Why you should invest in Draft Booster Boxes

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Or rather, why you should not invest in Collector Booster Boxes or Set Booster Boxes.

My main proposition is that over time Draft boxes will always be bought and opened by players to draft. Collector boxes and Set boxes on the other hand do not share the same fate.

Some people will open them for either the opening experience or to try to make a profit on the cards, but I don’t expect that to become a big thing. The collector scene in MTG historically doesn’t share a big interest in complete modern sets either, at least not to the extent we see in Pokemon for example. I believe Magic will forever be a players’ game, even though WotC is pushing hard for it to be more collectible.

Therefore I think that Draft boxes are the best and safest investment if you have to pick between Draft, Collector and Set boxes.

In order to get an idea of whether they really are a good investment I decided to compare last year’s prices with today’s prices for the recent sets released more than a year ago, this can be seen in the sections below. The price data is gathered from EchoMTG and is taken from the last week of September. Dollar values and percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number for ease of reading.

Draft Booster Boxes

Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt$99$87-$12-12%
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms$105$99-$6-6%
Strixhaven: School of Mages$102$99-$3-3%
Zendikar Rising$94$100+$6+6%
Core Set 2021$108$127+$19+18%
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths$115$121+$6+5%
Theros: Beyond Death$112$116+$4+4%
Throne of Eldraine$117$165+$48+41%
Core Set 2020$123$126+$3+2%
War of the Spark$157$159+$2+1%
Standard Sets
Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Modern Horizons 2$210$196-$14-7%
Time Spiral Remastered$255$251-$4-2%
Commander Legends$118$117-$1-1%
Double Masters$512$595+$83+16%
Modern Horizons$278$269-$9-3%
Non-Standard Sets

Collector Booster Boxes

Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt$196$132-$64-33%
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms$174$146-$28-16%
Strixhaven: School of Mages$226$209-$17-8%
Zendikar Rising$221$268+$47+21%
Core Set 2021$215$268+$53+25%
Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths$277$249-$28-10%
Theros: Beyond Death$227$214-$13-6%
Throne of Eldraine$356$323-$33-9%
Standard Sets
Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Modern Horizons 2$340$394+$54+16%
Commander Legends$409$563+$154+38%
Non-Standard Sets

Set Booster Boxes

Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt$103$93-$10-10%
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms$89$94+$5+6%
Strixhaven: School of Mages$92$96+$4+4%
Zendikar Rising$106$104-$2-2%
Standard Sets
Set1 Year agoToday+/- ($)+/- (%)
Modern Horizons 2$230$218-$12-5%
Non-Standard Sets


The main takeaways I found when looking at the data are the following.

Draft Booster Boxes seem to go above their retail price roughly 2 years after release and in general offer steady but slow returns, though there are notable exceptions. Throne of Eldraine has risen 41% from $117 to $165 for example. But also War of the Spark is of interest, this set did not show any significant growth in the last year, just 1% from $157 to $159, but it is significantly above retail price already, so it would not have been a bad investment if you had bought it sometime after the release.

Collector Booster Boxes have a lot more variance among to them, I think there will be hidden gems in terms of value, but there will also be misses. I wouldn’t really feel comfortable giving investment advice on them, perhaps the only thing worth mentioning is that sets with more notable cards may be doing better, but in reality it is too early to tell. One thing is for certain though, Collector Booster Boxes are not a scarce product, they only have one print wave, but it is still a significant one, and they seem to only be popular directly after the release of a set, unlike Draft Booster Boxes. Maybe products like the Dominaria United Collector Booster Box can change the tide a bit with their Lost Legends cards, for that you may also want to check out my article: The hunt for the Lost Legends.

Set Booster Boxes are something I will tell you to stay away from, if you ever thought about investing in them. Long-term I just don’t see any appeal to them. They are admittedly a nice way though of opening a good amount of cards and getting more Rares and Mythics as compared to Draft Booster Boxes, and are a lot cheaper than Collector Booster Boxes too. They do provide more value than Draft Booster Boxes, however they usually only get opened when a new set releases. Draft Booster Boxes on the other hand can provide value forever, as long as players will be drafting. And compared to Collector Booster Boxes they lack the highest rarity of cards and thus are not interesting to open after the release hype around a new set is over.

Looking at all the available data I would recommend you to invest in Draft Booster Boxes, if you have to pick between Draft, Collector and Set boxes. Of course there are other MTG-related investments too, for example Reserve List cards, graded Alpha/Beta/Unlimited cards, Secret Lair product, and much more, but those are not covered in this article, I may cover them in a later article.

One word of caution though is that only very rarely it is a good idea to buy a mass-produced box directly after release. Usually the price can and will drop and only then go upwards again. So I would suggest to wait at least a few months before buying and ideally wait until boxes are either out of print or until stores are carrying significantly less product of it.

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