Strixhaven Collector Booster Box – Is it a Dumpster Fire or Worth Buying?

Brian Cooper  By Brian Cooper | Updated on January 8, 2024

Strixhaven Collector Booster Box

There has been a lot of criticism about the Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Collector Booster Box and rightfully so. With all of the issues (that we’ll detail below), you might think the box should cheaper than it already is. But while prices remain somewhat expensive, what you get inside the box has been somewhat disappointing.

While I called it a dumpster fire, the Collector Booster could also be labeled purely a disappointment. Collector Booster boxes are notorious for the quality of the cards, the abundance of rare and mythic rare cards and an overall fun opening experience.

However, Strixhaven bucked that trend and lately has become the lost puppy in the world of Magic: The Gathering. Fair or not, Strixhaven appears to have lost its luster.

But, is there an opportunity to get these boxes for a good price and make it worth your money? Let’s dive into this mess and see if we can make it look like something worth investing in.

What is Normally Inside a Collector Booster?

Collector booster boxes normally contain 12-packs with 15-cards in each pack. The boxes are typically loaded with the best cards and expensive, sometimes 2-3 times the cost of a Set or Draft Booster box. 

In general, Magic The Gathering Collector Boosters are just that….for Collectors. The box is designed to give you 12 expensive lottery ticket packs where you could potentially pull the best and most expensive versions of the best and most expensive cards. 

Is it Worth it to Buy a Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster Box?

If you can afford it, buying a Collector Booster is worth it. In most cases, if you calculated the total value of the cards inside a box, on average I would say you’re getting very close to (and sometimes well more than) the cost of the box back. 

Opening a Collector booster pack is also extremely exciting and probably the best experience when it comes to ripping Magic The Gathering packs. I’ve opened a lot of different packs in my lifetime, but outside of opening vintage packs, the Collector booster packs are by far my favorite to rip.

Why Collector Booster Packs are my Favorite to Open

Reason being? Almost every card in these packs are foil, mythic, rare, extended art, foil etched cards, or unique to the Collector booster box.

Those unique cards cannot be found in any other product so that makes the Magic The Gathering Collector booster all the more enticing. Have you ever watched an exciting Collector booster box opening? Check this out and you’ll see how fun they can be.

We talked a little about what a normal Magic The Gathering Collector booster box contains and now we’re going to see what the Strixhaven Collector Booster is all about. Let’s get into the details and see if this is really a dumpster fire or whether you should be investing big bucks in this product.

What comes in a Strixhaven Collector Booster?

Collector Booster boxes are full of the best cards in the set in all different formats including foils and alternate art cards. These are the only Strixhaven booster boxes you can buy that will have FOIL ETCHED cards and EXTENDED ART cards too.

In addition, the Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector booster packs each contain at least (1) Foil Etched Japanese Alt-Art Mystical Archive card and possibly (2) additional Japanese Alt-Art Traditional Foils.

Plus every pack has (3 or 4) Mystical Archive cards and (2) Foil Etched cards.

Strixhaven Japanese Demonic Tutor Mystical Archives

Are These Strixhaven Unique and Special Cards Exciting?

Am I excited for this list of special and unique cards only found in Magic The Gathering Strixhaven Collector packs? No, not really.

I’ve never been super pumped about the Japanese version of cards as I simply don’t speak Japanese and the cards are not appealing to me.

If you like them for the art or collectability aspect, great. Otherwise I think they’re unplayable (can’t even read them) and the artwork is just meh.

However, even though I personally don’t like them, there are a LOT of people who do. And the prices for some of those Mystical Archive Japanese Foil Etched cards are simply off the charts in some cases. I’ll go into that below in a minute.

Other than those special cards mentioned above, the Collector Booster boxes are very similar to those put out for other sets.

How Many Packs are in a Strixhaven Collector Booster Box?

The Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster Box contains 12-packs of cards with 15-cards in each of those packs. In total there are 180 cards in a Collector Booster Box if you open every pack. 

How Many Mythics are in a Strixhaven Collector Booster?

Each Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster box could contain anywhere from 5-7 Mythic cards on average. Some boxes may contain more or less but the average is about 5-7 per box.

In addition, some Magic The Gathering Collector Booster packs may contain more than one Mythic card so there’s a chance you could see more than the average.

Is Strixhaven a Good Set?

Overall I think Strixhaven is a good set, even though I’m a bit against the Collector Booster box.  Separating Strixhaven the set from the Collector Booster discussion, the set itself offers something for players of all skill levels.

