Sometimes, the Commons and Uncommons hold more value than you think!
Over the past few years, Wizards of the Coast tried to improve the playability of Magic: The Gathering Commons and Uncommons. Two reasons for refining the potency of Commons and Uncommons are a better Limited gameplay experience and more lower-rarity cards appearing in Constructed decklists. A few recent sets with higher power Commons and Uncommons are March of the Machine, The Brothers’ War, and Dominaria United.
Interestingly, several Uncommons cards from the sets above see play across multiple MTG formats. March of the Machine’s Wrenn’s Resolve is part of Pioneer’s Boros Pia, Mono-Red Burn, and Kuldotha Pauper archetypes. Haywire Mite from The Brothers’ War is often a sideboard card in various Pioneer, Modern, and Legacy decklists. Sheoldred’s Edict from Phyrexia: All Will Be One is a playable card in Pioneer, Modern, and Legacy. Lastly, there are a variety of Commander decks that prominently include copies of Wrenn’s Resolve, Haywire Mite, and Sheoldred’s Edict.
While pulling a regular version of Haywire Mite from a booster pack is fantastic, receiving a foil version is even better. Foil versions of desirable Commons and Uncommons generally maintain an average market price at or above their non-foil counterpart, sometimes considerably more. You may have one or more foil Commons and Uncommons in your collection that command premium prices.
Let’s discuss seven expensive foil Commons and Uncommons from Standard-legal sets you probably own in your collection.
#7 Experimental Synthesizer
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Common
Market Price: $0.36Experimental Synthesizer is a Common, one-mana Red artifact from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty. When Experimental Synthesizer enters or leaves the battlefield, you get to exile the top card of your library and may play it until the end of the turn. In addition, you can sacrifice Experimental Synthesizer at sorcery speed for three mana to create a 2/2 white Samurai creature token with vigilance.
Experimental Synthesizer is a Pauper format staple with four copies played in Burn and Synthesizer decklists. Pauper players generate value with Experimental Synthesizer when casting Kuldotha Rebirth, Glint Hawk, and Kor Skyfisher. Refrain from letting Experimental Synthesizer’s average market price of $0.35 for regular copies fool you, as foil versions sell for an astonishing $4 each.
#6 Tamiyo’s Safekeeping
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Common
Another Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Common with a foil multiplier is Tamiyo’s Safekeeping. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping gains you two life for one green mana at instant speed and provides hexproof and indestructible to a permanent you control until the end of the turn. Tamiyo’s Safekeeping can save any permanent on your battlefield from a destruction spell or ability, which bodes well in Modern’s Hardened Scales and Green Commander decks. Foil copies of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping may set you back close to $3, three times more expensive than regular versions.
#5 Bitter Triumph
The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, Uncommon
The Lost Caverns of Ixalan’s Bitter Triumph is an efficient Black removal spell with a drawback. As an instant, Bitter Triumph can destroy a creature or Planeswalker if you pay two mana and either discard a card or lose three life. Foil copies of Bitter Triumph are selling for nearly $2 each, partly due to its playability in Pioneer.
Bitter Triumph is starting to see play in Pioneer’s Rakdos Midrange, Rakdos Sacrifice, and Azban Greasefang. Rakdos Pioneer decks often play Go for the Throat and Heartless Act, which have limitations on which creatures they can destroy. Bitter Triumph provides additional flexibility by targeting any creature or Planeswalker, although with a penalty. In Azban Greasefang, Bitter Triumph’s discard drawback can pitch Vehicle cards into the graveyard to target with [[Greasefang, Okiba Boss##’s ability.
#4 Tear Asunder
Dominaria United, Uncommon
Tear Asunder is an Uncommon, two-mana Green instant with kicker from Dominaria United. Casting Tear Asunder for its mana cost will exile an artifact or enchantment. If the one generic and Black mana kicker is paid, you can exile a nonland permanent instead. You may find Tear Asunder in the sideboard of Modern’s Amulet Titan, Golgari Yawgmoth, or Domain Aggro. Tear Asunder is a potential answer to The One Ring, Wurmcoil Engine, Colossus Hammer, or problematic nonland permanents.
Market Price: $62.15
Market Price: $179.55
Market Price: $11.89
Commander offers a plethora of targets for Tear Asunder. Exiling an early Sol Ring or Mana Crypt will slow down an opponent. Kicking Tear Asunder to exile Toski, Bearer of Secrets, or Avacyn, Angel of Hope can save the day. Tear Asunder is a pricy Uncommon, with regular and foil copies selling for close to $3 and $7, respectively.
#3 Up the Beanstalk
Wilds of Eldraine, Uncommon
Wilds of Eldraine’s breakout Uncommon, Up the Beanstalk is a two-mana Green enchantment. When Up the Beanstalk enters the battlefield, you draw a card. Also, you draw a card whenever you cast a spell with a mana value of five or higher.
Market Price: $9.68
Market Price: $10.74
Market Price: $54.23
Following Wilds of Eldraine’s release, Up the Beanstalk saw immediate play in Modern’s Cascade Beanstalk and Legacy’s Beanstalk Control. Drawing cards simply by playing Leyline Binding, Solitude, or Force of Will is incredible. As such, regular copies of Up the Beanstalk sell for over $3 each. Any players interested in foiling out a deck with Up the Beanstalk will look at spending around $6 per copy.
#2 Stroke of Midnight
Wilds of Eldraine, Uncommon
Stroke of Midnight is also from Wilds of Eldraine and is a three-mana, White instant removal spell. When Stroke of Midnight resolves, you can destroy a nonland permanent, and its controller creates a 1/1 white Human creature token. Mono-White targeted removal cards are known to have drawbacks (e.g., Get Lost, Fateful Absence), but giving a player a 1/1 white Human creature token is not too terrible.
Fascinatingly, Stroke of Midnight is the most-played card in Commander from Wilds of Eldraine, according to EDHREC. In a typical Commander game, there will be a multitude of nonland permanents worth destroying with Stroke of Midnight. Anyone interested in grabbing a foil copy of Stroke of Midnight should expect to pay $4 or 50% more than a regular version. Remarkably, foil Promo Pack versions of Stroke of Midnight sell for around $6 each.
#1 Tolarian Terror
Dominaria United, Common
Dominaria United’s Tolarian Terror is a compelling Common 5/5 Blue creature with Ward 2. Although Tolarian Terror’s mana cost is seven, it costs one less colorless mana to cast for each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard. Casting Tolarian Terror for merely one Blue mana is why it sees extensive play in Pauper. Adding four regular copies of Tolarian Terror to Pauper’s Mono-blue Delver or Dimir Control should cost less than $4. However, purchasing a playset of foil Tolarian Terror cards may exceed $16. A multiplier of over four times per copy between regular and foil Tolarian Terror cards is astounding.