There are few experiences as defining for a Magic: the Gathering player as that of opening a booster pack. You hope for that one mythic card you need to complete a deck…or a chase card – a card that’s highly valued and sought after…or maybe a highly collectable foil card. Whatever you’re looking for, the anticipation of opening a booster is one of the defining MTG experiences. Stew schools Szpirs on how and when to buy them and talks about some of his best pulls from this week. Today, we’re crackin’ packs.
Stew: So just a funny tidbit: I usually have crap luck when I buy booster packs. I bought three Japanese language Eternal Masters packs and got Force of Will, Maze of Ith and Xantid swarm. It made up for the four Silvos, Rogue Elemental I had pulled previously.
Szpirs: Damn it, Stew. That’s awesome.
Stew: Oh and I got Crucible of World’s invention version. It looks pimped.
I could do with some of that crap luck…
Stew: Hey, honest I bought a box of Eternal Masters and the best card I got was a Sylvan Library.
Szpirs: I used to use those for bookmarks… (editor’s note: not really) So, you got your good pulls out of random packs….how often do you buy?
Stew: Once a week. I usually get between one and five packs. Sometimes, I try my luck if I’m out somewhere I haven’t been before.
Szpirs: These were all from individual booster packs…do you ever pick up a Fat Pack?
Stew: I do sometimes. Usually if I can’t get a box, I’ll get a Fat Pack…even though they’ve changed since you and I played at the same LCS. There’s no novel anymore – I love the game and strategy of MTG but the story behind the cards the legends always captivated me.
Szpirs: I never used to buy the FP’s very often…I always loved the spin-down dice but the novels weren’t big for me…the only one I read was Cold Snap by Jeff Grubb…it was pretty awesome but the rest of the lore never really got me excited…which was weird because I’m usually all about that stuff.
Stew: I enjoyed the Mirrodin Cycle with Glissa and Memnarch.
Szpirs: I felt like that block had a stronger story than most. Honestly, I liked trying to puzzle out the story from the cards’ flavour text best.
Szpirs: So..when is it time to buy a box?
Stew: This is why set reviews are really important. Like, Kaladesh is an awesome set with some really strong cards but nothing has a really high value other then inventions and planes walkers (the lands are around $10 a piece too, I guess) but if you have saved up and like the set preview and you want to get the best deal on packs, you buy a box.
Szpirs: As in, the best value for rare cards when you buy or the cost of the box itself?
Stew: Just thinking about Kaladesh, really. Of the recent sets, it might not have the highest value but the cards that are valued high are amazing. Plus more chances for invention cards make a box a tastier prize right now. Conspiracy: Take the Crown is also worth it. It’s got some pretty good stuff.
I wouldn’t buy boxes of Shadows over Innistrad or Eldrich Moon. Some online stores still have boxes going back to The Dark, so you have to weigh what you are looking for against value. The older Modern sets don’t really hold up against the older stuff.
Would I buy a box of Beta for $29 000? Yes, because I can more then likely double my money back in singles alone, but more importantly I would have some of the first cards of MTG and that’s a great thing as well
Szpirs: As a rule, older is better?
Stew: No, that’s more of a collector thing to do. Old cards were prettier to me and nostalgia bombs. The new sets are more fun and synergistic.
Szpirs: What sorts of synergies do you tend to look for in a set? Tribal?
Stew: Well, I don’t know if you noticed but I am a big fan of artifacts so anything playing off them, I am always down for. Trinisphere, Metal Worker, Staff of Domination, Sydri, Galvanic Genius…
Szpirs: So, Kaladesh is like a perfect set for you.
Stew: Yeah, it’s pretty awesome for me. For tribal stuff, elves or zombies are good.
Szpirs: So, once you’ve got your packs or box…how do you go about sorting?
Stew: I sort them weirdly (apparently). I separate all the foils, then the cards I want, then cards I don’t want as much for a trade binder. Finally, all the commons or whatever by colour.
There it is, Geeks. Seriously, did anyone read this far? It’s cool if you didn’t…but…
If you did, post any stupid Dazed and Confused quote, gif, or image in the comments section. Seriously, the dumber the better. – Szpirs