Hey Magic fans! Did you see the Walking Dead Secret Lair drop that’s got the internet abuzz? Since the reveal yesterday, players have been up in arms about a number of aspects of this very limited release. Here’s the details.
The reactions have targeted several key problems of the drop, and I’m right there with them. This is a poorly handled cash-grab, with a crossover to a franchise that is waning in popularity and relevance. The cards being legal in eternal formats but limited in release opens up the possibility that they break a format somewhere and become limited supply speculator targets costing who knows what. They aren’t available in every region, so if that’s the case, the secondary market is the only option for many players. Negan, the Cold-Blooded combines targetless removal (not counting the player) that is usually a 2 for 1 and ignores indestructible/regenerate, with mana ramp that’s also token production, possibly recouping immediately 2 of the 5 mana spent to cast him, in a storable form no less. From the Command Zone. What could be the problem?
I think the cards are ugly. I’m tired of the Walking Dead. I checked out at Alexandria in both the comics and the show. The ‘Walker’ token has no legs, and isn’t the kind of Zombie Michonne travels with anyways. I think the crossover is just clumsy, and so is the release. Of course, if they wanted publicity for all of the associated terms and clickables, then mission accomplished.
That’s pretty cynical, but I’m sure I can do better. Walking Dead is all about the worst case scenario happening repeatedly, so why not speculate on what possible crossovers that Hasbro could do that would be even worse? You know you want me to. Here’s that Top Ten!
10. “Lo Hicimos!” – Get ready to learn with ‘Dora, Explorer!’ When you click the link to purchase this Secret Lair (Guarida Secreta), you get the inspirational message, “We did it!” As well as Dora, the drop includes the equipment ‘Boots’ Boots’, an alt-art ‘Expedition Map’ drawn in crayon, and a set of Dora themed basic-lands: ‘Llanuras,’ ‘Isla’, ‘Pantano,’ ‘Hacienda’ and ‘Bodega.’
9. “Spooner Street Symphonies” – Magic is a Family game that’s enjoyed by many a Guy! Lucky there’s a Family Guy! Seth McFarlane’s totally original and unique creation is the inspiration for these hilarious new cards! Build a commander deck around partners ‘Stewie, Scrawler of Poppycock’ and ‘Brian, Douchebag’ and get ready to cast ‘Recast the Voice Cast.’ Crash ‘The Petercopter’ into ‘Cleveland’s House’ again and again and again and again and again and again. As many times as it’s fresh and funny. Perhaps the most thrilling card in the whole drop is ‘Road to the Blind Eternities’ which allows you to tutor for any card outside the game, providing you can reference it in a way that gets a mild chuckle. Each drop comes with a handwritten list of things Seth McFarlane would like you to know about him, including what musicals have influenced him over the years. It also contains a return envelope and response card so you can confirm that you received the list and add any positive feedback you have on Mr. McFarlane’s career.
8. “Building the Multiverse” – What’s better than stacking franchises? Now credit card wielding AFOLs can buy another thing. Huzzah! If a Secret Lair drop featuring ‘Lego Batman, I Work Alone’ and ‘Lego Joker, Bats Needs Me’ wasn’t enough, you also get ‘Robin’ and ‘Extremely Meta Speech to the Audience’ to bring them all together. This Secret Lair will also include the extra advanced ‘Grounding Greebles’ card, which adds depth and complexity to otherwise flat, monochromatic decks. New mechanics Brickbuild and the supertype Lego will add open-ended, non-goal-oriented fun to your games of Magic. Like Batman and Joker together, this Secret Lair might just complete you! One in every 24 million Secret Lairs contains an official gold-plated Seth Manfield ™ minifig, also legal in all Eternal MtG formats!
7. “Shuffle the Matrix” – If there’s a conspiracy to sell Magic cards, it’s probably related to the Matrix. As long as everything is an illusion, why not spend big on a Matrix themed Secret Lair, emphasizing the popular MtG trope of excessive projectile weapon usage? Cards like ‘Lots and Lots of Guns’ and ‘Bullet-Time’ give you that feel of thousands of rounds tearing into your favourite cyber-nemesis, like Oko, Uro or Agent Smith. Dissatisfied with your strategy? Cast ‘Take the Blue Pill’ and redraw that hand that plays out like it was scripted for you. You may never win, but the game won’t end either. Want to take back the table for humanity? You can’t go wrong with powerful Legends ‘Morphius of Zion’ and incredible new TFC (or Triple-Faced Card) ‘Mr. Anderson//Neo, Conqueror of Woe//William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.’ Who cares if it’s over the top action or over the top acting, just go over the top!
