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A booster pack is a sealed package of random Magic cards from a particular expansion set, designed to add to a player's collection.

Starting with Throne of Eldraine, regular boosters were rebranded as draft boosters, to distinguish them from theme boosters and collector boosters.[1] Set boosters were introduced for Zendikar Rising.[2]

Draft Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Draft Booster

Draft booster is the modern name for the original booster product. They have a fixed distribution based on rarity. A draft booster pack contains sixteen cards: fifteen Magic cards and a marketing card / token.[3][4] Of the fifteen Magic cards, one is a basic land, ten are common, three are uncommon, and one is rare or mythic rare. There is also a chance for one of the common cards to be replaced by a premium foil card of any rarity. This results in a booster pack with one basic land, one foil card, nine common cards, three uncommon cards, and one rare or mythic rare card.

While most modern sets follow this distribution in draft boosters, some sets have unique requirements, such as having at least one double-faced card in every Innistrad pack, which skews the typical distribution of rarities and card types. Draft Boosters were obsoleted starting with Murders at Karlov Manor.

Targeted boosters[ | ]

Starting in 2018, Wizards of the Coast began to create special boosters targeted at special audiences.[5]

Theme Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Theme Booster

Theme boosters contained 35 cards (a variable amount of commons and uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare) from a given color or theme. The MSRP was $6.99. These are targeted at deckbuilding players, providing a greater number of cards that could go straight into their deck. They also play up a set's flavor for those that might be interested in sampling a slice of a particular aspect of the world. Theme Boosters were obsoleted starting with Dominaria United.

Collector Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Collector Booster

Collector boosters were introduced for Core Set 2020. They are targeted at collectors and sold for $12.99. Unlike draft boosters, which optimize the draft experience with a lot of repetition and a huge number of commons, collector boosters are maximized for more diversity in content, with more rare, foil, extended art, borderless, and showcase cards.[1]

Set Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Set Booster

Set boosters were introduced for Zendikar Rising in 2020.[2] They are targeted to players who are not interested in draft or limited formats, and sell for a slightly higher price than draft boosters. Each pack comes with fourteen cards, twelve of which are Magic cards, with a higher variety in rarities and unique treatments. Set Boosters were obsoleted starting with Murders at Karlov Manor.

Jumpstart Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Jumpstart Booster

Starting with Dominaria United in 2022, Jumpstart boosters replaced theme boosters for premier sets.[6] They were canceled for Wilds of Eldraine.

Play Boosters[ | ]

Main article: Play Booster

Play Boosters were introduced for Murders at Karlov Manor in 2024 to replace both Draft boosters and Set boosters.[7][8] Going forward, they are the "foundation product" of every premier and tentpole set.[9] Play Boosters are designed to combine the characteristics of their predecessors; they are draftable per Draft Boosters while retaining the fun opening experience of finding surprise cards or card treatments per Set Boosters.

Non-regular boosters[ | ]

Six-card boosters[ | ]

CON Gravity feed

Conflux Gravity Feed for 6-card boosters

Six-card booster packs contain a tips/token card, one land, three commons, one uncommon, and one slot with an equal chance of being rare/mythic, uncommon, or common. The packs were packaged in gravity feeds rather than booster boxes[10] and could be found at mass-market retailers like Target and Walmart. English six-card boosters were produced for Conflux through Magic 2014. They were available in Japanese from Magic 2010 to New Phyrexia. Spanish six card packs of Magic 2011 and Magic 2012 were included with several Salvate Magazines.

Demogame boosters[ | ]

Free 24-card Demogame boosters were available for several starter-level sets and core sets.

Main article: sample deck

Sample Packs[ | ]

Free ten-card sample packs were available for several starter-level sets and core sets. Six-card sample packs were also given to Duels of the Planeswalkers users.

