I just started playing the game about a month ago. I bought a few Core sets, all the expansions, and now I'm looking into buying sets of chapter packs. I've been looking at cards and decks online in an attempt to figure out which packs are more important and which I should obtain first. I decided to go in order of release and have bought the A Clash of Arms cycle so far. Now I'm looking at the A Time For Ravens cycle and it seems like most competitive decks run Carrion Birds x3 and some run White/Black Raven x2-3 even if they aren't running a season agenda. The season agendas themselves seem to be the backbone of a lot of really good decks also.
I haven't been able to find A Song of Summer or The Winds of Winter chapter packs anywhere. I was following two Ebay auctions this week that both ended on Friday at over $100 each including shipping. I also noticed that reprints were just posted in the News section for chapter packs that have already been reprinted once before. I can still find these packs online or in stores at regular prices so why are they getting reprinted? I assumed reprints were done when chapter packs go out of stock but maybe I'm wrong. Were these reprints done for a different reason like fixing erratas or something?
Are these season packs ever going to be reprinted? Is it possible to be truly competitive without Carrion Birds and to a lesser extent Ravens and Agendas in tournament play? Should I buy these packs next time I see them on Ebay no matter what the price?
I've purchased expensive cards for other non-living card games in the past so I'm not against this option, I'm just wondering if this is what new players should expect when getting into this game. My play group consists of four players and we have been using the same supply of cards to build decks from up until this point. Should I buy 4 of these chapter packs so that we have enough Carrion Birds to make our decks balanced against each other if one player is playing seasons? $400+ sounds like it might be to much of an investment for just a few cards. What do you guys think? I'm loving the game so far and would really like to start playing a card game competitively again, but the availability of these packs worries me a little.