Imagine this: in front of you is a shoebox full of commons you haven't sorted through in years. Maybe a friend of yours asked you to help them look through their old cards, or maybe a new player's trying to figure out what kind of deck they can build with their collection. Maybe this box is tucked away somewhere in your house or apartment, just waiting to be cracked open full of now-valuable cards. I've certainly done my fair share of spelunking for older commons that suddenly became valuable. Scrap Recycler comes to mind immediately.

It's hard to keep track of values for thousands of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, so it's easy to miss a high-value common sorting through a box of jank. This week I'm here to give you a shopping list: twenty commons, all from sets that received mass circulation that are worth digging for.

There's no Duel Terminal Preview cards, weird promos, or Tournament Pack gems here. This is purely stuff that may be lurking under your bed as you read this.

Let's make you some money.

#20 Avenging Knight Parshath

Legendary Collection 5D's is a gold mine of valuable commons thanks in large part to the set's alarming number of short prints. Avenging Knight Parshath is fairly valuable in all of its forms, even though its only real appeal is to collectors.

#19 Sixth Sense

Sixth Sense is almost certainly Forbidden forever, so its current $7 price point is definitely the result of collector demand. Its last printing was years ago, which makes picking up a copy sooner rather than later a smart choice.

#18 Fiber Jar

You can find Fiber Jar online for as low as $7, and I think its price point is largely driven by collectors. It's not playable in Goat Format and I can't imagine anyone's speculating on it returning to the Advanced Format–although it's possible that I'm overestimating speculators here.

#17 Creation Resonator

Creation Resonator an overall solid Tuner for decks that are frequently summoning high-level Synchros, and it benefits from all the new Resonator support released over the years. I can imagine it cruising past the $10 mark if more Resonator support's revealed at some point. Heck, with such limited supply even just a small buyout could get it there.

#16 Don Zaloog

The Gold Series: Haunted Mine delivered the only common printing of Don Zaloog in the game, and it's your best bet if you're looking to grab a copy for Goat Format. It's currently going for $7 a copy, although older collectors might find Ultra Rares in their collection from the Pharaonic Guardian days.

#15 Trap Dustshoot

A major trap played in Goat Format, Trap Dustshoot currently runs for about $7 for the Dark Beginning 2 common print. The original Pharaonic Guardian printing is slightly cheaper, although not by much, while the Champion Pack 5 Super Rare remains one of the most expensive cards in the game at over $300. This card has a lengthy competitive legacy, but it's just too powerful for modern Yu-Gi-Oh.

#14 Return of the Dragon Lords

The common reprint of Return of the Dragon Lords was released with Structure Deck: Rokket Revolt back in August of 2019. Since that time the desire to build Dragon-themed decks hasn't wavered, so players are constantly interested in anything that can summon a Level 8 Dragon from the graveyard. Without a more recent reprint I'm surprised to see that this card is only $9. It's got a lot of room to go up if another competitive Dragon theme emerges.

#13 Skill Drain

Skill Drain a ridiculously over-printed card that somehow manages to stay at a solid price point. At around $8 for the Dark Crisis base Rare it's actually cheaper to pick up the original printing from way back at almost the beginning of the game instead of its more recent reprints.

Skill Drain previous common print was a while ago in 2008's Gold Series, and since then it's really only seen mass printings in draft boosters and OTS support packs. There's a lot of printings of this thing, but very few of them were ever in wide circulation.

#12 Rainbow Neos

Believe it or not, Rainbow Neos can actually see play in modern Yu-Gi-Oh. Is it more of a casually-oriented tech pick? Sure, but it's super fun to see it in action thanks to Predaplant Verte Anaconda. Don't overlook other versions of this card: the common might be $9, but the market price for the Secret Rare is $45.

#11 Gate Guardian

Legendary Collection 4: Joey's World proves that nostalgia sells, and Gate Guardian is no exception. At $9 it's exclusively pursued by collectors and nostalgists, although interestingly the original print is only about three times the price.

#10 Maxx "C"

Maxx "C" might be Forbidden today, but that could very well change in the future. Currently it's roughly $9, but Maxx "C" is a must-play staple at any amount. Expect that price to change very quickly should it ever return to tournaments in the TCG.

