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Magic: The Gathering’s latest Secret Lair Superdrop might require a magnifying glass

Tap to strain eyes.

Magic: The Gathering has announced the details of its next batch of premium boxed releases - otherwise known as Secret Lair Superdrops - for the popular trading card game on April 22nd. Dr. Lair’s Secretorium Superdrop contains Shard-coloured shocklands, more spell scrolls from the Mystical Archive and an odd collection of cards with no art on them, at all.

Secret Lairs are publisher Wizards of the Coast’s brand of premium reprints sold to players and collectors as limited edition sets. They normally feature alternate art from famous Magic: The Gathering illustrators, guests, and once even the late Bob Ross. Others build around a theme, such as holidays or special borders from the latest standard set of cards. Superdrops cram several Secret Lairs into a single purchase period, allowing individuals to buy just the ones they like or a convenient bundle of everything currently on offer.

Dr. Lair’s Secretorium Superdrop begins with five separate trios of sought-after lands ranging the five fundamental mana colours that comprise the Magic: The Gathering’s mana base. Known in the community as shocklands due to them dealing two damage to the caster if they opt to have it enter the battlefield untapped. It’s a powerful advantage to have access to dual colours of mana from just one land, and the shocklands’ resale value in singles markets reflect their popularity.

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The five Culture Shock Secret Lairs contain three shocklands each themed after the three-colour Shards of Alara, a plane in the game’s lore and past card set. The names of those Shards - Alara, Bant, Grixis, etc. - have become common parlance when describing decks using those unique mana combinations. The artwork on the cards doesn’t showcase scenes from Alara but instead revisit past worlds, such as Amonkhet, Theros and Ravnica.

Selling for $29.99/£29.99 each, the Culture Shock drops will probably help regulate the price of shockland singles, which have historically been among the most sought-after and therefore priciest lands. Unfortunately, Wizards doesn’t seem to be printing these Secret Lairs in foil.

For those players who’d rather their mana base looked like the citations of an academic paper, the Full-Text Lands drop delivers exactly what’s advertised: land cards that’s all words. Gone are the depictions of worlds beyond our own, full of magic and wonder and oftentimes threatening beasties. Instead, the cards explain what a land is in painful detail, how one should tap it (“The tap symbol denotes tapping a permanent by rotating it 90 degrees”) and how that benefits the player.

As a cheeky Reddit user stated, the cards do feature artwork from Christopher Rush in the form of the mana symbols featured on the pips. Rush is known for illustrating the often ludcirously valuable Black Lotus, along with the card back Magic: The Gathering has used since its Alpha set in 1993.

The Our Show Is on Friday, Can You Make It? Secret Lair hits a more creative note by packaging five sorcery spells stylized like posters for a weekend concert at a basement venue. Illustrated by Ian Jepson, Sam McKenzie, Jermaine Rogers, Jeff Soto, and Alexis Ziritt, the Secret Lair manages to work all of the card elements - cost, description and and thematic artwork - into the compositions while also looking like they’d decorate the walls of that popular dive bar in your college’s town.

Rounding out the array of Secret Lairs is a Strixhaven Showcase of six Mystical Archive spells not found in regular boosters. They boast the same extended artwork - from illustrators Rovina Cai, Anato Finnstark, Justin & Alexis Hernandez, Minttu Hynninen, and Dominik Mayer - and frames as other Mystical Archive spells and follow the same rules for legality and play, but these reprints will only be available via this limited time release.

Those looking to nab everything available can purchase the Main Event Bundle for $259.99/£259.99 from Wizards of the Coast’s Secret Lair website from now through May 28th. This kitchen sink deal includes foil versions of the two applicable drops, along with a Magic Arena code for a Mystical Archive themed sleeve.

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