The Financial Depth of Revised

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When people think of the valuable cards from Revised Edition, their minds most likely go directly toward either Dual Lands or Wheel of Fortune. This group of eleven cards makes up the upper echelon of valuable cards from the core set released in 1994. It has been this way for years now, and will likely continue this way for the foreseeable future.

Outside of these eleven cards, however, there are still a couple of tiers of noteworthy, valuable cards. These cards may be overlooked because they pale in comparison to Dual Lands, but are still worthy of attention. This week, I’m going to reference Card Kingdom’s and Star City Games’ buylist to highlight the second, third, and fourth tiers of notable cards from Revised Edition in the hopes of emphasizing just how deep this set has become.

I’ve written about Revised cards in the past but never structured in this way. Since my last Revised article, I’m sure many prices have adjusted (most higher) so it’s definitely worth touching on again.

The Second Tier

Besides Dual Lands and Wheel of Fortune, there are a couple of other Reserved List cards that show up in Revised. Unsurprisingly, a few of these show up in the second tier of Revised—cards worth more than $20 but less than Kabira Takedown // Kabira Plateau.

The first one that comes to mind is Copy Artifact, with a $48 buy price at Card Kingdom. This Revised card has only become valuable recently, throughout the Reserved List craze of 2020 and 2021. Before then, you could find a ton of these, especially in played condition, for $20. Then the buyout ensued, the card received a bunch of attention, and now it’s difficult to find copies below $40.

Fang Dragon // Forktail Sweep, Braingeyser, and Fastbond received the same buyout treatment. While their prices didn’t stick as highly as Copy Artifact (let’s face it, they aren’t quite as potent in Commander but still have utility), these Revised cards still maintained a higher price than they had prior to 2020 by a wide margin.

I remember when heavily played Revised Fang Dragon // Forktail Sweeps could be purchased by the handfuls for something like $7. Now non-damaged copies are hard to find under $20 and Card Kingdom’s buylist is $25. Braingeyser and Fastbond boast $18.50 and $16.50 buy prices, respectively.

Outside of Reserved List cards, there are a few heavily utilized cards with elevated power levels. These includes Commander staples Mana Vault and Demonic Tutor. The former has been reprinted a bunch but still carries a $46 buy price on Card Kingdom’s site! The latter has been reprinted some and isn’t even a rare! Despite being too powerful for Legacy and restricted in Vintage, this uncommon still maintains a buy price north of $20.

In summary, the second tier of cards consists of powerful Commander staples and a few playable Reserved List cards.

The Third Tier

The second tier of valuable Revised cards probably didn’t surprise many people. But this next tier may reveal a hidden gem or two. These are the cards with buylist prices between $5 and $15, and there are many! First, I’ll present the list, and then I’ll offer some color commentary.

Birds of Paradise - $14
Sol Ring - $11
Zombie Master - $9.75
Shivan Dragon - $8.50
Winter Orb - $8.25
Wrath of God - $6.75
Howling Mine - $6.50
Mana Flare - $6.50
Armageddon - $6.50
Lord of Atlantis - $6.50

Some of these cards have utility in Commander, so their elevated buy price is less surprising. Sol Ring needs no explanation, and the fact that Revised copies are so valuable despite the existence of 1,000’s of $1 alternatives means players appreciate the nostalgia of the classic frame and art. Birds of Paradise is another popular card with play in more Modern formats. I’m surprised it’s become this valuable despite all its reprints, but the Revised printing of this card just relentlessly climbs higher.

Howling Mine shows up in over 15,000 lists on EDHREC. While the number of appearances on lists on EDHREC is not the most reliable number, the order of magnitude should still be indicative of popularity and when the number of lists reaches five figures, we’re talking about a popular card.

What’s amazing to me, though, is how Revised Howling Mine remains valuable despite all its reprints. And we’re talking a lot of reprints! When I search for Howling Mine on TCGplayer I see 21 hits. Granted, this includes Alpha, Beta, Summer, and Foreign Black Border copies. Ignoring those, there are still easily over a dozen accessible printings of the card.

