MTGO Commander on a Budget
I've seen a huge influx of new MTGO players join us lately. And with that, a lot of new Commander (or EDH for the cool kids) players as well. Many MTGO players ask the question, "How expensive is it to build a (casual) commander deck on MTGO?".
It might shock you, but it really does not have to be that much. There's a lot of cheap cards out there, but you might have to do a bit of research first if you want to save some money. A few facts about MTGO card prices:
- There are promo versions of cards that a lot of players get for free, or in treasure chests. This means those cards have had a pretty big supply, and if the only format they see play in is commander, it's usually between 0.05 and 0.1 Tix.
- Foils are often cheaper. Why? Because people don't like them, and trading bots usually don't want them, because they are harder to mass trade. For newer sets, they are still needed for set redemption. And the price usually reflects that, especially mythic foils, so avoid those.
- Same as in paper, the version of a card you get matters. Sometimes cards are mass opened in a certain set, leading to a price gap. Sometimes it's even the same art, just a different set symbol.
So different versions, different prices, now which cards should i get? I made this list of budget cards last year. Some of the prices have fluctuated, but it's still a good starting point. Want to dig more? Let's use the power of scryfall!. This is list of all Mythics and rares on MTGO that are less then 0.06, and sorted by EDHrec data. So the most played commander cards will be on the top. You can add your colors to the search engine to find budget cards for specific decks. (for example, put "color=WR" behind the search bar for a Boros deck) You can also add "is:commander"behind it to only view legendary commanders. (or click here, who still types these days) If you are uncertain where to get your cards, the bigger botchains are pretty reliable. Bot chains like Goatbots, MTGOTraders, Cardhoarder. These also have their own sites to search for specific cards outside of the MTGO client. And these also save your leftover credit when you come back later. Want to shop till you drop right away? There are plenty of bulkbots, where all the cards usually are a penny, depending on rarity.
So we talked about fantastic bulk cards and where to find them. Now for the good stuff. These are some of the commander all stars, and the cheapest versions i could find. There's a lot more to spent tix on, depending on what kind of deck you would like to play, but these will go in a lot of different decks. Note that they are definitely not needed to build a fun deck. Just see it as a few choice cards you might want to get, if you want to spent some extra TIX to spice up your decks.
You really don't have to spend much. For a good 2 TIX (about 2 dollars), you can have a fine budget deck. You can even build a full Penny Dreadful commander deck if you are into that. For 10 TIX, you can have a serious deck. I'm certainly no expert on Cedh, but the cost might go up a quite a bit if you want to go for efficiency. They too have budget options. I hope these lists and tips have been of some help. Now get brewing!