23, May, 23

Unusual MTG Booster Box Crashes, Quickly Approaching $50!

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Article at a Glance

It is official. Players do not seem pleased with the new March of the Machine: The Aftermath set. Sure, some incredibly powerful additions are available in the set that impact powerful formats like Modern, but sealed product for the set is just… bombing. Infamous for its five-card Epilogue packs, the mini-set is something that Wizards of the Coast has never attempted before. As a result, booster boxes offering less product is, as expected, going to retail for a lot less than a 36-pack booster box offering 15 cards per pack. That didn’t stop early preorders for the MTG Aftermath set to come out higher than the average booster box, only to have it drop to $60, with the set quickly approaching $50.

What is an MTG Aftermath Epilogue Booster Box?

Because this is so different from your average MTG set, taking some time to break down the differences of MTG Aftermath, in a sort of recap way, may be necessary. The MTG Aftermath Epilogue booster box contains “24 lore-packed Epilogue Boosters to witness the conclusion of the March of the Machine storyline.” As mentioned earlier, each of these Epilogue Boosters only contain five cards.

These are the two significant differences from an average Draft booster box and an MTG Aftermath Booster box. Typical Draft booster boxes instead contain 36 packs of cards, with each pack having 15 cards in them. These Epilogue packs do contain a guaranteed foil card which is something. Draft boosters do not.

We can compare this aspect of an Epilogue Booster to a Set Booster. These do not always contain as many cards as a Draft booster does, but makes up for it by offering a guaranteed foil card and a strong chance at opening multiple rare cards in one pack. The opportunity of opening multiple rares also exists in Draft and Epilogue boosters, but are much more unlikely.

Either way, this aims to outline the differences between typical MTG booster boxes and this new MTG Aftermath one. Players purchasing these boxes are getting fewer physical MTG cards than one would find in a typical booster box.

‘Common’ Uncommons

Enlarging the difference between the opening experience more between these products is the ghastly repetitive nature of the uncommon cards. You commonly get four uncommon MTG Aftermath cards in each Epilogue booster (occasionally, you will get less), but there are only 15 uncommon cards in the 50-card set. This means you can collect all of the uncommon MTG cards in just four packs of Epilogue boosters – leading to a ton of duplicates in a box of 24 packs.

The Cheapest Booster Box Ever

One of the biggest criticisms in regards to the MTG Aftermath product was the price. The creation of a new mini-set itself wasn’t well-liked by many MTG players, but the biggest issue for many was that, what was essentially a mini-booster box, was priced above what the average Draft booster box would be.

As demonstrated by TCGplayer’s market price history, the MTG Aftermath booster boxes (not the Collector ones) started at $120, even more than the $100 average for many Draft booster boxes! That said, we have to keep in mind that this is a preorder price.

For reference, preorder prices for MTG product are commonly excessive. This is because the secondary market does not yet have an appropriate amount of supply to meet the demand that hype generates for a new product. While this is seen with other booster boxes, like the March of the Machine Draft Booster, which also had a price of around $120 during the preorder season, card singles are perhaps the best example of this. Searching up almost any MTG bulk rare card from a recent set, especially one that had some hype during prerelease season that did not translate, will reveal that the card had a grossly inflated secondary market price during preorder season.

A lot of the card singles that make headlines are the ones that unexpectedly see huge increases, but that’s because these cards are the exception to an overwhelming rule. Almost every MTG single follows the pattern of having a price during prerelease season that crashes as a result of the marketplace getting flooded with copies of it. What is unusual, however, is to have a booster box crash this much.

Will it Keep Going Down?

According to recent TCGplayer sales, the average price for an MTG Aftermath box is currently around $60. This is incredibly cheap for a typical MTG booster box – albeit this is not a typical booster box. Recent sales suggest that prices for the MTG Aftermath booster boxes may drop even further to $50, with a portion of boxes selling for just $53. For the time being, however, $60 seems to be the asking price for these Booster Box products, making them the cheapest booster boxes we’ve had in quite some time – even though it may be somewhat difficult to truly call these booster boxes.

Even though this MTG Aftermath booster box and a March of the Machine Draft booster box had the same preorder pricing, an MTG March of the Machine Draft booster box is still selling for around $110 according to TCGplayer. This should, hopefully, help illuminate how unusual this box is. Interestingly, $60 may not be an outlier, but instead, the price that this box deserves.

Read More: Common MTG Lord of the Rings Promo Currently Worth $100+!?

Is the MTG Aftermath $60 Booster Box Worth it?

For reasons that a lot of the community has already outlined, singles are definitely the way to go for the MTG Aftermath set, even at these prices. Strictly from a financial perspective, however, as prices continue to decline, this is becoming a tricky question to answer. Buying a box of MTG Aftermath when prices compare to those of a normal booster box is a very difficult decision to justify, but the price difference between boxes of MTG Aftermath and normal booster boxes are now quite different.

Like most booster boxes, MTG Aftermath also has its chase cards. Just one copy of Nissa, Resurgent Animist appearing in your booster box nets you $40, meaning the rest of the contents of your box only need to cost $20. Should two Nissa appear, you’re already ahead on your purchase!

The catch? Mythic rares have an even lower open rate per box than an average MTG booster box. On top of that, Nissa is far from the only Mythic rare card available in the MTG Aftermath set. If other cards had a significant secondary market value in this domain, this could significantly bump up the expected value in an MTG Aftermath box. Karn, Legacy Reforged and Ob Nixilis, Captive Kingpin are currently selling for around $13-15, so there is some value in other potential cards in the set. Of course, this is excluding special variants found in Collector Booster packs.

Outside of Mythic Rare cards, the most expensive card in the entire set is Training Grounds. Selling for about $6, Training Grounds saw a huge price drop thanks to this great reprint. This is the only rare in the entire set that currently has a value that is higher than the $2 mark.

Finally, even though there are some insanely powerful uncommon cards in the set like Filter Out and Reckless Handling, all of these cards do not have any meaningful value because of how easy they are to open.

Read More: Old MTG Combo Resurfaces, Causing 350% Price Spike!

A ‘Reasonable’ Price – But Buy Singles Anyway

According to MTGstocks.com, the average expected value of an MTG Aftermath box is around $71. This is slightly above the price of a booster box, which is the relationship between most prices recorded on this site. This hints that the $60 price that the MTG Aftermath boxes currently sit at is not a bargain but an average price in accordance with how other MTG product interact with their expected value. The fact that these were selling for $120 with this in consideration is a bit unnerving.

An additional note here, though, is that almost all of the value present in the MTG Aftermath set is in the Mythic Rare slot. If you should open a Nissa, or a healthy amount of Mythic Rare cards in your booster, your value is likely pretty good. If you miss Nissa, you may be out money on the secondary market.

Personally, I would advise that you stick to buying singles for this set. The opening experience for these boxes do not seem great, and since all the value of the box is in the Mythic rare slot, your openings, value-wise are likely to be incredibly volatile – with you receiving more copies of a single, likely inexpensive, card than you could ever need.

Even if the cards you are after are the Nissas, I would just pay the premium instead of taking a gamble. That said, should the price of MTG Aftermath booster boxes continue to decline, I may reconsider.

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