5 Secret Lair Commander Magic Decks I’d Like To See

With Secret Lair releasing Angels and Cats and Dogs Commander MTG decks, what’s next? Chase Carroll proposes five kindred or typal decks they think would sell swiftly.

Forest (detail)
Forest (detail), illustrated by Alayna Danner

It’s no surprise that I love Secret Lairs. They are by far my favorite Magic products, and it’s been fascinating to watch their evolution. At first, Lairs were only collections of singles. Now we are getting entire Secret Lair Commander decks delivered to us. From the “Heads I Win, Tails You Lose” coin flip deck to the most recent kindred runs of Angels and the Raining Cats and Dogs deck, we have seen that these products sell and sell well. In fact, the Cats and Dogs deck sold out completely within the span of five hours.

This got me thinking: with the continued success of these items, what other decks will we see available to us in the future? By all means, these are guesses, shots in the dark, and yet I feel as though we have a real possibility of seeing these Secret Lair decks come to fruition. 


When I initially started toying with this concept, Goblins were the first kindred creatures to come to mind. Goblins are one of Magic’s core kindred creature types. They were there in the very beginning and have maintained power since. Goblins are fun, snappy, and evergreen (even though they’re red), and the possibility of a Secret Lair deck opens up so many cool printings, treatments, and possible commanders.

Krenko, Mob Boss Muxus, Goblin Grandee Pashalik Mons

For a commander, I would love to see Krenko, Mob Boss; Muxus, Goblin Grandee; or even Pashalik Mons. These are incredibly iconic commanders that have power behind them. Imagine the Goblin-y reprints this deck could hold: Goblin Warchief, Goblin Chieftain, Skirk Prospector, Goblin King, Brightstone Ritual! I could go on and on.

Goblin King Coat of Arms Ruby Medallion

The non-Goblin reprints could also be incredible, like another Ruby Medallion reprint; Purphoros, God of the Forge; Thornbite Staff; or Coat of Arms!

When toying with this idea, I almost chose Elves over Goblins; however, the reason why you will not see Elves on this list is that we are seeing Elves printed as bonus cards in Lairs recently, meaning it will be highly unlikely for us to see them as their own deck in the future.


The next obvious creature subtype for me was Zombies, particularly Dimir Zombies. I know that we have access to Esper Zombies in the form of Varina, Lich Queen. However, Esper Zombies has always felt a bit bland to me, not really hitting the mark. When looking at Dimir Zombies, it feels more correct. And since I’m the one in charge of designing these fictional Secret Lair decks, what I say goes!

Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver Rooftop Storm Wand of Orcus

The commander of choice for this fictional Lair has to be Wilhelt, the Rotcleaver. We’ve already seen The Scarab God and Grimgrin, Corpse-Born in Secret Lair form, and Wilhelt is currently the most popular Zombie commander. Wonderful reprints could include Diregraf Captain, Death Baron, Rooftop Storm, Wand of Orcus, and Necroduality. This type of Lair would be incredible to see in the movie poster-style treatment seen in the Monster Movie Marathon Lair. I find it to be my favorite Lair treatment and would love to see it again.


Now this is where we enter Magical Christmas Land. If we were to ever see this deck come to fruition, then just know that a finger will have curled on my monkey’s paw I keep under the bed. I am praying for a Vampires Secret Lair kindred deck, specifically an Edgar Markov deck. Not an Edgar, Charmed Groom deck. The public desperately needs an Edgar Markov reprint, so why not jam it into a Secret Lair deck?!

Edgar Markov Urza's Incubator Shared Animosity

There is a huge layer of excitement when thinking about this hypothetical deck. It could contain Captivating Vampire, Urza’s Incubator, Shared Animosity, Stromkirk Captain, maybe even another Bloodline Keeper Lair reprint. I just know that if this deck were to ever be printed, it would be insanely popular. With Edgar Markov being the price that he is, we deserve this. We need this.


This one feels a bit unlikely, although I will manifest it. I would absolutely love to see a colorless Secret Lair deck printed. We’ve seen colorless commanders printed in Lairs before.

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger Kozilek, the Great Distortion Emrakul, the Promised End

Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger; Kozilek, the Great Distortion; and Emrakul, the Promised End have already seen Secret Lair treatments as singles. We know it is no longer a pipe dream to expect a colorless commander deck, as we got an entire colorless precon in Commander Masters. So why not a Secret Lair deck?

Kozilek, Butcher of Truth All Is Dust Ugin, the Ineffable

How cool would it be to see an Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre or a Kozilek, Butcher of Truth commander deck? Why not push the envelope even more and ask for something even bigger? Let’s ask for a Mana Vault or a Mana Crypt or an All Is Dust! Maybe even a new Ugin, the Ineffable for our troubles! Is this unlikely? Yes. Would it be absolutely incredible to see? Yes, so I’m manifesting it.


Lastly, we have a creature type I expected to see a lot sooner: Ninjas! When it comes to this deck, we have two possible commanders: Yuriko, the Tiger’s Shadow and Satoru Umezawa. In all honesty, I would prefer to see Yuriko at the helm. I expected to see a Secret Lair treatment for her by now, and yet we weirdly haven’t. 

Yuriko, the Tiger's Shadow Ninja of the Deep Hours Sakashima's Student

Yuriko is a powerhouse commander and would be a huge draw for a product like this. There are tons of Ninja reprints that would also make this deck shine. Ninja of the Deep Hours, Fallen Shinobi, Sakashima’s Student, and Silent-Blade Oni would be a delight to see. We already have a Secret Lair version of Higure, the Still Wind, so why not toss him in there too? Would it be ridiculous to ask for a Sensei’s Divining Top or a Scroll Rack? 1000%, but either would be an incredible addition to the deck. I would truly love to see it.

The Future of Secret Lair Decks

As of now, we have seen four total Secret Lair decks, with half of them being kindred-style decks. I see this as a trend for the product going forward. Kindred-style decks are near-universally adored, easy to digest, and fun to pilot. We’ve already seen two incredibly popular types show up, so who’s to say that we won’t see these others up as well? Let me know if you agree with my predictions and what you would like to see from Secret Lair in the future. Happy brewing, deckbuilders!