Last updated on September 29, 2023

Rhystic Study - Illustration by Terese Nielsen

Rhystic Study | Illustration by Terese Nielsen

What are the most expensive commons in MTG? The question isn’t so simple.

If you want the most expensive individual printing of a common card, you know those are mostly from Alpha. But if you want to know which commons are the most expensive regardless of reprints or, in other words, what are the most expensive cheapest-printed version commons around, I’ve got you covered.

Not to be too clickbaity, but I think this list will surprise you. Ready to find out?

Why Does It Matter What the Most Expensive Commons Are?

Utopia Sprawl - Illustration by Ron Spears

Utopia Sprawl | Illustration by Ron Spears

As a ‘90s player, I have the giant white boxes full of Magic cards, and most of them are unplayable nostalgia pieces. The other day, as I was working on an Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist deck for EDH, I wanted a Culling the Weak, but my three copies already had homes in other decks. I was all set to buy another copy until I saw that the card is almost ten bucks right now!

It got me thinking about pricey commons in MTG’s history and what it means when they aren’t reprinted. The poster child for this for a long time was Three Visits, which was around 80 bucks before it was reprinted in Battle for Baldur’s Gate. Now it hovers around $60 for the original, and the reprint, upshifted to uncommon, is about five bucks. If your goal was just to get a copy for your ramp deck, a reprint is just what the doctor ordered.

If you’re sitting on a pile of old commons that happen the be worth a bit right now, you’d probably want to know what the most likely candidates for reprints are, assuming that WotC wants to reprint high priced commons and uncommons. The chances of those decreasing in value at some point, perhaps in Commander Masters, can be gleaned from the list I’ve got for you today.

Let’s get on with the show! I’m looking at every English language common with a current price for the cheapest-printed version (according to Scryfall) of more than $3 US. That’s 57!

#57. Spring of Eternal Peace

Spring of Eternal Peace

As with Three Visits, Portal Three Kingdoms cards are all over this list. A really small English print run from 1999 with no reprints will do that. Even though lots of these cards, like Spring of Eternal Peace, are pretty much unplayable.

#56. Bubbling Muck

Bubbling Muck

Never reprinted since Urza’s Destiny, Bubbling Muck is a great card which is key as a burst of mana black decks with expensive spells and commanders, like Vilis, Broker of Blood and other demon tribal decks. It also does work in more combo oriented decks like Toshiro Umezawa.

#55. Wei Strike Force

Wei Strike Force

$3 seems the current floor for Portal Three Kingdoms cards. Even with the coveted horsemanship, Wei Strike Force is a pretty bad rate.

#54. Ground Rift

Ground Rift

Maybe the least impressive card with storm ever printed, Ground Rift is pretty low impact in any deck except The Howling Abomination, a.k.a., Blanka, Ferocious Friend.

#53. Straw Soldiers

Straw Soldiers

The only scarecrow that has a color and isn’t an artifact, Straw Soldiers isn’t the worst scarecrow in MTG. That should tell you something about the power level of scarecrows as a tribe.

#52. Return to Battle

Return to Battle

An appropriate non magical Raise Dead for a set based on a historical war. I’m a fan of the artwork on Return to Battle.

#51. Tortured Existence

Tortured Existence

Aha! A card I play in my decks! Listen, I use Tortured Existence fairly. I swear. I don’t use it when I put a Phyresis on my Syr Konrad, the Grim to kill the table. Really. This is the first card with an actual reprint, but that’s on The List, so it hasn’t budged prices much.

#50. Gnat Miser

Gnat Miser

Gnat Miser, from Saviors of Kamigawa, is for rat tribal decks only. Even then, there seems to be no real reason to play this card in those decks except you just happen to have it and the art is kinda sweet.

#49. Arcane Denial

Arcane Denial

This card leveled me up as a young Magic player. When I first realized I could Arcane Denial my own spell and draw three cards, it was like the scales dropped from my eyes! This is how (brag alert!) I knew Tibalt's Trickery was gonna be busted when it was spoiled. I wasn’t the only one who knew that, of course!

This has been reprinted half a dozen times and still retains its value across those reprints. In fact, most of the reprints are pricier than the originals!

#48. Mutagenic Growth

Mutagenic Growth

Phyrexian mana, especially on a 1-drop, is pretty busted. Mutagenic Growth, from New Phyrexia, sees play across Modern prowess and Delver decks across formats. I’m not sure you really want this in EDH, though.

#47. Guildpact Informant

Guildpact Informant

Guildpact Informant, one of the most recent cards on the list, is from War of the Spark. It’s here because of proliferate, which is powerful and needs all cards on deck to work in EDH.

#46. Wu Light Cavalry

Wu Light Cavalry

Another below rate card, I like that the artist for Wu Light Cavalry, Huang Qishi, seems to get that horsemanship is a replacement for flying in this real-world version of MTG. That horse is ready for takeoff!

#45. Kuldotha Rebirth

Kuldotha Rebirth

With decks using four of these and four Gleeful Demolition to power out Ancient Imperiosaur in Modern, Kuldotha Rebirth seems unlikely to drop in price any time soon.

