Average Value of MTG Packs

James Trippe

Daniel Hasday

Average Money Earned per Magic Booster

                Traders buy and sell Magic: The Gathering cards daily for up to hundreds of dollars per card. However, cards generally come off the printing box and are filled with a random set of cards. These packs have 1 rare. 3 uncommons, 10 commons, and a land, token or foil card that is randomly chosen from any rarity. Additionally, a rare now can also be a “mythic rare” one in eight times. Ultimately though, bulk buyers end up buying a lot of these packs and opening them to get the cards and sell them individually. Thus, their livelihoods depend on how much money you get from opening a pack. We want to compute the average amount earned per pack opening versus selling the pack for $4, the standard price at gaming stores. We will use three sets of Magic cards; the most recently released (Dark Ascension), the most recent core set (M12), and Worldwake. With these three sets we will determine the feasibility of selling the cards pulled from the packs by a bulk buyer.

Our null hypothesis is that the mean price of cards pulled from a pack is equal to or less than four dollars, meaning we want to sell the packs. The alternative hypothesis is that the price of the cards in the pack is greater than four dollars, meaning we want to open the packs and sell the cards. More rigorously:

Ho: μcards ≤ $4                                                                      Ha: μcards > $4

To test our hypothesis, we will be utilizing some online resources since we don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on hundreds of packs. There is a website1 that can simulate packs of any set using the rarities that Wizards of the Coast2 does to print the cards. We will pull boosters from the website and catalog what we get per pack into an excel file. We can get the average prices of the cards from another site3 and put this in the same file. With a little computer wizardry we can get the total amount of money stored in the pack. We will do this in sets of 50 packs for each set in order to have statistically relevant data.

What we care about from this exercise is that amount of money stored in each pack. Thus, we will construct 90% confidence intervals for each of the samples and reject the null hypothesis at the 10% confidence level. The reason for this is that there is little risk involved with this, and opening the packs to sell the individual cards versus simply selling the packs are pretty interchangeable once you have the packs. Thus, if there is even a slight trend towards opening the packs earning more money, we want to take advantage of the situation. Once these confidence intervals are done, another interesting trend could be whether opening packs produces a linear relationship with money earned. Thus, we can plot number of packs opened versus money earned and determine the linear relationship. For our data visualization, we will attempt to compare the average money earned for each of the three sets and determine which one is most likely to earn you money by opening the pack.




1) Online Free Bestiaire Magic Draft: Magic Draft. (January 30, 2012). Online Free Bestiaire Magic Draft: Magic Draft. Retrieved March 25, 2012, from http://draft.bestiaire.org/

2) Booster pack – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (March 5, 2012). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved March 25, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Booster_pack

3) Blackborder.com. (n.d.).Blackborder.com. Retrieved March 25, 2012, from http://www.blackborder.com



One thought on “Average Value of MTG Packs

  1. This looks like a great study. I have been wondering what volume of cards would be required to be bought and sold to remain profitable or at least cost neutral.

    Tapping directly into the online resources to simulate the boosters and then looping back into the online marketplace is a great approach.

    Any chance I could get a copy of the results of the study?


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