Shadowborn Apostle | Secret Lair 688
4, May, 23

The Most Collectible MTG Card Has Yet Another Valuable Variant!

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Throughout recent years, Wizards of the Coast has steadily been pushing the bounds of collectibility in MTG. While it has always been a factor in the game, following the introduction of Collector Boosters in 2019, there’s been a clear shift in philosophy. Releasing new Showcase frames and art treatments, MTG collectors have more collectible cards than ever before to hoard! 

Shortly after the launch of Collector Boosters, Wizards would, once again, push collectibility one step further. Launching the Secret Lair sub-brand, Wizards started to sell reprints with gorgeous art directly to customers. Over the years, these Secret Lair drops have become a staple of the MTG release calendar. Providing often highly sought-after and beloved cards alongside surprisingly good value, players have enjoyed Secret Lair drops so much. 

To make Secret Lair drops that much more enticing for fans, they don’t only include what’s being sold. Instead, every Secret Lair drop also comes packed alongside a bonus card. In theory, this card could be anything at all, however, it usually fits into one of a few categories. This is either a continuation of the Secret Lair theme, an extended art Sliver, or a copy of one of the most collectible MTG cards ever printed. 

Limitless Collectibles

Regarding collectible cards in MTG, your first thought might be about the ultra-rare and desirable Black Lotus. Steeped in history and costing upwards of $800,000, it’s unsurprising you may think of the legendary MTG collectible. Today, however, as the subheading gives away, we’ll be talking about a different, much less expensive kind of collectible. 

First released in Magic 2014, Shadowborn Apostle is quite a unique card in the world of MTG. In fact, its main ability has only been printed on five other cards in the history of the game. The first of these was Relentless Rats from all the way back in Fifth Dawn. Just like Shadowborn Apostle, players can have any number of this card in their deck without breaking the rules. Surprisingly, this isn’t actually a bad idea, as these cards all synergize with themselves.

For instance, each copy of Relentless Rats buffs your other Relentless Rats with +1/+1 on the battlefield. While you do need some draw to make this strategy work, it can create a surprisingly threatening board. Especially when coupled with a rat-themed commander such as Karumonix, the Rat King

Similarly, Shadowborn Apostle’s synergistic abilities can make them quite a threatening presence. Able to be sacrificed in groups of six, Shadowborn Apostle allows you to search for a demon from your deck and put it directly onto the battlefield. With so many high-cost and powerful demons to choose from, this strategy is surprisingly deadly. Subsequently, while one of the weird decks out there, Shadowborn Apostle-themed EDH decks are rather beloved. So much so that some players have long wanted to make them look as fancy as possible. Luckily for these players, Wizards has been helping to do just that. 

Shadowborn Apostle #688

Shadowborn Apostle Card
Shadowborn Apostle #688 | u/blakfishy

Typically found as bonus cards from Secret Lair drops, Wizards has recently been releasing a lot of new Shadowborn Apostles. Each featuring gorgeous new stylized art, these cards have thoroughly delighted players when they appear unexpectedly. Especially since, alongside looking good, these cards can be incredibly valuable! Subsequently, it’s no wonder that u/blakfishy was pleased with their recent discovery

According to Blakfishy, this new Shadowborn Apostle was reportedly found as the bonus card for the Showcase: March of the Machine Vol. 3 Secret Lair. Painted by first-time magic artist Vallez Gax, it’s entirely possible this new will continue the trend of being expensive. Whether or not it does, however, remains to be seen, as there’s no listing on TCGplayer yet. 

Judging by the prices of past Shadowborn Apostle bonus cards, the value floor seems to be around $20. This is the average price of Shadowborn Apostle #687, after all. Found alongside the Just Add Milk Secret Lair, this Shadowborn Apostle was one of the most accessible in recent memory. This was thanks to the expedited shipping of the December 2022 Superdrop. With cards being delivered remarkably quickly, players were able to purchase drops with the bonus cards revealed and in mind.  Subsequently, those who wanted this Shadowborn Apostle could easily acquire it, driving general demand down. 

Thanks to this past precedent, it’s entirely possible this new Shadowborn Apostle #688 won’t be tremendously expensive. After all, we already see this bonus card, and the Spring Superdrop 2023 still has 52 days remaining. Subsequently, the price of a Secret Lair Shadowborn Apostle may reach a new low! Ultimately, it’s too early to tell just how expensive Shadowborn Apostle #688 will be. One thing is for certain sure, however, MTG players are loving this new artwork.

“Damn. Coolest one yet. Look like a Studio Trigger work.”


“It’s honestly insane how they never miss with the Persistent Petitioners and Shadowborn Apostle SLD arts. There’s constantly Secret Lair art that I don’t care for, but I think I’ve loved every one of these bonus cards despite the tons of different art styles.”


“These Shadowborn Apostle arts are all so good. What a waste that they are effectively unusable because they are so expensive.”


There’s More to See

Thankfully for fans of these gorgeous Shadowborn Apostle arts, Wizards of the Coast isn’t done quite yet. Judging by the numbers of the Shadowborn Apostles we’ve seen, there should be 10 of these cards in total. That is provided they make up numbers 680 to 689, as expected. So far, we’ve seen seven of these gorgeous cards appear with only numbers 680, 686, and 689 left to go. Without a crystal ball, it’s unclear where these missing apostles may show up. Saying that, however, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one released in each upcoming Superdrop. Should this happen, the cycle should be completed by the Fall Superdrop 2023. 

As if that wasn’t enough art to sate your appetite, Wizards has even more up their sleeves. Complimenting the smorgasbord of Shadowborn Apostle art is a range of Secret Lair Persistent Petitioners. Similarly released as Secret Lair bonus cards, these artworks are also both gorgeous and expensive. At the time of writing, it’s currently unclear how many of these Persistent Petitioners will be produced. Like the Shadowborn Apostle cards, it seems likely there will be 10, however, it’s hard to confirm that. Ultimately, we’ll just have to wait and see to find out what turns up!

Read More: Missing MTG Feature Has Been Hiding in Plain Sight!

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