A planeswalker deck is a preconstructed theme deck designed by Wizards of the Coast as a starter product for beginning Magic players. Planeswalker decks replaced Intro packs starting with Kaladesh.
Planeswalker Decks acquaint players who are interested in Magic with basic strategy, the game's settings, and characters, and include a premium foil Planeswalker card. According to Wizards of the Coast, Planeswalker Decks are the best first purchase for a new player, once they've learned the game through either Magic Duels or a Welcome Deck. But its features are meant to appeal to experienced players as well.
Each set features two Planeswalker Decks, each built around a different Planeswalker. Those Planeswalkers are characters relevant to that block or standalone set. Each Planeswalker Deck is a 60-card deck and is packaged with two booster packs from the relevant block or set with an MSRP of $14.99. They also contain a strategy insert and a Magic learn-to-play guide. The Planeswalker Decks are released in each of the eleven languages that Magic is published in.
The decks play into mechanical themes of the block or standalone set, most often making use of a new keyword mechanic. The default is that the decks are two-color even if the Planeswalker is monocolor.
By the time of the release of Amonkhet block, Planeswalker decks were considered a commercial success. Going forward in the Three-and-One Model, they would have a stronger integration with the revamped core set, sample decks and Deck Builder's Toolkit, allowing for an easier transition between the products. This was considered a success, and it will be the model for the foreseeable future. However, it is debated if Planeswalker decks always have to be Standard-legal cards or not.
In 2018, Wizards of the Coast tried something new with a pair of Chinese-market-specific Planeswalker Decks featuring new Planeswalkers created particularly for China. It is Standard legal only for events held in China, otherwise is not Standard nor Modern legal.
The five Planeswalker decks from Core Set 2019 come with only one booster, and are integrated with Welcome decks. They are designed to be a bit more complex than the Welcome Decks but still a little on the simpler side than a normal Standard deck. The Planeswalker Decks tied to the core set are meant to be even easier for a first-time player than the one tied to expansions. The idea is after players see Welcome Decks, their first purchase is a Planeswalker Deck.
Each Planeswalker deck features five cards that can't be found in the corresponding booster pack of that expansion. However, they are considered to be a part of that expansion, meaning that those cards will be playable in any format in which that set is legal. Planeswalkers among these cards don't count towards the five per block count. The special cards included in each deck consist of:
- One foil copy of a mythic rare planeswalker, designed to be fun and flavorful but not pushed for tournament play. Expensive to cast and splashy.
- Two copies of a rare spell that has an effect and also tutors for the specific planeswalker. The rare usually will cost one mana less than the planeswalker. It only looks for the Planeswalker Deck's version of the planeswalker and not any version.
- Three copies of an uncommon permanent that is enhanced by having the planeswalker (or any other version of the planeswalker) on the battlefield.
- Four copies of a common flavored to the planeswalker with a basic staple effect.
- Four copies of an appropriate common dual land.
The Planeswalker Decks of Core Set 2019 lack the planeswalker tutors, replacing them with a card that looks at the top five cards and picks one card of the same color. This is because R&D decided to keep shuffling out of the beginners product.
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- WPN Product info
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