Unlike past MTG Prereleases, for The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth players will have access to everything they could ever imagine… at least in terms of MTG product. While a taste of MTG’s newest offering was always on the table during Prereleases, players didn’t always have the option to engage with other products until the official release next week. Not only has that relationship changed, with Wizards allowing complete access to all set-related products during Prereleases, but the amount of product each MTG set offers has also increased vastly.
We never used to have Set, Draft, Collector, and Commander products released with every MTG set. Back in the old day, we generally had Draft Booster Boxes, the occasional supplementary Starter Deck product, and that’s kind of it.
One of the biggest draws to the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is the uniqueness presented in the one-of-one Serialized Ring. A literal Golden Ticket, currently priced at two million dollars, this card is worth enough money to change the lives of almost anyone who’s lucky enough to open it. You can only open this Golden Ticket in Collector Booster packs, which will likely create a ton of interest in the product.
Even though countless MTG fans may crack some packs to chase the dream of opening The One Ring, only one person is actually going to find it – if it even gets found at all. You actually have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning than finding this card.
For that reason, many customers will buy some Lord of the Rings Collector Boosters, only to find that The One Ring, in its Serialized one-of-one form, is not there. This creates a lot of interest in what else the product has to offer. Following this logic, during a Weekly MTG product reveal, one commenter asked a question many players may have been curious about: why does the MTG Collector Booster product, the most expensive of the core product lines for a set, still offer Common cards?
Why are There Common Cards in Collector Boosters?
This is a big question that many MTG players may have when considering buying Collector Booster packs. For reference, Collector Booster packs are way more expensive than the average Draft or Set Booster pack. Take a look at March of the Machine, for example.
Set Boosters and Draft Boosters only have a 50-cent difference, according to TCGplayer, holding market averages of $3.90 and $3.40, respectively. A March of the Machine Collector Booster? $20 – more than four times the price of a regular booster pack. Combine this with a majority of Common cards being worth absolutely nothing on the secondary market, and an understandable question begins to form regarding whether Common cards should really be in Collector Boosters.
It should be noted that there will always be exceptions to the rule. For example, the foil version of Tamiyo’s Safekeeping from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty had an alarmingly high foil price for quite some time. The disparity is now within normal rates, but there was a time when foil Tamiyo’s Safekeeping was worth $10. If this card weren’t available in Collector Boosters, finding foil commons would be much more difficult than expected.
The final point is, according to Blake Rasmussen, exactly why Common cards are still present in Collector Booster packs. After one commentor asked Rasmussen, during a Weekly MTG Stream showing off the Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth Collector Booster Packs, why Commons are even in these products in the first place. Here is what he had to say:
“Because, they’re foil. Lots of players love to collect foils. There are certainly Commons that are good outside of draft. It is the fastest way to collect foils in Common and Uncommons.”Blake Rasmussen
Even though this is the case, to make Collector Boosters feel more special and attractive, the numbers have shifted as time passed. For a long time, a lot more than four Common slots were available in these premium products.
“You have seen as time has gone on, we have shrunk the number of Commons for exactly that reason. But its still the easiest and best way to collect Common foils quickly.”Blake Rasmussen
So, for players who do want to find foil Common cards, Collector Boosters, as Rasmussen states, does remain the best way to find them for the MTG sets that have Collector Booster product attached to it.
That said, as indicated by the decrease in the number of Common cards per pack, this is not what the majority of players are gunning for when opening a Collector Booster pack. Besides The One Ring, here are some of the other heavy hitters players have been finding.
The Other High-Ticket Items
To quickly recap, while The One Ring is definitely the grand prize players are after in the Lord of the Rings Collector Booster product, it’s not the only big hit players can find. The idea to emulate collectible Rings of Power is also held true with the new Sol Rings available in Collector Boosters.
There are three different chase Sol Ring cards you can open in these Booster Packs, and all of these have unique rarities, with all of them being somewhat scarce. As pictured above, the rarest of the Sol Rings is the Elven one, followed by the Dwarven variant, and lastly the Human card. Given their rarity, unsurprisingly, these cards are expected to be tremendously expensive. Thanks to early product openings, this presumption is already being proven.
After the entire card pool for the set was spoiled, stores quickly began featuring early openings of Collector Boosters. This led to the early discovery of a #1 Serialized Sol Ring by one LGS. This card has reportedly already been sold for $13,000!
Lord of the Rings Collector Booster Contents
Those interested in participating in the hunt for The One Ring in Collector Booster product may be interested in what other stuff can be found in a Collector Booster. As mentioned repetitively, while the one-of-one Serialized Ring is the prize that has garnered many’s attention, only one person will open it. For that reason, knowing what else the product offers can help many expect what they are more likely to be opening. Additionally, should The One Ring actually appear in your pack, knowing where to check can reduce some uncertainty, especially since the card has been confirmed to appear in the Common slot!
According to Blake Rasmussen on this week’s Daily MTG, here’s what you can expect to find in Collector Booster product:
- Four Foil Common Slots. If you open a Serialized card, it will appear in the fourth slot
- Two Foil Uncommon Slots
- One full-art foil Map land
- A Traditional Foil Rare or Mythic
- One Non-Foil Main Set Rare or Mythic Extended Card
- One Non-Foil Commander or Starter Kit Extended Card (reprints, I believe, are not included)
- One Non-Foil Showcase Uncommon. This can also be one of the Nazgul
- One Non-Foil Borderless, Showcase, or Box Topper card
- One Non-Foil Borderless Scene Card (of any rarity)
- One Foil Showcase, Borderless Scene or Nazgul Common/Uncommon
- One Foil Rare/Mythic of any Collector Booster Treatment, or a Surge Foil Box Topper
- One Foil Token Slot
Do we Really Need Common Cards in Collector Boosters?
While there is a crowd out there who simply want to get their hands on every foil card a set has to offer (I know a few players in my local area like this), there appears to be a more significant attraction to chasing the exclusive, expensive rare cards that these Collector Boosters have a chance of containing. Either way, the Commons being there versus just being skipped (and not replaced) definitely seems like the preference regarding how March of the Machine: The Aftermath was received.
This question, however, does pose an interesting discussion. Do we really need Common cards in these Collector Booster products? In the odd case where some do become expensive, it makes the other products much more alluring to open. It shouldn’t necessarily change the attraction of a Collector Booster, either. Anyone who wants a Serialized Ring will be Tempted by The Ring and give the Collector Booster product a whirl. Time will tell in regards to whether this could indicate any future changes.