Bazaar of Baghdad
– Vintage Masters
April 28, 2020
Commander [EDH]: 3.00
Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale. 1 is bad. 3 is average. 5 is great.
In the Limited Edition, the only thing lands did was produce mana. So of course, the first expansion not only had to break that rule, but break it really badly by including a bunch of lands that didn’t produce mana at all. Of those, Bazaar of Baghdad is the one that sees the most play in eternal formats. Plenty of people have affection for Isle of Wak-Wak, but if you’re concerned about winning tournament games, the Bazaar is just insane by almost any standard. Though having to discard more than you draw is a disadvantage in a vacuum, in practice it sets up some powerful plays and follow-ups, mostly involving the dredge keyword. You’re unlikely to be using it outside of a deck like that, so it’s one of those cards that’s extremely narrow yet extremely powerful within that context. It’s overkill for many casual or Commander matches, but I’m sure somebody is having fun with it right now nonetheless.
After the Ikoria triomes, it seems like this week’s theme is “old colorless cards”. Bazaar of Baghdad might be the most valuable card I’ve reviewed in quite some time, currently going for more than $1000 on the secondhand market! Arabian Nights cards in general have that issue, particularly if they’re locked behind the Reserved List, but especially if they see play in Constructed formats.
Bazaar of Baghdad is a simple effect: draw two cards, then discard three cards. It seems bad at first (-1 in card advantage, doesn’t tap for mana), but there’s a market for such an effect. The best friend of the Bazaar is Dredge, a deck known for perverting the normal paradigm of Magic as we know it, and turboing through your deck even faster is well worth the price of admission. I’ll point out that the Bazaar is Commander-legal, and it can be used in the format successfully, but it’s not a card worth getting unless you’re in a full CEDH-style Dredge abomination.
It’s not perfect, but it serves a role in a specific deck perfectly, and it’s way too good for Legacy as a result. Seems simple enough.
Constructed: 4.75 (only in one deck, but it’s nigh-integral to that deck functioning)
Hello everyone and welcome back to Pojo’s Card of the Day, seeing as we’re looking at cards that are in a good spot to buy in the secondary market, I figured we should look at one of the best market based cards in Magic. Bazaar of Baghdad!
So this card is kind of tricky and it looks really bad at first glance. It doesn’t tap for regular Mana, which turned out to be a semi-common occurrence back in the old days, I guess they didn’t really think about it or maybe it was to try and balance the card. Funny enough Library of Alexandria, one of the most broken of these special lands, taps for (1). But Bazaar also draws you cards, albeit only two, and you have to discard three of them, it’s a very niche situation where you’re willing to trade down card advantage but it does exist.
One of the first uses of this card was the more obvious and that was Reanimator style decks and while fatties have only become more awesome targets one of the toughest questions has always been ‘How do I get it into my graveyard’ and while Cabal Therapy and other forms are great, there is nothing better than getting to draw and discard to filter your library and hand of the chonky stuff and keep your spells around.
The other place this card really fits in is in Vintage Dredge, which is kind of the budget deck of Vintage. Yes I know ‘Budget Vintage’ sounds like an oxymoron but you should probably have something for that deck if you’re playing Vintage. Being able to dredge with Golgari Grave Troll using Bazaar is a very special feeling you get in the cockles of your heart, and only by playing Vintage.
The other amazing place to use this card is in Powered Vintage Cube, and that’s one of my favorite places to swim. It’s not an amazing card you first pick, but chances are you can potentially wheel it around the draft and hope to snag it for some reanimation shenanigans with juicy stuff like Reanimate , Exhume , and the classic Animate Dead .
Unfortunately this card is normally incredibly expensive, but right now it’s buying season! Ebay sold listings have shown this card dropping substantially depending on condition so if you’re looking to dip into Vintage this might be a worthwhile card to start spending some of them stimubucks on.
Also: Fun thing happened in a Cube Draft a little while ago, player activated Bazaar of Baghdad while the opposing player had Narset out. Maximum ouch!
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