Recently, there have been a multitude of chances for players at local game stores to get their hands on some interesting promo cards. All WPN stores received promo copies of Lotus Petal to distribute accordingly in celebration of Magic’s 30th anniversary. Starting with Q4 of 2023 and running through Q4 of 2024, WPN Premium stores will be given a limited supply of quarterly promos, with a different promo featured each quarter.
Now, players at WPN game stores will have the opportunity to get their hands on two more unique promos. This time, they aren’t just ordinary promos, though. They are, in fact, borderless anime cards. Given how much hype has surrounded anime cards over the last year, it wouldn’t be surprising to see these promos in high demand. Let’s start by going over how you can obtain these special items at your local game store.
How to Get Them
There are two promos available to get at your local game store: Pyroblast and Ice Out. Both of these promos are handed out at once in the same fashion and are easy to obtain. All you have to do is head down to your local store and spend at least $50 (or your region’s equivalent) on sealed product, and these gorgeous anime cards with artwork from Takuma Ebisu can be yours.
Notably, there are both English and Japanese promos available. However, Japanese promos are specific to that region, and actually began being distributed back on September 8. This specifically matched the release date of Wilds of Eldraine. Everywhere else, the English version just became available on October 9. It’s unclear why there’s such a big difference in date, but for those looking to get your hands on the Pyroblast and Ice Out promos in English, now’s your chance. Simply go into your local game store, spend the requisite amount of money on sealed product, and walk away with these promos while supplies last.
As far as the overall value of the cards is concerned, there’s a pretty big gap between Pyroblast and Ice Out. Despite getting reprinted a few times, Pyroblast still costs over $4 in its cheapest traditional form, according to TCGplayer market price. This is, in part, because the card is consistently in high demand. Pyroblast is both a Legacy and Pauper staple. Getting to counter any blue spell for one mana is already quite strong. Add on the fact that you can use Pyroblast proactively to get rid of any problematic blue permanents that managed to resolve, and you’ve got a game changer.
Pyroblast is simply an extremely efficient card, and while it is narrow, is a great sideboard card. Getting to answer bombs like Oko, Thief of Crowns in Legacy or Tolarian Terror in Pauper is super strong in conjunction with the ability to win Counterspell wars for cheap. Although the card hasn’t been available as a promo for long, the promo is available for purchase on TCGplayer with a market price of roughly $22. This price is likely to go down, but still shows that promos, especially anime borderless ones, can go for a significant amount.
Ice Out, on the other hand, sees very little competitive play. While it is a solid upgrade over Cancel, casting it for two mana isn’t reliable enough in the early turns in Constructed to make it viable in most formats. Even in Standard, Make Disappear is generally a much stronger option, as it can be used on turn two without any sacrifices having to be made. As such, Ice Out is worth under 10 cents according to TCGplayer market price.
By contrast, the borderless anime promo has a market price value of $10 at the moment, though again, these promos haven’t been around long and could decrease in value. This is a big difference, however, from the $22 for the Pyroblast promo. Of note, these values are specifically for the English version, which may have extra supply compared to the Japanese version.
We’ve seen some rather strange promo decisions over the last year, and this group of promos is no exception. We recently discussed that three of the five the quarterly promos given to WPN Premium stores are interesting typal payoffs that all hold some value. However, the other two promos, Serra Angel and especially Gaea’s Liege, were weird inclusions. Gaea’s Liege didn’t even have flavor text while the other four promos did, which was another perplexing decision.
In this instance, it seems very strange to not utilize Hydroblast as the second promo alongside Pyroblast. After all, both cards essentially mirror each other in effect, and both are Constructed staples. Not only that, but Hydroblast is naturally worth at least a couple dollars in its cheapest form according to TCGplayer market price, unlike Ice Out.
Perhaps the reasoning behind the decision to include Ice Out as a promo was to help preview the Wilds of Eldraine set. While Hydroblast may have been a more demanded promo in hindsight, these promos were announced back in mid-August, before Wilds of Eldraine spoilers had concluded. This means that there may have been higher hopes for the card at the time. Ice Out in particular makes use of the Bargain mechanic, a new mechanic appearing in Wilds of Eldraine potentially meant to be shown off by the promo. Also, with Japanese versions of the promo releasing on the same date as the release date of Wilds of Eldraine, including a card in the Wilds of Eldraine main set is pretty reasonable.
Either way, the inclusion of Pyroblast as a borderless anime promo is quite exciting. For those interested, make sure to check out your local game store early for the opportunity to grab these cool promos.
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