|Symbol description||A star|
Bill Rose (lead)|
With contributions by:
and Henry Stern
|Development||same as design|
|Release date||July 12, 1999|
(63 commons, 55 uncommons, 35 rares, 20 basic lands)
|Magic: The Gathering Chronology|
Starter was the next attempt, after the Portal series, to ease new players into the game. Rules text were also written in bold type and separated from the flavor text with a thick line. Unlike the previous starter-level sets, Starter didn't have its own set of rules. The terminology was now for the first time consistent throughout the range of Magic products. It was just simpler than advanced-level Magic because certain cards (such as artifacts, enchantments, most instants and cards with complicated abilities) weren't in the set.
The Starter set is slightly larger than a standard smaller expansion and most of its cards are reprints of cards already available. The Starter set does contain twenty-six new cards created just for this release.
Starter was sold in 15-card booster packs (containing 1 rare, 3 uncommon, 9 common and 2 basic lands), five different 40 card theme decks and a 2 Player Starter Set. The booster pack featured the art from Denizen of the Deep. The 2-Player Starter Set came with two decks, two playmats, a step-by-step play guide, and a simplified version of the rulebook. It contained eight cards not available in boosters, two of which haven't been printed anywhere else (Royal Falcon and Willow Elf). The Starter set was accompanied by The Official Starter Game Strategy Guide and the Guru teaching program. Starter Demogame boosters contained 24 cards, a tip card, a rebate card, and an instruction sheet. Everything two players needed to play their first Magic game.
No specific storyline was developed for Starter.
Starter has one cycle and one vertical cycle:
|Vanilla one-drops||Eager Cadet||Merfolk of the Pearl Trident||Muck Rats||Mons's Goblin Raiders||Willow Elf|
|Each of these 1/1 creatures costs M and has no abilities.|
|Super tramplers||Lone Wolf||Pride of Lions||Thorn Elemental|
|A vertical cycle of creatures that deal their combat damage to the defending player as though they weren't blocked. It is said that this ability was created because Wizards thought trample was too confusing, yet this new ability wasn't taken too well in its place. This cycle is represented in the Impaler theme deck.|
Starter has one mirrored pair:
|6/6 creatures with no abilities and a cost of 6M.|
- Angel of Light
- Champion Lancer
- Devout Monk
- Eager Cadet #
- Loyal Sentry
- Royal Falcon #
- Royal Trooper
- Veteran Cavalier
- Sea Eagle #
- Dakmor Ghoul
- Dakmor Lancer
- Grim Tutor
- Shrieking Specter
- Stream of Acid
- Cinder Storm
- Goblin Chariot
- Goblin Commando
- Goblin Settler
- Thunder Dragon
- Trained Orgg
- Pride of Lions
- Silverback Ape
- Willow Elf
# Not available in regular boosters
Starter has three functional reprints:
- Goblin Chariot is a functional reprint of Raging Cougar from Portal and Wild Colos from Urza's Destiny.
- Loyal Sentry is a functional reprint of Alaborn Zealot from Portal Second Age.
- Veteran Cavalier is a functional reprint of Alaborn Grenadier from Portal Second Age.
- Grim Tutor — one of the few notable cards this set has introduced, it is still one of the best black Tutors.
- For the content of the decks in the 2 Player Starter Set, see Starter 1999 2 Player Starter Set.
The preconstructed theme decks are:
- Goblin Hero was printed with a gold expansion symbol, the card is common - not rare.
- Mons's Goblin Raiders was printed with a gold expansion symbol, the card is common - not rare.
- Squall had a mana cost of . When that card was reprinted later that year in the Mercadian Masques expert-level expansion, it had a mana cost of . The latter was ruled the correct one.
- Wizards of the Coast (August 02, 2004). "Ask Wizards - August, 2004". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe (March 11, 2005). "More About March 1st". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (October 06, 2008). "Flavor of the Feast". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (October 10, 2002). "Goblin misprints". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana (August 27, 2002). "Squall slip-up". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.