Conjured Currency #39: The Nekusar Effect

Hey, everyone! I’m going to take a moment and assume that not all of you reading this article have been playing for longer than a year. For those who are unaware of what the title of this article is referring to, let me give you a brief refresher: [card]Nekusar, the Mindrazer[/card], was one of the three legendary creatures that came attached to the Mind Seize Commander 2013 deck last year. While almost all of the people who purchased Mind Seize ripped open the packaging for [card]True-Name Nemesis[/card] and threw the other cards to the wind, there were a tiny number of players who realized that [card]Underworld Dreams[/card] on a stick in Grixis colors made for a damn good commander.

Just kidding, that “tiny” number of players was enough to make [card]Forced Fruition[/card] jump from $1 to $7 almost overnight, because making people eat a [card]Searing Wind[/card] every turn was fun. Not only Fruition, but [card]Wheel of Fortune[/card], [card]Teferi’s Puzzle Box[/card], and [card]Winds of Change[/card] also managed to skyrocket past their previous slumbering bulk box prices. Meanwhile, Nekusar himself drifted down to bulk status, and remains there a whole year after his release. The card’s only other printing is a $35 judge foil, so it’s safe to assume that there are enough Mindrazers to go around for people who want him.

Now, where does that leave us with Commander 2014? While I don’t think any of the new (or reprinted) legendary creatures will be above single dollar status a year from now, its’ entirely possible that EDH players find a common ground in one of the cards from the set to build around. Just like with Nekusar, there will be weird, old cards that have low supply and a sudden spike in demand. Let’s try and have a discussion to see if we can pinpoint which general can rise to the top, and the older cards that will end up supporting him or her!

[card]Daretti, Scrap Savant[/card]

daretti

While I don’t recommend buying in at $11 at all, I do think this will be the most opened deck by far. The mono-red deck has goodies such as [card]Wurmcoil Engine[/card], [card]Dualcaster Mage[/card], [card]Chaos Warp[/card], [card]Goblin Welder[/card], [card]Reliquary Tower[/card], and [card]Solumn Simulacrum[/card]. While you can definitely expect these to drop in the coming months, that doesn’t mean players won’t rush out to buy the deck because they believe it to be “more than worth it.”

If we run with this assumption, then there will be tons of spare Feldons and Darettis lying around once people figure out he’s not good in Legacy. For what it’s worth, it looks like Wizards tried really hard with this deck to dispel the (currently true) myth that “mono-red is the worst color choice in Commander.” Where should we look for potential “artifact matters” mono red EDH pieces?

[card]Slobad, Goblin Tinkerer[/card]

Slobad_Goblin_Tinkerer
Chas Andres of SCG made an excellent point on a recent Reddit thread discussing this topic, and suggested this as a pickup. As someone who already likes bulk rare specs, I support this 100 percent. It’s strong in the deck, has an extremely low chance of reprint, and is running on a very low comparative supply, considering it’s only been printed once, back in the original Mirrodin block. Although there are a few hundred copies on TCGplayer, it’s a very low-risk pickup with high reward potential.

[card]Kuldotha Forgemaster[/card]

forge
I talked about this card a few weeks ago, about how it was a bulk rare that really only needed one more card to be absolutely broken. I’m assuming it’s incredibly powerful in the Daretti deck, and I really don’t think you have long before this card starts gaining financial traction. It’s freaking [card]Tinker[/card], people. If you untap with it, you basically win. Out of every card in this article, I’m loving this more and more as a spec each day.

[card]Kurkesh, Onakke Ancient[/card]

kurkeshonakkeancient

Besides having a stupid name and looking like a boss monster out of Legend of Zelda, this seems like it deserves a spot in the mono-red deck. I don’t think this is poised for an immediate spike, like Fruition or any of Nekusar’s buddies, but I also don’t think it deserves to be a bulk rare a year or two from now. Definitely something to grab out of bulk rare bins and set aside for later. M15 had quite the low supply, as we could tell from $40 Nissas and $20 Rabblemasters.

