7, Apr, 24

MTG Commander Staples Receive Creepy Secret Lair Artwork!

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Article at a Glance

The release of the Secret Lair Equinox Superdrop 2024 is on the horizon, with each drop going on sale at 9 AM PST on Monday, April 8. So far, we’ve seen a good mix of different styles and ideas from a handful of very talented artists. From a group of MTG cards with a tarot card theme to a collection that looks like it comes straight out of a children’s story book, these Secret Lair drops boast really unique ideas.

Today, we have another Secret Lair designed by a featured artist to share. This time, we have Laura Plansker’s Diabolical Dioramas. Spoiled in an array of creepy yet mesmerizing videos, these cards are sure to bring some spookiness to your Commander decks.

So far, three cards have been previewed. It’s not entirely clear how many cards there are in this Secret Lair total, but chances are there are still one or two more cards yet to be revealed. Still, these cards are too cool to not showcase, so let’s take a look at the ones we know so far.

Aura Shards

Aura Shards

Aura Shards is an elite Commander staple. If you’re playing these colors and have lots of Creatures in your deck, chances are you will want to make use of this card. Many players rely on various mana rocks for acceleration, and there are a large number of game-breaking Enchantments like Smothering Tithe that demand answers soon after they hit the board. Aura Shards helps clean up everything you care about in a short period of time.

Aura Shards is a solid choice for a Secret Lair reprint, and the artwork is very intriguing to say the least. This powerful Enchantment originally appeared in Invasion, before being reprinted in Commander 2011 and eventually showcased as a card on The List. This is its first printing with different artwork, so it’s sure to be in high demand. It Currently sits at about $9 in its cheapest form.

Read More: Top Five Most Expensive MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cards

Fiend Artisan

Fiend Artisan

Next, we have Fiend Artisan. Fiend Artisan saw a ton of hype during spoiler season. First of all, Fiend Artisan’s power can grow rather quickly, and some players were quick to dub it the “new Tarmogoyf.” Others were interested in using its ability that was reminiscent of Birthing Pod. Obviously, the card did not exceed expectations, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful.

In Legacy, Fiend Artisan has seen play alongside Gaea’s Cradle as a beefy threat and value engine. In Commander, it’s a decent toolbox element. As such, the card still holds a rather high price tag. Much like Aura Shards, this is Fiend Artisan’s first time receiving unique artwork since it debuted in Ikoria. It currently sits at roughly $8 in its cheapest traditional form.

Read More: The 13 Best MTG Outlaws of Thunder Junction Cards!

Gravebreaker Lamia

Gravebreaker Lamia

Gravebreaker Lamia is the final spoiler we know thus far. It isn’t the strongest card in the world, but it has some nice uses for decks that can operate out of the graveyard. For decks looking to Reanimate huge Creatures into play ahead of schedule, Gravebreaker Lamia can add another Entomb effect to your deck. You can also tutor up cards with Flashback, which Grabebreaker Lamia can make cheaper as a nice bonus.

This is definitely the weakest of the three cards we know in this Secret Lair from a financial perspective. It was printed in Theros Beyond Death and holds a very small price tag of only about 30 cents. Once again, though, this is the first time this card will display new artwork. So, if you’re looking to help spice up your Commander decks, these cards are sure to help.

Read More: New Quick Draw Commander Deck Delivers Insane Copy Effects

Other Potential Inclusions

Nethroi, Apex of Death

This begs the question: what else might be included in this Secret Lair? Up to this point, the other Secret Lair drops highlighting the works of specific artists have each included a legendary Creature. Phoebe Wahl’s Secret Lair, showing off a gorgeous variant of Alela, Artful Provocateur, also showcased multiple cards within the Esper color combination that fit well in an Alela Commander deck.

With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense that an Abzan legend would fit perfectly in this Secret Lair. Nethroi, Apex of Death seems to be the most likely legend to go along with the other cards shown. A Nethroi Commander deck is all about utilizing lots of value-oriented non-Human Creatures and being able to return a bunch to play from the graveyard at once. All three of the cards shown further this idea.

Not to mention, the artwork associated with Nethroi is rather emblematic of the themes used in the artwork for these cards. Nethroi is a Cat Nightmare Beast, while Fiend Artisan is a Nightmare and Aura Shards definitely has an animal resembling a Cat in its art. For now, we will have to wait and see if this theory is correct, but it certainly seems logical.

Read More: MTG Desert Bloom Precon Card Turns all Your Lands into Deserts!

Player Reaction and Reprint Value

byu/Copernicus1981 from discussion

Overall, most players seemed quite happy with this Secret Lair. Many players feel the unusual artwork is perfect for a Secret Lair product. Others were pleased that the cards, while flashy, were still easy to read. A rather recurring criticism of the Secret Lair drops showing off the tarot card theme was that, while pretty, could make it difficult to read from the other side of a table.

Another aspect of this Secret Lair that seems to be an improvement is the total reprint value. Phoebe Wahl’s Secret Lair is absolutely stunning, but the five cards featured don’t even have a total reprint value of $10. Considering each Secret Lair product usually goes on sale for $29.99 in non-foil, this is quite low.

This Secret Lair already has a total reprint value of nearly $18 and there are likely other cards to be spoiled in the near future. This doesn’t put this Secret Lair at the level of the MTG Fallout Vault Boy Secret Lair, but there’s still a noticeable difference when compared to some of the other Secret Lairs that we’ve seen. For fans of Commander and amusing illustrations alike, this Secret Lair could be right up your alley.

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