Your Cheap Obscure Overperformers?

Commander (EDH) forum

Posted on Jan. 11, 2023, 12:40 a.m. by Last_Laugh

What are some cheap (let's say $2 and under) cards you've added (and to whom) to your decks that've way outperformed their price tag? Cards you won't find under your commander on edhrec sorta thing.

Scepter of Celebration in and on Prossh, Skyraider of Kher. You just sac all your Kobolds so Prossh hits like a truck and spits out more tokens. This is NUTS with Aristocrats/Impact Tremors effects.

Aerial Extortionist in Marisi, Breaker of the Coil. When you have a Goad chain going... this guy consistently connects and removes anything problematic.

Speaking of Goad... but better. Kardur, Doomscourge in Marchesa, the Black Rose is a hilarious etb to abuse and addresses a weakness to 1 shot kills like Xenagos.

Seize the Spotlight in Marchesa, the Black Rose will always draw 3 essentially free. I also started running it in Prossh (basically any red deck with consistent sac outlets).

Scapegoat in Edgar Markov. It doubles as an anti-wrath card that keeps you out of topdeck mode and pseudo dodges -X-X, exile, tuck, sac, etc. AND if you run Purphoros, God of the Forge it doubles as a finisher.

DrukenReaps says... #2

I only quickly perused EDHrec but pretty sure none of the following came up on the pages of the commanders I use them with. Each has done some impressive work at my table. I used sorting by Card Kingdom price on this website to find sub $2.

In Olivia, Crimson Bride I have Shifting Shadow. Since Olivia's attack reanimates Shifting Shadow ends up just giving me free creatures at effectively no cost to me. In a way it actually fuels the deck's plan.

In Ayara, First of Locthwain I have Aetherworks Marvel and Mimic Vat. This deck just loves getting more and more creatures into play. Both of the artifacts assist in doing that over and over again. Sometimes Aetherworks even drops in Plague of Vermin too, a finisher in that deck.

In Mairsil, the Pretender I have Captivating Crew, Chandra, Flamecaller, and Xathrid Gorgon. Seems to be a rare cheap commander to begin with... lol. Xathrid typically turns commanders off, highly effective card against the likes of Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind and Zacama, Primal Calamity. Chandra does an amazing job of filling up my graveyard. Every turn a new hand +1. Captivating Crew lets me "borrow" some pretty sweet attackers and other effects, there are instant versions of this effect but not on a stick to my knowledge. 1 or 2 activations often opens someone up to attacks too.

January 11, 2023 8:23 a.m.

StopShot says... #3

Molten Vortex - This thing is a beast. Why waste your premium removal spells on tiny nuisances when you can throw your lands at them?

The Vortex is so good against hatebears and you’d be surprised how many creature-based combos it can stop. Best part is the removal is tied to an activated ability rather than as a spell, so it bypasses 99% of the counterspells that would be used to protect the combo.

Vengeful Dreams - This card has saved my life more times than I can count. I know Settle the Wreckage exists, but V-Dreams is so much easier to hold up the mana for and there are some games you can’t hold up wreckage mana every turn. The discard cost might seem like a bad turn off, but I always find the cards I’m throwing away are completely worth it over what I’m removing with them, especially if it’s what is keeping you from losing that turn.

January 11, 2023 12:13 p.m.

ANYTHING with Transmute. I know Muddle the Mixture is a well-known performer, but there are so many others that have good effects and double as toolbox tutors, especially in my Toluz, Clever Conductor deck where I can reuse them on a later turn.

Dimir Infiltrator in my Chromium, the Mutable Voltron is an all-star. In longer games it can serve as an attachment point for my spells, and it can tutor out Phyresis, Stoneforge Mystic, and so much more. It's incredible.

January 11, 2023 12:47 p.m.

Artificer's Hex and Encrust are two big-time aces in the hole for my haunted house and Briny Deep decks respectively. Very useful and packed with flavor. Roiling Vortex has SO MUCH packed into one little enchantment. The talismans, such as Lapis Lazuli Talisman have been a surprising amount of fun in my antique shop deck... though the activation cost is steep (can be mitigated). Vile Consumption can be devastating, primarily the first go-around after you cast it (because, often, you will immediately be murdered). Those are the first few that jump to mind, but I’m going to go back to see if they actually don’t meet the price restriction... I never know what things are worth nowadays. Alright: post-preview it looks like the tuberculosis tents from the vile consumption are more expensive than I remembered. Sorry about that one. I’ll give a different one for my wubrg natural disaster deck that’s been great: Virulent Plague has gotten a lot more important with all the new cats, dogs, squirrels, citizens, fish, umbrella-elementals, and tentacled-powerstones that people have now. Great thread topic!!

