Last updated on January 27, 2024
Koth, Fire of Resistance | Illustration by Eric Wilkerson
Preorder bundles in MTG Arena aren’t new, but Wizards found a way to make them new(ish). ONE offered us flavorful options. Three bundles, each with an iconic character from the set’s story lead the way. And they keep coming back set after set.
The MTG Arena Play bundle has been around for while with a few different iterations, and it came back yet again with some tweaks for Murders at Karlov Manor. This time it’s a preorder bundle fronted by the legendary Azorius detective, and is made for players who play a lot of Limited. It’s best for those who want to climb the MTGA ladder and try their hand at competitive Arena tournaments with Qualifier Play-In events.
Three preorder bundles are available for purchase, and the Play bundle goes for $24.99/€24.99. You can buy them starting about three weeks before their set drops, and only up until a few days before the paper release when the set is released on Arena.
The MTG Arena Play bundle comes with:
- 1 legendary character card sleeve
- 1 legendary character art card style
- 1 legendary character card
- 2 Player Draft tokens
- 1 Sealed token
- 5 Play-In points
The MKM Play bundle is fronted by Alquist Proft, Master Sleuth, the legendary detective in the middle of Murders at Karlov Manor.
Pass, play, and pack bundles each cater to a different kind of MTG Arena player. The Play bundle is for those whose main priority is playing plenty of Limited and competing in MTGA tournaments on the way to the MTG Arena Championship.
These bundles are more catered alternatives to the regular set preorder bundles of the past. They each offer a collection of items aimed at specific ways to play on and enjoy Arena.
The Play bundle caters to players who are most interested in actually playing Sealed and Draft events when a new set drops, and even pursuing competitive MTG Arena play. It comes with tokens and Play-In points to get you started on the right foot in the new competitive season. The legendary card and cosmetics are just fun, flavorful bonuses.
You can only buy one of each preorder bundle, but you can buy all three bundles if you want the full suite.
Play-in Points appear in your top bar, near your wildcard count and any draft tokens you have stashed away.
Assuming you use everything the Play bundle offers, then yes, it’s worth buying. The bundle goes for $25, which just so happens to be what those Sealed and Draft tokens are worth on their own. Throw in a few cosmetics and a quarter of the Play-In points you need to enter a Qualifier Play-In event and you’re more than breaking even.
It’s hard to say what exactly a Play-In point is worth since there’s no way to buy them; you just have to earn them by winning in various MTGA events. If you’re interested in the competitive side of Arena, those 5 Play-In points definitely make this bundle worth the price.
If you’re only interested in the character cosmetics in the Play bundle, you might be able to get your hands on them through codes on MTGACodes. You won’t be able to get the bundle itself there since it’s a preorder bundle, but the cosmetics are always a possibility.
Whether or not they’re a Play bundle exclusive that will never be available for individual purchase remains to be seen. It’s possible it'll show up in the Arena Store at some point, so there is hope that you’ll be able to get it in the future.
If you’re not interested in Play-In points and Qualifiers and those cosmetics just aren’t doing it for you, you can always buy your Draft and Sealed entries like everyone else. Traditional and Premier Draft entries both go for 1,500 gems, while Sealed events cost 2,000 gems to enter.
If you’re on a tight budget but still want those Play-In points, the only other way to get your hands on them is to play and win events on Arena. Almost all permanent events offer the points as a reward for the max wins, along with each set’s Traditional Draft event.
I think WotC should lower the price a bit to make it a real no-brainer, because while the Play bundle is technically worth the price considering what you’d have to pay with both your time and money to get the contents (card and cosmetic aside) on their own.
New products are always subject to change depending on their reception, and lower sales would incentivize them to knock the price down a few pegs in the hopes of a bigger overall return. We’ll just have to wait and see what the Play bundles look like come the next set.
Wrenn and Realmbreaker | Illustration by Cristi Balanescu
And that’s all there is to know about the MTG Arena Play bundle! I think these preorder bundles are an inventive way to approach the product, if nothing else, offering collections that are more suited to different ways to play Arena. The Play bundle is a good way to get the most bang for your buck if you’re only interested in Limited and competitive play.
What do you think of these preorder bundles? Is the Play bundle more your style, or does one of the other two pique your interest? Let me know in the comments below or over on the Draftsim Discord. I definitely don’t have anything better to do with my day than debate the merits of MTGA’s preorder bundles.
All right, well I’m off to see if Elesh Norn has anything better to offer. Bow to the Mother of Machines!
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