This week has been a busy one for Wizards of the Coast, as they prepare for the first anniversary of the initial release of their Secret Lair initiative. They've already revealed Secret Lair drops for Seb McKinnon's art as well as two sets of basic lands commemorating Bob Ross.
On November 24th, Wizards of the Coast revealed drop number three: a Secret Lair containing a large number of mana-producing artifacts, with art that is generally quite unconventional for traditional Magic: The Gathering cards and the title "A Box of Rocks." The following day, Wizards revealed a drop with rock of another kind. Specifically, the "Party Hard, Shred Harder" drop was revealed by metal band Lacuna Coil over Twitter.
It seems that Lacuna Coil is composed of Magic players! How cool is that?
Let's discuss the stylized art on these cards. Secret Lair: A Box of Rocks appears rather similar to how Secret Lair: Seeing Visions (the drop featuring a four-copy set of Serum Visions cards) was conducted. A number of talented, offbeat artists were commissioned to create art for various "mana rocks"—Arcane Signet, Chromatic Lantern, Commander's Sphere, Darksteel Ingot, and Gilded Lotus. Artists like Mab Graves and Dani Pendergast took their individual styles and made cards that might not be quite as notable for their artistry into a selection of wonderful talking points at the Magic table. Many of these mana rocks see play in formats like Commander as well as offshoots like Oathbreaker and Brawl.
The other drop in the "Secretversary" superdrop, Secret Lair: Party Hard, Shred Harder, has cards styled after metal posters from the past few decades. With cards like Anguished Unmaking (with art by Rafael Wechterowcz, also known as Too Many Skulls), Assassin's Trophy (with art by Scott Buoncristiano), and even a very "metal" legendary creature, Thraximundar (illustrated by Robbie Trevino), this this drop takes the templating of traditional card frames and throws it far, far away. "Party Hard, Shred Harder" is reminiscent of "Full Sleeves," "Prime Slime" and "Kaleidoscope Killers," previous Secret Lair drops with art that feels relatively similar, but the layout of the new cards is worlds different than any of those. This particular drop might be a hit-or-miss scenario for potential buyers, as the frame has been eschewed for style. Nonetheless, the cards are ones that have seen (and still see) a lot of play across many formats.
What's next? In a manner befitting Secret Lair superdrops or an acorn from an oak tree, the last Secret Lair drop hit our inbox while writing up the above recap. We hope you like squirrels.
Secret Lair: We Hope You Like Squirrels is the name of the final drop in the Secretversary superdrop event. It contains five foil-only cards themed after Squirrels, an iconic, memetic, and somewhat controversial creature type in Magic. The drop will contain the following cards: Chatter of the Squirrel, Krosan Beast, Squirrel Mob, Squirrel Wrangler, Swarmyard, and a Squirrel token for good measure.
Squirrels have been known as iconic because of the jokes surrounding them, memetic for the same reasons, and controversial because of Magic's design and development teams' stance that Squirrels aren't serious enough for the game. However, with Ratatoskr, the squirrel-god existing in Norse mythology, it's also possible that this is one of those hints that we will see a legendary Squirrel, or some similar creature, in Kaldheim.
There had been discussion about a drop as a Rebecca Guay artist spotlight on Reddit, but at this time, such speculation is unclear and unconfirmed as the art she mentions on her Kickstarter may be part of a set release rather than a Secret Lair. We will report on it when we have more information on this topic.