Most of MTG’s super expensive cards are Rare and Mythic Rare cards. This makes sense, considering you generally only get one per traditional draft pack. Collector Boosters and Set Boosters changed the script a bit later into MTG’s life, but for the longest time, the most Rare cards you could get from a pack were two if you were lucky enough to get a foil one.
That said, a few uncommon MTG cards were way more powerful than their rarity intended. Most of these have since been reprinted as Rares or Mythics, but these format staples’ origins are surprisingly humble. Here, we will go over some of the most expensive uncommons that the game of MTG has to offer.
Do note that we will only count an uncommon if the card’s price is comparable to its reprints. Cards with extremely expensive printings in older sets, like Alpha, that have cheaper reprintings will not count towards this list (that said, a lot of the cards on this list ARE from older sets). While this eliminates some extreme cases like Sol Ring, it also eliminates some cards like Sylvan Library, whose original uncommon printing could appear on this list, but recent reprintings are only a third of that one’s price.
We will also be making an exception and not counting cards printed in Arabian Knights since that particular set did not actually have a Rare slot. Otherwise, this set would dominate the list.
Here are the top five most expensive MTG uncommon cards!
Force of Will’s original printing is uncommon, but recent reprintings are worth less than the original one. For that reason, we will be going with the cheapest reprinting of Legacy’s largest staple for price assessment on this list.
Anyone who has played some amount of Commander, Legacy, or Vintage should be aware of this card’s prevalence. Free counterspells are incredibly powerful, and while you need to use two cards to counter the spell for free, the power of a free spell is strong enough to warp the entirety of the Legacy format. This is also a massive Commander staple for all the same reasons, but the card’s price tag will keep it off a lot of tables.
The average price of the uncommon Force of Will from Alliances is around $90, but the cheapest copy of Force of Will is currently $70.
Ancient Tomb has a pretty comparable price tag to the #5 card on this list, but its reprintings have a more expensive average to them, putting it a step above the infamous counterspell.
Like Force of Will, Ancient Tomb is another staple in the Legacy and Commander format. The card also sees play in Vintage.
It’s pretty tough to find a card that has a better rate than this one. Since it taps for two mana, playing an Ancient Tomb can be the equivalent of playing two lands in one turn. This can be a devastating advantage in early EDH turns since it can put you ahead of your opponents mana-wise for the rest of the game – at least until somebody ramps.
The downside of Ancient Tomb is that it cannot make any colored mana, and you need to pay two life to activate it. While these are particularly small costs compared to the upside, especially in Commander, where you have 40 life (in Legacy, Lotus Petal can help offset the downside to tap for colorless mana), the card supply is still far outweighed by its demand. Ancient Tomb’s original uncommon printing from Tempest is worth about $80 on average, but the card’s cheapest iteration averages around $75.
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#3 Most Expensive MTG Uncommon
Unlike the first two cards on this list, all of the other cards on this list have some interest in one format or another but only have one printing from an old set. Personal Tutor, printed in Portal, is worth about $80 in near-mint condition. As the name of the card suggests, this allows you to search for a Sorcery card and place it on the top of your deck.
Notably, this card’s effect is worse in every way when compared to Mystical Tutor. Both cards cost one Blue mana, and search for a Sorcery that is then placed on top of your deck. Mystical Tutor, however, can be played at Instant Speed and can also search for Instant cards. To top it all off, you can buy a Mystical Tutor for one-tenth of Personal Tutor’s price. While this card would definitely see more Commander play if the Personal Tutor costed less money, this comparison proves that a huge reason for the card’s price tag is its scarcity.
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#2 Most Expensive MTG Uncommon
Like all of the entries on this list that are from the Antiquities MTG set, Power Artifact is part of the Reserved List which means, providing that Wizards of the Coast keeps their promise, this card will never be reprinted in a competitively playable way.
Power Artifact only really sees cEDH play, but it’s a win condition in that format. Power Artifact is best used in conjunction with activated abilities that can lead to infinite combos when reduced. Some examples of cards like this are Grim Monolith and Basalt Monolith. Both Monoliths do not untap on their own and need an activated ability to do so. If you use Power Artifact to reduce the activation cost of their activated ability, the artifact will create more mana than it costs to untap it, therefore making infinite mana.
While Power Artifact does see a lot of cEDH play, its price is primarily due to its scarcity. Currently, you can find copies of this card for between $200 and $250, but the card is much more commonly priced around the $200 range.
#1 Most Expensive MTG Uncommon
Some of the cards on this list are a part of the Reserved List, and Transmute Artifact is no exception. Like some of the other cards on this list, Transmute Artifact hails from the Antiquities set and only has one printing in its existence. The text on this card is a bit outdated, so it can be difficult to understand exactly what this card is doing.
The idea behind Transmute Artifact is similar to a Polymorph combined with a Tinker at an extra cost. Transmute Artifact basically tutors an artifact onto the battlefield at the cost of sacrificing another artifact. Things get a bit weird past that point because this particular tutor cares about mana value. If the artifact you sacrificed has a lower mana value than the tutored one, you need to pay the difference. If you fail to do so, the searched artifact goes to the graveyard. Obviously, as most tutors are, this card will mostly be used in conjunction with finding infinite combo pieces. These don’t need to be super expensive a lot of the time, so playing an early Transmute Artifact is not unheard of.
While the card does see very limited Vintage play, Transmute Artifact sees a lot of cEDH and Dual Commander play. This card’s $200+ price tag is a result of its popularity in these formats combined with its scarcity. Prices on Transmute Artifact vary heavily (usually between $100 and $300), but a majority of purchases seem to float around the $250 mark.