What Can You Expect from Secretversary 2023

Stupid sexy Malcolm!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not those silly holidays – it’s another Secret Lair drop! This time, we’ve got a wonderful selection of themes, from some neat and avant garde art to a lot of Jurassic Park, so let’s break down what each of these offer and if they’re worth it. Note, prices are taken at the time of publication.

To start things off, a disclaimer: Secret Lairs are premium products designed to appeal to a niche, not necessarily financial investments. As a rule of thumb, buy what you want based on your preferences, but don’t buy into anything expecting it to be an immediate money-maker.

Lara Croft’s Adventuring Bundle

Lara Croft, Tomb Raider

Market Price: $27.59

Heart of the Explorer - Search for Azcanta
Storms of Yamatai - Anger of the Gods
The Grim Whisper - Bow of Nylea

Rough total value: Lara Croft, Tomb Raider (???), Search for Azcanta ($1/$4), Anger of the Gods (<$1, foil and non-foil), Bow of Nylea ($3/$7), Treasure token

We start off with our favorite part of Secret Lairs, mechanically-unique cards! That’s right, we’ve got a completely brand-new card to lift up this otherwise unimpressive set.

Mechanically-unique cards are a bit of an odd area. They started off really expensive with The Walking Dead Secret Lair, but even those have cooled thanks to Universes Within reprints (except for Rick, Steadfast Leader and its counterpart Greymond, Avacyn’s Stalwart).

Lara seems fine and fun as a commander, but being so legendary-dependent leaves it in the realm of Commander alone. Don’t expect Legacy and Vintage decks to be picking her up anytime soon, but if you wanted your Temur legends commander, here you are. Also, is this just Nashi, Moon’s Legacy with ketchup? Jury’s out.

The rest of the cards are bulk or near-bulk, so unless you’re really passionate about the latest series of Tomb Raider games, I’d raid another tomb. Or whatever she does, it’s been a long time since I played a Tomb Raider.

Secret Lair x Jurassic World: Life Breaks Free

Tyrannosaurus Rex - Etali, Primal Storm

Market Price: $15.37

Velociraptor - Rampaging Ferocidon

Market Price: $10.34

Indominus Rex - Polyraptor

Market Price: $20.87

Triceratops - Wayward Swordtooth
Spinosaurus - Regisaur Alpha

Rough total value: Etali, Primal Storm (<$1/$2), Rampaging Ferocidon ($6/$8), Polyraptor ($33/$37), Wayward Swordtooth ($3/$4), Regisaur Alpha ($3/$6)

Did you know how many times Etali has been reprinted? The answer is a lot. Some may call it the Zetalpa of red Commander precons. It was also in a Secret Lair somewhat recently, so if you want an off-the-wall version (with some dubious tournament legality), there’s always that.

Otherwise, this collection is anchored on Polyraptor still being expensive, making up about 75 percent of the total value. Wayward Swordtooth was expensive, but has recently been hit by a Commander Masters reprint. Regisaur Alpha also was in the Lost Caverns of Ixalan Commander decks, so there’s a good chance it’s off to the bulk bins. The standout is Rampaging Ferocidon… which also got a reprint as a Special Guest card, along with the aforementioned Polyraptor.

The actual value of the Secret Lair is really dependent on how finances shake up once LCI has settled in, but it admittedly has a very distinct look. The cards are a bit niche, but if you were a huge Jurassic Park fan growing up or just love dinosaurs, this is probably worth your buck.

Secret Lair x Jurassic World: Dr. Ian Malcolm

Malcolm's Mercurial Mirth - Tasha's Hideous Laughter
Chaotic Chaotician - Laboratory Maniac
Ian, Convalescent Charmer - Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Market Price: $11.49

Dr. Ian Malcolm - Atla Palani, Nest Tender

Market Price: $19.99

Rough total value: Tasha’s Hideous Laughter ($4, foil and non-foil), Laboratory Maniac ($4/$5), Tasigur, the Golden Fang (<$1, $1), Atla Palani, Nest Tender (<$1, foil and non-foil), an Egg token

I’m not going to lecture you on value and EV and all that boring stuff. I’m just going to leave this here and it will entirely make or break your purchase.

Ian, Convalescent Charmer – Tasigur, the Golden Fang

Secret Lair Drop Series

Ian, Convalescent Charmer - Tasigur, the Golden Fang - Secret Lair Drop Series - Magic: The Gathering

Let’s be honest, you don’t care about getting your money’s worth. You’re just thirsty and want to play with sexy Jeff Goldbloom. Now all of TCGplayer knows your shame.

Tales of the Time Stoppers

Beacon of Tomorrows
Nexus of Fate

Market Price: $18.37

Time Reversal
Time Stop

Rough total value: Beacon of Tomorrows ($4/$18), Nexus of Fate ($18, no non-foil version), Time Reversal ($3.50/$16), Time Stop ($3/$18, or $130 for the 10th Edition one)

These really avant garde Secret Lairs are truly love them or hate them. They’re incomprehensible in most cases but they have some mind bending art and feel really unique. With that, if you’re turned off these based on how hard they are to read, or want something nice and clear for a tournament setting, you should probably stop reading here and move on to the next section.