January 11, 2023 1:47 p.m.

Undead Alchemist in Varina, Lich Queen has been phenomenal, especially against other creature heavy decks. Archfiend of Ifnir and Zombie Infestation are also a wonderful combo to destroy an opponent's board while building up your own.

January 11, 2023 4:03 p.m.

griffstick says... #7

I love Infiltration Lens this cards draws so many cards. I have it in my Iroas, God of Victory so my creatures have Menace. This means if they block I draw 4 cards. Also the cards is soo cheap in cost and equip. And you can literally buy it for under .25

January 11, 2023 5:37 p.m.

vishnarg says... #8

Sword of the Chosen has been solid in my Sisay, Weatherlight Captain superfriends deck so far in playtesting. Carth the Lion is ridiculous in superfriends and he's less than $.25 right now lol

Mono blue Azami, Lady of Scrolls wizard tribal allows me to play Watcher for Tomorrow, which is also about $.25 and a really solid 2 drop that can be abused with Deadeye Navigator shenanigans and such.

January 11, 2023 7:32 p.m. Edited.

Metroid_Hybrid says... #9

Apparently they are more like $3 now, but I have two that are stupid-powerful in my Syr Konrad, the Grim deck. Tortured Existence and Morality Shift. The former is just pure value, while the latter is a straight-up win condition.

January 11, 2023 9:21 p.m. Edited.

Gleeock says... #10

Chain Devil - really anything causing players to sacrifice nontokens seems to pan out well.

Creative Technique - always demonstrate, it is crazy good particularly in Timmie decks.

Mob Rule - causes so many 1-sided blowouts

Prosperous Partnership - boros ramp that gives you a combatants at the solid 3 mana value

Clackbridge Troll

Descent into Avernus - groupslug done well. This can just change the entire outlook of a game.

January 11, 2023 10:39 p.m.

Suns_Champion says... #11

Bolt Bend. For 1 mana more and $60 less, you get a deflecting swat.

Humble Defector + "I'll give it to you if you give it right back to me." it's the offer people can't refuse. I rarely get fewer than 8 cards if he's played early enough.

Generator Servant. for when you want that big cmc commander 2 turns early, with haste.

Blood-Chin Fanatic in my Korlash, Heir to Blackblade deck. Absolutely blasts people and has become the main win-con.

Canoptek Wraith, the new and second copy of Burnished Hart, another cheap favorite.

Hostile Negotiations. If you're messing with your yard at all, this is like drawing 6 cards.

Fraying Line. Weird little board wipe, can be slow unless you flash it in before your turn...

Medomai's Prophecy. solid lil value engine, draw to cards for casting what you would have anyway, your commander.

Bestial Fury. on anything that wants to deal combat damage, this card presents a tricky choice to your opponents.

January 11, 2023 11:25 p.m.

Stave Off - This card just does everything. It's so easy to miss that this can target creatures other than just the ones you control, and it makes a world of difference. Prevent buffs, debuffs, swing the tide of combat, the shear number of options this affords me feels nuts. I have a very hard time saying no to this in any deck with white.

Supreme Will - Choose between Mana Leak or Impulse for just 1 more. When I'm holding up untapped Islands in blue, there are two options I want: Interaction, or Card Advantage. This gives me both in a single card.

Priest of the Blood Rite - Setting aside my love of the way the mechanics and flavor tie together in this card; this thing is really easy to abuse. Sac and reanimate, flicker or blink, you can lay down a lot of 5/5 flyers with this faster than people expect.

Unravel the Aether/Deglamer - Shuffling things back into my opponents deck is often worse for them than destroying. By now there are a fair handful of "better than Naturalize" cards, but these two are my favorites, and are often met with sighs from opponents that would rather have been Krosan Grip'd than this.

January 12, 2023 12:02 a.m.

