MLB The Show 23: Season 5 Breakdown

November 4, 2023 by Cory Dell

Diamond Dynasty, Meta Overall, MLB The Show News

Season 5 of Diamond Dynasty is here! It’s November so that means it’s Finest season and we get a double-dose of Finest with Retro Finest cards available in Team Affinity 5.

There’s a ton to talk about so lets get right into it.

MLB The Show 23 Season 5 Breakdown

XP Reward Path

The overall structure of Season 5 remains unchanged. The XP Reward Path features a litany of rewards, from icons to bat skins to Stubs and various packs as usual. With Season 5 being centered around Finest, the 97 overall Henchmen Choice Pack features seven different cards. Players can earn each of these cards as there are seven of the Choice Packs scattered throughout the XP Reward Path.

The Boss pack again features five cards, all of the 99 overall Finest variety. Players can take home three of these cards with three Choice Packs in the XP Reward Path, though busy grinders stand a great chance at grabbing all five with some XP Wheel Spins at the end of the Path.

Season 5 XP Reward Path Bosses

SP Finest 2023 Jesus Luzardo (Miami Marlins)
Meta Overall rating: 107.35 – #5 SP

If you had Jesus Luzardo landing a top-5 SP card in Diamond Dynasty this year, then please feel free to collect your prize. Luzardo arguably has a perfect meta pitch-mix, with an elite velocity 4-Seamer and Outlier Sinker. With 85+ Control on his three other pitches, Luzardo has the repertoire without question. The Slider and Circle Change are roughly the same speed, but the Cutter coming in at 92 MPH should be slow enough compared to the 4-Seamer and Outlier Sinker to effectively act as a third off-speed pitch. This Luzardo card is super interesting and worth a couple spins in Ranked to see if the card lives up to the lofty Meta Overall rating.

LF Finest 2023 Randy Arozarena (Tampa Bay Rays)
Meta Overall rating: 106.89 – #47 LF

Next up is Rays LF Randy Arozarena. Arozarena has become a bit of a Diamond Dynasty darling the last couple seasons and gets a respectable Finest card here. With so many Finest and Retro Finest cards hitting the books this Season, we’re going to see a lot of cards like Arozarena. Solid, not spectacular and a perfectly fine starter on most squads.

C Finest 2023 Cal Raleigh (Seattle Mariners)
Meta Overall rating: 114.35 – #3 Catcher; #7 overall card

Another big score on “no way in Hell that happens” bingo. Cal Raleigh not only lands a top-3 Catcher card with his Finest 2023 offering, but he clocks in with the 7th best overall card in all of Diamond Dynasty. It doesn’t take much looking to see why.

With 100+ Contact against both sides, nearly maxed Power against both sides and nearly perfect Fielding attributes across the board; Cal Raleigh is an absolute monster. Add in the fact that he’s a switch-hitter and you have pretty much everything you need in this card. 2023 All-Star Game Adley Rutschman rotated out of Ranked with Season 5’s launch, only to have a formidable replacement called in on day one. Catcher was looking like a lacking position coming into the new season. That simply isn’t the case now.

1B Finest 2023 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Toronto Blue Jays)
Meta Overall rating: 106.53 – #57 1B

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also pulls Boss duty in Season 5. Vlad the Younger certainly put up a decent enough season, though it pales in comparison to his massive potential. That’s reflected here on a very lukewarm 2023 Finest card. First Base is already an incredibly deep position, so making a huge impact at the positional level is tough. Ultimately, Vlad Jr.’s 2023 Finest is a bit on the bland side and most likely fits best on Blue Jays theme teams.

SS Finest 2023 Elly De La Cruz (Cincinnati Reds)
Meta Overall rating: 114.20 – #3 SS; #9 overall card

Rounding out the XP Reward Path Boss Pack is Elly De La Cruz. By now, you no doubt know about the unlimited potential that De La Cruz possesses. We bore witness to this with the incredible Milestone version released in Set 3. That version of Elly remains the #2 overall card in Diamond Dynasty.

