Relentless Rats | Secret Lair Showdown Art
4, Sep, 23

Beloved MTG Art Cycle Continues With New $150 Variant

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Article at a Glance

It is certainly no secret that modern Magic: the Gathering is a whole lot more collectible than ever before. Sure, old MTG cards may be iconic and intensely desirable, but modern cards are foil and feature anime art! Tapping into this desire for new collectability, Wizards has released no shortage of MTG art treatments recently, primarily via Secret Lair.

While perhaps not the mathematically favorite art style, one of the most popular art cycles is found on cards like Persistent Petitioners. Able to be included any number of times in a deck, these cards offered a unique avenue for collectability. One that Wizards of the Coast has eagerly tapped into. 

Releasing six unique Secret Lair artworks for Persistent Petitioners and [/tooltips]Shadowborn Apostle[/tooltips], these cards have become deeply collectible. For better or worse, this means the cards are also rather expensive, clocking in at over $250 on occasion. Thankfully, while this is some compelling value, not every art cycle card is so expensive. This is certainly the case for Relentless Rats.

These Rats Sure Are Relentless

Relentless Rats MagicCon Promo

Since it’s the first card to break deck construction rules, Relentless Rats has gone remarkably uncollected. In fact, thanks to being reprinted multiple times throughout Magic’s history, these rats are remarkably cheap! On TCGplayer, for instance, you can easily pick up a copy for just $2.50. Saying that, however, you’re hardly ever going to need just one copy.

Despite its pedigree, Relentless Rats managed to hold out from becoming collectible for 19 years. In 2023, however, that all changed thanks to the Festival in a Box for MagicCon: Barcelona. Here, Relentless Rats finally got some Secret Lair artwork for fans to enjoy. As you can imagine, this new artwork holds quite a premium over normal variants.

Currently, on TCGplayer, copies of the Secret Lair Showdown Relentless Rats will set you back around $12.50. While this is a far cry from the value of some art cycle cards like Shadowborn Apostle #685, it’s nonetheless obviously desirable. For those who want to show off even more, the new foil artwork for Relentless Rats costs about $43!

Unsurprisingly considering what happened to Persistent Petitioners, Wizards isn’t stopping with just one fancy Relentless Rats variant. Appearing at the upcoming MagicCon: Las Vegas, another new artwork for Relentless Rats has already been announced. Featuring artwork by Graham Yarrington, this card definitely plays into the style of Secret Lair releases.

Beyond looking good, this new Relentless Rats card may also be seriously expensive. Exclusive to MagicCon: Las Vegas, the card can only be acquired by spending “over $150 at the show store on-site.” As you might expect, this likely means the supply of the card will be rather meager, leading to high prices. In magical Christmas land, this card could even be worth the full $150, however, that’s honestly very unlikely. 

Predicting the Obvious

Anticipate | Dragons of Tarkir
Anticipate | Dragons of Tarkir

So far, Wizards of the Coast has only announced one new variant of Relentless Rats. Technically, this leaves the future of the art cycle up in the air, since Wizards hasn’t confirmed anything yet. That being said, however, it’s pretty obvious given past precedent that we’ll be getting more Relentless Rats before too long. 

Judging by what we’ve seen so far, new variants will be appearing at each upcoming MagicCon event. Throughout 2023, these have happened every few months, but we don’t know what 2024 has in store. If they continue, it might not be too long before we have a full set of unique Relentless Rats. Should MagicCons miraculously disappear, however, we may be left waiting for Secret Lair bonus cards

Ultimately, no matter what the future holds, there’s undeniably demand for art cycle variants in MTG. Similarly, players have shared plenty of desire for “one card deck” cards, wanting more of them where possible. Thanks to this, it’s sensible to expect we’ll be seeing even more in the future, even if it does take a while for them to be released. 

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