Main article: sample deck

Seeded boosters[ | ]

A seeded booster is a special set of cards made available at some prereleases.[11] It consists of playable cards that help to create a coherent deck, so that way more people (especially newer players) have a good time. There are limited combinations of cards that can appear in a seeded booster,

Standard Showdown prize boosters[ | ]

Special promotional prize boosters were introduced in 2016 for the Standard Showdown, containing three cards each. One is a premium card from a currently legal Standard set, including Masterpiece series cards, and two are non-premium cards that are either a rare or a mythic rare from a set currently legal in Standard.[12]

Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion[ | ]

  • Kaladesh: as a holiday promotion, purchasers of a booster box received two bonus holiday packs.[13] These boosters had the same content as the previously announced Standard Showdown prize boosters.
  • Ixalan: purchasers of a booster box received a Buy-a-Box Treasure Chest booster, containing two foil cards of any rarity from any Standard-legal set, four rare or mythic rare cards from Standard-legal sets, two foil basic lands, and one out of ten possible alternate art, foil double-faced cards.[14]

Twenty-card boosters[ | ]

Commander Legends draft boosters and Jumpstart boosters contain 20 Magic cards. Commander Legends boosters also include an additional marketing card.

Prerelease boosters[ | ]

Boosters containing one random prerelease card.

Epilogue boosters[ | ]

March of the Machine: The Aftermath boosters were marketed as "epilogue boosters", said to be "lore-packed boosters that continue the story in between sets". Each 5-card epilogue booster contained 1 to 3 cards of rarity rare or higher, and the remainder were uncommon. 1 or 2 of the cards were traditional foil, and one was in the set's showcase frame.[15] These boosters were not designed to be used for drafting.[16]

The release of March of the Machine: The Aftermath was met with an extremely negative reception and epilogue boosters were heavily criticized for their small size and price point.[17][18] The poor reception caused Wizards to cancel an already designed epilogue set for Outlaws of Thunder Junction and restructure the way Beyond Boosters were designed for Universes Beyond: Assassin's Creed.[19] Future micro-set releases with epilogue boosters are highly unlikely.[20]

Beyond boosters[ | ]

Main article: Beyond Booster

Beyond boosters are a seven-card booster pack for Universes Beyond products introduced for Universes Beyond: Assassin's Creed.[21] Similar to Set and Collector boosters, Beyond boosters are not designed to be used for drafting.

Value boosters[ | ]

Main article: Value Booster

Within weeks after the introduction of the similar Beyond Boosters, seven card Value Boosters were introduced for Bloomburrow. In contrast to the Beyond Boosters, they don't contain a guaranteed rare.

Packaging[ | ]

Wrapper[ | ]

Plastic[ | ]

The first booster packs had fairly simple plastic wrappers, primarily differentiated by color. Core set packs were brown, Arabian Nights were purple, Antiquities were silver-grey, and so on. This early packaging was slightly transparent, making it possible to see what cards were in a pack without opening it. The top and bottom of each wrapper is sealed with heat, a process called "crimping". In the process of sealing boosters closed, cards can get caught in the heat press and accidentally get crimped.

Metal foil[ | ]

Beginning with Fourth Edition, booster pack wrappers have been made of opaque foiled plastic, which prevents the contents from being viewed without opening them.

Origin[ | ]

Quality may differ by origin. Boosters with vertical crimps to seal the pack are made in the US or Belgium. Boosters with a grid pattern seal are made in Japan. Japanese packs tend to be looser and have more of the booster wrapper. The order of rares, uncommons, commons may be different. The cards themselves also have differences in things like card stock, feel, and color saturation.

Paper[ | ]

Paper Booster

See through paper booster

WotC experimented with recyclable paperboard booster wrappers for Modern Masters 2015 .[22] Soon rumors abounded about the ease with which these new cardboard packs could be repacked.[23] The cards could also move around more and be damaged during transport. Mark Rosewater stated afterwards that some challenges had to be solved before the experiment would be repeated.[24]

In August 2019, Hasbro announced that it would begin phasing out plastic from new product packaging starting in 2020.[25] This included shrink wrap, window sheets, and more.[26] Virtually all plastic packaging was to be be eliminated by the end of 2022. Paper booster packs were to be revisited.[27][28]

The first waxed (or possibly glassine) see-through paper packaging appeared in late 2022 on bundles and Secret Lairs.[29]

Markings and symbols[ | ]

The packaging features several markings and symbols.[30] The CE mark, together with the name and address of the first supplier, is required by law to appear on all toys placed on the market in the European Union on and after January 1990. The Lion Mark was developed in 1988 by the British Toy & Hobby Association as a symbol of toy safety and quality for the consumer. The Green Dot is an internationally recognized symbol that shows a company’s commitment to environmental protection.

