Fanatic Packages and Side Events for MagicFest Birmingham, by Michael Glover

An analysis of packages available and how much each one offers in return.

MagicFest promo Lightning Bolt

I’d like to start by saying that I love Magic Fests/ GP weekends. They are my primary source of paper Magic; I’m able to catch up with people, buy and trade cards, expand my Goblin Guide artwork collection, and most importantly sit down, play Magic and (hopefully) walk away with some prizes. That last aspect does stand out. Being honest, I always want to leave a weekend with at least a booster box worth of prize Tix. I can’t see myself playing the main event for hours on end to risk missing the threshold for prizes. I decided that before I went to my first GP weekend and again when the prize structure changed for this season.

Side events themselves were always pitched towards the casual side, with competitive players attending for the main event.

However, GP fees have increased, with no change to the prize pool except for events with over three thousand players. With side events remaining mostly unchanged, and main events only paying out to the top 64 players, winning a round at a side event could earn more than 95% of the main event field.

As a result, players begun to turn their backs on the main event in favour of side events where they’re more likely to cash out. Those on a decent run could look to walk away with a ton of booster boxes and other high-value prizes. This, however, has had a knock-on issue. The side events were not structured to accommodate such a surge in demand. Channel Fireball have since shaken up the package system for Q3 MagicFests. Let’s take one package that was on offer at MF London as a baseline:

The London Constructed Fanatic package cost £80 and included the following:

  • Five vouchers good for any Fanatic-eligible Constructed tournament.
  • Two Turbo-Town Vouchers
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Fanatic Playmat
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Foil Lightning Bolt Promo
  • ChannelFireball Deck Box
  • ChannelFireball Lifepad and Pen

If we assume that you played in three Double Up events you would also collect 3 non-foil Lightning Bolts.

The cards and extras that came with your package were advertised as a freebie but still held value on the trade floor. At the start of the event, I asked all vendors for trade-in prices for the Bolts, with the highest offering £8 for non-foil and £16 for foil.

At this rate, you could cash your Bolts, both the foil and the 3 non-foil one you got from Double Up events, for £40, half of the cost of your package. I saw offers of £5 for the playmat, while the two Turbo-Town vouchers were worth £8 in Tix, easily giving us just over £10 back, and bringing the entry cost to £30 for 5 event entries. Since double up events paid double reward Tix, we will count them as being worth two events each. This means we are paying £30 to play 8 events at a cost of £3.75 an event. Paying 300 Tix for going 3-0, you could earn around 30 packs or £60 in value for a £3.75 buy-in.

MF Birmingham’s Constructed Fanatic package offers the following for £90:

  • 2 Double Up Event Vouchers
  • 3 Regular Event Vouchers
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Fanatic Lightning Bolt Playmat
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Foil Lightning Bolt Promo Deck Box
  • Set of 5 x 2019 MagicFest Foil Basic Land Promos

This time we are only given two Double Up events, and the price of Bolts have dropped since MF London, so we can only add 2 non-foil Lighting Bolts valued at £6 each. With the foil worth £12,* and mat and land promos around £6, we can only take £30 off the price of the package, making it £60 to play seven events.

Losing one Double Up entry increases the price to £8.57 per event, over a 200% price increase. The top prize now pays 400 Tix. With the reworked Tix system, three packs cost 50 Tix, which means we’re only winning £48 worth of boosters; a 20% drop to top prize max value.

While the top place has taken a hit, the middle prizes for going 1-2 to 2-0-1 have only lost a few packs and in some areas gained. The following is a breakdown and comparison to London:

  • 3-0 won 300 Tix = 30 packs is now 400 Tix = 24 packs
  • 2-0-1 won 200 Tix = 20 packs is now 300 Tix = 18 packs
  • 2-1 won 100 Tix = 10 packs is now 200 Tix =12 packs
  • 1-1-1 won 60 Tix = 6 packs now 110 Tix =6.5 packs
  • 1-2 won 20 Tix = 2 packs now 20 Tix = 1 pack
  • 0-2-1 or 0-1-2 was 10 Tix = 1 pack, now nothing

This means that if you scored 1-1-1, the average result over the course of London you got 48 packs for £30. £1 =1.6 packs. At Birmingham, you would get 46 packs for £60. Meaning £1= 0.76 packs.

