It is incredibly rare to see a jump like this in the MTG secondary market space. It usually takes time for a card to increase in demand as it slowly starts accumulating tournament wins, or is featured on a prominent MTG personality’s EDH channel, where it completely takes over a game of Commander. In other words, spikes like these take some time to manifest… most of the time. Nissa, Resurgent Animist looks to be the newest flavor of metabreaker, because it has spiked immensely overnight!
The Newest Best Thing
Demand for Nissa, Resurgent Animist has caused the card’s secondary market value to go haywire. The card was recently retailing for about $17-18 during the prerelease season (about a week ago) but is now selling for as much as $50! Prices are still in flux, but $35 to $40 seems to be the temporarily established asking price for MTG’s desparked Planeswalker this afternoon. It does seem to be trending downwards to $30 overtime. What happened to make this change? We’ve already discussed all the elements previously, but putting all those things together should help paint the picture that is Nissa, Resurgent Animist.
A Breakout Modern Card
To begin, Nissa, Resurgent Animist has been looking absolutely incredible in the Modern format. All of the tools that Nissa needs to act at peak efficiency is a metagame homestay, making her an astonishing value engine. No one really expected MTG Aftermath to have a heavy Modern impact prior to this weekend, which allowed Nissa to catch a lot of players by surprise. Interestingly, we did speculate that Nissa may have a Modern impact in this exact archetype.
MTG streamer Yungdingo took the above list to a top-four finish. A new take on the Modern Four-Color Elementals strategy, Nissa has absolutely everything she needs to crank out a ton of value. The core of her value comes from the combination of the Evoke Elementals present in the deck and Fetch Lands. Recurrable with Wrenn and Six, Fetch Lands essentially, represent two land drops, allowing Nissa to reliably find a threat every turn. Since there are a lot of Evoke Elementals in your deck, this can have an immediate impact on the board state, allowing you to keep up your tempo game while cranking out a ton of value from Nissa.
What Nissa Does in Modern
Because of Nissa’s other ability to float mana, you can also use the Animist to ramp up to your Elemental threats. This supports both the Evoke and the non-Evoke costs of your Elementals, allowing them to become win conditions instead of removal pieces as quickly as possible.
Keep in mind that there are opportunities for your opponents to remove Nissa as you try to get your second land drop. The bulk of Nissa’s value occurs when you make your second land drop, which also gives your opponent an opportunity to deny it. In the case of using Fetch Lands, Evolving Wilds, and the like, the triggers for these lands will go on the stack. Your opponent can respond with removal to kill the Nissa before she sees the second land drop, so be sure to be careful of this.
This changes if you have Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, in play, which will allow Nissa’s ability to resolve twice after one land, taking away the window where one can remove Nissa before it provides value. This is under the assumption that the land you play to trigger Nissa is from your hand.
Nissa Replacing Risen Reef
This iteration of Four-Color Elementals has Nissa, Resurgent Animist replacing what has traditionally been Risen Reef. This three-mana value piece played a similar role to Nissa, but some core differences exist. Risen Reef ensures that you, at worst, get to draw a card since it triggers off its own ability. Risen Reef also ramps you in the sense that lands that the creature finds go into play instead of into your hand. Nissa, on the other hand, has a slightly bigger body, offers immediate mana advantage (but it dissipates as the phase ends), and offers the chance to find a guaranteed threat as long as it triggers twice.
The most significant change between these options is that Nissa triggers off your lands while Risen Reef triggers off your Elemental creatures. This means that Nissa can do much better when you’re flooding, especially considering that Wrenn and Six helps you recur your lands. On the other hand, Risen Reef isn’t any help when all you have are land cards.
Nissa is Also Good in Commander
Not as much explanation is needed to explain why this card is good in Commander. Nissa offers immediate mana ramp and is a value engine, which is almost everything you want in a game of casual Commander. This should be a fantastic upgrade to any Elf, Elemental, and Landfall deck that has a reasonable amount of targets for Nissa’s second ability, as long as you can fulfill the requirement of resolving Nissa’s ability twice reliably.
While not a lot of explanation is needed to explain why Nissa is good in the format, as long as the Commander format itself does not need to be explained, it is still very important to mention that Nissa is important in Commander. This is to drive home the point that there is more than one group of MTG players who are interested in acquiring Nissa, Resurgent Animist. This creates a lot more demand for the card since it’s good in both Commander and Modern. Heck, Nissa could even be playable in other competitive formats since it’s legal, especially considering the big changes coming to Standard. More demand means more strain on the supply of the card, which causes a price increase.
Is Aftermath Getting Opened?
One thing made apparent by early feedback from the MTG community is that MTG Aftermath does not have the best opening experience. Because of how small this set is, opening packs of MTG’s first mini-set is a very repetitive experience.
If this means that March of the Machine: The Aftermath gets opened less, it may mean that there are less Nissa’s in circulation than what players want. In other words, supply may not meet the demand for the card, which, again, can cause the price can go up.
This goes two ways, however. Because the MTG Aftermath set is so small, it can also make it easier to open copies of Nissa, Resurgent Animist. Nissa’s price increase will also make the MTG Aftermath set more appealing to open for players who want to chase it, just like the players who opened March of the Machine in hopes of finding a Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer. Should this card be easier to open than the average Rare in a full-sized MTG set, the supply for Nissa could rapidly increase to meet demand, which would normalize the card’s value.
Is This Only Temporary?
For now, however, players have taken notice of Nissa, and the card has already gone through a lot of changes. Last night, the card was selling for $50. This morning, it was selling for $40. At the end of today, Nissa looks to be moving towards $30 (but there are still copies selling for $40 or more), but it’s still above the $17 mark where it was a week ago. Where it ends up, we will see, but there is no guarantee that Nissa will remain at its current price point, especially with all the unopened MTG Aftermath product.
Read More: Top 12 Best MTG Aftermath Cards!