Booster box[ | ]

A booster pack box, booster display, or simply booster box, contains 36 booster packs for most sets. Exceptions include supplemental sets like Conspiracy, Jumpstart, Epilogue, and Masters sets, which contain 24 packs. Booster boxes of several early expansion sets contain more packs, but have fewer cards per pack. The top of each booster box can be flipped open and tucked in behind the packs to advertise the set with an appropriate piece of art.

Set booster boxes have 30 packs.

Collector booster boxes have 12 packs.

Booster case[ | ]

A draft booster case consists of 6 booster boxes, or a total of 216 booster packs. Local game stores usually buy booster boxes of new sets by the case. The number of boxes and total number of boosters for non-draft booster products varies.

Blister packs[ | ]

From the Time Spiral block until Magic 2013, blister packs containing one to three booster packs were available, primarily in large retail stores. A blister pack is a plastic front and a cardboard backing used to hold the boosters and allow the unit to be hung on store pegs. It also provides somewhat of a theft-deterrent as it is larger than an individual booster pack. This kind of packing adds cost and increased packaging waste.

Booster sleeves[ | ]

Starting with Magic 2013, blister packs were replaced with cardboard booster sleeves.[31] The sleeve is a cardboard overwrap around a regular booster pack. The bigger package makes the packs a little harder to steal, while reducing the plastic content. Booster sleeves were distributed in display boxes containing 12 or 48 booster-sleeved packs.

Draft packs[ | ]

Conspiracy: Take the Crown introduced draft packs for sale in North American mass-market stores. These draft packs feature three boosters in a blister pack.[32] Time Spiral Remastered and subsequent draft packs are packaged in booster sleeves instead of blister packs.

Unique packages[ | ]

Resale packs[ | ]

Main article: Resale pack

Additions[ | ]

Wizards of the Coast toyed with the idea of scratch-off cards in boosters of Unglued 2. Another idea they explored was having it come with pieces of bubble gum, but putting something edible in the booster packs made them subject to stricter rules which could not be complied with.[34]

Artwork[ | ]

Core sets[ | ]

Early sets[ | ]

Expansion sets[ | ]

  • Starting with Ice Age, large expansion set boosters began featuring artwork from one of three to five cards in the set. Small expansions prior to Onslaught block feature art from only one card in the set, but subsequent small expansion boosters feature art from one of three cards in the set. With the introduction of set boosters for Zendikar Rising, draft boosters reverted to featuring a single art, to help clearly differentiate between different types of boosters.[36]

Compilation sets[ | ]

  • Chronicles packs have no card artwork, but have the Chronicles globe graphic.
  • Masters series sets feature artwork from three different cards in the set.

Starter sets[ | ]

Supplemental sets[ | ]

Rules[ | ]

The term "booster pack" is also referenced in the rules.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (June 7, 2024—Modern Horizons 3)

Booster Pack
A group of unopened Magic cards from a particular expansion. Booster packs are used in Limited formats. See rule 100.2b.

Booster Fun[ | ]

In 2019, R&D introduced "Booster Fun" as the collective name that R&D uses for the types of card frames (also called card treatments[37]) that could appear in Collector Boosters[1][38][39] Booster Fun cards evolved from Masterpieces. The difference is that the Booster Fun cards are versions of cards in the set, not from outside of the set.[40] The following card treatments can show up:

These all may also have foil, foil-etched, and/or alternate art versions.

Booster Fun was extended to Set Boosters in 2020 and their successor Play Boosters in 2024.[2]

Foil and non-foil Booster Fun cards may also appear in draft boosters, but at a much lower frequency. Non-foil versions appear in the same rarity slot as the original card. Foil Booster Fun cards appear in a common slot like other foils.[41]

See also[ | ]

Mystery Booster[ | ]

Mystery Booster is a Magic booster set, designed for Chaos Draft. It was released in 2019.

