A dud of a booster pack

I’ve mentioned before what a lottery-like experience opening booster packs is, and today’s experience only goes to show it. What a dud!

I was buying some sleeves and boxes today and figured why not a booster pack just for fun – after all, you never know! I should have known… Cost of booster pack: $3.99. Retail price of singles (including the land and the token card): $3.54. I actually lost money on the deal! To top it off, while the rare was decent, it was decent enough that I had already bought one, and with my proxy policy, I hardly needed a second. The only way I get any value for it now is if I can trade it (the online store buy price is only $1.00).

Let’s take a quick looksie, shall we?

First, the Limited fodder – might be fine if you are booster drafting, but I was never going to need one of these for even my off-the-beaten-path, weak-junk constructed decks:

Loxodon Convert – a 4/2 for 4 vanilla creature. Enough said.

Vapor Snag – I don’t play a lot of bounce spells, although I have been working on a post about this very card and its ancestors (watch for it).

Thundering Tanadon – a 5/4 trampler for 6 mana (or 4 mana plus 4 life). Color me unimpressed.

Death-Hood Cobra – a grizzly bear that you can sink lots of mana into for very small returns!! My son does love a guy with deathtouch, though…

Then there are the interesting cards that I’ve either already ordered or wasn’t really excited enough to order:

Evil Presence – I like this card, and already have some from earlier sets. A swampwalking deck seems like fun (I used to have one built), and so does turning off a manland for one mana (although it’s probably not a good enough answer for the pros – it’s probably not better than Spreading Seas after all). So who knows, this may even see some play from me.

Scrapyard Salvo – this begs to be built around in some way, except you’ve got to wonder how a game is going if all your artifacts are in the graveyard. I’m almost tempted to try it in my Kuldotha Red deck – it does add a little reach to the deck, but then I’d probably have to put the Panic Spellbombs back in, and I wasn’t too impressed with those.

Forced Worship – I suppose this is OK. It’s seems handy to be able to move it around, but it doesn’t shut down abilities. There are better versions of this type of card out there.

Viridian Betrayers – a card that could be a complete dud in your hand if you haven’t been able to hit them for poison yet… you might just be better off paying one more mana for Tel-Jilad Fallen, which at least has infect all the time and might get by some artifact creatures. Of course, if you’re casting this guy on turn three and haven’t done any poison damage yet with your Green infect deck, you might have bigger problems than a part-time infecter. Maybe I’ll try it…

Geth’s Verdict – The ‘sacrifices a creature’ clause means you can sometimes get their untargetable dudes, assuming that’s all they have on their side of the board. So, if they’re relying on Thrun FTW, you might just have an answer, otherwise, you might prefer some more specific removal. Not bad, but just as liable to go astray.

Pristine Talisman – I already ordered four of these for my lifegain deck, although they may not even make the cut there. I think this should only cost 2 mana at most, frankly.

Cathedral Membrane – I already ordered four of these. This guy is begging to hook up with something that lets him block more than one guy (Valor Made Real or Entangler). Not sure it’s really going to be worth it, though…

Reaper of Sheoldred – I hadn’t paid much attention to this, mainly because it costs 5 to cast, but since it doesn’t have to attack to help the team to victory, and it looks like a pretty decent wall, I may throw this guy into my poison deck.

Viral Drake – I already bought a couple of these for my UB controllish poison deck, and I don’t think I’ll want a third, but who knows – he has the potential to put your opponent on some sort of a clock…

And then there’s the rare: Myr Superion. I’m disappointed, not because I don’t love this guy – I do! – but because I already bought one for over $2, and you obviously need four in the deck, so proxying was my plan. Trading it for something comparable is now my only hope. I may need to get a little more active in the local Magic scene just so I can trade my dud rares. Either that, or this guy becomes a constructed powerhouse and shoots up in price (like my Splinter Twin).

So, today’s lesson: a single booster pack is more likely to be a dud than a stud.

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