Modern Masters 2017 – Should you buy a pack or a box?

The highly anticipated sub set for Magic the Gathering (MTG), Modern Masters 2017 will be releasing today. For those who don’t know what the Modern Master sub set is, it is a set separate from the normal quarterly release for MTG, that contains reprinted cards from previous sets. One box of Modern Masters 2017 is going for around RM960 and has 24 packs (each pack having 15 cards) with each pack going for around RM40.

Why would I pay such a high price for cards from previous sets? Well, there is a constructed format in the game called Modern, where the card pool stretches way back to the Eighth Edition Core Set n 2003. That means you construct a deck using almost 14 years’ worth of cards and as you may realize now, some of those cards will be hard to get since there are no more print runs of those sets. The Modern Masters set is designed to help out current and new players to get hold of these rare (and very expensive) cards.

Today’s article isn’t about the cards that should be sought after but instead, a little calculated estimation on whether or not should you buy a pack or a box, because as I have mentioned, it is quite expensive to even purchase a single pack.

Let’s have a look at the cards from the set and segregate it by how frequently it is used in the decks currently in the Modern metagame. Disclaimer though, that most of the cards ratings are my own opinion. Also, there is a lot of assumptions to be made here, as nothing is fixed in these calculations.


Commonly Used Rarely Used No Use
Liliana of the Veil

Snapcaster Mage



Cavern of Souls

Craterhoof Behemoth


Linvala Keeper of Silence

Past in Flames

Voice of Resurgence

Bonfire of the Damned

Domri Rade

Entreat the Angels

Olivia Voldaren

Sphinx’s Revelation

Temporal Mastery

3.33% 6.67% 6.67%


Assuming we are opening ONE PACK from a box and assuming there is 4 mythics per box, the probability of pulling a mythic is 4 / 24 x 100 = 16.67%

To get one of the commonly used cards from the mythic pool would be [(4/24) x (3/15)] x 100 = 3.33%

To get one of the rarely used or no use pool of cards (since the amount is the same) from the mythic side would be [(4/24) x (6/15)] x 100 = 6.67%

To get one of either commonly used or rarely used cards would be [(4/24) x (9/15) x 100 = 10%

To get a SPECIFIC mythic from the card pool would be [(4/24) x (1/15)] x 100 = 1.11%


Commonly Used Rarely Used No Use
Abrupt Decay

Arid Mesa

Basilisk Collar

Blood Moon

Death’s Shadow

Goblin Guide

Marsh Flats

Misty Rainforest

Restoration Angel

Scalding Tarn

Scavenging Ooze

Stony Silence

Verdant Catacombs

Blade Splicer

Cruel Ultimatum


Gifts Ungiven

Grafdigger’s Cage

Obzedat, Ghost Council

Phantasmal Image

Primal Command

Pyromancer Ascension

Ranger of Eos



Venser, Shaper Savant

Zealous Conscript

Advent of the Wurm

Aethermage’s Touch

Boros Reckoner

Brood mate Dragon

Cackling Counterpart

Call of the Herd

Cyclonic Rift

Dead-eye Navigator

Damping Matrix

Desecration Demon

Evil Twin

Extractor Demon

Falkenrath Aristocrat

Fiery Justice


Mind Shatter

Mizzium Mortars

Niv-Mizzet, Dracogenius


Sever the Bloodline

Simic Sky Swallower

Stoic Angel

Summoning Trap

Ulvenwald Tracker

Wort the Raidmother

Zur, the Enchanter

20.44% 22.01% 49.05%


Assuming we are opening ONE PACK from a box and assuming there is 4 mythics per box, the probability of pulling a rare is 20 / 24 x 100 =  83.33%

To get one of the commonly used cards from the rare card pool would be [(20/24) x (13/53)] x 100 = 20.44%

To get one of the rarely used cards from the rare pile would be [(20/24) x (14/53)] x 100 = 22.01%

To get one of the no use cards from the rare slot would be [(20/24) x (26/53) x 100 = 49.05%

To get one of either of the commonly used or rarely used cards (playables, in other words) would be [(20/24) x (27/53) x 100 = 42.45%

To get one of the FETCH LANDS from the cards would be [(20/24) x (5/53)] x 100 = 7.86%

Source: Geekspodcast

The probability to pull a playable card from a single pack is really high which shows the high density of good cards in the set, compared to previous years. Furthermore, there are various uncommons that are highly playable as well like Inquisition of Kozilek, Path to Exile, Serum Visions and a few others.

Now, to the main question, should you be buying a pack of Modern Masters 2017? If you have the cash to spend (RM40 is pricey), I would recommend buying it since as I have mentioned, the probability of opening a good card is 50% most of the time with a 10% chance of opening a sought after mythic card.

Now to get a playset of a card would require you to drill A LOT of packs, since there is only a 1.11% chance that you could open a Liliana of the Veil or Tarmogoyf. Still, the set contains a lot of playable cards, be it uncommon, rare or mythic which justifies buying a pack most of the time. Especially since there is a 7.86% chance that you would open the exceedingly hunted fetch lands, which is high in demand and low in supply.

However, personally, I would rather draft the set since the cards are meant to be played in that manner and it is more fun to play them with a few friends from your local card shop.

Well, that covers everything about opening a pack from Modern Master and I hope you might find it useful. Till next time, keep slinging those spells at your opponent!

Till next time, keep on slinging those spells.

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