For the value, it’s very lopsided towards the foil version. Almost every card’s foil printing is at least $18, making this worth it, even at four cards. That being said, a finger on someone’s monkey paw just ticked down when they were asking for non-foil Nexus of Fates for their Wilderness Reclamation pile, only to be faced with presenting a playset of these at their next tournament.


Mycosynth Golem

Market Price: $25.66

Mycosynth Lattice

Market Price: $16.27

Mycosynth Wellspring

Rough total value: Mycosynth Golem ($36/$115), Mycosynth Lattice ($10/$35), Mycosynth Wellspring (<$1, $10)

This is one of the smallest Secret Lair collections we’ve gotten, but they really pumped up the value. Mycosynth Golem hasn’t seen a reprint outside of The List since Fifth Dawn despite it being one of the most hard cards to replicate mechanically. Lattice has gone down a lot since its pre-ban days, but it’s still pretty stocky. And there’s also a Mycosynth Wellspring, which is surprisingly a $10 foil since it’s never had a foil printing outside of New Phyrexia.

You’ll come out on top either way with this Secret Lair, but keep in mind that a lot of the value here is just due to a lack of availability. If there’s a sudden flood of Secret Lairs out there, Mycosynth Golem and Lattice aren’t going to be nearly as valuable – just look at good ol’ Goblin Settler. Still, the Golem at least is incredibly powerful and just hard to replace, so I’d buy it purely on that if you like this Tron-meets-90s-screensavers mashup.

Through the Wormhole

Arcane Signet (1492)

Market Price: $16.01

Lightning Greaves (1493)

Market Price: $13.72

Sol Ring (1494)

Market Price: $32.77

Thought Vessel
Command Tower (1496)

Rough total value: Arcane Signet ($1/$2), Lightning Greaves ($5/$6), Sol Ring ($1/$4), Thought Vessel ($1/$2), Command Tower (<$1, $2)

Now this is my favorite Secret Lair out of the collection, and I don’t think numbers do it justice. There’s a world of difference between a standard, Commander Masters pack foil Sol Ring and a million glitzy ones. Additionally, this is focused, which most Secret Lairs aren’t. Often you’ll get some Commander playables along with an old, unplayable card and a somewhat popular Modern card. Here, if you like Commander, this is just everything you need. You’ve got basically three auto-includes in Sol Ring, Arcane Signet and Command Tower, and Lightning Greaves and Thought Vessel also easily slot into any deck.

The total EV is hard to measure, purely because Commander-specific bling’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you like the art here (which is admittedly nice, with legible text to boot) and want a Secret Lair where you actually play everything in it, buy this one, maybe in multiples.

Showcase: The Lost Caverns of Ixalan

Captain Lannery Storm
Admiral Beckett Brass
Elenda, the Dusk Rose

Market Price: $12.54

Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca

Market Price: $11.82

Vona, Butcher of Magan

Rough total value: Captain Lannery Storm (<$1, foil and non-foil), Admiral Beckett Brass ($1, $10), Elenda, the Dusk Rose ($3/$10), Kumena, Tyrant of Orazca ($3, $20), Vona, Butcher of Magan (<$1, $6.50)

Well, they did just release for typal precons, and these all fit (or are even reprinted in them). Like most legendary creatures, the foil modifier is much higher, especially considering most of them haven’t seen a foil reprint since their original Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan days (except for Elenda).

None of these are really playable outside of Commander (unless some funky Kumena combo deck picks up with Deeproot Pilgrimage, which seems doubtful), but if you play these commanders or are looking to try them, this seems like a decent buy with some cool art. Just go for the foil, we don’t care how curled your card is.

Paradise Frost

Snow-Covered Plains (1473)
Snow-Covered Island (1474)

Market Price: $10.52

Snow-Covered Swamp (1475)
Snow-Covered Mountain (1476)
Snow-Covered Forest (1477)

Market Price: $10.86

Rough total value: the friends we made along the way

They’re basic lands. If you like them and want to throw money at them, go for it. If you don’t want to spend $40 on five basics, I can understand that too. May I suggest some gorgeous APAC lands instead?

Gift Wrapped

Giver of Runes

Market Price: $9.94

Distant Melody
Cathartic Reunion
Moment's Peace
Homeward Path

Market Price: $14.63

Rough total value: Giver of Runes ($9.50/$15), Distant Melody (<$1, $1 from Premium Deck Series or $10 from Morningtide), Cathartic Reunion (<$1, foil and non-foil), Moment’s Peace ($1.50, $20), Homeward Path ($10, $10 from Tales of Middle-earth Commander or $40 Judge Promo)

Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of the art here, but this is all up to preference. Homeward Path is the real breadwinner here, but it again feels a bit niche, even for its Commander purposes. The other cards are basically bulk outside of foils of Moment’s Peace and Distant Melody potentially, so I wouldn’t say the values there on either side. It’s mostly commons and uncommons basically, so keep that in mind.