Gandalf, Friend of the Shire | The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth
26, Jun, 23

MTG Players Already Disappointed With Upcoming Secret Lair

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Initially appearing two months ago, the Secret Lair Spring Superdrop 2023’s time in the spotlight has finally concluded. Getting delisted from sale this morning, MTG players must now wait patiently until the next Secret Lair drop gets revealed. Thankfully, for impatient players, only a short wait until the next bounty of Secret Lair drops gets revealed.

As you might expect from the seasonal naming structure, the next major MTG Secret Lair release is the Summer Superdrop 2023. Beyond just following convention, this has already been confirmed by Wizards of the Coast thanks to a new landing page. From this, it appears that players will only have to wait for a few more hours. Unfortunately, however, this Summer Superdrop isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

So far, only a single card from the Secret Lair Summer Superdrop 2023 has been revealed. Unfortunately, however, despite being teased to drum up hype, this early spoiler has had the opposite effect. Rather than getting the hype train rolling, MTG players are already feeling disappointed by the next Secret Lair. 

Gandalf the Unexciting

Gandalf, Friend of the Shire | Secret Lair

Getting the hype for the Summer Superdrop rolling, in May, Wizards teased players by announcing an upcoming Secret Lair early. Partially revealing More Adventures in Middle-earth to the world, Wizards sadly didn’t show off any of the drop’s cards. What Wizards did reveal, however, was the drop’s rather enticing theme.

Revisiting the classic Lord of the Rings animated movie, from Ralph Bakshi, this Secret Lair promised a wonderfully charming aesthetic. As a result of this, even without any actual cards, MTG players were thoroughly excited about what was in store. Reddit user u/Leharen for instance, excited commented that “this is a f*cking Secret Lair. Holy mackerel.”

Following on from this initial hype, Wizards of the Cost recently teased players once again. On Friday, Wizards revealed the first card from this highly anticipated Secret Lair: Gandalf, Friend of the Shire. Featuring the artwork seen in the teaser announcement, this card should have theoretically delighted MTG players. Unfortunately for Wizards, however, the actual response wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic. 

Across Twitter and Reddit, several MTG players weren’t happy to see a card from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth already being reprinted. Especially not an uncommon card from the just-released set. While they are interesting, Gandalf, Friend of the Shire is hardly an in-demand staple. In fact, the card typically only sells for around $0.09 at the time of writing. 

Alongside being a disappointingly inexpensive card, some MTG players weren’t happy with the look of Gandalf, Friend of the Shire. Curiously, however, these complaints weren’t about the art of the card, but instead the card frame. By using the modern legendary card frame, numerous players felt the gorgeous retro art looked out of place. Subsequently, several players lamented Wizards for not using the Retro card frame

Needlessly Early Expectations

Break Expectations
Break Expectations | Alchemy: Innistrad

Judging by the comments across social media, it certainly seems that some of the initial excitement has been tempered somewhat. Thankfully, however, this doesn’t mean that this Secret Lair drop is going to be a total flop. After all, Secret Lair drops typically contain a quintet of cards, not just one underwhelming reprint. 

So far, there’s no telling what the other cards in the More Adventures in Middle-earth Secret Lair drop will be. Chances are, however, that some of the remaining cards will be substantially more valuable. This is thanks to the fact that Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, is an easily available uncommon card

Even before the release of Tales of Middle-earth, Wizards will have surely known Gandalf, Friend of the Shire, wouldn’t be an expensive bomb. Subsequently, it stands to reason that the value will be propped up by the drop’s other cards. That’s the expectation, at least, as typically, the value of Secret Lair drops is within a few dollars of their price. 

While MTG players do love value, for better or worse, there’s no guarantee More Adventures in Middle-earth will have it. This may be disappointing to some, however, at the end of the day, it’s hardly the end of the world. Ultimately, while Secret Lair drops can be a fantastic engine for some affordable reprints, that’s not the sub-brands only upside. 

As Secret Lairs have proven time and time again, art matters in MTG. If a card looks good, typically, players will want to own that variant, even if the card is otherwise inexpensive. Subsequently, it doesn’t matter if More Adventures in Middle-earth has disappointing value. If the art is good, the players who want to own it can purchase it. Those who aren’t interested don’t have to purchase anything. 

There’s More to Come

Hungry for More | Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
Hungry for More | Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

Thankfully, even if More Adventures in Middle-earth is considered a dud, it’s hardly the only Secret Lair being released. Typically, Secret Lair Superdrops are comprised of around eight different bundles, so there’s a lot more in store. Each of these will be revealed later today once the Superdrop goes live. This is expected to happen at 9 AM PST (12 PM EST or 5 PM BST). 

Read More: MTG Lord of the Rings Hidden Gem Generates Insane Advantage!

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