The original ten Alpha Beta Unlimited dual lands in Magic the Gathering are some of the most sought-after cards in the game’s history. However, they do exist in one other set known as Third Edition or Revised. Since then, the Dual lands which feature two basic land Types on one card with no drawback have them placed on Magic’s Reserve list. As of late August 2021, the top 10 cards best-selling on TCGplayer include Underground Sea and Volcanic Island from revised. Just outside of the top 10 sits Tropical Island. It is important to note that the other seven dual lands lag far behind those three.
It’s also very important to point out that these three dual lands are not cards that your typical magic player is going to buy. Despite their utility in Commander, most people do not have $800 to $900 to spend on a single Magic the Gathering card. The blue black dual land underground sea is the most expensive of the three with a market price of $950. Volcanic island sits at an $830 price point, whereas a Tropical Island can sell for around $815. Do keep in mind that these prices assume that the buyer is purchasing a near mint condition card. Many of these dual lands are in heavily played or damaged condition, although even in that condition while played in sleeves are still legal in play. Therefore, these cards can be purchased at a discount of up to 20 to 30% if you are willing to purchase a poor condition card.
It is somewhat strange to see these three vintage cards being surrounded by many popular modern cards. You do wonder where the money is coming from in order to purchase these cards in a great enough quantity to appear on TCGPlayers best-selling list for magic cards. While these prices are far from their all-time highs, these are still very expensive cards to pick up for most people. Of course with savings and bonds returning such low Returns on investment, many people who may have considered alternative investments are now seeing these blue-chip Magic cards as a way to park their money.
This isn’t to say that traditional Investments aren’t still the way to go in the long term. However do keep in mind that any commander deck that plays multiple colors can take advantage of these dual lands. They are the ultimate Mana fixing and since they can be easily fetched up by a wide variety of cards they’re extremely versatile. There are still old school magic players who still have vintage collections worth tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. But anyone who’s looking to just have the best possible lands for their deck is going to consider these revised dual lands.
Consider that revised underground Seas have sold for as much as $1,300 in February of 2021. Volcanic island has also sold for $1,000 as recently as March 2021. Last Lee tropical island sold for almost $1,200 in January 2021. Since the Madrid Market cooled off for a considerable period during 2021 it does seem that these cards are down again looking to again approach these prices. This is, of course, only my opinion; however, it is interesting to watch the market suddenly looking to snatch up as many of these cards as possible.
If you are thinking of purchasing revised dual lands, this may not be a bad time to look into acquiring these cards here. My advice would be to look into trading in cards you are not using in your collection as store credit towards these cards. There isn’t really any chance of these cards ever being reprinted in a modern set. These are speculation-free trading card investments that will always be among the most sought-after cards in Magic the Gathering.
What cards are you most excited about in Magic the Gathering right now?
Updated August 22, 2021
Note: This information is solely the opinion of the author and is not intended as actual financial advice. The author also owns no copies of the aforementioned cards at the time of this writing.