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Michonne, Ruthless Survivor - Illustration by Romana Kendelic.jpg

Michonne, Ruthless Survivor | Illustration by Romana Kendelic.jpg

Zombies are everywhere. They’ve been in Magic since Alpha and are one of the most popular tribes both in casual and competitive play. And not just in Magic. Zombies are everywhere.

The rise in popularity of the horror genre brought about a wave of zombie-related media, one of the most prominent of which is AMC’s The Walking Dead. Released in 2010, the show has been around for well over a hundred episodes and its final season is coming up in 2022. Wizards announced a crossover with the show in September 2020 with Secret Lair x The Walking Dead.

While The Walking Dead was very popular, this release came at a time when a lot of public interest in the show had faded since it had been around for a full decade at that point. And the clash between the two worlds was another contentious point. Seeing characters from a fictionalized version of a real-world setting introduced to Magic also riled up a bit of the crowd.

So today I’m  give to you a bit of background on the set itself and the discussion around it. Let’s get started!

What Is the Walking Dead Secret Lair?

Negan, the Cold-Blooded - Illustration by Jake Murray

Negan, the Cold-Blooded | Illustration by Jake Murray

Secret Lair is a series of premium “collector” products from Wizards that offers a small collection of themed cards. In a lot of cases they feature five to ten reprints of older cards with new art, often all done by the same artist. The Walking Dead Secret Lair is somewhat unusual in that it introduces new cards, which a lot of players saw as a bad decision from Wizards.

List of The Walking Dead MTG Cards

What Is a Walker Token?

A Walker token is just a black 2/2 Zombie token with a different name. There were a number of tokens included in The Walking Dead Secret lair. The Walker tokens had five different art options. You can note their special names at the bottom of the card frame.

Is The Walking Dead Banned?

The Walking Dead Secret Lair cards haven’t been banned in any formats, so you can play them in any format where they’re otherwise legal.

What Formats is TWD MTG Legal In?

Given that The Walking Dead Secret Lair doesn’t include any cards that were ever Standard-legal you can’t play them in formats like Pioneer or Modern, but you can play them in Legacy and Commander.

Is TWD MTG Expensive?

The original manufacturer’s suggested retail price of The Walking Dead Secret Lair was $49.99, but you can’t buy the product directly from Wizards anymore since it’s now out of print. You can find sealed versions on the secondary market for about $90 on average.

Is it Worth it to Buy The Walking Dead for MTG?

Like many Secret Lairs before it, The Walking Dead one is a good price to buy. It’ll probably be a long time before Wizards decides to print more Glenns and Ricks, so buying a limited print run product is never a bad idea. Especially when it comes to printings of unique cards.

Another point in favor for this Secret Lair that often isn’t discussed is that they come with promo codes for MTGO versions of the cards. These can also be sold for a couple tix on Magic Online if you don’t plan on using them.

Why Was This Product Controversial?

Daryl, Hunter of Walkers - Illustration by Romana Kendelic

Daryl, Hunter of Walkers | Illustration by Romana Kendelic

The Walking Dead Secret Lair was extremely controversial thanks to the fact that Secret Lairs and the like were viewed as a way to reprint cool versions of cards with new art. Printing new unique Magic cards in a product line like this was seen as a cash-grab. Some longtime Magic players also always have a negative reaction to the crossover of intellectual property from other franchises.

Will The Walking Dead Ever Be Reprinted?

Whether or not it was in response to criticism from the player base, Wizards announced that the cards printed in The Walking Dead Secret Lair will have functional reprints in a future set. This means that cards printed in the Secret Lair will get the same treatment that all the Godzilla-themed versions of cards from Ikoria did.

How Do You Get These Cards on Magic Online?

You get a redemption code that you can use on MTGO to get a set of these cards when you buy The Walking Dead Secret Lair. Unfortunately the only way to buy the Secret Lair now is on the secondary market, where a number of sites offer them for sale or for trade.

Are These Cards Played in Any Competitive Decks?

The TWD cards aren’t generally featured in very many competitive decks. They may occasionally pop up in competitive EDH decks, the most notable being whenever Rick, Steadfast Leader shows up once in a blue moon in a Legacy Humans decklist. But there haven’t been any sightings in the last couple months.

Wrap Up

Glenn, the Voice of Calm - Illustration by Paolo Puggioni

Glenn, the Voice of Calm | Illustration by Paolo Puggioni

That’s all you need to know about Secret Lair x The Walking Dead! If you’re a fan of zombie horror then this is the product for you.

Still, a large number of players were disappointed in seeing cards from a world so different from a traditional Magic setting make their way into the game. Knowing that future versions of the cards will fit in more flavorfully is a bit of a relief so that you can play a more in-flavor version of the card instead of something so jarringly out of context if that bothered you about this product’s original release.

What do you think about The Walking Dead Secret Lair? Were you excited to see these two IPs cross paths, or are you more than happy that we’ll be getting some Magic versions of these cards soon? Let me know in the comments down below or over in Draftsim’s Discord.

Until the next time I see you, make sure you don’t get bit!

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