If you know anything about me, please know that I love Secret Lairs. I like to view myself as a sort of Secret Lair sommelier. There’s just something about that nifty little shooting star set symbol that sparks joy within me.
While at MagicCon: Las Vegas, an entire Superdrop, the Spookydrop, was previewed at the (Redacted) Panel, and I was beyond excited. As a Secret Lair Sommelier, I feel as though it is my duty to explore each of these new Lairs and see if they will be worth your money when they go on sale October 2. Let’s take a crack at it!
When I tell you my soul left my body and ascended to the heavens, I need you to realize that I mean it. As a horror movie fan, I felt like this day would never come. Never did I expect to see anything horror-related in this capacity on a Magic card, and yet here we are.
The entire Lair is themed around the 1981 cult classic The Evil Dead. Depicting iconic scenes and characters from the film, this Lair is visually stunning. Three of the cards, Linda, Kandarian Queen; Knowby’s Incantation; and Cabin of the Dead, focus on Zombies, whereas the remaining two, Destroy the Dead and Ash, Destined Survivor, are more ambiguous and less thematic.
My initial thoughts with this Lair are mixed, as I love the theming but am a bit saddened at Ash not being legendary. The theming around Equipment is a nice flavor nod, however. When looking at this Lair, I would buy it solely for the art to display; however, value-wise, I would say that this Lair’s biggest draw would be the foil Field of the Dead (Cabin of the Dead). If you are in the market for one of those, then I say this Lair might be worth it for you, though the remaining cards won’t add much value other than a gorgeous collectible for the horror fan.
The Princess Bride
I’m honestly surprised it took so long for a Princess Bride Secret Lair to come along. I’m not mad at it, though, because wow, these cards are absolutely stunning. The art is reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha, featuring intricate and ornate depictions of the iconic actors of this beloved film. Another thing that surprised me about this Lair was how many cards come in it. We get a whopping nine cards in this Lair, which is inconceivable, as we usually get four or five. But is the spread worth the price?
Well, while the selection of cards is far spread, none of them scream value to me. Battle of Wits sees almost zero play in Commander. There are six total legendary creatures in this aLir, my favorite being Buttercup (for biased reasons). The remaining five legendary creatures are incredibly varied, but none scream “value buy”.
In fact, the two most valuable cards in this Lair happen to be Rodents of Unusual Size, aka Pack Rat, and Silence. The Pack Rat has only ever had one other Secret Lair printing before, with that totaling $13, which might bode well for this card’s foil printing (as the theme/art will more than likely impact the price). Past that, Silence remains pretty consistent and stable, with foil printings being around $20-$30. It is clear to me that the value in this Lair will definitely spark from the IP depicted on the cards and the quality of the art (which is high). While it is not the most valuable, it isn’t a bad pickup, to say the least.
Pixel Lands 02.JPG & Meditation on Nature
Basic land Lairs are always such a toughie, because basic lands at their very core are dirt cheap. Pennies. The value is never there when it comes to Secret Lairs because of that. $40 for five foil basics or $30 for five non-foil basics definitely creates squiggly feelings about value, which means that the only value these cards can be given are those who like the art.
It is safe to say that the art on these lands are gorgeous. Would I buy them? Not at all, but then again I did spend $40 on basic lands in the last superdrop, so it is definitely an acquired taste. If you like them, then these lands are definitely worth it.
Full disclosure: I was so mad when I saw these Lairs previewed. Why? Because I am obsessed with Creepshow and I have absolutely no need for any of these cards in my Commander decks. Y’all don’t understand how much I love horror, because wow, these are literal perfection.
This Secret Lair is the pickup if you have a Zombie typal deck. That alone makes this Lair worth it. That being said, this Lair is jam-packed with value. Reprints, especially foil ones, were desperately needed for Noxious Ghoul and Unholy Grotto. In fact, this is the first foil printing ever of Zombie Master, an iconic lord for the type! That is huge. Overall, this Lair is a great pickup whether you’re a Creepshow fan, a Zombie fan, or simply someone wanting to pick up some tasty value pieces for your binder.
