Magic Set Boosters are a product introduced for Zendikar Rising in 2020. Set Boosters are targeted to players that are not interested in Draft or Limited, and sell for an about $1 higher price 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.
Set boosters come in 30 packs to a booster box display rather than 36.
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 of 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.
|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
|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.
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. 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.
- Magic: The Gathering Panel with Mark Rosewater | Comic-Con@Home 2020 (Video). YouTube.
- Mark Rosewater (July 25, 2020). "Set Boosters". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Annie Sardelis (September 14, 2020). "Magic Minigames". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Blake Rasmussen (December 16, 2020). "Set and Theme Booster Additions". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- WPN (January 18, 2021). "Set Boosters: Answers to 3 Common Questions". Wizards Play Network.
- WPN (December 17, 2020). "What's New in Kaldheim Set Boosters". Wizards Play Network.
- Ari Zirulnik (March 25, 2021). "Strixhaven: School of Mages Product Overview". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.