Insider: Casual Hits from Magic 2013 and Avacyn Restored

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If you’re a savvy trader, think about all the cards you probably target in deals. The casual hit, undervalued by your trade partner but worth real money elsewhere. I make a good deal of my profit in trading from deals like these, and I imagine many of you do as well.

It’s great to pick these up for cheap in trades; no doubt about it. But there’s another way to get ahead on these — actually pick them up when they truly are cheap. This is a concept I looked into in the past for Innistrad (with Parallel Lives being the biggest hit), and it’s time to bring it out again.

The idea is you grab these cards as throw-ins now when you can get them for free and sometime down the road, whether that’s just a few months or a few years, they’ll be worth real money, all for the low cost of you stashing them into your binder for a while. In addition, some of these foils will actually be worth very real money, with Commander and Cube and whatnot being a thing.

While I’m not covering Dark Ascension in this review, I will point out Predator Ooze, which pops up on buylists for a buck every now and then.

Avacyn Restored


I’ve touched on it before, but it bears repeating. There are a lot of Angels in this set, and that alone means something. As for something more specific, Avacyn, Angel of Hope and Gisela, Blade of Goldnight, are the ones I like. Avacyn isn’t really playable anywhere but Casual formats, but she’s a giant freaking Angel for those formats. Gisela (and Sigarda) are actually candidates to become the Control finisher of choice in Standard, but regardless of that her flashy ability makes her a better target than Bruna.

Silverblade Paladin

Another card whose appeal in Standard messes with his casual-only appeal. But still, Knights are sort of a real thing in the casual world, as Knight Exemplar showed before some reprints. If this thing falls out of favor in Standard (or in another year), be ready to pick this guy up on the cheap.

Misthollow Griffin

People like all the wacky things you can do with this guy, Food Chain included. Especially as a Mythic, it’s easy to believe the low risk here helps out.

Exquisite Blood

If you’re new around here and don’t know the price of Sanguine Bond, I’ll give you a minute to go look it up.

Back yet? Yeah, this thing is the other half of Bond, and while there aren’t the same supply issues with Restored that there were with M10, this card is going to start heading in that direction as well.

Vexing Devil

It seems wrong to label this a casual card, but the price on this has refused to come down to the levels it should be for a Constructed perspective. People are going to try to make this work forever, so you might as well grab them from the “constructed-only” crowd, which probably doesn’t even realize this guy still buylists for $4.

Champion of Lambholt

I sold a bunch of these to the local shop owner for $2 apiece a few days ago, and I’m willing to bet some of you have traded them away for that price or lower. Yes, it has potential in Constructed, but so far it’s the casual crowd (both the kitchen table and the FNM variety) keeping this thing going.

Descendants Path

Lots of casual players (and myself) have tribal decks they really love. And Tribal decks really love this card, since its Leaf-Crowned Elder on steroids. In a few years these should be an easy couple of dollars to a dealer.

Otherworld Atlas

This is one to look out for foils of. EDH players like to draw cards, and quirky “everyone’s a winner” cards like this tend to stay pretty popular in those circles since everyone feels included, even if their deck isn’t as set up to take advantage as the caster’s might be.

Magic 2013

Captain of the Watch

Even with the reprint, you can sell the 2010 version of this for a couple of bucks. Give it a few years, and the price on both should start heading back up.

Rhox Faithmender

Have I mentioned yet that casual players like to gain life? Well, they do. And they definitely like to gain double that life. This Rhino seems like an easy bet.


Foils. There’s rumors of this card in Legacy, though I don’t expect it to pan out. Still, it’s definitely a thing in EDH, where players hit 10 mana all the time and yet still would like to cast their stuff for free.

Vampire Nocturnus

There are multiple printings and promos of this guy at this point, and yet the M10 version is still worth more than $10. Once this guy bottoms out from being re-opened, get back to scooping these up.

Primordial Hydra

Another card that used to be easy money before M13. This thing retailed for $5 just a few months ago, and I have to imagine it will again in a few more years. You will get this card handed to you in a store, as I’ve done multiple times, so by all means take advantage.

Now for the “other” section of the spoiler, the multicolored and artifact cards. All of these follow the same line — previously expensive cards that will drop because of a reprint and then later climb back up.

-       Akromas Memorial (foils)

-       Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker

-       Gilded Lotus (foils)

-       Stuffy Doll

-       Reliquary Tower (foils)

To that list I’ll add Balduvian Trading Post. The card is fun in Standard, though I don’t think good enough to merit any financial action. That said, it’s a type of Staff of Domination. It’s not as good as the Staff, but it’s still worth noting, since Staff will buylist for four bucks.

That about covers it! Nothing on this list is going to make you rich overnight, nor is it going to pay for your dinner next week. But these are all safe bets to target as throw-ins. Making a dollar here or there doesn’t seem like much, but before you know it you’re cashing out to a dealer and you have a 100 $1 cards you picked up as throw-ins in a trade. That’s a good feeling.

Thanks for reading,

Corbin Hosler

@Chosler88 on Twitter

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