While the red deck definitely seems to be the winner of “most popular,” I don’t think the green deck is too far behind. They reprinted almost all of everyone’s favorite elves this time around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many a Johnny looking at the below card, wondering how to break it.

card]Titania, Protector of Argoth[/card]

titaniaprotectorofargoth

I admittedly wasn’t super excited about any of the new cards in Commander 2014, at least until I saw this baby. For those who don’t know me, I have a five-color [card]Child of Alara[/card] deck that runs approximately 60 lands, and runs entirely off of land-based engines. Titania seems absolutely absurd in any sort of land-themed deck, although I think she works better as one of the 99 instead of as a commander. Still, maybe her existence is enough to spike interest in land-themed decks. Let’s see if there are any old cards that could see a resurgence due to her interesting mechanics!

[card]Zuran Orb[/card]

zuranorb
Quite possibly the easiest way to sacrifice your own lands in the entire game, and a quick way to get an army of 5/3s at the end of your opponent’s turn. While I don’t think Titania is going to make Orb spike to $7, it’s still probably worth having the interaction on your radar just in case the deck does become popular.

[card]Realms Uncharted[/card]

realms
A bulk rare designed to be a land version of [card]Gifts Ungiven[/card], but it never really got anywhere. I play it in my Child deck to great effect though, so maybe I’m biased when I argue in favor of its power level. You can search a number of different fetch lands to crack for elemental tokens, or go full utility and grab stuff like [card]Thespian’s Stage[/card], [card]Maze of Ith[/card], and [card]Vesuva[/card].

[card]Crop Rotation[/card]

crop
It’s always been an extremely powerful tutor at first glance, but having a 5/3 attached at instant speed seems worth enough to be an auto-include in any Titania decks, and most decks that include her. You only get to play one [card]Gaea’s Cradle[/card], and this finds it quickly and easyily.

[card]Elvish Harbinger[/card]

elvishharbin

For all of the new elf Commander decks out there, this is one that I control-F’d on the decklist page and didn’t end up seeing. It’s not quite [card]Fauna Shaman[/card] in terms of power level, but it’s one card that you don’t have to worry about unloading as a result of the massive number of reprints. She’ll most likely continue to slowly creep up until she hits $5 like [card]Imperious Perfect[/card] did.

It’s a Gruul Kind of Week

Unfortunately, there’s not the same “build around me” feel in the blue or black decks as there is in the green, white, or red. The Teferi and Ob Nixilis decks feel much more generic instead of having a dedicated theme. This is something you might want to take into account if you feel that’s a strong enough reason for one deck to be opened less than the rest. Personally, I believe that the mono-red deck has the largest room to have a Nekusar effect, either with Daretti or Feldon.

Do you have any pet specs that you think have a chance to shine because of the new legends and planeswalkers? Let me know in the comments section, Reddit, or on Twitter. Also, I’ll be off at Grand Prix New Jersey this weekend, selling cards to dealers and enjoying the vacation. Message me if you want to hang out, talk finance, or play Commander!

Douglas Johnson

@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles
Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at MTGprice.com, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.
Douglas Johnson

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About the Author
@Rose0fthorns     -     Email     -     Articles Douglas Johnson is a 20-year-old MTG player who goes to college courtesy of a scholarship from Gamers Helping Gamers. He is currently found writing a weekly finance column at MTGprice.com, and you can always feel free to contact him on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.

5 comments on Conjured Currency #39: The Nekusar Effect

  1. Toby Stewart says:

    There are plenty of neat artifacts that Daretti and Feldon would love. I’m thinking stuff like Thousand-Year Elixir, Darksteel Forge, Precursor Golem and Mindslaver. The Forge and Elixir have had recent printings, but have been upwards of $8 in the past so may make decent add ons to larger trades. What would excite me is Promo Foil Versions of Feldon or Titania down the line.

    1. Douglas Johnson says:

      I desperately need a foil Titania in my life. Everyone’s demanding old bordered foils, but I’ll settle for anything as long as it’s shiny.

  2. Justin says:

    You forgot Trash for Treasure and Krark-Clan Ironworks for the Daretti deck, and Natural Balance, Lotus Vale, and Scorched Ruins for the Titania one.

  3. Phil says:

    I’ve been tinkering around with Titania as a “silver bullet” in a Jarad deck. Letting him hit the graveyard and just sacking lands to get back nets 10 power. With the amount of dredge I run, Titania’s ETB effect almost always hits something.

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