Chun Li, Countless Kicks (Zethi, Arcane Blademaster) | Illustration by Martina Fackova
There’s something to be said about the 1v1 format of fighting games. Whether you’re competing against a human or an arcade game’s programming, it’s all about looking for opportunities to strike your blow while keeping yourself protected from their strikes. Just like in Magic, the endgame is a Punch-Out! Er, knock-out! Right idea; wrong game developer.
Wrap up your knuckles and get in your fighting stance. We’ve got Secret Lair x Street Fighter covered.
Blanka, Ferocious Friend (The Howling Abomination) | Illustration by David Rapoza
Street Fighter is a series of cards released as a themed Universes Beyond Secret Lair drop. Eight of the cards represent fighters from the Street Fighter series of games, but the ninth is a reprint of Lightning Bolt called Hadoken. This Secret Lair Drop was released both in foil and non-foil treatments.
The creatures of the Street Fighter Secret Lair all have flavor words that are named after moves in the Street Fighter games. They’re all human, and many of them are also warriors.
Here’s the full list of Street Fighter cards:
- E. Honda, Sumo Champion
- Ryu, World Warrior
- Ken, Burning Brawler
- Blanka, Ferocious Friend
- Chun-Li, Countless Kicks
- Dhalsim, Pliable Pacifist
- Guile, Sonic Soldier
- Zangief, the Red Cyclone
There are nine cards in the Street Fighter Secret Lair: eight legendary creatures and one instant.
The Street Fighter Secret Lair was released on February 17, 2022. It was timed for the release of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, ahead of the 35th anniversary of the Street Fighter franchise in May 2022.
The sealed product for Secret Lair x Street Fighter was released as individual foil and non-foil drops and as part of the Non-stop, Non-Foil Bundle, the Full-of-Foils Bundle, and The Bundle Bundle.
You can usually get Secret Lairs directly from the Wizards’ website when they release, but the sales window is time-sensitive. Since the product is no longer available, here are some other places you can check for sealed products and singles.
Some brick-and-mortar stores are known to buy Secret Lair Drops to add to their stock. My own local store has theirs displayed at the front and lists them on their website. There can always be differences between online and in-store stock, so if you’re supporting your local store (you should), make sure to go in person if able to get the full picture of what they’ve got. They may even have singles, if you’re lucky.
Online marketplaces like Amazon can let sellers sign up to sell products through them. There are listings on Amazon for sealed copies of both the foil and non-foil versions of the Street Fighter Secret Lair Drop in the $80 to $100 range. You’ll have to go through individual sellers to judge if you’re willing to pay their product and shipping prices. Check some reviews for their reliability and quality of service.
eBay is another popular online marketplace, and it has listings for sealed Secret Lair x Street Fighter products and for singles. If you’re more in the market for an individual card than the whole series, singles may be the way to go. My gut instinct is always that sellers on eBay or Amazon are riskier and have more volatile prices than more specialized outlets.
Your LGS can be one, but here we’re focused on the online guys. CardKingdom.com and StarCityGames.com have listings for singles, and all of them are in stock at time of writing. Not all online retailers seem to have stock though, so your ability to compare and contrast is going to be limited. Prices fluctuate by a few dollars in each direction, but I haven’t seen huge sways between sources that actually have stock.
I’m also including player-to-player sites like Cardsphere.com under this bracket because they fit here more than other marketplaces like Amazon/eBay. There aren’t any sealed products available on Cardsphere at the moment, but there are users with singles.
I’m focused on these cards’ potential as commanders because that’s how it feels that they’re designed, but they’re still legal in other Eternal formats. Legacy and Vintage may be a bit too high-powered for this crowd, though.
Look, it’s a Lightning Bolt reprint. It’s not a fighter. And Hadoken is the only non-creature in this Secret Lair Drop. I’m here to do a fighter ranking. You’re here to read a fighter ranking. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
This fighter may give Arcades, the Strategist a run for its money. In the ring, at least. On the card table, E. Honda, Sumo Champion would be best served playing support. Mono-white in EDH is a rough place to start, and have you seen that mana cost?
