We finally have new details on Magic: The Gathering’s latest Secret Lair drops. Some are packed with creative imagination, and others are so absurd it sounds like a bad joke.
The first new Secret Lair is called, “Our Show Is On Friday, Can You Make It?” and it sports genuinely excellent work from talent like Sam McKenzie, Jermaine Rogers, and Alexis Ziritt. As for the cards getting the neon acid-trip makeover, they are Gamble, Wrath of God, Decree of Pain, Preordain, and Nature’s Lore.
The artwork promoted is impressive, especially in how it plays around with borders and space on the cards. Everything from the mana cost to the descriptive text is stretched and stylized to better match the style the artist is going for. In an interview with NME, Jermaine Rogers stated, “I was given a lot of freedom to execute my artistic vision. Working with Wizards Of The Coast [the publisher of MTG] was so refreshing, as they give you the space to comfortably go through the process of mining and refining ideas. Of course, there are guidelines to be adhered to, but those things are stated pretty clearly at the beginning of the project.”
When asked about inspiration, the artists cited everything from fantasy paintings to rock albums to cheesy B-movies. That latter can even be seen in Ian Jepsen’s redesign of Decree of Pain, which invokes trashy Satanic Panic films of the 1970s. The interview continues to highlight the diverse international pool of talent that came to work on this set as well as their fondness for the works of Kiss and David Bowie.
In addition, we got more details of the leaked Mystical Archive Secret Lair drop. The art for that set was heavily inspired by European illuminated manuscripts. The emphasis on crowns and embroidery helps tie the set to the current Strixhaven set, which is all about a magic academy archiving all known magic spells.
Finally, the third Secret Lair was revealed by an unexpected source: the satirical geek culture outlet, Hard Drive. As revealed in a string of tweets, the site revealed brand new land cards that have no artwork at all, just text describing the card and its functions in pedantic detail. The cards were so absurd that the official MTG account had to clarify that these were real cards that would be on sale.
All of these sets will be available for purchase on the official Secret Lair website on April 26.