6. “Witch Please!” – From the world of Sabrina the Teenage Witch comes a Secret Lair drop to warm your Melissa Joan heart. ‘Sabrina, Teenage Witch’ and Companion/Partner card ‘Salem the Cat’ are a powerful duo, so the disruption spell ‘I’m a Cat, I’m Curious’ is provided to fizzle their hexations if they get out of spellbounds. If the Principal gives you any trouble, just cast ‘Who Said Anything About Witchcraft?’ and let your WILF tokens make that trouble go away. And don’t let anyone tell you that ‘Missing Spell Ingredient’ and ‘Misread Spell’ are basically the same card or plot point! Don’t be a gloomy broomy! Just think: this drop foreshadows the inevitable moment when Sabrina arrives at Chandra’s high school as an exchange student from the plane of Extended Riverdale. Can an MtG expansion be released exclusively on Netflix? Stay tuned!
5. “Minions of Gru” – Don’t let anyone tell you that Magic already has Minions in it. Not these Minions! Are you a toddler? Is the Dora drop too advanced for you? ‘Stuart, Minion,’ ‘Kevin, Minion,’ and ‘Dave, Minion’ don’t make you struggle with CMC-based math that can be an obstacle to fun. Free spells are what’s fun! Especially new Saga card ‘Minions Through Time’ that allows you to win the game if you simply describe all the plots of all the Minion and Despicable Me movies using only gestures. Get flailing, players! All of these cards are drool and Pablum resistant, and are completely legal in Eternal formats like Legacy and Vintage, where players enjoy casting free spells and making decks based around their favourite movies, including Minions!
4. “Swim with the Adults” – From the merchandisers who bring you Adult Swim come some cards based on some series we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of, or at least seen memes of. Or maybe on a t-shirt or something. You know that guy was cool. All of the cards live up to the extremely high standards of writign at Adult Swim and weren’t just improvised at the last minute and then thrown together. Clearly some effort went into the ‘Meatwad, Livin’ Like a Star’ card. Just sayin’ is all. Also includes Land cards ‘The Monarch’s Lair,’ ‘The Boondocks,’ ‘Ricklantis’ and ‘Harvey Birdman Courtroom 3.’
3. “Flavour Win” – If the Food tokens of Eldraine blew the lid off of your imagination, help yourself to a great big portion of this Food Network-themed Secret Lair! What’s a prime time block without ‘Wall of Chefs?’ Take charge of a powerhouse kitchen full of Legendary Chefs, including ‘Guy, Grocery Gamer,’ ‘Emeril of Legasse,’ and Planeswalker ‘The ICAG.’ Spicy new removal spell ‘Molecular Gastronomy’ turns any creature into alginate pearls which can be sprinkled as a garnish onto your end step. New Legendary Land ‘Kitchen Stadium’ can be tapped to add +1/+1 to any Chef, or add a Food token to the battlefield which must figure heavily in the victory conditions of the winning player. Do the rules seem a little arbitrary? Well it’s all a matter of taste!
2. “Premium Accoutrements” – From the people who brought you Pay to Win, it’s Pay to Pay! Famous designers from the fashion world have lent their names and esoteric brilliance to Magic cards, finally. It’s time for the runway: kick off that kitchen table! Gucci is today. Louis Vuitton is your lover. That Dolce and Gabbana card makes you look like the star you’ve always been, baby. Scratch and sniff ‘Vial of Chanel no. 5’ enchantment aura? In your dreams. (Your dreams are real.) In your dreams you’re falling, falling, into a void of mediocrity. But then you reach out and there’s your wallet. Just past it is this Secret Lair. Inside is a message telling you to get a better wallet. And these cards. The cards are smoke. There’s a tiger nearby. The tiger is Fashion. You’ve won, and you look spectacular, but there’s time for another game. Just smile for the cameras and show them your cards. Electricity. Magic. You shuffle me and I cannot resist. The ocean whispers through the open window, “Blue mana.”
1. “Avatar of Avatars” – In the fight for which juggernaut film franchise will get out an abysmal sequel first, comes the alliance of Avatar movies! Now it doesn’t matter which one you’re talking about, you can just say “Avatar” without also having to say if it was the terrible one. And then your snarky friend still says, “Which one…?” Ugh, right? With this Secret Lair, you’ll never look at Sagas like Avatar or The Mirari Conjecture the same way again! Instant spell ‘Sequel it Up, Dumbass’ turns any old card into a Saga, then ‘Avatar State’ and ‘Assimilate’ will practically hand you that Best Player award. With the Legendary creature card ‘James and M. Night, Best Director Buds,’ you can edit your games in post, or tell someone to tell someone to go to combat for you. Bonus Shyamalan card ‘What a Twist’ is the first card without a face on either side! And this Secret Lair even comes with a bunch of loose Battle for Zendikar full-art lands with the BFZ icon scratched off by one of James Cameron’s many, many, many, many gold doubloons. If you pretend the logo wasn’t ever there, it’s easy to imagine these are locations in the Fire Kingdom, or on Pandora, or whatever! Your imagination is the real Secret Lair. Most of these Secret Lairs will also be stuffed with Burger King coupons, based on the possibility of there being some Avatar sequel with a BK tie-in by the time this Secret Lair is available. Possibly for the same span of four days! It’s pure value.
That was fun. I hope nobody got too offended. In conclusion, Capitalism sucks. Thanks for reading. Your life matters! Black Lives Matter!