Red Zendikar Rising MTG card gets 240% price spike

Ixalan's powerful Discover cards, and a red god commander, have driven demand for Roiling Vortex, a flexible enchantment from 2020.

MTG card price spike - card art for Roiling Vortex, a hovering volcano, painted by Campbell White

The MTG card Roiling Vortex has shot up from $2.20 on Friday November 24 to $5.30 on Tuesday 28, according to price website MTGGoldfish. A red enchantment with a toolbox of abilities, it has great synergy with a new commander from Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and punishes opponents who use the set’s powerful new Discover mechanic.

Roiling Vortex is a rare magic card printed in Zendikar Rising in September 2020. It has found homes as a sideboard card in the MTG modern and MTG pioneer formats, as well as in red burn decks, thanks to its multiple abilities. But it’s only with the release of the Lost Caverns of Ixalan MTG set that its price has risen – and sharply, too.

MTG cad price spike data for Roiling Vortex from MTG Goldfish - a line graph showing the price of a card roughly stable at $2 spike to $5.30 over the course of two days

Roiling Vortex costs one generic and one red mana to cast, and is an enchantment with two static abilities and an activated ability. At the start of each player’s upkeep, it deals one damage to them; whenever a player casts a spell for free, it instead deals five damage to them; and for one red mana, players cannot gain life this turn.

This plays perfectly with a new mono red burn MTG commander printed in Lost Caverns of Ixalan: Ojer Axonil, Deepest Might. Whenever a source deals non-combat damage to a player, that source instead deals damage equal to Ojer Axonil’s power to that player.

With Axonil in play, Roiling Vortex will inflict at least four damage to each opponent during their upkeep, assuming Axonil’s power hasn’t been pumped at all. And the Vortex’s activated ability to prevent players gaining life fits perfectly into Axonil’s burn strategy.

MTG card Roiling Vortex experiences a price spike - a red MTG card with an illustration of a hovering volcano

Roiling Vortex also provides great sideboard protection against Discover, one of the most influential new mechanics in Lost Caverns of Ixalan. When a card Discovers X, its controller exiles cards from the top of their library until they exile a spell with mana value X or less. They may then cast that spell for free, or put it into their hand – the exiled cards go to the bottom of their library.

Discover-powered combos are a new threat in Pioneer, particularly using the four mana Geological Appraiser and three mana Glasspool Mimic. YouTuber LegenVD gives an example of how these decks work:

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Roiling Vortex provides perfect protection against Discover combo: your opponent suffers five damage for each free spell they cast. Discover combo is principally a blue-red deck archetype, colors that struggle to permanently remove enchantments once they reach the battlefield, so the Vortex remains fairly safe.

We’ve already discovered plenty of price spikes lurking in the Lost Caverns of Ixalan. To see how this set is sending ripples through the card market, check out our articles on the Discover-combo driven price spike to Magma Opus, the multiple Merfolk rising from the depths, and the Commander favorites getting major price boosts.