We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Secret Lair MTG card sees 435% price spike

The MTG card Geralf's Messenger is rising in price due to intriguing new Modern decks - despite it not appearing in the recent Pro Tour.

The MTG card Geralf's Messenger art with a stitched together zombie abomination

The Secret Lair MTG card Geralf’s Messenger is spiking in price, jumping from $2.80 in mid-June to $15 today. This card, from the Finally! Left-Handed Magic Cards Secret Lair is up 435%,

Obviously MTG Secret Lair cards are more susceptible to spikes, as fewer copies were printed, but it seems there’s increased demand for this card in general – as regular versions have gone up from $2 to $7 in the past month.

Geralf’s Messenger has historically been a good card for the popular Modern deck Yawgmoth, where it’s pretty easy to set up an infinite loop using the Messenger’s Undying ability to drain opponents to death.

The MTG card Geralf's Messenger

However, among other considerations, the fact that this zombie enters the battlefield tapped has proven too much of a liability lately, and most players have cut the card in favor of better blockers.

I’m a little unsure what to make of this spike, given that most recent price jumps – from Snapcaster Mage to Suncleanser – have been driven by Pro Tour Modern Horizons 3, and Geralf’s Messenger was almost entirely absent from the tournament.

I wondered if perhaps Yawgmoth players were using the card again. One Pro Tour Yawgmoth player, Noah Michaud, did run a copy, but the other two Yawgmoth players (yes, there were only three) did not, and both performed better than Michaud – so that’s almost certainly not it.

The MTG card Cthonian Nightmare

We have to look beyond the recent Modern tournament to find a potential reason for the price increase. The culprit appears to be a reanimating Dimir deck that runs Chthonian Nightmare, Flare of Malice, and Psychic Frog. YouTuber AspiringSpike garnered 20,000 views on a video that showcased this Modern deck, which runs four copies of Geralf’s Messenger.

It also seems like there’s a Golgari deck with Geralf’s Messenger and Birthing Ritual floating around, but this hasn’t yet made as much of a splash.

I’m kind of surprised that this was enough to cause a price jump, but perhaps other formats have had an impact. After all, Geralf’s Messenger may have slipped out of Modern Yawgmoth decks, but it’s still in plenty of EDH Yawgmoth decks.

Yawgmoth remains a very popular MTG commander, with 5,600 decks logged on EDHREC. This will have kept demand for the card fairly constant, leaving it susceptible to a spike.

For more Magic: The Gathering articles, check out our MTG release schedule guide and this list of every MTG set ever.