I finished up my last day of Theros Beyond Death with a good morning run of several wins to a few losses. This is typical for my daily gold farming grind.
I was not super excited about this set, but then again I am not really into Greek mythology. Some of the mechanics were cool, such as devotion and all of the extra enchantments that came along.
Anax was the only card I played out of this set on a daily basis. I migrated from Cavalcade from Throne of Eldraine over to the current RDW build for Theros. I did build some janky stuff and had some fun with other Theros cards, but nothing competitive like RDW was for me.
This is the third full set that I have tracked complete stats for, having tracked Eldraine Stats as well as M20 stats.
Lets just jump right into the info!
All stats started on 1/16/20 and ended on 4/15/20. This equals a total of 91 days of gameplay.
There may be a few discrepancies here and there, as sometimes I forgot to tally a mulligan or who conceded, or who went first, etc. It's close enough though. Don't look too harshly at this, it's still a lot of data that was collected. There's bound to be tiny errors here and there.
Total Gameplay Stats
These stats are from all types of gameplay, including daily gold farming in the play queue, ranked draft, events, ranked BO1, and just play testing decks for fun in the play queue.
A change for the new spreadsheet will be to track seconds. Time was rounded up or down to the nearest minute for the tracking of this set, so I feel a lot of time was not accounted for.
Daily Gold Farming and Individual Daily Deck Stats
My daily routine was to win a minimum of 4 games per day in the play queue, and complete a daily quest if able. I played more on occasion, but usually 30-60 mins a day was enough for me if I already met my daily minimums.
These stats are only for games played in the play queue during my daily farming routine.
I did play several days with a RDW variant with some other less used cards, and while I think it had good bones to it, it just wasn't as strong as the current RDW T1 meta deck.
I only do ranked draft for the cards, gems and booster packs. I really don't enjoy the format on Arena, and really only have fun drafting with a group of friends. For Arena, I do what I call collection drafting. You can more about that my article for Arena Collection Drafting.
While I attempted to kept meticulous track of each booster pack I opened, I appear to have a discrepancy somewhere. I have record of opening 97 packs on my pack opening spreadsheet. I show that I obtained 100 packs on my daily stats spreadsheet. I don't have 4 of the non-THB mastery packs that I show opened on the pack opening spreadsheet, which would give myself a total of 101. I'll have to be more careful on IKO when tracking all of this. So, here is what I do have.
Wild Card Rates
This data is for the 97 total booster packs that I tracked opening.
I've made some drastic changes to my tracking spreadsheets over the past 3 iterations and have honed it down to something I think works very well for the data that I am tracking. I only made a few tiny tweaks to it and I am ready to start tracking data for Ikoria!
I hope everyone enjoyed their journey back through the plane of Theros are are ready to see what's next as we travel to Ikoria!
Ikoria is the Land of Behemoths, but will be we be receiving monstrous value from this set's mastery pass?
WotC released the mastery pass information early this set. While we don't know what levels we will get what rewards at, we can look at past mastery mass tracks to have a pretty good guess. This will only be needed to figure out the break even point. Total value can still be obtained if you plan to complete the entire track.
How long is Ikoria Lair of Behemoths?
The length of Ikoria is even shorter than Theros Beyond Death, clocking in at only 71 days this time. The Mastery Tree is 80 levels total, with level 80 and beyond giving out the uncommon ICRs, the same as the last two mastery passes. Ikoria runs from 4/16/20 with it's last day most likely being being 6/25/20. The release date for Core Set 2021 starts July 3, Paper pre-release and Arena play generally begins the weekend before.
For active players, I am still recommending the same model of playing 4 wins per day for maximizing your gold farming ability without running into burnout.
Doing so averages out to 1135 XP per day over the course of the week. With 71 days of play, you should be at Level 80. This gives you exactly enough time to reach the final level of reward.
Here is what this looks like calculated out:
In fact, to be more accurate, we can use MTGAHelper's excellent Mastery Pass Calculator to figure this out for us once the new pass goes live.
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. Everything in the game can be traced back to an actual dollar amount at this point in time. Even individual random cards, which includes ICRs.
For more information on real world Arena values, please click on my article HERE.
Free Mastery Track
Lets start by looking at what is in the free path of the mastery track.
