A recent update to Magic: The Gathering Arena gave more credence to the rumor that basic land cards using art from the late American painter Bob Ross will feature in an upcoming Secret Lair set.
According to an article on Star City Games, an update to the game’s client preparing for the release of Kaladesh Remastered briefly allowed players to view ten lands in the collection manager that credited Ross. Two landscapes for each of the five basic mana types will allegedly be included in the special release.
Additionally, players purported to craft a version of the card Evolving Wilds with his art. The flavour text on that card allegedly reads, “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” This is a popular quote from Ross’ popular and long-running television show, The Joy of Painting.
The first mention of this rumor popped up in a Reddit post on October 3rd by user /u/payneswalker, who pointed to the addition of several copyright claims filed by Wizards of the Coast after its 2020 Announcement Day event on September 18th. According to the post, one of the files on public record read as “Magic: The Gathering - SLD Happy Little Gathering”.
One of the other copyrights filed by Wizards of the Coast listed Extra Life 2020 among the rumored Secret Lair sets. Wizards later announced such a set on October 19th.
SLD refers to Secret Lair, the self-styled “best worst-kept secret in Magic” that releases special edition sets of cards featuring artists not normally found in standard MTG products. Happy Little Gathering is assumed to be a play on the quote mentioned above.
The rumor gained traction after Instagram account themtgfinanceguy posted a series of images detailing the Secret Lair drops mentioned in the copyright filings and claimed they were scheduled to go live on November 30th for Cyber Monday sales.
Dicebreaker reached out to Wizards of the Coast for comment but did not receive a reply by time of publication. Wizards has yet to officially announce any products featuring art by Bob Ross.
Update 13/11/20: Wizards of the Coast has responded to Dicebreaker's enquiry about the alleged leak of the Bob Ross Secret Lair cards by stating: "Wizards of the Coast doesn't comment on rumours or leaks."