Dead_Blue_ says... #13

January 12, 2023 11:30 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #14

TheOfficialCreator I wish they'd expand on Trasfigure. It's only on the 1 card Fleshwrither (another fun card in Marchesa btw) but I wish I could get even a single creature that transfigures for a 3 drop.

January 12, 2023 1:11 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #15

StopShot - Vengeful Dreams looks awesome. White has been getting a lot of card draw options lately... I need to try this out.

DrukenReaps - Shifting Shadow is a fun card. I hate to sound like a broken record... but this this is arguably better than Sneak Attack in Marchesa.

FormOverFunction - Roiling Vortex seems amazing in a meta with commanders like Narset and Etali.

GoldenAgeBatman - Yeah, in the right deck Archfiend of Ifnir will pull in some work.

griffstick Thank you for a reminder this card exists. I used to have a foil... but I need to toss this in my Alela deck now.

Gleeock/Suns_Champion - I like a lot on both those lists. I've eyeballed Prosperous Partnership but haven't found a spot for it. Generator Servant was the only creature I ran in my Narset deck.

Tyrant-Thanatos - I always liked Deglamer. I didn't even know their was a functional reprint.

Anyways, keep em coming. Remember, a little context on who you run it in and why go a long way though.

January 12, 2023 1:44 p.m.

Restore the Peace has been a big surprise in my Bureaucracy deck. There are a bunch of weird interactions that I’ve stumbled into. One important point: the creatures don’t have to do damage to you, or even a different player. In fact, it’s not even combat damage specific. It’s a very dynamic board wipe, when it comes to tokens, and it isn’t very expensive. Lastly, it has a lot of flavor too, which is an added benefit that made me spot it to begin with.

January 12, 2023 2:59 p.m.

Sorry, I’m at work trolling through my decks lol. I added Yixlid Jailer to my Torture deck, again, for flavor only to be surprised by how many times it’s stymied (limited) circumstances. In a recent game the jailer locked a player out of using Mishra (I think?) to recover pretty significant pieces of his deck. Lots of fun.

January 12, 2023 3:07 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #18

FormOverFunction - It must've been Mishra, Tamer of Mak Fawa... and yeah, it would hose that deck hard lol.

January 12, 2023 6:56 p.m. Edited.

Last_Laugh says... #19

Ooh, another I've had amazing success with is Devilish Valet in Isshin (go-wide tokens variety). Just 6 tokens entering makes him 64 power which is enough to one-shot people out of the game... and 10 tokens is 1024 power just to put it in perspective how fast it snowballs from there. I've had him hit for over 2 million thanks mostly to a Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin and 20 tokens entering (it felt good btw).

January 13, 2023 1:06 a.m.

Gleeock says... #20

Last_Laugh Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin, himself is a overperformer, though he is less & less obscure now. He is kind of ridiculous as a general go-wide enabler & can make himself pretty tall pretty quickly with benefits to making him tall. He has been a "must answer" threat in Extus, Oriq Overlord  Flip as well. Kindof feels good when your "must answer" threats are somewhat disposable like that. I also love that he does not need goblin tribal to be awesome, just solid in the 99 for various decks.

January 13, 2023 11:46 a.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #21

I've really liked Pulse of the Grid in my Anhelo, the Painter deck. I was able to copy it and return it to hand about 2-3 times in a couple of games. I think it certainly has a place in any Blue decks that also want to play with their graveyards or have a discard subtheme.

I'm going to be testing out Cerebral Vortex in place of Pulse of the Grid, in Anhelo pretty soon. The potential to draw 2, take 2 damage, or draw 4, take 6 damage in a pinch seems okay, especially when people play stuff like Stinging Study. I am also interested in Cerebral Vortex's potential to punish an opponent for digging deep on draws, especially if copied. I have a certain Wheeling Xyris, the Writhing Storm deck in my meta in mind for this scenario

January 13, 2023 12:32 p.m.

Crow_Umbra says... #22

Magnetic Mountain is also a color-hoser that can do a lot of work in the right meta. Not completely insurmountable to play around, but can hinder Blue strats with tap activations.

January 13, 2023 12:42 p.m.

