Prereleases for The Lost Caverns of Ixalan have begun, and there’s a lot players have been looking forward to. Going to your local game store to have an enjoyable experience opening and playing with sealed product is great, especially if you open some valuable goodies. Of course, having the opportunity to open booster packs from the new set is one of the things many players look forward to the most come prerelease time.
Beyond just the prerelease kits themselves, it’s quite common for lots of players to pre-order sealed product to open around this time. The Lost Caverns of Ixalan added a bunch of cool card booster slots and treatment styles for players to open, maximizing the opportunity to open something memorable. For instance, there are Special Guest cards that can be featured in set boosters in The List slot. These Special Guests highlight some awesome reprints in borderless frames, including the highly sought after Mana Crypt. There are even Cosmium neon ink variants of cards like Cavern of Souls that can be found in collector boosters!
One of the more intriguing types of cards that can be pulled specifically from Lost Caverns of Ixalan set boosters are actually Universes Beyond cards from the new MTG Jurassic World crossover. Beyond the emergence of a Jurassic World Secret Lair, you can find any of the cool Jurassic World cards in a small percentage of set booster packs. While this sounds really cool in theory, there have been a multitude of complaints regarding the frequency in which new, mechanically unique cards are pulled compared to basic Lands and Command Tower. To understand where this disappointment stems from, going over where and how often these cards appear is key.
Collecting MTG Jurassic World Cards
MTG Jurassic World cards can be found in both set boosters and collector boosters. Known as booster inserts, these cards are distributed within a premier set even though they aren’t part of the premier set themselves. Booster inserts began in 2022 with the release of The Brother’s War. Set boosters, collector boosters, and bundles all had the chance to feature Transformers cards, which were also primarily mechanically unique cards that were specifically legal in Eternal formats (Legacy, Vintage, and Commander). Jurassic World cards function the same way and appear in the same places. However, there is a difference in how frequently Jurassic World cards show up depending on the product.
In set booster packs, Jurassic World cards are designed to appear in roughly one out of every 12 packs. Non-foil versions of these cards would replace a common or uncommon slot in set boosters. In collector booster packs, though, there’s a dedicated card slot for both non-foil and traditional foil Jurassic World cards. Unlike with set boosters, every collector booster would feature at least one Jurassic World card.
For players who purchase Lost Caverns of Ixalan bundles, each bundle includes a non-foil Jurassic World card guaranteed (foil copies were guaranteed in gift bundles). In addition to the 26 Jurassic World cards, there were also two tokens that could be found at standard token rarity. In set boosters, these would be non-foil. They are foil in collector boosters. It’s possible that these tokens count as Jurassic World inserts towards the one in 12 set booster appearance, but it’s unclear if that is indeed the case.
Jurassic World Ratio Issues
Where things get a bit awkward when comparing Jurassic World cards to Transformers cards is that, in the case of the 26 Jurassic World cards, six of them are actually not mechanically new. 20 of the Jurassic World cards are new rares, but the other six cards are simply one of each basic Land and Command Tower. These Lands feature unique double-faced versions with new art, but generally speaking, most players would rather open new Jurassic World rares than basic Lands. This wouldn’t necessarily be problematic if players had the same chance of opening basic Lands as new cards, but lots of players experienced receiving the short end of the stick.
In a set booster box, there are 30 packs total. According to The Lost Caverns of Ixalan’s set booster packaging, there should be one Jurassic World card in every 12 packs. This means you’d usually find two or three Jurassic World cards in the box.
Collector Booster boxes, by contrast, have 12 packs total, and given the Jurassic World distribution, players would be guaranteed 12 Jurassic World cards in the collector booster box. The player who posted on Reddit above opened one collector booster box and one set booster box, opening a total of 14 Jurassic World cards. This total is perfectly reasonable, given the distribution of Jurassic World cards described above.
However, of the 14 cards, eight of them were basic Lands, and only six were new cards. This poses the question: is this bad variance or is this a typical outcome?
As messedupayayron points out, this is not actually an unlikely outcome. See, collector boosters have specific percentages related to how likely it is to pull what kind of Jurassic World card. In fact, there is over a 43% chance that the Jurassic World card featured in a collector booster pack will be a non-foil borderless Land. Add on the nearly 11% chance of opening a foil Land, and over half of collector booster packs will not have new Jurassic World cards in them.
Despite this information being made available back in October, it’s clear many players didn’t recognize this and were still frustrated upon opening their products. Not to mention, while odds of opening a Land versus a new Jurassic World card are given for collector booster boxes, no information is given for set boosters. Given that a one in 12 chance of opening a Jurassic World card in a set booster pack is still rare, it feels bad to open a basic Land at such a high rate. This definitely takes away from the enjoyment of opening the product.
Additionally, even with one in 12 odds, set booster boxes are not guaranteed to feature any Jurassic World cards. If that weren’t bad enough, the Jurassic World tokens that appear in the normal token slot in set boosters appear to potentially count as one of the sole guaranteed Jurassic World card appearing in Lost Caverns of Ixalan bundles. For how intriguing the new Jurassic World cards are, especially for players looking to upgrade their Dinosaur-based Commander decks, this is certainly disappointing.
It’s worth monitoring how Universes Beyond booster inserts are handled in the future, especially if you’re interested in preordering specific products.