Historic Anthologies was released on March 12, 2020. With it comes 25 new-old cards curated just for the Historic format in Arena.
For the previous article on past sets, click here:
Historic Anthologies 1: Is it Worth It?
There are some excellent new cards available in this new bundle. This article won't go into whether cards are good or bad or what cards are the most exciting, there are plenty of articles on this subject already. This will stick purely to the topic of value.
The previous set included 20 new singles to add to your collection, where as this new set adds 5 cycle lands, bringing the total singles to 25.
The entire play set is 100 cards.
The cost for the entire 100 card play set is 25,000 Gold or 4,000 Gems.
Real World Cost
Because the pricing structure for this set introduces a new unequal exchange rate to the economy, we have yet another data point that changes the values again. We are now looking at a calculated value of 5.8360 Gold per Gem.
This gives Historic Anthology 2 two different calculated values, depending on your method of payment:
All values are in $USD.
What's in the set?
Let's take a look at what you get in this set. The $USD values listed here are current mid-trading values in Paper Magic, and have absolutely no coloration to Arena. The Paper Magic values are listed just for fun and reference.
A quick word on Paper Magic Values
While the Paper Magic values have no connection to Magic Arena, I just wanted to show some sort of Paper Magic values, even if these are just virtual cards. I invest in Paper Magic too, so this is important to me in knowing how much free or discounted value I am getting from Arena.
For $23-$25, you are getting excellent value from this. The Paper Magic singles alone are worth $70.30, with a full Paper Magic play set being worth a cool $281.20 in value.
What this is telling you is that if you wish to play with these cards at all, regardless if they are Paper Magic or virtual Arena cards, you are able to play with them on Arena for almost a 12X cheaper cost.
Of course we don't need to state there is absolutely zero value to anything you have purchased in Arena. The minute you put money into Arena, you are simply spending it on current and future fun in the game. There is no investment value received for money spent in Arena.
Free to Play Players (F2P)
If you have a lot of extra gold laying around, and play a lot of historic, it's a no-brainer to grab these up at the gold rate, since this is the F2P method of choice and this would be completely free.
If you are successful at drafting and have acquired a lot of extra gems from winning that you don't need for the foreseeable future, then use gems, since this is cheaper than using gold.
You will need to make a choice regarding your extra gold or gems and which one is worth the cost.
Since this is such a large purchase, you will need to plan ahead on what you need that gold and those gems for in the future. 25,000 gold takes roughly 23 days to build back up with minimal play effort. Will you need that gold before then? Gems take a while to build back up too from all those draft games you will need to win.
Spending Real Money
If you spend real money regularly in Arena, you can look at this a bit differently.
Since you can't buy gold, and many items are gold purchases only, do you have enough gold to keep yourself going for whatever you may need, such as new Daily Deal cosmetics? If so, spend the gold, since you don't need it since you spend real money anyway.
Otherwise, spend the gems on this set, because, again, it's a better rate over gold for someone who actually spends real money in Arena. You can easily replace those gems by purchasing more, or through draft winnings if you are successful in that format.
Before Purchasing this entire set!
Keep in mind that either 25,000 gold or 4,000 gems is a huge purchase price. Do you still need to do more drafts? The addition of Daily Deals in the Arena Store has added a lot more gold and gem sinks lately. Do you value cosmetics items? Those new Nyx lands cost 15,000 gold on their own. They are constantly bringing back older sleeves and other deals and bundles lately.
Also consider too that completing the Mastery Pass will give back 1,800 gems over time, paying for almost half the Historic Anthologies II set, or the purchase price of the next Mastery Pass.
There is a lot to mull over.
What if I only need a few cards?
Here are the individual card values for each purchase method:
Gold = 25,000 Gold / 100 Cards = 250 Gold per Card = $.25 per card
Gems = 4000 Gems / 100 Cards = 40 Gems = $.23 per card
That said, lets take a look at current wild card values:
Using wild cards on a single set of these cards will cost you
7 x Common = $22.75
6 x Uncommon = $16.14
10 x Rare = $54.20
2 x Mythic = $32.54
A full play set, being 4 of each card, will set you back $125.63.
Why is this important to know wild card values? It helps us determine how many wild cards to spend before it becomes more expensive than just purchasing the entire set.
Remember that you also can't buy wild cards directly. You must get them from opening Arena booster packs. Some Arena booster packs you get for free, some you get from spending gold or gems over time. All of this adds up to how much free or real money you have spent in the game for those wild cards vs how much cheaper real money might be depending on your needs.
A good example of this is that 1 Arena Booster pack is 1,000 gold. Every 6 booster packs you open is guaranteed to give you a Rare Wild Card from the Wild Card Wheel. To get just 4 rare wild cards, you will need to have spent 24,000 gold on 24 booster packs. You may as well just spend 1,000 more gold and purchase the entire Anthologies set and get all 100 cards.
I have a ton of useless wild cards I don't need...
You may think that you have an abundant supply of wild cards that you don't care about, and you have every card in all the sets already.
But keep in mind that WotC keeps teasing bringing older sets back into Arena. You may suddenly find you have a big need for wild cards if that happens.
Spend at your own risk.
So, is it worth it?
This depends entirely on your needs.
Do you want the entire play set for completionist purposes? It's cheaper to just buy it using gems or gold.
Do you only need a single set for Brawl use? It's still cheaper to purchase the entire play set using gems or gold.
Do you only need a few cards for Brawl? Craft those few cards you need using Wild Cards, but do your homework first to figure out if you will want more beyond just a few cards.
Do you only need a few cards here and there for Historic decks? Keep in mind that regular constructed decks need 2-3-4 copies of each card. This can quickly add up to costing you more in wild cards than it would be to just purchase the entire set. Make sure to do your homework before crafting any cards.
I hope this article was of use to you and helped you in your decision making process for Historic Anthologies II.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
See you in the Arena!