Last updated on January 27, 2024

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines - Illustration by Martina Fackova

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines | Illustration by Martina Fackova

All Will Be One brought us plenty of new things. New versions of our favorite characters, the different layers of New Phyrexia, and the true form of Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines. I wasn’t expecting her to present us with a new kind of preorder pack, but that’s what I get for presuming anything about the all-powerful Praetor, now, isn’t it?

What exactly did Mother have for us, you ask? Bow down and praise her reverence; it’s time to pay our respects and find out!

What Is the Pass Bundle in MTGA?

March of the Machine preorder bundles

MTGA’s Pass bundle is a preorder bundle that comes with a playable card, a few cosmetics and its set's Mastery Pass. It’s probably only appealing to you if you’re a Mastery Pass lover. Or, you know, a devout follower of the legendary character.

There are three preorder bundles available, and the Pass bundle sells for $14.99/€14.99. They go on sale about three weeks before their set release and go away when the set is released on Arena (a few days before the paper release).

What Comes in a Pass Bundle?

The MTG Arena Pass bundle comes with:

  • 1 legendary character's card sleeve
  • 1 legendary character's depth card art style
  • 1 legendary character's card
  • Mastery Pass

ONE‘s Pass bundle was actually a bit of a better deal because it came with a Flensing Raptor pet as well. The companions are now sold in aisle eight just past the sleeves. Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines was the leader of the first Pass bundle's cosmetics.

The Murders at Karlov Manor Pass Bundle highlights Kaya, Spirits Justice, one of the central detectives in the murder mystery.

Pass Bundle vs. Play Bundle vs. Pack Bundle

While we’ve seen the Pack and Play bundles in previous sets, ONE was the first time we were offered a Pass bundle. It was split out from old Pack bundles that offered both a collection of packs and the Set Mastery. The Pack bundle offers, well, packs (go figure), and the Play bundle comes with Limited Play tokens and some Play-In points.

They’re all pretty self-contained and don’t have a lot of overlap. But, realistically, if you’re a well-rounded MTGA player then you might see a little (emphasis on “little”) value in all three.

Why Do They Exist?

The “why” of Wizards often, unoriginally, comes down to their bottom line. What makes them the most money? How do they keep their customers happy while still squeezing them for every last dollar they can? Offering bundles that technically give you more than you pay but only just barely is one way, I guess.

The less cynical answer is that these preorder bundles each cater to a different kind of Arena player. Which is the angle WotC was probably going for, sure, but they’re maybe getting a little too specific.

Can You Buy More Than One?

You can only buy one each of the three preorder bundles, but you’re more than welcome to get all three if it suits your fancy.

Is the Kaya Pass Bundle Worth Buying?

Eh, the Kaya Pass Bundle is sort of worth buying? The Mastery Pass costs 3,400 gems if you buy it straight from the Arena Store, which is equal to about $17. The Pass bundle costs about $15, so you’re technically getting more than you pay for right off the bat. Then there’s the card and cosmetics to consider.

If you know you’re going to pay the money for the Mastery Pass, there’s no harm in getting it for a little cheaper with some aesthetic bonuses thrown in.

Alternatives to Pass Bundles

Buy Codes at MTGACodes

If all you really care about are the aesthetics on offer here, you might get lucky buying cosmetic codes from MTGACodes. There’s nothing that officially says the card sleeve and style are preorder exclusives, so it’s possible (if not probable) that they’ll be up for grabs again sometime in the future.

Buy the Mastery Pass

Aside from cosmetics, the only other way to get the contents of the Pass bundle is to buy the Mastery Pass. There’s nothing else to get from the bundle and there’s no way to get the Set Mastery than to just buy it, so. That’s that.

Should the Price for Pass Bundles Be Lowered?

Honestly, I’m less concerned with the price for the Pass bundle and more concerned with what’s on offer. It’s just ever so slightly more bang for your buck, sure, but it’s just so boring. The Mastery Pass, a card and a handful of cosmetic items? That’s it, Wizards, really? And you decided to give one of said cosmetics to the Play bundle instead? Weird take.

This bundle would make a lot more sense and maybe even be worth splitting off from the Pack bundle if it offered something like a +10 level boost or a limited XP bonus.

Wrap Up

Moment of Truth - Illustration by Rovina Cai

Moment of Truth | Illustration by Rovina Cai

I’d love to say that Mother has blessed us with something great, but, well… not everything can be a winner, right?

What do you think of the Pass bundle? Do you think splitting it out from the Pack bundle was a good move or a stupid one? Would it be worth it with some extra levels or an XP boost? Let me know in the comments below or take your complaints to the Draftsim Discord.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to finish building my Monument to Mother. All hail Phyrexia!


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