One major indicator that Authority of the Consuls is a MTG card to watch is the disparity between its price on Amazon and TCGPlayer. Authority of the Consuls has been consistently a Top 100 best seller in Trading Cards on Amazon. While it’s been a $1 card on TCGPlayer for most of its life, Authority of the Consuls was a $4 card at one time when it was seeing consistent sideboard play in two of the better decks in Standard at the time, Copy Cat Combo and Mardu Ballista. Copy Cat Combo is no longer a deck, so that has seen its play greatly decline. Still, we know that this card can be $4.
What’s so good about Authority of the Consuls? It’s really a bit better version of Blind Obedience, an Enchantment that many players once thought would be a great answer to aggro decks. But at two mana, it was often a turn too late. Forcing your opponent’s creatures to come into play tapped is huge, and an Enchantment that costs only 1 mana to do this is significantly better.
The other upside to Authority over Blind Obedience is that you also gain 1 life each time an opponent has a creature enter the battlefield (even tokens!) Blind Obedience had extort, which is a nice ability, but it first required your to cast a spell and also pay one mana to drain your opponents. In most cases, Authority of the Consuls is simply going to be more efficient.
Blind Obedience actually sees more than twice as much play as Authority of the Consuls in EDH (as of June 2017), but that’s because it also causes artifacts to come into play tapped. Also, in Commander, the Extort mechanic is more relevant, since mana is more plentiful and plenty more spells will be cast over the course of a game. Plus, Extort affects all opponents, so a single activation of Extort can drain each opponent for 1 life and gain you that much life. That’s often at least a 3 point life gain. So it’s much more cost effective.
Still, Authority of the Consuls and Blind Obedience see play in the same exact decks in Commander, as they complement one another instead of merely being redundant. So there is definitely demand from the Commander crowd, which explains the higher price on Amazon; many Commander-friendly cards see higher prices on Amazon.
It’s a bit surprising that Authority of the Consuls hasn’t been seen more in Modern. There are so many aggro decks in the format, too, so it seems like a no-brainer. The best part is that even if you happen to draw a second copy of Authority, the lifegain it can provide is still relevant. There’s also a good chance that it returns to more Standard sideboards after the rotation of the Battle for Zendikar and Shadows Over Innistrad blocks.
In any case, this is a really good card to pick up for $1 or less. It’s also very good to see that there’s tons of interest in both non-foil and foil copies of Authority of the Consuls on PucaTrade. If people want foil playsets of a card, they plan to have them for a long time. Since this is a card that could easily find itself being played more in Modern, and has room to grow in Commander, Authority of the Consuls is definitely a card worth picking up and holding for the long term.
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