15, Jun, 23

The 8 Most Expensive MTG Common Cards!

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Article at a Glance

Common cards have a different place in Magic: the Gathering than many of the cards you will see played outside of a Limited table. Its exactly that – many Common cards exist to create unique Limited formats for players to enjoy. They aren’t really meant to be powerful, but they are unique game pieces that help create different ways for players to engage with Magic.

This stands true even for competitive Magic. There’s an entire format for players to enjoy where only Common cards are allowed. Dubbed Pauper, strategies in this format can be surprisingly powerful, likely going above and beyond other formats like Standard and Pioneer.

With this in mind, there are definitely some Common cards that go further than just seeing play in their respective Draft environments. As such, there are some Common cards that are going to be surprisingly expensive. Let’s take a look at the 8 most expensive MTG Common cards!

The Caveats

In order to make this list as valuable to readers as possible, there are a few parameters we need to set up. Firstly, if we were to evaluate every Common card on the same plain, this list would simply be ten cards from Alpha. Anything from MTG’s oldest sets will have a massive premium on them due to scarcity and collectability. A lot of these Common cards have also been reprinted in subsequent sets, making them much easier to access.

For that reason, this list will only consider the cheapest copy of each Common card available. If that means there’s only one Reserved List copy of the card, that’s what will be considered. If that means Lightning Bolt is only $1 thanks to the Baldur’s Gate reprint then, for the purposes of this list, that’s Lightning Bolt’s worth. Additionally, a card only needs to be printed at a common rarity once to be considered. In the case where the Common printing is more expensive than a higher rarity, both prices will be listed.

We also will not be counting any cards that are not legal for sanctioned play. This will mostly address Ante cards that you really cannot play anymore, but also means the 30th Anniversary Edition will not count.

Finally, we’re going to limit appearances on this list to only two cards from each set. Portal Three Kingdoms happens to have a lot of terrible Common cards that were never reprinted. Should we allow this set to take up the list, it will be most of it, which isn’t particularly valuable. Additionally, we will only be allowing one Arabian Knights card to make an appearance for the same reason.

Like most of our articles, we will be using TCGplayer’s market average at the time of writing to gauge these rankings. Let’s take a look at the most expensive MTG Common cards!

Cabal Ritual

There are shocking amount of Dark Ritual wannabes that simply have not had reprints. Cabal Ritual requires players to jump through a hoop to get an efficiency that rivals Dark Ritual. Should they have seven or more cards in their graveyards, however, Cabal Ritual suddenly becomes an even better Dark Ritual, offering five black mana for the cost of two.

In the instance that you don’t meet this card’s Threshold cost, you still gain an additional mana at instant speed, but this is strictly worse than the namesake card.

Cabal Ritual has seen one reprint from its original appearance in Torment, but that goes for even more than the $7 market average that TCGplayer has the original version of this card at.

Culling the Weak

This Dark Ritual wannabe only has one printing. Because of that, even though the card really is just a worse Dark Ritual, it is far more expensive than the Ritual’s cheapest variants.

Originally printed in Exodus, Culling the Weak offers the opportunity to pay one mana and sacrifice a creature in exchange for four black mana. Should you have a lot of fodder, Culling the Weak could actually be a stronger alternative to Dark Ritual since this creates four mana versus three. That said, Dark Ritual’s lack of a secondary cost makes the card a lot more versatile in deck building, which is more valuable than one black mana when Culling Ritual does work out.

This card goes for about $8 according to TCGplayer market averages.

Snuff Out

Snuff Out offers one of the most powerful abilities in all of MTG: a free alternate casting cost. This has given rise to multiple of the best cards the game has to offer, like Force of Will, Force of Negation, the Evoke Elementals and more.

Should you have a Swamp in play, Snuff Out offers the opportunity to destroy a nonblack creature for the low cost of four life. Considering how much play Dismember sees in Modern, its obvious just how powerful a card like Snuff Out truly is.

