At the beginning of the year, Wizards of the Coast announced one of the biggest changes to the Secret Lair product line in its history. Players have long been complaining about extensive shipping times for their Secret Lair products and Wizards was looking to fix that problem. Since it was not unheard of for an order made in December to arrive the following May, something clearly needed to be done.
In order to speed things up, Secret Lair decided to switch to a Limited print run to ensure that shipping times would become more reasonable. Of course, this decision also had its own set of consequences.
Providing these consequences, in January, Wizards released the Raining Cats & Dogs Secret Lair deck. Just like past Secret Lair decks, this was strictly a limited-supply product, with seemingly not enough supply to go around. Due to this, the highly-anticipated sale ended in just six hours! While this was great news for Wizards of the Coast, scalpers unfortunately spoiled the show for many genuine players.
Thanks to this past precedent, everyone was expecting the release of the Winter 2024 Superdrop to be a complete mess. Now that this latest Superdrop sale is actually live, however, it seems that everything is running smoothly. At the moment, no drop has sold out, which is great news for genuinely interested MTG players.
Curiously, while the slow sale may be a blessing, the Winter 2024 Superdrop is far from perfect. Despite the monumental change to the distribution method, the shipping times for this drop seem remarkably similar. As you can imagine, after spotting this quirk, a lot of MTG players aren’t happy.
Unchanged Shipping Times?
When selling the Raining Cats and Dogs deck, Wizards of the Coast proved they could fix Secret Lair shipping. Rather than the usual months-long wait for deliveries, shipping would start the day after the sale began. This is thanks to the deck being pre-printed and essentially ready to go from the moment everything went live.
Given the change made to Secret Lair shipping as a whole, it was expected this pre-printing would happen to the Winter 2024 Superdrop. Now that the sale is live, however, it appears this isn’t the case. According to Reddit user u/Sensitive_Item_7003, it seems some users are still stuck with multi-month-long shipping times.
“I placed my order in the new superdrop today and got a message that shipping will start at the 12th of April. Which is roughly the same timespan as the spookydrop order and its fullfilment. I am from Europe notably.
What exactly has changed then? Is it different in the us/other parts in the world?”Sensitive_Item_7003
Unsurprisingly, with many players noticing their later-than-expected shipping dates tensions quickly began to flare up. Since nothing had changed, it seemed to players that Wizards was simply creating artificial scarcity around each Secret Lair release. While we may not like it, this move definitely makes the product more desirable to many MTG players and collectors. Rather worryingly, this is what a lot of players pessimistically expected when Wizards first announced the change.
“I was a little bothered by the policy change from “print on demand” to “limited supply”, since it increases Fomo and encourages scalpers to buy Secret Lairs. I take my time to really think about it until i ordered them.Sensitive_Item_7003
I feel like it is just another way for WotC to feed on its costumers without much extra effort. Possibly even lying to us.”
Thankfully, while the delayed shipping times some players are experiencing don’t look good, they may be an unrelated issue. Judging by a recent news post, it seems Wizards of the Coast really has changed how they print Secret Lair drops. Bizarrely, this seems to have been has been confirmed by a rather unfortunate misprint.
A Misprint to Ward Doubt
Shortly after it was first spoiled, MTG players quickly spotted a problem with the Deceptive Divination Secret Lair. For some strange reason, the reprint of Circular Logic was seemingly nerfed and turned into a sorcery speed counterspell. Since this is practically unplayable, outside of its Madness cost, something definitely seemed wrong.
After a brief bout of confusion, Wizards of the Coast explained exactly what was going on. As expected, this error is a misprint that slipped through the quality control cracks. On its own, this isn’t unheard of, however, this visual problem wasn’t going to be fixed. Instead, Wizards stated this misprint will be on both non-foil and foil variants of this Secret Lair card.
“If it’s not printed yet, then they’d be able to fix the glaring misprint issue…. but since they’re not fixing it, does it mean it’s just sitting already printed somewhere in a warehouse for two months?”SWBF3_2020
As suggested in the above comment, if the Deceptive Divination wasn’t pre-printed, this issue could easily be solved. Since every copy of Circular Logic is affected, however, it indicates that the printing process is either finished or underway. If this is the case, Wizards has indeed stuck to their word and overhauled their Secret Lair distribution pipeline.
To apologize for the misprint, Wizards has offered a slight discount on the Deceptive Divination Secret Lair. Rather than costing $29.99 as usual, this drop is now only $24.99.
Fortunately, with printing changes being evident, it appears that Wizards wasn’t trying to hoodwink anyone. That said, there are still some player concerns, namely if the change to a limited print model was a good idea. If the benefit of making this change was rendered moot, what’s the point of it?
“Remember when limited print runs were supposed to fix this very issue?”Vat1can Came0s
That said, one important factor to remember about this April shipping date is that the recipient is in Europe. Secret Lair’s ship from America, so some delay is expected. Currently, on the Secret Lair website, Wizards states shipping begins on March 8th.
What About the US?
At the end of the day, it’s unknown how widespread this shipping issue is. From the recent Reddit post, many players are expecting sizable delays, but those may be unavoidable. Thanks to Secret Lairs being a physical product, they do take time to be shipped and delivered. Since Secret Lair drops ship from America, players outside of the USA may have to wait longer than desired.
Currently, on the Secret Lair website, Wizards states the Winter 2024 Superdrop begins shipping on March 8th. Notably, this is a few days after the current sale ends, so Wizards may be waiting until all orders are in before shipping starts. If this is Wizards plan, potentially some Secret Lair drops could be shipped early, provided they sell out. For better or worse, there’s no indication whether or not this will happen.
Ultimately, while Wizards has appeared to improve the previously arduous wait time, shipping still isn’t instant. For now, it appears that the crazy shipping times of the Raining Cats and Dogs deck may be the exception rather than the rule.