Secret Lair is Magic: The Gathering's self acclaimed "best worst-kept secret". Each Secret Lair package, or 'drop' as they like to call it, is available only for a limited time and contains a number of reimagined cards in a customized collector's box. The first drop happened back in December of 2019, but since then there have been over a hundred drops made and counting.
10 Secret Lair x Street Fighter
The Street Fighter Secret Lair was released in the same month of the game's 35 year anniversary: May 2022. If the success of previous crossover Secret Lairs proves anything, it's that these collaborations usually result in the printing of at least a couple of valuable cards. The Street Fighter drop features a total of eight cards, each one depicting a character important to the game.
Notably, Street Fighter's Chun-Li was the first female character of any fighting game. Here, she features the return of the multikicker ability, to better rperesent her lightning-fast kicks.
9 Secret Lair x Arcane
If you haven't seen the League of Legends animated series Arcane, stop whatever you're doing and go watch it. Seriously, this series is some grade-A storytelling, and that's coming from someone who can't stand playing the game.
Speaking of which, Arcane's art is some of the most cutting-edge animation we've ever seen. The cards also feature flavor text in the form of quotes from the show's notable characters. A handful of the cards reimagined here are big time playables in constructed formats including Rhystic Study, Path to Exile and Unstable Harmonics.
8 Secret Lair x The Walking Dead
Here lies the Secret Lair release that brought out community pitchforks. With the full announcement for The Walking Dead, it was revealed that the cards featured would be entirely new designs: not reprints. While the cards printed would not be legal in Standard or Modern, formats including Legacy, Vintage, and Commander were fair game. Consequently, players revolted with claims that this was being done in order to force the community to start buying Secret Lair products.
7 Secret Lair x Stranger Things
Yet another successful crossover, the Stranger Things Secret Lair sees the main characters of the show printed as Commanders with the apt Friends Forever ability which allows you to have two Commanders as long as they both possess Friends Forever.
This drop also features the villain of the show's second season, the mind flayer, turned into a legendary enchantment horror creature. Mind Flayer, the Shadow, as the card is called, was also printed upside down, as a nod towards the place it comes from in the show which the kids call "the Upside Down". Altogether, it's a tasteful Secret Lair with some well-fitting flavor.
6 Bitterblossom Dreams
Bitterblossom dreams is the fourth Secret Lair ever dropped, featuring four Faerie tokens as well as a full-art remake of the well-respected enchantment Bitterblossom. It's also the first Secret Lair to make a panorama when all of the cards are placed next to one another, which is a cool twist that has been used in a handful of Secret Lairs since.
Faeries are popular in a handful of formats, like Pauper, but have yet to make a splash in others like Modern. It's only a matter of time, though, thanks to the continual printing of good Faerie cards like Faerie Vandal. That besides, Bitterblossom is perfectly capable of winning the game on its own if it's backed up with enough removal and lifegain.
5 Ornithological Studies
Ornithology means the study of birds. As such, the Ornithological Studies Secret Lair is full of cards that prominently feature birds in their art. While five cards in total were featured, Swan Song and Birds of Paradise are the most noteworthy for their prominence in constructed play.
4 Can You Feel With A Heart Of Steel?
While it's not as powerful as it once was, Affinity has long been a prominent player in the Pauper and Modern formats. As a result, Can You Feel With A Heart Of Steel? was a very welcome addition to the card pool for long-time Affinity pilots. Affinity and Arcbound Ravager will likely make a return to the top of Modern sooner or later, and now is the perfect time to get a Secret Lair version for relatively cheap.
The inclusion of Walking Ballista in this drop also provided it with usefulness outside of strictly artifact strategies. After all, it's no secret that Walking Ballista is the perfect card for ending games alongside any combo that provides infinite mana, such as with Heliod, Sun-Crowned in Commander or Pioneer.
3 OMG KITTIES!
In case you thought Magic players and cats didn't have anything to do with one another, OMG KITTIES! is here to prove you wrong. Featuring five card reprints and two tokens, OMG KITTIES! is a must have for every Magic player who has a feline friend of their very own at home. This drop is especially useful for Commander players interested in building a Cat tribal deck, as the cards included are all must-haves.
Furthermore, Arahbo, Roar of the World, is the best Cat Commander printed to date and looks absolutely fabulous in the art here done by Erica Williams. Who knew bells and bows could make such a difference?
2 Kaleidoscope Killers
As the third Secret Lair ever dropped, Kaleidoscope Killers had a lot to prove to the Magic community in order to promote the product. In the present, it's easy to say that this drop more than delivered, as the collective price of all of its featured cards is over $100. This is largely thanks to it including beautiful reimaginings of some of the best Commanders for two community favorite tribes: Dragons and Slivers.
Anyone who dabbles in Commander knows at least a couple of players with decks built for these tribes. Consequently, these cards are some of the most demanded Magic printings in the game's recent history. Besides, what kind of self-respecting Dragon deck doesn't fill itself with luxurious cards?
1 Here Be Dragons
Did somebody say Dragon? As Secret Lair drops develop, it appears the sub-brand's ambitions only continue to rise. Instead of printing to demand like every previous Secret Lair, Here Be Dragons only had a total of 10,000 sets available. Additionally, Here Be Dragons is the first Secret Lair that's not available for purchase on the Wizards website. The drop's collaborator, Beadle & Grimm's, offered sales on their website instead.
As mentioned above, Dragons are some of the most desired cards in all of Magic. On top of that, the cards featured in Here Be Dragons are powerful to boot including creatures like Inferno of the Star Mounts, Ebondeath, Dracholich, and Old Gnawbone. Alongside the cards, the drop also included sleeves and a metal life counter featuring an orante Dragon. If Kaleidoscope Killers is any evidence, Here Be Dragons might just end up being worth its eye-popping $125 price point.
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