Booster pack

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A booster pack is a sealed package of random Magic cards from a particular expansion set, designed to add to a player's collection.

Starting with Throne of Eldraine, regular boosters were rebranded as Draft Boosters, which formed a line up with Theme Boosters and Collector Boosters.[1] A later addition were the Set Boosters.

Draft Boosters[edit | edit source]

Main article: Draft Booster

Draft Booster is the modern name for the original booster product. They have a fixed distribution based on rarity. A regular booster pack nowadays contains sixteen cards: fifteen playing cards and a marketing card / token.[2][3]

Of the fifteen playing cards, one is a basic land, ten are common, three are uncommon, and one is rare or mythic rare.

There is a also a chance for one of the common cards to be replaced by a premium foil card of any rarity. This results in a booster pack with one basic land, one foil card, nine common cards, three uncommon cards and one rare or mythic rare card.

While most modern sets follow this breakdown in draft boosters, some sets may have unique pack requirements (like Innistrad including double-faced cards in every pack) that can skew the typical distribution of rarities and card types. In addition this breakdown has evolved over time, with older sets sometimes having different numbers of cards in their boosters.

Targeted Boosters[edit | edit source]

Starting in 2018, Wizards of the Coast began to create special boosters targeted at special audiences.

Theme Boosters[edit | edit source]

Main article: Theme Booster

Theme Boosters contain 35 cards (a variable amount of commons and uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare) from a given color or theme. The MSRP is $6.99. These are targeted at deckbuilding players, providing a greater number of cards that could go straight into their deck. They also play up a set's flavor for those that might be interested in sampling a slice of a particular aspect of the world.

Collector Boosters[edit | edit source]

Main article: Collector Booster

Collector Boosters are targeted at collectors and sold for $12.99. Unlike Draft Boosters, which optimize the Draft experience with a lot of repetition and a huge number of commons, Collector Boosters are maximized for more diversity in content, with more rares, foils, extended art, borderless planeswalkers and showcase cards.[1]

Set Booster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Set Booster

Set Boosters were introduced for Zendikar Rising. They are targeted to players that are not interested in Draft or Limited, and sell for a slightly higher price than Draft Boosters. Each pack comes with fourteen objects, twelve of which are Magic cards with a higher variety in rarities and unique treatments.

Non-regular boosters[edit | edit source]

Six card boosters[edit | edit source]

Conflux was the first set to be sold in six-card booster packs containing a tips/token card, one land, three commons, one uncommon, and one slot that had an equal chance of being rare/mythic, uncommon, or common. These packs are exclusively available from Gravity Feeds.[4] These could be found at mass-market retailers like Target and Walmart. 6-card boosters were available up until Magic 2014. They were available in Japanese from 2010 Core Set to New Phyrexia. Spanish six card packs of Magic 2011 and Magic 2012 were added to the Salvate Magazines.

Demogame boosters[edit | edit source]

Free 24-card Demogame boosters were available for several starter-level sets and core sets.

Main article: sample deck

Sample Packs[edit | edit source]

Free ten-card Sample Packs were available for several starter-level sets and core sets. Six-card Sample Packs were given available for Duels of the Planeswalkers-users.

Main article: sample deck

Seeded boosters[edit | edit source]

A seeded booster is a special set of cards that are made available at some prereleases.[5] It consists of playable cards that help to create a coherent deck, so that way more people (especially newer players) have a good time. There are limited combinations of cards that can appear in a seeded booster,

Standard Showdown prize boosters[edit | edit source]

Special promotional prize boosters introduced in 2016 for the Standard Showdown, containing three cards each. One is a premium card from a currently legal Standard set, including Masterpiece Series, and two are non-premium cards that are either a rare or a mythic rare from a set currently legal in Standard.[6]

Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion[edit | edit source]

  • Kaladesh: as a holiday promotion, purchasers of a booster box received two bonus holiday packs.[7] These boosters had the same content as the previously announced Standard Showdown prize boosters (for a total of two foil cards of any rarity—excluding double-faced cards—and four foil rares or mythic rares).
  • Ixalan: purchasers of a booster box received the Buy-a-Box Treasure Chest booster, containing two foil cards of any rarity from any Standard-legal set, four rare or mythic rare cards from Standard-legal sets, two foil basic lands, and one out of ten possible alternate art, foil double-faced cards.[8]

Twenty card boosters[edit | edit source]

The draft boosters of Commander Legends contain 20 Magic cards (and a marketing card).

Packaging[edit | edit source]

Wrapper[edit | edit source]

Plastic[edit | edit source]

The first booster packs had a fairly simple plastic packaging, where the sets only were differentiated by the color. Core sets were brown, Arabian Nights was purple, Antiquities was silver-grey, and so on. A problem was that this early packaging was slightly transparent.

Metal foil[edit | edit source]

Nowadays, booster packs are sealed with silver foil wrapping to keep all of the cards neatly in place. Fourth Edition was the first core set, and Ice Age the first expansion, with packs made of foil flow wrap and the first with artwork on the wrappers.

The foil, a mixture of metal and plastic, is sealed off with heat, a process called "crimping". In the process of sealing boosters closed, cards can get caught in the heat press and accidentally get crimped, as well.

Paper[edit | edit source]

With Modern Masters 2015 WotC experimented with recyclable paperboard booster wrappers.[9] Soon rumors abounded about the ease with which these new cardboard packs could be repacked.[10] Also, the cards had room to move and could be damaged during transport. Mark Rosewater later admitted that some challenges had to be solved, before the experiment would be repeated.[11]

In August 2019, Hasbro announced that it will begin phasing out plastic from new product packaging starting in 2020.[12] This will include shrink wrap, window sheets, and more. Virtually all plastic packaging will be eliminated by the end of 2022.

