Legacy is a treasure trove of a format. There’s tons of value to be found in trading Legacy rares, but an area that’s often overlooked is the
uncommons market. Legacy is different from Standard and Extended because its uncommons have more range and more potential to profit. It also has
uncommons that break the $30 mark! With the growing popularity of Legacy, the uncommon staples are a solid investment.
Let’s pause to think about the logic for a second here. Overtime, as older sets rotate, the cards become less available. This is because people
sell out to dealers when something is rotating, and the cards get tied up in dealer stock. Cards also get lost or destroyed over time, and sometimes
they end up in a shoebox in someone’s closet. This means that the Legacy uncommon supply is slowly decreasing. When you combine this fact with
the growing popularity of Legacy and the rising demand for the cards, you can clearly see that the price of these cards will steadily grow.
Staple uncommons in Legacy are a better investment than Standard rares. Do yourself a favor and reread that last sentence. This is a fundamental truth
that’s obvious to most traders, but it surprises me that it’s lost on most players. Let’s look at the life cycle of a card like Broodmate
Dragon, which is a rare from last Standard season.
In May of last year, Broodmate Dragon was selling for $4.50 each. If you bought two Broodmate Dragons for your Jund deck in May, then you spent $9.
Let’s compare this to Standstill. If you bought Standstills for a Merfolk deck at the same time last year, you would’ve paid $7 each. Merfolk
runs four Standstills, so you would have spent $28.
Let’s fast-forward to today. If you still have those Broodmate Dragons, they’re now worth about $1.5 each, so a total of $3. That means that you
lost 67% of your money. On the other hand, the Standstills are now worth $8.5 each, bringing the total value to $34. That’s a 28% increase on
your money. This is how the trends always go; that’s why it’s important to keep it in mind.
Today, I’m going to talk about the most popular Legacy uncommons and how they’re used to help give you a context when trading. Let’s
start with the ultra uncommons.
This slot is reserved for the most expensive and highly sought after uncommons in the format. I won’t be including cards like Loyal Retainer
because I want to focus on the staples of Legacy and not the obscure one-of that you run in X niche deck. The ultra uncommons are highly recognizable,
and most of the time, these uncommons are treated like rares. The only time knowing Force of Will is an uncommon will be relevant is when you’re
opening a pack or when you’re buying collections.
Collections come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes you run into casual players who separated their collection by rarity. It might be tempting to only
buy the rares and leave the common and uncommons, but it’s important to keep in mind that these common and uncommons might be worth more than the
rares that you’re buying. I’ve bought these kinds of collections, and there are always Wastelands, Aether Vials, and Sensei’s
Divining Tops in the uncommons section. This doesn’t happen often, but it’s something to keep in the back of your mind.
Force of Will 49.99
I was pretty surprised when I found out that Force of Will is actually an uncommon. This card is about as “staple” as they come in the
Legacy and Vintage format. Chances are that if you’re running a blue deck in Legacy, then you’re running Force of Will. This card is going
to continue go up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it at $60 by then end of this year. If I had to sink some money into a long-term Magic
investment, this would be one of the cards in my portfolio.
This is one of the few cards that I recommend for people to invest in when getting into Legacy. It’s in a lot of different decks, and it
doesn’t tie you to a certain color or deck. Wasteland has been steadily rising; last year, they were $18 to $20. This is also a card that, if you
ever decided to get out of Legacy, you can count on getting your money back by dropping them. It’s used in lots of different strategies, ranging
from Lands.dec to Mono-White Stax. I expect this card to rise even faster this year with all the players who are picking up Commander.
The other group of uncommons in Legacy is what I call power uncommons. These are cards that are $5 or above and that see regular Legacy play. This is
by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you an idea of what to look for when sifting through trade binders. Also keep in mind that there are
other uncommons that trade very well, but they weren’t put on the list because they were under $5. A good example of these are Merrow Reejerey $3.99
and Goblin Warchief $2.49.
Consider the Star City Games Open results; any cards from Goblins or Merfolk are good investments right now. Let’s look at some of the cards that
I consider power uncommons.
This card was originally run in the sideboard of Landstill decks to deal with Natural Order/ Progenitus decks. Tomoharu Saito popularized the card by
running it in his winning U/B Merfolk at GP Columbus. I recently saw it in the sideboard of B/R Goblins.
This is a Merfolk staple that has been slowly climbing over time. This is also the center of the Landstill archetype. Last year, these were $6, and
they’ve climbed up to $10 over the last year.
Aether Vial 11.99 (Out of Stock)
Goblins won the last two Star City Games Opens, and demand is really going crazy for this card. This is also in Merfolk, which is the other aggro deck
of choice in Legacy. It’s one of the scariest things to see on turn 1, and now that Affinity is heating up, this might start seeing play in that
Once upon a time, this card was combined with Sensei’s Divining Top, and Legacy was never the same again. This is the cornerstone of control in
Legacy at the moment. It’s also used to protect your combo in decks like Thopter /Sword or Natural Order. This is a real mainstay, and these
could easily break $10 by the end of the year.
Sensei’s Divining Top 11.99 (Out of Stock)
This card is not only known for its interaction with Counterbalance, but it’s found a place among the “must haves” for Commander
decks. It’s worth noting that there’s also an obscure combo deck that uses Etherium Sculptor and two Tops to storm your opponent out. These
cards were six dollars a couple of months ago; I attribute the jump partly to the legitimization of Commander and partly to the banning of Survival and
the SCG Open Players’ Club incentives. I don’t think that this is done rising in price; they’re sold out at $12 each, and the demand keeps
Swords to Plowshare 4.99
This is another Commander / Legacy card. It’s arguably the best removal in the game, and every time that I get one, it doesn’t stay in the
binder for long. You can get at least a dollar for these at dealer tables, and many times, people only value them at a buck or two.
Enlightened Tutor 11.99
This card gives me a chance to talk about another uncommon combo duo: Thopter Foundry / Sword of the Meek. These two cards have not made it to the
“power uncommon” level, but they’ll get there eventually. Enlightened Tutor is an essential component in the Thopter /Sword deck
because it can find the combo pieces or give you access to answer cards like Moat and Oblivion Ring.
Ancient Tomb 5.99
This was originally used in Stax and Stompy builds to power out large spells quickly. Those two archetypes are still kicking around the Legacy scene,
but the new archetype that has been utilizing the Tomb is Show and Tell. You can power out a turn 1 Emrakul, the Aeons Torn off this land and a Lotus
Petal. This has been around $5 forever. I expect a small bump on this soon.
The great thing about trading for these cards is that most people will give you them for low prices, since they’re uncommons. You might have
these uncommons kicking around in a box somewhere. Do some searching, and try to fill your binder with these uncommons. I’d also recommend that you
check the current Top 8 Legacy decks from the Star City Games Opens. Also keep an eye on the format; it’s still in state of flux, and there are
going to be a lot of opportunities to gain value.
That’s all I have for this week; enjoy digging through binders for uncommon treasure!