Ikoria free mastery track includes the following:
So all of you F2P players are getting $43.48 value for just playing the game. That's excellent value for zero dollars spent!
Paid Mastery Pass
Now, lets see what the paid mastery pass gives you this set.
Ikoria mastery pass includes the following:
This gives us a combined total of $183.17.
Thoughts on the Ikoria Mastery Pass.
Lets say you aren't interested in the cosmetic items. You are still getting $40.82 in value for virtual product at just under $20 worth of Gems. This is still a pretty decent value for any active player.
Keep in mind that when Zendikar Rising releases in the late summer, that 13 of these booster packs will no longer be used in Standard, which is about $14 in value. This still leaves us with $26.72 in value. The mastery pass costs us $19.85 in gems. This is barely worth it at this point from just a product perspective, but it's still in the positive.
It may get worse...
For those that have been playing for a while and like to draft or open lots of booster packs, then those 20 extra booster packs from older sets may be worth nothing to you at all. This brings total value to $19.13, which is not a great buy if all you care about is virtual product only.
I didn't really get back into Arena until the end of RNA, so while my collection of GRN and RNA are low, and I have less WAR than M20 and beyond, I already have crafted anything I needed from these older sets, making anything I open in those packs rather worthless for me.
I am also in the same boat as a lot of active players in the past year in that for M20 and newer, I have nearly the entire playset for all of these sets, so I won't be getting much value out of these booster packs either. The only thing of value at this point is the duplicated protected rare slot from those booster packs, and the vault progress from all the useless duplicates, neither of which I care about at this point for those particular sets.
If you love cosmetics, then this is always an excellent value. You will get your cosmetics for the latest set sooner than waiting on them to show up in the store later. Also, it appears that from what we have seen so far in the store, this is a much better value on cosmetics. Think of it as buying most of this set's cosmetics at a discounted bulk rate.
Is the Ikoria Lair of Behemoths Mastery Pass it worth it?
Today starts preview season for the new Magic: The Gathering set Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. With the new set announcement going live today, we saw some new spoiler cards, new mechanics and some awesome new art to get excited about.
As with past sets, WotC have released pre-release bundles on Arena prior to the new set launching. Are they a good deal or not?
Just like with the previous Ashiok and Elspeth bundles from Theros Beyond Death, they are offering a bundle purchase of both bundles and throwing in the new set pet, Azizi. I will go into depth on each bundle separately, and then discuss both bundles combined at the end.
Pricing and value information is all found on my main Arena site. All values shown are as of 4/2/20.
Vivien Pack Bundle - $49.99
What's in it?
The Vivien Pack Bundle mimics the previous Ashiok Pack Bundle with a slight discount on bulk packs plus some fun extras thrown in for "free". This time around we are getting the awesome Godzilla card styles thrown in! Let's see what we get!
From this we can see there is $84.13 worth of value here. The previous Ashiok pack bundle only had a value of $64.41. If we remove the Godzilla card styles ( and the $.17 value of the single planeswalker card that was not calculated previously), then we come out to $62.06 for the Vivien pack bundle. This is less value than the previous bundle at the same price.
What are we actually getting?
If you only care about actual items, being the booster packs and the Vivien card, you're looking at a value of $54.41, which still has more value than the cost of the bundle, and is still worth purchasing for the booster packs alone.
The really cool value comes into play here because these Godzilla Series Monster card styles are a brand new item for MTG. These are the new card styles that add a Godzilla style monster into the Ikoria theme, while still maintaining the original creature. Since these are basically being thrown in for free, this makes the Vivien pack bundle an exceptional value for those wanting the new Godzilla cards without having to wait for the chance to purchase them later in the Arena store.
Don't confuse the Godzilla card styles with the Collector Booster (comic book) card styles. For certain cards, we will now have 3 really cool and unique styles to choose from.
Who is this for?
This bundle is for anybody looking to beef up their collection on opening day while getting a slight savings on booster packs.
This bundle is also for those excited about the new Godzilla style art and who will want them to immediately start having fun with upon release.
I feel that since they bundled these Godzilla card styles in with the booster pack bundle, this is going to be a very popular purchase for Arena players. It includes a discounted rate on booster packs and a highly sought after and extremely exciting card style all at a great price.
