Over its many years of existence, Magic: The Gathering has become a very strange beast. Still reigning supreme as the physical collectible card game of choice, the game has gone through dozens of expansions with bucketloads of new mechanics while maintaining its grip on gamers everywhere.
Starting in 2019, the Secret Lair series of releases is an excentric departure for Wizards of the Coast, featuring premium reprints of regular cards reimagined in different worlds or by different artists. Many of these are done in new and diverse art styles or represent crossovers with other media properties. These series are repackaged in special boxes and even come in premium foil finishes while boasting a high price for their limited edition status.
There have been over a hundred Secret Lair series releases and there are no signs of slowing down with just how popular they have been. Here are our picks for the 10 best Secret Lair sets in order of their release, starting with the most recent one.
Secret Lair x Fortnite
Presented in collaboration with the mega-popular game Fortnite, this Secret Lair Drop set is chockfull of colorful art and whacky imagery. It is a true premium set, featuring seven specially designed cards, and five lands, all with foil variants. If you’re one of the millions of fans of both Fortnite and MtG, this is an essential set for your collection.
Here Be Dragons
This Secret Lair Drop series features six new versions of famous Dragons and one Token Legendary Artifact card for the famous Icingdeath. The art is reminiscent of the old RPG and Adventure book style, with bold blacks and sepia tones, drawn by a variety of artists. There is something deeply nostalgic about this set that makes it a joy to look at.
Artist Series: Magali Villeneuve
This four-card set was a part of the April 2022 Superdrop and features the art of Magali Villeneuve, a fantasy artist of high renown. While there have been many wonderful artists contributing to Secret Lair, we chose to feature this particular one due to the intricate etherealness of art that not only fits the MtG style but elevates it to a new level.
Representing another collaboration, the Street Fighter set was part of the February 2022 Superdrop that brought eight cards for the famous fighting game characters, as well as a ninth — the ubiquitous Hadoken as an instant spell. All of the cards have custom mechanics, and the art showcases the characters in a never-before-seen light. This set is a must-have for fighting game fans.
Secret Lair x Arcane
A feast for the fans of the critically acclaimed League of Legends Netflix show, this crossover Drop set appeared as part of the Secretversary 2021. It features both lands and card reprints, all with art and reworked stills from the show. There are a whopping eight regular cards in total, and one of each land, as well as the ‘Command Tower’ land reimagined as the Summoner’s Rift.
Released as part of the October Superdop, this crossover brought the Netflix hit show, Stranger Things, to the MtG multiverse. All ten cards are custom made, with art that showcases characters and scenes in a wonderfully appropriate 80s box-art style. There’s even a creature card that you tap upside-down for that extra evocative effect.
Party Hard, Shred Harder
These five cards were released with the Secretversary Secret Lair Drop set. They feature unique and eye-catching layouts, as well as edgy art that evokes pounding bass and shredding guitars. It’s certainly the most metal set out of all Secret Lair MtG sets and dropping one of these cards on the table would certainly provoke a reaction.
The Walking Dead
This was the unique Drop set that started it all. The most controversial, yet most popular Secret Lair release at the time, The Walking Dead was the first crossover to feature unique custom card mechanics instead of reprints. The release of this set opened the proverbial door for new aspects of creativity that this release platform could represent. As for the set itself, it came out with 12 cards (five of which were Walkers) and had some of the most iconic characters and items from the hit zombie show.
The Godzilla Lands
Simple, yet effective — just like the namesake kaiju monster, this Drop set features only reprints of the five basic lands. But it’s the art that makes it special. All five cards have those lands represented in a serene landscape… with Godzilla roaming them, or battling one of the other famous kaiju monsters.
Stained Glass Planeswalkers
Some drops come with special bonus cards delivered in the package. We have chosen to feature one such bonus set, representing the 36 Planeswalkers in a beautiful stained-glass rendition from the ‘War of the Spark’ teaser. It suffices to say that having a full set of 36 stained-glass Planeswalkers is a centerpiece for any serious MtG collection.