Hello there! DJ here again, back with another episode/article wombo combo. If you've been following this series so far, you'll know that we've gone over bothTheros and Khans of Tarkir block so far. While I'm happy to dig through bulk from either of those blocks, there aren't any truly impressive cards that stand out from a value perspective. Finding Stubborn Denials and Burnished Harts is fine and all, but let's take a detour into some of the older sets that Magic has had to offer in the past decade. One of the blocks with the most hidden gems is Lorwyn/Shadowmoor block.
The block is loaded with tribal strategies aplenty and some of the most well-loved fantasy creature types to back them up. While we've certainly gotten some Constructed all-stars from this block (Manamorphose, Devoted Druid, Kitchen Finks, and most of Modern Merfolk), it can be easy for a Spike, Tournament Grinder to skip over or miss some of the top 10 casual gems in the fairy tale world of Lorwyn. Let's get started!
Mulldrifter has seen a ton of play throughout the years; from comboing in Standard with Reveillark to being flickered with Momentary Blink in response to the evoke trigger to being cloned with Rite of Replication in my Temmet, Vizier of Naktamun deck. This everpresent blue value engine is still worth close to $1 retail, even if it doesn't see Modern play nowadays.
Yes, I am referring to this Swamp and Island in particular, with this artwork alone. These two basic lands are the only ones that depict the hidden land of Glen Elendra; the home of the Fae in the lore. Even non-foil, these basic lands are worth over $1 apiece because they fit so perfectly with the theme of someone running Oona, Queen of the Fae as their Commander.
Blue cards continue to take up a good chunk of this list; Merrow Commerce shores up at $4 thanks to people loving Kumena, Tyrant of Orzaca. While other players scoop up Pestermites and Ponders, don't let these get washed away in your bulk! It can be find to hard a local player to trade them to, but that's what buylists are for – there's always going to be a store willing to pay you more than what you'd expect on these.
Are you tired of Merfolk yet? Maybe Corbin Hosler should be the one writing this article…. This Morningtide common was left out of the Commander 2017 Wizard deck. Most players who picked up that precon were looking for ways to upgrade it, and this is a powerful budget option for everyone. Making your spells cost less is always an attractive option, and this innocuous two-mana 1/1 is worth over $1 retail for your trouble. Merfoooooooolk!! (read in Corbin's voice for full effect)
Okay, we've finally reached a non-blue, non-Merfolk card. It's one of my personal favorite cards from this block, because it's such a powerhouse in Commander! Oona's Blackguard sees play in my Marchesa, the Black Rose, in my Sygg, River Cutthroat deck and I've considered putting her in Skullbriar, the Walking Grave as well. I could rant about the usefulness of this Faerie all day, but you'll probably just be picking her and buylisting her for between $.50 and $.75 cents. Do that.
I mentioned earlier that Lorwyn was all about tribal, and I meant it. For those of you who haven't been playing for a decade, Lorwyn had the tribal factions of Ixalan cranked up to 11, and even less remembered tribes like Warriors got some marginal support. Bramblewood Paragon is one of the linchpins of a casual Warrior deck, coming down early and making your follow-ups a little beefier. While he doesn't make the cut in competitive Modern lists, he's still worth pulling out of bulk, and has that sweet $1-$1.50 price tag that this block is known for.
And we're back to blue. This card draw spell with strange but beautiful art has been catching the eye of Pauper Elves players recently, and it's been inching up in price day by day. If cards like Herald's Horn and Kindred Discovery are any indication, card advantage that's available to any tribal deck can be worth a pretty penny. As a Pauper and casual roleplayer worth $1, it fits as a hidden gem that some players will let sit in bulk.
This is a funny Commander card, because it sees play in so many decks that aren't Shaman-focused. While it's literally a tribal card down to the subtype, the decks that abuse this effect really only care about the untap effect. Creatures like Krenko, Mob Boss, Glissa, the Traitor, Marrow-Gnawer, and Feldon of the Third Path can really abuse the untap effect. Because this card's supply continues to dwindle, the price continues to rise. Pick them and ship them!
While not as popular as Elves, Faeries or Merfolk, Treefolk can still demand a price tag! Any self-respecting Treefolk deck wants to start off with a turn-one Treefolk Harbinger to manipulate the top card of their deck (let's be honest; you always want Doran), and the versatility to grab a Forest makes this funny looking Druid worth $2 even at the very minimum. Look at that smirk. He knows you've skipped over him while looking through bulk, and he's laughing at you. Get 'em next time!
Pauper is a crazy world; many players assume a low-power format because you can only use commons, but this is a format where you can play Gitaxian Probe, Gush, Ponder, Preordain, and Brainstorm all in the same deck. As four-ofs! While these spells are too powerful for Modern, Legacy and even sometimes Vintage, Pauper welcomes them with open arms. Ponder is one of those cards that gets left in bulk by competitive players on occasion, because it's just a banned card they can't play. Lorwyn Ponders are particularly valuable because they're the only printing with that specific art. Guess what a foil one is worth!
There's still plenty more valuable commons and uncommons from the rest of the block, so we can take a peek at Shadowmoor and Eventide next time. Unsearched bulk commons and uncommons from this time period can be difficult to find, but thankfully the cards listed in this article are the more hidden gems that get picked out less frequently than their Springleaf Drum counterparts. Whether you're looking to make a few bucks, upgrade a Commander deck on the cheap or simply want something to do while watching Netflix, there's almost always something to be found by digging through bulk commons and uncommons. Be sure to follow and subscribe to TCGplayer for more finance, strategy, and deck building content. Thanks for reading!
- DJ Johnson