For the most part, MTG Secret Lairs are something you can directly purchase from Wizards of the Coast. Time has passed, and this has now become an accepted normality. Secret Lairs offer opportunity for crazy crossovers that players never imagined possible like The Princess Bride, and wacky artwork to personalize your MTG deck in more ways than you can imagine. Unfortunately, because Secret Lairs don’t generally come from local game stores, unless you’re purchasing the reprints from them, you aren’t supporting your local game store when buying Secret Lair product.
That said, occasionally, players will have an opportunity to buy Secret Lairs from local game stores. The lack of support for local game stores was one of the bigger criticisms to Secret Lairs in the product’s earlier days, but there continue to be opportunities to support your local game store through the Secret Lair brand.
This December, a new Secret Lair will appear in WPN stores, and it’s focused around the Hydra creature type. Let’s take a look at the contents and the expected value of this new product.
Secret Lair: Calling All Hydra Heads
Secret Lair: Calling All Hydra Heads features six Hydra-based reprints with new artwork from MTG artist CatDirty.
If interested in acquiring this Secret Lair, you’ll be able to find them at your local WPN store. Hopping on the Secret Lair site won’t be enough to acquire these Hydras for your personal collection.
In terms of the contents of this Secret Lair, here’s what to expect:
- 1x Zaxara, The Exemplary
- 1x Unbound Flourishing
- 1x Primordial Hydra
- 1x Hydroid Krasis
- 1x Gargos, Vicious Watcher
- 1x Hydra token
Let’s take a look at each of these cards individually and see how things add up financially. Notably, we do not know how much this Secret Lair is going to be priced. As a result, we will be using the general traditional foil pricing on most Secret Lairs to evaluate this, which is generally $40. Ah, and while we’re on the topic, this Secret Lair is only available in English, and in a traditional foil variant.
Zaxara, The Exemplary
Zaxara, The Exemplary has only seen two printings in Commander sets. Its original appearance was a part of Ikoria’s Commander expansion. The card reappeared as a part of Dominaria United.
Zaxara cares about spells with X in their mana value. Able to tap for two mana, as long as the mana is spent on a spell with X in its value, you create a Hydra token with stats equal to the spell’s mana value. Fortunately, the Hydra token included in this Secret Lair can be used for your ability.
Unfortuantely, Zaxara isn’t exactly a valuable MTG card, worth less than a dollar for its foil variant. This doesn’t do much for the reprint value of this WPN-exclusive Secret Lair, but it is a great new way to show off your Commander if you have a Zaxara deck.
Continuing on with the theme of X spells, Unbound Flourishing is an auto-include in any deck that cares about casting X spells consistently. Permanents spells with X in their mana values will get their X value doubled and Instant and Sorcery spells with X in their mana value will get copied. This is an absolutely ludicrous amount of value for a three mana enchantment.
The downside is that Flourishing doesn’t do anything upon resolution, and does need another spell to provide any value at all. Fortunately, this card generally only sees play in Commander, and do-nothing enchantments (on entry) that provide massive dividends when used alongside other spells, like Doubling Season, are all over the place in the casual form of the format. Nothing to worry about here.
Unbound Flourishing has two printings, but only one of them has a traditional foil variant. That variant, from the original Modern Horizons, costs $19.68 on average according to TCGplayer, which adds about half of the expected price tag of this WPN-exclusive Secret Lair to the reprint value. This is a fantastic reprint.
Primordial Hydra has a few printings, all of which have a decent secondary market value. This Hydra can start big with all the other X counter synergies available in this Secret Lair and, the bigger that Primordial Hydra starts, the more that this card can grow.
X corresponds to +1/+1 counters for this Hydra, which is normal. Counters double on your upkeep with Primordial Hydra, and Trample is granted to the Hydra once it surpasses ten +1/+1 counters, making it very difficult to throw creatures in front of it.
Foil prices on the Primordial Hydra vary heavily. The cheapest foil variant for Primordial Hydra appears to be worth about $30, which puts the reprint value for this Secret Lair past the general price for Traditional Foil Secret Lairs.
Hydroid Krasis was a scourge during its Standard legal days. Even though this card has not stood the test of time, the Krasis remains my most disliked MTG card because of what it was capable of.
Hydroid Krasis offers a powerful X-related payoff that doesn’t get completely stopped be counterspells. Countering the Krasis will stop the body from touching down, but you’ll still be able to draw some cards and gain some life since that is not an ETB trigger, but instead a cast-based trigger.
Regardless of my feelings on the Krasis, it does not really see much play anymore. Despite this, Hydroid Krasis saw a recent reprint in Double Masters 2022, which drove the foil price of this card down to $4.22. Still, the foil and nonfoil pricing of this card remain similar, and this reprint should, hopefully, make things a bit more accessible.
Gargos, Vicious Watcher
Despite its printing in M21, Gargos has remained one of the best Hydra typal payoffs in all the time it has been around. Reducing Hydra spells by four mana to cast, and presenting a sort of Ward cost that fights other creatures when one of yours is targeted with a spell, Gargos makes your Hydras easier to deploy, bigger to deploy if they scale with X costs, and difficult to target.
While Gargos tends to see price spikes whenever the Hydra creature type gets some support, thanks to a Media promo printing in foil, the foil variant of this particular Hydra is not even worth a dollar.
Unfortunately, unlike some rare tokens like the Goblin Shaman created by Fable of the Mirror-Breaker, this Hydra token doesn’t really have any reprint value. That said, thanks to the art, this token will likely end up being worth something.
What Will This Secret Lair Cost?
While most traditional foil Secret Lairs generally cost about $40, special Secret Lairs like this one can generally cost a bit more. As mentioned in the Wizards of the Coast article spoiling this Secret Lair to the world, “quantities will be limited.”
That said, the total reprint value of the cards presented in this secret lair amount to about $55. As long as the price you can find this for is under that, if you have any interest in these Hydra cards at all, this is probably a good buy.
If you’re looking to get this Secret Lair, pay attention to WPN stores in your area. Calling All Hydra Heads is scheduled to release December 8.