The 2023 Finest version obviously ranks a mere seven spots below the Milestone, but how close are the cards? Pretty dang close. With marginal differences in a few categories, this Elly De La Cruz is no cheap imitation. Well, he is a cheap imitation in the sense that you can earn this version for free simply by progressing in the Reward path. This is no watered down version just to claim there’s a 99 Elly De La Cruz available. This is legitimately one of the best overall cards in Diamond Dynasty.

Team Affinity 5

A new Season also brings a new round of Team Affinity. Team Affinity 5 features 99 overall Retro Finest Henchmen, a whole new round of Captains for each team and 2023 Finest rewards for each team as the main prizes for each division.

Similar to the last couple seasons, Season 5 also features a new collection for Team Affinity 5.

Packed with some fan-favorite names, the Team Affinity 5 collection features Cody Bellinger as the main prize.

Set 5 Collection

A new Seasons brings a new Set which brings a new collection! The Set 5 collection features three new cards to choose from as you lock in your Set 5 cards.

*Please note: Meta Overall ratings are not yet available for these cards as they haven’t been discovered in-game yet.*

SS 2023 Finest Bo Bichette (Toronto Blue Jays)

C 2023 Finest William Contreras (Milwaukee Brewers)

SP/DH Finest 2023 Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels)

Core Collection

Not only do we get a new Set 5 collection and Team Affinity collection, we also get an update to the Core collection. It’s been a while since Kaiju Corey Seager was posted up as the Core collection reward, but Ozzie Albies swoops in as the latest addition to the collection.

2B 2023 Finest Ozzie Albies (Atlanta Braves)
Meta Overall rating: 109.09 – #12 2B

To unlock Ozzie Albies, you’ll need to lock in 250 Core set cards. This is no small feat as most of the supplementary Core cards were featured in the various Battle Royale programs throughout the year. For me, this is a big of a gut punch as I haven’t had time to play Battle Royale this year so I have exactly zero of the Core cards. Luckily, SDS finally introduced Rewind packs which should help us all make some progress toward unlocking Albies. You might still have to spend some Stubs in order to unlock him, but the Rewind packs will be a huge help regardless.

Milestone Ronald Acuna Jr.

Finally and easily my favorite part of Season 5 – Milestone Ronald Acuna Jr. is FREE in the XP Reward Path!

That’s right – free. When the Milestone card was accidentally leaked a while back, many of us assumed this version of Ronnie would be the next Chase card. SDS made a clear, intentional shift toward featuring the best cards as Chase pack cards or behind collections. When it was announced during the content livestream that this card was included in the XP Reward Path, I was incredibly taken by surprise.

RF Milestone Ronald Acuna Jr. (Atlanta Braves)
Meta Overall rating: 113.83 – #4 RF; #10 overall card

This card is undoubtedly going to be an otherworldly performer. Acuna has one of the best swings in the game, which helps the attributes consistently play up. Stack that swing on these juicy attributes and of course you have a top-10 overall card in the game.

I’d love to nitpick this card and complain that it doesn’t have at least 120 Power against both sides. However, 115 against both sides that will reach the 120 mark at Parallel 5 seems fair. Beyond that, this card also features Diamond Fielding as Acuna pulls down a stock 90 Fielding rating. That is way higher than he ever deserves defensively – and that’s coming from a diehard Braves fan.

I’d say sacrificing a couple points of Power for Diamond Fielding is a perfectly fair trade.

Players will earn this Milestone Ronald Acuna Jr. simply for reaching the 435,000 XP mark in the Reward Path. That means it’s going to take a fair amount of grinding to earn him – and I cannot wait.

There’s the full breakdown of Season 5! What will you be grinding first? Let us know in the comments!

About the Guest Author

Cory Dell

Cory is a freelance writer that currently features for Operation Sports and ShowZone and has dabbled in streaming from time to time. Cory has been a diehard Atlanta Braves fan since birth and has tortured neighbors and family alike with avid guitar playing for the last twenty years.

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