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10, Jul, 24

Surprise Sorin Reveal Confuses MTG Arena Players

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Oh the Mastery Pass, what a wonderful source of value for MTG Arena players. Whether you’re playing for free or buying it every time, it offers enticing value and cosmetics. As if it already wasn’t good enough, Wizards is now reinventing the Mastery Pass to make it even better than before.

Offering more freedom to players at no extra cost, Bloomburrow’s Mastery Pass is the best yet for MTG Arena. We can only hope that this new innovation sticks around for the long haul, as it’s nothing but upside. Upside, and for some strange reason, Sorin Markov..?

The New and Improved Mastery Pass

Bloomburrow Mastery Pass

At its core, the Mastery Pass for Bloomburrow is the same for most sets. Comprised of 60 levels, with free rewards until level 48, there’s a variety of prizes to receive. From Gold and Gems to packs and cards, the Bloomburrow Mastery Pass features all the usual best bits. In total, there are  25 card styles, 20 packs, 10 cards, eight sleeves, three companions, one Draft Token, and currency to earn.

While this is as expected, Bloomburrow mixes things up by introducing the “Mastery Emporium.” Replacing the outgoing Mastery Tree, this new system allows players to spend their earned Mastery Orbs with greater freedom. Instead of having to follow predefined paths down the tree, players can simply get what they want.

As much as this might not be the most game-changing innovation, it’s nonetheless a positive change. If you want a specific card style, you no longer have to wait to craft it while investing Orbs in styles you don’t want. Instead, players are free to pick and choose exactly what they want in the moment they want it.

The only catch to this new system is that the card sleeves in the Mastery Emporium each cost two Orbs. Despite this, the new system is still better overall since Sleeves were typically quite deep in the Mastery Tree. Ultimately, players now have more freedom to get the cosmetics they want for Bloomburrow, which is no bad thing.

For those who buy and finish the Mastery Pass, the Mastery Emporium simply allows you to get chosen cosmetics earlier. Free-to-play players, however, are the real winners here, as they’re no longer stuck following predetermined trees. Since Mastery Orbs are limited for free players, this new system allows them to actually get what they want. 

A Surprise to Be Sure

Psychic Frog | Modern Horizons 3 | Art by Pete Venters

Going into Bloomburrow, there was some suspicion that Wizards might tinker with the Mastery Pass on MTG Arena. These suspicions were more like concerns, however, as Wizards already reinvented the Mastery Pass for Modern Horizons 3. Debuting the exclusively paid Psychic Frog’s Horizon Hideaway many players were concerned this new model would be the new normal.

While there are similarities between the two prize wall-based concepts, the Mastery Emporium is a vast improvement. After all, this new innovation is still available to free players and greatly benefits them, as we mentioned earlier. While the Mastery Emporium doesn’t let players pick every reward early, like packs or cards, it’s nonetheless the best of both worlds.

Given that the Mastery Emporium is a flat improvement over the old system, we can only hope that it will stay around. Whether or not it will hasn’t been announced just yet, but we’re holding out a sliver of hope. Ultimately, we’re just going to have to wait and see what Duskmourn: House of Horror brings in the future.

Wait… What’s Sorin Doing Here?

Sorin Markov

While the Mastery Emporium is a welcome improvement in the eyes of many MTG Arena players, there is one oddity. For some reason, it appears players will be able to claim four of Sorin Markov via the Mastery Emporium. Why? That’s a very good question that Wizards of the Coast hasn’t explained in the slightest.

In theory, Sorin Markov may be one of the lucky cards getting the Imagine: Courageous Critters treatment. If this is the case, Wizards will need to add this Sorin card to Arena, to be able to sell their new cosmetic. This also implies that the Imagine: Courageous Critters card styles will be sold via the MTG Arena store.

Unfortunately, while theory seems like a slam dunk, there are a few damning holes. For example, Jace, the Mind Sculptor, is also not on MTG Arena despite having an Imagine: Courageous Critters reprint. Since Jace isn’t available via the Mastery Emporium, Sorin’s inclusion is that much more confusing.

Potentially, Jace, the Mind Sculptor could be getting a reprint via The List, which would bring them to Arena. This theory, however, feels like we’re clutching at straws as there’s been no indication of this. Sadly, we’re just going to have to wait for more information as Bloomburrow’s spoiler season progresses.

Read More: Bloomburrow’s Value Boosters Are A Major Misstep For MTG

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