29, May, 24

New MH3 Battle Pass Has Players Divided Over Value!

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It wouldn’t be a new Magic: The Gathering release without some kind of community controversy. In fact, it’s almost expected at this point. Players are keen-eyed, and quick to point out any business practices they see as shady or unethical. Just last week, they expressed their displeasure at being asked to pay $50 for playsets of the Modern Horizons 3 Fetchlands on Arena. This week, the spotlight is on Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway.

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What Is Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway?

Psychic-Frogs-Horizon-Hideaway-Example
Image via Wizards of the Coast.

Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway is a new take on Arena’s Mastery Pass system, exclusive to Modern Horizons 3. Wizards have noted that they plan to run a system like this for every non-Standard legal set going forward. Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway is a test run in that respect. This is to address complaints about prior Mastery Passes that included a mix of packs, some of which were Standard legal and some of which were not.

Hideaway works like a normal Mastery Pass in many ways. You first need to purchase it for Gems, in this case, 2800. Then you earn resources throughout the season by completing Quests and winning games, and redeem those resources for rewards. The resources in this case are tickets.

You get 45 for each completed Quest, 2 for each daily win from 1-5, and 1 for each daily win from 6-10. These tickets can be earned from when MH3 releases on June 11th to when Bloomburrow releases on July 30th. You can redeem them until Duskmourn releases, on an unconfirmed date in Q4. This gives you 7 weeks to work with in terms of finishing the ‘Pass.’

Unlike a normal Mastery Pass, you don’t unlock the Horizon Hideaway rewards in a set order. You can choose which rewards you get first, which gives you scope to prioritize what’s important to you among the rewards on offer. The specific rewards offered are also quite different from a normal Mastery Pass, which will likely affect your perception of just how valuable it is.

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Points Make Prizes

Image via Wizards of the Coast.

So what rewards does Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway have in store? Let’s go through it, most exciting rewards first. There are 8 Modern Horizons 3 packs available, at 95 tickets each. You can also claim up to 10 MH3 Mythics for 70 tickets each, and one Player Draft Token for 300 tickets. These are the only rewards in Horizon Hideaway that actually impact gameplay, and their total cost is 1560 tickets.

Beyond this, there are a lot of cosmetic goodies to be had. There are 5 different Avatars available, representing iconic characters like Grist, Six, and Kaalia. These all cost 70 tickets, with the exception of Ulamog, who costs 85. There are 7 card sleeves to unlock, all of which cost 55 tickets. Again there’s an exception, this time in the Thief of Existence sleeves, which cost 100 tickets.

Finally, there are a ton of Depth Art Card Styles available for different cards in the set. You can get these for cards of every rarity, and the ticket price scales up accordingly. There are 15 Common Styles available for 2 tickets each, 16 Uncommon Styles at 4 tickets each, 14 Rare Styles at 6 tickets each, and 6 Mythic Styles at 12 tickets each.

Add all of these cosmetics up, and the total ticket cost is 1045. Throw in the gameplay rewards, and it costs 2605 tickets to claim everything Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway has to offer. Assuming you complete all 7 of your Quests each week, you can amass 2205 tickets from those alone. The remaining 400 must come from daily wins, meaning you’ll need to hit 5 wins per day on 40 of the 49 available days to get it all.

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The Value Proposition

With all of that said, is Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway a worthwhile purchase? In most cases, the answer to that question is a resounding ‘no.’ While it is cheaper than a regular Mastery Pass, coming in at 2800 Gems rather than 3400, it also lacks many of the practical rewards a typical Mastery Pass offers. The current Mastery Pass, for example, offers 1200 Gems and 4000 Gold among the rewards you receive. This reduces that 3400 cost down to 2200.

Normal Mastery Passes also offer 20 packs as rewards, whereas Horizon Hideaway only offers 8. This is a huge reduction in the most important part of the Pass, and players were quick to point it out. As Mrqueue noted in a Reddit thread discussing the Hideaway, “Clearly they are just testing new less generous rewards.” For the most part, this is true. As a product, Horizon Hideaway is simply worse than past offerings in nearly every way. No amount of fun Psychic Frog theming can distract from that.

Hopefully, the sales data speaks for itself on this one, and Wizards will up their game for the next version of this idea. But for now, it does appear to be testing the water as to what players will accept. As long as players are still buying, the rewards will keep going down, until that financial sweet spot is discovered. It’s not a great situation, but it is a realistic one in business terms. Given the limited utility of MH3 cards on Arena, we’d recommend skipping this one, both to save yourself some Gems and to send a message as to the level of value players will collectively accept.

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