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Stranger Things is coming to Magic: The Gathering, plus changes for the Secret Lair

Wizards of the Coast says it’s responding to feedback about its boutique line of premium collectible cards

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Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Wizards of the Coast is partnering with Netflix to produce an exclusive set of Stranger Things-themed cards for Magic: The Gathering. The publisher also said that it will make changes to how cards from the Secret Lair, a boutique print-on-demand service, make their way into the collectible card game. The announcements were made on Wednesday on the Magic YouTube channel and as part of Netflix Geeked Week.

According to senior designer Gavin Verhey, Stranger Things cards will only be made available for purchase via the Secret Lair, which launched in 2019. Traditionally the Secret Lair has been a way for Wizards to command a premium price for popular cards with alternate art. But, in 2020 the publisher brought cards with unique abilities to the platform, cards that had no other corollaries in the retail version of the game. The blowback from the community since has been considerable, with players angered by the premium pricing for this new content.

Eleven, in her season one outfit, uses her mind powers for ... something. There’s black tendrils in the air. Image: Pauline Voss/Wizards of the Coast

For the upcoming Stranger Things set, Verhey said in a video that Wizards will be publishing “in-world Magic-flavored” versions of those cards at retail. The only substantive difference between the Stranger Things cards from the Secret Lair and cards pulled from blind packs will be the art.

“We’re putting copies of these cards, the in-world Magic-flavored versions, on The List,” Verhey said, referring to a subset of cards that are randomly available in some packs. He said they’ll also be showing up at a higher frequency than other cards on The List, and that Wizards will continue taking feedback and adding those cards to other products as needed to meet consumer demand.

Verhey also made it clear that the Stranger Things crossovers are meant to be fun collectible cards. He also emphasized that they are intended for the Commander format, which encourages players to make heavily thematic decks for pick-up play with their friends.

No further information about the Stranger Things cards was given. You can read more on the Wizards of the Coast website.

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