Magic: The Gathering has unveiled its Halloween-themed Secret Lair Superdrop, and it includes not just one, but four new Universes Beyond crossovers.
Due to launch on October 3, the Spookydrop 2023 Secret Lair Superdrop includes double-sided pulpy Horror comic cover cards, an Artist series for one of Magic’s most famous artists, and crossovers with Doctor Who, The Evil Dead, Creepshow, and The Princess Bride.
Shown off at the Secret Lair panel at MagicCon Las Vegas, the Spookydrop 2023 Super Drop will include eight individual Secret Lairs. Despite the high number of Universes Beyond crossovers, there are no mechanically unique cards this time around, just plenty of good reprints.
The official names, prices, and foiling options of these drops have yet to be revealed.
Universes Beyond: Doctor Who Weeping Angels
The first of two drops to coincide with the release of the Universes Beyond: Doctor Who Commander decks, this set of five cards gives various Angels a new Weeping Angel style, showcasing some of the the Angels’ moost notable appearances in the show.
The cards are:
- Sublime Archangel, showcasing a scene from the Thirteenth Doctor episode Once, Upon Time.
- Angel of Serenity, from the very next episode, The Village of the Angels.
- Angel of Ruins, featuring the Statue of Liberty from The Angels Take Manhatten.
- Blinding Angel, with art from their first appearance in Blink.
- Restoration Angel, showing The Time Of Angels.
Value-wise, this drop isn’t the best ever, with the most valuable card being Blinding Angel at around six dollars. However, it’s a nice group of Angels for an Angel deck, and the Weeping Angels are one of Doctor Who’s most famous and popular villains.
Universes Beyond: Doctor Who Dalek Lands
The second Doctor Who drop features new Dalek-y reprints of the five enemy-coloured Fast Lands, that were first printed in Kaladesh. They depict various points in the Daleks’ history, across both the classic series and NuWho:
- Concealed Courtyard, showing the Parliament of the Daleks from Asylum of the Daleks.
- Spirebluff Canal, recreating the famous photo of Daleks storming London in The Dalek Invasion Of Earth.
- Blooming Marsh, with the views of Skaro we saw in The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar.
- Inspiring Vantage, which gives another look at the Dalek Invasion of Earth.
- Botanical Sanctum, which can either be showing yet another look at the Dalek Invasion OF Earth, or possibly the Battle of Canary Wharf from Army of Ghosts and Doomsday.
For Magic players, this drop is particularly interesting because this is the first time these lands have been reprinted since Kaladesh. They’re not all-timer lands, only really being good if you can play one on your first or second turn, but it’s still nice to see them for more budget Commander decks.
Artist Series: John Avon
The latest Artist Series of Secret Lair drops features work by one of the game’s most prolific, iconic, and beloved artists: John Avon. Known mostly for his lands, this drop allowed him to hand-pick the cards he wanted to illustrate, and the result is a mix of gorgeous art pieces and spicy reprints.
- Emrakul, the Promised End
- Serra Angel
Emrakul is by far the most valuable card here, and perhaps in the entire Super Drop. That’s to be expected though, as this is its first paper reprint since its debut in Shadows Over Innistrad, and its ability to control other players makes it a frightful card to encounter.
The rest of the cards aren’t slacking, either. Serra Angel is the least impressive of the lot (but that art makes up for it), but Brainstorm and Progenitus both see plenty of play. The addition of John Avon art is sure to make these copies worth having.
Japanese Ink Art Lands
Love them or loathe them, there are two basic land drops in Spookydrop 2023, and neither of them are particularly spooky. The first is this collection of basics by JungShe, which feature a Japanese ink art style that we’ve seen similar takes on (also by JungShe) in previous Secret Lairs:
These look gorgeous, and while basic land drops can feel underwhelming if you’re buying them in paper, the real appeal is the inevitable Magic: The Gathering Arena digital copies, which give you an unlimited amount of them to kit out your decks.
