A few weeks ago, the Secret Lair Fall Superdrop went live. Players were given the opportunity to purchase a handful of unique Secret Lair products, all with different themes. Some of these Secret Lairs, such as the “Now on VHS!” Secret Lair, showcased reprints that more than paid for the product. With an abundance of cool cards to choose from, Secret Lairs provide a great chance for players and collectors to show off some gorgeous artwork.
Speaking of beautiful artwork, there’s yet another Secret Lair to look forward to. This Secret Lair showcases cards designed by John Avon. John Avon is an incredibly prolific MTG artist, with artwork of his on over 200 different MTG cards! Many of them are Lands, some of which see lots of play, like Lotus Field. This new Secret Lair featuring exclusively John Avon artwork has four interesting card choices in it, available to order October 2.
The first card up is Brainstorm. Brainstorm is an extremely powerful card, allowing you to manipulate the top of your library while also digging you towards specific cards you might need in a certain situation. When paired with ways to shuffle your library, such as Fetchlands, you can put back two cards that you don’t need, shuffle them away, and draw something new.
Brainstorm isn’t worth much, though. As a common, you can pick up copies for roughly $1 according to TCGplayer market price. Still, there have been foil promo versions of Brainstorm, such as the FNM promo, that go for a fair bit more. The John Avon Brainstorm is likely somewhere in between, but even if it’s not worth a ton on its own, there’s no denying the unique Brainstorm artwork and flavor text.
Next up, we have Serra Angel. Serra Angel was first printed over 30 years ago back in Alpha. While a 4/4 with Flying and Vigilance for five mana isn’t a bomb by today’s standards, this card was extremely strong back in the day compared to other Creatures at the time. Serra Angel has been reprinted many times, including in core sets and Iconic Masters.
Much like with Brainstorm, this promo is likely to not hold a hefty price tag. You can purchase traditional copies of Serra Angel for under 20 cents. Even distinct promo versions of Serra Angel, such as the From the Vault: Angels versions, go for only a few bucks according to TCGplayer market price. The card looks cool nonetheless, and the next two cards certainly take things up a notch.
Progenitus is the third card in the John Avon Secret Lair, and much like Serra Angel and Brainstorm, it is quite an iconic card. It costs two mana of every color for a total of 10 mana, making it incredibly hard to cast. As a reward for getting it onto the battlefield, you are left with a 10/10 with Protection from everything. That means it can’t be targeted with removal, it can’t be blocked, and it can’t be dealt damage. It is certainly quite difficult to kill.
Obviously, its casting cost is a doozy, but there are plenty of ways to cheat it into play that can be effective. For example, Legacy Elves decks sometimes play a copy to search for with Natural Order, since Progenitus can win the game all on its own.
The cheapest version of Progenitus according to TCGplayer market price is the Grand Prix promo that sits at roughly $6. Progenitus is definitely a step up pricewise from the previous two cards. Even still, you may be questioning whether this product is indeed worth buying. Luckily, the last card more than makes up for the first three cards being on the cheaper side.
Emrakul, the Promised End
Last but certainly not least, we have Emrakul, the Promised End. Emrakul is an absurdly powerful card that ended up being banned in Standard. Whether players were simply casting Emrakul like normal or casting it off of Aetherworks Marvel, the card proved to be an elite win condition. As a 13/13 with Flying, Trample, and Protection from Instants, the card is very hard to kill and ends the game in short order. If that weren’t enough, you also get to gain control of an opponent during that player’s next turn. Sure, they get to take an extra turn after, but you have likely used their own cards against them, making it rather tough for them to climb their way back into the game.
At 13 mana, Emrakul is hard to cast, but it does cost one less to cast for each card type among cards in your graveyard. If built around, this could reduce Emrakul’s casting cost significantly, making it a huge threat. In paper, this card was only ever printed in Eldritch Moon. Given its power and lack of reprints, traditional versions of the card have a hefty price tag of roughly $73 based on TCGplayer market price. Emrakul is clearly worth significantly more than the other cards in this Secret Lair product, and this version of Emrakul has the chance to go for a rather large amount of money. Let’s take a look at a complete breakdown of this Secret Lair altogether.
Reprint Value Breakdown
Even in their cheapest forms, the total price of all of these cards added together is close to $80. Sure, a lot of that does ride with Emrakul, but it isn’t unusual for the bulk of the value of a Secret Lair to lie with one card. For example, the most expensive reprint in the Secret Lair Fall Superdrop was The First Sliver from the “Now on VHS!” product. Traditional versions of The First Sliver were worth close to $60 when the Secret Lair was announced, which is a lot more than the next most valuable card in that Secret Lair.
All Secret Lairs from the Fall Superdrop were on sale for $29.99 normally and $39.99 in foil. Assuming that the John Avon Secret Lair is treated in a similar way, Emrakul alone makes the product a steal. Add in the dazzling artwork, and this Secret Lair is a good deal.