It saw little to no Legacy play and only minimal play in Commander. The only format in which Chainer's Edict saw play is in Pauper on Magic Online. Pauper is the all-common format which gained new life with the printing of lots of older uncommons at common in sets in online-only sets such as Vintage Masters and Tempest Remastered. That's right. On Magic Online, Chainer's Edict became a common, thanks to the Magic Online-only reprint set of Vintage Masters.
Being common in Vintage Masters means that Chainer’s Edict is legal in the Pauper format, despite its paper printings only being at uncommon or higher. In addition to the original Torment printing, there’s the Friday Night Magic foil promo, and the "mythic rare" From the Vault: Twenty premium foil. So, Chainer’s Edict becoming legal in Pauper explains where so many From the Vault: Twenty Chainer's Edicts ran off to…
And not only did Chainer’s Edict see a price spike, it saw three separate spikes, along with other “mini” spikes. On Christmas 2015, Chainer’s Edict from Torment hit $4 after being just $1.50 the week before. It would hit $6.50, then blow up to $15.50 in March. You read that right. And while Chainer’s Edict did come back to Earth around $5, in early 2018, it would blow up again, all the way to $16! While it eventually stabilized around $10, you have to figure that’s pretty high for an uncommon that only sees play in Pauper. The From the Vault Twenty printing is about the same and the promo sells for a decent premium.
So why is Chainer’s Edict so expensive? All it does is force a target player to sacrifice a creature for 2 mana. That’s good, but is it $10 good? This is when you have to consider that it has a Flashback cost of 5BB or five colorless mana and 2 Black mana. While 7 mana sounds really high, you get to play it from the graveyard. Essentially, you get two uses out of the same card, and that’s always a good thing.
Really, it’s expensive because so many decks in Pauper can use it. After all, this is a card that saw a lot of Standard play at one time. Cards that force sacrifices are really good, and keep in mind that this was uncommon originally, not common. When uncommons suddenly become commons, you’re going to have a few that suddenly become extremely good cards in the format.
So, if you happen to have any copies of Chainer’s Edict lying around, congratulations, you can go make some extra cash. Or you can play them in Pauper. Either way, be glad you have them. Chainer’s Edict is an example of why you should always know the value of your cards. You just never know when a decent card will become valuable.