Each new Magic: The Gathering set typically releases a handful of highly desirable rares and mythic rares. These sought-after cards can sell for a considerable premium over other cards of similar rarity. Circle of Druid Dreams, Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider, and Goldspan Dragon are just a few examples of chase rares and mythic rares.
It's always exciting to open a Draft or Set Booster — and it's an especially exciting experience if there's a sought-after rare or mythic rare inside. That said, Draft and Set Boosters often contain cards worth much less than the price of the pack. How many times have you opened a booster pack only to be disappointed by seeing an inexpensive rare or mythic rare among other cards?
Commons and uncommons hardly make up the value difference between a pack's retail price and a lackluster rare or mythic rare. Often, 1,000 commons and uncommons are only worth the handful of dollars a local gaming store is willing to pay for them, so many players consider commons and uncommons practically worthless.
Solve the Equation
Chase uncommons worth over $1 do occasionally appear in sets — Solve the Equation and Storm-Kiln Artist are two uncommons from Strixhaven: School of Mages that sell for greater than $1. Interestingly, some uncommons printed over the last few years are more valuable than most rares from the same set! Let's take a look at 10 crazy valuable MTG cards you probably own sitting in a cardboard box.
Bastion of Remembrance offers a ton of value for a three-mana enchantment. You get a 1/1 white Human Soldier creature token, along with the ability to drain one life from each opponent and gain one life whenever a creature you control dies. Bastion of Remembrance's popularity in Commander Artistocrats and Sacrifice-themed decks keeps its average market price over $2.50.
Dragon's Approach is a sorcery that deals 3 damage to each opponent, and allows you to put a Dragon from your deck on the battlefield under a specific condition. With an average market of $2.92, Dragon's Approach is more valuable than 90% of the other cards found in Strixhaven.
The main draw for playing Dragon's Approach is the last sentence in the card text: "A deck can have any number of cards named Dragon's Approach." Cards with the ability to include more than four copies in a deck are historically popular (e.g., Persistent Petitioners). Since players need multiple copies of Dragon's Approach for a Constructed or Commander deck, that increasing demand significantly affects both card supply and price.
Holding onto bulk commons and uncommons from Theros: Beyond Death? Then you may want to go searching for Soul-Guide Lantern. As one of the best sideboard cards in Pioneer, copies of Soul-Guide Lantern sell for around $3 each. Soul-Guide Lantern is an excellent counter against graveyard strategies, and can slot into most sideboards as a colorless artifact.
Bala Ged Recovery didn't take long to skyrocket from an average market price of about $1 at release to over $3 today. The practicality and flexibility of Bala Ged Recovery are hard to ignore. Since Bala Ged Recovery is a double-faced card, you may play it as a tapped land or a three-mana Regrowth. Fundamentally, every green Commander deck can run Bala Ged Recovery instead of a basic land for additional utility.
Stitcher's Supplier is an incredible creature card that sees play...basically in every paper MTG format where it's legal. For one mana, Stitcher's Supplier puts three cards from your library into your graveyard whenever it enters the battlefield or dies. Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Vengevine decks often use Stitcher's Supplier to get them onto the battlefield as quickly as possible. Unless Stitcher's Supplier receives a reprint in a future MTG product, don't expect its average market price to drop below $3 any time soon.
Bontu's Monument is an uncommon artifact from Amonkhet that slowly rose in value from $0.50 to over $5. Mono-black Commander decks can take full advantage of its cost reduction for creature spells, along with life drain AND life gain. Ayara, First of Locthwain, Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose, and Marrow-Gnawer are a few mono-black commanders that may want to include Bontu's Monument in their 99. It's a decent inclusion in Dimir Zombies and Rakdos Demon decks as well.
Did you know that there's a three-card combo with Bontu's Monument that may win you the game? With Bontu's Monument and Phyrexian Altar on the battlefield, you may repeatedly cast Oathsworn Vampire to drain life and gain life infinitely.
Veil of Summer from Core 2020 is a one-mana instant that offers an insane amount of value. This format-warping uncommon reached an average market price over $12 earlier in the year before tumbling all the way down to $6. While Veil of Summer received a banning in Historic and Pioneer, it sees widespread play across Modern, Legacy, Vintage, and Commander. Interestingly, Veil of Summer is one of the 50 most-played green cards in Commander, according to EDHREC.
Strixhaven's Expressive Iteration became a $6 uncommon within a few months after release. The ability to essentially draw two of the top three cards in your library for two mana is nothing short of fantastic. Demand for Expressive Iteration exploded as players adopted it in Izzet decks across multiple MTG Constructed formats.
It may be hard to believe, but Rhythm of the Wild commands an average market price of around $7. Rhythm of the Wild is an excellent inclusion in any Gruul Aggro Commander deck, since it prevents your creature spells from being countered and grants Riot to nontoken creatures.
Wulfgar of Icewind Dale
Leading up to the release of Midnight Hunt, Rhythm of the Wild's price increased from about $4 to over $7. The Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Draconic Rage Commander Deck — along with Werewolves returning to Innistrad — probably caused Rhythm of the Wild's price and demand to rise sharply.
Pitiless Plunderer from Rivals of Ixalan more than doubled in value during 2021, to an average market price of $14. Before Pitiless Plunderer's climb to $14, it saw extensive play in Commander decks featuring Teysa Karlov, Admiral Beckett Brass, and Korvold, Fae-Cursed King.
The playability of Pitiless Plunderer magnified with the printings of Chatterfang, Squirrel General, Eloise, Nephalia Sleuth, Kalain, Reclusive Painter, and other synergistic Treasure token cards. There seems to be nothing stopping Pitiless Plunderer from remaining a premium uncommon — that is, unless it makes another appearance in a future set or Commander product.
Did the average market prices for some of the cards mentioned above surprise you? Next time you're thinking about trading or giving away commons and uncommons, you may want to pause and take a second look for a few hidden gems. Any boxes of bulk MTG cards you might have sitting around could contain a notable amount of value.