Lightning does strike twice – at least it does if you’re an MTG card called Magma Opus. For the second time this year, the card has seen a colossal price spike on secondary markets like TCGPlayer and MTGGoldfish – 210% on the former and 148% on the latter. As of November 26, the Magic: The Gathering card is valued at $5.96 (TCGPlayer) and $6.70 (MTGGoldfish).
First printed in the Strixhaven MTG set, Magma Opus is an Instant that costs eight mana (one blue, one red, and six colorless). It deals four damage (split among any number of targets), and you can tap two target permanents. The Instant also lets you create a 4/4 blue and red Elemental creature token and draw two cards.
These are all fine and dandy, but Magma Opus is an expensive card to play. One useful alternative to sending it to the battlefield is using its last ability. You can spend two red or blue mana and discard the card from your hand to create a treasure token.
Just like last time, Magma Opus has increased in price due to increased play in the Pioneer MTG format. Since the release of Lost Caverns of Ixalan, more and more players have included Magma Opus in decks. These rely on the new Discover keyword (think MTG Cascade, but not) to quickly pull combo-friendly cards from the deck.
Since the deck relies on Discover dredging up the exact cards you need, it helps to fill your deck with cards that are still useful but cost too much mana to fit the search criteria of Discover. The eight-mana Magma Opus is a perfect example of this. If it turns up in your hand early, you can dump it in exchange for a handy treasure token – otherwise, it’ll sit in your deck and make it easier to Discover the cards you’re really after.
Combine these features with its mythic rare availability, and you’ve got a price that’s bound to shoot up.
Other MTG Ixalan price spikes are affecting cards like Trumpeting Carnosaur thanks to the same decks. In Pioneer, many seem keen to jump on the Discover train.
November 28: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Magma Opus’ discard ability, and this has been corrected.