#9 Tribe-Infecting Virus

Another winner from the increased demand by Goat Format players, Tribe-Infecting Virus has a common print in Structure Deck: Fury from the Deep that's valued at just below $10. It's nearly a staple in Goat Format as one of the best mass removal cards in the game. Its Rare printing in Dark Revelations Volume 1 is nearly the same price, while the Super Rare sits a bit higher at $16.

#8 Photon Sanctuary

New Photon support in the form of Galaxy-Eyes Afterglow Dragon and the recent reprint of Photon Orbital have sent Photon Sanctuary up above $10. The Battle Pack 2: War of the Giants version is slightly less expensive than the Secret Rare or Mosaic Rare, but it's still astonishingly valuable for a card that sees virtually no play. It's also worth checking to see if you own the Secret Rare from the 2012 Tins.

#7 Metamorphosis

The value of Metamorphosis varies greatly with condition, but most Light Play Unlimited copies are going for around $10-11 for the Dark Revelations Volume 1 printing. It's a hugely popular pick for Goat Format that old school players are bound to have extra copies of. It's definitely worth finding your copies, whether or not you're planning on playing Goats yourself.

#6 Gatling Dragon

This is a great example of what happens when two separate audiences are chasing the same card. Gatling Dragon a worthy collector's pick from Legendary Collection 4: Joey's World, but it's also relevant in Goat Format. Gatling Dragon a rare form of removal attached to a Fusion Monster, and as noted earlier, it's available to Goat Format players through Metamorphasis.

#5 Droll & Lock Bird

Droll & Lock Bird

It's been a while since Droll & Lock Bird's last reprint: Structure Deck: Order of the Spellcasters is now over two years old, and copies are increasingly hard to come by. Droll & Lock Bird is a must-have for long-term competitive players and I'm sure we'll be picking copies of it out of old collections years from now.

#4 Power Tool Dragon

Power Tool Dragon another short print from Legendary Collection 5D's that desperately needs another reprint. It typically sells for around $14 a copy, which isn't too far off from its original Ultra Rare print in Raging Battle. The Ghost Rare version is over $130 if you're looking for a Light Play or Near Mint copy, but even the common is a great find.

#3 Ancient Gear Fortress

Structure Deck: Machine Reactor has two highly valuable cards: Maxx "C" and Ancient Gear Fortress. The latter is a key card for all the Ancient Gear fans out there, and there's clearly enough of them to drive up the price of Ancient Gear Fortress to $17. It's an extraordinarily important card for Ancient Gears that makes the deck's monsters immune to targeting and destruction effects, stops your opponent from responding to your Ancient Gear effects, and even summons a monster from your hand or graveyard. Another round of support could make Ancient Gears competitive, and if that happens, Ancient Gear Fortress might become even more valuable.

#2 Rescue Cat

Tri-Brigades have put Rescue Cat back on a lot of player's want lists, but it's been a while since it saw a big reprint. The Duelist Saga Ultra Rare is over four years old, and its last non-tournament pack printing was in 2006. Rescue Cat shockingly overdue for a reprint, but in the meantime it's one of the best cards you can stumble across in an old collection. The Dark Revelations Volume 3 common is selling for $18 online. If you haven't dug through your old shoe boxes of cards lately now's a great time to start looking.

#1 Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring

Surprised? Probably not. Ash Blossom & Joyous Spring a mainstay competitive pick that floats around $18 with no signs of dropping. It'll likely continue to be a top tech choice for years to come, and it's an excellent reason to pick up Structure Deck: Soulburner if you spot it in the wild.

You should also keep an eye out for cards from the Toys "R" Us promotions, any Duel Terminal cards, and Tournament Packs. Those cards are significantly more rare than the ones I've listed above, but they're hugely valuable as collector's items. I avoided listing them here because the vast majority of collections won't have a single card from any of those sets. In fact, if I did list them here you'd see cards from the Duel Terminal - Preview set take up nearly every spot in this article.

There are lots of great commons out there with lingering value that's continued to build long after they were first printed! Keep these twenty cards in mind and you'll be digging up extra value the next time you're looking through a pile of commons.

Until next time then