10, Jul, 24

Bloomburrow's Value Boosters Are A Major Misstep For MTG

Share
Article at a Glance

Just when you thought things were finally settling down in the MTG booster pack department, some fresh horror comes along. The past few years have seen a lot of experimentation in this area, with the likes of Set, Draft, and Jumpstart boosters all being tried and retired in quick succession. Things had started to stabilize to just Play and Collector boosters with the last couple of sets, but now Value boosters are here to shake MTG up once again.

This is a new option that evokes some incredibly unpopular products from Magic’s past. It also offers a marked reduction in value compared to normal boosters, doing little to assuage those who view WotC as cynical and money-hungry. Unsurprisingly, from the moment the new Value Boosters were revealed, many MTG players weren’t happy at all.

What Are MTG Bloomburrow Value Boosters?

Value-Boosters-MTG

To pull back just a little bit, let’s cover what exactly MTG Value boosters are. They were announced yesterday, in an article on the official MTG site. The article was very short and low on details, but it still gives us a low down on the new boosters.

“Value Boosters are a smaller, lighter booster that contain a handful of new cards any fan can enjoy—a budget-friendly way to experience Bloomburrow.”

Wizards of the Coast

Fundamentally, Value Boosters are a new seven-card booster pack that don’t contain a guaranteed rare. Instead, these new packs contain 3 commons, 2 uncommons, a wildcard of any rarity, and a pseudo-wildcard that could be a land, a traditional foil, or a Special Guest card.

In theory, a Value Booster has the potential to contain up to two rare cards. This is touted on the packaging for the product, as seen above. While this is technically true, there’s no guarantee you’ll get any rares, let alone two in a single Value Booster.

Unfortunately, while Value Boosters are being positioned as a budget option for players, no information in regard to pricing has been given. This is unsurprising given that Wizards of the Coast has stopped assigning MSRPs to products. Due to this, it’s currently incredibly difficult to gauge whether or not Value Boosters will actually provide any real value to players.

Despite this lack of information making a final verdict almost impossible, many MTG players have already offered their opinions. They aren’t enthused, to say the least.

Fool Me Once…

Value-Boosters-MTG-Small-Packs

Value boosters are technically a brand-new initiative for MTG. That being said, they’re eerily similar to recent products from Magic’s past. In terms of the number of cards included, they call to mind the Epilogue boosters from March of the Machine: the Aftermath and the Beyond boosters from the Assassin’s Creed set.

This is a worrying sign as the former were so bad that Wizards scrapped Aftermath sets, and Epilogue Boosters, entirely. Even the new and improved Beyond Boosters, which took learnings from the failed Epilogue Boosters, are getting a frosty reception. That said, the Assassin’s Creed set is barely a week old, so opinions are still developing.

Unsurprisingly, given these past problems, Value Boosters look like a disaster waiting to happen. Across social media, countless MTG players have been quick to point out the similarities between these three products. While Value Boosters were only announced yesterday, they appear to be almost universally hated already.

Wizards: “people hated the Aftermath boosters, we learned that lesson”.

Also Wizards: “but what if they had no guaranteed rare though?”

Exorrt

Quickly piling on the criticism, many MTG players took issue with the very concept of Value Boosters. On Reddit, TechnologyTime4531 stated, “Wow, this sounds worse than the $1 repacks you find at dollar stores.” User Dark-All-Day took things a step further, commenting, “This is unironically one of the greediest, scummiest things WotC can do.”

Value boosters may not be as bad for MTG as these comments suggest, but it’s safe to say that initial impressions are not good. To some players, Value Boosters feel like the latest example of ‘shrinkflation’, where products retain their price but offer less value to customers. With no official word on pricing, it’s unclear if this is the case. Despite this all-important missing detail, many MTG players are fearing the worst.

A Question Of Audience?

Captive Audience | Ravnica Allegiance | Art by Dmitry Burmak

Of course, a crucial aspect that’s being overlooked in a lot of early discussions on Value boosters is their target audience. A tiny pack with no guaranteed rares is, unsurprisingly, not of much use to an established player. For new players, however, particularly young ones, they could be an appealing option.

“It’s for all the grandparents who want to get their grandkids a little gift when they come visit.

It’s for all the parents who want to make their kid shut up at Walmart or target.”

NeoMegaRyuMKII

Looked at through this lens, Value boosters could be a positive addition to MTG after all. Feasibly, new players could be enticed by a low-cost option to start cracking packs. This, in turn, could convert curious purchasers into interested MTG players, but that’s hardly guaranteed. While Value Boosters might be a cheap way to crack packs, they’ll be a terrible way to start playing Magic.

If you want to get into MTG for cheap, preconstructed Commander decks are the gold standard.

Ultimately, all of these potential upsides are currently being rendered moot by a lack of information. Everything hinges on the price, and right now we don’t know what that is. Even if it turns out to be low enough for players to consider, the initial backlash has already happened.

Value boosters are playing with a handicap from here on out. This initial reveal was an undeniable misstep on WotC’s part. For this product to survive, they’ll need to course-correct for the launch itself. Otherwise, Value boosters will be joining their Epilogue cousins on the one-and-done scrap heap.

Read More: New Bloomburrow Promos Include Textless Eternal Powerhouse

*MTG Rocks is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
BROWSE