counterbalance
26, Jan, 23

Spiking Commander Staple Has Shocking Reprint Announcement!

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Article at a Glance

Sometimes, in trying to give some good financial advice, we accidentally tell the future. That couldn’t be more true in regards to a recent Secret Lair reprint that was just announced a few moments before the writing of this article. We highlighted Counterbalance a few weeks ago because of its massive secondary market movements. We mentioned that this card could easily be reprinted this year, which would cause players investing in the card to lose a lot of money. Well, exactly 14 days after releasing that article, Counterbalance did indeed see a reprint.

Draw Your Hand

MTG artist Tyler Day just announced his new Secret Lair coming as part of the ‘Winter Superdrop’ available starting January 30. While the set is not yet visible on MTG’s Secret Lair site, we will not have to wait long to see what’s available in the latest drop.

The Cards

In terms of the cards being reprinted, Counterbalance is, by far, the most exciting card. While we discussed this card’s function extensively here, the community’s recent interest in this card was due to its spike in secondary market pricing over the past month. While the spike has been relatively slow, Counterbalance has snuck up to about $35 over the past week on TCGplayer, meaning the card’s price may now be over $40 overall.

Interestingly, in a Reddit thread following the announcement of his Secret Lair, Tyler Day offered up the art prompts that led to the wild illustrations behind these Secret Lairs. The Counterbalance one is as follows:

“Art Title: Counterbalance Art Description:Card type: blue enchantment Setting: up to you! Action: Two magical spells of your own design intertwine, each keeping the other in check. Focus: The spellsMood: Even the slightest of changes could disrupt this balance.”

If you want more information about Day’s artistic process outside of just the prompts, you can check out his Reddit Thread here.

Bruna, Light of Alabaster and Deafening Silence should have a bit of a premium in this version but generally are not very expensive. While Bruna is a Mythic Rare, the card has been reprinted to death. Deafening Silence is a popular sideboard option in the Pioneer format as an inexpensive way to check Phoenix and Lotus Field decks, but the card is still only worth a couple bucks.

“Light of Alabaster is as such: Art Title: Bruna, Light of Alabaster Art Description:
Color: Legendary white/blue creature Location: Up to you! Action: Please draw your take on Bruna (see reference) as she strikes an elegant pose in midair. Focus: The warrior angel Mood: Dramatic, wise, divine”

“Art Title: Deafening Silence Art Description: Card type: white enchantment Setting: up to you! Action: A strange mouthless creature (or humanoid) raises a shushing finger to where its mouth would be. Focus: the creature Mood: Be quiet or face the consequences”

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Eldrazi Conscription did not need a reprint as direly as Counterbalance did, but the card does have some secondary market value. Currently, the card only has two printings from Ultimate Masters and Rise of the Eldrazi. Priced at about $19 for an NM edition, Eldrazi Conscription can turn any enchanted creature into a menace that draws compared to the Eldrazi Titans themselves. Getting +10/+10, Trample, and Annihilator Two is especially deadly in Commander, where a Voltron deck could easily use this, plus some other abilities to start one-shotting players at the table.

“Art Title: Eldrazi Conscription Art Description:
Card type: colorless aura Location: Zendikar Action: From offscreen, Eldrazi tentacles hold up a humanoid figure (human, elf, kor, or vampire) like a marionette. Focus: the humanoid Mood: You are no longer in control.

Is It Worth Buying?

Financially, Draw Your Hand is quite a strong Secret Lair to consider purchasing. As listed by Tyler Day, the Secret Lair costs $30 in its non-foil variant. Counterbalance already covers this price in terms of Secondary Market singles, so financially, you make your money back with one card. Eldrazi Conscription is another $18, which marks the current singles value of this Secret Lair around $55$60. These reprints should cause prices to drop a bit, however. That said, you are currently taking home about twice the value you’re spending in secondary market value, making it pretty easy to even out, even if the cards lose some value. Bruna is a somewhat popular Commander, so this may also apply to those individuals.

Financially, this Secret Lair feels like a good deal, but whether you’re after the cards and enjoy the artwork presented in Draw Your Hand should be individual factors to consider. For players who are after a Counterbalance of their own, this might be one of the best deals to grabbing one that we’ll see in some time.

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