The title speaks for itself. We’ve been stoked since Wizards of the Coast senpai announced their sweet, sweet Secret Lair collab with Capcom’s legendary Street Fighter franchise, but we were completely blown away when we cracked open our media drop for a legit first look (and feel).

All we can say is that this Secret Lair drop‘s a real killer combo – these cards (which pay homage to the original Street Fighter II lineup) all ooze personality, and watching these characters we’ve grown to love (and hate) since our arcade days being translated into something perfect for our favorite Commander format was like a dream come true.

The two Shotokans, Ryu and Ken, look like they’ll work great in a deck together (just swap one out for the 99) and their abilities even complement each other (because they’re bros and rivals). Chun-Li looks like she’ll be insane with instant cards that tutor or generate card advantage, and E. Honda’s ability to buff White weenies is real.

Dhalsim is super evasive and will make a cool brew with (unsurprisingly) spiders, putting counters on Guile will be a breeze with the numerous ways to flicker and proliferate in URW (and we love how the way those counters work feels like you’re charging up a Sonic Boom or a Flash Kick), playing Blanka with lots of combat tricks might do your opponents in quicker than you can tap that LP button.

And then there’s Zangief, who crushes men’s skulls between his thighs (but more on that later).

Needless to say, all eight look fun, and we know we’ll be spending lots of hours sorting through our stash and picking the perfect cards to create thematically appropriate Commander decks for each of them.

There’s also something of a bonus stage (which you might have already seen on Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Season Finale just this morning), but it was the coolest thing for us, and our jaws dropped faster than we could yell out the name of this iconic Shotokan move when we spotted it.

Senpai sent us shinies! 😀
QCF+P has never looked this good!

The Street Fighter drop lands as part of Capcom’s 35th anniversary for the franchise, and while it’s probably the most unique, it is by no means the only drop scheduled for this month. The entire February Superdrop lineup is pretty insane, and we guarantee you’ll love it if you’re big on anime.

I mean, just look at these! 😮 (Source: Magic: The Gathering)

Fan favorite cards from older sets are getting the manga treatment, there are hideaway lands in ukiyo-e style, neon renditions of some amazing EDH staple lands, chibi planeswalkers, and more, in both foil and non-foil iterations. They can be ordered exclusively from Wizards of the Coast senpai’s official store on Shopee between now and March 19, while stocks last.

(And yes, we’ve already put in a pretty hefty order ourselves for *coughcough* reasons. I-it’s not like we’re addicted to cardboard or anything).

Of course, we can’t quite call this done without at least brewing one brand new Commander deck. After giving the Street Fighter cards a quick once over and several hours digging through our stash in the studio, we decided that we’d give something inspired by our all-time favorite Zangief a spin (as in 360° on the joystick, get it?).

Naturally, we wanted this deck to be as close flavor wise as possible, so expect to see some janky picks instead of optimized EDH choices.

Commander (1)
1x Zangief, the Red Cyclone

He’s large, he’s in charge, and he’s wrestling a bear – reasons enough to make him your Commander. The fact that he forces your opponents to block, has i-frames while attacking, and forces them to sacrifice some permanents are icing. That 2BRG mana cost isn’t a deal breaker in Commander, especially since there are so many ways to ramp and fix your mana, and even if you run out of gimmicks, he’s still a 7/4 beater (which is nice).

Fight Club/Instants and Sorceries (24)

1x Ancient Animus
1x Back for More
1x Beast Within
1x Blizzard Brawl
1x Chandra’s Ignition
1x Cultivate
1x Epic Confrontation
1x Gravitic Punch
1x Hurl Through Hell
1x Infuse with Vitality
1x Inscription of Abundance
1x Outmuscle
1x Primal Might
1x Putrefy
1x Ram Through
1x Roar of Challenge
1x Savage Beating
1x Savage Punch
1x Skyshroud Claim
1x Spinning Wheel Kick
1x Tainted Strike
1x Temur Battle Rage
1x Triumph of the Hordes
1x Undercity Uprising

It’s not Street Fighter if you’re not fighting, and thanks to Zangief’s Iron Muscle, you’re encouraged to duke it out. Blizzard Brawl’s an homage to his Siberian Blizzard ultimate in name, if not in spirit, Outmuscle literally features someone suplexing a bear (you know you want to) and Savage Punch is pretty self explanatory. In Zangief’s hands, Chandra’s Ignition is a massive board sweeper, and an opportune Tainted Strike (perhaps in combination with Gravitic Punch) can KO your opponent.

Some spot removal (such as Beast Within and Hurl Through Hell, which totally sounds like a command throw to me) have also been included here. We’re not entirely sold on Spinning Wheel Kick, but it might pass for his Heavy Kick, and Savage Beating is just plain fun (and also something that regularly happens to those who underestimate Zangief players).

Infuse with Vitality and Back for More can keep Zangief or one of his comrades in the fight (it’s like pressing Continue when you lose a match), and staple ramps like Cultivate and Skyshroud Claim round things out because you can’t do without some terrain landscaping in the ring.

