MTG Minneapolis has concluded, and a ton of huge cards, events, and mechanics were spoiled over the weekend. Up next is MagicCon: Barcelona, and Wizards of the Coast has not been shy to share details. With tickets going on sale this Thursday, we already have tons of information regarding the event, including the Festival in a Box product. Anyone can purchase these, but the idea behind them is to bring the MagicCon to your home for the many MTG fans who may be unable to attend. These have historically offered some absolutely incredible value. As a bonus, a new, highly collectible promotional card is available for any who decide to purchase it!
Endless Variants for Unlimited Copies
Ever since the Secret Lair product line began to kick off, many products offered a mysterious Bonus Slot card. These are left as a surprise to those who decide to purchase the product, adding a layer of mystery and FOMO that has turned into a bit of a lottery ticket. This is because, of the unannounced cards, there are some easier to open than others.
Among the rarer cards to find in your Secret Lair Bonus slots are a unique lineup of cards that bypass one of MTG’s core rules. Generally, you are only allowed to play four copies of a card in your decks and one copy of a card in your Commander decks, with the exception to Basic Land cards. However, there are cards that allow to run a limitless amount of copies of them in your deck.
Shadowborn Apostle has been the general example of cards that fall into this category that lucky Secret Lair customers have been opening. Still, Persistent Petitioners is another card found in some older Secret Lair products that follows this tradition. Since players can run an infinite number of these in their Commander decks (and you generally want a lot of them if you’re going to try them), giving these cards premium treatments seems like a great way to provide a ton of customization to these decks. Unfortunately for those interested, they are also very expensive.
While Persistent Petitioners and Shadowborn Apostle already have a myriad of expensive variants for those lucky enough to find them, there are other MTG cards that allow you to run an endless number of them in your deck. In fact, the first card to start this trend was Relentless Rats, and it has a new promo coming out with the MTG Con Barcelona Festival in a Box!
Thanks to the festival in a Box for MagicCon: Barcelona, we have our first Secret Lair promo card for Relentless Rats! Both Shadowborn Apostle and Persistent Petitioners have multiple variants available as a part of the Secret Lair product line, so do not expect this to be the last Relentless Rats variant we see. The card is quite simple, gaining +1/+1 for each other creature on the battlefield that is also named Relentless Rats. This can stack up quickly, considering that you’re allowed to run more than four of these.
As far as Commander goes, you can commonly find this theme behind Commanders like Ashcoat of the Shadow Swarm and Karumonix, the Rat King. The Rat tribal decks in Commander generally struggle with card advantage. They can create strong early boards, but one board wipe can completely take them out of contention. As a result, the best Commanders for these decks are ones that can help create additional value.
In terms of financial value for the Relentless Rats promo, it’s a bit difficult to pinpoint just how expensive this card will be. This Relentless Rats is not offered in the same vein as the other Secret Lair promos for Persistent Petitioners and Shadowborn Apostle. While players had to get lucky to find a copy of those, these are guaranteed in every single MagicCon: Barcelona Festival in a Box product. As mentioned by others interested in the rats, “Presumably, there will be a way to acquire the promo at the event, but those details have yet to be shared.”
Since these look much easier to access than others, the price for this Relentless Rats may be surprisingly affordable. If these bundles are not as popular, however, or should supply could wane, they may be more expensive. That said, I do not expect these Relentless Rats to be worth much compared to the hundreds of dollars you can spend on Shadowborn Apostle variants.
Are the Festival in a Box Products Worth it?
Unlike past iterations of the Festival in a Box products, two different options are available for players interested in acquiring the Relentless Rats promo or anything else these bundles offer. These tend to come around every few months, and the offerings are relatively similar to the ones from Minneapolis’ Festival in a Box. Here is a list of items available according to Wizards of the Coast:
Box 1: Festival in a Box: Barcelona 2023 – Commander Fan Bundle
- 1x Mystery Booster: Convention Edition booster display
- 1x Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander deck – Party Time
- 1x Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander deck – Mind Flayarrrs
- 1x Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander deck – Draconic Dissent
- 1x Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander deck – Exit from Exile
- 1x The Brothers’ War Commander deck – Mishra’s Burnished Banner
- 1x The Brothers’ War Commander deck – Urza’s Iron Alliance
- 1x Traditional foil Arcane Signet
- 1x Relentless Rats regular promo
Box 2: Festival in a Box: Barcelona 2023 – Drafter’s Dream Bundle
- 1 Mystery Booster: Convention Edition booster display
- 1 The Brothers’ War Draft Booster display
- 1 Dominaria Remastered Draft Booster display
- 1 Traditional foil Arcane Signet
- 1 Relentless Rats promo
As per usual, the big feature product amongst these bundles are the Mystery Booster: Convention Edition Booster displays. Worth about $289, according to TCGplayer, the card pool available in this box is quite massive. That said, you can find powerful Commander staples like Mana Crypt, amongst others, making these boxes worthwhile. Mystery Boosters also offer playtest exclusive cards, which can retail for a surprising amount, with the Slivdrazi Monstrosity selling for between $35-40. Other Commander staples, like Demonic Tutor, Recruiter of the Guard, Rhystic Study, and Teferi’s Protection, can also be found.
The Battle for Baldur’s Gate Commander precons is another surprisingly lucrative offer for Commander fans interested in these products. With Commander staples like Black Market Connections, Jeska’s Will, Deep-Gnome Terramancer, and more, these Commander decks offer a lot of potential value, but are they worth it?
In terms of whether these are good to buy or not, that would depend on the price of these – which, unfortunately, aren’t available quite yet. Expect to see these go up on the Secret Lair site soon. When they do, we’ll expand on our thoughts here. That said, these have been very lucrative in the past, so it’s something to watch out for in the meantime.