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Budget Gems from the Recent Past


Welcome back to another article of budget goodness! Today we are going to take a step back and look at cards from a selection of sets from the not too recent past that have room to grow! The sets we are looking at today are War of the Spark, Throne of Eldraine, Amonkhet, Khans of Tarkir, and Magic Origins. Hopefully after this read you will consider acquiring some of these gems!

Animist's Awakening
Animist's Awakening is our first card, and all versions of the card have room to grow! The non-foils come in at $1.00, the foils are $3.71, and the Commander 2020 non-foils are $0.83 (mtgstocks.com). Ramp cards are ones I personally look at when looking for something budget friendly card with potential to rise in value. Although some folks have the mindset that cards with "X" in the mana cost are not worth it, there are some things they might not be considering. This card has potential value in Modern, Pioneer, and Commander! Landfall triggers intrigue me, and Animist's Awakening can provide them in spades. Being able to pop this off in the later stages of a match to gain extra buffs and go for the win is something Gruul (Red/Green) and Simic (Blue/Green) players should consider.

The bottom ability on this card is another thing we need to consider. Chances are when we go to play this, we will have at least two instants or sorcery cards in our graveyard. As a result we will now have those lands entering the battlefield untapped rather than tapped. Of course, we have to acknowledge this needs to have a good portion of mana spent on it to make it effective. Between dorks, other ramp cards, and the lands we play, we should have enough sources late game to make this worth our while. Even as an early to mid-game play it is worth a play if we know we can get additional lands. Without a foil reprint, the foils have more room to grow over that $5.00 range with time.

Kin-Tree Invocation
Kin-Tree Invocation is next up and should be a Sultai players' best friend! The current price is $0.25 for non-foils, and $0.44 (mtgstocks.com) for foil copies. When this card was first released, I thought it would most certainly be a $3.00 - $5.00 foil uncommon. My mind went right to all of those control players that like to wall up, slow down the game, and make a late game push. Kin-Tree Invocation would give them an opportunity to not only slow down the pace of the game with walls, but let them get aggressive with a 5/5, 6/6, or even a 7/7 creature for a cost of two mana! One can argue that the cost is not appealing, being one Black mana and one Green mana, but the upside far outweighs it!

In Pioneer this could make a splash in certain builds making use of creatures or walls with a large amount of toughness. I can speak for myself when playing MTGO (Magic Online) that I have won games using this card in the early, mid, or late game. I've seen the highest amount of success against Mono-Red Aggro and Mono-White Weenie decks as they have much smaller creatures. Having a 6/6 on turn three is not something they want to have to deal with. With "Red Deck Wins" currently making up 14% of the meta, this can have an effect on your matches against it! At the very least I feel this should be considered for your sideboard!

Once Upon a Time
Once Upon a Time is next up and has the ability to go back up in price. The current price ranges from $1.43 for non-foils, $3.09 for foils, $4 for prerelease foils, $4.49 (mtgstocks.com) for alternate art non-foils, and $21.56 for alternate art foil copies. It has been on a downward decline since it was banned in Modern, Pioneer, and Standard. However, it still sees quite a bit of play in Legacy and Vintage. There are plenty of cards out there that are only used in Legacy, Vintage, and Commander that rise in price.

This is one of those cards that has to chance to come back over time if it sees more use, and it should! Even in Commander, it should see plenty of play, as decks are always looking for a way to find their key cards. This is not a tutor, but there are plenty of cards that allow you to put revealed cards back on top of your library or on top in any order. Using Once Upon a Time would allow players to pick from those cards and get exactly what they want. This is one to keep an eye on, as all it would take is for this to be in a deck that does well in tournaments to drive it back up! At the current price of the prerelease foils, it would not hurt to trade into a play set of them.

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales is our next card for discussion. Its current price is $1.00 for non-foils, $2.00 the foils, and $2.21 for prerelease foils (mtgstocks.com). This card is one that should at least be in your sideboard. This is the only card currently in Pioneer that defends against sacrificing permanents. If you are playing a deck with a lot of hexproof creatures, Tamiyo, Collector of Tales should be in that deck. As long as you are able to get it out on the board, you limit your opponent's ability to remove your creatures to using only board wipes. Even in Commander this vies for a spot in the ninety-nine as it is the only non-creature spell with this ability. Overall, it is a really good card to have in your binder, and should be added as trade bait at the very least!

The next thing we are going to touch on really quick are the cycling lands from Amonkhet. They are all creeping up in value on the foil side, and if you have the trades available I suggest grabbing them. Do not be surprised if they creep upward of $10.00 as time goes on. With all cards (especially lands), the more play they see, the more the value will go up. These should see more play, especially in Pioneer. Some off these have seen an increase in value between 80% and 100% (mtgstocks.com) since January 2020! Keep an eye on them, but now is just as good of a time as ever to snag these foils at their current price!

That's all for today, but we will continue to go down the path of eternal format cards in the next article. If there are any cards you would like my opinion on, please feel free to comment on my articles below! I will do my best to accommodate those who take the time for those who interact with this series!

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