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.