Magic: The Gathering is gearing up for a mammoth Secret Lair filled with horror-themed cards for Halloween - along with some decidedly less spooky additions to the TCG.
The upcoming Secret Lair Spookydrop will run from October 2nd until November 19th, and looks to continue MTG’s recent fondness for pop-culture crossovers with a number of movie, TV show and comic-book names.
Headlining the collection will be a set of cards based on horror-comedy film series Evil Dead, including a chainsaw-wielding Ash Williams creature, the deadite Linda as a legendary creature, a Zombie token featuring the possessed Cheryl and the Cabin of the Dead itself as a land. Two sorcery cards will see Ash attempting to Destroy the Dead by burning the Necronomicon and listening to Knowby’s Incantation, which summons the undead in the first place.
As with all Secret Lair drops, the cards will be themed variants on existing MTG cards, rather than brand new cards: Puresteel Paladin (Ash); Varina, Lich Queen (Linda), Field of the Dead (Cabin of the Dead), Vanquish the Horde (Destroy the Dead); and Zombie Apocalypse (Knowby’s Incantation).
Continuing the horror theme are cards reimagined in the style of comic-book front covers for Creepshow, the cult ‘80s movie heavily inspired by fifties comics like Tales from the Crypt. The Creepshow MTG cards honour the distinctive style of those comics in transforming creatures Death Baron; Noxious Ghoul; Zombie Master; legendary creature Grimgrin, Corpse-Born; and the Unholy Grotto land card with a comic-book treatment. Their front mimics a comic-book cover, while their reverse displays panels that deliver the cards’ keywords and abilities in speech bubbles.
Still spooky, albeit a little less intensely than Evil Dead and Creepshow, are a set of cards based on Doctor Who’s iconic Weeping Angel foes. The five creatures - Angel of Serenity, Angel of the Ruins, Blinding Angel, Restoration Angel and Sublime Angel - are attached to artwork of the moving statues first seen in the Don’t Blink episode.
Another Doctor Who villain will make an appearance in a set of Dalek lands, five land cards featuring the robotic exterminating baddies. Concealed Courtyard, Spirebluff Canal, Blooming Marsh, Inspiring Vantage and Botanical Sanctum reprint MTG’s offering of enemy fast lands - land cards that can be tapped for either of two mana colours, but enter the battlefield tapped unless you control two or fewer other lands.
Joining Evil Dead in Magic: The Gathering’s roster of cards based on beloved cult movies are nine cards based on endlessly quotable comedy adventure The Princess Bride. The set includes six legendary creatures - Westley, Inigo, Vizzini, Fezzik, Buttercup and Miracle Max - based on Fynn, the Fangbearer; Samut, Voice of Dissent; Baral, Chief of Compliance; Brion Stoutarm; Sisay, Weatherlight Captain; and Marchesa, the Black Rose respectively.
Joining the commander-ready legendaries is a Pack Rat creature enlarged to become Rodents of Unusual Size, plus a Battle of Wits enchantment rethemed around Vizzini and Westley’s own poison-drinking showdown, and a Silence instant showing Vizzini hushing Fezzik’s rhymes.
Along with the pop-culture crossovers, the stacked Secret Lair will offer a number of artwork variants, including an artist series by prolific MTG illustrator John Avon with new variants for Emrakul, the Promised End; Serra Angel; Brainstorm; and Progenitus.
On the land side, five “pixel lands” apply a retro video game look to the basic Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain and Forest cards, with an added frame that evokes old-school Microsoft Windows with a title bar and minimise, maximise and close buttons.
Lastly, the five basic lands are captured in beautiful Japanese-style ink paintings by artist JungShan in Meditations on Nature.
Each set of Secret Lair Spookydrop cards will cost $30 for non-foil cards or $40 for foil variants when they land on October 2nd.