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Core set

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Core sets (stylized as Core Set) formed the base set of cards for tournament play and rotations. [1][2] After the Limited Edition in 1993, all core sets through 10th Edition consisted solely of reprinted cards; as of Magic 2010 they featured new cards beside reprints. Core sets were discontinued in 2015, but will be reintroduced in 2018.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Up to the Eighth Edition core sets were referred to as base sets or basic sets.[4] 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. [5]

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 later 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 from Unlimited Edition through Ninth Edition, but a 10th Edition poll resulted in that set's cards being printed with black borders, a trend that continued with all subsequent sets. Foil cards were black-bordered beginning from their core-set introduction in Seventh Edition.

Core sets were released at varying intervals. Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Editions were scheduled erratically, followed by biannual releases through Magic 2010. From Magic 2011 until Magic Origins, they occupied an annual summer product slot.[6][7]

Discontinuation and future[edit | edit source]

Core sets were discontinued after Magic Origins in 2015, but will be reintroduced in 2018. Like the sets from Magic 2010 to Magic Origins, these sets will contain a mix of new and reprinted cards. However, they will be smaller and geared primarily toward incoming players. [8][3] They will have a stronger integration with the Welcome decks, Planeswalker decks and Deck Builder's Toolkit, allowing for an easier transition between the products.[3]

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.[9]

Most core sets do not have a unified storyline among cards. 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). Two sets are an exception to this:

Core sets were often seeded with cards that reinforced 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. [10]

List of core sets[edit | edit source]

Edition Symbol Set size Released
01a Limited Edition Alpha 295 1993-08
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[11] 2009-07
12 Magic 2011 249[12] 2010-07
13 Magic 2012 249[13] 2011-07
14 Magic 2013 249[14] 2012-07
15 Magic 2014 249[15] 2013-07
16 Magic 2015 269[16] 2014-07
17 Magic Origins 272[17] 2015-07
18 Core 2019 269[18] 2018-07

Theme decks[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Doug Beyer. (July 20, 2011.) “Core Curriculum”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (June 27, 2011.) “Please Sir, I Want Some Core”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. a b c Mark Rosewater. (June 12, 2017.) “Metamorphosis 2.0”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Magic Arcana. (October 31, 2002.) “"Revising" the base set”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Magic Arcana. (March 31, 2003.) “Core Set”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Aaron Forsythe. (June 28, 2010.) “Magic 2011 Has Big Shoes to Fill”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  7. Diego Fumagalli. (June 13 2017.) “(Nearly) 25 Years of Magic in Graphics”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  8. Mark Rosewater. (August 25, 2014.) “Metamorphosis”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  9. Mark Rosewater. (July 14, 2003.) “Let's Start at the Very Beginning”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  10. Sam Stoddard. (July 12, 2013.) “Core Developments for Standard”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  11. Magic 2010 — Wizards of the Coast
  12. Wizards of the Coast. (January 6, 2010.) “Announcing Magic 2011”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  13. Monty Ashley. (January 3, 2011.) “Announcing Magic 2012”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Monty Ashley. (January 3, 2012.) “Announcing Magic 2013 Core Set”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  15. Monty Ashley. (January 7, 2013.) “Announcing the Magic 2014 Core Set”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  16. Wizards of the Coast. (January 6, 2014.) “Announcing Magic 2015”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  17. Wizards of the Coast. (February 8, 2015.) “Announcing Magic Origins”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  18. Wizards of the Coast. (June 14, 2017.) “25th Anniversary Announcement Day 2017”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.