Doctor Who: The Weeping Angels
The “Weeping Angels” episode of Doctor Who impacted me so much when I was a teenager, and to see it be depicted in Magic feels very surreal to me. Looking at the art alone, I’m in love with this Lair.
Past that? I’m not really vibing with it. This is a Lair for Angel typal players; however, the Angels chosen feel very lackluster to me. I feel as though there could have been better Angels chosen for this Lair, like Resplendent Angel or Archangel of Thune. Sure, some of these cards see bits of play in Commander, but the selection is rather rough. I mean, Angel of Ruins is a nothing card, which is a bummer because of how amazing the art is.
In my honest opinion, the most value you could get from this Lair will either come from the art if you’re a Doctor Who lover or if you purchase the foil edition of this Lair (as a small handful of cards in this Lair have high foil values from previous printings). Even though I love the art, this is one Lair I will be avoiding.
Doctor Who: The Dalek Lands
We have fastlands, baybeeee! I won’t lie, I do enjoy seeing some nonbasic lands in the mix, especially these lands. Out of all five cards, the most valuable pieces are Spirebluff Canal, Blooming Marsh, and Inspiring Vantage. The least valuable of the five is Concealed Courtyard. Foils of these will obviously be valued higher and truly depends on your want of foil lands (as I do know these lands are played in Pioneer).
I wanna remind y’all that I love Doctor Who…but wow, this art is a miss for me. I love Daleks! They’re terrifying in the show, but without their voices and motion, they look comical on a Magic card (to be fair, they’ve always looked this way). Tiny little floating garbage bins in space or on the streets. It’s almost kind of cute. There is definitely value in this Lair, just not for me.
Artist Series: John Avon
When this Lair was previewed, the world stopped. This is such an exciting drop from such an iconic Magic artist. Not only is the art drop-dead gorgeous, but this Lair also oozes value. Brainstorm is an iconic and highly playable classic that only increases in value when in foil. While Serra Angel is less playable, it still holds a special place in the hearts of the players. Progenitus was the original unachievable commander that still holds steady in its value, both in and out of foil.
Lastly, the all-star of this drop comes in the form of Emrakul, the Promised End. My jaw dropped when I saw that this card is worth $60 non-foil and $134 in a foil. Good Lord, that is intense. Legal in Modern, Pioneer, Commander, and Legacy, this Eldrazi needed a reprint badly and wow, what a way to do it. A reprint alone is nice, but a John Avon reprint?! This drop is worth it for the Eldrazi alone…the art definitely doesn’t hurt either.
I feel a lot of things when reviewing this Lair (which is technically part of Hasbro Pulse Con and not the superdrop). While I am excited about a new printing of Chandra, Flame’s Catalyst for my Chandra theme deck, I find the value in this Lair to be rather low.
Sure, Daretti and Chandra are around $17-$20, but the rest fall under that price. I don’t see two planeswalkers making up for the value this drop seems to lack. I’ve also purchased one of the past two Li’l Walker drops and quickly saw the prices fall on all of them. This isn’t a Lair to pick up if you are seeking value. It is a good Lair to pick up if you want to add to your Li’l Walker collection. When it comes to this Lair, my parting words are “stick to singles”.
MagicCon: Las Vegas was full of Secret Lair goodness, and it warms my shiny, shiny heart. While some might be exhausted by the consistent drops, I find myself getting more and more excited each time the website gets an update. After all, it fuels my Sisay deck. That being said, please let me know if any of these Lairs pique your interest and if you will be getting the entire superdrop or if you will be sticking to singles. This superdrop is definitely one that has me questioning whether I should snatch them all up or cherry-pick. The good news with purchasing Lairs is that you have plenty of time to shop around and make a decision. Happy Lairing, deckbuilders!