Dockside Chef | Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
6, Apr, 24

Gorgeous MTG Secret Lair Offers Dismal Value and Questionable Card Choices

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Article at a Glance

Our next collection of Secret Lair products become available on Monday, April 8 at 9 AM PST with the release of the Equinox Superdrop 2024. As we inch closer and closer to that date, more and more Secret Lair drops are being revealed. From MTG Fallout all the way to tarot cards, these Secret Lairs incorporate a vast number of cool themes.

Recently, a unique Secret Lair drop featuring artwork designed by author and illustrator Phoebe Wahl was previewed on their Instagram page. These cards are somewhat reminiscent of the art style Phoebe Wahl used in their book Little Witch Hazel, which focused on the life of a small witch in a vast forest.

Unfortunately, while the artwork on these cards is stunning, the card choices themselves are not ideal from a value perspective. The total reprint value of these five cards doesn’t come close to that of the MTG Fallout Vault Boy Secret Lair drop, which is rather disappointing.

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares
Swords to Plowshares

First, we have Swords to Plowshares (use the link in the caption above to view the new Secret Lair artwork). Swords to Plowshares is the premier white removal spell, seeing consistent play in Legacy and Commander. What makes this card so powerful is that it is a one-mana answer to almost any threat your opponent can play. Almost every other top-tier one-mana removal spell, such as Fatal Push or Lightning Bolt, has a pretty big restriction regarding what Creatures can be removed.

Meanwhile, Swords to Plowshares’ ability to answer even the largest of Creatures makes it easy to trade up on mana. Sure, your opponent can gain some life, but this is a small price to pay for elite versatility and efficiency.

As strong as this card is, it isn’t worth much. It’s been reprinted as an uncommon many times, and currently sits at roughly $1 in its cheapest traditional form according to TCGPlayer market price.

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Dockside Chef

Dockside Chef
Dockside Chef

Speaking of uncommons, Dockside Chef makes an appearance in this Secret Lair as well. Unlike Swords to Plowshares, though, this inclusion is a bit puzzling. Not only is Dockside Chef worth very little (under 20 cents in non-foil), but it sees minimal play. It sometimes shows up in Commander as a cheap way to convert mediocre Artifacts like Food tokens into card advantage, but it’s never a focal point of the decks it shows up in.

The one nice thing about this reprint is that the card has yet to receive a reprint. As such, if you’re playing this card and looking to add some pizazz to your Commander deck, this card at least delivers in that regard.

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Faerie Artisans

Faerie Artisans
Faerie Artisans

Faerie Artisans is a rather interesting card for Commander. It lets you make token copies of your opponent’s Creatures when played, but they only stick around for a turn. Given how prominent enters-the-battlefield effects can be in Commander, Faerie Artisans has the potential to be quite powerful. It also works well with sacrifice outlets and has excellent synergy with Tawnos, Solemn Survivor as the Commander of choice.

Once again, though, the card is worth very little. This card may be a rare this time, but it doesn’t even crack $1 in its cheapest traditional form.

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Alela, Artful Provocateur

Alela, Artful Provocateur
Alela, Artful Provocateur

Next, we have another Faerie inclusion. This time, the theme is to cast a bunch of Artifacts and Enchantments to help flood the board with tokens. Alela is a neat Commander to build around and pretty strong in its own right.

The problem is, the card has been reprinted in multiple Commander sets. It has also already been featured in a previous Secret Lair drop. This mythic rare legend isn’t even worth 50 cents. This makes Alela the fourth card in this Secret Lair with reprint value of $1 or less!

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Door of Destinies

Door of Destinies
Door of Destinies

Fortunately, the last card does end this streak. Door of Destinies is an awesome Commander card for typal strategies. Any deck looking to go wide with a high density of Creatures of the same type can make great use of this card. You do have to play Creatures after playing Door of Destinies to get a buff, which separates it from the likes of Coat of Arms which pumps your whole squad immediately. Still, Door of Destinies fills its role nicely and unlike Coat of Arms, only affects Creatures on your side of the board.

Door of Destinies was most recently reprinted in one of the LOTR Commander decks. It has a price tag of roughly $6 in its cheapest traditional form, making it by far the most expensive reprint in this Secret Lair product.

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Dismal Value

Comment
byu/WateryGravy from discussion
inmagicTCG

Even with Door of Destinies in the mix, there’s no denying the poor total value that this Secret Lair offers. The reprint value of all five cards combined is under $10. Compare this to the MTG Fallout Vault Boy Secret Lair with roughly $60 in reprint value, and it’s no wonder players are disappointed. After all, these Secret Lair drops usually go on sale for $29.99 individually.

Additionally, while players generally seem to love the artwork, multiple people pointed out the curling of the cards in the video. It’s truly a shame to see such lovely art utilized on mediocre card decisions in this condition. If you’re a fan of the intriguing style of these cards and want to make your Commander deck look extra pretty, definitely still pick this Secret Lair up. If you’re looking for a lucrative Secret Lair drop, however, you may want to look elsewhere.

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