10 Missing C18 Reprints
If you've listened to the Commander's Brew podcast or even just checked in with some Magic personalities on Twitter lately, you've heard people talking all about the recent Commander 2018 decks. Whether their thoughts were positive or negative, it seems like everyone agrees on one thing: This year's entries seriously lacked the reprints Commander players were expecting.
But I want to say something before I get into naming some reprints I think should have been automatic includes in the four new decks. Despite the lack of good reprints, I absolutely love the themes and strategies these decks represent as well as the original cards. Those aspects of the C18 product are absolute home runs. So even though we're lacking some reprints, it doesn't mean the product is bad. Could it have been better? Absolutely. Are they still worth picking up from your LGS (or right here at The Wizard's Tower?) I'd say yes, but they need some major help to be ready to take on your friends' tuned up EDH decks.
So let's check out a few cards that I 100% expected to get reprinted in these decks and am quite disappointed by their absence.
First I'll start with what I consider to be the most disappointing of all the decks in terms of reprints, alternate commanders, and just hitting the theme in general. Not only does Lord Windgrace propose a deck filled with lands and graveyard synergies, then offer very little in the way of lands or even cards that care about lands, but the reprints (excluding a very choice few) are ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. Zendikar Resurgent? Seriously?
This is the first card I thought of when I heard the words “Jund” and “Lands” in the same title. The Gitrog Monster is the poster child for lands matter and graveyard interaction. Ever since this popular commander was printed, the Frog God has sneakily risen in price to the point of routinely going for 10 or more dollars (USD) in most stores. I understand that you can't throw in $50 Vintage cards and expect to sell these decks to newer players for MSRP, but including a recently printed $10 card that screams synergy with your new Commander seemed like a no-brainer.
Angry Omnath should be another auto-include in a Jund lands deck, and one of the main reasons this deck would even be in Jund in the first place. Golgari land recursion is a thing because of Gitrog, and Omnath adds a great reason to get into red. Another example of a recently printed card that has sneakily increased in price, I couldn't even begin to fathom the reason for leaving this card off the C18 list. They also missed the opportunity to give players even more Legendaries which, if they don't know by now, we LOVE. Huge missed opportunity here.
I'm not going to go through every good card for a Jund lands deck. I'm not going to ask for a reprint of Azusa (there was one not too long ago) or even Oracle of Mul Daya, which I think they could have done without issue but am fine to let go. But not printing Titania, Protector of Argoth in this deck is a travesty of the highest magnitude and I cannot – nay will not be cool about it.
Titania has been a popular commander since her printing in 2014 and because of her excellent and fun design (kudos to WOTC here) she can be tough to find, especially for the budget players. So for all of you out there about to mention her appearance in the Commander Anthology series, you need not. Titania should be in this deck along with the other two above her. I'm not serious when I say this, but I am a little: It's a crime that all three of these cards were missing from the Jund deck and I'm calling the cops.
For whatever reason, Wizards of the Coast is deathly afraid of reprinting any cards that tutor for enchantments. Maybe they want to keep tutoring primarily in black?
Personally, I'd say the damage is done. The cards are available to EDH players so you might as well do your best to make them accessible for the people who want them. Sterling Grove is an amazing card for any enchantment deck and even though Enlightened Tutor was actually reprinted for the first time in a while in Eternal Masters ($$$), the price remains around $20. Both of these cards definitely could have been amazing additions in an otherwise underwhelming deck helmed by Estrid and friends and their absence is definitely felt here.
Admittedly the Esper “top deck” matters is a little harder to plan reprints for considering cards like Scroll Rack and Sensei's Divining Top not only push the limits price wise, but also max out on complexity for newer players and can slow the game to a crawl. But while those two cards are understandable omissions, some other great controlling cards that could have made the deck in their stead.
For example, I think it's high time EDH saw a reprint of the Modern staple, Path to Exile. We've seen multiple reprints of Swords to Plowshares push that card's value down to under $1 in some instances, so why not do the same for Path? Are we worried about power level? Don't be. Path is a one mana removal spell, sure, but in Commander that means a lot less than it does in a 1v1 format like Modern. Plus we need efficient removal at instant speed to deal with the crazy broken things our friends are doing. WOTC, PLZ!
I actually think the Izzet Artifacts deck is the best built out of the box, featuring some amazing new cards as well as some solid, if not unspectacular reprints. But despite how stoked I am WOTC finally delivered us a few Izzet Artifact commanders, they still missed a few very nice reprint opportunities.
Seriously, why not print a Commander staple like Solemn every year, no matter what? I'm all for originality and switching things up, and I'm not saying it has to go in every deck each year, but give us one. PLZ!
I totally understand why Wizards is hesitant to reprint this one. I think it has a lot to do with the Phyrexian mana symbol in the casting cost. Maro has mentioned in blog posts and podcasts in the past how they view that mechanic to be a pretty huge mistake, and something tells me reprinting mistakes isn't high on WOTC's priority list. But suck it up! We want Phyrexian Metamorphs again, PLEASE!
Here's a card that has quickly become an EDH staple since its original printing in RTR. As such, the cost has crept up slowly over the years to the point where it needs reprinting.
Another formerly cheap card that is actually going up in price because of this deck. Boy, it'd be nice if Wizards paid attention to the secondary market at all, but apparently not. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
ANY OTHER PLANESWALKERS
Finally, it'd be nice to get a few Planeswalker reprints. Ever. k thnx
Well, another Commander set has come and gone, and with it all the expectations and anticipation, disappointment, and satisfaction. It's the most wonderful time of the year and while they may not be perfect, the Commander 2018 preconstructed decks are still decent value and fun to play. Enough reading! Go play!
What reprints would you have liked to see this time around? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter!