While overshadowed initially by the drama that was MTG’s 30th Anniversary Edition, the Advent Calendar Secret Lair showed exciting potential. There are thirty cards in the set and the seven that Wizards revealed already matched the price of the Secret Lair itself. This means that, to astute MTG players, 23 other cards could potentially bring in extra value. Not only this, but unlike normal Secret Lairs, foil and non-foil copies of the cards were not optional. These were instead randomized within the Secret Lair itself. Well, we now have all of the Secret Lair cards spoiled to us, and we’ve taken the initiative to organize the contents financially to see how much value you can get from the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit Secret Lair!
Wizards have gone out of their way, however, to keep the contents of these cards a secret for those who want to be surprised. As a result, there are extreme spoilers ahead.
Disclaimer – 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit Foil Multiplier
Unlike most Secret Lairs, the foil multiplier for this set will likely matter more than average. As mentioned above, most Secret Lairs give the customer a choice between foil and non-foil product. Since the foiling is random with this advent calendar-style Secret Lair, foils will be rarer than usual. As a result, these prices are based on TCGplayer and MTGgoldfish prices for non-foil iterations of the cards. Anything with a dollar or less in value is not organized.
30 – Shivan Dragon – a Dollar/Less
MTG’s first year may also have its cheapest card. In the times of Alpha and Beta, Shivan Dragon was considered a powerhouse. Nowadays, Shivan Dragon feels like a Rare or Uncommon meant for Limited and Limited alone. This is a fantastic example of how power creep has changed MTG as a game.
Because Alpha versions of Shivan Dragon exist, there is a vast range of prices available for Shivan Dragon, depending on how rare your copy of it is. If you happen to have an Alpha version of the card, it can go for over $10,000. The cheapest version of this card is worth less than a dollar. Since this will be slightly rarer than the average Shivan Dragon, it’s safe to say that the price will likely, be around a dollar, if not a bit more.
29 – Mishra’s Factory – a Dollar/Less
Mishra’s Factory is much more helpful in current MTG than its Shivan Dragon counterpart. Man-lands are an incredibly powerful option that allows aggressive decks to close out the game with less of a risk on running out of gas.
While Mishra’s Factory is, in my opinion, more powerful than its price point, it was printed as an uncommon multiple times in recent sets. As a result, it is not worth much on the secondary market currently.
28 – Wild Mongrel – a Dollar/Less
Wild Mongrel is another MTG card that does not go for very much. While this is a fantastic enabler for Madness decks, Wild Mongrel’s applications are pretty limited in scope. The art is quite eye-catching, however.
27 – Bloodbraid Elf – a Dollar/Less
Bloodbraid Elf was a much more expensive card in Modern’s glory days. Being able to play a 3/2 with Haste that Cascades into something like Liliana of the Veil or the infamous Tarmogoyf itself was insane for four mana. Nowadays, Modern moves too fast for a card like this to be relevant. As a result, it has dropped into the realm of irrelevance on the secondary market. That said, MTG players buying this product should be able to find a place for this in their Commander decks pretty easily.
26 – Siege Rhino – a Dollar/Less
It looks like a lot of these cards have some competitive history. Siege Rhino isn’t worth anything now, but the card was a force to be reckoned with back when it was legal in Standard. Abzan Midrange became a prevalent force in the metagame that was almost entirely focused on resolving Siege Rhino. It is incredibly similar, yet underpowered, version of Sheoldred, the Apocalypse from Dominaria United. This is another example of how much power creep has affected MTG over the years.
25 – Dragonlord Ojutai – a Dollar/Less
Dragonlord Ojutai is a card from the end of the Tarkir block that has seen a lot of reprintings in Commander products. As a result, Dragonlord Ojutai is a card that plays much better than its price tag.
24 – Genesis – a Dollar/Less
Another fantastic example of power creep, Genesis was a card whose ability to recur itself was powerful. Genesis is way too slow to keep nowadays, hence its current price. Still, this could find a home in an EDH deck where it consistently triggers a bunch of supplementary effects like Elemental Bond.
23 – Sun Titan – a Dollar/Less
The Titan cycle are incredibly powerful effects in MTG. Like Dragonlord Ojutai, Sun Titan is a card that performs much better than its cost. This was also printed to death in Commander preconstructed decks but is a fantastic resource to recur a ton of value until it gets answered.
22 – Bogardan Hellkite – a Dollar/Less
A big, scary dragon that can kill a lot of things. Eight mana for this effect is somewhat underwhelming outside of a dragon deck, but Bogardan Hellkite can blindside your opponent in combat. A long time ago, however, this card was the end boss in a Dragonstorm combo deck that once frequented the top tables of competitive play. Provided is an example of what a Dragonstorm Hellkite deck is capable of in perfect form.
21 – Lightning Helix – a Dollar/Less
Lightning Helix still sees Modern play to this day, and for good reason. There are few spells as efficient as a Lightning Bolt with Lifelink for two mana. This card’s competitive history is extensive, with the most significant moment potentially being this legendary top deck that has cemented itself as one of the most iconic moments in competitive MTG ever.
