This entry is part 15 of 27 in the series No-Show Monday



My face, while reading the article linked below


“Why is this a thing?” is my first, honest reaction to the news that WotC will be offering little packs of alternate art cards in the form of timed daily drops over the course of the next week, titled Secret Lair for… reasons?


Don’t get me wrong, I love me some funky alternate artwork and a lot of what I’ve seen so far looks amazing; personally, I’m torn between the “Restless in Peace” cards and the four-eyed version of Serum Visions  for my faves of this set.  But cutting the local game stores out of the action, timing the drops like some weird Destiny/Call of Duty promotion, and being overall a product that no one asked for are all dampening my excitement for what are essentially judge promos for the rest of us plebs.


In the “Pro” column:


  • Who wouldn’t like getting copies of Bitterblossom for less than you could currently buy it on the secondary market?  It’s not the Rebecca Guay art, but I like what they’ve done with the tokens and the mural effect.


  • More cards make me happy in most contexts, and I like the ones WotC chose.  It’s a nice range of cheap, niche, and expensive cards from a long range of sets.


  • Hopefully this signals a willingness to expand the range of Magic artists in the field.  I get wanting to maintain a cohesive art direction for each set, but it was starting to get a bit same-y.  Let’s get some old, weird shit back in the mix! (Drew Tucker, where are you when we need you?) If supplemental mini-sets are where that needs to happen, I’m good with it.


  • The “KALEIDOSCOPE KILLERS” set looks like a bad ’90s acid flashback come to life.  Sure. Why not? I’m pretty sure my sister’s old high school boyfriend had The Ur-Dragon art on the side of his van in 1986.


Firmly in the “Con” column:

  • Timed loot drops? WTF? Whose bright ideas was this? After the mess they made on eBay with preorders over the summer and all those uncut sheets they sent by way of apology? Who thinks this is going to workout?  My favorite quote from the article is Blake’s answer in response to his own question of “Will I get this for the holidays?”, to which he says:
    • “That’s a solid maybe from us. It depends on what holiday and when you order!For Secret Lair, the online store will indicate whether your expected arrival date falls in December or January. This is based on when you order and if we already have enough product in stock to fulfill said order. We’re pretty sure these drops are awesome, so we’ve pre-printed a number of these to fulfill the first batch of orders pretty close to right away. So if you live in North America and you order early enough, your order will indicate that your shipment will arrive in December 2019. Otherwise, it will say January 2020. Which, to be fair, is in plenty of time for Valentine’s Day.”
    • Stop, Blake. You’re filling us all with too much confidence in your ability to fulfill a simple purchase request.  I’m feeling overwhelmed.


  • They’re calling this a “drop series,” so they’re planning on doing this more often. This seems like an odd way to drive traffic to the mothership.  I can’t figure out the long-term play here.  Is this a plan to drive up online sales? Are they interested in starting direct-to-consumer product lines that leave their local retailers in the dust? Is this is logical evolution of the old From the Vault product line? Ugh, shoot me now.


None of these are exactly hot takes, just my two cents.  Where do you all fall on the spectrum of “Oooh, new and shiny!” to “Fuck off with this nonsense, WotC!”  I haven’t decided where I land on this yet myself. I guess I can mull that over as I’m feverishly refreshing the page trying to order one of these fakakta “drops.”



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