16, Jul, 23

Multiformat MTG Staple Hits $40 after Doubling in Price!

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The MTG secondary market this week is, more or less, a lot of cards losing value. This is thanks to the release of Commander Masters, causing a ton of EDH staples to see huge drops in price. As a result, most of the cards going up this week are unrelated to the format and will probably remain that way until the full list for Commander Masters is confirmed.

With the Modern Pro Tour just around the corner and a season of Modern Regional Championship Qualifiers about to start, interest in the format is severely increasing. This, admittedly, was likely kicked off by the Lord of the Rings set completely flipping the format on its head, but interest has only steadily increased from there. Here are the cards of note in today’s MTG secondary market.

Living End

Living End has been a competitive staple in Modern ever since the release of Modern Horizons 2. The deck existed before this in the form of Jund but was much worse than the incredibly sleek killing machine it has become. Thanks to the printing of Shardless Agent in Modern Horizons 2, Living End converted to an archetype that Cycles a bunch of creatures into your graveyard to reanimate them with a Cascaded Living End on turn three (ideally). This deck can consistently end games on turns 4-5.

Unfortunately, the deck is also quite fragile. Faced with various hate pieces like Teferi, Time Raveler, any form of graveyard hate like Relic of Progenitus and countermagic, the deck was consistent but easy to disrupt. As a result, before Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth was released, the deck was considered a tier-two strategy by many.

Fast forward to Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth and Living End got another power boost. By adding in the new landcyclers like Generous Ent and Oliphaunt, the deck became even more consistent. The chances of flooding out or not hitting the three lands needed to Cascade into Living End have become much smaller thanks to these Cyclers. The stats they boast upon reanimation are also terrifying and hit like a truck. Thanks to this update, Living End is now considered one of the best decks in the Modern meta.

This also means that a lot more players are eager to pick up the Living End archetype. Powerful and not super complicated to pilot, the popularity of this card has risen immensely. This has been reflected in secondary market prices for the card, increasing from $3.50 to approaching $10 (selling for between $8 and $10 for the most part, with outliers above and below those prices) over the course of a few weeks. Most players interested in Living End are notably going to want 3-4 of them.

Read More: The Most Expensive Commander Masters Cards Spoiled (So Far)


Another card seeing huge increases thanks to Modern play is Grief. Alongside Living End’s rise to prominence, Rakdos Scam has also gotten a power boost in the form of Orcish Bowmasters. Grief sees a ton of play in both Rakdos Scam and Living End.

In Living End, Grief serves as a tool to help push your signature spell through opponent’s interaction. You get to peek at their hand and take a core hate piece like Teferi, Time Raveler or a counterspell. Since the card dies after being Evoked, it will also come back after a Living End resolves and take something else. While holding Grief for the turn you Living End can be correct in some matchups, it definitely varies on what you’re playing against, at least in my opinion.

In Rakdos Scam, Grief is a core part of the main combo the deck utilizes. Using effects like Feign Death and Undying Malice, Scam players can Evoke Grief and reanimate it off the Evoke trigger for just one mana. Basically, this will give you a body that takes two cards out of your opponent’s hand in exchange for three of your cards (and a land).

Thanks to these archetypes rising in power, Grief has increased in price a ton over the past month. Sitting at around $15 for quite some time, the card is now generally selling for between $30 and $40, according to TCGplayer. Foils tend to sell for closer to $50 recently. Like Living End, most players interested in Grief will likely want four of them. With some searching, you should be able to find Grief for around $30, even though some copies are selling for $40 (more are selling for the lower price point at the moment). Personally, I would recommend trying to find Grief for around the $30 mark at the time of writing if you need them. That said, there’s no guarantee that this card will retain that value.

Read More: Dominant LOTR Card Could Put Up Banworthy Numbers!

Gandalf, Friend of the Shire

For an uncommon from Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth, this card has a ton of variants. Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, as far as gameplay goes, isn’t half-bad either. Allowing you to cast sorcery cards at instant speed while coming in at instant speed, Gandalf is an interesting card for the right Commander deck, especially if you care about being Tempted by the Ring. This hardly excuses the $80 price tag on one of the card’s variants, though.

Between a normal, borderless art, Secret Lair, and Play Promo treatment, the Play Promo is the strange outlier financially. Demanding a costly $80, according to TCGplayer, it seems that this particular Promo may be rarer, and a lot more desirable than players expected. Do note that players who want a copy of Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, as a play piece can find a normal variant for less than a dollar.

Other Trends

There is some other price increase-related patterns happening in the current market, and we wrote about those already. Thanks to Tom Bombadil’s unending popularity in Commander, Saga cards are still seeing price upticks – mainly from Universes Beyond sets. Otherwise, thanks to the popularity of the Nazgul, Wraith Typal decks are pretty expensive to construct at the moment.

Read More: Missing MTG Card Printing Finally Appears 3 Years Later!

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