20 – Elite Spellbinder – a Dollar/Less
The price tag on this card may surprise Standard players, but Elite Spellbinder has since rotated out of the format. This card sees very little play in older formats, hence its price tag.
This was part of a series of cards based initially on an MTG World Champion’s design. Paul Vitor Damo Da Rosa was the 26th MTG World Champion and had this card and artwork based on his likeness. Elite Spellbinder saw a ton of Standard play pre-rotation.
19 – Squee, Goblin Nabob – a Dollar/Less
Squee has an ancient history in MTG’s lore. He seemed to avoid death on a much-too-consistent basis narrowly, so the creators turned it into a gag and made Squee immortal. While this is on the butt-end of a few infinites in Commander, Squee is another card whose reprints far surpass his demand. That said, Squee fans should be happy with his new Dominaria United iteration, which looks to see play across multiple formats.
18 – Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero ($2.5)
While it’s not a card many know now, Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero got banned out of a format once upon a time. Rebels were one of the many decks that completely decimated a pro tour and got promptly banned afterwards. Lin Sivvi was the biggest offender in the deck, so it got banned.
17 – Ponder ($2.5)
Ponder is a card whose price is majorly affected by the number of reprints it has had. This is one of MTG’s stronger cards, showcased by our Best Blue Card Draw list. There was also a recently announced version of this card that could potentially be worth thousands of dollars. The only reason why Ponder is worth $2 is because it has been reprinted into the ground. As rarity can affect the price, should this Ponder prove rarer, it could quickly increase to $10.
16 – Nashi, Moon Sage’s Scion ($3)
Nashi has not had a massive impact on competitive MTG. That said, the card shares a powerful effect with some cards that see some competitive play, like Bolas’s Citadel. While the card does not have an insane secondary market price, this Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Mythic is a fantastic Commander card in any deck that plays creatures.
15 – Emry, Lurker of the Loch ($3)
When it was initially spoiled, Emry, Lurker of the Loch, was worth much more than this. Artifact strategies have come and gone throughout competitive MTG, helmed by cards like Urza, Lord High Artificer. When artifacts are good, so is Emry. Jeskai Breach is currently on the uptick, so Emry may soon follow that trend. This trend is already beginning to take effect, with some copies of Emry selling for closer to $5.
14 – Tradewind Rider ($3)
Tradewind Rider is a card exclusively printed in Tempest up to this point. While it originally had a value closer to $8 on the secondary market, this card has been on a slow, downwards trend for a while now. This reprint will likely cause the price of Tradewind Rider to drop since its value seems to be based on its rarity. That said, most pricing sites currently have this card priced a bit higher than $3.
As most MTG players may imagine, Tradewind Rider is technically capable at creating some complicated infinite combos. That said, there are likely much more efficient ways to go infinite in formats where you want this, like Commander. This could be used in a blink deck, however.
There is one other printing of this card, which is a fair bit more expensive. Foil versions of this card all go for $20 or more, so the foil multiplier here may be a bit higher than other cards.
13 – Nicol Bolas, God Pharoh ($3.20)
Nicol Bolas, God Pharoh embodies precisely what players want to be doing in a game of Commander. This doesn’t see much play anywhere else, but this card will end games if you allow it to stick around for a few turns. Note that the foil multiplier for this card is also quite massive. If you’re lucky enough to hit a foil Nicol Bolas in your 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit, it will likely go for closer to $25.
12 – Thalia, Heretic Cathar ($5)
Thalia, Heretic Cathar is a great flex option available for Mono-White Aggro decks in Pioneer. This card sports a body with keywords that are powerful on the ground while also taxing slower strategies, giving you more time to close the game out. As an aside, this is my favorite artwork in the whole Secret Lair.
11 – Lim Dul’s Vault ($6 + HUGE Foil Multiplier)
Lim Dul is a character in MTG’s lore with a vast history. They were recently announced to be The Raven Man, a returning figure in Dominaria United who has influenced Liliana throughout her life. This card is also commonly played in EDH, as it can essentially function as an instant speed tutor.
Notably, the multiplier for Lim Dul’s Vault is likely to be the most significant in this whole set. This is due to this being Lim Dul’s Vault’s first foil printing ever.
10 – Arclight Phoenix ($6)
This card may have a significant premium for being a full-art version. Arclight Phoenix is a hyper-competitive staple that has been relevant in multiple formats competitively throughout its history. It currently has a home in Arena-only formats and Pioneer as a sort of Combo/Tempo deck. This card saw a recent reprint in the 2022 Pioneer Challenger decks, so expect the price of Arclight Phoenix to fluctuate heavily in the coming days. This card is strong enough to push for the ban of other MTG cards in formats like Faithless Looting and Brainstorm.
