Last updated on March 20, 2023
Dance of Many (Dance Battle, Secret Lair) | Illustration by Caroline Gariba
Opening up your IP to crossovers with other franchises comes with a lot of responsibility, but I’m sure WotC will take care to steward these crossovers with their players’ interests in mind. I don’t pretend to know what their marketing research says, but I’m sure we won’t see something out of left field like a crossover with a popular MOBBA franchise or a third-person battle royale shooter and survival game. They couldn’t possibly work those into Magic seamlessly, right?
Wait, you’re saying they already have?
That’s right! The Magic Showcase 2021 previewed four different Universes Beyond crossover sets. We saw spoilers for the Warhammer 40k Commander set, the Lord of the Rings Modern Horizons set, as well as a Street Fighter and Fortnite Secret Lair drop sets.
Secret Lair Drop Series: Fortnite has nearly been fully spoiled, so let’s take a look at what’s inside!
Secret Lair: Fortnite Basic Information
Smuggler's Copter (Secret Lair) | art by Brandon L Hunt
Secret Lair Drop Series: Fortnite is actually two separate Secret Lair sets. The first, Secret Lair Drop: Fortnite, comes with seven reskinned reprints: Dance of Many, Wrath of God, Etherium Sculptor, Grim Tutor, Triumph of the Hordes, Smuggler's Copter, and Planar Bridge, plus a bonus card.
The second set, Fortnite: Landmarks and Locations, contains a full-art card for each basic land, plus a sixth bonus card.
Both Fortnite Secret Lairs go on sale on the Secret Lair site on July 21, 2022 and officially release on September 2, 2022.
About the Set
The Fortnite installment of the Secret Lair Drop Series includes two separate drops: Fortnite and Fortnite: Landmarks and Locations. The Fortnite set includes seven reskinned cards based on mechanics from the Fortnite game series. Each comes with an extra bonus card that hasn’t been spoiled yet.
Epic Games’ Fortnite is a popular battle royale game where players drop onto an island with 100 other players and compete to be the last man standing. You harvest resources, find weapons, and build structures in a fast-paced third-person shooter-survival game.
Fortnite’s cultural impact can’t be understated. The irreparable changes that it’s wrought upon the minds of our youth has altered humanity for generations to come. Kids and teens dance manically in mocking imitation of the Fortnite characters’ emotes, and its relentless consolidation of every IP it can collaborate with is a sign that the end times are upon us.
Everything from Star Wars to Marvel to Stranger Things to the literal NBA is canon in Fortnite’s Omniverse, leading to a patchwork quilt of colliding universes that’s dizzying to behold. Luckily these cards aren’t canon in the MTG universe, meaning you won’t see Urza doing battle with Darth Vader anytime soon (I’ll be eating these words soon, I’m sure).
The Secret Lair: Fortnite cards don’t have much of an internal theme, but they do showcase a variety of different effects. The set includes a classic board wipe, a powerful tutor, an Overrun effect using infect, and a vehicle.
Dance of Many is an odd reprint, and Etherium Sculptor is a staple in blue artifact decks. Planar Gate tutors your powerful permanents straight to the field, making it a great card for plenty of Commander decks.
Shrinking Storm (Wrath of God)
Shrinking Storm is a reskinned Wrath of God. It represents one of the most recognizable mechanics in Fortnite. the perimeter of the map slowly shrinks as players face each other in a battle royale, forcing everyone into tighter and tighter quarters and preventing them from camping out and hiding.
As an aside, wouldn’t Duneblast be a more flavorful representation? After all, battle royales end when a single player remains, so a single creature should technically survive this board wipe, right?
Dance Battle (Dance of Many)
We haven’t seen a print of Dance of Many since Fifth Edition. It’s a pseudo-clone that makes a token copy of the creature and taxes you two blue each turn it sticks around. It has a subtle advantage over regular clone effects since you can then populate that token with cards like Wake the Reflections to create tokens that still exist when this reprint dies.
Dance Battle emulates a classic experience in video games. We all have fond memories of approaching another player in-game, dancing without context, and delighting as they match your moves. Caroline Gariba’s art captures several players in typical cosmetic items hitting the dance floor.