#44. Kobolds of Kher Keep

Kobolds of Kher Keep

Aside from Kobold tribal, which is a thing in EDH, Kobolds of Kher Keep is nice for various storm things. Another option is Koll, the Forgemaster, who wants as many 0-drop creatures as it can find.

#43. Rat Colony

Rat Colony

At almost four bucks, it’s really kind of expensive to build a Rat Colony deck in Commander, where you need like 30 of them!

#42. Soul’s Attendant

Soul's Attendant

The least reprinted of the soul sisters, Soul's Attendant from Rise of the Eldrazi is a must have for those decks. Which is why it’s almost four dollars.

#41. Crimson Wisps

Crimson Wisps

Crimson Wisps hasn’t been reprinted since Shadowmoor. It’s a great card in Birgi, God of Storytelling storm decks and Voltron decks like Rograkh, Son of Rohgahh, and it’s card draw in Zada, Hedron Grinder decks. The wisps will keep wisping until we return to Lorwyn.

#40. Essence Warden

Essence Warden

The colorshifted Planar Chaos soul sister in green, Essence Warden holds value with multiple reprints.

#39. Darkness


A beautiful Fog in black, Darkness has only had a few reprints, the most recent of which was in Warhammer 40k.

#38. Priest of Titania

Priest of Titania

Priest of Titania: when you absolutely positively need to go infinite in elfball, accept no substitutes!

#37. Boreal Druid

Boreal Druid

A bad mana dork that’s a) an elf; b), a druid; and c) a snow creature will find a home. Good for Coldsnap’s Boreal Druid!

#36. Pyretic Ritual

Pyretic Ritual

Pyretic Ritual is so in demand for cEDH storm decks!

#35. Skyshroud Claim

Skyshroud Claim

There are much better cards to find two lands than Skyshroud Claim, but in an EDH world, you often just need more slightly worse “copies” of effects that are key to your deck.

#34. Shu Cavalry

Shu Cavalry

With more horsemanship, Shu Cavalry takes us over the $4 mark.

#33. Barbary Apes

Barbary Apes

With only one printing in 1994’s Legends, this bear in Barbary Apes form is shockingly expensive given how few Kibo, Uktabi Prince decks it actually shows up in.

#32. Wei Scout

Wei Scout

These horsemanship cards are getting closer to a playable rate as we go up this list, which makes me think that Wei Scout is actually being played, maybe?

#31. Violent Outburst

Violent Outburst

Violent Outburst doesn’t see much EDH play, but it’s key in Modern’s Crashing Footfalls cascade rhinos deck.

#30. Ophidian Eye

Ophidian Eye

Flash auras are tricksy, and Ophidian Eye, with only one printing in Time Spiral, remains cute in decks like Niv-Mizzet, Parun as a surprise Curiosity.

#29. Desert Sandstorm

Desert Sandstorm

Considering you can do this much more cheaply and with more nuance, like targeting only your opponents’ creatures, I’m at a loss as to why Desert Sandstorm is almost five bucks.

#28. Mental Note

Mental Note

A 1-mana instant cantrip is good. Mental Note also mills you for two, which was a drawback in 2002. Was.

#27. Utopia Sprawl

Utopia Sprawl

Utopia Sprawl is a Wild Growth riff from Dissension that was reprinted in Forgotten Realms Commander and still is over five bucks.

#26. Dust to Dust

Dust to Dust

Dust to Dust is from The Dark. With only a handful of reprints, this card is pretty expensive for a Pauper sideboard mainstay.

#25. Fire Ambush

Fire Ambush

Fire Ambush goes for face, so if you’re trying to make monored burn work in EDH, you probably need this. I don’t think that deck works, but burn is one of those things.

#24. Preemptive Strike

Preemptive Strike

There were no instants in the Portal sets, only sorceries like Preemptive Strike that had text that allowed them to sort of flash. It’s unclear why this Remove Soul variant, of all of them, is so expensive.

#23. Broken Dam

Broken Dam

Broken Dam at sorcery speed is rough, but someone must like it.

#22. Wu Scout

Wu Scout

Does Wu Scout count as a control card in Portal Three Kingdoms?

#21. Zodiac Snake

Zodiac Snake

We hit six bucks with Zodiac Snake, and these zodiac creatures feel like people just want them for fun to connect with their sign.

#20. Yellow Scarves Cavalry

Yellow Scarves Cavalry

Someone really likes horsemanship, although you can’t really find these cards, Yellow Scarves Cavalry included, in decklists.

#19. Mobilize


As a sorcery, Mobilize is only fringe playable, and that’s usually in decks that can have everything tap for mana like Inga and Esika and Seton, Krosan Protector. It also has some infinite combo shenanigans with Eternal Witness.

#18. Sage’s Knowledge

Sage's Knowledge

 Sage's Knowledge isn’t playable as a Call to Mind that can’t get instants.

