With the announcement of ChannelFireball’s partnership with PCG, the world of high-end card grading has never been more open. Of course, you should rush to get your Black Lotuses and The Wretcheds graded, but what about newer cards? Recently, Wizard of the Coast’s premiere collectible product has been limited edition Secret Lair cards, with some of the cards fetching a high price – now and in the future!
As an aside, Secret Lairs are known for having foils that warp rather easily, so a high quality, unwarped foil will be a premium collector’s item. If you buy any Secret Lairs in foil in the future, try your best to keep them flat and undamaged.
10. Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded
The pack-ins for Secret Lairs are arguably more rare than the regular contents. Think about it – while every person got the same cards, sometimes the pack-in was only in a percentage of those! Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded was in every April Fools’ Secret Lair, but it seems to be one of the least popular Secret Lairs for its (very aware) theme of historically bad cards.
Still, Tibalt fans out there will love this unique collector’s piece and this is also the only white-bordered planeswalker. Just remember – Tibalt was the only two-mana planeswalker before Wrenn and Six. Talk about power creep…
9. Meren of Clan Nel Toth
Meren of Clan Nel Toth may not be the most expensive Secret Lair card, but she’s on the list for being iconic. She’s the tenth most-played commander and the highest-played Golgari commander by a longshot. Additionally, there’s so much to love about this version, from its gorgeous color scheme to amazing centerpiece, all by Cynthia Sheppard. If you want the most fancy version of Meren at your commander table, a PCG-grade 10 Meren will certainly be it.
8. Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger
Kroxa, Titan of Death’s Hunger lived in the shadow of its brother, Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath, until some bans put Uro firmly in the back seat. Now, Kroxa can be seen running around Historic and Modern as a control breaker. This version in particular combines Greek and Nordic influences, mashing Theros Beyond Death with Kaldheim. It’s a pretty card to look at and, seeing its rise in popularity, is poised to become the centerpiece of a lot of Magic formats.
Bitterblossom comes from one of the earlier Secret Lair drops, as thus already has a bit of patina on it. A big upside here is that it doesn’t come in foil, meaning copies of it won’t be as warped and are easier to grade. It’s also a card that was a part of Magic’s history, historically banned in Modern previously and serving as a focal points for Faerie and Rogue decks everywhere.
6. Rick, Steadfast Leader
Controversy helps propel Rick, Steadfast Leader over other options. The Walking Dead-themed Secret Lair was the first time Wizards introduced mechanically-unique cards to a small print run collectible, invoking the ire of many fans. Out of the roster of
zombie walker-slaying characters, Rick has proved to be the most playable, having shown up in a few Legacy Humans lists here and there. He’s also got a strong effect and is the main character of the show (well, mostly), increasing his collectible value.
5. Swiftfoot Boots (Blueprint)
Another pack-in, but unlike Tibalt, Swiftfoot Boots competed with several other random options, including Ornithopter and Rogue’s Passage. However, the Boots are the most popular and playable of the bunch, and are definitely the most valuable. It’s certainly a Commander staple but with a small number of “blueprint” cards floating around, this is the one worth grading the most.
4. The Ur-Dragon
People love to collect iconic creature types. Angels, Demons and Dragons are among the most popular – just look for how much graded Serra Angels, Juzam Djinns and Shivan Dragons go for. Sitting at the top of all Dragons is The Ur-Dragon, coming from one of the earlier Secret Lairs as well. The Ur-Dragon is already the most valuable non-pack-in Secret Lair card, and will be a nice addition to any Dragon collection. Well, not as nice as an Alpha Shivan Dragon, but what is?
3. Liliana, Dreadhorde General (Stained Glass)
Liliana, Dreadhorde General and her cohort of “stained glass” planeswalkers were among the first Secret Lair pack-ins. While a ton of earlier Secret Lairs featured a stained glass planeswalker, she was competing with over 30 other planeswalkers for that spot. She’s by far the flashiest of the bunch and, as one of the first and most iconic planeswalkers, demands a premium for cool versions of her. If you want a complimenting piece to go alongside your Japanese Liliana, a stained glass one will do perfectly.
2. Narset, Parter of Veils (Stained Glass)
What was said about Liliana can be said about Narset, Parter of Veils as well, but Narset gets the higher nod because of her rising prominence. This card crept into Vintage instantly and has been the bane of Standard, Historic, Modern and Commander games across the globe. Narset’s always been a bigger part of the metagame, and her iconic status is just beginning. Getting in on the ground floor here seems like a good idea.
1. Viscera Seer (Mirrored)
This is by far the rarest card to be featured in a Secret Lair – and one of the rarest collectible Magic pieces in years (that’s available to the mass market). There’s only 100 of these in existence, as noted by the number in the bottom left (right?) corner. If you were lucky enough to open or buy one of these, get it graded as soon as possible. This card is incredibly rare, high value and one of the most oddball pieces of Magic history out there. Of course, premiums go on #1 and #100… and #69 most likely, since we’re all children.