You have to give credit where credit is due WotC know how to manage a collectable card game. They make the release of new sets an event. It starts weeks in advance with spoilers of cards in the upcoming set, videos about the Lore/story etc. But a week before the actual release they hold a prerelease event. This prerelease event gives players a chance to get their grubby mitts on cards from the new set a week early. Then on the actually release of the new set there are usually lots of events held by stores for this new set. A lot of money is made in those two weeks for the lgs and WotC. Shooting fish in a barrel comes to mind.
To facilitate the prerelease event WotC produce a prerelease pack for players to purchase. These prerelease packs contain everything that the player needs for that prerelease event. Which is basically a sealed format where players build a 40 card deck to play with from the booster packs in the prerelease kit they got.
Sadly these prerelease events usually fall at the wrong time of month for me or clash with a Fenland Gamers meet up. So I’ve not been to one. However thanks to the power of the internet and that marvellous use of it of online shopping. I was able to get hold of the current (for another couple of weeks) set Hour of Devastation prerelease pack.
So for the approximate price of £20 what does a MtG player get for their hard earned money?
- A rather attractive cardboard box! Which has some fantastic artwork of the planeswalker Nicol Bolas.
- A spindown d20 die.
- A challenge card – complete these and there is a prize for doing so. I’m not sure what.
- 6 booster packs. In mine I got 4 Hour of Devastation packs and 2 Amonkhet.
- 1 foil date stamped promo card
- A sheet of Deck building tips
Taking the street value of a spindown die is approximately £2, and boosters cost £3.50 each (although I think £3 might also be a price point some lgs or online traders sell them for), I make that a value of between £20 – £23.
Below is the promo card I got.
As a relatively newish player (a couple of years now) and mainly casual play, I have no idea what value cards have. A good pull for me is a full art basic land (I love these, the art is stunning), a legendary creature (potential commander in the EDH/Commander) or a foil.
At an actual prerelease event these packs give great value. Everything (except the basic lands) you need to build a deck to play with, and an evenings entertainment playing MtG. Plus early access to the cards for the new set, promo. I think it’s a cheap night out.
Is it worth purchasing afterwards? I think that it is how much value you place on the foil promo, and themed countdown die? If you were going to buy 6 boosters anyway, this way gets you a little bit more value for you money. But not an amazing amount.
Well that’s my first ever prerelease pack. It was fun cracking open the boosters. The promo card is nice. Could be really powerful in a commander deck (possibly, maybe). I must try and get to the Ixalan prerelease.
Oh WotC have a great post about sealed deckbuilding at a prerelease event here.