#17. Wielding the Green Dragon

Wielding the Green Dragon

Wielding the Green Dragon is almost the Portal Three Kingdoms Titanic Growth. I like the art on these cards, so maybe that’s a piece of this. Otherwise, it’s hard to explain why this is almost four dollars more than the Portal Three Kingdoms average.

#16. Cabal Ritual

Cabal Ritual

A nerfed Dark Ritual is still a ritual, and Torment’s Cabal Ritual is heavily played in more competitive EDH decks.

#15. Zodiac Goat

Zodiac Goat

Zodiac Goat, I think, is framed on the desktops of MTG players born in ‘79, ’91, and ‘03, perhaps?

#14. Culling the Weak

Culling the Weak

Almost ten bucks for another nerfed Dark Ritual in Culling the Weak. Back in the day at tabletop, we used to play this incorrectly because you do the phrase before the colon as often as you want and get the four mana multiple times. That’s even more broken!

#13. Desert Nomads

Desert Nomads

There aren’t that many unreprinted commons from Arabian Nights, like Desert Nomads, but all of them are over ten bucks.

#12. Camel


Camel has the most bonkers version of banding in all of MTG for my money.

#11. Riding Red Hare

Riding Red Hare

There are easier ways to make Voltron commanders unblockable than Riding Red Hare, so this price has to be from Red Hare fandom? We love cool horses. Especially real ones.

#10. Zodiac Rabbit

Zodiac Rabbit

Zodiac Rabbit is calling ‘75s, ‘87s, ‘99s, and ‘11s.

#9. Snuff Out

Snuff Out

One of the most expensive cards in Mercadian Masques, and by far that set’s most valuable common, Snuff Out is a “free” removal spell that works well in both EDH and Pauper. I really want one (sad face emoji).

#8. Zodiac Rooster

Zodiac Rooster

Zodiac Rooster is cock-a-doodling ‘69s, ‘81s, ‘93s and ‘05s.

#7. Zodiac Dog

Zodiac Dog

‘70s, ‘82s, ‘94s, & 06’s are barking for Zodiac Dog.

#6. Lotus Petal

Lotus Petal

Not a lot of reprints for this cEDH staple from Tempest. You can tell how long a MTG content creator has been playing by how often they refer to treasure tokens as Lotus Petal. More than $20, this card!

#5. Army of Allah

Army of Allah

I’m sort of surprised that Army of Allah wasn’t wiped with various other cards like Jihad back in summer of 2020. That plus being an Arabian Nights common buffs the price on this.

#4. False Defeat

False Defeat

If False Defeat weren’t almost $25, we’d likely see it played as often as cards like Late to Dinner.

#3. Zodiac Rat

Zodiac Rat

If you like the high prices of these zodiac commons, take a look at the uncommons and the rare. Zodiac Rat for almost thirty bucks is bad enough for folks from ‘72, ‘84, ’96, and ‘08. But Zodiac Dragon, at more than $200, is really tough for birth years ‘76, ‘88, ’00, and ‘12!

#2. Forest Bear

Forest Bear

Get out of here, collector with $33 on hand! Often cited as one of MTG’s worst pieces of card art, Forest Bear asks the question of how much a meme is worth to you.

#1. Rhystic Study

Rhystic Study

Of course, it’s this EDH powerhouse! Rhystic Study is, along with Sol Ring, one of the iconic cards in EDH. Powerful, obnoxious, and almost forty bucks, I think we all think it’ll be reprinted in Commander Masters, which should reduce its price just a bit.

How Much Are Common MTG Cards Worth?

Although most commons throughout MTG’s history are basically worthless as trade items, with pennies of value at most, these 57 cards are worth more than three bucks a piece, with thirteen over ten bucks and the high point at almost forty.

There’s another way to think about the prices of commons though, and that’s with the prices of individual printings of cards. Most commons from MTG’s first set, Alpha, are worth quite a lot. At the top is an Alpha Dark Ritual at more than $300. Another valuable set for commons is the 7th edition, specifically the foils. They’re some of the first foils in MTG, and also old border foils. The top ten most valuable individual common MTG card prices, ranging from over $300 to just over $100, where loads of other Alpha commons also reside, are:

#10. Alpha Giant Growth

#9. Alpha Unholy Strength

#8. Alpha Power Sink

#7. Alpha Wild Growth

#6. Alpha Llanowar Elves

#5. Alpha Disenchant

#4. 7th Edition Foil Counterspell

#3. Alpha Giant Spider

#2. Alpha Drain Life

#1. Alpha Dark Ritual

Wrap Up

Arcane Denial - Illustration by Xi Zhang

Arcane Denial | Illustration by Xi Zhang

There you go! Unless you have some Alpha or Portal Three Kingdoms cards stacked away in those boxes, your commons are probably not worth a whole lot.

But if you’re like me, you’ve got a few cards on this list that you didn’t know were as valuable as they are! And with Commander Masters reprinting a bunch of cards later this year, some of the cards on this list won’t retain this value level next year. But it’s anyone’s guess as to which cards those will be!

Let me know if I helped you spot a hidden gem in your card collection. Do you have a favorite expensive common? As always, the comments and our Discord are open.

Until then, be sure you’re using sleeves!

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