Bulk Rares that I Don’t Want

Written By:

Douglas Johnson @Rose0fthorns

Writer’s Block

I’ve got nothing to write about this week. I had nothing to write about last week either, which is why I decided to burn up one of my vacation days and relax while the rest of the internet world burned. I could have just copied and pasted all of my tweets about the Reserved List and shambled together some makeshift satire article, but my heart really wouldn’t have been in it. Two weeks ago I continued on my discussion about in Customer Service #mtgfinance, so go ahead and catch up on those two links if you’re looking for an additional dose of content, while I think of something to write for this wonderful Thursday.

TCG Direct

This would have been a timely opportunity to write about the new TCGplayer Direct buylist that just launched this week, but I feel that I already covered a large majority of the questions that I’ve been approached with so far. That article can be found right here, but it can be summarized in a few points.

  • I’m not worried about the TCGplayer buylist encouraging locals to sell cards online as opposed to bringing me their collections for cash.
  • The conveniences you offer by having cash in hand and being available at odd hours of the day/night more than make up for the slightly higher percentages that TCGplayer’s buylisting vendors will offer.
  • I expect that your ability and willingness to buy “pretty much everything,” including bulk common/uncommons and bulk rares will sway people in your favor who want to get rid of everything in one fell swoop.
  • I don’t think many (if any) stores will be able to offer the competitive buy prices that the Blueprint will offer for your jank common and uncommon buylistable stuff. Thomas is awesome to deal with.

Bullet Points on Bulk Rares

It’s been a little while since I’ve covered bulk rares as a topic, but there are a couple more things I wanted to mention about them that don’t warrant an entire article’s worth of content. I know that I enjoy proclaiming that I “buy anything and everything” as a personal buylist, and I especially enjoy buying bulk rares because of how safe of an investment they are. However, there are a few bulk rares that I actually advocate staying away from and I don’t think I’ve made that clear in any of my previous articles where I suggested you buy dime rares.

  • Stay away from foreign bulk rares. Almost all of the non-competitive players I’ve dealt with will avoid foreign cards that they and their friends are unable to read. As such, non-English bulk rares are extremely difficult to sell in my 25 cent boxes, and I’m always happy to move them for dimes myself just to get rid of them.
  • Stay away from moderately played bulk rares. Maybe this is just a personal preference, but I really like my bulk rare boxes to all contain NM/SP cards. Sometimes I’ll leave in MP cards that have a retail price of $1 to effectively price the card at a quarter, but in reality it’s extremely hard to move played bulk rares. Basically, we don’t want anything that we can’t easily resell to SCG. I have all of my played and foreign bulk rares in a large box that I try to move for 10 cents each.
  • Stay away from non-gold symbol bulk rares. Okay, this one’s a bit more unique. While these are still technically rares, they’re pretty hard to move when the non-competitive players think that you just accidentally left commons and uncommons in the box. Again, if the big-box stores don’t want them then neither do we. Channelfireball states explicitly that they only want gold symbol bulk rares, so feel free to turn away any 5th edition Shivan Dragons. I’d rather pay a dime for a  Necropolis Fiend any day of the week.



Eldritch Who?

If you started reading my articles relatively recently, you might be confused by the lack of attention I’ve paid towards new set releases. I’ve yet to mention Eldritch Moon in any of my articles, and I tend to avoid picking out cards that I think will spike hard in Standard. It’s not that I hate the format, I just don’t trust my own card evaluations well enough to justify putting them onto internet pages for you to read and trust.

What I *am* good at, is picking out cards that most other players will write off as “just a garbage bulk rare”, and letting you know that the buylist is actually five times what you might have thought it was. Let’s grab a handful of cards out of a pile that I paid 10 cents each for, and take a look-see.


There’s a lot of cards in this pile, and you might be wondering “Really?” on some of these cards that are all getting tossed into my “$1 each or six for $5” box.

Colossus of Akros


Yep. This guy is absolutely a $1 card, and I love being shipped  bulk lots off Facebook when I pay 10 cents each for these babies. I don’t know the exact deck this card goes in, which is weird because most casual only cards are pretty obvious where they’re being played. Maybe this is just a cheap alternative to Emrakul for the rampy Timmys? I don’t know, but I’m okay with it.

Cathars’ Crusade


This one is a bit more obvious. Everyone loves Tokens, and this card is a Commander gem in strategies like Ghave. Even though it was thrown in the mono-white deck in 2014, its’ shaken off that reprint and continues to creep upward, while more competitive Spikes blissfully throw it into boxes to sell for a dime.

Desecration Demon


Oh, how the mighty have fallen. That graph gives me a chuckle, because people are always surprised when I buy their Desecration Demon for more than double what they expected before I throw it into the dollar box to sell off later. While I was initially confused as to why this didn’t drop to true bulk after rotation, I have a working theory that the demand from this card comes from being one of the few demons with converted mana cost of 4 or less that actually fits into “Demon tribal”, before you get into the big and scary demons where you have a lot more options on the curve.

Malakir Bloodwitch


This one might be a bit more known because of its’ strong applications in Commander…. Oh wait, it probably wouldn’t. I recently played against an Olivia deck that ran this card, and I had to read it twice to make sure it was as good as they said it was. Yes, you drain each opponentand you gain all the life that you stole. It’s Gray Merchant for people who like Vampires, and there’s a lot of people who like Vampires. This card has been a dollar for a while as you can see from the graph,but its’ gained some recent traction from being a seven year old vampire with no reprints, while having a random protection that ends up being very relevant.

