The premise behind this occasional series is simple. Many of us have boxes upon boxes of Magic cards or a big binder. And unless you stay on top of your game financially, cards sit around for a long time and are oftentimes completely forgotten.
But just because they’re forgotten doesn’t mean they’re worthless. I’ve written before about the process of selling your collection. And I’m willing to bet a fair number of those cards you have floating around are worth some real money.
If someone asked for your Sanguine Bond in trade, what would you tell them? You can always look it up on your smartphone, but too many times I’ve seen people assume an older card in bulk and give it away. Maybe there’s a lesson about checking your prices in there, but there are plenty of times where that’s not an option, because of reception or data problems or simply a lack of time. Looking up every card takes a lot of time and bogs down everyone involved.
This article will help you identify some cards in your binder you may not have expected are worth money and ones you can easily pull out if you’re looking for some quick cash. There are a few factors these cards share in common. I’ve decided to go with only Modern-legal cards because most of us didn’t play way back when.
But, more importantly, these cards are all popular in casual circles, not competitive ones, so it’s a different ballgame. Dealers typically pay a higher percentage of the price of casual cards (this is called the spread) than they do with Standard cards. This is because the prices don’t fluctuate as wildly and because these cards are actually difficult to obtain; the competitive players that usually sell out to dealers don’t have many of these even if they’re chock-full of the latest Standard goodies.
Sanguine Bond, by the way, sells on this site for $10. It’s a good one, and a freebie for you.
8. Elvish Promenade and Imperious Perfect
I guess there’s another freebie here, but I wanted to lump them together because both are uncommons from Lorwyn, a set that is ripe with these types of gems.
The reason is because people love their Tribal cards, and Elves are a particularly popular one. Basically any Elf “lord” you find is going to be worth money, and these are no exception with Elvish Promenade selling for $3.5 and the Imperious Perfect for $5 at Legit MTG.
7. Mind Funeral
Speaking of popular themes for casual players. You probably know about expensive mill cards like Glimpse the Unthinkable, but what about this uncommon from Alara Reborn? It sells here for $4.75, and I’ve seen it as high as $7 elsewhere.
Interestingly, this also seems to have spawned the Dimir “grind” mechanic — mill until you hit lands — we see in Gatecrash. I expect stuff like Mind Funeral to start climbing as well based on those similar cards.
Here’s one that maybe is more common knowledge, but the fact it’s a common makes it worth noting. This Storm enabler sells on Legit MTG for a whopping $3, putting it in rare territory alongside other crazy-powerful commons like Cranial Plating and Relic of Progenitus.
As just a common, it’s insane how many of these you’ll find in old boxes of junk that you completely passed over at the time. Know how finance guys always seem to suggest rooting through those draft leftovers? Stuff like this is the reason why.
5. Door of Destinies
I’ve already touched on how much people love Tribal decks, and this slots right in. I’m no exception. In addition to my (nearly) foiled-out Legacy Merfolk deck, I also have a really fun casual Treefolk deck that I like to break out. It’s people like me who keep Timber Protector at $6, but it’s well worth it when you start going off with Leaf-Crowned Elder ($3.5).
I digress because of the enjoyment of smashing casual decks into each other like the good old days. Door of Destinies is worth $8 here (as is the prerelease promo), which means there’s a good chance those of you who were playing back then could have a few floating around.
4. Death Baron (and friends)
There’s a perfect storm here. We’ve got the Tribal. We’ve got the classic but also recently featured creature type. And, oh yeah, Zombies happen to be all the rage in pop culture.
All of this combines to give you a lord that’s worth $8. Despite multiple printings, Lord of the Undead is also worth $8. It’s rare that I see anyone besides another trader want these, but dealers always pay top dollar because they sell well.
This also is an example of the disconnect between popularity and competitiveness. Death Baron never saw any play in Standard, but as Zombies grew more popular with Innistrad, the casual player base ate them up and went to dealers to get their Dead Barons.
3. Captivating Vampire
So Zombies are all the rage? There are also plenty of hardcore Vampire fans, otherwise known as teenage girls and plenty of our wives/girlfriends.
Captivating Vampire, along with Vampire Nocturnus, is proof of that. The creature-stealing variety will run you $5 just about everywhere. Despite being printed in a Core Set and seeing no Standard play, casual demand for this hasn’t dropped at all.
2. Nirkana Revenant
This is a hugely popular Commander and casual card, with both groups being a big fan of making obscene amounts of mana to Drain Life or whatever it is they do. It’s so popular, in fact, that it’s sold out here at $12 and is at an all-time high on TCGPlayer at about $11, a $3 rise in the past three months.
When you see people throwing those Crypt Ghasts on the table because it’s not played in Standard, remember the Revenant and stick away a few for the future.
1. Elvish Piper
And this one goes to the “BIG GREEN GUY RAWR” crowd. Some people may try to play Eldrazi with this, but they’re wrong. If you’re putting the Piper to work, do it old-school and accelerate something sweet like a Craw Wurm into play.
Despite a ton of reprintings (the last being in M10), you’re looking at least $6 if you want to pay for the Piper. And if you’re wondering just how popular this thing is, keep in mind every single set is sold out right now. This little guy moves extremely easily and will continue to do so as long as people like smashing face with a huge monster.
It may even be me.
Thanks for reading,
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