13, Apr, 24

MTG Players Let Down by Doctor Who Secret Lair Bonus Card Reprint

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Article at a Glance

One of the most popular groups of products that players seem to love are Secret Lairs. Over the last year, there have been tons of different Secret Lairs available for purchase. Are you a fan of intriguing alternate-art variants of Universes Beyond cards? Secret Lair drops have you covered. What about seeing some of your favorite artists make illustrations that pop off the page? You’re in luck there, too.

In general, the contents of each Secret Lair drop are public knowledge. This means that you won’t be in for any surprises regarding what cards will be included in the Secret Lair you purchase. Well, that is, except for the bonus cards that add a neat surprise element to each Secret Lair.

The concept of bonus card inserts with various Secret Lair products is actually quite cool. Not only do players receive all the cards they desired from whatever Secret Lair they purchased, but they also can obtain an extra unknown card for their troubles. This adds a bit of suspense to your order, as the bonus card could be anything! From random Elves of MTG’s past to various versions of Relentless Rats, you never know what you’re gonna get.

Just recently, players discovered the bonus card associated with the Doctor Who: Regeneration Secret Lair. This Secret Lair went on sale back in December of 2023. Now that these items are finally starting to get shipped and arrive at their destinations, we have a glimpse at what the bonus card of choice is this time around. In this case, it’s rather thematic.

Sonic Screwdriver

Sonic Screwdriver

Instead of featuring a random Elf, the Doctor Who: Regeneration Secret Lair boasts a popular mana rock for Commander. Sonic Screwdriver is another card in a long line of three-mana Artifacts that tap to add mana of any color. From Chromatic Lantern to Commander’s Sphere, these three-drops typically offer a bit of extra utility beyond simply tapping for mana.

In the case of Sonic Screwdriver, you get the ability to Scry as well as untap Artifacts or make Creatures unblockable, just like Manifold Key. Being able to untap an Artifact is nice, especially if you have access to a mana rock like Chromatic Orrery that taps for lots of mana at once.

Getting to make Creatures unblockable can also come up, especially in decks that revolve around attacking with the Commander. Take Narset, Enlightened Master, for example. Not only does Sonic Screwdriver help ramp you towards your expensive Commander, but it also makes sure it doesn’t get blocked down in combat.

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More Than Meets the Eye

Relentless Rats

Unfortunately, from a financial perspective, Sonic Screwdriver isn’t the most appealing bonus card at first glance. After all, it’s an uncommon from the Doctor Who Commander decks worth only about 50 cents in its cheapest traditional form according to TCGPlayer market price. The good news, though, is that this bonus card version will almost certainly hold a decent price tag thanks to a few key factors.

First of all, the bonus card is foil, and the cheapest foil variant of Sonic Screwdriver is still over $5. Second, this is the first time Sonic Screwdriver will feature extended art or flavor text, which could increase its value further.

Secret Lair bonus cards in general vary pretty heavily in price. The Timberwatch Elf bonus card is only worth about 30 cents, while certain variants of Persistent Petitioners or Relentless Rats can be worth hundreds of dollars given their low supply. Chances are, Sonic Screwdriver will be on the lower end of things but has a decent shot at being worth a few bucks given the reasons described above.

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Player Reaction

byu/self_highfive from discussion

Overall, most players seem fine with the reprint of choice. Sonic Screwdriver may be a Doctor Who card, but it can fit in almost any Commander deck universally. Getting a potent EDH card with new art is nice, and the fact that previous foils commanded decent price tags means this bonus card version might too.

However, there were two specific areas in which many players felt this selection fell short. The fact is, a large portion of the player base wanted a mechanically unique card to show up as the bonus card rather than a reprint. In some cases, such as with Discord, Lord of Disharmony from Ponies: the Galloping 2, the bonus card is an entirely new card, not just a reprint. This doesn’t happen super often, but with Universes Beyond Secret Lairs, it’s definitely a nice touch to showcase characters that haven’t yet been in the spotlight.

With Doctor Who specifically, many players felt this was the perfect opportunity to unveil a Ruby Sunday MTG card. See, this Secret Lair came with The Fourteenth Doctor plus their Companion in Rose Noble, as well as The Fifteenth Doctor. However, that leaves a vacancy for The Fifteenth Doctor’s Companion: Ruby Sunday.

Some players also felt like the flavor text of choice for Sonic Screwdriver was ultimately lacking in substance. Using a quote from the show or at making a strong reference would have potentially been much stronger than the simple description utilized.

The decision to make Sonic Screwdriver the bonus card for this Secret Lair definitely begs the question: will Ruby Sunday get their time to shine in any future product? I guess we will just have to wait and see.

Read More: Doctor Who Commander Card Causes 274% Price Increase!

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