7 Best Budget White Rares (Under $3) for Commander

7 best white budget Rares for MTG Commander

7 Best Budget White Rares (Under $3) for Commander

Your fingers are getting sore – after digging through the bargain bins at several local game stores and still haven’t found anything that is both cheap and impactful in Commander. With tens of thousands of cards available, it certainly is hard to find that elusive pearl. Tap & Sac is taking the pain away, with this new series of top budget cards for Commander, broken down by colour.

We chose to limit our “best of” list to Rare and Mythic Rare cards, because naturally Commons and Uncommons are mostly less than a $1 and are already considered budget. The greatest satisfaction comes when you find a Rare that should be of higher value but for whatever reason has been suppressed, despite it being more than playable in a multiplayer format like Commander.

This list also tries to avoid cards that fall into a specific theme or tribe, and rather have high utility in any kind of white Commander deck. We’re hoping that some of these cards will surprise you:

1. Mangara of Corondor

Cheapest price: US$0.35 (Jan 2022)

Although Mangara of Corondor is a Legendary Creature, he’s not particularly great as a Commander since he doesn’t generate exponential value with his ability. What he is though, is a great Permanent-removal option that doubles up as an attacker or blocker. He targets any Permanent, which means annoying Lands like Cabal Coffers, Gaea’s Cradle, or Faceless Haven can all be dealt with by Mangara.

Other removal spells in white often only target non-Land Permanents, so Mangara really stands out as a solid budget card. There’s also no hidden clause unlike Borrowed Time, Skyclave Apparition, or Banishing Light, where you have to keep it protected to prevent the opponent from getting it back.

Another great feature is that he Exiles rather than Destroys. With so many decks reliant on death triggers or Indestructible abilities, Exile is always the preferred mode of removal, and this will not be the first card you see today that delivers on this front. His only drawback is the need to Tap in order to activate, which in normal situations means a one-turn delay, unless you are able to give him Haste.

2. Archon of Emeria

Cheapest price: US$2 (Jan 2022)

Archon of Emeria checks many boxes, notably for Stax and control decks that aim to slow the game down. It’s like a built-in Rule of Law but with even more upside. Not only does it stop spell-slinging and Storm decks, it also slows the game down for multi-colour decks that run a high proportion for non-Basic Lands.

All that oppressive abilities built onto a 2/3 Flying Creature and just costs 3 Mana makes this a steal. When Zendikar Rising rotates out of Standard, cards like Archon might become harder to find and could go up in price. Perhaps the price has stayed low because white isn’t a very popular colour in Commander, or the number of control decks are outnumbered by other archetypes, but this is still a very economical and potent card to get.

3. Lightmine Field

Cheapest price: US$2.50 (Jan 2022)

White has always done well with “pillow-fort” strategies, since it has Ghostly Prison, Norn’s Annex, and Sphere of Safety. How about something even cheaper and can even provide a greater deterrent to opponents’ attackers? Lightmine Field costs a fair 4 Mana and can potentially stonewall certain aggro decks. Lightmine Field works wonders in many board states, as it affects all Creatures, not just the ones attacking you!

If opponent is playing a Krenko, Mob Boss Commander deck with dozens of 1/1 Goblins, Lightmine Field completely stops the horde in its frenzied tracks. Even a single 1/1 can’t get through because that Creature would take 1 damage, effectively killing it. To better illustrate the opponent’s dilemma, if two 2/2 Creatures attack, then both are taking 2 damage each.

Lightmine Field’s biggest drawback is that a single, massive Creature can still plow through. For example, 1 damage isn’t going to mean much to a single 6/6 or 7/7 beast, which you will often see in green-focused decks. In those situations, then a massive Mana tax would be more effective. But apart from that, Lightmine Field is an overlooked budget Rare that doesn’t see as much play, maybe because it has never been reprinted.

