Wizards of the Coast (WotC), the publisher of Magic: The Gathering, has announced that they’ve pushed the release date of the Secret Lair: Ultimate Edition drop back to June 12th. They cited a “delay in manufacturing due to COVID-19” as the reason for this unfortunate development. WotC originally scheduled the Secret Lair drop, containing alternate art enemy color fetchlands, for May 29th.
This collector’s item is even more special than previous limited edition drops, as the Ultimate Edition will sell in local game stores. This is unlike previous Magic: The Gathering Secret Lairs, which went up for sale on Wizards’ online storefront. Additionally, fetchlands such as Verdant Catacombs, originally printed in Zendikar, are widely played in Eternal formats Modern, Legacy and Vintage. The set of five alternate-art fetchlands will go for over $300, depending on the game store.
This setback follows criticism from Magic personalities on social media about the Secret Lair’s steep price. When it debuted, WotC Franchise Communication Manager Blake Rasmussen revealed that it would cost “a bit more than $165.” To compare, a single Scalding Tarn from Zendikar sells for about $70 online.
Looks like these ended up being “a bit more” than $165. https://t.co/91fF2CqkTc
— Tolarian Community College (@TolarianCollege) April 13, 2020
In their statement on the delay, WotC said:
“This delay is certainly unfortunate, and we hope the two-week delay doesn’t cause too many disruptions. We are continuing to prioritize the health and safety of our employees, partners, and players and will continue to keep you updated should any other release shifts become necessary.”
WotC created the Secret Lair drop series to give players and collectors access to specially curated Magic: The Gathering printing. Past drops have featured older and much-beloved cards with exciting new art by popular artists. Each set also comes with codes for sleeves on Magic: The Gathering Arena and avatars for Magic: The Gathering Online.