During the Zendikar Rising debut stream on September 1st, it was revealed that Wizards of the Coast has been planning a crossover between Magic: The Gathering and AMC's The Walking Dead. Yesterday, AMC's Twitter page for The Walking Dead confirmed the date of this Secret Lair drop to occur between October 4th-12th. And today, as perhaps one of the biggest news stories to break, it was revealed that this drop would contain entirely new, Eternal-legal cards.
An ad on AMC's Twitter page for The Walking Dead, featuring the Secret Lair drop dates.
Yesterday, while we were aiming to report on the news about the date being revealed for the drop, we muddled through trying to figure out exactly what this Secret Lair would be reprinting. It turns out, all of our guesses are wrong, save for the obvious Zombie token, which was already previewed during the Zendikar Rising debut stream. What we have learned is news about a moneymaking opportunity that Wizards of the Coast had not tapped into, until now.
The "Bicycle Girl" Walker Zombie token.
The issue with this new Secret Lair drop may lay primarily in the fact that these are entirely new, never-before-released cards, likely catering to a Commander sensibility. It's more than likely that these cards will only be played in Commander and, if they're any bit notable in gameplay terms, that means they will be absurdly expensive on the secondary market unless they are reprinted in the future. Wizards of the Coast is even pushing this by selling the Secret Lair for just under $50 USD.
Wizards of the Coast has also given players information on where to find the previews for these cards via their article on DailyMTG, but we do not know exactly when these previews will occur, save for a preview on Hollywood Reporter that has just been revealed, and a preview on Entertainment Weekly that has not yet been published.
Michonne, Ruthless Survivor, one of the new cards revealed as part of this Secret Lair drop. Previewed by The Hollywood Reporter.
Suffice it to say that this changes Secret Lair drops irrevocably through an innovation that could be seen as questionable to many players. The drop hints at other legendary creatures being released, but there's no word on how strong these cards could be in Commander or other Eternal formats. For all we know, they could be absolutely useless and therefore potentially not worth players' time. However, at a $50 price point, Wizards of the Coast knows these will need to sell well by being strong and/or unique cards.