Before we get into things, I’d like to get one thing out the way. First and foremost, in this article I’m going to make recommendations on what to do with real currency. Please do not spend the money if you don’t have it. Magic and Arena are luxury products. You can play Arena for free. Please check out my other content on how to maximize your time spent on Arena without putting money into it if you’re not in a position to do so. If you have a gambling addiction please call the national hotline at 1-800-522-4700 in the United States or check this list of international help lines.

This week Wizards of the Coast unveiled a new structure for pre-order bundles on MTG Arena. Previously there was one pre-order bundle for $50 which came with 50 packs of the new set, a mythic card style, and an exquisite sleeve. Now there’s a new second pre-order bundle that’s mostly full of aesthetics. This bundle is also $50. If you spend $100 on both bundles Wizards throws in a bonus pet. Let’s dive right in and talk about what you’re getting in exchange for this dent in your wallet.

  • Product:
    • 50 Packs of Theros Beyond Death (10,000 Gems)
    • 2 Sealed Tokens (4,000 Gems)
    • 1 Copy of Ashiok, Nightmare Muse
    • 1 Copy of Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis
  • Mastery:
    • Mastery Pass Access (3,400 Gems)
    • 10 Mastery Levels (2,500 Gems)
  • Cosmetics:
    • 1 Ashiok, Nightmare Muse Card Style (1,200 Gems)
    • 1 Elspeth, Sun’s Nemesis Card Style (1,200 Gems)
    • Ashiok Mosaic Sleeve (1,200 Gems)
    • Elspeth Mosaic Sleeve (1,200 Gems)
    • Kunoros Bonus Pet (3,000 Gems)

Without delving too deeply into the value of the Mastery Pass, and without giving any value to the individual mythic cards included, you’re looking at 27,700 gems worth of product and cosmetics. At the best cash conversion rate available on MTG Arena that’s well over $100 in value. However, because that value is split between physical cards and aesthetic bells and whistles, we have to think about what the real value is to different players.

So how do we figure out if this bundle is good for us? To help you evaluate that for yourself I’m going to break this list down into three categories:

  1. FOMO (Bundle Exclusives)
  2. Aesthetic/Cosmetic Enhancements
  3. Actual Packs and Cards

Fear of Missing Out on Bundle Exclusives

Believe me when I say that I understand your plight when we talk about the fear of missing out on cool Magic stuff. Thankfully though most of these two bundles can be purchased with gems you may already have in your account or may acquire in the future. The only thing that seems to be potentially exclusive to this bundle is the two mosaic sleeves. Now, obviously those are sweet sleeves, and if you have to have them then odds are you really enjoy the cosmetics in the game and you’ll be happy with the value you get from your $100.

Right now the Kunoros pet is available in the shop. There’s no reason to expect it will go away, so you should be free to save up your money and spend it when you want to instead of as part of this $100 bundle. You could grind the gems for free by playing drafts, or you can just save up your cash until a time that makes more sense for you to spend it. You’re not missing out.

Likewise, card styles and the mastery pass and extra levels, and packs of cards can all be purchased at a later point in time. So again, unless you really, really, really, really, really need those mosaic sleeves, you can cast your FOMO to the side for this one.

Aesthetic/Cosmetic Enhancements

If you’re a fan of MTG Arena’s cosmetics, which is to say you love card styles, exquisite sleeves, and pets, then this bundle was made for you. You’re talking two mythic planeswalker card styles, two incredibly unique sleeves to employ, and that adorable pet three-headed dog. The retail value as mentioned above is 7,800 gems which has a rough cash equivalency of $39.00.

And then there’s the Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass. With a retail value of 3,400 gems that brings our cash equivalency up to $56.00 and the question then becomes, will the Mastery Pass give me another $44.00 in value or not? While we don’t have any details yet for the upcoming season, we can look at the Throne of Eldraine Mastery Pass for a bit of an idea of what to expect.

  • 1 Exclusive Pet (3,000 Gems)
  • 1 Exclusive Avatar (500 Gems)
  • 1 Exclusive Exquisite Sleeve (1,200 Gems)
  • 1 Exclusive Exquisite Sleeve (At Level 100, so I’m Not Counting It)
  • A ton of Card Styles

Another 4,700 Gems worth of shiny bling brings our total retail value up to 15,900 gems, a cash equivalency of $79.50, and that doesn’t scratch the surface on the Card Styles included with the mastery pass. Even if you only knocked out the first 50 levels of the Throne of Eldraine Mastery Pass you still ended up with an additional 22 styles than you would have otherwise, not to mention some free gems as kickbacks.

All of that is to say, if you are a big fan of the aesthetic side of the game, then you will likely get back your $100 in value just from the cosmetics received in the bundle, meaning the extra 50 packs and two free sealed events are purely bonus on top of the value you already received. However, if you’re only kind of into these things, or maybe you only like pets and avatars but don’t care much for sleeves and styles, then this may not work out for you on its own.

Actual Packs and Cards

Packs on Magic the Gathering Arena are worth exactly one dollar. This is why, previously, the 50-pack pre-order bundle that cost $49.99 and came with a sleeve and a mythic card and/or style was essentially fair value with a small bonus. But, if you’re looking to play competitively and collect full sets of MTG Arena cards, you don’t actually have to spend a penny.

You just have to draft, as much as possible. I won’t get into the details, but you can read this article to learn more.

So, essentially, cards on MTG Arena are free – but what isn’t free is your time. In order to collect four copies of every single rare in a set you need to open upwards of 200 packs, or more depending on how you plan to use your wildcards. That takes time, and as we just said, time is money. So for those of you who want or need a shortcut to 200 packs, the best rate you can get from MTG Arena is one dollar, per pack.

Except when it comes to the Mastery Pass.

For 3,400 gems, the Mastery Pass awards up to 20 extra packs of Standard-legal sets, a value of 4,000 gems. On top of that you get a ton of Mythic and Rare individual card rewards which also go a long way to completing your collection. Lastly, by level 100 you’ll have collected 8,500 gold and 2,000 gems, which gets you into a few more drafts to collect more cards.

Because of the individual card rewards, the true value of the Mastery Pass is difficult to determine. It’s easily worth more than its cost, especially if you’re being efficient about how you open packs. But is the value worth the full cost of the bundle?


We’ve looked at two different player types here: those who are invested in the aesthetic of the game and those who are invested in collecting every card in the game. If you fall into both categories than the double pre-order bundle is a slam dunk investment. You get a head start on completing your collection of cards from Theros Beyond Death and you get to look good while doing it.

If, however, you only fall into one of those categories, then the value is more-or-less breaking even, and then only if you really dedicate yourself to that side of the experience. So here’s my advice to those of you who aren’t interested in the complete package:

  • If you’re all-in on grinding drafts, collecting full sets, and playing competitively with no care for aesthetic, then only buy the Ashiok bundle, and then use gems in-game to buy the mastery pass.
  • If you’re just here for fun, want to look good doing it, but don’t care about competitive play or collecting full sets, then you should pick up only the Elspeth bundle which gets you some great sleeves, avatars, pets, and styles.
  • If you love absolutely everything about MTG Arena than rest easy knowing that your $100 investment is going to produce a lot of value for you.

Last but not least, don’t spend the money if you don’t have it. I know I said this at the top but it warrants repeating. Magic and Arena are luxury products. You can play Arena for free. Please check out my other content on how to maximize your time spent on Arena without putting money into it if you’re not in a position to do so. If you have a gambling addiction please call the national hotline at 1-800-522-4700 in the United States or check this list of international help lines.

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