My rakdos watermark deck has a Slaughter Games in it and I’ve got to say; nothing brings me more joy in magic than to have someone run their mouth about that one combo piece that they just can’t seem to get, and we’re all so dead when they get it, and then host a slaughter game for everyone. No one EVER expects that card in Singleton. Another situational gem is Cold Snap, which had been in my wubrg natural disaster deck for a long time when we finally got to Kaldheim. REALLY nice to have in your pocket before the blizzard brawl starts lol

January 13, 2023 2:23 p.m.

Last_Laugh says... #24

FormOverFunction - If you ever feel like losing friends by being extremely evil...

Splinter does a similar thing with looking for all copies with the 'same name' but picture turning a mono color decks basic land into an artifact first using Liquimetal Coating.

January 13, 2023 2:32 p.m.

Walking Sponge is also a ton of fun if you’re going to third-party your way into combat; dropping a flier down to earth pre-blockers can be a great surprise. Same for first strike. You say your opponents pay better attention to the cards on the table? No sweat, you’ve at least just complicated their combat math in new and exciting ways. “I can’t believe I’m burning a kill spell on a €#*<¥+~ sponge.”

January 13, 2023 4:05 p.m.

KBK7101 says... #26

I really love Stormchaser Drake. I have an Explorer auras deck and the Drake is a monster with Sram and a bunch of 1-2MV auras.

I took that deck all the way up to mid-platinum rank (which is really high for me because I don't play ranked often) in Historic before Explorer was a format.

January 13, 2023 4:10 p.m.

Gleeock says... #27

FormOverFunction - holy crap, with how much Rakdos I play, I should really start fielding Slaughter Games . It will be another piece that is great at stopping a bunch of Mana Drain soft-lock situations.

January 13, 2023 4:24 p.m.

TypicalTimmy says... #28

I get some astronomical miles out of See the Unwritten.

January 13, 2023 7:37 p.m.

griffstick says... #29

But there is Selvala's Stampede

January 13, 2023 9:56 p.m. Edited.

Gleeock says... #30

Back when it was cheap, stampede was a ridiculous card for this category. It probably no longer keeps the "cheap" title though :) I singlehandedly contributed to that market shift I think :) :)

January 14, 2023 9:19 a.m.

DaWubber says... #31

Mask of Memory- Digs twice as deep as a Sword of Fire and Ice, with added synergy with graveyard decks. Also great with any commander with evasion or double strike. My go to card draw equipment. Casualties of War- Expensive to cast, but feels so unbelievably back-breaking at times.

January 15, 2023 12:31 a.m.

KenKenrith says... #32

Cold-Eyed Selkie in my Storvald, Frost Giant Jarl deck is by the best performer as long my opponent plays blue.

January 15, 2023 1:49 a.m.

wotanaz1337 says... #33

Let me preface this by saying that this may not be revolutionary. But honestly, basic lands!

You have so much non-basic land hate, so many tapped lands and so on. Sometimes, especially in non-competitive games, perhaps it's better to just run another island, plains or whatever.

January 18, 2023 3:56 p.m.

Gleeock says... #34

wotanaz1337 The simplicity can be stronger than you think. Also, sometimes you can cut lackluster nonbasics & achieve some pretty strong synergy with a land-type. I recently put Emeria, The Sky Ruin into a 2-color deck that has a bunch of ways to scrounge for Plains & took out a bunch of the sub-par duals (it just needs mana for weenies anyway). It turned out to be a better option than playing crappy tap-filters

January 18, 2023 4:24 p.m.

Khahan says... #35

Yawgmoth's Vile Offering

Cheap and often overlooked. But the nature of commander makes its casting requirement easy to meet and its a powerful 2:1 change in board state.

February 22, 2023 1 a.m.

Last_Laugh says... #36

I gotta be honest. I was sad when this discussion finally died out. Anyone have any new tech?

Fanatical Devotion is amazing in anything with a good ratio of tokens to actual creatures. I started running it in Isshin, Alela, and Eowyn personally (aka every white token deck I run). Don't ask how much I paid for a foil common...

Sardian Avenger is hilarious if you find your meta is being overrun by treasures.

Peri Brown giving your first historic spell convoke is absolutely gross. I've had excellent results in go-wide token decks personally.

Danny Pink in any deck that's going wide with +1+1 counters is bonkers. I run him in both Marchesa and Eowyn.

January 23, 2024 12:20 a.m.

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