Core set

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From 1993 till 2015, a core set (stylized as Core Set) formed the base set of cards for tournament play and rotations. [1][2] After the Limited Edition, all core sets through 10th Edition consisted solely of reprinted cards; as of Magic 2010 they featured new cards beside reprints.

History[edit | edit source]

Up to the Eighth Edition core sets were referred to as base sets or basic sets. However, a base set was broader defined, because the Fourth Edition base set included the Chronicles extension. The name change came into being, because there were concerns that older base sets confused newer players — their primary audience — by making them feel like they "missed out" on five or six previous editions and were hopelessly behind. [3]

Fifth Edition was the first core set to implement expansion symbols on its cards (though only on the Simplified Chinese printing), implementing a roman numeral style logo, which appeared in all languages starting with Sixth Edition. The current core set expansion symbol style (the stylized 'M' from the Magic logo and an abbreviation of the set year number) was introduced with Magic 2010. Core sets were printed with white borders during the period when they included only reprints, i.e. from Unlimited Edition through 10th Edition (though foil cards were black-bordered beginning from their core-set introduction in Seventh Edition).

As of Magic 2010, core sets were released annually.[4]

Core sets were discontinued after Magic Origins. [5]

Description[edit | edit source]

Core sets formerly contained more cards than expansion sets and ranged from 249 cards (Magic 2010) to 449 cards (Fifth Edition).

Core sets may be distinguished from expansion sets by the addition of reminder text on cards, so as to elucidate abilities and mechanics that are unfamiliar or initially incomprehensible to newer players, such as first strike, flying, haste, protection, regeneration, and trample, as well as by the general absence of a storyline.[6] Cards' flavor text may nevertheless refer to expansion sets and their settings or even real-world people, texts, or things (e.g., the Fifth Edition Boomerang, the Seventh Edition Boomerang). Seventh Edition is somewhat of an exception to this, however, with a story of a war among the paladinsEastern Paladin, Northern Paladin, Southern Paladin, and Western Paladin — narrated through the flavor text of cards from the set.

Core sets were often seeded with cards that the themes of upcoming blocks, or used to provide answers to cards that were more powerful than was anticipated in the year preceding it. The last goal of core sets was to play well with the block that was leaving Standard, while not relying so heavily on it that the cards would not work after rotation. [7]

List of core sets[edit | edit source]

Edition Symbol Set size Released
01a Limited Edition Alpha 295 1993-06
01b Limited Edition Beta 302 1993-10
02 Unlimited Edition 302 1993-12
03 Revised Edition 306 1994-04
04 4th Edition 378 1995-05
05 5th Edition 449 1997-03
06 6th Edition 350 1999-04
07 7th Edition 350 2001-04
08 8th Edition 357 2003-07
09 9th Edition 359 2005-07
10 10th Edition 383 2007-07
11 Magic 2010 249[8] 2009-07
12 Magic 2011 249[9] 2010-07
13 Magic 2012 249[10] 2011-07
14 Magic 2013 249[11] 2012-07
15 Magic 2014 249[12] 2013-07
16 Magic 2015 269[13] 2014-07
17 Magic Origins 272[14] 2015-07

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Doug Beyer. (July 20, 2011.) “Core Curriculum”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (June 27, 2011.) “Please Sir, I Want Some Core”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Magic Arcana. (March 31, 2003.) “Core Set”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Aaron Forsythe. (June 28, 2010.) “Magic 2011 Has Big Shoes to Fill”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater. (August 25, 2014.) “Metamorphosis”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Mark Rosewater. (July 14, 2003.) “Let's Start at the Very Beginning”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Sam Stoddard. (July 12, 2013.) “Core Developments for Standard”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Magic 2010 — Wizards of the Coast
  9. Wizards of the Coast. (January 6, 2010.) “Announcing Magic 2011”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Monty Ashley. (January 3, 2011.) “Announcing Magic 2012”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Monty Ashley. (January 3, 2012.) “Announcing Magic 2013 Core Set”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  12. Monty Ashley. (January 7, 2013.) “Announcing the Magic 2014 Core Set”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Wizards of the Coast. (January 6, 2014.) “Announcing Magic 2015”,, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast. (February 8, 2015.) “Announcing Magic Origins”,, Wizards of the Coast.