Enchantments (5)

1x Arni Slays the Troll
1x Garruk’s Uprising
1x Glistening Oil
1x Revel in Riches
1x Rhythm of the Wild

An alternate way to fight, groupies to cheer you on, oil for those muscles when you decide to be Mech Zangief instead of regular Zangief, some prize money for winning the World Fighting Championship tournament, and your own BGM. What more can you ask for? These choices also synergize with the deck pretty well, so it kinda works out.

Artifacts (8)

1x Arcane Signet
1x Basilisk Collar
1x Grafted Exoskeleton
1x Rhonas’s Monument
1x Skyclave Relic
1x Sol Ring
1x Swiftfoot Boots
1x Vorpal Sword

We’ve included some artifact ramp to help smooth mana over, and several deathtouch, infect and trample enablers. With deathtouch, all you need to do is to assign 1 point of damage from Zangief to a creature (which instantly kills it) and all other damage is treated as excess (triggering his Spinning Piledriver). Grafted Exoskeleton is totally a Mech Zangief thing (and also great for killing opponents), and that Vorpal Sword’s activated ability can come out of nowhere.

Comrades/Creatures (27)

1x Apex Altisaur
1x Brash Taunter
1x Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
1x Gruul Ragebeast
1x Ignoble Hierarch
1x Ill-Tempered Loner // Howlpack Avenger
1x Ilysian Caryatid
1x It That Betrays
1x Magus of the Arena
1x Mayhem Devil
1x Mazirek, Kraul Death Priest
1x Neyith of the Dire Hunt
1x Ohran Frostfang
1x Paradise Druid
1x Ranging Raptors
1x Rhonas the Indomitable
1x Ripjaw Raptor
1x Saryth, the Viper’s Fang
1x Silverclad Ferocidons
1x Stuffy Doll
1x Tergrid, God of Fright // Tergrid’s Lantern
1x Terror of the Peaks
1x Thorn Mammoth
1x Toski, Bearer of Secrets
1x Ulvenwald Oddity // Ulvenwald Behemoth
1x Ulvenwald Tracker
1x Vigor

Zangief’s friends include bears, those that wrestle bears, and those who exercise their right to bear arms. Some of these are fight enablers (for redundancy), or reward you for fighting due to enrage (like Ranging Raptors and Silverclad Ferocidons).

Others ETB with the fight mechanic (such as Apex Altisaur and Thorn Mammoth), punish opponents (like Howlpack Avenger and Terror of the Peaks), provide keywords (like Goreclaw, Ohran Frostfang and Saryth), or just plain annoy opponents.

Brash Taunter and Stuffy Doll make great punching bags, and bouncing the damage off to an opponent is memeworthy.

There’s also a separate suite that complements Zangief’s Spinning Piledriver, netting you value whenever your opponents sacrifice a permanent (and you can also ping one of your enrage creatures with Mayhem Devil to trigger the ability if you need to).

A small handful of green creature ramp (like Ignoble Hierarch and Ilysian Caryatid) round off the list.

Lands/Stages (35)

1x Arena
1x Blood Crypt
1x Bloodstained Mire
1x Bonders’ Enclave
1x Command Tower
1x Deathcap Glade
1x Dragonskull Summit
1x Haunted Ridge
1x Highland Forest
1x Kessig Wolf Run
1x Overgrown Tomb
1x Rockfall Vale
1x Rootbound Crag
7x Snow-Covered Forest
5x Snow-Covered Mountain
5x Snow-Covered Swamp
1x Stomping Ground
1x Temple of the False God
1x Wooded Foothills
1x Woodland Cemetery
1x Woodland Chasm

For utility lands, you can’t get more classic than Arena. Bonder’s Enclave helps with card draw, and Kessig Wolf Run can be useful if you have lots of mana to spend. This land base can be quite difficult to assemble if you’re new to the Commander format or Magic in general, so feel free to swap those fetches, shocks and whatnot out for something else.

Options (Deck Upgrades)

1x Assassin’s Trophy
1x Bear Umbra
1x Burning Anger
1x Domri Rade
1x Embercleave
1x Fiery Emancipation
1x Garruk, Cursed Huntsman
1x Grave Betrayal
1x Guardian Project
1x Journey to Eternity // Atzal, Cave of Eternity
1x Rishkar’s Expertise
1x Shadowspear
1x World at War

Some of these options aren’t wholly in-theme, but depending on your playstyle, they might make the deck run more efficiently. Bear Umbra stands out, since it can enable infinite combat phases when paired with a Hellkite Charger. Most game ending infinite combos in Black, Red and Green are also viable (kinda like juggling your opponent and beating them silly) if that’s your jam.

How’s that for our first Street Fighter brew? We’re definitely excited to play this (and we’ll likely stream the session on Twitch when we do).

If you’re planning to pick the Secret Lair Street Fighter series, or to build a Commander deck using one of these awesome Street Fighter cards, be sure to let us know on our socials! We’d love to hear from you!

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