Fortnite, like many games of this generation, has an extensive library of emotes available to characters, with dance moves making up a significant number of them. Emotes are a fun way for players to communicate nonverbally and in a generally civil manner.
Supply Llama (Etherium Sculptor)
Rudy Siswanto gives Etherium Sculptor a piñata look with Supply Llama. The “Lost Llama,” as it’s known by players, is a loot cache found in random locations on the map during games. They have ammo, resources, and consumable items players can use throughout the battle, so its mana reduction on artifact spells fits right in.
Crack the Vault (Grim Tutor)
The Vault was a secret location in Fortnite that had the Zero Point, the origin of all reality in the Fortnite Universe. Once players opened the Vault they had access to powerful weapons and cosmetic items.
I think Crack the Vault hits the flavor right on the head as a Grim Tutor reprint! Tutoring up that final combo piece or a game-ending Craterhoof Behemoth matches the power unlocked by breaking into The Vault in-game, and the three life represents the work you put in gathering the keys to do so.
Roberto Gatto’s art shows the famous F&F bank vault, the precious treasure within glowing red.
Battle Royale (Triumph of the Hordes)
Speaking of game-enders, Triumph of the Hordes gets a snazzy reprint as Battle Royale. This borderless art showcases the chaos that ensues in any Fortnite battle. As one of the most powerful Overrun-like effects, Battle Royale is the most valuable reprint in this set (so far).
Battle Bus (Smuggler’s Copter)
Every battle royale starts with players unloading from the Battle Bus, flying above the island where their battle will take place. Players dive and parachute towards the ground with their squad, landing in advantageous positions or getting the drop on those who can’t keep their heads up.
Smuggler's Copter is our MTG equivalent, a strong early game play that generates consistent value. It’s the only card in this Secret Lair that’s banned in a format (Pioneer).
The Cube (Planar Bridge)
The Cube (and the wider race of Cubes) is a sentient cube of energy that has heavily featured in Fortnite’s story since Season 5. As Planar Bridge it serves as an appropriately epic artifact. The Cube shoots lightning bolts, summons minions, and ultimately leads to the conflict with the Cube Queen. Maybe we’ll see her in the next Fortnite Secret Lair!
Secret Lair Drop: Fortnite Landmarks and Locations comes with five full-art basic lands. They feature points of interest from “The Island” where the game is set.
The Forest card features the Weeping Woods (reading the card explains the card) with some wonderful art from Roberto Gatto.
Robert Gatto also illustrated the Island, which shows a fort built into a shark-shaped outcrop of rocks over a beach.
Alexander Kintner’s Mountain depicts a stone fortress atop a snowy cliff.
Kintner’s Plains brings us to Frenzy Farm. A massive bar house and windmill loom over a scarecrow standing in a field of vegetables.
Kevin Gnutzmans’ land showcases one of Fortnite’s various swamp biomes, maybe Sludgy Swamp or Slurpy Swamp.
The Fortnite Secret Lair drop includes two sets with premium foil versions available for each. Both Secret Lair Drop: Fortnite and Secret Lair Drop Fortnite: Landmarks and Locations are priced at $29.99 for the nonfoils and $39.99 for the foils.
These are fair deals! Buying the singles included in the Fortnite drop would run over $40, so these are already a steal without the full set spoiled.
Where to Buy
You can buy the Secret Lair Drops for Fortnite and Fortnite: Landmarks and Locations starting July 21, 2022 on Wizards’ official Secret Lair website. Or you can wait until after the release date and buy the singles you want from your favorite online retailer.
Wrath of God (Secret Lair) – Illustration by Kevin Gnutzmans
Fortnite: Battle Royale might seem like a confusing choice for a crossover with Magic: the Gathering, and that’s because it is! But that’s what crossovers are about, isn’t it? Solving the puzzle of mixing two mismatched IPs into a cohesive product.
Will you be picking up the Fortnite Secret Lairs? Maybe just a single or two? Or do you hate these non-canon cards and never want to hear about them again? Let me know in the comments or over on Draftsim’s Twitter.
Thanks for reading, let me know when you decide where we’re dropping!
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