I love cheap investments that have a ton of upside. Who doesn't? They are the best kind!
One of my favorite ways to make a little bit of extra cash is to dig through those four-for-a-dollar boxes at large tournaments like Grand Prix. If you get there early and/or you know what to look for, it is easy to spend a few bucks and walk away with a great haul of potential money makers. If you're lucky and savvy you can often walk away with a handful of cards that buylist for double what you paid!
Today, I'd like to talk about a handful of cheap cards that I think have a lot of potential upside. Obviously, a few things need to break my way in order for these picks to hit. The same things that need to happen for anything to hit. They need to dodge a reprint. They need to see some play somewhere.
These are all cards that buylist for less than fifty cents right now. Several of these cards don't buylist above bulk! Either way, these are cards that I would never toss out when I sell bulk rares and cards that I'm apt to take a chance on if the price is right.
Good card is good. Khans was a popular set and there was a lot of it printed which is largely responsible for the price tag. However, Khans block cards should start to rise soon as they have been out of print for a while. It is also worth noting that the card is seeing play in the Five-Color Humans decks in Modern. Modern playability is the key for raising cards out of the bulk box!
I think Thalia's Lancers is a pretty decent Commander card. It has a decent body and tutors. A creature with an ETB ability that tutors is pretty sweet. Shadows over Innistrad block cards are basically at their rock-bottom prices right now, and as a bulk rare, Lancers really has nowhere to go but up.
I was pretty surprised to see that this card is still a bulk rare. I've played with this card in Legacy! It is also a fringe Modern card in the Death and Taxes/Hatebears sideboard. It is a legitimately good card that has good stats and a powerful effect.
I like to play kind of pseudo-casual Commander decks and this is a pretty awesome card. Extort is really fun in (and really good) in multiplayer. Causing creatures and, more importantly, artifacts to enter the battlefield tapped is deceptively powerful in a multiplayer game. Worth noting, your stuff enters untapped. Great card.
Shapers' Sanctuary is a great Magic card. It hasn't seen a ton of play yet, but I believe that it will. The card generates a ton of value for a single mana in match-ups where the game will tend to go long. It's a powerhouse against removal-heavy decks in Modern. I see Sanctuary as a card that hasn't realized its constructed potential yet.
Bulk rare, casual multiplayer all-star, or both? The card is gross in a creature-centric deck. The effect is super powerful and exactly the kind of thing that people like to do in Commander. It's a great Commander hate card that punishes the decks everybody hates at the table. It's a hero card! Not a bulk rare.
The only other Ixalan card on my list. I mention this here because I think it has a lot of potential with Rivals of Ixalan coming out. The stats on the card are basically absurd. If it gets some help in the form of other playable aggro Pirates the Captain could easily become a format staple. A big "if" but worth thinking about nonetheless.
The Lighthouse is a Modern and Commander staple. It hasn't been reprinted and it is a great card. It feels like it should be more expensive than its modest price tag. I could see this card rising significantly if it continues to dodge a reprint.
Another random Origins card. Tainted Remedy is a powerful effect and a potential Johnny card in a neat Commander or casual deck. The card is unique and powerful which is the hallmark of a casual money card. Keep an eye on this one.
Another Eldritch Moon card. Sigarda's Aid is a card that I identified as having long-term potential when the set was released. It has modest value despite Innistrad block being bottomed out. As that block fades into obscurity and the prices slowly begin to rise again, I think this will ultimately end up being one of the casual money cards from the block. The card and the effect is so powerful in an equipment-themed deck.
If Stoneforge Mystic ever gets unbanned in Modern, this card will go crazy in value as well.
Another Modern sideboard staple that has slowly gone from bulk rare to modest rare. Cards that take the first step often take more steps. I've played with this card countless times and am sure I will again. When there are so many artifact-based decks in the field, a spell like this will always have a home in sideboards.
I actually find it baffling that this card is as cheap as it is. It has an effect that turns games into blowouts and is inherently powerful. It's also reasonably costed for Legacy and Modern play. It even sees Vintage play! So, it has fringe playability in all formats.
However, the Commander appeal is what gives this card the most legs. I literally would not play a deck that can make blue and black mana without this card in it. It is completely absurd in Commander. As long as it dodges a reprint in a Commander deck, I think this might be the strongest pick on my list.
Buying on the Cheap
I love cards like these because they have very little value now, but I can see potential value down the road. It's fun to bet on the little guy. There are plenty of cards that have made the trek from the four-for-a-buck box to the display case. Will any of these cards join those big gainers? Only time will tell!