Whether it’s the powerful new cards or some new and exciting mechanics, Strixhaven is a set that I think most of our readers will like in the long run.

Strixhaven: School of Mages

What Sets Strixhaven: School of Mages Apart From Other Sets

First, one thing I think that sets Strixhaven apart from the crowd is the new mechanics. Strixhaven introduced two new mechanics to the game that players have really embraced: Magecraft and Learn.

“Magecraft” is an ability (specific to the card) that triggers whenever you cast or copy a spell, and “Learn” allows players to either discard a card and draw a new one (which is always nice to have) or reveal a ‘lesson’ card from outside the game and put it into your hand.

These two mechanics add a new level of strategy to the game and give players a lot of new options for sure. 

Another reason that Strixhaven is such a great set is the power level of the cards. This set includes some of the most powerful and exciting cards in recent Magic: The Gathering memory, including several mythic rare cards that are sure to shake up the metagame. 

Some of the more popular and valuable cards when it comes to Mythics include: CRACKLE WITH POWER (a very damaging red Sorcery), BELEDROS WITHERBLOOM (a 4/4 Elder Dragon with land untap abilities) and PROFESSOR ONXY (a Legendary Planeswalker with the Magecraft ability.) Although these cards are not very expensive ($10 or less each), they are the more powerful cards in the set by far.

Why are Strixhaven Cards so Cheap?

I think there are a number of reasons why a set like Strixhaven would be cheap. Some of those reasons are related to the set itself, other reasons are related to timing and the TCG environment. 

First, I think there’s still a glut of Strixhaven products on the market and it has yet to be absorbed. While there is still a lot of product on the local game store shelves, prices will remain stagnant and cards will continue to be cheap.

Second, Strixhaven was released in April of 2021 and was sandwiched between two MAJOR Magic The Gathering releases: Time Spiral Remastered (released in March 2021) and Modern Horizons 2 (released in June 2021.)

Both of these products were EXPENSIVE and highly anticipated which meant that buyers were not spending much money on poor little Strixhaven.

Supply, Supply Supply

As local game stores started wholesale dumping their positions on Strixhaven to free up capital for Modern Horizons 2, prices slowly started to bottom out.

To this day Draft and Set Booster boxes are much lower than their opening day prices ($125 then versus <$100 today.) Even the Collector Booster Boxes are lower than the day of release ($225 vs $180-$200 today.)

Although the set itself is strong and well liked by players and collectors, the sheer glut of product that sits on shelves needs to get bought up and ripped open for prices to steadily rise again.

Until that happens (or until one or two cards in the set break out and become highly sought after), prices will remain low and “cheap.” 

That’s a good problem for those who like the set though as you’ll be able to continue buying boxes at super low prices.

Is Strixhaven Beginner Friendly?

Personally I would say I’m a casual Magic The Gathering player so I’m not entering tournaments every weekend by no means. So my level of gameplay is decent but again I’m not a professional.

That being said, I have enough experience to look at the cards and get a feel for whether my 14-year old inexperienced son can play with the cards and for Strixhaven: School of Mages I would say it’s definitely beginner friendly.

Why I think Strixhaven Is Great for Beginners

One of the hardest concepts in Magic The Gathering for complete newbs is remembering all of the mechanics and what they do. Strixhaven definitely has its share of mechanics, but I don’t think they’re over-complicated.

Learning the basics of the mechanics that you’ll find in Strixhaven is important as beginners could get lost if they don’t understand the text of the cards.

Knowing what Menace, Lifelink Haste and Reach are is important as there are many cards in Strixhaven that have those abilities. 

There are also the new mechanics we mentioned above that are not only new to beginners but long time players too. So understanding how to use Magecraft and Learn is important to having Strixhaven cards in your deck.

The good news is that both of these new mechanics are easy to grasp and shouldn’t be a big learning curve for players completely new to the game.

I actually sat down and started paging through my opened Set Booster boxes of Strixhaven: School of Mages to revisit the cards and get a feel for their complexity.

After doing that, I first remembered why I really like the Strixhaven set as the cards are just really fun and the artwork is unique as well. But secondly, the cards are not too complex and it just confirmed to me that Strixhaven is definitely beginner friendly.

Are Strixhaven: School of Mages Cards Worth Anything?

For the Strixhaven regular cards in the set, certainly they are worth something. So, in general the answer is yes. 

For the regular set, the value appears to be spread out across a large number of cards with only a select few eclipsing the $5 mark.

That’s good because more cards are attainable for both beginners and seasoned pros. It’s not great if you’re looking for big high value lottery cards.

Strixhaven By The Numbers…Dollars That Is!

