Countdown to Christmas 2019: Enchantments
- Robert Giel
It's the most enchanting time of the year, and today we take that literally. It's time to reveal another four pieces of the puzzle our Christmas contest posed. Read on to find out which four enchantment cards were traded the most on Cardmarket.com in 2019.
The Best-Selling Enchantments of 2019
Enchantments are an interesting type of card in Magic. We always talk about the overpowered planeswalkers, the Constructed-pushed creatures, efficient instants or sorceries, and the broken artifacts of the larger formats. Think of a powerful Magic card, and there's a pretty big chance that the first card you thought of is not an enchantment.
While enchantments do see some play in competitive magic, for example Leyline of the Void and Leyline of Sanctity in Modern and Legacy, Oath of Druids in Vintage, or Fires of Invention in Standard, they never make up the bulk of decks. Rather they tend to play a supporting role.
The most popular enchantments of 2019 do exactly this. Some made waves in Standard, some even made it into Eternal formats, but they all have one thing in common. You guessed it, they are great in Commander. So, without further ado, here are the four most sold enchantments of 2019 …
#4 – Cindervines
Coming in at number four is a Gruul enchantment that makes every spell-slinger in Magic shiver. I think Cindervines is an amazing design. Combining Destructive Revelry with Firebrand Archer in a 2-mana enchantment is great in both competitive and casual formats, and exactly the kind of playstyle that R/G/x decks want. The fact that Cindervines is so cheap to deploy even caused it to see some minor play in the sideboard of RUG Delver in Legacy. It's a card that needs to be dealt with fast, otherwise you keep taking chip damage or risk losing your best artifact/enchantment.
It also reminds me a bit of a cheaper Ruric Thar, the Unbowed, a card that is absolutely devastating to deal with if your deck mostly consists of noncreature spells. Ruric Thar itself saw some play in Eternal formats as well, as it could be cheated onto the battlefield with Natural Order, Reanimate, or Oath of Druids. A quick trip to EDHREC even tells us that Cindervines is among the most played cards in Ruric Thar Commander decks. This gem from Ravnica Allegiance is cheap, powerful, and straightforward. A deserved spot on the list of most sold enchantments of the year.
#3 – Rhythm of the Wild
We're not out of Gruul territory yet. Coming in at number three, Rhythm of the Wild, also from Ravnica Allegiance, made the heart of all creature players beat faster. While this card hasn't shown up in Modern or Legacy in any appreciable way, it enjoyed some hype for Standard. It appeared in early Gruul Dinosaurs lists and provided a nice little interaction with Growth-Chamber Guardian where one copy would immediately find the next. In the end, however, the most competitive versions found their own rhythm.
Where Rhythm of the Wild truly shines is in in Commander. Most red-green decks want to play big, timmylicious creatures and not have to worry about them being countered. Providing a nice enter-the-battlefield upside makes Rhtyhm of the Wild a solid inclusion. I'd go even a step further and say that it doesn't really matter what strategy you're on. If your Commander deck is R/G/x, and you focus on creatures, you should play this card. Some commanders that work particularly great with Rhythm of the Wild include Animar, Soul of Elements, The Ur-Dragon, Gishath, Sun's Avatar, Mayael the Anima, Samut, Voice of Dissent, Saskia the Unyielding, and many more.
#2 – Smothering Tithe
"Do you pay 1?" is one of the most heard and tilting questions in the entire format of Commander. Rhystic Study is a powerful but annoying card indeed. 2019 brought us yet another card that will ask players a similar question.
Smothering Tithe is more expensive than its blue counterpart and isn't as likely to produce value right away (if they immediately use a removal spell on Rhystic Study, they need to pay 1). This said, Smothering Tithe is an absolute powerhouse. Every player will be drawing cards, regardless of what deck or strategy they are utilizing, and having to pay 2 extra mana for every card drawn can be backbreaking for decks that try to curve out or are tight on mana. Combine this with the many card-drawing effects in Commander—Windfall, Regal Force, Wheel of Fortune, and Grim Haruspex, to name a few—and you find yourself swimming in treasure.
But there's more. The tokens you receive don't just represent single-use mana, they are artifact permanents you control. This is relevant for plenty of different cards. Whether you want to turn on metalcraft for your Mox Opal, sacrifice a permanent to Vraska, Golgari Queen, activate the plus ability on Tezzeret, Master of the Bridge, or attack with a huge Akiri, Line-Slinger. Smothering Tithe is an amazing Commander card due to the nature of the format: the more opponents are drawing cards, the better it becomes. It's flexibility also allows it to play various roles, from a ramp card in your mono-white deck to an engine churning out artifacts in your Breya, Etherium Shaper deck. An easy number two spot on this list.
And the #1 Enchantment Is …
Before we dive into the power level of this card in Commander, I want to mention Wilderness Reclamation's Standard career. It didn't take long for people to realize just how powerful it is to untap your lands. It basically meant that you were taking two turns, one during your own, and one during your opponent's, or, as it turned out, during your own end step. Being a 4-mana spell, it required a bit of set-up, but cards like Root Snare and Growth Spiral made this set-up very easy. Talking about taking two turns, the Nexus decks were the most powerful in Standard for a while, resulting in the banning of Nexus of Fate in best-of-one on MTG Arena. Wilderness Reclamation naturally played a big part in this deck. At one point we even saw Wilderness Reclamation show up in Modern, utilizing cards like Cryptic Command and Mystical Teachings.
Wilderness Reclamation's power doesn't stop there. In fact, it reminds me of two incredibly strong Commander staples, Seedborn Muse and the banned Prophet of Kruphix. Being able to untap with your opponents is very strong in Commander and exactly what the big mana G/U/x decks want to do. Reclamation doesn't offer the same power as Seedborn Muse in terms of untapping all permanents, every turn, but the fact that it's a 4-mana enchantment makes it easier to cast, and harder to remove. Commander decks that can utilize this card well include Tasigur, the Golden Fang, Mayael the Anima, Surrak Dragonclaw, Kadena, Slinking Sorcerer, Kenrith, the Returned King, and Rashmi, Eternities Crafter.
Enjoy the Most Enchanted Time of the Year
There you have it: the four best-selling enchantments on Cardmarket in 2019. Were you able to guess all four? Were there any surprises? Do you think enchantments are becoming more playable outside of Commander? I wish you all "enchanting" holidays and a wonderful 2020! Until next year!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.