No one would judge you for getting a little confused at the sheer amount of sealed Magic: The Gathering available with each new set. One of the products in question is the Draft Booster. It’s the actual base product with any brand-new set, whether it’s standard or supplemental.
What is its purpose, and why would you buy them? All perfectly reasonable questions that we’re going to answer for you! Here’s precisely what a Draft Booster is in Magic: The Gathering!
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What is a Draft Booster?
In the simplest terms, a Draft Booster is the most basic product available in Magic: The Gathering. These packs were once known simply as Booster Packs before a name change that arrived with Throne of Eldraine. We now have three different boosters available so the name distinction is very helpful!
Inside a Draft Booster is fifteen cards plus either a token or marketing card. Based on the current setup, each pack typically has the following;
- One Basic Land OR Common Dual Land
- Ten Common Cards
- Three Uncommon Cards
- One Rare or Mythic Rare Card
The value within these packs is the lowest possible based on predictive content alone. Naturally, if you happen to have the most expensive card in a set within the pack, it’s a different story!
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What Are They Used For?
A Draft Booster has a couple of uses within the modern Magic game. If you’re a collector looking to bulk up what you have or just get started, these are the best place to begin. Given that there is no structure to these packs beyond the card contents, they’re not much good when hunting for immediate value.
You can also use them for Draft games. This is where you start with any number of players, each of whom has a Draft Booster pack. Everyone opens their pack and takes one card before passing the packs around, this process continues until all packs have been drafted and everyone can build at least a 40-card deck to play with. This format is common at pre-release and full paper release events.
Beyond this, you may choose to buy and keep your packs in hopes that the set they are from becomes desirable in the future meaning you can earn a profit off them by selling once the set is out of rotation.
Draft Boosters are Disappearing!
While Draft Boosters may be a cornerstone of MTG sets and the product catalog, they’re changing in 2024. They’ll be changing so much, in fact, that they’re going to disappear entirely! For better or worse, MTG’s iconic Draft Boosters are being replaced by Play Boosters in 2024. This change will come into effect with the release of Murders at Karlov Manor. After this point, Play Boosters will be used for all Limited events.
Also replacing Set Boosters at the same time, Play Boosters are a somewhat bold new frontier for MTG. That being said, however, in a way, they’re also a blast from the past, simplifying the existing product catalog. Still able to be Drafted with, and able to be collected to, Play Boosters shouldn’t be a cataclysmic change.
While the change might not tear the fabric of MTG asunder, Limited is definitely going to look different once Play Boosters launch in 2024. For better or worse, there are three major reasons for this: rare density, fewer cards, and The List.
For starters, Play Boosters can contain up to four rare or mythic cards in each pack. While it will be rare for this to happen, this increased rare density should hopefully make Drafts more exciting. The same is surprisingly true of the fewer cards contained within every pack. Removing one common card from the pool, Play Boosters should create a little less Draft chaff.
Last but not least, The List is also causing a major change by being integrated into Play Boosters. This means that nostalgic, flavorful, and powerful cards on the overhauled list may appear in packs. Depending on their power level, this may completely warp Limited games for better and for worse!
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