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Old MTG card sees 200% price spike after Modern tournament win

The MTG card Goryo's Vengeance has tripled in price, because this reanimation spell is the key card in the hottest new Modern deck.

MTG card art showing a purple demon.

The Kamigawa MTG card Goryo’s Vengeance has undergone a dramatic price spike, jumping from $7 on March 10 to $21 on March 17, a 200% rise in just one week.

This Instant card from the 2005 MTG set Betrayers of Kamigawa lets you return a legendary creature from your graveyard to the field. It enters with haste, allowing you to swing with a super powerful legendary right away. However, it also comes with a significant downside: you have to exile the resurrected creature at the end the turn.

Goryo’s Vengeance has, for a good while now, formed the basis of a blink/reanimator deck in the MTG Modern format. The deck looks to dump Griselbrand in the grave, reanimate it with Goryo’s Vengeance, and then use Empherate to blink the demon, allowing you to bypass the exile stage and keep your Griselbrand permanently. While this deck has been kicking about for some time, it’s never amounted to much before now.

But at SCG Con Philadelphia this year (March 8 – 10), player Michael Debenedetto-Plummer won the Modern $10K with Goryo’s Vengeance. Debenedetto-Plummer’s list focused heavily on a newer legendary creature, running four copies of Atraxa, Grand Unifier and only two Griselbrands.

The MTG card Goryo's Vengeance

Atraxa is great for the deck because when you blink her you benefit from her stunning ETB effect twice, fetching up whatever pieces you need. Getting to swing in the air to gain seven life is also a big deal, since it essentially nets you another Griselbrand activation for free.

The deck also makes use of the uber popular ‘scam’ elementals like Grief and Solitude, taking advantage of the blink card to make them do double duty.

The MTG card Ephemerate

Notably, the deck is further improved by the new Surveilling MTG Lands from Murders at Karlov Manor, which give you a slightly better shot of getting key targets into your graveyard.

It looks like this victory was not a one-off, as since SCG Con, Goryo’s Vengeance lists have been winning Modern Challenges on MTG Online, taking first place in tournaments on both March 16 and March 18.

The MTG card Atraxa Grand Unifier

Whether or not this is down to the recent ban that weakened Crashing Footfalls decks or not, it’s clear that Goryo’s now has the potential to be a serious Modern deck. As a result, it appears fans have rushed out to pick up paper copies of the card, promptly tripling the price.

In the upcoming months, we’ll see how the meta balances out. Personally, while I imagine it’ll keep the niche it’s carved out, I’m not convinced Goryo’s Vengeance will rise to the heights of other top Modern decks like Yawgmoth, Tron, and Amulet Titan. While the combos it can pull off are awesome, it’s very weak to graveyard hate, meaning there are lots of efficient ways to shut the deck down.

Whether this deck is here to stay or not, it’s certainly been interesting to see the quakes in the Modern meta following the recent MTG banlist update. First the replacement Cascade card for Crashing Footfalls spiked wildly in price, and now we’re seeing new decks rising to the fore.