Guile, Sonic Soldier can slowly give itself charge counters, but I’d rather pack in other tools so that I can always use either its sonic boom or its flash kick. Guile does a bunch of different things, but it doesn’t point to any specific way to surround it aside from proliferation. Red gets you good damage doublers, white gets you lots of lifelink, and blue gets you a bunch of interaction.
The flavor absolutely drips in this Secret Lair. Ryu and Ken are both different shades of . They have mirrored power/toughness. And Ryu, Street Fighter’s player character, grows with the rest of your side of the board, just like you grow as you get better at the game and defeat tougher opponents.
Ryu, World Warrior’s activated ability can burn any target and gets you a card if you deal excess damage. It’s also an untap ability, which are always fun to come across. Training eventually gets you bigger targets, unless Ryu dies or is bounced and loses all its levels. Game over. Insert coin.
The prowess is designed to buff Ken, Burning Brawler so that you can cast at minimum a 4-drop sorcery on that combat damage trigger. It’s also cheap to give Ken, Burning Brawler first strike to help it survive more combat phases. Give it some damage doubling with Torbran, Thane of Red Fell or Solphim, Mayhem Dominus to really get things going. Sprinkle in some equipment and you’re ready for a prize match.
Dhalsim, Pliable Pacifist is defensive until it’s not. The hexproof will keep it around until you have a field full of reach creatures to send on the attack. It sounds like you’re focusing on archers and giants. And you can do spiders. Curse of Clinging Webs. Arasta of the Endless Web. Doubling Season. That kind of stuff.
Zangrief, the Red Cyclone is a seminar in making a color-balanced card. For red, it forces creatures to block it. For green, it’s sometimes indestructible. And for black? Zangrief just forces opponents to sacrifice a creature when it deals excess damage to one. The colors all bleed into each other and it’s all so punchy and kill-y.
There may already be an aggressive heroic archetype from Theros block, but Blanka, Ferocious Friend could challenge that title. It has a non-keyworded heroic-like ability that buffs it and burns each opponent. Blanka has haste and tramples during turns that you’ve cast three or more spells. That smells of cheap, quick spells.
Chun-Li, Countless Kicks offers you some fancy footwork and plenty of combo potential. It encourages you to run lots of low-cost combat trick instants that you can exile and copy when Chun-Li attacks. White gives you all kinds of evasion and cheap removal like Path to Exile, while blue gets you bounce effects like Snap and more cheap removal in the form of Pongify. Maybe you’d rather include a ramp spell or a card draw effect?
The nice thing about kicker is that it’s an additional cost rather than an alternate cost. You can use another spell or ability to cast Chun-Li, Countless Kicks from a zone like your hand or your graveyard without paying its mana cost but still pay its kicker. You have to cast it to access the multikicker, but that’s a challenge rather than a drawback.
The Secret Lair x Street Fighter legendary creatures are legal in Legacy, Vintage, Commander, and Oathbreaker. Hadoken, as a functional reskin of Lightning Bolt, is legal in the formats where that card is legal: Modern, Legacy, Vintage, Commander, Oathbreaker, and Pauper.
E. Honda, Sumo Champion (Baldin, Century Herdmaster) | Illustration by Victor Adame Minguez
And roll credits!
Secret Lair x Street Fighter is a fun detour and a nostalgic tie-in for gamers of all ages. Street Fighter has even made it into Super Smash Bros. and Fortnite, so it’s still gaining fans in its fourth decade. Something WotC is hoping to follow with their own franchise…
You don’t have to stop showing your love for Street Fighter at cards. You can also find UltraPro playmats that tie into this Secret Lair. Which fighter would you pick, either for your playmat or for your decks? Are you looking for singles or the whole lot? Hit me up in the comments below, or over in the official Draftsim Discord.
By the way, can anyone spare an ice pack?
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