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One of my favorite things to buy is Magic bulk. While I love bulk rares, I also have a soft spot for bulk commons and uncommons. I am one of the lucky people who find picking through bulk to be relaxing and enjoyable. I have also found sorting bulk quite profitable over the past few years. Obviously, it feels incredible to find the huge wins, like the Copy Artifact hiding in a pile of Revised last year, but the small wins are far more common and can really add up.
To celebrate the new year, I thought it would be fun to start a new series. In each entry, we'll focus on a different color of bulk cards, and dive into some of the best sub-$5 finds in each one. Rather than choose one color to start, today we'll look at 15 excellent finds in the gold color category!
Going for Gold
The biggest boon to picking bulk well is knowledge. Indeed, the purpose of this series is to highlight the lesser-known cards, so I will not include any cards whose TCGPlayer mid price exceeds $5. Lastly, I have found that understanding the reason for a card's value is extremely beneficial in evaluating other cards and their potential.
Note: this list isn't in any particular order.
1. Dovin's Veto
Dovin's Veto is a recently printed card that was included in a Challenger Deck, made its rounds as an FNM promo, and enjoyed a reprint in Timespiral Remastered (as a Timeshifted card). Despite all that, it still commands around $3.50. The reason is simple: an uncounterable Counterspell is extremely powerful when aggressively costed. For a bit more color restriction, it is a massive upgrade to Negate, and the fact that many control builds are already UWx helps with the double-colored mana requirement. Being pitchable to Solitude is also a nice perk.
2. Life // Death
This split card from Apocalypse has an FNM promo and a Duel Deck printing. Its value is essentially tied to the Death half, which is a two-mana reanimate that is limited to your own graveyard. The card sees play in GBx Reanimator Commander decks.
3. Fire //Ice
Fire // Ice has multiple printings, most of which do not exceed even $1. The exception to this rule is the original Apocalypse printing, which maintains a TCGPlayer mid price of $4.74. The instant has become a solid support card in Modern. It's hard to argue with the beauty of the older borders, which even Wizards understands, given they made "retro frame" cards a thing.
4. Drown in the Loch
Being both a Counterspell or a kill spell is exactly the kind of modality that gives a card staying power. Drown in the Loch's mana cost matches that of the typical spell that does either, and its mana cost isn't terribly demanding in formats with flexible mana bases. It's also new enough of an uncommon to fly under the radar as potentially worthwhile.
5. Ashiok, Dream Render
The static abilities stapled to the planeswalkers from War of the Spark were definitely a change in planeswalker design that ruffled some feathers. Ashiok, Dream Render happens to be one of the three best, as Commander is a format ripe with tutor effects. It also severely hampers the mana bases of most nonrotating formats. Granted, coming down on turn three means your opponent likely got a few opportunities to fetch already, but the fact that they can't after is still relevant. The minus ability also serves as fantastic graveyard hate, giving Ashiok a load of utility.
6. Mayhem Devil
Another War of the Spark uncommon, Mayhem Devil surprised even me, given it was included in the Korvold brawl deck. However, RBx sacrifice decks have been popular in Commander for years, and Mayhem Devil boasts a powerful, repeatable ability that is relatively easy to abuse.
7. Rhythm of the Wild
This card actually waffled on this list only because its price has repeatedly broken $5 TCG Mid. It's now slightly below that, so we're welcoming it back. This new-ish ex-Standard staple also makes a great addition to Commander, which is always looking for ways to grant all creatures haste. The flexibility to grow creatures when attacking wouldn't prove wise just enhances its usefulness.
8. Tatyova, Benthic Druid
Tatyova, Benthic Druid was easily my favorite uncommon from Dominaria, which was an over-powered set, to begin with. It does everything you want in a Simic creature, and the fact that it can be your Commander is icing on the cake. I built a Tatyova deck when Dominaria was released, but have found her to be a better support card than the actual commander in any UGx deck. The fact that she brings such obvious value to the table tends to make her a pretty quick target for removal spells, which can run up her commander casting cost fast.
9. Boros Charm
Even with numerous reprints, Boros Charm steadily maintains a price tag of $1.50+. It is definitely the best of the charm cycle in this block. Thanks to Sunbaked Canyon, splashing white in Burn is easier than ever, and having a spell that does 4 damage or protects your creatures from mass removal certainly warrants a spot in the archetype. It is also a strong inclusion in most Boros Commander decks.
10. Wear // Tear
Dragon's Maze seems like forever ago. This uncommon is the best of the set, and it's not even close. Eternal players like Wear // Tear for its flexibility, and the fact that it has so many targets in both Legacy and Modern. Coupled with its "dual" color attribute, allowing it to be exiled for both Fury and Solitude, means it fits well into the Jeskai decks of both formats.
Wow, how the mighty have fallen. Prior to its reprinting in Double Masters, Manamorphose was at one point a $20 common. Free cantrips have always been dangerous in Eternal formats (see Gitaxian Probe), so I like this one as a great card to pick up to even out trades. It is close to the $5 TCG Mid mark. Should any Arclight Pheonix decks rise from the ashes of any older formats, expect the cantrip to jump back up into the $10+ range. It currently sees play in Belcher, another all-in deck that can take major events by storm in the right metagame.
12. Violent Outburst
Crashing Footfalls has made a name for itself in Modern and seems to have congealed into the Temur color scheme. That deck requires four copies of Violent Outburst, one of the best cascaders thanks to its instant status.
I have called out this card every time we return to Innistrad. Casual players love the werewolf tribe and Immerwolf is a great lord for it. Sadly, it does not work with the newer Werewolves, so that's a bit of a downer and will likely keep it from ever reaching the $5 mark again.
14. Legion Lieutenant
I stockpiled Legion Lieutenants after Rivals of Ixalan prices started to drop. If casuals love Werewolves, they adore Vampires. Throw in the fact that Vampires are a much more established tribe with a lot of powerful cards that synergize well, and this lord was bound to gain value.
15. Steel of the Godhead
This is an interesting option only because it was decently valuable for so long that many times people would pick it out of bulk before selling that bulk. You still occasionally find one hiding in Shadowmoor or Duel Deck bulk piles.
Keep On Pickin'
While this list is obviously not all inclusive, it includes some of the cards I've had the most luck pulling out of bulk. A lot of players can make the mistake that newer cards aren't worth anything because so many are printed. While it's a generalization that often holds true, it also ensures there are plenty of valuable cards to mine in bulk. I hope to continue this series with another subsection of cards in my next article. Until then, are there any choice gold cards you love finding in bulk? Leave me a comment below or reach out on our QS Discord channel.