Within the past few weeks, Secret Lair drops have not exactly had the best reputation. Considering this MTG sub-brand is typically beloved by players, this is definitely quite the fall from grace. That being said, however, it’s not all too surprising considering the latest Secret Lair Superdrop is being lambasted as the worst yet.
Epitomizing this fall from grace is the currently available More Adventures in Middle-earth Secret Lair drop. While this drop does feature gorgeous artwork, it boasts practically no value, with the reprints being worth less than $1. Unfortunately for fans, several of the other recent Secret Lair drops have similarly offered dismal value and no return on investment.
While the reprint value may leave much to be desired, recent Secret Lair releases have had great art. Saying that… however, recently we have seen a bizarre number of Secret Lair cards with Not Safe For Work artwork! Between Stonecoil Serpents with extra serpents and Shivan Dragon doing unspeakable things to volcanoes, players have been rightfully befuddled!
Thankfully, despite these recent oddities and failings, Wizards of the Coast has seemingly turned a corner. As, during MagicCon: Barcelona, new Secret Lair cards were revealed which are both gorgeous and incredibly expensive! So much so, in fact, that a new card may be the most expensive Secret Lair card ever printed!
Reserved List Reprints are Expensive?!
Recently, as if players weren’t already confused enough, Wizards of the Coast made a very peculiar announcement. Seemingly without any rhyme or reason, a new playtest copy of Counterspell was spoiled and showcased. At the time, no information was given about when, where, or how players could obtain these new cards.
Despite the lack of information, MTG players could still draw conclusions from teasing tidbits of information throughout the post. This led players to believe the reprinted Counterspell was the first of many upcoming Secret Lair bonus cards. Alongside this, there was also the expectation that these non-tournament legal playtest cards could reprint Reserved List cards!
Unfortunately, despite these expectations, there was still no telling when exactly we might see the playtest cards in public. Thankfully, however, we weren’t left waiting for long, as the first card has already been revealed. As foretold by Blake Rasmussen’s initial announcement, a playtest Counterspell is now in players’ hands.
According to Twitter user @mlemnarch, one of the first new playtest cards was found during MagicCon: Barcelona. Where exactly? Unfortunately, that information has not yet been shared, so we’re still left guessing. Thankfully, there is one detail about this new playtest card that we do know: it’s incredibly expensive.
After finding the SL Playtest card, Mlemnarch seemingly quickly offered it up for sale, posting the highest bid to Twitter. Initially, this started out at $1,000, however, at the time of writing, the highest offer now stands at €2000. Should this playtest card sell for this price, around $2,200, it will immediately become the second most expensive Secret Lair card ever.
Serialized Cards Do It Again
While the initial value of the new Secret Lair Playtest cards is certainly impressive, it’s worth remembering that we don’t know how rare these cards are yet. Should they be released as Secret Lair bonus cards, they may end up being exceptionally cheap. Right now, we simply don’t have enough data or past precedent to properly analyze and scrutinize prices.
Thankfully, not every new Secret Lair card is an entirely new innovation. This is the case for the latest serialized Secret Lair card. Released to make each MagicCon that little bit more special, so far, we’ve seen three of these cards be released. As you can see above, the latest of these cars from Barcelona is Lord of the Pit.
Similarly to the past serialized Secret Lair cards, this new copy of Lord of the Pit is one of only 295 copies. Just like the other serialized cards, this means this card is going to be tremendously expensive, to say the least. Looking back at the old MagicCon cards, Giant Growth typically sells for between $500 and $740. Meanwhile, serialized copies of Shivan Dragon have sold for upwards of $2,400!
Currently, despite not really being played competitively or casually, Lord of the Pit is sitting between these two price points. On eBay, unopened packs containing the serialized card have sold for $1,500, making this card incredibly lucrative.
While this value is definitely alluring, it may not be the most notable thing about this new Secret Lair card. Unlike the past MagicCon Secret Lair cards, the new Lord of the Pit’s artwork is surprisingly tame. Or rather, it’s at least not NSFW, as we saw with both the past MagicCon cards.
More Secret Lair Cards Soon… Maybe
Alongside the Secret Lair cards which have become customary at MagicCon events, players are still waiting on several new cards. Namely, Secret Lair bonus cards from the Summer Superdrop 2023. Thanks to the dismal value of many of the Secret Lair drops, many players have been pinning their hopes on these mysterious cards.
Unfortunately, while we know these cards will exist, there’s currently no telling when they will appear. Ultimately, we’re just stuck waiting on whenever Wizards dispatches and delivers orders in order to find out more. Potentially, when orders are delivered, we’ll see even more playtest cards in the wild, tanking their value. Whether or not that will happen, however, remains to be seen.