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MTG’s not-quite-Equinox Secret Lair is full of Fallout, dioramas and celestial tarot cards

Another astronomical event eclipsed this limited art treatment series.

Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair diorama from Laura Plansker
Image credit: Laura Plansker/Wizards of the Coast

Magic: The Gathering’s latest Secret Lair Superdrop, a big bundle of alternate art treatments that the trading card game throws on flavourful and much-needed reprints, shot for the vernal equinox and landed closer to the full solar eclipse. Nevertheless, the suite of Fallout Pip-Boy illustrations, real-life dioramas, faeries and tarot arcana create a chunky and eclectic bundle.

Wizards of the Coast, the publisher behind MTG and Dungeons & Dragons, launched the Equinox Superdrop on April 8th and opened up pre-orders for six separate bundles. The most popular will likely be three Fallout-themed collections meant to accompany the recent quartet of Universes Beyond preconstructed Commander decks pulled from the video game series’ irradiated post-apocalypse setting.

Fallout’s smiling mascot, Vault Boy, graces three artefacts and an in-universe reprint of Grand Arbiter Augustin IV called Vault Boy, Cap Collector. Sphere of Resistance, Trinisphere and Winter Orb round out the collection, depicting each tool in an illustrated style that’s supposed to satirise a specifically 1950s American style of cartoons and propaganda videos.

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The second Fallout bundle, S.P.E.C.I.A.L., contains one card for each of the video game’s seven core character stats that form the aforementioned acronym. Steelshaper’s Gift, Propaganda, Elixir of Immortality, Council’s Judgment, Idyllic Tutor, Anger and Lightning Bolt bear a similar animated style and little bits of flavour text explaining how the stat functions in Fallout’s RPG series. The Universes Beyond bundle in this drop, Points of Interest, see Vault Boy travelling through some of MTG’s well-known land cards, including Bojuka Bog, Command Beacon, Fabled Passage, Reflecting Pool and Reliquary Tower.

Outside of the radiation-blasted Wasteland, the drop veers towards its custom of inviting guest artists to illustrate or create alternate treatments for loosely connected cards. This time we have sculptor and diorama specialist Laura Plansker creating scenes that are equal parts whimsical and spooky for Gravebreaker Lamia, Aura Shards, Fiend Artisan and Karador, Ghost Chieftain. Meanwhile, children’s book author and illustrator Phoebe Wahl depicts some pastoral faeries on Swords to Plowshares, Faerie Artisans, Dockside Chef, Alela, Artful Provocateur and Door of Destinies.

Magic: The Gathering Secret Lair tarot alternate art
Image credit: Ravina Coi/Wizards of the Coast

The last bundle - and my personal favourite - sees veteran MTG illustrator Rovina Cai apply tarot’s four minor suits to four cards in such a fashion that they manage to split the difference between the divination tool and MTG’s usual framework. Inalla, Archmage Ritualist, Aether Vial, Arcane Signet and Sword of the Animist represent the suits of wands, cups, coins and swords, respectively.

The Equinox Superdrop will be available to pre-order through April 28th via the Secret Lair website. Though we’re only two days in, it looks as though the Fallout Points of Interest and Rovina Cai bundles have already sold out of their initial allotment. It’s unclear if or when WotC will open those back up.

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