Kylox, Visionary Inventor
8, Dec, 23

MTG Players Outraged By Obscene 2024 Pre-Order Prices

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Article at a Glance

Unfortunately, as much as we love it, Magic: The Gathering is not a cheap game to play. Outside of Pauper, it’s common to see prices for MTG decks exceeding $500, if not many times more. Thankfully, there are a few budget options for players to consider in most formats, but, typically, powerful cards aren’t cheap.

Alongside the affordably priced refuge of Pauper, Draft has typically been a safe haven for MTG players on a budget. Whether you’re Drafting at your local game store or picking up a box to Draft with friends, either option rarely breaks the bank. In 2024, however, it seems this may be changing for the worse. 

Following the First Look for Murders at Karlov Manor, pre-orders for the set have gone live. Typically, this can present an opportunity to sneak in early and secure yourself a bargain before demand soars. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case for Murders at Karlov Manor, as prices for the set are quite frankly obscene.

Play Boosters Are How Much?!

Murders at Karlov Manor Play Boosters

Announced back in October by Wizards, Play Boosters are the big new talking point for Murders at Karlov Manor. A fusion of Draft Boosters and Set Boosters, these products are designed to be the best of both worlds. While it was understood there would be a slight price increase, players weren’t prepared for this. 

During the announcement of Play Boosters, and following discussion, Wizards stated pricing should align with Set Boosters. Currently, looking at Amazon, Set Booster Boxes tend to sell for around $120, with some variance on either side. With each box containing 30 packs, each Booster sells for, roughly, $4.

Contrastingly, a Draft Booster Box on Amazon will typically sell for around $100, or $110 for a more recent set. While this is already cheaper than Set Boosters, Draft Booster Boxes also contain more packs, 36 to be exact. On average, this means a Premier Set’s Draft Booster will typically sell for $3 or so.

Initially, while annoying, this price difference didn’t seem like the end of the world to a lot of players. Sure, no one was happy about the cost of Draft increasing, but it’s only by a few dollars. Considering that Draft would supposedly fade away without Play Boosters, they ultimately seemed like a necessary evil.

Unfortunately, while MTG players may have braced themselves for a $1 increase in pack pricing, Murders at Karlov Manor doesn’t follow expectations. Currently, on Amazon, a Play Booster Box costs a staggering $203. While this Booster Box does contain 36 packs, that’s obviously still not cheap. On average, a single Play Booster currently costs $5.64.

The Problem Doesn’t End There

Murders at Karlov Manor Collector Booster

As you might expect, after spotting the staggering prices of Play Boosters on Amazon, MTG players weren’t too pleased. Taking to social media, many players made this displeasure known as they lamented the increased cost. Between cries of “Yikes,” about the new price and speculation for a mass MTG exodus, things aren’t looking great. 

Thankfully, while $200 for a Play Booster Box is certainly shocking, this pre-order pricing isn’t industry-wide. Currently, other online MTG retailers such as TCGplayer, have the initial Play Booster Box priced at $159. While this is still a dramatic increase over Draft Boosters, it’s better than Amazon’s prices at least. 

Based on this pricing, an individual Play Booster should cost $4.44. While, again, this is a little more than expected, thankfully it may get even better. According to multiple users on Reddit, prices should fall even more. Even if the new Play Booster Boxes end up selling for around $150, many players still aren’t happy.

“Based on costs I’ve seen from distributors, at game stores a play booster box will likely cost $140-150. If Amazon stays at these prices it’ll be further proof to always buy from your LGS”

u/ripleyajm

Unfortunately, while Play Boosters might not be as bad as first thought, Murders at Karlov Manor has other pricing problems. Currently, on Amazon, the set’s Collector Booster Boxes are listed for $324. Thankfully, on TCGplayer, prices are much lower at $239, however, that’s still not cheap.

More worryingly than the immediate price tag itself is the worrying trend we’ve been seeing recently. Between Wilds of Eldraine, The Lost Caverns of Ixalan, and now Murders at Karlov Manor, prices are going up and up. Across the past four sets Collector Booster Box prices have risen from $168 to almost $240. 

Events Are the Real Killer

Massacre Girl, Known Killer

For better or worse, thanks to Play Boosters, and no doubt other factors, prices are increasing. Right now, Murders at Karlov Manor appears to be the most pricey premier set to date. Hopefully, prices will fall once the set’s release date draws near, but there’s sadly no guarantee of that. If the set turns out to be a slam dunk full of competitive staples, prices could even increase due to demand.

Beyond just the cost of packs and products increasing, playing at stores unfortunately will be getting dearer. Due to increased pack costs, and prize support, event prices may rise by more than just a few dollars. Within our area, Prereleases for Murders at Karlov Manor and beyond are getting $11 more expensive. Keep in mind that this cost increase isn’t guaranteed, as prices in your area will vary. 

Ultimately, there’s no shaking the fact that Murders of Karlov Manor appears to be an expensive set. Considering Play Boosters are here to stay, this unfortunately appears to be the new normal that MTG players are facing. Thankfully, while it is nice to crack packs, you don’t have to buy a Booster Box for every set release. Between just buying singles and Drafts on MTG Arena, there are other options to mitigate costs.

Read More: MTG Murders at Karlov Manor Common Has Format-Shaking Power!

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