Hello and welcome, players, collectors, and other fans of Magic: The Gathering, Wizards of the Coast's own premier trading card game! During the past five weeks, we have looked at various character cards from the Vanguard supplemental releases for the game. We've also explored how these oversized cards, not typically used or even usable in most formats, have actually managed to appreciate value over the past few years in spite of that. But here, in this very article, is where the prices for the third series of Vanguard characters get rather outrageous. Are you ready for some royal wallet-busting? Let's dig in!
Rofellos, an Elf from Llanowar, is a character very seldom seen, if ever, in a Commander game. His legendary creature card is banned outright from the format since he's that adept at generating green mana and the one other card that bears his name, Rofellos's Gift, is extremely situational. You'd only ever find it in a given enchantment-based deck that runs a glut of green cards, and while that's not unheard of, most of those decks also use other colors to help with their overall flow. That said, Rofellos as a Vanguard character is much more in line with the card Fecundity, albeit a one-sided copy that can't be interacted with.
Rofellos, oddly enough, wouldn't feel very out of place in a deck that likes to work out of the graveyard. With a depreciation of 2 cards from the opening hand for the duration of the game, you might find yourself discarding a bunch of cards that could fuel reanimation strategies, and if you're playing a card like Reanimate itself, you're in luck because of a slight buffer of 4 life. Does this justify the $18 price tag? If you're a collector of Vanguard cards, it is possible that no price is too high, but Rofellos seems pretty fine at this price point.
#22. Sidar Kondo
Sidar Kondo was a Jamuraan warleader and served as father to Vuel (later Volrath, evincar of the artificial plane of existence known as Rath) and as the surrogate father to Gerrard Capashen. His ability hearkens back to a colorless iteration of Giant Growth, perhaps acting as a testament to his nurturing nature as father to the two.
While Sidar Kondo does happen to lower your starting and maximum hand size by a card, usually one card isn't as bad for well-tuned decks that don't need to mulligan as aggressively, and the +12 to starting life total is pretty good too. However, compared to some of the other Vanguard options in Magic: The Gathering Kondo can be seen as a bit middling. Nevertheless, an $8 price tag is a smidge high for what this card does.
#23. Sliver Queen, Brood Mother
On Rath, the slivers were a population of hive-minded beasts that could adapt to practically any environment and situation. Their Queen was a force of nature unto herself, and while countless other slivers have sprung forth since, Sliver Queen is the one that most die-hard sliver fans aspire to acquire. As for Sliver Queen, Brood Mother, at a whopping price point of $110 or so, this is a comparable acquisition to getting her oversized card from Commander's Arsenal, financially speaking. Of course, this card actually functions more than the oversized Commander card, so is a better purchase than that as a result.
Considering that Sliver Queen itself from Stronghold costs over $300 to purchase, it might just be worth it to bite the bullet and get a card that does the same for 1 more generic mana, but increases your starting life total by 8 and allows you to play a different, presumably less-expensive, commander in the interim. But, we suppose, when we say no price is too high for the aspiring Vanguard collector, this might be one of those times you'd consider taking up a different sort of collection (to which we implore you to not give in!).
Takara is a Vanguard character card that doesn't have a standard-sized Magic: The Gathering equivalent. However, it says she is the daughter of Starke, a character who we have covered in a past article (specifically, Series 2, Part 2). Starke was an arms dealer and a turncoat of sorts, but Takara, according to her flavor text, is more redeemable by comparison.
Takara is a pretty cool choice of characters for token decks specifically, as well as aristocrats decks. Her activated ability is exaclty that of Goblin Bombardment, and as that's a strong card that through Takara is unable to be interacted with, that's nothing to sniff at. Furthermore, while she decreases your starting life total by 8, having 10 cards in your opening and maximum hand size is amazing. Takara is also a decent buy at just under $4 USD, all things considered!
Next week, we will be looking at thefirst four Vanguard characters of Series 4 of the Magic: The Gathering supplemental release. At that point, prices go above and beyond due to scarcity. Are you excited? Do you want Wizards of the Coast to reprint these oversized cards in the future? Let us know what you think in the comments below!