The MTG card Flame of Anor has seen a major increase in price since the Lord of the Rings MTG set’s release, amounting to a price spike of 820%. It sat at $1 at the beginning of August, according to MTG Goldfish prices, but now the card’s potential in Modern has been realized, and it seems to be creeping steadily upwards. Last week it shot from $4 to $8 within a few days, and its value is currently at $9.20.
Flame of Anor is an MTG Lord of the Rings card depicting the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. In Magic: The Gathering terms, it’s a versatile Izzet instant, letting you choose between drawing two cards, dealing five damage, or destroying an artifact. If you happen to have a Wizard out on the field, you can pick two modes, at which point the card basically becomes a better Prismari Command (though it lacks the treasure making powers of the Strixhaven spell).
Excitement around this card was initially based on its potential to revive an old staple, possibly making Snapcaster Mage playable once more, thanks to its synergy with the Wizard creature type. The combo of Snapcaster Mage and Flame of Anor has shown up in some Modern lists, but the card is now seeing more consistent success in a less obvious spot, the MTG Modern deck Crashing Footfalls.
This deck revolves around running three-mana MTG Cascade cards like Shardless Agent and Violent Outburst, and then Cascading into Crashing Footfalls for a free, and early, duo of big rhino tokens. It ensures you always hit the rhinos by not playing any lower cost spells. Obviously you need turn one or two plays in a format like Modern, so Crashing Footfalls gets around this with Adventure cards like Bonecrusher Giant, and Split cards like Fire/Ice.
Flame of Anor doesn’t automatically fit into that equation, but the deck uses it as a useful, flexible piece of removal or card draw, depending on the situation. Crashing Footfalls plays zero Wizards, so why opt for Flame of Anor over Prismari Command? Well, it’s because you can easily slot a few Mutavaults into your list – an MTG land that can become all creature types – to supercharge the card.
Notably, Crashing Footfalls also makes use of Lorien Revealed, another Lord of the Rings card that’s seen a big price spike thanks to its place in Modern. While we’re on the subject of Middle Earth money stories, you might be interested in the waves made by MTG Lord of the Rings Commander card Tom Bombadil, whose popularity has boosted practically every good Saga under the sun.
If you’re more interested in really big numbers rather than watching numbers go up, check out the most expensive MTG cards of all time. And don’t miss the 2024 MTG release schedule, to see everything Wizards of the Coast has planned for next year.