Marketing symbols[edit | edit source]

The packaging features several markings and symbols.[13] The CE Mark, together with the name and address of the first supplier, is required by law to appear on all toys placed on the market in the European Union on and after January 1990. The Lion Mark was developed in 1988 by the British Toy & Hobby Association as a symbol of toy safety and quality for the consumer. The Green Dot is an internationally recognized symbol that shows a company’s commitment to environmental protection.

Booster box[edit | edit source]

A booster pack box (or simply “booster box”) nowadays consists of 36 (12×3) booster packs, with the exception of sets like Conspiracy and Masters series, whose booster boxes consist of 24 (8×3) booster packs. Earlier sets had different sizes for booster boxes, depending on the size of the booster packs. This wasn't very efficient in view of production costs. Each booster box can be flipped open to advertise the set with an appropriate piece of art.

Collector boosters are packaged 12 to a box.

Booster case[edit | edit source]

A booster case nowadays consists of 6 booster boxes or 216 booster packs. Local game stores usually buy new sets by case.

Blister packs[edit | edit source]

From the Time Spiral block on, Booster packs could be sold in blister packs. A blister pack is putting plastic and a cardboard backing around the booster pack, this is somewhat of a theft-deterrent and adds the possibility of hanging the boosters on pegs (usually found in mass-market venues like Wall Mart, Target, etc.). This kind of packing can add cost to the booster pack. Blister packs can hold one, two, or three booster packs.

Booster sleeves[edit | edit source]

Starting with Magic 2013, the blister packs were replaced with cardboard booster sleeves.[14] and about printing and collation issues.[15] The sleeve is a cardboard overwrap around a regular booster in a normal foil wrapper. It's just a bigger package to make those items just a little harder to steal from big-box retailers. A Booster Sleeve display may contain 12 or 48 packs.

Draft packs[edit | edit source]

Conspiracy: Take the Crown introduced Draft Packs for sale in North American mass-market stores. The Draft Pack features three boosters in a blister pack.[16]

Unique packages[edit | edit source]

Resale packs[edit | edit source]

Main article: Resale pack

Additions[edit | edit source]

Wizards of the Coast toyed with the idea of scratch-off cards in boosters of Unglued 2. Another idea they explored was having it come with pieces of bubble gum. But it turned out that putting something edible in the booster packs created a whole series of stricter rules, and it turned out to not be feasible.[18]

Artwork[edit | edit source]

Core sets[edit | edit source]

Expert-level early sets[edit | edit source]

Expert-level expansion sets[edit | edit source]

  • Starting with Ice Age, large expansions sets feature artwork from three to five cards. Until Onslaught block, small expansions only featured one card art. This was later expanded to three.

Compilation sets[edit | edit source]

  • Chronicles packs have no card artwork, but have the Chronicles globe graphic.
  • Masters series sets feature artwork from three different cards.

Starter sets[edit | edit source]

Supplemental sets[edit | edit source]

Rules[edit | edit source]

The term "booster pack" is also referenced in the rules.

From the glossary of the Comprehensive Rules (September 25, 2020—Zendikar Rising)

Booster Pack
A group of unopened Magic cards from a particular expansion. Booster packs are used in Limited formats. See rule 100.2b.

See also[edit | edit source]

Booster Fun[edit | edit source]

"Booster Fun" is the collective name that R&D use for the types of card frames that may appear in Collector Boosters.

Mystery Booster[edit | edit source]

Mystery Booster is a Magic booster set, designed for Chaos Draft. It was released in 2019.

Welcome Booster[edit | edit source]

Main article: Welcome Booster

Welcome Boosters were introduced for Core Set 2021. These are free gifts for beginning players. Each Welcome Booster for a particular set is exactly the same and contains a sample of legendaries, planeswalkers, showcase cards, and more.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. a b Mark Rosewater (July 21, 2019). "Project Booster Fun". Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater (October 04, 2019). "A long time ago, the 15th card slot got changed to a basic land. Why did they do that?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  3. Mark Rosewater (October 05, 2019). "what made the packaging for Modern Horizons special to allow the seventeenth card (the art card)?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  4. Magic Arcana (February 05, 2009). "The Gravity Feed". Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Mark Rosewater (September 23, 2018). "Can you explain why we are back to seeded boosters in pre-release?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (November 14, 2016). "Announcing Standard Showdown". Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Blake Rasmussen (November 21, 2016). "Magic Holiday Gift Guide and Holiday Buy-a-Box Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Blake Rasmussen (November 7, 2017). "Black Friday Treasure Chest Promotion". Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Blake Rasmussen (February 24, 2015). "Recyclable Modern Masters Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (May 21, 2015). "Modern Masters Packaging Concerns". Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Mark Rosewater (June 17, 2016). "Was there results posted from the experimental change in Booster Packaging with Modern Masters 2?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
  12. Tonya Garcia (August 19, 2019). "Hasbro removing plastic from toy and game packaging".
  13. Wizards of the Coast (November 25, 2008). "Ask Wizards: Shards, RSS and Mysterious Symbols". Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Monty Ashley (June 28, 2012). "More Magic 2013 Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Wizards of the Coast (May 26, 2015). "Concerns with Modern Masters 2015 Edition Booster Packs". Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Wizards of the Coast (May 16, 2016). "Announcement Day". Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Magic Arcana (September 29, 2009). "The All-Foil Booster". Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Mark Rosewater (June 20, 2016). "25 More Random Things About Magic". Wizards of the Coast.
  19. Blake Rasmussen (June 22, 2015). "Origins Packaging". Wizards of the Coast.