, and the colorless Academy Manufactor has many homes alongside Lonis, Cryptozoologist, Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth, and Tireless Provisioner.
The regular version is $3.99, and the full art version is $5.99. If you plan on playing with Treasures, Clues, Food, or just artifacts in general, I’d pick up as few copies while they’re still affordable!
Sometimes, subtlety is overrated. Now is not one of those times. The “Pitch Elemental” cycle from Modern Horizons 2 has proven to be wildly popular, particularly among Modern players, and for good reason: free spells are powerful. Subtlety was one of the first of the cycle that people really caught onto; it’s effectively a free counterspell, so immediate comparisons were made to Force of Will and Force of Negation. While it’s not quite at the same power level of those spells, it’s also not far off.
The rest of the Elementals are seeing extensive play in Modern, but Subtlety is arguably the best of the cycle for Commander. Having a zero-mana way to slow down a commander or game-ending threat (and giving the table time to formulate a plan) is priceless. But right now, it’s only $6.99 for the regular version, and a copy with the stunning alternate art is just $10.99.
Generally speaking, the more utility a card has, the more useful it can be. That was the underlying point of my article on modal cards in Commander, and with that in mind, Overcharged Amalgam is set to be one of the best spells for Commander from recent sets.
Disallow has seen quite a lot of play in Commander, specifically for its Stifle-like effect. The need to counter a planeswalker’s loyalty ability or a Bolas’s Citadel activation doesn’t come up often, but you’re happy to have it when it matters. It’s why Nimble Obstructionist is so infamous for its “gotcha” moments! Overcharged Amalgam has all of this and more: its exploit ability is an instant-speed sacrifice outlet, and it gets around cards like Negate and Dovin’s Veto.
Make sure you don’t get overcharged when you pick up your copies. At time of writing, the regular version is $2.79 and the full art version is $3.99, but the prerelease promo is the cheapest at only $1.99! You’d be wise to exploit this offer!
The Slow Lands
Dual lands are always a wise investment. They will always see play somewhere, and they’ll usually retain their value or even increase in value over time. The new “Slow Lands” are some of the best dual lands to come out of the past few years, and they’re poised to become a Commander staple. Not only that, but they could easily become mainstays of Pioneer or even Modern, given the right deck. Thanks to Crimson Vow, the cycle of 10 lands is now complete, and they’re extremely affordable.
If you want to wow your opponents, you can go for the beautiful alternate art versions instead. Several of these are $6.99 at the moment, and the most expensive is Shipwreck Marsh at $11.99. They’re perfect for elevating the aesthetics of your decks, without breaking the bank.
Guardian of Faith
This Spirit Knight is one of the most underrated cards of the past few years. Sure, it’s not quite Teferi’s Protection, but in most circumstances, it’s just as good. I was only recently singing its praises in my Spirit Squadron Upgrade Guide, too! It’s not going to stay cheap forever, though; there has already been an uptick in players’ interest in Guardian of Faith, as the card has started to creep up in price. Once this leaves regular print, it will start to become much more pricey.
The regular version is still a good deal at $4.99, but for an extra $0.50, why not treat yourself to the borderless full art version? It’s been one heck of a year, and you deserve it.
As one of the world’s biggest Spell Pierce fans, I may be slightly biased with this one. Malevolent Hermit may seem unwieldy and extremely conspicuous as a Spell Pierce on a stick, but it’s a fantastic deterrent. The longer it stays on board, the longer your opponents need to respect it (and play around it). The real value is when you cast it for its disturb cost, however, giving you a pseudo-Lier, Disciple of the Drowned effect. It’s perfect for Storm fanatics and Control connoisseurs alike! This is a card that has started to make waves across all formats it’s legal in, and it’s likely to continue for some time to come (or until they print an even better version).
At $3.49, the regular version is a steal. If you prefer the more borderless things in life, you can pick it up for only $8.99.
Modern Horizons 2 Full Art & Sketchbook Versions
Modern Horizons 2 may have been a premium set, but the rate at which it was opened meant a lot of the sought-after cards became quite affordable. Not only that, but the borderless full art cards have extremely reasonable price tags at the moment.
Perhaps the most impressive is Imperial Recruiter. Not too long ago, it was hovering around the $300 mark, which was far out of reach for most players. Recent reprints in Masters 25 and Double Masters helped to make affordable versions available at around $40, but that’s still quite the price tag for a single card. Since Modern Horizons 2, however, this full art version is a phenomenal $13.99, less than 5% of the original cost!
It’s not just pricey staples that became very affordable; now, you can get fancy versions of more affordable staples, too, without paying too much extra. The stunning visual on the alternate art Counterspell is one of the most eye-catching designs in a long time, and it’s only $5.99! Whether you’re looking to bling out your blue Commander decks, or make a statement with UW Control in Modern, you can now awe and frustrate opponents in equal measure.
Modern Horizons 2 also saw the debut of the new sketchbook card frame. These were a little more divisive than the other alternate art cards: some players adore them, whereas others don’t quite vibe with them. If you’re one of the players that appreciate the rougher, raw aesthetic, you’re in luck! The price of the sketchbook versions are almost mirrored to the regular versions, give or take a few cents. For example: Kaldra Compleat and Serra’s Emissary is $1.50 more at $8.49 and $5.99, respectively, and Murktide Regent costs the same no matter the version ($23.99).
Sometimes, the best way to convince a friend to start playing Magic with you is to buy them a deck. Many of the great preconstructed decks from the past two years are at very affordable prices, and are all fairly well balanced. Some of the decks that contain expensive staples are a little more pricey (though they still work out as good value for the contents), but the rest of the decks are great pick-ups now.
For just $13.99, you can get into Commander with Phantom Premonition. This foretell-themed precon from Kaldheim is arguably the best value deck available at the moment, and it plays extremely well out of the box. Similarly, Planar Portal from Adventures in the Forgotten Realms is an exile-themed list, and an amazing bargain at $24.99! Commander Legends’ Reap the Tides is $32.99; even though it’s the most expensive of the three, it’s excellent value and a powerful ramp deck. If any of these decks strike your fancy, you can read my reviews for them here:
If you really want to maximize value, the Commander precon twin packs are the way to go! The Zendikar Rising pack comes in at $26.99, which is $5 cheaper than buying them individually. The Kaldheim bundle is $38.99, and the Commander Legends bundle is $44.99; both sets save you $7 over the individual decks. These would be perfect to play over the holidays with friends or family, or just a great starting point for anyone looking to get into Commander.
I hope this list helps you to find your own special deal this Black Friday/Cyber Monday. If you pick up any of these or find more good bargains, I’d love to see them, so feel free to tag me on Twitter! Happy shopping!
Scott is an Irish content creator and the Head of Budget Magic for the Izzet League. He focuses on affordable decks in Pioneer, Modern, and Pauper, particularly ones that stray from the mainstream. When he’s not writing about his favorite decks, he can be found talking incessantly about them on Twitter and on The Budget Magic Cast.