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5 Blue EDH Hidden Gems Under $5 That You Should Pick Up Now | Commander Quickie

If you've been following me on Twitter you might have noticed that I've been tweeting out an ever-expanding chain of underrated budget Commander cards. Twitter is a poor archive for these sort of things though, so I've been organizing my card recommendations into lists, because people like lists. 

So here's a quick list for you: 5 Blue EDH Hidden Gems Under $5! I define "hidden gem" as any card that sees less than 1% representation in decks found in EDHREC's database. Let's get started!

1. Quiet Speculation

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Quiet Speculation definitely is one of the most underrated cards in Commander. Being able to tutor up three cards for just two mana is an absurdly good rate in a 100-card singleton format, yet this oldschool card shows up in less than 1% of decks in EDHREC's database. To be fair, Speculation does come with significant restrictions: you can only tutor cards with flashback and they go into your graveyard instead of hand. But to be fairerer, while many of the flashback card suck there's more than enough that are actually quite powerful, and the fact that not only can flashback cards can inherently be cast from the graveyard but actually get way better if cast this way, like Echo of Eons, Deep Analysis, and Unburial Rites, putting them directly in the graveyard is more often a benefit than a drawback.

While your average Blue deck doesn't generally run cards with flashback, there's at least one popular archetype that certainly should be: Spellslinger. All flashback cards are instants or sorceries, which is exactly what the Spellslinger deck wants to fill up on, so running a little flashback package can add a lot of extra power to your deck. Some of my favorite flashback cards in Blue include Deep Analysis, Echo of Eons, Flash of Insight, and Mass Diminish, but things get way more interesting once you start adding extra colors. Lots of Spellslinger decks add Red which gives you more ways to loot away flashback cards to cast from your graveyard later on, like Faithless Looting, but also powerhouse Spellslinger cards like Increasing Vengeance, Seize the Day, and best of all Past in Flames. There's good flashback cards in the other colors as well, but Izzet definitely is the strongest base for a powerful Quiet Speculation flashback package.

I'm more than happy to run Quiet Speculation in just about any Spellslinger deck but particularly ones that have access to Red like Sevinne, the Chronoclasm, Kess, Dissident Mage, and Niv-Mizzet, Parun.

2. Spellweaver Volute

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Speaking of Spellslinger, here's another old favorite of mine for the archetype: Spellweaver Volute is a bizarre aura that enchants an instant card in any graveyard. Whenever you cast a sorcery spell, you may cast the enchanted instant for free, exiling it and then attaching Volute to another instant card in a graveyard. So what we've got here is a repeatable flashback engine for instant cards whenever you cast a sorcery. The fun times keep going until either you run out of instants to enchant or sorceries to cast, but that shouldn't be a problem in most Spellslinger decks which are full of both instants and sorceries. Also keep in mind that you can cast your opponents' instants with this card as well, not just your own, greatly expanding the value you can get from Volute.

Honestly there's not much bad I have to say about Spellweaver Volute. It costs five mana and requires having multiple instants in graveyards to get value out of casting so it's a bit on the slow side and it does require setup with casting sorceries so it doesn't do everything all by itself like an overloaded Mizzix's Mastery, but despite these shortcomings it's an incredibly powerful engine helps your Spellslinger deck bury your opponents in card advantage. 

Any Blue Spellslinger deck that runs a good mix of instants and sorceries should consider Spellweaver Volute, like Kess, Dissident Mage, Niv-Mizzet, Parun, and Mizzix of the Izmagnus.

3. Fade Away

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Fade Away is just not something people play around, let alone know exist: I swear I've blown out my opponents with this obscure Blue common more times than I can count! The more creatures your opponents commit to the battlefield, the more Fade Away punishes them, and heaven forbid if they're fully tapped out when you cast it or else they're going to sacrifice a LOT of permanents!

As sweet as this card is, Fade Away isn't exactly a creature board wipe even though it usually acts like one: each player chooses what permanent they sacrifice, so while they do have to sacrifice something they don't necessarily have to sacrifice a creature that they want to keep around. And Fade Away is obviously ineffective against opponents that have mana up to pay its cost. Even so, this is a pseudo board wipe in Blue with an extremely powerful effect for just three mana! Three mana! That's it!

Fade Away is an excellent inclusion in any Blue deck that doesn't run a lot of creatures. It's particularly appealing in Mono Blue or Simic decks which don't have access to the best creature board wipes. Baral, Chief of Compliance, and Tatyova, Benthic Druid are just two of the commanders where I'll jam Fade Away into at the first opportunity.

4. Vanishing

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Vanishing is another weird and wonderful oldschool aura. You can pay UU to make the enchanted creature phase out, an super old mechanic that hardly anyone these days knows about but has recently started popping up on a few newer cards like Teferi's Protection. Basically phase out means the creature and everything attached to it ceases to exist -- it doesn't change zones, it just goes poof, totally gone and can't be interacted with in any way, until it phases back in (exists again) at the beginning of its controller's next turn. 

Vanishing has two main uses. The first and most used option is as protection: slap this baby on to your most important creature and it's basically immune to any form of removal for UU. Targeted removal, board wipes, sacrifice, it doesn't matter -- you just pay UU and the creature phases out, dodging everything until it phases back in. For Blue-heavy decks that really need their commander to stick around, Vanishing is the ultimate form of protection. It requires you to keep mana up to use it, but if you have the mana then the enchanted creature ain't dying.

The second more nefarious use of Vanishing is sticking it on an enemy commander you want gone, phasing it out whenever you want. After all, killing an opposing commander with a removal spell lets that commander go back to the command zone to be recast later, but phasing out doesn't have the creature change zones so it can't go back to the command zone. So as long as you're willing to spend UU each turn, you can have your opponents' commander phased out and inaccessible for pretty much the entire game. Devious!

Vanishing is most powerful with Etrata, the Silencer and Braids, Conjurer Adept as cheeky ways to skirt their downsides, but any Blue-heavy deck focused on their commander can get great use out of it, like Zur the Enchanter and my husbando, Daxos of Meletis.

5. Insight

$ 0.00 $ 0.00

Fans of the hugely popular Commander channel Command Zone might remember a recent episode where the obscure color hoser Reap was mentioned as an underrated recursion option in Green decks with Black-heavy metas, immediately spiking a card that was once worth pennies into a $6 card. While Reap is indeed pretty sweet, I think I have something even sweeter with Insight, which comes from the same color hoser cycle as Reap. And fortunately for you, dear readers, I do not have the level of influence as Command Zone so this card's price isn't going to budge from my mentioning it!

Just like Reap, Insight's power is dependent on your own meta, in this case requiring your opponents to run Green. Thankfully Green is a really good color so it's probably well-represented in most playgroups! Plopping down Insight against just one Green opponent is a recipe for tons of card draw, but if you're up against multiple opponents running Green then this enchantment gets downright absurd, eclipsing even the best Blue draw options in the format like Rhystic Study.

With how common Green decks are in the format, I'd recommend trying out Insight in pretty much any playgroup unless you know your specific meta is lacking in Green opponents. The risk of it being a dud in some games is worth it due to how insane it is at the right table. It's cheap and splashable so it can easily slot into any Blue deck, but being an enchantment makes it particularly juicy in Enchantress decks like Zur the Enchanter and Tuvasa the Sunlit, and in Blind Seer decks which run cards like Glamerdye so you can change Insight to trigger off whatever the most popular color is that your opponents are running!

That's All, Folks!

So those are five sweet budget cards that deserve more love. There's certainly a lot more out there, so let me know what your favorite ones are in the comments section below! Thanks for reading!

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