Thanks to how much they’re produced, it’s no surprise that common MTG cards are some of the game’s cheapest. Often unplayably weak outside of Limited events, common cards often deserve the moniker “Draft chaff.” After all, it’s hardly a surprise to see a stack of unwanted commons at the end of an FNM event. Despite this reputation for being next to worthless, some common MTG cards can prove surprisingly expensive. Obviously, playable common cards, like Big Score, can demand a dollar or two in price. However, the real money is in art. Offering a more desirable option for collectors, common reprints with unique art can often sell for multiple times the card’s usual value. Alongside these, foil treatments of common cards can be surprisingly lucrative, often being in bizarrely short supply. Once this short supply is realized, unassuming common cards can seriously spike in price.
Released in Unfinity, Deadbeat Attendant is undoubtedly one of the set’s more unassuming commons. Sporting the ability to open an Attraction when entering the battlefield, Deadbeat Attendant is the very definition of Draft chaff. After supporting the Attraction-based Draft archetype, players presumed that Deadbeat Attendant had outlived their usefulness. Recently, however, that initial presumption has been proved to have been rather wide of the mark. Finding a home within niche Attraction based Legacy decks, Deadbeat Attendant appears to actually be viable in a competitive setting.
Following a solid performance during a recent Bazaar of Boxes tournament, it appears Attractions are no joke in Legacy. Highlighted by Peter van der Ham (@PVDH_magic) Attraction decks are surprisingly good at beating other Legacy decks to the punch. This is primarily thanks to Deadbeat Attendant coming into play on turn two. “Theory is that the critical turn for current control decks is turn 3,” Peter van der Ham explained on Twitter. “This [deck] disrupts that with impactful turn-two plays.”
Thanks to consistently activating a turn earlier than other decks, Peter van der Ham went so far as to suggest “this is a viable deck to try and win a tournament with.” Proposing the deck is “tier 1 to 1.5,” the main strength of this Attraction based deck is that it’s a “decent to good match-up against UR Delver and Mono White Initiative.” While it might look measly, Deadbeat Attendant and the Attractions it provides are supposedly vital to this goal. “While they may look (and sometimes play) anemic or weak, it is an irreplaceable effect to have a two mana play that puts a continuous piece of advantage in play,” Peter van der Ham claimed. “I think this is the reason this list can exist as it is currently built.”
Despite Deadbeat Attendant not having much of a track record beyond this compelling brew, prices are already climbing. This follows a post by u/Prid3 on the r/MTGFinanace subreddit, who highlighted that Galaxy Foil copies of Deadbeat Attendant could be a compelling investment. Shortly after making the post, Galaxy Foil Deadbeat Attendants would spike hard, with prices soaring over 800%! What used to be a roughly $2 common was suddenly skyrocketing in price, eventually reaching a peak of $17.49. At the time of writing, that was the last Deadbeat Attendant, leaving no other Galaxy Foils remaining on the market.
While MTG investors were undoubtedly quick to live up to their namesake, this expedient buyout wasn’t entirely unexpected. As u/Prid3 highlighted in their post, it’s only the Galaxy Foil variants of Deadbeat Attendant that are worth anything. Non-foil copies of the card are still in plentiful supply, costing as low as just $0.03. On the other hand, only a handful of Galaxy Foil copies of the card existed on the market. This is thanks to the somewhat baffling construction of Unfinity’s Collector Boosters.
Within every Unfinity Collector Booster, each common/uncommon card only has one slot to appear as a Galaxy Foil. This makes each of these cards surprisingly rare, as each unique card should only appear in 1:150 packs. Bizarrely, this quirk of pack construction technically makes common/uncommon Galaxy Foil cards rarer than rare/mythic cards and even borderless shock lands! Subsequently, thanks to this oddity, it’s no surprise that common/uncommon Galaxy Foil cards are incredibly susceptible to buyouts.
Somewhat remarkably, this isn’t the first time that we’ve seen otherwise unassuming common cards skyrocket in price. Back in September of 2022, the Commander playable Tamiyo’s Safekeeping also saw a substantial price spike. Just like Deadbeat Attendant and the Unfinity Galaxy Foils, this card was unusually lucrative due to its supply. Thanks to “connected cards” occupying slots in Set and Collector Boosters, foil copies of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping were almost nowhere to be found. This led to an almost overnight buyout following interest in the card picking up. Initially sitting at just $1-2, this unassuming card skyrocketed to $11.30 before no more copies were available.
Following this immense 700% price spike, foil copies of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping appear to have retained much of their value. Currently, on TCGplayer, foil copies of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping cost around $9. While this price does fluctuate, it’s nevertheless good news for the new owners of Galaxy Foil Deadbeat Attendants. After all, so long as the card stays relevant in Legacy, it shouldn’t be plummeting in value. Whether or not Deadbeat Attendant will continue to see Legacy play, however, remains to be seen.