Commanding impressive prices.
Magic: The Gathering can be an expensive hobby, especially Commander if you’re particularly driven to play the most powerful game pieces. For the most part, there are all kinds of budget alternatives: for every Gaea’s Cradle you have a Growing Rites of Itlimoc.
However, that can’t be said for all the potential legendary creatures you can put in your command zone. From limited print runs to special promotions, there are some seriously shiny creatures that you can have lead your deck, and I’m going to highlight the biggest pieces of bling you can bring to the table.
#10 Rasputin Dreamweaver
Market Price: $255.42
Only printed one time, in the original Legends set, and now on the reserved list, Rasputin Dreamweaver is a truly strange card. Six mana nets you an Azorious card that can prevent damage or… ramp? Okay, that’s something you don’t see very often, marking this card as unique and helping to drive its somewhat extreme price tag.
Rasputin, the Oneiromancer
Commander: Dominaria United | Rare
If you really want to ramp yourself up past six mana in white and blue, you won’t find much competition, but Rasputin is a card that was reimagined later as Rasputin, the Oneiromancer. He retained the color pie breaking ability to make mana in Azorius, and is a readily recommendable commander if you want something outside of the box.
#9 The Scarab God (Invocation)
Masterpiece Series: Amonkhet Invocations
Market Price: $286.48
Popularity combined with rarity is where the dollar signs can start to shine, and The Scarab God is exactly that. The base printing of the card has steadily crept up in value, as this card is quite the powerful pick to run in your command zone. Whether leading the zombie tribe or serving as a win condition for a Dimir control deck, The Scarab God deserves its place as one of the best UB commanders available.
The Scarab God
Double Masters | Mythic
Market Price: $24.38
The Invocation variant takes that power and positive reputation and gives it a shiny alternative art version that saw a limited print run. It should come as no surprise that this early, Egyptian-inspired aesthetic has similarly gained value over time, though the threatening image of the emerging God is definitely 10/10 in my books for spooky good looks.
#8 Sliver Queen
Market Price: $315.77
Slivers are deeply loved by a subset of the community. The original printing of a legendary creature that can spit out relevant tokens is a card that’s just begging to be run. Sadly, Sliver Queen is criminally underprinted, which has driven her price steadily upward over time, and as she is on the Reserved List that’s not going to change in the near future.
Market Price: $23.72
Market Price: $42.23
Market Price: $13.93
While Sliver Queen may be among the best options to head the hive, she is thankfully not the only option. No, if you don’t have a strong desire to burn your wallet you can still pick up any of the above as perfectly viable options to empower the swarm. Still, nothing can quite match the quality of the original sliver royalty. All hail the queen!
#7 Xiahou Dun, the One Eyed
Portal Three Kingdoms
Market Price: $270.50
Not on the reserved list but commanding a price that would make you think it was, Xiahou Dun, the One Eyed is one of many Portal: Three Kingdoms cards that has become a true wallet slayer. Xiahou Dun “suffers” the same fate as most of the cards in that set, as the set itself was notoriously underprinted and most of the cards have not seen reprints.
Betrayers Of Kamigawa | Rare
Market Price: $4.86
Xiahou Dun, the One Eyed is essentially irreplaceable in his effect, as getting an Eternal Witness effect in mono black is generally quite unique. Adding what is essentially unblockability with Horsemanship and you’ve got a package that is deserving of the price, though cards like Toshiro Umezawa can do a reasonable impression for specific card types.
#6 Gwendlyn Di Corci
Market Price: $369.18
Another victim of the reserved list, Gwendlyn is a cool little card that offers a decent effect. Don’t get it twisted however, the card itself is not particularly powerful or unique, with the primary drive of its price being its place on the reserved list. Well, that and some speculation on “sexy” cards.
Market Price: $24.53
There are all kinds of options for discard effects, and most of them are better than the single-target effect provided by Gwendlyn. But that’s not what’s primarily selling the card, as I said, as things like Earthbind are also slowly creeping up as some buyers fear censorship in Magic’s future, causing cards that might be banned for being too sexy to become buyout targets.
#5 Tahngarth, Talruum Hero (Alternative Art Foil)
Market Price: $369.99
Long before there were fifteen different versions of Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, and otherwise predating the influx of alternative treatments, we very rarely saw full alternative art treatments— especially for particularly popular characters. Enter Tahngarth, a special promo that featured a fan favorite character.
Tahngarth, Talruum Hero
Planeshift | Rare
This promo saw a notably small print run, making it one of the rarest cards in the game altogether. Thankfully, unless Tahngarth is your favorite character in the old stories, you don’t have to flex your fandom all that hard and can just pick up the base version of this cool Minotaur. And I would recommend it, as Vigilance and an activatable fight ability are unique on a red character.
#4 Tiamat (Ampersand Promo)
AFR Ampersand Promos
Market Price: $384.18
Iconic Dungeons & Dragons characters as Magic cards is the biggest appeal of the crossover sets between the two Hasbro IPs. While there have been several cool characters printed into the game, there are few that follow through with the rule of cool quite as effectively as the evil Dragon God Tiamat herself.
Adventures In The Forgotten Realms | Mythic
Market Price: $5.08
The D&D Ampersand promos were distributed randomly to WPN stores, featuring many of the iconic cards in the set. That also means that any one card featuring a popular character is itself exceptionally rare, and Tiamat tops the charts due to the lethal combination of her popularity as a Commander and her iconic nature as a D&D character.
#3 Angus Mackenzie
Market Price: $423.98
Reserved list, my mortal enemy, we meet again. One of the most iconic characters from Magic’s Legends set, Angus Mackenzie has retained a price to match the ability to Fog every turn rotation (with the added amusement factor of the character looking straight out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail). While he may not be the most powerful card by today’s standards, he is still one of the best creatures from a very underpowered era for creatures.
Fog out of the command zone is mechanically unique, further bumping up the value of Angus to some almost questionable levels. If you want to try to stifle attacks in Commander, instead I would point you towards pillowfort strategies and assorted commanders that tax attackers instead of focusing on fogging turns away.
#2 Ramos, Dragon Engine (Serialized Schematic)
The Brothers’ War: Retro Frame Artifacts
Market Price: $1064.65
The serialized schematic treatment is designed to produce scarcity, so you can expect essentially any card given this treatment to run an impressive price tag. Ramos is no exception to this rule, and as a legendary creature people are quick to speculate on that increasing the value of the card overall.
Ramos, Dragon Engine (Schematic)
The Brothers’ War: Retro Frame Artifacts
Market Price: $4.18
The other printings of Ramos are, unsurprisingly, substantially cheaper and the non-serialized version is still quite pretty to look at if you don’t have the itch to have some serial numbers adding dollar signs to your cards. Still, of all the serialized cards, this might be the one I’d be most excited to pull from a Collector Booster.
#1 Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos (Neon Red)
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
Market Price: $1333.33
One of the single rarest cards yet printed (soon to be topped by the new 1 of 1 One Ring that’s coming with Lord of the Rings), the Neon Red variant of Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos is driven by its exclusivity. The odds of pulling any of the Neon variants was already 1%, with the numbers becoming downright astronomical if you’re hoping to pull this rarest possible version.
Now, the good news is that this card is driven entirely by that extreme rarity. Nothing will stop you from playing the normal version or any number of other variants at considerably lower price points, which really highlights the good that the influx of treatments does for the game. Premium cards are there for those that want them, and more budget-minded players can very easily get their hands on the other variants.
Hidetsugu, Devouring Chaos
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty | Rare