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Too-Specific Top 10 - Budget Boss
Welcome to Too-Specific Top 10, where if there isn’t a category to rank our pet card at the top of, we’ll just make one up! (Did you know thatis the only commander under a dollar that can allow you to gain X life and draw X cards?)
Alright, time to make a budget deck! Let's see if we can make a fresh take on some of the top commanders out there by lowering the dollar amount - oh.
Alternatively, I suppose I could drag out anprecon and sell its commander to fund an entire budget build on its own.
Top 10 Commanders Under a Dollar
The price of popular commanders is soaring through the roof, with the Top 20 Commanders averaging out to a total cost of $14.78 per commander. Even if you go further down the list, it can be difficult to find a commander that won't break your entire budget in one go.
So, how about we filter out all the noise, like we'd do when building on a budget, and just look at the commanders that will fit the simple constraint of costing less than a dollar?
Criteria: Cards that are legal to play as your commander that cost under $1. As is tradition, all results are ordered by EDHREC score.
(Helms 3,015 Decks, Rank #46; 1,319 Inclusions, 1% of 108,959 Decks)
The once-quintessential Sultai commander has been replaced a dozen times over since its initial printing in Fate Reforged. Combine that with two reprints in the last three years, and what you get is rock-bottom prices. Don't let the price tag fool you, though!can still Delve with the best of them. If you can fill up your own graveyard in the three colors that're best at doing exactly that, you'll never pay more than a single black pip for your commander. Then, if you can accrue ludicrous amounts of mana in two of the colors that're best at doing exactly that, you can start recurring things from the graveyard multiple times a turn to value your way to victory.
Just in case you were having trouble finding a way to do all that on a budget, you might check out Tasigur's budget page!
(Helms 3,015 Decks, Rank #45; 2,610 Inclusions, 3% of 96,658 Decks)
While Elsha's budget page.never hit the ubiquity in Jeskai that Tasigur did in Sultai, there's a lot to be said for -ing instants, sorceries, enchantments, artifacts, and planeswalkers off the top of your library at instant speed. The best part about that whole list? Elsha is great for all kinds of builds, from Spellslinger to Enchantress to artifacts to Superfriends. What they'll all have in common is some sort of topdeck manipulation, so be sure to grab in addition to the other budget cards on
(Helms 3,022 Decks, Rank #44; 8,470 Inclusions, 5% of 180,802 Decks)
Just in case you thought that the entire budget commander list was going to be has-beens, Still the premiere blink commander, Brago needs no introduction. You know him from all the times that he's hit the table and everyone in unison has expressed that he can't be allowed to stay on the battlefield or the game will get out of hand. You know him from the repeated blinking of a ensuring that you can't attack for the next 15 turns. Most importantly, you know him from four-hour games that have no end in sight, and as such, I'll be forgoing Brago's generic budget list for a list of actual, concrete win conditions that you can acquire for him for under a dollar:graces us with his presence at the #8 slot.
Brago Win Cons (In No Particular Order, the Sacrilege)
- : Of course, you have to actually keep on making the Thopters, and actually attack with them, not getting distracted by a value proposition along the way. Difficult, I know.
- : In similar fashion, a 20/20 indestructible God Angel should end games fairly quickly, and the fact that Hero can be recurred with should not be ignored.
- : Hordes of Myr don't kill in the same way that hordes of Thopters or giant Angels do, but luckily the Battlesphere does direct damage on every attack, and it can be blinked if it gets into combat trouble.
- : It may not be fancy, and it might get an eye-roll, but in the end people will be glad the game ended and that they got a chance to stop you. Speaking of which, if this is going to be one of your win-cons, make sure that you're packing some sort of -type effect to get it back when someone counters or mills it.
- : It's no , but it will make your creatures huge, and at a table begging for the game to just end, that's good enough.
- : I'll never understand why this one is only in 10% of all Brago decks. It's both an excellent blink enabler and a finisher, all at the same time. Just don't get so busy blinking it that you never get to attack with your nine 5/5s, and you'll be fine.
- / : It requires all the mana in the world, and people will scratch their heads as to why you're playing either card, but together they mean an infinite amount of creature tokens with haste, which means you win the game.
- / / : You can probably find a way to make things complicated with alone, but with the other portions of this combo (which are all decent in the deck in their own right), you can take infinite turns.
(Helms 3,226 Decks, Rank #41; 1,579 Inclusions, 2% of 102,792 Decks)
is barely hanging on to his budget status as it is, and I don't think he'll stay under a dollar in the long run. All the more reason to build him now! Unlike many of the Boros commanders we've seen over the years, Osgir cares about artifacts in general, rather than Equipment specifically, making him a much more general commander. Not only that, but his copy ability is off-the-charts nuts, routinely gaining you more mana than it costs when it comes to mana rocks, and doing insane things when copying artifacts that you normally only get one copy of, like and . On top of this, they went ahead and gave him a 4/4 vigilance body and an artifact sac outlet that also happens to buff creatures, making him easily the most powerful and flexible Boros commander to ever see print. (Okay, okay, might have something to say about that.)
