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Samplers are decks or booster packs given away as a free product to advertise Magic: The Gathering. They are handed out at conventions and distributed to stores to potential new players. Starting in 2013, sample decks were also used at the yearly Magic Celebration event. Since 2016, they had been advertised as welcome decks and welcome boosters.

Starter products[ | ]

Portal[ | ]

Portal Demogame boosters contained 24 cards. In these boosters, six cards were printed with either flavor or reminder text different than their booster pack counterparts. Those cards are: Armored Pegasus, Bull Hippo, Cloud Pirates, Feral Shadow, Snapping Drake, and Storm Crow.

Portal Second Age[ | ]

Portal Second Age Demo game boosters contained 24 cards and a tip card (same cards in every pack).

Starter 1999[ | ]

Starter Demo game boosters contained 24 cards, including 8 cards from the Starter Game Box that weren't available in regular boosters. Also included were a tip card, a rebate card, and an instruction sheet. Everything two players needed to play their first Magic game.

^† Game Box card

Starter 2000[ | ]

The Starter 2000 set came with both 24-card Demo game boosters and 10-card sampler packs. The cards in the sampler are:

Core sets[ | ]

Seventh Edition[ | ]

Each Seventh Edition 10-card sampler contained:

Eighth Edition[ | ]

Eighth Edition came with both 24-card Demogame boosters and 10-card sampler packs.

Ninth Edition[ | ]

Ninth Edition came with both 24-card Demogame boosters and 10-card sampler packs.

Tenth Edition[ | ]

Tenth Edition was the first core set that came with 10 preconstructed theme decks with just thirty basic lands, commons and uncommons.

Magic 2011 until Magic Origins[ | ]

From Magic 2011 on, each core set came with the preconstructed decks first seen in Tenth Edition.[1] Initially there were ten decklists and from Magic 2013 onwards five. They mostly contain cards from the relevant core set, although there might be a few cards sprinkled in from previous blocks.[2]

Duels of the Planeswalkers[ | ]

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013[ | ]

With each copy of Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, a six-card sampler (or "promo pack") could be obtained by redeeming a unique code on the official Wizards Duels of the Planeswalkers site. Five cards were random Magic 2013, and the sixth was an Alternate Art promo card (dependent on which system the game was purchased).[3]

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014[ | ]

The six-card promo packs for Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 contained:

Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015[ | ]

The six-card promo packs for Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015 contained:

Welcome decks[ | ]

In June 2016, five monocolored 30-card ready-to-play decks became available as free sample decks at Wizards Play Network locations around the world.[5] These were also available in Booster Battle Packs. Welcome decks are distributed for free by Wizards of the Coast, so that game stores can give them away to new or potential Magic players.[6] The Welcome decks are renewed each year.

Other than featuring cards from recent blocks, each welcome deck also contained a selected range of reprinted cards from older sets. Those cards had unique expansion symbols and code, and were considered to be part of the set that is simultaneously released in terms of Standard's rotation.

Going forward in the Three-and-One Model, the welcome decks gained a stronger integration with the revamped core set, planeswalker decks, and the Deck Builder's Toolkit, allowing for an easier transition between the products.[7] They now had the same expansion symbol as the core set, and were numbered in the same system. Note that, due to the changed naming convention, there is no Welcome Deck 2018.

These Welcome Decks are traditionally one color and tend to reduce the number of concepts to learn within any one deck. Each Welcome Deck has one rare, almost always a creature, which is meant for players to see a bigger, more flavorful, and more powerful card. These Welcome Decks are specially designed to be a good "first thing players see."[8]

The revamped Welcome Decks were considered a success and in 2019 were announced to be continued in the foreseeable future.[9] However, they were replaced by Welcome boosters in 2020.[10][11] In 2024, the made a return.[12]

Welcome boosters[ | ]

Welcome Boosters were introduced for Core Set 2021. Each Welcome Booster for a particular set is the same and contains a sample of legendaries, planeswalkers, showcase cards, and more. They also have double-sided helper cards that contain tips on how to get started, find stores, and learn a lot more about the game.[10][13] Initially, Welcome boosters were refreshed with each new Standard set to keep the cards relevant. During the COVID-19 crisis, production was put on hold. With March of the Machine, Welcome Boosters received an evergreen refresh, meaning they were no longer updated with every Standard set.[14][15] After that, they slowly seemed to have been phased out.

Collector Booster Sample Pack[ | ]

The Streets of New Capenna Commander deck introduced "Collector Booster Sample Packs", featuring two cards from among what you can discover in a Streets of New Capenna Collector Booster.[16][17]

  • A foil common or uncommon
  • A rare or mythic with a Booster Fun treatment.

After that, the Sample Packs became a regular feature of Commander deks.

Gallery[ | ]

References[ | ]

  1. Tom LaPille, Latest Developments (July 09, 2010). "My Favorite Things About Magic 2011". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Monty Ashley (June 13, 2011). "Magic 2012 Sample Decks". Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Monty Ashley (June 14, 2012). "Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Promos". Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Blake Rasmussen (June 12, 2014). "Magic 2015 — Duels of the Planeswalkers Promo Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Welcome Decks
  6. Gavin Verhey (January 18, 2018). "Know Your Audience". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Mark Rosewater (2017 June 12). "Metamorphosis 2.0". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater (June 18, 2018). "Getting to the Core". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Gavin Verhey (February 5, 2019). "State of Product Design 2018". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. a b Ari Zirulnik (June 4, 2020). "Core Set 2021 Product Overview". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. WPN (June 10, 2020). "The Reimagined New Player Experience, From Start To Finish". Wizards Play Network.
  12. WPN (June 28, 2024). "Dates & Details for Duskmourn: House of Horror". Wizards Play Network.
  13. WPN (September 9, 2021). "WPN Promo Usage and Policies". Wizards Play Network.
  14. WPN (June 4, 2020). "Introducing Welcome Boosters, Coming With M21". Wizards Play Network.
  15. WPN (February 20, 2023). "Dates & Details for March of the Machine". Wizards Play Network.
  16. Adam Styborski (March 3, 2022). "A First Look at Streets of Ne Capenna: Where Family Means Business". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Streets of New Capenna Prebeat (Video). Weekly MTG. YouTube (March 4, 2022).