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, white, black, and red cards previously. I will admit to purposefully doing Green and Blue last as thanks to Commander and Eternal formats they are the colors that tend to have the most cards to dig through. I will also add that I ignore cards whose value is tied to being from Magic's very early sets, i.e. anything that is from The Dark or prior to it is ignored.
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 that I may include cards that are very near to $5, even though there is potential that they breach $5 in the near future.
Cheap removal in green is hard to come by. Lignify fills an important role in many Commander decks without access to white or black. The fact that, unlike other enchantment-based removal spells, the creature isn't removed from the game means that when cast on a Commander it can't be moved to the Command zone like it could with an Oblivion Ring type effect.
2. Evolution Sage
I have happily pulled out a lot of these from bulk and have been stockpiling them since War of the Spark came out. I knew that there would be a lot of valuable uncommons from this set if only because there were tons of planeswalkers printed at uncommon. What goes great with Planeswalkers? The proliferate mechanic. As most decks that play green already tend to want to run a lot of ramp, Evolution Sage can make those ramp spells more functional in the mid to late game.
3. Beast Within
4. Time of Need
Tutors are heavily used in Commander, so while this one is limited it still does the trick for a lot of good options.
Interestingly, these types of cards weren't often played when I first started playing Commander (or EDH as it was known back in 2009). Nobody wanted to draw a dead card when no opponents played the color. However, now that most Commander decks are multi-colored, the probability that someone at the table will be playing black is high enough that it warrants playing a card like this, given the upside is massive.
6. Temur Sabertooth
Given how many creatures in the format have good "Enters the Battlefield" (ETB) triggers, a creature that allows re-use of them repeatedly while providing a useful ability is obviously going to find a home in a lot of decks.
7. Elemental Bond
Card draw in green is a lot more prevalent now than it used to be. Repeatable card draw with no mana requirements is still rare enough that this card has been reprinted several times and still commands over $2.50
8. River Bear
For those unaware, there is a somewhat small but relatively diehard fan base for the Bear creature type. If this card had any other creature type it would be pure bulk, but because it's a bear it's worth a bit of money. Now it's critical to emphasize that most common and uncommon bears are still bulk, but the few that were printed a long time ago in sets that weren't highly opened can be worth a couple of bucks. One of the more popular commanders that plays this card is Ayula, Queen Among Bears. You can find many other valuable bears in this decklist.
9. Aspect of Mongoose
I honestly, didn't know this card existed until I started gathering the card list for this article. I haven't seen it played in any decks I've come up against, but the ability to give a creature shroud is a big one in the format. This is especially true if it's a commander that is getting it. It is currently near its all-time high, so I imagine the printing of Sythis, Harvest's Hand and the resurgence of the Enchantress style Commander deck are leading this price growth.
Green is arguably the best color in Commander. Ramp is one of green's biggest strengths in the format. With that in mind, it seemed important to give ramp its own subsection. Interestingly, all three of the cards in this section have been printed multiple times and yet still maintain value even when they were all printed at common.
This card has nine printings, including seven at common rarity, yet still commands a price tag of over $1. The ability to fetch shocks or dual lands with it makes it the best two-mana ramp spell we have.
11. Kodama's Reach
If Farseek's nine printings are impressive, Kodama's Reach has a whopping 16 printings. Of those printings, 15 were at common rarity, and one was a "rare" in a Secret Lair. Interestingly, Cultivate is a virtually identical card, also with a large number of printings. It doesn't hold nearly the same value as Kodama's Reach. Both cards do, however, seem to frequently be included in at least one of the latest series of Commander decks, so the price for both is bound to eventually drop off.
12. Skyshroud Claim
While it may seem unfathomable to many, back in Magic's old days (pre-Ravnica), the only lands that had multiple types were the dual lands; thus when this card was originally printed back in Nemesis, getting two forests meant one got two basic forests. Since that time, Wizards has produced a fair number of lands with multiple land types which make Skyshroud Claim a suped-up Farseek. It allows one to get two lands that happen to be forests, and they don't even have to enter the battlefield tapped.
Slivers are a beloved creature type in Magic. Every time new Slivers are printed, or older ones reprinted, some of the older and rarer ones spike in price. I pull out all Slivers, even bad ones when picking bulk. One never knows when the next Sliver spoiler will cause demand to shoot up even for a brief time and being able to supply all the Slivers one needs for a deck can persuade someone to buy from one's own store over other stores.
13. Venom Sliver
Deathtouch has been one of the less beloved keywords in Magic's history. While obviously powerful on defense, allowing you to trade up with larger creatures, deathtouch also acts as a pseudo-evasion ability. Because larger creatures will die to smaller deathtouch ones, the opponent can be disincentivized from blocking. While still not as desirable as other evasion abilities, when one's deck is designed to snowball with creatures, making opponents not want to block them does help.
14. Manaweft Sliver
Interestingly, Manaweft Sliver is almost exactly the same as Gemhide Sliver, which would have been on this list had I printed this article last year. The big difference is that Wizards changed slivers when they appeared in Magic 2014. Prior to this, a Sliver's abilities affected all Slivers, even ones controlled by opponents. Manaweft not providing opponents with the mana ability makes it a pure upgrade to Gemhide Sliver.
Elf is another creature type with a strong following. The fact that many elves produce mana also means they are their own form of ramp.
15. Joraga Treespeaker
Arguably one of the most powerful one-drop mana creatures, Joraga Treespeaker on turn 1 can allow for some very fast and explosive starts. The level up mechanic was mostly a dud, with few creatures worth the mana investment. This is one of the few exceptions. With only one printing, it is likely to remain valuable until reprinted.
16. Boreal Druid
Snow Mana has gained a lot more value in the past few years thanks to Kaldheim and Modern Horizons. Prior to those sets, this was a worse Llanowar Elf in almost every situation.
17. Sakura-Tribe Scout
For a while, this was one of the most expensive uncommons in Modern. It has mostly fallen out of favor at this point and thus lost most of that value. It still sees play in some more competitive Commander decks.
19. Elephant Grass
A staple of many Legacy Enchantress decks' sideboards, the archetype itself has fallen out of favor in a format that itself has sadly fallen out of favor as well. A single printing in Visions though, means that Elephant Grass is rare enough that it can still maintain some value.
20. Ancestral Mask
Ancestral Mask can be a game-ending card when tossed on any boggle-type creature in Pauper. Its only printings are the Mercadian Masques original, and Eternal Masters and Mystery Booster reprintings.