As for what works well with him, well... artifacts. Past that, the budget EDHREC page itself isn't so much of a help, because it basically just lists the contents of the Osgir Precon. So uh, get on that more unique brewing, folks!
(Helms 3,316 Decks, Rank #36; 323 Inclusions, 0% of 104,306 Decks)
Apparently people prefer the more specific commanders, since If you're planning on staying on a budget, then keep in mind that various Swords of X & Y aren't going to be on the menu, so you might instead have to opt for some Equipment that are expensive in mana rather than expensive in dollars, such as .is still beating out Osgir. Honestly though, what's wrong with a little hand-holding during deck construction? Syr Gwyn will lead you right to a Knights with build, and in three colors, there's still plenty of ways to go with it.
(Helms 3,702 Decks, Rank #29; 655 Inclusions, 0% of 152,127 Decks)
The interesting thing about tons of options from Anowon's budget page that will do just that:is the dual nature of what he wants to do: both mill and deal combat damage with a bunch of Rogues. His 'Lord' ability will buff up lots of creatures that already have evasion or card draw stapled to them, while his card draw will keep your hand full of more Rogues to throw down onto the battlefield. If you're looking to go full mill, however, there are
(Helms 3,777 Decks, Rank #27; 1,459 Inclusions, 1% of 188,121 Decks)
While this is patently untrue,feels like the first of the non-Equipment, non-Combat-centric Boros commanders. But even if she wasn't the first one... she might have been the first good one?
I'll be the first to defend how funtribal can be. I can more than defend brewing a Group Slug deck with , or a tribal deck with . I enjoy shenanigans with , the OG Attack Matters deck with , and even Vehicles. However, at the end of the day, every single one of those examples feels a bit like the most popular Boros commander from the early days of Commander, . They do things, and those things look fun, but they're also severely underpowered while doing it.
(Helms 3,789 Decks, Rank #25; 523 Inclusions, 1% of 85,699 Decks)
I have a bit of a bone to pick with on Kalamax's budget page? Or its normal page, for that matter? If you've never played with this three-mana boardwipe in multiples, it can straight up win games. Or lose them. Or tie them. It's the definition of playing with fire, and I for one am all about that life. Sure, you could play instead to deal damage just to your opponents and their creatures, but why do that when you could find two indestructible creatures on the board and make them ping each other (and everything else) for all eternity?players, and it's this: why is nowhere
I guess what I'm trying to say is, while there are gross things to do with Kalamax and your general EDH stalwarts of ramp and card draw, don't forget that just burning your opponents to death is a great option as well. A single copy ofisn't enough to get the job done, you need multiple win cons!
(Helms 3,936 Decks, Rank #22; 734 Inclusions, 1% of 94,584 Decks)
While Zaxara budget builds. The real fun is looking at all of the and variants (which are finally seeing some more play in Zaxara decks) and which will counter a spell while creating a Hydra as well. This got me wondering, could you build an 'X only' Zaxara control build, and all on a budget?is mostly known as a Hydra tribal commander, there's no shortage of things you can do with a bunch of X spells, as evidenced by seeing play in 91% of
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Well, yes, of course you can! Whether or not it's a good idea to play an all X-spells deck that has essentially no ramp, is an entirely different story.
(Helms 5,187 Decks, Rank #8; 1,622 Inclusions, 3% of 60,035 Decks)
I must admit, when I started putting this list together , I did not expect a five-color commander to end up at the top of it. Shrine commander, is also everyone's favorite five-color legends matter commander! Throw in a splash of Superfriends as well (although not on a budget), and what you've got is a super flexible ( ) five-color commander. What's not to like?, aside from being everyone's favorite
Nuts and Bolts
There always seems to be a bit of interest in how these lists are made (this seems like a good time to stress once again that they are based on EDHREC score, NOT my personal opinion), and people are often surprised that I’m not using any special data or .json from EDHREC, but rather just muddling my way through with some Scryfall knowledge! Except this week, I just went off of the Top Commanders list here on EDHREC instead.
It was a bit of legwork to find all the price tags manually for this Top 10, but it was a fun kind of hunt. So let's keep on doing it!is fun and all, but if I'm looking for a memorable budget build, I want something even more off the radar. So let's just keep going down the list, shall we?
Top 25 Commanders Under A Dollar
What Do You Think?
One of the most important conversation in EDH, especially these days, is the pre-game discussions to help make sure the entire table has evenly-matched power levels. I can't help but wonder if budget still gets floated out there by players as a means of defining power?
Finally, what's your favorite budget deck? When you're building on a budget, do you take the commander into account, or is that the one card that you'll grab at any price? Do you include your commander's price tag as part of the overall budget of the deck at all?
Let us know in the comments, and we'll see you at the folding table you inherited from that one party that happened at your place back in college, and which is somehow still just... trucking along.