No, Tibalt didn’t make the cut.
Avacyn Restored is one of those sets that really holds up. It has given us both competitive and casual staples that have stood the test of time, and even today many of the cards in Avacyn Restored have held onto a lot of value despite multiple reprints. Demand for some of these cards is as high as ever, and you’ll find Avacyn Restored cards in formats from Modern to Legacy to Commander. Let’s get across the 10 most expensive cards from the set!
10. Deadeye Navigator
Deadeye Navigator has come down a fair way from its peak of $10 a few years ago. This card is immensely popular in any EDH deck built around enter-the-battlefield triggers, from Yarok, the Desecrated to Brago, King Eternal to Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. It’s also a very potent combo piece, pairing with cards like Palinchron and Peregrine Drake to generate infinite mana. For these reasons, I’m surprised to see it at just $6.50, even with a Modern Masters 2017 reprint, but the card is on a firm downwards trend so I wouldn’t be looking to pick this up as a speculative investment.
9. Angel of Jubilation
Without ever having been reprinted, Angel of Jubilation’s price makes a little more sense to me. This card is very consistently included in Angel decks, as it is effectively a flying 3/3 Glorious Anthem in any deck that isn’t Liesa, Shroud of Dusk. Angel of Jubilation’s second ability also randomly hoses some decks as well as things like fetchlands, which is always fun, but the biggest strike against the card is its 1WWW casting cost. Triple white is no joke, and means you can’t really play this card in multicolor decks (not that you’d ever want it in a black deck). All the same, in any White Weenie-type list, Angel of Jubilation is a reasonable inclusion assuming you’re happy to pay $7.50 for a card that will spew value the moment it’s reprinted.
Speaking of reprints and lost value, how about Griselbrand? At the height of its powers, this card was $30 apiece, and it wasn’t that long ago that it cost $20. However, between being printed as a Grand Prix promo as well as being included in Modern Masters 2017, Griselbrand’s price has come down a long way despite it being one of the best reanimation targets ever printed. Another major factor in Griselbrand only costing $10 is, of course, the fact that it is banned in Commander. Were it legal, this card would be several times more expensive, as it would be an auto-include in reanimator and Demon decks, as well as being a ridiculous mono-black commander in its own right.
7. Conjurer’s Closet
Another card that supports blink synergies (a recurring theme of Avacyn Restored), Conjurer’s Closet has the advantage of being an artifact: you can play it in your blink deck no matter the color configuration. It’s not as good as Teleportation Circle, which only costs four mana, or Thassa, Deep-Dwelling, which has a host of other abilities, but if you are – for some reason – playing Jund Blink, then Conjurer’s Closet is perfect. It’s still a great card in white and/or blue-based blink decks, too, as you can never have too many recurring blink enablers, and its ongoing popularity is reflected by its $10.50 price tag even with a few reprints.
6. Cathars’ Crusade
Another $10-ish card with a pronounced EDH niche, in the last two or three years Cathars’ Crusade has surged from $4 to above $10. The principal reason for this is that R&D chose not to put the word “nontoken” on this card: in decks like Jetmir, Nexus of Revels, Adeline, Resplendent Cathar and especially Ghave, Guru of Spores, Cathars’ Crusade goes off. With a Cathars’ Crusade out, even something as simple as a Raise the Alarm puts six power in play, and it only gets more ridiculous from there with other, bigger token generators. Add a Doubling Season to the mix, and oh boy, you are going to have more triggers than you’ll know what to do with.
5. Gisela, Blade of Goldnight
Gisela’s price has waxed and waned over the years – it has fluctuated from $5 to $20 at various points, and still seems to be pretty volatile. A moderately popular commander, Gisela has been reprinted enough times to keep her reasonably affordable, and the power of her ability speaks for itself. Any deck based around dealing double damage is well-served by Gisela, and her ability synergizes magnificently with cards like Fiery Emancipation and Dictate of the Twin Gods. At $12.50, I wouldn’t call this a cheap card, but I still feel like it’s a little overlooked in Commander and with a little help can actually one-shot people with relative ease.
4. Exquisite Blood
The expensive half of the Exquisite Blood/Sanguine Bond combo, Exquisite Blood has been an expensive card for a very long time. It peaked at $50 or so before a long-awaited reprint in the original Jumpstart set finally offered a bit of relief, but it’s still worth $30 and doesn’t have lots of analogues like Sanguine Bond does. You can substitute Sanguine Bond for Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose, Vizkopa Guildmage, Cliffhaven Vampire, etc. – but there’s no direct replacement for the effect offered by Exquisite Blood. Until there is, or until a broader reprint of this card is offered, I can only see Exquisite Blood becoming more and more expensive from here.
3. Craterhoof Behemoth
My favorite EDH finisher of all-time, Craterhoof Behemoth wins games swiftly and emphatically, allowing you to dispense with complicated combat maths and just slam an eight-mana win condition onto the table and attack with everything. I love this card, particularly when paired with Avenger of Zendikar, and I’m glad it doesn’t cost $60 or $70 like it once did. Two broad reprints later and the card is $35 – still a considerable amount, it has to be said, but then it’s not just played in Commander. The ‘Hoof is a mainstay in Legacy Elves, as a way to close out games there as well!
2. Cavern of Souls
Cavern of Souls has been reprinted in Modern Masters 2017, Ultimate Masters and Double Masters and is still worth $55. Historically speaking, that’s quite a low price for this card: as recently as 2021, Cavern of Souls was pushing $100. It’s played in every competitive format in which it’s legal, it’s a huge part of any creature type-based deck in Commander, and supply has never really been able to meaningfully keep up with demand. It doesn’t help, of course, that all the reprints had it at mythic rather than its original rare, but all the same Cavern of Souls is still monstrously expensive for a support card – if you want your type to be uncounterable, that’s the price you have to pay!
1. Avacyn, Angel of Hope
Priced more or less equally to Cavern of Souls, at $55, Avacyn, Angel of Hope was the marquee mythic from Avacyn Restored and this card did not disappoint. She is still trending upwards, even after a ton of reprints in various Masters sets, and even after being unseated as the go-to commander for EDH Angels by Giada, Font of Hope, Avacyn is still a very popular card. People love to play Avacyn and then do their opponents dirty with sweepers – especially cards like Hour of Revelation and sometimes even Armageddon – so as to break the natural symmetry of the board wipe, and when all is said and done an indestructible, flying 8/8 is a hell of a threat to contend with. In the last two years, Avacyn has doubled in price, and I can very easily see her price increasing further given her popularity and power.