The MTG card Return to the Ranks has seen a colossal price spike, with its value increasing 641% on the secondary market MTGGoldfish. The white Sorcery card’s value began steadily increasing on December 5, but it ballooned from $2.90 (£2.31) to $21.50 (£17.12) between December 10 and 12.
First published in the Magic 2015 Core MTG set, Return to the Ranks lets you return X target creature cards with a converted mana cost of two or less from your graveyard to the battlefield. ‘X’ is equal to the amount of colorless mana you paid to cast the spell. The card also has Convoke, meaning your creatures can help pay that cost.
One particular combo appears to be behind the card’s sudden leap in value. ‘Amalia Combo’ decks rely on a near-infinite loop of life gain and explore caused by Wildgrowth Walker and Amalia Benavides Aguirre.
Amalia explores whenever you gain life, and Wildgrowth Walker gives you life whenever you explore – get Amalia to 20 power, and it also destroys all other creatures on the board. All you need is another source of life gain or explore to trigger the loop.
Return to the Ranks isn’t a core part of the combo, but it is very useful to have in your deck. Explore means you’re potentially dumping all sorts of cards in your graveyard anyway, and Return to the Ranks gives you a handy way to bring these to the battlefield in bulk. Plus, your most important combo cards all qualify for a Return to the Ranks revivification – which is good to know in case a pesky removal spell crops up.
While the price spike on MTGGoldfish is dramatic, this value doesn’t quite seem universal yet. TCGplayer says the card’s median price is currently $16.34 (£13.03), and recent sales reflect this. However, here Return to the Ranks’ estimated market price is still only $3.78 (£3.01). Either some sources are overestimating the value of this card – or there are some really great steals to be had on TCGPlayer right now.