Secret Lair Sommelier: Tasting The Magic Spring 2024 Superdrop

Need help sorting through the Secret Lair Spring 2024 Superdrop? Like a Magic sommelier, Chase Carroll is here to make recommendations!

Miku's Spark (detail)
Miku’s Spark (detail), illustrated by Justyna Dura

Hello, dearest, gentlest reader. Welcome to your Secret Lair wine tasting…minus the wine. Yes, it is I, your Secret Lair Sommelier, here to gush about the upcoming Spring 2024 Superdrop. That’s right! After the Equinox Superdrop from last month, we have another superdrop launching on May 13.

We’ve seen tons and tons of previews from the upcoming Lairs, and these previews inspired me to give you a written guide for navigating the Spring 2024 Superdrop. And don’t worry, if you don’t manage to snag a set via the Secret Lair website, you can always snag singles from iconic card seller Star City Games

Secret Lair x Hatsune Miku: Sakura Superstar

Let’s be honest, we knew this collab was inevitable. The Venn diagram of Magic players and anime fans is basically a circle. That being said, I was one of the few to have been spared from the Hatsune Miku wave, and so the references from the outside IP are a little lost on me. This drop comes with a spread of six cards, all of them featuring your favorite Vocaloid: Azusa, Lost but Seeking; Feather, the Redeemed; Chandra’s Ignition; Harmonize; Inspiring Vantage; and Shelter.

As someone who isn’t super-knowledgeable about Miku, this spread feels a bit random to me, as it feels like two packages smushed together. Feather, Shelter, Vantage, and Ignition all pair pretty well with each other, while Azusa and Harmonize feel like outliers. I also want to note that this Lair features two cards that have been featured previously in other Lairs (Vantage and Azusa). Value-wise, Chandra’s Ignition is the all-star of this Lair, as it is an iconic commander spell. Even with its handful of printings, this card maintains its value (especially when foil). 

sAnS mERcy

Our next aperitif is a bit of a goofy one: sAnS mERcy. This is another ‘joke’ Lair, joining the ranks of the Left-Handed Lair and Greatest Cards of All Time Lair. The Lair features five cards of the Rakdos variety. The art is absolutely stunning. Honestly, it’s drop-dead gorgeous. What makes it a joke Lair? Well, it’s all in Comic Sans. It reminds me of the old Doge memes in the early ages of the internet. But how is the meat of this Lair?

Truth be told, I love this Lair. As Ben Solo would say, “Good soup.” It feels like a Mogis, God of Slaughter Commander package, as it features a ton of hateful cards. Mogis was an unexpected choice for me, as it has already received a Secret Lair treatment as a constellation in the Stargazing series. Even then, I don’t see him too often as a commander, though he is not nonexistent.

Doom Blade, Massacre, Ruination, and Torment of Hailfire join this Rakdos God. Doom Blade is a card I absolutely adore, but it isn’t a powerful piece, nor is it an expensive one. I had never seen Massacre before, but I do enjoy the specificity of its free cost requirement. It has only ever had one printing (foil and nonfoil), making this an interesting reprint.

I haven’t seen a Ruination since I first started playing Magic nine years ago, but I’m not mad seeing it here. This is a hate piece if there ever was one. Mass land destruction. While this card has been printed twice, it has never had a foil printing, which can make it a valuable pickup. That being said, mass land destruction is frowned upon in most casual circles, so keep that in mind.

Lastly, we have Torment of Hailfire. We all know how iconic and valuable this card is. It is the chase card of this Lair, making up a good portion of this Lair’s value (especially since we cannot gauge the value of a nonexistent foil printing of Ruination). This Lair is definitely an acquired taste, but hey, don’t worry, that’s why you hired a Secret Lair Sommelier! 

Poker Faces

I am fully obsessed with this Secret Lair. Like, this Lair is fully iconic. It is everything I want from this product, as it pushes the boundaries of how a Magic card is ‘supposed’ to look. These cards are made to appear like classic playing cards. The mana value is depicted like the number and shape associated with playing cards, and the characters in the center are depicted similarly to the Kings and Queens as well. While these cards are largely textless, I love how clean and unique they are. I know textless cards are a bit contentious in the Magic community, but these blow the other ones out of the water.

This Lair features five cards, and a unique spread of cards at that. We have Jaxis, the Troublemaker; Coffin Queen; Goblin King; Professional Face-Breaker; and Rankle, Master of Pranks. Out of all of these, Jaxis seems to be the least valuable card in this entire Lair, and it does not see a ton of play in commander. Goblin King is an iconic typal piece and sees play in a variety of formats. Even with its numerous reprints, this card maintains a high value, and seeing as how this art treatment is literal perfection, I have no doubt it will only increase in value.

Professional Face-Breaker is another costly Commander piece that could use another reprint. Even after the multiple Capenna printings and reprint in Jumpstart 2022, this card maintains its value and with good reason. Rankle, Master of Pranks, while not terribly pricey, is an amazing card. Whether it’s your commander or in the 99, it is a painful and well-played piece.

Lastly, we have Coffin Queen. This was definitely not on my 2024 bucket list. This card only has one printing, and it’s from Tempest. Wow, that’s old. As an iconic graveyard card, she has been built up in my mind ever since I started playing, so to see this get a reprint is astonishing. In my honest opinion, she is the main draw of this Lair (aside from the art). All in all, this is one to pick up.

Showcase: Outlaws of Thunder Junction

We get Showcase treatments every set, so it was expected for us to see a Wanted Poster treatment in a Lair. It’s just unfortunate that I don’t often enjoy these Showcase treatments.

