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ZNR Set Booster

Zendikar Rising Set Booster

Magic Set Boosters are a product introduced for Zendikar Rising in 2020.[1][2] They became part of the regular product line of every set that came with boosters, until they were replaced by Play Boosters with Murders at Karlov Manor in 2024.[3]

Description[ | ]

Set Boosters are targeted to players that are not interested in Draft or Limited, but enjoy the excitement and surprise of cracking boosters. They sell for about $1 higher than Draft Boosters. Each pack comes with fourteen objects, twelve of which are Magic playing cards. The other pieces are an Art card and a Marketing card / Token. There is a 25% chance that the latter is replaced by a card from "The List", which is a reprint from another set with its original expansion symbol. A card of The List is often surprising for unsuspecting buyers who think they have purchased a product focused on the set in question (as the name implies).

Set boosters come in 30 packs to a booster box display rather than 36.

Background[ | ]

One of the big shifts in R&D's thinking in recent years is the idea of adapting their products to the audience rather than making the audience adapt to their products. After introducing Theme Boosters and Collector Boosters, they realized that substantially more than half of all opened Draft Boosters are not used in Limited play (Sealed or Draft). They saw an opportunity to create yet another booster that was optimized to make opening boosters as fun as possible.

As they weren't beholden to any of the rules dictated by the needs of Draft (or Sealed), the Set Boosters didn't have to have exactly fifteen cards. They didn't have to have a set number of commons, uncommons, and rares or mythic rares. R&D was also free to experiment with putting cards in the booster that weren't game pieces. After much experimentation, they ended up with a pack that came with fourteen objects, twelve of which were Magic cards (in contrast with a Draft Booster, which comes with sixteen cards, fifteen of which are Magic cards).

The goal was to create a booster that had a path that you went through as you opened it. Rather than just one excitement point (the Rare or Mythic Rare), they designed the booster to have several excitement points. To do this, they've organized the booster into four sections that they call chapters (Welcome, Fireworks, Big Finish, and Epilogue), each with some number of cards ("slots"). Each slot has an element of possible surprise.

Structure[ | ]

Set booster structure
Chapter Slot Quantity Type Chance of surprise
Welcome 1. Art 1 Art card 5% chance on a gold signature version.
2. Land 1 Land 15% chance on a foil version.
3. Connected 6 Commons and Uncommons with a common type or theme
(the connective component was quietly phased out in later Set Boosters)[3]
35% chance of 5C, 1U
40% chance of 4C, 2U
12.5% chance of 3C, 3U
7% chance of 2C, 4U
3.5% chance of 1C, 5U
2 % chance of 6U
Fireworks 4. Head-Turning 1 Common or Uncommon card with a unique treatment, such as a Showcase card.
5. Wild card 2 Anything from Common to Mythic Rare. 49% chance on 2C
24.5% chance on 1C, 1U
17.5% chance on 1C, 1R or MR
3.1% chance on 2U
4.3% chance on 1U, 1R or MR
1.6 % chance on 2R or MR
The Rares and Mythic Rares may be Showcase versions.
Big Finish 6. Rare/Mythic Rare 1 Rare or Mythic Rare. 13.5% chance on a Mythic Rare (1 in every 7.4).
7. Foil 1 Anything from Common to Mythic Rare. Foil.
Epilogue 8. Token/Ad Card 1 Marketing card / Token card. 25% chance on a card from "The List".
5% chance on a minigame card.[4]

History[ | ]

Set Boosters were introduced with Zendikar Rising in 2020.

The Set Boosters from the next Standard set, Kaldheim, contained cards that are not part of the main set. These also could appear in the Theme Boosters of the set.[5][6] The 15 common and uncommon cards may appear in the "Connected" slot, the 5 rares may appear in the "Head Turner" slot. Kaldheim was the first Set Booster with a possible rare in this slot.[7]

For Strixhaven: School of Mages, every Set Booster contained a Mystical Archive card and a Lesson card in Slot 4 and 5 (+ 1 Wild card).[8]

Starting with Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, every Bundle contains 8 Set Boosters instead of 10 Draft Boosters.

In 2023, Mark Rosewater admitted that the existence of both Set Boosters and Draft Boosters had created a few issues and that audience confusion was one of them.[9] For Murders at Karlov Manor Set Boosters and Draft Boosters were replaced by Play Boosters.[3]

References[ | ]