[RPG] Why is this uncommon magic item better than this rare magic item


From what I understand, uncommon magic items are less valuable than rare items in terms of functional power and monetary value. From the DMG (pg. 135), uncommon items are worth 101–500 gp while rare items are worth 501–5,000 gp.

I was reading through various magic items and noticed the following items:

+1 Armor. Armor (light, medium, or heavy), rare. You have a [+1] bonus to AC while wearing this armor.

Cloak of Protection. Wondrous item, uncommon (requires attunement). You gain a +1 bonus to AC and saving throws while you wear this cloak. (DMG, p. 159)

In comparing the two I noticed something strange: the armor is rare — worth up to 5,000 gp, while the cloak has the exact same effect and then some and is worth no more than 500 gp. In other words, the cloak is "better" than the armor but potentially worth much, much less than the armor. Am I missing something?

Why would an uncommon magic item have better properties than a rare magic item?

Best Answer

Attunement is an opportunity cost.

Wearing +1 armor is a straight uncomplicated upgrade from non-magical armor. The Cloak requires attunement, and you can only attune to three items at a time, so it competes for space with other magical items.