Everything you need to know about Magic Buy-a-Box promos!
A delivery came for me at work today. And it wasn’t a dinosaur onesie.
That arrived last week.
It was two shiny Buy-a-Box promos, and I’m here to tell you how great they are!
What can I find in a Buy-a-Box promo?
To celebrate the release of a new Magic: the Gathering set, Wizards of the Coast very thoughtfully provides local gaming stores with a limited supply of these very special Magic Buy-a-Box promos.
A Buy-a-Box promo is two wonderful things rolled into one: a foil, alternate art Buy-a-Box promo card (in this case, Burning Sun’s Avatar) and a Buy-a-Box booster.
Each Buy-a-Box booster contains the equivalent of two Standard Showdown packs, given away as prizes for these mini-tournaments. If you played Standard Showdown, you will know that each pack contains:
- 1 x premium card from a Standard-legal set
- 1 x foil basic land
- 2 x rare or mythic rares from a currently legal Standard Set
How do I get one?
The important question – how do I get one of these? By buying a booster box of the latest Magic: the Gathering set as soon as its released, in this case its Ixalan!
So, when you buy a booster box of Ixalan, and if you were fortunate enough to get these promos, then you’ll get nine extra cards to add to your collection: eight cards from Standard Showdown packs and a Burning Sun’s Avatar. You can get more information on the boosters and other recent promos on the Wizards page here.
Standard Showdown packs, and even more so Buy-a-Box promos, are basically booster packs made for value rather than made for draft. (Drafting these would be silly. Maybe they’ll show up in Chaos Draft one day?)
And by the Holy Light, do these boosters feel like value. After you have been cracking a few regular prize boosters or de-sleeving your draft pools, they are such a treat. Some say that buying a booster box can feel a bit like a gamble because you don’t know if you will get the cards you need for Standard, or how much trade value you will open, even though that is all part of the fun in my opinion. These “Dino-Sized” (WOTC term, not mine!) boosters seem to help smooth it over, giving you an extra chance to open the Glorybringer that will complete your Ramunap Red sideboard*, or at least something that you can trade to get one.
As much as we love variance, getting a predictable promo is nice, and I can’t think of a more fitting promo to celebrate a Dinosaur set than this hellbound ball of incisors.
What else was in the packs?
Opening the first pack, I was greeted by Sanctum Seeker, which I hadn’t played with or against at the Pre-Release, so it was new to me. I wondered what other new, cool Ixalan cards I would open as… I… flicked to the… um
Amazing, I needed one of these to complete my Standard deck!
The rest of the pack gave me a cool snapshot of the Standard sets, and a cool little Energy subtheme if I was, for some reason, playing this booster in a teeny-tiny game of Pack Wars.
The pack itself looked like this:
The other pack gave me a Fathom Fleet Captain, which I instantly wanted to put in my deck from the Pre-Release to see what would have happened if I had opened more two-drops.
Next was a Blooming Marsh, which reminded me that these packs are not just for Standard – I have to thank these lands for helping me cast my Elves in Modern! I have all the Blooming Marshes that I need right now, but a couple of months ago this would have made my day.
The pack looked like this:
I love these little packs, they feel like they would be a great reward for picking up a big ol’ box o’ Dinosaurs. They also reminded me how cool it was opening Standard Showdown packs back when I last played during Kaladesh. The value of a booster feels distilled down into a few cards, and handed to you as a prize that feels like a specific reward for getting involved with the current Magic set. Whether that’s playing in Standard Showdown or buying a booster box of Ixalan to draft with your friends, these tiny snapshots of Magic feel great.
Just something to note before I go. Wizards of the Coast only send a small handful of these special promos to participating local gaming stores (LGS). These are only to be handed out to customers who purchase or collect the booster boxes in store, often limited to one per person, and only while stocks last. Understandably, these promos are very sought after and Magic stores run out of them very quickly. If you would like to try and get your hands on these Buy-a-Box promos then please do talk to your local gaming store as soon as possible!
You can find your nearest Magic: the Gathering store using the Wizards Store Locator.
Thanks to Manaleak and Wizards of the Coast for the packs, so happy to add these cards to my collection!