Winter Orb follows a similar pattern, showing up in five figures of lists on EDHREC. In contrast to Howling Mine, however, Winter Orb only has one printing (Eternal Masters) in a modern frame style. All other printings came out before 2000. In fact, this makes Winter Orb an interesting card to sit on for a while. As long as it dodges reprint, it should have upside. And even if it is reprinted, the downside isn’t huge if Howling Mine is any indication.

Then there are the decent, somewhat playable Revised cards that are just plain iconic. This includes Armageddon, Wrath of God, and Shivan Dragon. Collectibility and Old School may be driving these cards higher in price.

The two lords: Lord of Atlantis and Zombie Master likely also see Commander play, and the former also has utility in Modern. I don’t expect these to get very many reprints, since Wizards seems to have printed alternate versions like Master of the Pearl Trident and Cemetery Reaper.

Tier Four

Believe it or not, there are still a bunch of cards from Revised that would be worth digging out of old boxes and collections to ship to Card Kingdom’s buylist. Below is the list of cards that buylist for more than $2 and less than $5.

Serendib Efreet - $4.80
Chain Stasis - $4.60
Mind Twist - $4.50
Demonic Hordes - $4
Savannah Lions - $3.70
Granite Gargoyle - $3.70
Nevinyrral's Disk - $3.60
Meekstone - $3.60
Contract from Below - $3.50
Goblin King - $3.25
Ivory Tower - $3.25
Counterspell - $3
Swords to Plowshares - $2.80
Rock Hydra - $2.75
Sedge Troll - $2.50
Ankh of Mishra - $2.05
Demonic Attorney - $2
Aisha of Sparks and Smoke - $2
Balance - $2

Wow, this is a long list of non-bulk cards from Revised! This is one very deep core set. I don’t even know where to begin.

Well, for starters, there are some Commander cards that show up in this tier as well: cards like Nevinyrral's Disk and Meekstone, with synergistic utility. Then you have the collection of more-iconic cards like Chain Stasis, Rock Hydra, and Demonic Hordes.

Also in this tier are Old School playable cards such as Granite Gargyole, Sedge Troll, and Savannah Lions. You’ve got another lord in the mix in Goblin King—another one that has since been obsoleted by more modern cards.

Then, surprisingly, you have a selection of cards that are banned in most formats: Mind Twist, Demonic Attorney, Balance, and Contract from Below. It’s interesting to see these cards carry decent value, and it just goes to show that even Revised cards are not as cheap and plentiful as they once were.

You even have a couple of uncommons showing up on this list in Swords to Plowshares and Counterspell.

Despite there being many, many copies of these two cards, as well as numerous reprints, they remain collectible enough to main decent value.

Wrapping It Up

Hopefully, there were at least a couple of cards discussed above that surprised you. I know I am just impressed that, overall, so many Revised cards are now worth at least a couple of bucks. If someone had asked me to guess how many non-Dual Land cards in Revised had a buylist over $2 I may have guessed 20 to 25. In reality, the number is approaching 40!

I drew the line arbitrarily, too. I could have extended the fourth tier down to cards worth at least a buck. Or I could have included a fifth tier to be more inclusive of such cards. There are another 17 Revised cards with a Card Kingdom buylist of at least $1.

It’s also worth noting that there may have been valuable cards from Revised that I missed because Card Kingdom doesn’t currently buy the card at all. Vesuvan Doppelganger comes to mind—Card Kingdom doesn’t have this one posted on their buylist, but Star City Games does at $15. Animate Dead, Bad Moon, Akroan Crusader, and Royal Assassin buylist to Star City Games for more than a dollar, but don’t show up at all on Card Kingdom’s buylist.

The bottom line: the age and collectability of this set is finally showing itself. For the longest time, Revised cards were kept out of the MTG finance conversation because quantities were so plentiful. I think it’s time to acknowledge formally that Revised cards are worth setting aside from the rest of your collection as “non-bulk”. Any card from the set—especially rares—should be kept separately for their upside potential and buylist value. I’ve been keeping my Revised cards separately for a couple of years now, but now I feel more motivated than ever to browse for Revised rares the next time I shop at a store to see if there are any underpriced cards with upside potential. Chances are good that, until everyone catches on, there will be some opportunities here.

Happy hunting!

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