Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.
"The Walking Dead" Secret Lair Drop
TWD's Secret Lair release stirred up some interesting controversy. While fans were excited for the zombie-based cards, many weren't pleased that the cards were exclusive to Secret Lair—you can't find them in other sets.
This understandably upset many collectors, violating the Lair's previous policy of only alternate arts and reprints, but based on the drop's high sell rate (priced at $50), it still grabbed us with its theme and powerful cards—which reign supreme? These are the six best Walking Dead cards in Magic!
6. Glenn, the Voice of Calm
CMC (Converted Mana Cost): 3
Glenn's stats aren't great at 1/3, but his low power is actually an asset thanks to skulk, which makes him unblockable by creatures with greater power. This makes it easy for him to land direct hits, and when he does, you draw cards equal to his power. Certainly not bad, but we have other fish to fry.
5. Daryl, Hunter of Walkers
Daryl's a high-risk high-reward card who (ironically) excels in diplomatic multiplayer games. His stats impress at 4/4, he can tap to instantly deal two damage to a creature, and he gives you a draw whenever an opposing zombie dies.
However, at your upkeep, Daryl gives an opponent three walker tokens. Sure, you can kill these for draws, but only one at a time, and they'll come back to haunt you if something happens to Daryl.
That said, they're amazing when you and another player team up against the current leader; give your ally free tokens each round (and see if you can convince them to reciprocate somehow).
4. Negan, the Cold-Blooded
Today's only card needing three colors, Negan can be tricky to cast and is slightly underpowered at 4/3. However, on entry, he has you and an opponent each secretly choose one of their creatures, then reveal your choices and sacrifice the corresponding cards.
At worst, you kill one, but ideally, you'll trick them and score two removals. Plus, Negan gives a treasure token (an artifact you can sac for one mana) whenever an opposing creature is sacrificed, helping refund some of his base cost.
3. Rick, Steadfast Leader
Hopefully, Rick gets a rerelease because he offers arguably the best human tribal support yet. He's a solid 3/4 who picks two keywords on entry between vigilance, lifelink, and first strike, granting the chosen traits to all your humans (usually the latter two are best).
As if that weren't enough, Rick also boosts the power of your humans by +2/+2 as long as you control at least four (including himself), which can lead to massive combat phases when combined with his keywords.
2. Michonne, Ruthless Survivor
While Michonne looks underpowered at 3/3, she creates two walkers on entry, so you're really getting a total of 7/7 stats here. More than that, while equipped, she forces opposing units to block, an excellent route to killing utility units, and when she and at least two zombies attack, she gets indestructible for the turn.
Since opponents are forced to block her once equipped, even your weak zombie tokens can often survive, letting you repeatedly swing with a dangerous indestructible beatstick. Plus, Michonne fits in black decks that can use the equipment…
CMC: 2 (4 to equip)
Casting Lucille isn't hard, but equipping the bat requires a hefty fee of four mana. Still, it drastically upgrades its wielder, giving them +2/+0, menace (only blockable by two or more creatures), and makes the defending player sacrifice a creature when attacked. If they do, you get a walker token.
That last effect alone justifies the cost; free token fodder ensures you continuously have someone to equip on, forces sacrifices, and summon more undead allies.
Are the Walking Dead Card Still Available?
Wizards of the Coast no longer offers the Secret Lair containing TWD cards, but you can always check Amazon or tcgplayer to see if anyone's selling. In response to the controversy, the company mentioned the possibility of re-releasing functionally identical cards (same costs, stats, and effects) under new names in the future.
So if you care more about the card abilities than flavor, there's hope, though nothing definite has been confirmed. But for now, vote for your favorite zombie-slayer and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!
© 2021 Jeremy Gill