The intention of this series is to highlight cards one may find while digging through bulk. Each installment focuses on a different color of bulk cards. I covered gold, colorless, and white cards previously.
To keep our list manageable, I'm restricting it to some of the best sub-$5 finds in each color according to TCGPlayer mid price. I have found that understanding the reason for a card's value is extremely beneficial in evaluating other cards and their potential, and have included a bit about each card.
Note: As in previous installments, this list isn't in any particular order.
1. Deadly Dispute
It's not often we find an in-print Standard common sitting at $3 market, let alone one that isn't blue; yet here we are. Deadly Dispute is a powerful value-generating card that has made an impact in multiple formats. Many found Adventures in the Forgotten Realms to be a less than exciting draft format, myself included. That, combined with the pandemic meant a reduced number of in-person drafts, thus a smaller supply likely exists in the marketplace.
2. Rat Colony
Dominaria was a very powerful and beloved set. It was also released before the pandemic and heavily drafted. Because of this, there are a lot of copies of Rat Colony floating around. Despite that, it still sits at a $2.75 TCGMarket price, which seems unbelievable. However, looking over our list of cards that say "a deck can have any number of" we see that these always seem to be worth something. Persistant Petitioners and Relentless Rats (another card we will look at today) have been casual gold so it isn't surprising to see Rat Colony also holding value.
Core Sets often consist of a large number of reprints and are generally underpowered. Thus, they are generally looked down on compared to other expansions. Wizards has done a better job with the more recent ones, including at least a few cards worth getting. Stitcher's Supplier is the 19th most expensive card in Core Set 2019, beating out two mythics. The card's value is heavily dependent on how good Dredge variants are in Modern. With that deck currently out of favor, the card's price is on the decline, but it's always just a matter of time before Wizards prints something that makes the deck powerful again.
4. Street Wraith
Similar to Stitcher's Supplier above, Street Wraith's value is tied heavily to whether Dredge or Hollow One decks are powerful at the time. The recent reprint in Time Spiral: Remastered has copies cheaper than they've been in a while. Thanks to the card's history of being $10+ you aren't likely to find copies in bulk, but it's still worth keeping an eye out for.
5. Vampire of the Dire Moon
Many people don't realize how valuable Vampire Nighthawk was for years. It was a card I consistently buylisted at GPs for $0.25 - $0.75 and was one that most players overlooked. Vampire of the Dire Moon is a smaller version, but one with no additional reprints. As this has a single printing from a Core Set, I can see the price continuing to rise until it gets reprinted. Until that time, always pull these when picking.
6. Relentless Rats
7. Honden of Night's Reach
Many may not realize that the printing of Go-Shintai of Life's Origin caused all the Hondens to spike. Unlike with Sanctum of All, the prices so far have stuck. While not as valuable as some of the other Hondens, Honden of Night's Reach is still worth picking and listing online.
8. Dark Deal
Dark Deal was a personal favorite out of the Fate Reforged set. Black card draw doesn't come along every day and the fact that this makes all players discard means it tends to work well with a lot of other black cards from throughout Magic's history.
9. Night's Whisper
As I mentioned above, black doesn't often get card draw. Night's Whisper is aggressively costed and easier to splash than Sign in Blood. Originally an uncommon in Fifth Dawn, it was downgraded to common in Eternal Masters, meaning it's legal in Pauper.
10. Beseech the Queen
While Beseech the Queen is easily replaced by any of the other tutors black has at its fingertips in Commander, it's a great budget option. Reprints in Planechase, From The Vault, and The List haven't done much to increase the supply from its original printing in Shadowmoor. Thanks to massive playerbase growth since 2008, that number is much smaller than it might seem.
11. Blowfly Infestation
Another Shadowmoor uncommon, Blowfly Infestation originally spiked thanks to Hapatra, Vizier of Poisons. It has managed to hold a decent price since then. Blowfly Infestation is the type of card that is easy to overlook unless you know about it, so it often finds its way into bulk boxes.
12. Locust Miser
I only recently learned about the value of Locust Miser in researching this article. This is one of the benefits to me of writing these types of articles. Even after years of picking bulk and having a good idea of what is and isn't truly bulk, the Magic collective mind can still surprise you with $2 finds.
13. Thirsting Bloodlord
Here we have another Core Set 2020 Vampire card. As a lord pumping other Vampires, you should already have been keeping an eye on Thirsting Bloodlord. One factor playing a large role in its value is that it wasn't part of the draftable set. It was only included in the supplementary product. Three copies of the card are in the Sorin, Vampire Lord planeswalker deck.
14. Pawn of Ulamog
Pawn of Ulamog is a Commander staple worth $2 or more for quite some time now. It was first printed in Rise of the Eldrazi, a set that feels like it was from forever ago. Black doesn't have a ton of token generators throughout its history. As that has only changed recently, anything that generates tokens in black is something to keep an eye out for. The color often wants sacrificial fodder for all manner of reasons.
15. Footsteps of the Goryo
Thanks to Goryo's Vengeance decks in Modern, Footsteps of the Goryo spiked hard at one point. It's since dropped back down. The deck's biggest strengths were its surprise factor and a metagame soft to graveyard shenanigans. That said, this is still a good card to pull from bulk and its value can easily jump should it find a home in Modern again.
For anyone who enjoys digging through bulk, whether it's at their local game store (LGS), a store they find while traveling, or buying bulk from local players; knowledge is money and I hope after reading this you are a bit more knowledgeable which will make you a bit richer in the future. Are there any you think I missed? If so comment below or reach out to me on the QS Discord.