4. Elspeth Conquers Death

Cheapest price: US$0.35 (Jan 2022)

For a card that does so much, it’s baffling how this card isn’t worth more. It was a powerhouse in Standard, but even when it was still in the format, Elspeth Conquers Death likely never went beyond US$5 a piece. It’s one of the best Sagas ever printed and does a lot. At chapter 1 it Exiles any Permanent that costs 3 or more Mana. Any big threat on the table will likely fall within this limitation so it isn’t a drawback on most games.

If 5 Mana to Exile a Permanent sounds too expensive, Elspeth Conquers Death makes up for it with important 2nd and 3rd chapters. The 2nd stage makes all your opponents’ non-Creature spells cost 2 more, meaning any big board wipes or extra-turn spells will have to sit tight for awhile.

The last chapter is what makes this budget Rare so powerful – to return any of your Creatures or Planeswalkers back to the Battlefield, by using a reanimation effect usually reserved for black spells. This triple threat of Exile, tax, and reanimation this a very special card and to top if off is such a cheap card that any white Commander player can get their hands on.

5. Containment Priest

Cheapest price: US$0.35 (Jan 2022)

The low price Containment Priest is probably thanks to the many reprints, the last of which was in M21, but it doesn’t lower its impact at all in Commander games. In order to get an edge in Commander, many players try to cheat out free Creatures from the Library. One obvious example is the popular Winota, Joiner of Forces, which was recently listed in our Top 10 Most Powerful Commanders.

With Containment Priest, any of those Humans who try to enter via Winota’s triggered ability will be sent to Exile instead. This isn’t just an isolated situation either – there’s also Survival of the Fittest, Defense of the Heart, and Gyruda, Doom of Depths as just a few examples. Since it has Flash, you can always save it as a nasty surprise for opponents who are setting up their board to go off.

This stifling effect can also knock out any reanimation effects that come from another spells such as Reanimate and Animate Dead. The main loophole to Containment Priest are cards that are still “cast” from Escape abilities, or Creatures like Gravecrawler that specifically say that it can be cast from the Graveyard.

6. Brightling

Cheapest price: US$1 (Jan 2022)

Brightling had its time in the spotlight when Battlebond was initially launched. It’s clearly a white homage of the old blue card Morphling that offers amazing flexibility. It’s a Mythic Rare that has never been reprinted, but you can get it for just a dollar.

While Brightling doesn’t have the ability to gain Shroud unlike the more expensive Morphling, it can still be returned to your Hand for just 1 white Mana. That means it’s really hard to get rid of unless you’re tapped out for Mana. It also has the flexibility or pumping either its Power or Toughness, depending if you are attacking or depending, not to mention you have a base 3/3 for 3 Mana, compared to Morphling’s 5 Mana for the same stats.

Sure, Morphling can give itself some kind of evasion in the form of Flying, but to be fair that is in line with blue’s traits, whereas Vigilance and Lifelink are more for white. As a utility budget Rare that acts as a attacker, blocker, and life-gainer, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than Brightling for the same price.

7. Ordric, Lunarch Marshal

Cheapest Price: US$0.35 (Jan 2022)

Odric, Lunch Marshal comes in handy particularly for keyword decks that are stacked with Creatures that takes advantage of Double Strike, Indestructible, Flying etc. There are a total of 13 keywords that can be shared among all of your Creatures during combat, as long as any of your Creatures on the Battlefield have these mechanics.

The best part about Odric’s ability is that these 13 keywords are nowhere near the worst in Magic’s history (think Flanking or Defender), but actually some of the best of all time. Creatures with Double Strike are very difficult to block, and can also deal crazy amounts of damage. Flying provides evasion for a potential one-hit kill, and Indestructible is just annoying for all your opponents.

Odric, Lunch Marshal does require other Creatures to be on board as Odric himself doesn’t possess any keywords, but this should be easy to accomplish in various green-white or red-white decks that are more focused on combat.

End Step

Were you surprised by any inclusions? It might be a good time to start picking up some of these gems for your next Commander deck. If there are any hidden pots of gold out there that fulfil the criteria (cheaper than US$3 and is a Rare or Mythic) that we missed out, please let us know too at lets@tapandsac.com!

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.

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