Who knows if and when we might see these special Godzilla cosmetics show up in the Arena store.
Is this a good buy?
I wish had the funds to purchase this bundle. If you do, then you're getting an excellent value out of this.
Lukka Play Bundle - $49.99
What's in it?
The Lukka play bundle follows in the path of the previous Elspeth play bundle. The previous Elspeth play bundle was not really worth it. Lets see if the Lukka play bundle gives any better value this time around.
We can see from this that we're getting $65.41 in value... but not so fast!
Again, they have included the 10 mastery pass levels, which are really pretty worthless. The reason being, WotC has adjusted the mastery pass so that with minimal dedicated play, you can easily reach the last level of pass a couple of weeks before the end of the set.
Now, I like to stick with facts, and I don't like to speculate or make assumptions, but I believe it's fitting for this instance. I could be totally wrong, let me know in the comments.
I am going to assume that those shelling out $50 are probably going to be more dedicated players, who will could easily reach the end of the mastery pass well before the end of the set. My assumption is based on: Why spend money if you don't intend to play the game?
The general consensus among patrons of various online forums and social media outlets seem to have the same negative sentiment towards these 10 extra bonus levels as I do.
The mastery pass is also built into this cost. We all know what it already costs, which is 3400 gems, or $19.72.
Looking at the sealed token value, these are only useful if you had planned to spend money on gems to play sealed games. The sealed format costs 2000 gems, or $11.68/ea, to play.
The Lukka card, card style and sleeve is worth $7.99.
This brings the total bundle value, minus the 10 mastery pass levels, to $50.91. I would consider this to be a break even price. I wouldn't even consider the 10 extra levels as a free throw in since they are so worthless.
Now, if you take the Lukka cosmetics and 10 extra mastery pass levels out of this bundle, you are left with $42.92 in value for just the mastery pass and 2 sealed tokens. Since this is less than the cost of the bundle, you are losing a lot of value if you don't care about the Lukka cosmetics. This immediately becomes a bad deal.
I have lots of gems already.
Lets make another assumption here. For those talented and dedicated enough to perpetuate their gem spending, they probably don't need to buy gems for the mastery pass or for the sealed games that they play. They continuously win sealed and traditional draft games and convert their gold to even more gems via ranked draft. These players really aren't hurting for gems, and are able to play for free for the most part.
So for these types of players, again, unless they really want the Lukka swag, I can't see what value this bundle will bring them either.
Free to Play players.
F2P players typically grind away during each set, convert their gold to gems and large collections when ranked draft starts, and generally keep their mastery pass going for free. These players generally aren't going to spend $50 anyway on Arena.
This is not even worth considering for these players, myself included.
Is this bundle worth it?
This begs the question then of, who is this bundle for? I'm not really sure.
Maybe just for the whales that want it all and don't want to play as often? I really have no idea. It's a terrible bundle.
The main culprit of bad value is the 10 mastery pass levels. If WotC were to remove this item and replace it with something more useful, or more cosmetics, then this bundle would be more worth your while.
Otherwise, this is a bad value no matter how you look at it.
Purchasing Both Bundles - $99.98
You will also need to analyze the Lukka play bundle to see if this bonus pet value makes up for the huge deficit in value you receive in that particular bundle. If you removed the 10 bonus levels and combined remaining value, you are at $135.04 in value with the cosmetic items and sealed tokens from both sets combined.
Throwing in the $19.32pet as a free bonus for buying both bundles, the total value for $99.98 spent is 154.36.
Are both bundles worth it?
It really depends if you want the Lukka cosmetics or not. If you don't, then don't buy the Lukka play bundle at all. If you do want the Lukka cosmetics, and you had planned to purchase the mastery pass and 2 sealed games, then this comes out to a $.91 discount, and you then get the $19.32 pet for free. You have to have already wanted the Azizi pet the moment you saw it too to even consider both bundles as a valuable purchase.
If you did not see any value in the Lukka play bundle, and you wanted the Azizi pet, you would still come out ahead by just purchasing the Vivien pack bundle + Azizi separately.
I hope this evaluation of value and cost helps in your purchase decisions. Let me know if you have any questions or comments.