End Step

  • I really don’t care about Eldritch Moon. I likely won’t care until a bunch of the cards in the set drop to bulk rare status, so I can start picking them up for a dollar (plus 20 cents) a dozen.
  • It’s very unlikely that Arachnogenesis goes any lower than the $2.50 that it currently sits at. I’m not saying it spikes, but I’m also not saying that there wasn’t just a Legendary Spider made that people have been waiting for.


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10 thoughts on “Bulk Rares that I Don’t Want”

  1. Colossus of Akros can/will fit in any deck! Can you find a use for a colorless, indestructible, 10/10 defender? Probably. Would you like it to become an indestructible, 20/20 monstrosity with trample? Of course you would.
    How is this a bulk rare? It can’t be.
    This card, along with Desolation Twin (gives you two 10/10 creatures), should (in my opinion) be so much more valuable than their current prices indicate.
    I have been waiting patiently for their prices to skyrocket!!

  2. Haha, Cory u r adorable. Those cards u mentioned are obviously designed for players like u and that is perfectly fine. Instead of a 10/10 defender why wouldn’t u cast an Ulamog or Kozilek? Sometimes the answer is affordability or preference. But to a competitive magic player the cards u mentioned have much better alternatives and are very unlikely to “skyrocket” as u hope. But if u buy them for 10 cents u really aren’t risking much so go to town

  3. I like your picks. In the picture for others who are struggling to see:

    Mirror entity is completely busted. You only need to lose to it once in commander to realise why.

    Silent arbiter is a great card and is in my cube. It was also in my slobad/daretti commander deck for a while. It’s just an unexpected effect on a good blocker

    Colossus of Akros really is a fun card for commander. I had it in my daretti deck. Sub-optimal? Likely, but will people remember losing to collossus, and its a good time card. No-one says “remember that time i beat you down with wurmcoil engine?” because that’s a miserable time for your opponent.

    Maybe I’m moving into the silent group of players – the casuals. Some of us have played enough competitive magic to realise their choices are suboptimal, but still deciding to go that way anyway. I suppose were the types that don’t mind buying half their cards for a commander deck in ebay, just because dealing with trading is not worth the time and annoyance factor.

    As a side note – canadian highlander and aussie 7 point highlander seem like formats for spikes and casuals alike. There’s none of the awkwardness that comes with edh politics bullshit – it’s just honest 1v1 cards for honest folk. It’s such a shame the reserved list screws everything up for prices.

  4. On bulk rares I agree regarding foreign and below SP, however I’ve never had trouble moving older rares that have no rarity indication. I would recommend checking with your out, but if they have no problem with it then you shouldn’t either (my out doesn’t). On the other hand I do stay away from anything that’s not actually Rare (U1’s from older sets like Chronicles, Fallen Empires and Homelands, but also Timeshifted cards).

  5. Spencer,
    Colossus of Akros can be played as a 4-of, in addition to 1 each of the Ulamogs and/or Kozileks (all legendary). It is indestructible (unlike your options) and can become a 20/20 with trample. I admit, Ulamog(s) and Kozilek(s) have far better additional abilities and triggers, but none of them are indestructible 20/20s with trample. Not even Emrakul is a 20/20! None of your choices have haste (which would make them far superior) and they each cost 15-20+ times the money of what a Colossus of Akros costs. BTW, just because I run 4 Colossi, does not necessarily mean I do not have Emrakul(s), Ulamog(s) and/or Kozilek(s) in the deck(s) as well.
    My point is, that Colossus of Akros is a great for many (casual) decks that I cannot believe still costs less than $1.

    1. Corey, y do u run 4 Colossus and only 1 of the Eldrazi? Is that just because u can theoretically have multiple Colossus(es) on the battlefield at once? Is there some Legendary rule for casual magic I don’t know of?? Cause in EDH it’s a singleton format and for casual magic I assume u can play whatever u want.

      I simply meant to explain why it isn’t more. I think Theros was also well liked and greatly over produced so there’s a ton of supply. It’s also not a ubiquitous card like Burnished Hart or Chromatic Latern. I’m not telling u not to like it or have faith, but I think there r better specs out there (Allosaurus Rider which was bulk for example)

  6. The group I play with only allows 1 copy of each legendary card on the battlefield at a time (unless you have Mirror Gallery in play). I only have one EDH deck, and there is just 1 Colossus of Akros in that deck. I run 4 in my Eldrazi deck, 4 in my Artifact deck (both have lots of mana ramp) and 1 copy in most other decks. I pulled several of them from Theros and was also given several more for nothing. I am not big into speculation, but more into taking advantage of major price spikes to sell off cards I already have in my collection at their peaks, and buy into “better” cards (such as Emrakul, Kozilek, etc…), and/or buy them back when they drop again. For example, I’ve sold off an Ancestral Vision, a Jace, Vryn’s Prodigy, a Voice of Resurgence, two Monastery Mentors, three Flooded Strands and two Collected Companies – all which I pulled from booster packs. I claim to be luckier than I am good at picking cards and prices.

  7. It’s better to invest in all bulk rares if you have the money to tie up long term. You really don’t know what rares are going to go through the roof. The cards from Mirrodin block that were bulk rares are now worth the most. A lot of the high priced rares (many creatures) have lost their value by being replaced. So lets be honest; you don’t know what cards are going to be replaced. It follows that you don’t know which cards are going to go through the roof. It’s not a bad idea to buy all bulk rares at a good price.

  8. It seems to me that there’s a slight disdain, perhaps even a self-loathing the community has for “casual players”. Let’s be honest, the majority of magic play happens across the kitchen table and professional magic is often boring to watch, with ranks frustratingly hard to climb, and often times, prohibitively expensive. Casual magic is what sells boosters, which is what feeds the beast. Let’s not be so quick to get sniffy about bulk rare, table top, sleeveless, un-sponsered Magic. I mean, it’s Magic, not Chateau Petrus.

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