The answers might surprise you.
Gouger goes for a quarter, as does Manamorphose. Spire goes for 10 cents (and probably more soon due to Commander precons). Nacatl is good for a nickel.
I realize I am talking about literally nickel-and-diming your way to profits, but any good grinder knows this is where you guarantee your margins. Everyone knows Kitchen Finks and Mental Misstep are worth some money, but how many people realize that Countersquall is being bought at a quarter or that Mind Funeral is being bought at two dollars?
One of the most common things I hear from QS readers is that they want to be able to demonstratively prove that they made back their subscription fee in any given month. If you’ve been playing for any amount of time, I have very simple way for you to do just that – Dig through your old boxes and pull out cards. I know most of us have already done that (a number of times) but I think you’ll find that there’s a lot more value hiding there than just the Path to Exiles you were looking for.
I have a pretty keen eye for non-bulk cards, but even I was surprised by how much I found when I began actively searching my collection for such gems as Shield of the Oversoul ($.10) Ardent Plea ($.25) and Voracious Hatchling ($.20). The fact that you just had to read those cards again to remember what they do shows how little most people know about these cards. Does it give you more options when trading to know that Blasting Station ($.50) is worth more than a ton of rares from the most recent set?
I understand that it’s not easy to find these cards, because most people don’t carry them around. How, then, to make use of the lack of knowledge regarding these commons?
The two primary ways you’re going to come across these is when buying collections and when digging through completed drafts.
We’ll start with Drafts. Mediocre grinders know that Memnite is a solid dollar bill, but are you also grabbing all the Spell Pierce ($.05), Contagion Clasp ($.10), Memory Sluice ($.10), or Relentless Rats ($.40)? If not, you need to be.
I didn’t for the first few years I played Magic. Even so, I still managed to pick up random stuff like Bramblewood Paragon ($.50), and I’m willing to bet you did too. Spend a Sunday afternoon digging through your boxes and I guarantee you’ll come out with something to show for it. I even managed to come across a few Cranial Platings ($.50) and Hedron Crabs ($.25).
When buying collections, these things are going to pad your margins much faster than you’d expect. Most people will overprice their rares to an extent, and it’s in the commons and uncommons that you will make that back. Don’t stop digging just because you’re past the Splinter Twins and have started running into the Mercy Killings ($.10).
I want to direct you to this list. While it’s not perfect (since not every card on there is actually bought at a nickel or above), it’s an incredible resource to keep handy when cleaning out collections, either your own or one you’ve acquired. Pull out the cards on this list, price them out, and be happy for the $20 bill you got for “free” when purchasing a collection (not to mention the occasional Senseis Divining Top).
I’ll be back tomorrow with an update to the Prediction Tracker, and I’m going to try and address some of the more frequently-asked questions regarding it.
Until then, keep the commons coming.
@Chosler88 on Twitter