Hooray! A new set is released!
Theros Beyond Death was released today on Arena, and with that another Mastery Tree filled with awesome and exciting rewards as well as another paid Mastery Pass track chock full of even more rewards!
Even though the Mastery Pass has typically been an excellent value for active players in the past, we still like to look into each new pass to see what actual real world value you are receiving from the 3400 in Gems that it costs. Some of you get the pass for free from draft rewards, others fork out $20 of hard earned money. We will discuss what you are getting in return for supporting the game.
How long is Theros Beyond Death?
The length of Theros Beyond Death is a bit shorter than the Throne of Eldraine, clocking in at only 91 days this time. The Mastery Tree is 90 levels total, with level 91 and beyond giving out the uncommon ICRs just like the Eldraine Mastery Pass. Theros Beyond Death runs from 1/16/20 with it's last day being 4/15/20.
For active daily players, we can calculate roughly 1 level per day (per weekly average). At this rate, you should be able to complete the Theros Mastery Tree in 91 days, or sooner, considering they are still giving out the same extra 25xp per win for the first 15 wins of the day.
In fact, to be more accurate, we can use MTGAHelper's excellent Mastery Pass Calculator to figure this out for us. It shows that I should finish at level 106 if I continue to only play my 4 wins per day for the next 90 days. This gives some nice cushion for being able to travel or not being able to play for a short period of time.
Where do the values come from?
All values have been carefully traced back to actual money that you can spend in the game through Gems, or using Gold to Gem conversion rates. Cards themselves have no value, and neither do ICR's. Everything else in the game can be traced back to an actual dollar amount.
For more information on Real World Arena Values, please click on my article HERE.
Free Mastery Tree
Lets start by looking at what is in the free path of the Mastery Tree.
Theros Beyond Death Free Mastery Tree includes the following:
So all of you F2P players are getting $55.04 value for just playing the game. That's a pretty good deal for zero dollars spent!
Paid Mastery Pass
Now, lets see what the paid Mastery Pass gives you this season. Arena has a big label stating you get "$200+ Value when fully unlocked". I am not sure how they are calculating their values, but we can use my real world values to see what you're actually getting for your hard earned time or money when purchasing the Mastery Pass.
Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass includes the following:
This gives us a combined total of $194.85, which is less than the $200+ stated value from WotC, but does confirm my values are pretty close to what they are using.
Lets say you aren't interested in the cosmetic items. You are still getting $41.87 in value for virtual product from just under $20 worth of Gems. This is still an excellent value for any active player.
Thoughts on the Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass.
I think the inclusion of a Ranked Draft Token is an excellent reward. This not only gives players a chance to try drafting, but it also is the reward that keeps on rewarding. That 1 draft token is worth 45 hand picked cards, 1 bonus Arena booster pack (with the chance of more), and 50 Gems minimum. If you're good at drafting, this could potentially be worth 950 Gems total.
Also to note, the Eldraine Mastery Pass gave 2000 Gems, while the Theros Pass only has 1800 Gems total in it's reward path. I hope that this stays as a minimum for one reason.
1800 Gems is half of the 3400 Gem Mastery Pass. This means if you continuously get at least 1800 Gems with each pass, you then start to pay only $10 per Mastery Pass for all future Mastery Passes.
If you look at it this way: You get $193 in value for $10... every 3 months. If that's not a reason to support playing a game you love, then I don't know what is.
WotC TAKE MY MONEY!
So is the Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass worth it?
YES!!! This is an EXCELLENT BUY!
As the set Throne of Eldraine comes to a close, and we excitedly await Theros Beyond Death tomorrow, I wanted to reflect back on all of my data gathered this past set and show you what my experience was in numbers.
I'm a dedicated player, but don't consider myself a hardcore player. I don't play ladders (except to get into bronze for a free booster pack) and I don't play sealed. I rarely participate in Historic or Brawl, though I do enjoy those formats though).
I enjoy collecting cards in both paper and "collecting" them in Arena. I like to build my collection to be able to brew decks of any type with, though typically I stick with one deck during the entire set for daily play to farm gold and rewards with.
After having to leave my beloved Merfolk 4.0 deck behind with rotation, I was forced to find something else equally aggro. I settled in on a mono red Cavalcade build. I picked a basic meta build to start with, but even on Day 1, I scrapped some of it and came up with my own card combo. I modified it twice more to end up with Cavalcade 3.0 for my final build.
I only spent $20 for gems on the Throne of Eldraine Mastery Pass. Thankfully I had enough left over, including what I earned from the Mastery Pass, to pay for the Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass also.
Due to hand typing in most of this info into a spreadsheet after every single game, and double checking with a couple trackers I use, there are still bound to be some discrepancies from typos or forgetting to enter data. If something just doesn't match up 100%, then chalk it up to a typo, but know it's pretty close, and probably lower than the actual number.
For more information on financial values, check out my article:
MTG Arena: What Does Everything Cost? Real World Values Explained
I explain in depth how I derived these values. All of it can actually be traced back to monetary values.