One of the most expensive cards from Magic the Gathering’s second-ever release Arabian Nights, Diamond Valley is one of the best cards in the set, as well. It’s often selling on the secondary market for $400 or more a copy,
Tapping Diamond Valley allows you to sacrifice a creature in order to gain life equal to the sacrificed creature’s toughness. Not only that, but its effect is able to be used after blockers have been declared. That way you can benefit from blocking an attacking creature while still getting the life gain.
While it’s not really a card that can necessarily win you a game, life gain effects have been helpful in staying in a game you may otherwise lose. Competitively, Diamond Valley has appeared in decks going all the way back to 1994. In fact, one copy of Diamond Valley appeared in Zak Dolan’s winning deck at Worlds in 1994. In more recent years, it became a staple in Jean-Mary “LeJay” Accart’s Eternal Life Deck back in 2007 and 2008, with 3 copies gracing the main deck, with a fourth copy in the sideboard.
Diamond Valley is also a very fun card for EDH / Commander decks that are built around life-gain mechanics. In particular, it’s been a part of some high profile Karlov of the Ghost Council Commander decks, especially in 1-on-1 Commander.
It’s pricey to acquire, but it’s a fun card to play. You can use it quite a number of times in a game, so it’s worth a look if you’re willing to sink a few hundred bucks or more into acquiring a copy. Understandably, this card is on the Reserve List, meaning it won’t be reprinted in a future. Not only is it powerful, but it would be very difficult to reprint this in today’s Magic, as it would be instantly played in modern competitive formats.
Have you ever played Diamond Valley?
~ Amelia “Phoenix” Desertsong <3