9 – Heritage Druid ($6.50)
Heritage Druid enables the go-wide Elf tribal decks to play out extremely fast. This card does not require Elves to not be summoning sick when tapping them for its ability. This allows Heritage Druid to ignore the one-turn delay we usually see with mana dorks like Llanowar Elves. This combos insanely well with Nettle Sentinel and Glimpse of Nature, a banned card also available in this Secret Lair.
8 – Deathrite Shaman ($8)
Deathrite Shaman is easily breakable by the meta around it. We see that by its current status in Modern and Pioneer respectively. Deathrite Shaman is perfectly legal (and sees little play) in Pioneer, while it has been banned in Modern for quite a while.
Fetch Lands are the culprit to this card’s power. Should you have a way to get value off of your Deathrite Shamans continuously, you can’t go wrong. Unfortunately, it cannot exile artifacts, which makes it much worse in the Pioneer metagame. This is another card that you should expect to have a big foil multiplier.
7 – Elspeth, Sun’s Champion ($10)
Elspeth, Sun’s Champion is a literal one-card-army. This card is difficult to take down through non-removal means, as it creates a ton of creature tokens to guard its loyalty. This can also clean up a nasty board state by wiping the board and can win the game with its ultimate. Elspeth, Sun’s Champion was a win condition in many Midrange and Control decks when it was Standard legal, and it continues to see Commander play to this day. This was another one of the seven cards shown off during the 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit’s initial reveal.
6 – Shark Typhoon ($11)
While many did not take this card seriously because of its unfortunate likeliness to the Sharknado movies, Shark Typhoon is an absolute beast of an MTG card. This card functions as a win condition and, most importantly, a way to get a creature into play that cannot be countered. This became incredibly important as soon as it was released, as Teferi, Time Raveler was a menace that held multiple formats by the throat. Being able to put Shark Tokens into play at Instant speed while ignoring Teferi’s passive instantly rose this card to become a competitive all-star. It continues to see play in control decks across formats to this day.
5 – Smokestack ($14)
Welcome to what may potentially be one of the most infamous cards in all of MTG history. Smokestack is the namesake of one of, if not the most hated strategies in all of MTG – Stax. This strategy uses multiple effects to slow the game down to a snail’s pace. At this modified speed, the Stax player uses effects to break the devastating parity that many of the Winter Orb-esque effects provide. Smokestack can create a board state where players cannot keep any permanents on the board for more than one turn, including lands.
4 – Birthing Pod ($17)
Another card banned in Modern, Birthing Pod has created a lot of death combo situations that can end the game rather quickly. This strategy continues to be one that sees Modern play with the newer Vivian Planeswalker released in Streets of New Capenna. This really only sees Commander play at this point, but it is strong enough to be a consistent cEDH archetype. Birthing Pod also only has one set printing, making it a card with a very low supply.
3 – Glimpse of Nature ($30)
Here we have yet another card on the banned list of some formats! Glimpse of Nature is capable of creating situations where one can draw out their entire deck by playing some small creatures. With a single bounce spell to recur creatures like Cloudstone Curio, Glimpse of Nature can quickly draw an entire deck while floating infinite mana. As mentioned earlier, this is incredibly powerful with Heritage Druid and can end games quickly in Elf shells as early as turn one in extreme scenarios!
2 – Necropotence ($40)
Another one of the seven cards revealed as a preview for this Secret Lair, Necropotence has a vast history in competitive MTG. Necropotence allows you to exchange your life total for cards, making it one of the most powerful draw engines in the entire game. This has allowed it to show up in competitive MTG multiple times, becoming infamous in the process.
This card still sees a ton of Commander (mainly cEDH), Dual Commander, and some Vintage play in Doomsday builds. Necropotence has also not had a widely available printing in the past, allowing for a rather high price tag to be attached.
1 – Chrome Mox ($75)
This was one of the seven cards previewed for this Secret Lair, and it’s the card that got everyone excited about the potential of this product. Available in the 2003 slot, Chrome Mox sees a ton of Commander play at high-level tables, meaning there is a massive market for this card. Commander players know that some of the most expensive cards in the format are fast mana cards like this one, as they can propel you turns ahead of your opponents very quickly.
The cheapest version of Chrome Mox currently available seems to be selling for about $75, while its foil iteration is selling for about $110. Because the foils in this Secret Lair are randomized, the foil multiplier should impact the card’s prices more than average Secret Lairs (as long as the Pringling isn’t bad), so expect some of that value to translate to those lucky enough to get the premium version of this card.
Total Value of the MTG 30th Anniversary Countdown Kit(approximately $230)
While the exact number will vary depending on which foils you get, you can expect about $230 in value from this Secret Lair! Considering that the overall price of this Secret Lair is $150, there is some serious profit to be made here! As long as Shipping fees won’t drive the price of this product too high, I would highly consider getting this Secret Lair, as I would guess that it’s one of the best ones we will see for some time. While the Secret Lair is not for sale yet as of the writing of this article, you can check it out here, as well as find a countdown timer for when it does go on sale on November First.