There’s quite the range on Snuff Out’s price, especially if you’re interested in a foil copy, but the card’s original printing form Mercadian Masques is, by far, the cheapest one. For just $8, this powerful effect can be yours to try in a black Commander deck!

Army of Allah

Here is our one of one Arabian Knights Common! This is the most expensive Common in the set that has not seen a reprint, and the card is absolutely terrible.

There are much better alternatives to Army of Allah nowadays if you want a buff to all your attacking creatures. Heck, Trumpeting Blast does the exact same thing in Red, has a better cost than this does, and won’t even cost you a dollar.

Should you want Army of Allah, for its art or for the sake of collectibility, the cheaper version of the card goes for about $20 in decent condition. Interestingly, Arabian Knights cards appear to have light and dark variants. The light variant of this card instead goes for $40. This is likely the most useless of the most expensive MTG Common cards.

Read More: Scarce Lord of the Rings Box Toppers Are Selling for $300+!

Lotus Petal

Originally printed in Tempest, Lotus Petal is so powerful that it sees Legacy play. This isn’t surprising considering the card is a boiled down version of the most iconic MTG card in history: the Black Lotus.

with all the fast mana available in Legacy, its not uncommon for games to end in the first few turns, especially if one player at the table brought a Storm variant. That’s where Lotus Petal commonly shows up but, back in the Initiative days, it often appeared alongside Ancient Tomb to unlock powerful turn one Initiative plays in the form of the now-banned White Plume Adventurer.

The cheapest current printing of Lotus Petal was a Mystery Booster reprint which clocks in at $23. In comparison, the Tempest version is worth just a little more at $24. In terms of competitive impact, this is probably the most powerful of the most expensive MTG Common cards.

Zodiac Cards

The Zodiac cards are a series of creatures printed in Portal Three Kingdoms that did not see any reprints afterwards. If we were to allow all of the Zodiac creatures to take individual slots on this list, there’s a good chance they would just take over the entire list. For that reason, we decided to give one slot to the most expensive of the Common Zodiac cards, Zodiac Rat, and leave it at that.

Despite there being a lot of Common Zodiac cards from Portal Three Kingdoms, they go for a surprising range of prices. Zodiac Rat sits at the high end, asking for a price of $28. On the low end you’ll find Zodiac Snake, which goes for $6. Technically, there is an eighth edition Zodiac Monkey, but this not a part of the original series.

Forest Bear

Why is this terrible MTG card so expensive? Well, it happens to only have one printing, and that printing is from Portal Three Kingdoms. One of the earliest MTG sets ever printed, Portal Three Kingdom cards are incredibly scarce, so much so that the good ones can go for thousands of dollars. Fortunately, the best cards offered in Portal Three Kingdoms, like Imperial Seal, Capture of Jingzhou and Warrior’s Oath, are beginning to see reprints in Masters sets!

This is less likely to happen for a card like Forest Bear since very few players are likely to be interested in it. Outside of the novelty of owning a card like this, its tough to justify the $30 price for this card.

Rhystic Study

Those aware of Rhystic Study’s Commander dominance may be surprised to hear that this card was originally printed as a Common. Rhystic Study’s first printing was all the way back in Prophecy which released in 2000. The card, like in Commander, is rather annoying in two-player formats, but Rhystic Study goes through a massive qualitative change as soon as you start playing with four people.

It takes a warped personality to want to ask players to pay a mana every time they cast a spell, but Rhystic Study is so powerful that a majority of players are going to do this anyway. Every time an opponent doesn’t pay one mana, Rhystic Study draws a card. Its incredibly easy to draw seven or more cards for just three mana.

The cheapest iteration of Rhystic Study is actually a rare reprint in Jumpstart, which currently goes for $32. Rhystic Study’s cheapest Common iteration goes for about $37. It’s ironic that a hidden Commander staple like this one ended up becoming the most expensive MTG Common card!

Read More: Top 10 Most Expensive Commanders in MTG

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