I remember thinking this set looked overpriced and rather lacklustre when it was first released. ANOTHER Gandalf and a handful of black pieces really didn't seem worth it just to get a Saruman... but I eventually got it anyway, since it was the only Middle-earth set that fit into my budget that trip to The LEGO Store and I was very pleasantly surprised.
Don't get me wrong, the set *is* mostly black pieces, and I didn't really want another Gandalf, but at least this Gandalf came with a hairpiece (more useful) instead of a hat, and as too-many-of-a-character torsos go, it's difficult to find one more worth having multiples of than Gandalf's.
And as far as the black pieces go--there are a lot of them. The throne/platform thingy that is the set's build is far more substantial than I was expecting. It has heft, which is not something I have come to expect from licensed theme sets in this size range. And more than just heft, the pieces are varied and useful--especially, I think, for a spacer. Throw in the trans-yellow crystal balls and this set is a candidate for "best Blacktron parts pack of 2013."
Beyond that, the Eye of Sauron head is a nifty piece and Saruman is wonderful (though I have since changed out the peach head and hands for a yellow one, as I have all the Middle-earth characters I've kept built). I also like his staff: it does a good job of capturing the look of his staff in the movies without having gone the pre-moulded route.
All told, my money felt well-spent on The Wizard Battle, even with its elevated, licensed theme price, so I'd call this one a home run.