Magic the Gathering’s Pauper format has caused some cards to see crazy price spikes over the years. This may seem strange, as in Pauper you can only play cards in your deck that were at one time printed at common. One such card that saw a major price spike due to seeing competitive play in Pauper was actually an uncommon from Torment called Chainer’s Edict. On at least a couple of occasions, its price shot to $10 or higher from just few dollars. This happened when Edict became legal in Pauper due to a reprint in the Magic Online exclusive reprint set, Vintage Masters.
But, there would be another Torment uncommon to share the same fate by the name of Circular Logic. It was also reprinted in Vintage Masters at common. But while Chainer’s Edict saw huge gains back around Christmas 2015, it would take until January 2018 for Circular Logic to finally see its own price spike.
Back its in Standard days, Circular Logic was a pretty good card. It’s a really good card if you can cast it for its Madness cost. It reads: “Counter target spell unless its controller pays one generic mana for each card in your graveyard.” For three mana, that’s not a bad permission spell. But if you happen to discard it, you can play it for its Madness cost, which is only a single Blue mana. That’s pretty strong, and a card you’d play four copies of in a deck based around Madness.
Since its Standard days, though, Circular Logic became a bit of a forgotten card in competitive play. It doesn’t even see much play in Commander. Likewise, even when it first became legal in Pauper, it wasn’t a widely played card. It did, and still does, see play in a fairly popular Blue/Black control deck called U/B Teachings. This deck uses Mystical Teachings to search out any instant spell in the deck. The deck only plays one copy of Circular Logic so it’s clearly not something you’ll see all the time. There isn’t really a solid interaction in the deck itself. But it’s pretty good against the Mono-Black Control decks in the format.
Still, even with such little visible play, Circular Logic has long been a strong casual card. People really like building decks around the Madness mechanic. The mechanic was even reintroduced in Shadows Over Innistrad. Still, this card didn’t break $1 for a long time, although interest in it certainly picked up at that time.
In early 2018, Circular Logic would find a new home in Pauper in a deck called Inside Out Combo. Not only that, the deck plays four copies. In response to this new deck, the card would enjoy not one, but two price spikes. The first was from $1 to $4, and the second was to $7.50. It would settle back around $6. What is this awesome deck that caused such a momentous price spike?
The deck is based around a pair of cards. One is a creature called Tireless Tribe, which allows you to discard a card for it to gain +0/+4. Obviously, this is awesome synergy with a Madness card like Circular Logic, giving you a cheap and easy counterspell to set up the combo with the namesake card in the deck. Inside Out is a 2-mana instant spell that switches the power and toughness of a creature until end of turn. It also draws you a card.
The Inside Out Combo deck is extremely simple: draw a bunch of cards then dump a bunch of cards, get through unblocked with something like Shadow Rift, then drop a copy of Inside Out. While you’re at it, you can discard the card you drew. You’ll probably get through for lethal damage. It’s pretty basic, but the deck has enough countermagic to make it feasible. The deck is actually very successful on Magic Online and in the Pauper format in general.
Circular Logic is an awesome card for the deck, and really, the deck wouldn’t function nearly as well without it. Because Tireless Tribe’s ability can be played at any time, you can counter just about anything with its synergy with Circular Logic.
An eventual reprint did come for this card in 2018’s Ultimate Masters reprint set at uncommon, thanks to the set featuring cards with the Madness mechanic. However, its new printing at uncommon doesn’t change its legality in Pauper. So, if you happen to find these lying around your local game store in bulk boxes, you definitely want to pick some of these up for your Magic collection.