By my count, there are approximately (71) cards in the set (regular versions or variants) that are priced over $2.00 each. So there is quite the opportunity to buy boxes and packs and come up with a lot of cards worth a few bucks each minimum.

There are a few variants, which you can find in the Strixhaven Collector Booster Boxes, that are priced a bit higher. As mentioned above, CRACKLE WITH POWER, BELEDROS WITHERBLOOM and PROFESSOR ONXY lead that group in the over $10 category.

And then not too far behind you’ll find Wandering Archaic, Prismari Command, Magma Opus, Culling Ritual and Archmage Emeritus all valued in the over $5 category. 

So there’s definitely some value in the Strixhaven regular set, but not a lot at this point in the game. The set has been out for only a short time so it will probably take a few years before $10 singles start to get out of the basement and head towards $15-$20. 

So Where is the Real Value When it Comes to Strixhaven?

The real value in Strixhaven: School of Mages is in the Mystical Archive Japanese Foil Etched cards that you can only find in the Collector Booster Packs. 

As mentioned a few paragraphs ago, these are definitely the Strixhaven cards to find if you want high dollar value. Wizards of the Coast took a few very iconic Magic The Gathering cards (like Demonic Tutor, Counterspell and Time Warp to name a few) and came up with some alternate art etched foil Japanese versions that are bringing big dollars.

There are (63) different Mystical Archive cards which are currently selling anywhere from $1-$5 for the commons and up to well over $100 for the Demonic Tutor. 

To me it’s a pretty awesome reason to invest in a Collector Booster box at the current low prices.

Strixhaven Demonic Tutor Mystical Archive

Does Strixhaven Have a Box Topper?

No, Strixhaven: School of Mages products (Draft Booster Boxes, Set Booster Boxes and Collector Booster Boxes) do NOT have box toppers.

If you do not know what a box topper is, read more about them on my MTG Box Topper Complete Guide.

Is the Strixhaven Collector Booster the Best Box to Open?

Out of all the Strixhaven products you can buy, I definitely think the Collector Booster Box is the best box to open. Not only is the box full of the best and most expensive card variations in the set, but the value you get from a Collector Booster Box far outweighs what you’ll get from a Draft or Set Booster box.

How Do You Define “Best”?

Now, if you define “best” as getting the most cards, then I would say you should look into getting a Draft Booster Box as you’ll get 540-cards in that box as opposed to 180-cards in the Collector Booster Box.

If you don’t want to spend $180-$200 for a Collector Booster Box, is there another box type you should buy where you’ll find great cards? Yep, in that case I would suggest the Strixhaven School of Mages Set Booster Box. You’ll get 180-cards and spend about half the price.

However, if you want the best bang for your buck, the most flashy and expensive cards and the most unique cards, the Collector Booster box is the one you’ll want to buy. Especially at today’s prices of less than $200.

Were There Printing Errors in the Strixhaven Collector Booster Boxes?

Printing issues was not a huge widespread issue with the Collector Booster Boxes, but it’s something you need to be aware of as it’s a possibility the box you buy may have issues.

There were reports online of some people opening boxes that contained packs with machine roll marks as well as some who experienced issues with the cards in the Collector Booster packs. I’ve heard everything from printing errors to machine damaged cards.

However, I believe most of these issues were isolated and a majority of people who purchased a Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster box did not encounter such printing problems. As with any printed card in the TCG world, it’s subject to manufacturing issues. We live in an imperfect world…things happen I guess.

These reports wouldn’t stop me from buying the product though. 

Final Thoughts on the Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster Box

I think when it comes down to it, Strixhaven is a solid set and it’s just as good as any other Magic The Gathering expansion sets of that timeframe.

The same goes for the booster boxes which I think we’ll see become more popular as time goes on, but it will be years down the line before that happens.

Out of all the Strixhaven: School of Mages boxes put out that year, the Collector Booster box remains the cream of the crop and the one I would recommend you purchase for the value of the cards inside and the long term prospects of the box itself as an investment. 

I’m still not a huge fan of the Mystical Archives cards, but there are many collectors who are and the Strixhaven: School of Mages Collector Booster Box is the only box where you can find them.

And we all know that something as unique as the Mystical Archives can drive the price up on products (especially when those cards are iconic like Demonic Tutor!)

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Brian Cooper has been a part of the trading card scene since the 1980s and is the driving force behind MAGIC CARD INVESTOR. His mission is to help bring back the fun and nostalgia of collecting Magic: The Gathering cards and other Trading Card games to everyone young and old.

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