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The Walking Dead Secret Lair is now released. This product has been a point of contention in the Magic community. There are many who are unhappy with how Wizards’ handled the crossover. For this article, I’ll be focusing on the financial side of this release. I will note the social implication where they impact the financial analysis.
When looking at this product I wanted to establish a baseline. Are Secret Lairs in general a safe place to put money? I went back and looked at the profitability of each past Secret Lair. These were calculated by adding up the singles based on the TCG Low price. I then subtracted 18% for fees and shipping. Here’s where we ended up.
|Lair Name||Sealed||Profit||Highest Card||Price|
|OMG KITTIES!||161.01||65.42||Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist||33.45|
|Prime Slime||82.99||48.78||Scavenging Ooze||22.85|
|April Fools||159||38.27||Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded (WB)||47|
|Showcase: Zendikar Revisited – Regular||69.99||33.25||Avenger of Zendikar||19.9|
|Eldraine Wonderland||74.99||33.16||Snow-Covered Island||22.48|
|Showcase: Zendikar Revisited – Foil||79.99||31.76||Avenger of Zendikar||23.5|
|Ultimate Edition||225||29.83||Scalding Tarn||63.22|
|Every Dog Has Its Day – Regular||59.97||29.35||Lightning Greaves||24.99|
|Happy Yargle Day! – Regular||49.99||25.67||Swords to Plowshares||15.58|
|Every Dog Has Its Day – Foil||112.95||21.49||Lightning Greaves||24.98|
|Happy Yargle Day! – Foil||71.75||21.3||Swords to Plowshares||16.75|
|Year of the Rat||62.99||14.05||Pack Rat||12.09|
|The Godzilla Lands||53||10.1||Mountain (Godzilla Lands)||12.19|
|International Women’s Day 2020||69.72||9.14||Meren of Clan Nel Toth||25.95|
|Explosion Sounds||48||4.74||Goblin Lackey||16.17|
|Restless in Peace||39.97||1.97||Life from the Loam||20.79|
|Thalia: Beyond the Helvault||35.99||-0.69||Thalia, Guardian of Thraben (040)||11.29|
|Theros Stargazing: Vol. IV (Purphoros)||43.26||-5.74||Purphoros, God of the Forge||24.99|
|Full Sleeves: the Tattoo Pack||33.86||-7.19||Inkmoth Nexus||12.54|
|Theros Stargazing: Vol. III (Erebos)||51.26||-7.23||Athreos, God of Passage||15.89|
|Theros Stargazing: Vol. V (Nylea)||41.96||-8.28||Xenagos, God of Revels||22.94|
|Ornithological Studies||28.6||-10.41||Birds of Paradise||11.25|
|Mountain, Go||29.04||-10.51||Lightning Bolt (086)||7.69|
|Theros Stargazing: Vol. II (Thassa)||43.76||-11.06||Thassa, God of the Sea||16.69|
|Seeing Visions||39.8||-13.93||Serum Visions (030)||5.99|
|Kaleidoscope Killers||54.45||-14.02||Sliver Overlord||15.67|
|Can You Feel With A Heart of Steel?||35.94||-14.8||Walking Ballista||20.64|
|Theros Stargazing: Vol. I (Heliod)||41.51||-15.17||Karametra, God of Harvests||12.48|
|The Path Not Traveled||28.97||-27.95||Ajani Steadfast||5.45|
The “OMG KITTIES!” leads the pack with a $65 profit! That makes sense, who doesn’t love cats? It was interesting to see that many of the Secret Lairs were profitable. More of them were profitable than were not, 17 vs 13. If over half of the traditional Secret Lairs were profitable that’s a good sign for this new breed.
The Walking Dead Secret Lair
This Lair is the first of its kind. It breaks a rule that Wizards set for Secret Lairs when introducing them. Instead of reprints with new art treatments, these cards are mechanically unique. This means the only way to get them is via the drop that’s running right now through to October 12th. It seems that Wizards is attempting to curb supply problems by making these available for a week. Also, it looks like you can order 30 copies. This will encourage resellers to stock the singles. Will these measures be enough to satisfy the latent demand for the product?
I don’t think so. This is a Commander product with mechanically unique cards, that is a limited time run. I expect this to sell very well, but not well enough to make the cards cheap. The Commander demand will be large. To add to the complexity. There are some players declining to buy this based on principles. This will factor into the supply. I’m not sure how this will pan out, but my bet is that will rank highly on the chart above. From a financial perspective it is an easy buy.
If we look at current pricing of the singles, it doesn’t give us much information. Many of the prices seem like placeholders. To help with the analysis I wanted to rank and price the cards. Currently, the cards are not ranked on EDHRec, so I resorted to a Twitter poll.
Which Walking Dead #MTG Card are you more excited about? I excluded Rick because I rank him at #1.— Jonathan, Wielder of Mysteries ✨ (@medina_mtg) October 5, 2020
I excluded Rick since this card seems to have some viability in Legacy as well as Commander. Because of this added demand I’ll rank him at the top. Before we move onto the ranks and prices, here’s a bonus card that sits in the Stainglassed Planeswalker slot.
I’ll add this to the pricing, but it will have no rank like the tokens. Here are the ranking and estimated pricing.
|Card||Ranking||Current Price||Projected Price|
|Rick, Steadfast Leader||1||44.95||34.99|
|Negan, the Cold-Blooded||2||39.94||29.99|
|Glenn, the Voice of Calm||3||39.95||29.99|
|Daryl, Hunter of Walkers||4||39.94||19.99|
|Michonne, Ruthless Survivor||5||39.94||14.99|
|Walker (Bicycle Girl) Token||0||14.99||5.99|
|Walker (Blade Walker) Token||0||14.99||5.99|
|Walker (Well Walker) Token||0||14.99||5.99|
First, you’ll notice that the highest card in the set is $34.99, I used the highest card in “OMG KITTIES!” as an analog (Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist at $33.45). In some ways, this analog breaks down. Remember the Walking Dead cards are mechanically unique, but it’s what we have to work with. Also, Mirri was only printed in a Commander deck, so it may look similar in terms of supply. I also used analogs for the tokens. There have been many cool Zombie tokens printed. These are not special enough to command more than the Faerie Rogue tokens from Bitterblossom Dreams ($2-$6).
Pricing the rest of the characters was hard. I knew that they had to be less than $35 and in proportion to their rank. Lucille (the equipment is that was spoiled) could have some demand from the Cube community. A $15 starting price seems warranted.
Lucille may not be the only equipment in this set. There may be other equipment. Michonne hints at that, since I can imagine here holding Lucille. If that’s the case, I’ll have to reevaluate based on what other equipment’s are available. Not only will I need to rank them, but we have to consider that they would be rarer than the other cards in the drop.
Based on my analysis this Secret Lair is a good buy. If my numbers bare out, it will be the most profitable Secret Lair at $73.51 (not including the equipment). These may be some bold predictions, but this is an unprecedented product. How close am I? Time will tell. For now, I’m making an investment in these. I will be selling singles on Alchemists Refuge for the prices posted here. I’ll be adjusting based on new data as it becomes available. I hope this article prepared you to make a purchasing decision. Thank you for reading.
(All the data used in this article can be found here.)