Meet Extra Life: 2020, Magic: The Gathering's Next Secret Lair

It's that time of year again where Wizards of the Coast and Extra Life are teaming up for Magic: The Gathering's latest Secret Lair release. This means a multi-stage charity event that, unlike last year, won't actually feature My Little Pony cards. Instead, this year's run, Extra Life: 2020, offers four alternate art premium foils emphasizing some of MTG's most classic icons. As is always the case for Secret Lair, these cards are legal in Vintage, Legacy, and Commander formats, and can only be ordered from WotC over a few days. For collectors, each reprint brings a decent value. For players, they'll also mean viable options in commander that make way more sense than Lucille.

We could all use a little protection. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.
We could all use a little protection. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

Teferi's Protection is back as one of Magic: The Gathering's ultimate nope cards in white. For just 3 mana, this instant enables players to protect every land, creature, and enchantment on the field while simultaneously being immune to damage — yes, even "This damage can't be prevented" damage. Essentially, this leaves only the caster's hand and library vulnerable and comes with art and flavor-text combo that's there to remind players that it's good when daddy loves you. If you need a rhythm-breaker, an ability interrupt, or just a smug way to respond to opponents trying to pull a hard one, Teferi's Protection is great to have in hand.

Literal pride. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.
Literal pride. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

Collected Company is mint-flavored and green at four mana. Pop one of these into decks with cheap creature features — especially those that rely on a smart combination of creature abilities — and this card can cat-alyze some amazing plays. Play it early in a game for the potential to rush six mana's worth of monster onto the field, or anytime after to hunt for clever combinations and filter your library. Also, if you can look at its art without wanting to join #TeamAjani, you're dead inside.

It's extra shiny in foil. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast
It's extra shiny in foil. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast

Amulet of Vigor is a card that's simple but has sneaky potential. Beneath the surface of one mana, tron-friendly artifact with an ability that can lead to some really devious tempo modifications. You can attempt some really clever plays with it (try combining it with an Orb of Dreams) and at the very least, it's an effective remedy for all your lands that want to enter the game tapped. Extra Life: 2020 wraps up its release with a mythic-rare Consecrated Sphinx. At 6-mana, this card lets you draw cards at an absurdly fast speed through an ability that is attached to a tough, flying creature that'd bring a significant threat with its numbers alone. Consecrated Sphinx has a creature ability that players are going to want to combine with a drawing effect like Psychic Corrosion to make everyone else on the board scream bloody rage.

Great for accidentally milling yourself. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.
Great for accidentally milling yourself. Courtesy of Wizards of the Coast.

As for value, it's worth noting that these cards together can easily go for more than a hundred bucks if they were just non-foil variants with regular art. Alternatively, this run will be available by pre-order on secretlair.wizards.com from November 6th-9th only, and at $60 an order. The real pitch is also that this is a charity event. Wizards will donate $30 for every set sold to Extra Life, a fundraising event that has raised more than $70 million since its inception, and donates 100% of its proceeds to Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. During this same pre-order window, limited edition playmats will also be available (with Wizards donating $16 for each of these sold) featuring the same card art as the one above.

All in all, while not cheap, Extra Life: 2020 is going to be a refreshing investment for many. It does feature solid cards and wraps up more than a year of controversial releases from the Secret Lair sub-brand by bringing Magic: The Gathering back in a respectable direction — home.