An old-fashioned wooden sign that says "Dr. Lair's SECRETORIUM SUPERDROP"
Magic: The Gathering
's Secret Lair
series practically buzzed with new announcements in 2020, each week feeling like there was a new product announcement right around the corner. This led to the onset of "perpetual hype," as well as a sort of fatigue that comes from the announcement of so many new products. The new year has brought with it a change in the account's strategy, and 2021 has only seen one lone Secret Lair
(the charity Black is Magic
collection). Instead, Secret Lairs are neatly packed together in "Superdrops," the first of which went on sale around Valentine's Day.
A second Superdrop was announced late last week — Dr. Lair's Secretorium Superdrop
. The theming of an old-time traveling salesman unveiling his latest curios is fun flavor but has little bearing on any of the specific drops included. There are eight new Lairs on sale this time, but there are only really four different new product ideas. Culture Shocks
is split into five different versions, similar to how Showcase: Kaldheim
was divided in the previous Superdrop. There are a dizzying number of different bundles and purchase methods available, though, so let's break down each new drop's contents and price point.
Three Magic: The Gathering cards - Hallowed Fountain, Godless Shrine and Watery Grave
is a series of alternate-art versions of the "shock land" cycle, two-color lands that let you pay 2 life to have then come into the battlefield untapped. They originally appeared on Ravnica
and have often been reprinted in return visits to the plane, so each land in the Culture Shock
series makes a point of visiting a different plane that still fits in with the flavor of that specific location. But it's not as simple as being able to buy a single copy or even a playset of all ten lands. There are instead five different packs of three cards, each themed around a three-color combination. That means you can pick up the white-blue, black-white and blue-black land or the blue-white, green-blue and white-green land. One of those packs is $30, and players looking to pick up one of each can instead purchase the Supershock
bundle for $120. Notably, due to the way the packs are separated, buying the Supershock
bundle will result in players having two copies of the five ally-colored lands and only one copy of each enemy-colored land.
The Full-Text Lands
Five "full-text" Magic: The Gathering cards - Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain and Forest
Magic's silver-bordered joke set Unglued featured full-art basic lands in each pack as a fun enticement for players. Each silver-bordered set since has seen even more full-art lands, and they've even spread to other supplemental products. Of course, these full-art lands begged a different question — could you have a land full of nothing but text? The ideas have been tossed around as a joke for years in the community, but they're certainly a difficult inclusion for any serious product. Secret: Lair: The Full-Text Lands finally gives players what they want, with $30 buying a single copy of each. They also come in a foil version for $40. Players looking for even more copies to fill out their decks can pick up the Voracious Reader bundle (containing ten copies of each) for $240 or foiled out for $320.
Our Show Is on Friday, Can You Make It?
Five concert poster-style Magic: The Gathering cards - Wrath of God, Preordain, Decree of Pain, Gamble and Nature's Lore
With the name of the drop playing into the product's theme, Our Show Is on Friday, Can You Make It?
features one sorcery from each color blinged out and drawn in the same style as a concert poster. Each is drawn by a professional artist who usually illustrates posters, resulting in an art style and layout far different from Magic
's normal cards. They're also all staples from the Commander format, with designer Gavin Verhey mentioning in a video
on his YouTube channel that Wizards intended for them to speak to Commander players in particular. This makes sense, given how a large part of Commander revolves around crafting a personal deck that speaks to individual expression. The drop contains one copy of each card and costs $30.
Six Mystical Archive treatment Magic: The Gathering cards - All is Dust, Fire Covenant, Artifact Mutation, Fractured Identity, Drown in the Loch and Fracturing Gust
Strixhaven's Mystical Archive was a return to the idea of "masterpieces," special alternate-art treatments of cards from Magic's past done up in a style flavorful to a specific set. Those cards are then seeded in regular booster packs, resulting in a different Limited environment while still leaving Standard untouched by the presence of powerful cards that would otherwise disrupt the format. But due to Strixhaven's heavy focus on the enemy color pairs, Wizards of the Coast was unable to fit any ally-colored instants or sorceries into the Mystical Archive. Showcase: Strixhaven tries to remedy that, with one instant or sorcery from each allied color pair along with an oddball inclusion in the form of All is Dust. The drop contains one copy of each card for $30 or is available in foil for $40.