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Unraveling the Magic 2015 In-App Purchases

Brad Cummings
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Connecticut
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From gallery of thequietpunk


While Hearthstone still has my undying love and attention, I have to admit, I was excited to check out Magic 2015. It promised to be a new evolution of the series, introducing heavy deck-building into the Duel of the Planeswalkers formula.

While it didn't occur to me at PAX East, the introduction of free-range deck-building must have posed a rethink of the usual monetization formula for Wizards. With previous annual installments, decks are unlocked by playing and you can unlock certain cards for those decks by winning games. If you were impatient you were given the option to pay a small fee to unlock every card for a certain deck. You could also pay to unlock the foil version of those cards.

With Magic 2014, the formula was modified slightly adding in a freemium model (try for free and $10 to jump into the full content) and the ability to buy endless sealed games. Magic 2015 has taken that even further.

From gallery of thequietpunk

Like I said above, this new deck-building focused system has brought new types of IAPs and a new purchase model Sadly, in my opinion, this has been presented in a confusing way. Many like me were shocked by the $35 IAP available front and center in Magic 2015 and were confused about exactly what it all meant. Did you have to unlock the cardpools to earn cards from that set? What was the difference between a premium booster and a booster I earn by playing?

I shot a quick email to Wizards PR team with these and other questions and received a great response (Disclaimer: I was given a iTunes gift card to use to unlock the IAPs). With their answers and having purchased some of the items myself, here is a handy guide about the IAPs and what they unlock:

From gallery of thequietpunk
1. Chapters
Much like DOTP games in the past, the single-player campaign is split into a series of planes. Each plane features a series of preset opponents to defeat as well as an "explore this plane" feature which has you face off against a random opponent. As you face off against this opponents you will also unlock boosters of cards specific to that plane. The AI is programed to always give you some cards you need in your current color combo, but also some you don't. It also prioritizes cards you are not maxed out on.
Prices: $10 Bundle, $2.99 Each

You Should Buy This If:
- You want the full Magic 2015 experience. You will be stopped at the Innistrad campaign if you do not purchase this. This one is not really optional if you want to really play the game.


From gallery of thequietpunk
2. Card Pools
This one was my main point of confusion. I was under the impression that you could only get boosters from card pools you had paid to unlock, but the purpose of these is very different.

Think of paying to unlock a card pool like paying to unlock all the cards in a Magic 2014 deck (without have to play and win games). If you want all the deck-building options possible, unlocking a card pool will give you every card from a specific plane. Unlocking the bundle will give you all cards from all the planes.
Prices: $20 Bundle, $4.99 each plane

You Should Buy This If:
- You want to save the time it would take to earn all of these cards by playing the game.
- You want a lot of deck-building options upfront. If you are looking to really dive into the multiplayer (which is pretty basic compared to something like SolForge or Hearthstone) then this is a great option for you.


From gallery of thequietpunk
3. Premium Boosters
Aside from the plane specific card pools, there is a separate pool that can only be obtained by purchasing premium boosters. Each booster contains a random assortment of cards. You can purchase up to ten at a time, but there is no discount.
Price: $1.99 each

You Should Buy This If:
- You want to get the full collection. There are cards that can only be obtained through boosters.
- You just love opening blind packs (I admit, I do).


From gallery of thequietpunk
4. Foils
This is pretty straight forward. You can pay to turn a certain number of cards into foil versions. I personally don't find this appealing, but, hey, if this floats your boat, the option is there.
Price: $7.99 for 300, $2.99 for 100, $0.99 for 30

You Should Buy This If:
- You like shiny things.
- You have more money than sense. Joking aside, if this floats your boat, go for it.


From gallery of thequietpunk
5. The Complete Bundle
This bundle suffers from being worded very badly. Basically, you get everything in numbers 1, 2, and 4. For this one price you unlock all the single player content as well as the full card collection. It is not exactly a deal, though you are getting some foil cards for free.
Price: $35

You Should Buy This If:
- You have more money than sense. Seriously, this bundle is giving you $2 off the 300 foils, that is it. You can get the real content (chapters and card collections) for $30 all together.
- You want a quick and easy way to get everything. My whining aside, if you just want to click one button, this is the way to do that.



I hope this guide helps. I know I was confused, and I assume I was not alone. I really have been enjoying the game and while pricey, the unlocked card collections have presented a lot of fun options.

You can pick up Magic 2015 on the App Store
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