The Fortnite MTG card Battle Bus has seen an enormous 450% price spike in the last week, rising from $5.50 to a much steeper $30 in just seven days. Foil versions of this Magic card were previously going for the same price, around the $5 mark, but have now jumped even higher, the shiny cards going for a whopping $80 according to MTG Goldfish.
This now very pricey Magic: The Gathering card is a reskinned version of Smuggler’s Copter, which was sold in the Fortnite MTG Secret Lair in 2022. It’s a really interesting card to see spiking, because rather than a new deck, strategy, or MTG Commander emerging, the price change seems to be entirely down to fan speculation.
See, Wizards of the Coast will today (December 4) announce changes to the MTG banlist, particularly for the formats Modern and Pioneer. As well as some big clues about which cards would be banned, the designers also suggested that some cards would be unbanned for Pioneer. And fans are pretty convinced that if any card is getting unbanned it’ll be Smuggler’s Copter.
Why was Smuggler’s Copter banned in the first place? Basically because it’s too efficient, and its colorless identity means it could be played in every deck. It provides card filtering and a beefy flying attacker, and all for just two mana.
A somewhat reasonable comparison is Reckoner Bankbuster which got banned in Standard earlier this year. While Reckoner was played in midrange or controlling decks and Smuggler’s Copter is an aggro card, they had a similarly negative effect on deck diversity.
Regular versions of Smuggler’s Copter have risen in price too, but only from $1 to $4. As much as the crossover between Magic and Fortnite was considered a jumping the shark moment by many fans, these Secret Lair variants will doubtless be in much shorter supply than regular copies of the card, and presumably many fans find playing with Fortnite cards pretty funny. Tragedy plus time equals comedy, and all that.
For more price spike stories, check out the absolutely ludicrous things happening in various MTG formats. We’ve got loads of cards spiking thanks to the ludicrous Discover keyword, as well as Merfolk that can counter Cascade, and a possible Discover hate card that’s done nothing to stop the rampage of this new ability keyword. Or you could just take a look at the most expensive MTG cards of all time.