Welcome Booster[ | ]

Main article: Welcome Booster

Welcome boosters were introduced for Core Set 2021. They are free gifts for beginning players. Each welcome booster for a particular set is exactly the same and contains a sample of legendaries, planeswalkers, showcase cards, and more.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. a b c d Mark Rosewater (July 21, 2019). "Project Booster Fun". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. a b c Mark Rosewater (July 25, 2020). "Set Boosters". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2019). "A long time ago, the 15th card slot got changed to a basic land. Why did they do that?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. Mark Rosewater (October 05, 2019). "what made the packaging for Modern Horizons special to allow the seventeenth card (the art card)?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  5. WPN (May 24, 2021). "How to Sell Each Type of Magic Booster". Wizards Play Network.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (May 12, 2022). "Your Sneak Peek at Double Masters 2022, Dominaria United, and Beyond". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (October 18, 2023). "What are Play Boosters?". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast (October 20, 2023). "Play Booster Discord Q&A". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Blake Rasmussen, Mark Rosewater, Mike Turian (October 18, 2023). "WeeklyMTG - Play Booster Q&A (Video)". Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.
  10. Magic Arcana (February 05, 2009). "The Gravity Feed". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (September 23, 2018). "Can you explain why we are back to seeded boosters in pre-release?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  12. Wizards of the Coast (November 14, 2016). "Announcing Standard Showdown". Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Blake Rasmussen (November 21, 2016). "Magic Holiday Gift Guide and Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Blake Rasmussen (November 7, 2017). "Black Friday Treasure Chest Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Wizards of the Coast (December 13, 2022). "March of the Machine: The Aftermath: Epilogue Booster".
  16. WPN (February 20, 2023). "Dates & Details for March of the Machine". Wizards Play Network.
  17. Louis Kemner (May 16, 2023). "Duplicate MTG Cards Ruined March of the Machine: The Aftermath". CBR.
  18. Matt Jarvis (October 13, 2023). "Don’t expect another MTG set like March of the Machine: Aftermath anytime soon, lead designer suggests". Dicebreaker.
  19. Blake Rasmussen, Max McCall, Zakeel Gordon (February 13, 2024). "Epilogue on Epilogue (Video)". Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.
  20. Mark Rosewater (February 9, 2024). "Hated? Not just disliked, but hated? Should we assume that means mini-sets like Aftermath are unlikely in the future?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  21. Jess Lanzillo, Chris Kiritz, Athena Froehlich & Mark Rosewater (August 5, 2023). "Magic: The Gathering 30th Anniversary Panel at GenCon – A Recap of MTG's Past, Present & Future (Video)". Magic: The Gathering. YouTube.
  22. Blake Rasmussen (February 24, 2015). "Recyclable Modern Masters Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  23. Wizards of the Coast (May 21, 2015). "Modern Masters Packaging Concerns". Wizards of the Coast.
  24. Mark Rosewater (June 17, 2016). "Was there results posted from the experimental change in Booster Packaging with Modern Masters 2?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  25. Tonya Garcia (August 19, 2019). "Hasbro removing plastic from toy and game packaging".
  26. Adam Styborski (April 8, 2021). "Check Out The New Packaging for Commander (2021 Edition) and Beyond". Wizards of the Coast.
  27. Sustainable MTG Packaging & Something New in Secret Lair! (Video). Good Morning Magic. YouTube (November 24, 2021).
  28. Admin (December 7, 2021). "Magic: The Gathering to get cardboard packaging for boosters, starting with Unfinity?".
  29. Payton IV (January 11, 2023). "New paper packaging for Secret Lairs".
  30. Wizards of the Coast (November 25, 2008). "Ask Wizards: Shards, RSS and Mysterious Symbols". Wizards of the Coast.
  31. Monty Ashley (June 28, 2012). "More Magic 2013 Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  32. Wizards of the Coast (May 16, 2016). "Announcement Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  33. Magic Arcana (September 29, 2009). "The All-Foil Booster". Wizards of the Coast.
  34. Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". Wizards of the Coast.
  35. Blake Rasmussen (June 22, 2015). "Origins Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  36. Mark Rosewater (September 10, 2023). "May I request that we get draft boosters with different artworks on the packaging again?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  37. Clayton Kroh (May 21, 2021). "Booster Fun of Modern Horizons 2". Wizards of the Coast.
  38. Mark Rosewater (September 21, 2019). "Premium boosters seem fine conceptually, but the details of what the collector boosters contain are really hard to wrap one’s head around.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  39. Mark Rosewater (January 10, 2022). "Even More Words From R&D". Wizards of the Coast.
  40. Mark Rosewater (September 21, 2019). "Does this mean that Masterpieces aren't coming back?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  41. Mark Rosewater (September 22, 2019). "Will the non-foil “Booster Fun” cards be found in their normal draft booster slots?". Blogatog. Tumblr.