Booster packs have been central to the Magic: The Gathering gameplay experience since the game’s inception. The mystery of opening a fresh pack of the new set and finding a coveted card inside has enthralled players for twenty-seven years. While you can buy just about any singles you need these days, it’s still hard to resist the excitement of opening a bunch of packs and seeing what’s inside.
But Magic has changed quite a bit since 1993 – and, indeed, so have booster packs. With more people playing the game than ever before, the options for how you can play are nearly infinite. Consequently, Wizards has rolled out several new takes on the booster pack formula in the last year, all designed to cater to the needs of specific customer groups.
If you’re new to Magic or returning to the game after a break, you may be unfamiliar with the different types of booster packs and unsure which ones are right for you. To make your decision a little easier, we’ve compiled this guide to every booster pack currently available in Magic, so you can have the best pack-cracking experience possible.
Number of cards: 15
Contents: 10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare/mythic rare, 1 basic land, 1 token/ad card
Recommended for: Players of all levels, especially drafters
Draft Boosters are the classic Magic booster packs you know and love. They feature an assortment of cards at different rarities, including one rare or mythic rare card, which make them perfect for drafting. Some Draft Boosters will also include a foil card of any rarity, which appears at the back of the pack and takes the place of one of the commons.
Draft Boosters are commonly sold in boxes of 36 packs – meaning you’ll have enough to draft with seven friends and twelve packs left over to open at your discretion.
Number of cards: 15
Contents: Varies by set, but typically includes foil commons, uncommons, and basic lands; extended-art or alternate-art cards; one extended-art rare/mythic rare and at least one foil rare/mythic rare; and one foil token. Can include cards not found in regular booster packs of the set.
Recommended for: Collectors looking for special, hard-to-find cards
If you enjoy foiling out your decks or collecting alternate-art cards, consider cracking some Collector Boosters. These packs are full to the brim with the unique cards, including some that you won’t find in Draft Boosters.
Wizards has tinkered with the Collector Booster formula a bit since introducing the packs with Throne of Eldraine, but you can expect to find an assortment of foil and special-frame cards, including rares and mythics. While they’re more expensive than Draft Boosters – typically about $19.99 – Collector Boosters offer a thrilling pack-opening experience.
Number of cards: 12
Contents: 1 art card; 1 basic land (can be foil); 6 thematically-related commons and uncommons; 1 showcase or alternate-art card; 2 “wildcards” of any rarity; 1 rare/mythic rare card; 1 foil card of any rarity; 1 token, ad card, or card not included in the set
Recommended for: Players who enjoy the experience of opening booster packs and/or the thematic resonance of a set
The newest booster pack to join the selection are Set Boosters, debuting with the release of Zendikar Rising. These packs are designed to deliver the same excitement you’d experience while opening a Collector Booster, but at a lower cost.
Each Set Booster serves as an introduction to a new Magic set. When you open each pack, you’ll be greeted by a collectible art card from the set. You’ll thumb through cards that relate to one of the major themes of the set and eventually find rarer and more collectible cards. You might even find a card from Magic’s past that isn’t in the set at all!
Set Boosters are ideal for players who value the aesthetics of Magic: The Gathering – the art, the atmosphere in each story, and the special treatments on cards. And, of course, they’re just plain fun to open.
Number of cards: 35
Contents: 35 cards of a single color, including 1 rare/mythic rare
Recommended for: New players learning to build decks
Collector Boosters and Set Boosters contain plenty of eye-catching cards that you’ll want to add to your collection. What if you’re brand-new to Magic and barely have a collection to speak of?
If you’re looking to make your first purchase as a Magic player, we recommend Theme Boosters. Each Theme Booster includes 35 cards that can form the building blocks of your first deck. As the name implies, all the cards inside a Theme Booster are thematically linked, so they’re meant to be played together.
Most Magic sets feature five theme boosters, one for each color of mana. Try them all and decide which color you like best!
VIP Edition Boosters
Number of cards: 35
Contents: 9 foil commons; 8 foil uncommons; 2 foil rares or 1 foil rare and 1 foil mythic rare; 2 foil borderless rares or 1 foil borderless rare and 1 foil borderless mythic rares; 12 full-art basic lands (2 foil); 2 foil double-sided tokens
Recommended for: Collectors looking for ultra-premium versions of valuable cards
Finally, we have the crème de la crème of booster packs: the VIP Edition pack. These packs were introduced with Double Masters and functioned like Collector Boosters in regular expansion sets – they provide an elevated experience to collectors. Double Masters VIP Edition boosters contain premium versions of some of the most powerful cards ever printed, making them the most valuable booster packs currently in print.
If you’re in the mood to crack some packs, head to CardKingdom.com and search our full selection of Magic products.