For £125, Birmingham’s Limited Fanatic package offers the following:

  • 2 Double Up Event Vouchers
  • 3 Regular Event Vouchers
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Fanatic Lightning Bolt Playmat
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Foil Lightning Bolt Promo Deck Box
  • Set of 5 2019 MagicFest Foil Basic Land Promos

If we apply the same logic for the Lighting Bolts and play mat, we can reduce the cost to £95 for our 5 events entries. Playing 5 Sealed events will also get 30 packs of M20 to build our sealed decks from, with the prize payout being the same if we were to have an average run of 1-1-1; overall we would end with another 46 packs from the prize wall plus our 30 packs from the pools. This totals 76 packs for £95 at a rate of £1 = 0.80 of a pack, around 6% better than Constructed.

Since the Q3 revamp, Commander packages are now on offer. For £90 you get the following:

  • Three vouchers good for any Fanatic-eligible Commander scheduled tournament.
  • Nine vouchers good for any Fanatic-eligible Commander on-demand event.
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Fanatic Lightning Bolt Playmat
  • Exclusive 2019 MagicFest Foil Lightning Bolt Promo Deck Box
  • Set of 5 2019 MagicFest Foil Basic Land Promos

Since these events only payout promo lands (a total of 17) and 1 foil Bolt from the package, we can only take away £17 with another £10 for lands. The issue with the basic lands is that easier access to lands lowers the value and makes them harder to offset the entry fee.

Let’s say we take £27 off, leaving us £63 to play our 12 events of Commander, 3 of them being scheduled events (however not yet on the timetable) which count as 2 rounds, this gives us a total of 15 games of Commander, each providing every player in the pod 50 Tix. If a player wants to, they can keep their 50 Tix per round and are guaranteed to have 750 Tix after they have played each game of Commander.

750 is 45 packs which at £63 gives a rate of £1 = 0.71 packs. If we were to value each foil land at £1 we would be paying £56 for 45 packs at a rate of £1 = 0.80 packs, placing it the same as the Limited package but again means you need to find a buyer for all the foils.

Commander is the lowest value of the packages, however, it is a guaranteed exchange.

You can cash in any unused Commander tokens for their 50 Tix face value, which means that you should focus your timetable around the 2 round scheduled Commander games and then if needs be can cash in the on-demand vouchers, meaning you will get your fair share of Tix.

CFB FAQ has more on the subject of unused Tix.

If you do want to convert the value of Tix into loose boosters the maths is now (Value of Tix ÷ 50 ) x 3 = number of loose boosters.

Narset, Parter of Veils (Japanese Alt Artwork)
An example of this is the oversized Japanese artwork Narset, Parter of Veils, listed for 4000 Tix at MF Detroit it was valued at 4000 Tix, after previously being available at MF Seattle for 3,000 Tix:

4000 Tix ÷ 50 = 80, which multiplies by 3 to give us 240 loose packs (at the exchange rate of 3 boosters for 50 Tix). This is over a crate of boosters at a value of £2 each, making that oversized card worth over £480. While I can’t tell people what they should and should not be spending their Tix on, it’s important to understand just how much theses headline prizes can cost.

I do hope that this has provided you with information on the new format, and you have an amazing time at MF Birmingham, whichever event or package deal you opt for. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

*Prices taken from Union County Games and had changed to £10 at time of publication.

Fanatic Packages and Side Events for MagicFest Birmingham, by Michael Glover
Fanatic Packages and Side Events for MagicFest Birmingham, by Michael Glover
An analysis of packages available since Channel Fireball's update, and how much each one offers in return.
http://www.Manaleak.com
Manaleak.com

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