Battle Screech is actually quite a solid card. It costs 2WW to cast to get two 1/1 white Bird tokens with flying into play. That would be fairly mediocre on its own. But, by tapping three untapped white creatures you control with its Flashback cost, you get two more. You play Battle Screech, tap down the two Birds you just made and one other creature. You essentially get 4 1/1's with flying for 4 mana. That's a pretty good deal.
But why would it go from being not even a $1 card to $3 overnight? This is when Pauper began to pick up steam in Paper Magic. While people played Pauper, with the rising costs of competitive Magic, a lot of players took their Magic Online Pauper decks and transferred them to paper. This led to local game stores holding Pauper tournaments. In turn, this meant a lot of older commons suddenly became a lot more valuable.
Still, Battle Screech is an uncommon in paper Magic. That doesn’t matter. What’s legal in Pauper goes by what’s legal on Magic Online. Being an uncommon from an older set means that the supply isn’t anywhere as high as we think of with uncommons today. Once it hit $3, Battle Screech hit $4 for awhile before skyrocketing in January 2018 to $7! Some other uncommons also legal in Pauper, such as Circular Logic from Torment, have also followed suit.
While cards like Battle Screech will likely get reprints at some point, it goes to show that even commons and uncommons can reach rare card prices if there’s enough demand for them. Older cards, in particular, can go bonkers like this one did, especially if people need four copies for a particular deck. So, if you have any good commons or uncommons laying around, you may want to check their values and if they’re played in Pauper. You might be pleasantly surprised.