Another returning style to Secret Lair is pixel art, with five new retro-game-styled basic lands by Jubilee. This is a direct follow-up to Jubilee’s earlier Snow-covered Lands launched back in 2021, with the same Windows-inspired border and gorgeous pixel art:
Snow-covered lands are usually more useful in a deck than basic lands, as they provide nothing but upsides toy our mana base while filling the same function as them. That does make this drop a little bit of a downgrade, but it’s hard to deny that pixel art style doesn’t look fantastic.
Universes Beyond: Creepshow
There’s a fairly good chance you’ve never heard of Creepshow. Released back in 1982, it was a collaboration between George A. Romero and Stephen King (in his first screenwriting project), and was an anthology of comedic horror stories with a really visually striking comic art style.
This drop focuses more on that comic styling, with five double-sided cards playing up the retro, pulpy style to great effect. The cards are all on-theme too:
- Death Baron
- Noxious Ghoul
- Zombie Master
- Grimgrin, Corpse-Born
- Unholy Grotto
This drop is heavily skewed towards Zombie-players, Unholy Grotto is the winner here, having only been included in The List since its first printing in Onslaught.
I’ll admit that, despite being a big horror movie fan, I’d somehow never heard of Creepshow before this announcement, but the pulp comic art style has got me eager to track it down and give it a watch.
Universes Beyond: The Evil Dead
A bit more of a famous horror property also makes its way to Universes Beyond, with this crossover with Sam Raimi’s 1981 horror classic, The Evil Dead. Groovy.
This is the first of two drops this time around to have renamed versions of existing cards, much like the Godzilla cards in Ikoria, or the Arcane drop last year. Based firmly on just the first movie, they are:
- Puresteel Paladin (Ash, Destined Survivor)
- Zombie Apocalypse (Knowby’s Incantation)
- Field of the Dead (Cabin of the Dead)
- Varina, Lich Queen (Linda, Kandarian Queen)
- Vanquish the Horde (Destroy the Dead)
- A Zombie token with art of the Cheryl deadite.
Though not every card here is a banger, the inclusion of Field of the Dead and Vanquish the Horde make it still a drop worth checking out. Vanquish the Horde is often one of the cheapest board wipes in the game by the time you cast it, while Field of the Dead hasn’t been reprinted since Core Set 2020, and is a card so powerful it’s banned in both Pioneer and Modern.
Universes Beyond: The Princess Bride
Finally, one of the most unexpected crossovers in Magic’s history is coming as part of the Spookydrop 2023. I have to admit that I’ve also never seen The Princess Bride, and yet I can quote multiple lines from it and know it to be an absolute classic. The response this drop got at the MagicCon Las Vegas Secret Lair panel was incredible.
Like Evil Dead, this drop includes reprints with new names. However, it’s also one of the largest drops we’ve ever seen, with nine cards instead of the usual four or five:
- Sissay, Weatherlight Captain (Buttercup, Provincial Princess)
- Baral, Chief of Compliance (Vizzini, Criminal Mastermind)
- Pack Rat (Rodents of Unusual Size)
- Fynn, the Fangbearer (Westley, Dread Pirate Roberts)
- Brion Stoutarm (Fezzik, Rhyming Giant)
- Samut, Voice of Dissent (Inigo, Avenging Swordsman)
- Marchesa, the Black Rose (Miracle Max, Unemployed)
- Battle of Wits
Even having not seen the movie, the art on this is perhaps my favourite of the whole drop, giving it an Art Nouveau-y, Eldraine-y style that fits the fairy tale aesthetic really nicely. Value-wise it isn’t all that, with SIlence being the most valuable and still under $10.
That being said, Wizards has confirmed that this drop will be coming in an exclusive box, rather than the usual cardboard envelope Secret Lairs come in. That makes this one more for The Princess Bride fans than MTG players looking for value.
Further information, including bundles, prices, and foil treatments, will come when the Spookydrop 2023 begins on October 2 on the official Secret Lair site. Keep in mind you can also still pick up the Nerf Secret Lair crossover and the Lil’est Walkers Pulse Con exclusive drop, which went on sale yesterday.
NEXT: TCG Release Dates 2023