It was announced nearly a year ago that a Fortnite crossover was coming to Magic: the Gathering as a Secret Lair drop. Now, with less than two weeks before its official release, the Fortnite drop is starting to show up in the wild, and press outlets are showing off the cards and their new, Fortnite-styled art.
There are two Fortnite-themed drops arriving. The first is entitled Secret Lair x Fortnite, and it includes the following cards (all of which are reskinned and renamed versions of existing cards):
- Battle Bus (based on Smuggler's Copter)
- Battle Royale (based on Triumph of the Hordes)
- Crack the Vault (based on Grim Tutor)
- The Cube (based on Planar Bridge)
- Dance Battle (based on Dance of Many)
- Shrinking Storm (based on Wrath of God)
- Supply Llama (based on Etherium Sculptor)
The second drop is called Secret Lair x Fortnite: Landmarks and Locations, which contains full-art versions of the five basic lands. Each card has special Fortnite-inspired art, along with new flavor text based on the game, and both sets also include one additional card that Wizards of the Coast is keeping a secret for now. These sets will go on sale on July 21, at 9 a.m. PDT, on the Secret Lair website.
Personally, I think that the cards shown off from these sets feel very true to their source material. The themes and moments that are captured in the cards are all fairly iconic, speaking both to the game itself and the community that has formed within and around it; at this point, most gamers probably have some idea of what the Battle Bus is. The art style also remains true to the game, with its more simplistic style and its bright, vivid colors. Fortnite fans will certainly appreciate the cards featured in these drops.
On the other hand, I feel that this may also end up limiting their appeal, especially in the long term. While the art style is very true to the original game, it's a lot less jaw-dropping than some of the other incredible art we've seen from Magic, especially from sets like Strixhaven or Neon Dynasty. Between the art, the card themes, and the flavor text, the cards seem geared to appeal exclusively to Fortnite players, and I predict that those would be the only buyers of this drop. It's certainly not as universal as, say, cats.
Moreover, while Fortnite is one of the world's most popular games now, it's also the sort of game that I predict will greatly fade from the popular consciousness when it eventually dies out. At that point, the value of these cards will be much more limited than a more timeless theme or franchise might see (such as the upcoming Street Fighter set, which harkens back to one of the most timeless and enduring video game franchises). Then again, given the limited nature of the Secret Lair drops, these cards may not need to appeal to anyone but Fortnite fans. At the least, they will likely have a broader appeal than the previous Stranger Things drop.
Stay tuned to Magic Untapped for more news on upcoming Secret Lair drops.