When it comes to this particular Showcase, I waffle back and forth. Typically, the art is the make-or-break for me, not the actual frame itself. When I saw the initial preview of this Lair, I didn’t like the treatment at all. However, after taking some time to simmer on it, I actually love the way this Lair looks (especially if you use the creature as your commander).

The Lair comes with four cards, technically five. Why technically? Well, we know what the bonus card is, which we seldom know beforehand. In fact, this Lair and the Fallout Lairs are the only ones that showcased the bonus cards ahead of time. Why? I’m unsure. Nonetheless, the bonus card in this spread is a double-sided Norin the Wary. People love Norin and this bad boy is pretty pricey in a foil, so I see this guy being a huge draw. The original four cards are a little all over the place, however, and I am really intrigued by the variety.

The original four cards are Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet; Magda, Brazen Outlaw; Dack Fayden; and Greasefang, Okiba Boss. The two value pieces of this initial spread are Kalitas and Magda, as they are both incredibly powerful pieces, both in the command zone and in the 99. Kalitas desperately needed a reprint. Magda, while a little lower on the nonfoil price scale, finds her value in a foil.

Interestingly enough, Dack has seen print in a Lair before. He is more middle of the road in value, but feels so out of place amongst these cards. Sure, flavor-wise I understand why he is on a wanted poster, but I would’ve liked to have seen a card without a Lair take his place. Lastly, we have Greasefang. Greasefang is neither valuable nor popular. It is an incredibly specific commander, focused on an incredibly specific niche of cards (to be honest, I do not like Vehicles). Due to that specificity, it is the least valuable and playable card amongst the bunch. 

Outlaw Anthology: Vol. 1

Finally, we have our last umbrella Lair: the Outlaw Anthologies. This Lair has been split into two parts (I wish they were just one Lair), so alas we must review them separately. The art of these Lairs feels like a reference to old spaghetti Western movie posters, which I love. Volume 1 features four cards, with two of them being creatures and the other two being planeswalkers. We have Grenzo, Havoc Raiser; Tezzeret the Seeker; Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker; and Griselbrand. This is an interesting spread of iconic characters, but I’m not mad at it.

First up is Grenzo, a mono-red goad commander. While not incredibly valuable, the commander is incredibly playable. He recently appeared in an Outlaws of Thunder Junction Commander precon (so was Rankle earlier), so to see it in a Lair is interesting.

Tezzeret is an insane value inclusion. Even in his numerous printings, he has maintained high value. I will also point out, he has been in a Secret Lair before. While I don’t hate seeing another reprint of this card, I do wish we could see other cards get this treatment.

Bolas is a pricey planeswalker, and by pricey, I mean he has a dummy thick mana value. From my experience, he doesn’t pop up too much in games of Commander, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t! He has had a handful of printings and finds most of his value in a foil. I have some friends who are insanely excited to see another Bolas printing, so I can’t help but celebrate with them.

Last is Griselbrand. God, he sucks. And by sucks, I mean he is insane. He’s so insane, he is banned in Commander. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a home in other formats (I’m looking at you, Legacy, Vintage, and Modern). While I love this new printing, I will say seeing a banned card pop up in a Lair is interesting to me. It only makes me wish he was playable in my format of choice. RIP, you evil demon dude.

Outlaw Anthology: Vol. 2

Okay, now we are in our final, final, final previewed Lair. It’s Volume 2 time, baybeeee! Featuring more of the same art style previously described, this Lair also features four cards. However, none of them are planeswalkers. In my humble opinion, this is the banger out of the two volumes. If I were to get any Lair from the superdrop, it would be this one.

We got Korvold, Fae-Cursed King; Memnarch; Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger; and Karona, False God. Good God, why is there so much nastiness in one Lair?!

Korvold is one of the saltiest commanders I know. He sends many a shiver down many a spine. He is definitely more middle of the road in terms of value, but him being such a heavily played commander, combined with this incredible art, makes this a high-value inclusion.

Memnarch is as nasty as they come. While reprinted a few times, this legend has never received new art. Thank God this is the art we get, because I am obsessed with it. In its original printing, the foil is quite pricey, with the other printings and variations holding a decent amount of value.

Vorinclex is the one card I am bummed to see. This is yet another Secret Lair printing of Voice of Hunger. It, like many of the other cards in this drop, has high salt value. Rather than Voice of Hunger, I really wish we’d received a Monstrous Raider reprint. It desperately needs one.

Finally, we have Karona, False God. This is one I didn’t expect, but I love seeing it. This is one of the original five-color commanders that just tickles the brain. It has only one printing, in Scourge. The nonfoil remains rather affordable, however, the foil is pricey. Seeing such a high-value foil get a reprint is music to my ears. I haven’t seen a Karona deck in a while, but when I stumble upon one, I get giddy. While she won’t take the place of Sisay in my Secret Lair Commander deck, I am happy to see her present.

The Secret

I love Lairs, and while there are a few gripes I have here and there with this superdrop, I love this one. The Equinox drop, while having a handful of goodies, really didn’t spark the joy I have for this product quite like this Spring Superdrop.

As of writing this article, these are all the previewed Lairs, though the Secret Lair X / Twitter account has me thinking there could possibly be more. If there are, I feel as though this amalgamation of cards is telling for just how good this superdrop is. From decent value pieces to stunning art and envelope-pushing border treatments, this superdrop gets the Sommelier Stamp of Approval. Happy Lairing, deckbuilders!


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