3, Sep, 23

MTG's Worst Secret Lair Delivers Disastrous Bonus Card

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Article at a Glance

Just recently, the Fall Secret Lair Superdrop was announced, and there are an abundance of goodies for players to look forward to. Cards like Mass Hysteria and especially The First Sliver have hefty individual price tags. However, there seems to be a pretty big imbalance within the reprint value of different Secret Lairs. For example, the “Now on VHS!” Secret Lair boasts both the First Sliver and Food Chain, which are expensive cards even in their traditional forms. By contrast, the “Magic: the Baseballing” Secret Lair, while a cool idea, features five relatively cheap and somewhat mediocre Planeswalkers. Given that each Secret Lair can be purchased for $29.99 or $39.99 in all-foil, it appears that the “Now on VHS!” Secret Lair may be a steal.

Unfortunately, this disparity between the Secret Lairs was a major issue with the Summer Superdrop. Most notably, the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” secret lair was not well-received. While it may seem like a cool idea to feature a Secret Lair devoted to the Lord of the Rings crossover, the individual cards that were chosen left much to be desired. The Secret Lair showcased four cards, two of which were uncommons and two of which were commons. None of the four were worth much of anything. Compared to the “Goblin and Squabblin'” Secret Lair that featured Goblin Lackey and Goblin Recruiter, the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” Secret Lair was a financial blunder.

With players receiving their products, it appears that the bonus card for the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” Secret Lair is yet another uncommon that is worth very little. Many bonus cards have been worthwhile inclusions in the past, so this is unfortunate to see. Before we look at this specific bonus card, let’s first go over what the bonus cards are and where to find them.

What Bonus Cards Are

Karn, the Great Creator

In every Secret Lair package, one bonus card will appear alongside the normal cards from each product. Each Secret Lair drop comes with a specific subset of bonus cards associated with that drop. The bonus cards are designed to offer a little something extra for players to look forward to when they purchase the Secret Lair product they desire. In many cases, these cards can also add some extra value to the Secret Lair you purchase. Cards like the stained-glass Karn, the Great Creator still go for a decent chunk of money.

Some bonus cards are also exclusive to certain Secret Lair products. For example, the bonus card associated with the “Angels: They’re Just Like Us but Cooler and With Wings” Secret Lair is Sigarda’s Aid. In general, the bonus cards are intentionally meant to show off the themes of the Secret Lairs. Sigarda’s Aid may seem like a bit of an outlier, but at least it holds some value, with traditional versions sitting at roughly $7 according to TCGplayer market price. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about the bonus card for the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” Secret Lair.

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Additional Disappointment

With the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” Secret Lair having the worst financial value the MTG world has seen yet, it was on the mysterious Bonus Card slot to save the financial face of this product. This Secret Lair was so poorly received that it earned a double fail from MTG product reviewer and renowned personality The Professor.

It appears that the bonus card associated with the “More Adventures in Middle-earth” Secret Lair is none other than Grima Wormtongue. Even with Grima Wormtongue in the mix, this Secret Lair has hardly any reprint value. Sure, Grima Wormtongue is legendary, so it could hold some Commander appeal. At the end of the day, though, Grima Wormtongue is really nothing more than Lord of the Rings Limited filler.

“It’s not even that the cards are worthless, it’s that they aren’t fun. There are plenty of commons and uncommons in LTR that people would like to put in their Commander decks. That’s not what the cards in this Lair are.”

Blenderhead36

It’s safe to assume that many players are very disappointed with the product. Their frustration doesn’t necessarily stem from the idea of a Secret Lair with a Lord of the Rings theme. Instead, it specifically has to do with the cards that were chosen to be featured. As the comment above suggests, there are even plenty of common and uncommon cards that would have done a better job showcasing the LOTR set as a whole. With none of the original cards holding much value, there was still hope that a card like Nazgul would be featured as the bonus card to save the day. Alas, Grima Wormtongue further showcases the imbalance between the Secret Lair products as a whole.

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Even More Issues

As it turns out, beyond the financial aspect of Grima Wormtongue, the card was not even printed with the correct stats. The copy of Grima Wormtongue shown above has base power and toughness 2/4, yet the card is only supposed to have one power! This error only enhances the issues associated with this specific Secret Lair.

Ironically, though, this could theoretically help raise the price of the Grima Wormtongue bonus card. Lots of collectors love misprints. Even though this misprint may be consistent throughout the associated Secret Lair packages, it could still hold a bit more value than otherwise expected, especially if there are minimal copies of this bonus card in circulation. Given the fact that the overall product was generally not well-received, this is a possibility. Even still, the bonus card of choice is rather lackluster. As more bonus cards for other Secret Lairs become known, hopefully we see some better inclusions.

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