The Upcoming Secret Lair X MSCHF Drop Seemingly Contains a Bizarre Peelable Plains/Battlefield Forge

In this article: Wizards of the Coast is getting increasingly experimental with the cards they include in their Secret Lair drops. A recently announced collaboration with artist group MSCHF includes a card with a peelable sticker on the front that apparently changes the card from a basic Plains to a Battlefield Forge.

The Secret Lair is a product line that Wizards of the Coast introduced a few years ago back in 2019 with the intention of being a premium, limited-quantity collector’s product with special artwork, card frame treatments, and more. Just last week, players began reporting that their Secret Lair drop came with a secret, unannounced Viscera Seer with mirrored art and text and a serialized number on the card:

Now, the Secret Lair saga has gotten even stranger, as an upcoming collaboration with the US-based artist group MSCHF apparently contains a card unlike any we’ve seen before in Magic. Earlier this month, images surfaced on Twitter showing off the cards from the drop, and I must say, they look beautiful:

However, just yesterday, a video surfaced on Reddit with the title “Secret Lair x MSCHF secret card is extra secret…” In the post, a card is shown off that wasn’t included with the others in the original teaser, and it’s a doozy. On its face, it appears to be a basic Plains card, with rather unassuming art depicting a golf course. However, the top layer of the card peels away, revealing a Battlefield Forge with art showing the golf course in a raging inferno and the inscription “Golf Sucks Now And Has Always Sucked.”

Regardless of one’s feelings about golf and this rather odd, literal “roasting” of the sport, it’s hard to deny that this peel-off card is pretty interesting. We haven’t really seen Magic cards that involve manipulating the physical properties of the card since the notorious Chaos Orb (which was reportedly once ripped into pieces and scattered across the playing field at a tournament) and a few Un-set cards making jokes at the concept’s expense.

It’s also puzzling that, unlike something like a Modal Double-Faced Card (MDFC) such as Sea Gate Restoration and Branchloft Pathway, the two “modes” of this new card (peeled and un-peeled) represent two separate cards that already exist in their own capacities. It’s completely unclear if this peeling card would be legal for tournament play, and if so, which of the two “halves” the card would be considered to represent. It can probably be safely assumed that if it is legal for tournament play, peeling the card or changing its mode would not be allowed, but anything beyond that is pure speculation.

One thing that’s clear from all this is that Wizards is willing to try out some pretty wacky design ideas in Secret Lair products. Perhaps they’re testing the water for more products like this in the future, or perhaps this is simply an art experiment done for art’s sake. It’s hard to imagine a peel-away card like this being practical for any kind of serious play, especially since it doesn’t seem to offer any discernible advantage over the functionally similar MDFCs.

It’s not too outlandish, though, to think that Wizards might try similar peeling cards in something like a silver-bordered Un-set, where the goal is to create fun and chaotic mechanics rather than being focused on furrowed-brow competitive Magic.

What do you think about the weirdness that’s happening in the Secret Lair world right now? Secret Lair has always been a bit of a controversial subject in the Magic community, and things like the peel-off card and the serialized cards are sure to stir up more controversy. Do you welcome the innovation of products like this, or is Wizards taking the Secret Lairs too far? Let us know in the comments!

Paul

Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.