Exclusive Magic: The Gathering Warhammer 40,000 card reveal: Keeper of Secrets

(Image credit: Wizards of the Coast)

There's a military tactic beloved by wargamers called the hammer and anvil. You split your army into two forces, the slower and sturdier of which pins down your opponent, holding them in place—the anvil—while the faster force maneuvers into a flanking position—the hammer—and then you bring the two together. If you've played Total War: Warhammer 3 as Slaanesh, you'll know they're an army with no anvil. Slaanesh is all hammer, all the time.

Which is why it's appropriate for the Keeper of Secrets, a greater daemon of Slaanesh, to appear as a red card in Magic: The Gathering's Warhammer 40,000 crossover. Red's the traditional color of Magic's most aggressive cards, and usually the ones with keywords that speed up their attacks like haste and first strike.

The Keeper of Secrets has both. You don't need an anvil when you can just slam two hammers together for the same effect, right?

The Keeper of Secrets also has an ability called Symphony of Pain, which means whenever you cast a spell from anywhere other than your hand, you cause damage equal to that spell's mana cost. Keep an eye out for keywords to trigger that, like flashback (you can cast a spell from the graveyard), cascade (you exile cards from your library until you flip one with a lower mana cost, then cast it for free), and rebound (you cast a spell a second time the turn after it was cast). Or maybe the Chaos-themed Ruinous Powers deck will come with cards like Sen Triplets, which let you look at another player's hand and then cast spells right out of it. Honestly, that sounds like exactly the kind of dick move I'd expect from Tzeentch.

The Warhammer crossover will include four decks for Commander format, which is Magic's chill format where two or more players, usually four, take part in a free-for-all where each has a high-powered legendary creature to represent them in the field. The prebuilt Warhammer x Magic decks come with two options for your commander.

  • The Ruinous Powers deck (red/blue/black): Abaddon the Despoiler and Be'lakor, the Dark Master
  • Forces of the Imperium (white/blue/black): Inquisitor Greyfax and Marneus Calgar, Ultramarines Chapter Master
  • The Tyranid Swarm (green/blue/red): The Swarmlord and Magus Lucca Kane 
  • Necron Dynasties (black): Szarekh, the Silent King, and Imotekhk, the Stormlord

Those 100-card commander decks will be released on October 7, but there will also be three crossover Secret Lair releases with even more Games Workshop-themed Magic cards available to order from October 17 to November 14. One will feature Warhammer 40,000's orks, while the other two will include cards based on Age of Sigmar and Blood Bowl.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.