Ikoria Draft Booster Boxes Have Box Toppers

February 24, 2020 | 3 min to read

Editor's Note: An earlier draft of this article refered to the box topper as "behemoth-sized." This unfortunate adjective led many to believe the cards are oversized. However, while the greatness of this bonus is indeed on the scale of a behemoth, the box toppers are traditionally-sized Magic cards.

You're probably familiar with the concept of a box topper—an individual card that's factory sealed inside every box of Draft Boosters for a given set. They're usually something extra special, and the box topper in Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is no exception.

That's right: every box of Ikoria comes with a bonus sitting right on top. We'll show you the cards as we get closer to release, but for now, just know that this box topper is unlike anything Magic has ever done.

But even without knowing card content, there are plenty of conclusions you can draw as you forecast for the set and coordinate with your distributor.

For example:

1. Every box just flat-out has more value.

We're just stating the obvious here, but there are deceptively important implications. The desirability of a given booster box is X, where X is the overall desirability of the set's contents. The desirability of a box of Ikoria is X + Y, where Y is the desirability of the box topper.

Bottom line, every box of Ikoria just flat-out has more value.

And there are even more variables for WPN members: you'll also have the Buy-a-Box promo card, plus the opportunity to put Ikoria Draft Booster displays—box toppers and all—into your players' hands a week early with the Prerelease Early Sale Promotion.

And finally, there's another variable that gives you an edge when selling boxes.

It's this: you sell boxes.

2. A sealed display is objectively better than 36 boosters.

Not every retailer who carries Magic sells full boxes. And not every retailer connects with the segment of Magic’s audience that buys them.

That's another conclusion we can draw from Ikoria's box topper: it's an advantage for stores who don't limit sales to loose boosters, and for stores whose audience is composed of heavily engaged fans who delight in cracking a sealed box. If you're reading this, you're probably both.

If you're a Magic fan and you want a box worth of product, the box topper means a sealed display is just objectively better than thirty-six loose boosters.

Even if you're the kind of Magic fan that doesn't prioritize special cards.

3. A box topper benefits even players who aren't interested in them.

Think about the last round of box toppers, with Ultimate Masters—which included every rare and mythic in the set, including some of Magic’s most recognizable and desirable cards, with new art and extended frames.

Ikoria's box topper has an entirely different theme, but the principle is the same: box toppers appeal to collectors, and any player that's into fancy and shiny.

But to a lot of players, a Tarmogoyf is a Tarmogoyf. It just needs to be in tournament-ready shape, and the rest doesn't matter. And to still more players, all that matters is where it lands in the pick order—they just want the best draft deck they can put together.

But as Michael Bahr pointed out last week, even players who don't necessarily want fancy and shiny are excited to open cards like this, because of their tradability. Pure players can turn those box toppers into Standard staples, and those draft maniacs can turn them into more drafts. Wins all around.

Add it all up and the box topper adds a huge amount value to Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths—even without knowing what the box topper is. Keep that in mind as you plan your launch order.

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