16, Oct, 23

What is a Set Booster in Magic: The Gathering?

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What is a Set Booster in Magic: The Gathering? That’s a good question if you’re new to the game, or just haven’t bought yourself or anyone else a pack in a while. As Wizards of the Coast’s product catalog has steadily been expanding larger and larger, new versions of products we all know and love have been introduced, unintroduced, reintroduced, and banished from polite society.

Wilds of Eldraine introduced Collector Boosters, which are now a routine part of every set release, these once-new boosters were only the start of Wizards’ plans. One year later, Wizards debuted another brand new pack type to MTG players: Set Boosters.

Upon first being revealed, this product was initially seen as somewhat of an oddity, however, they’ve stood the test of time. In fact, over the years, Set Boosters have become a valuable part of the expansive product lineup. Offering a means of acquiring cards for non-Draft enthusiasts, there’s no doubt that Set Boosters are here to stay. 

Since Set Boosters are staying put, it’s well worth knowing exactly what you’ll get opening them. Thankfully, if you’re curious about that, we’re here to help, as we’ve got all the important information!

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What is a Set Booster?

Set Booster Structure
The structure of a Set Booster

A Set Booster is a new type of pack that was introduced alongside Zendikar Rising. It offers you way more value per pack from both a monetary and collection aspect. Because of this, they are slightly more expensive than a Draft Boosters by about $/£1. The boxed product also only comes with 30 packs, compared to 36 for Draft.

Each pack is made up of twelve Magic cards. You also have an art card, a marketing card, token, or a card from The List. This product is also structured so that each pack follows a theme. What this means is you should have an idea of what each pack is trying to accomplish within the first few cards.

It might follow a mana pattern, being predominantly one colour. There is a possibility it could have a keyword theme like Mill. There’s even a possibility it may follow a creature pattern. The combinations are endless but it’s a nice bit of consideration the WotC has shown when creating the product.

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What Are They Used For?


Set Boosters are brilliant for a few reasons. They’re great for deckbuilding as they follow a theme meaning the cards you receive typically have some synergy with each other. They’re also fantastic for collectors who want big showpiece cards to build out their sets. While it may be a little trickier to fill out the Commons and Uncommons, the chances of showcase, borderless, and Rares/Mythic cards in general really help their appeal.

This also means that the value in Set Boosters is pretty impressive. If you’re looking to turn a quick profit on a new set, they are the go-to product. Once again on the value front, holding on to these Boosters could turn a handy profit further down the line. As the sets are rotated the value naturally increases unless it’s considered an irrelevant or poor product.

Set Boosters are Disappearing!

Murders at Karlov Manor Art

Despite only appearing in 2024, the days of the Set Booster are already numbered! Recently, Wizards of the Coast announced this Booster Pack is being scrapped entirely in favor of a new option. Known as the Play Booster, this new product will be replacing Set Boosters following the release of Murders at Karlov Manor in 2024.

Compared to current Set Boosters, Play Boosters are technically a lot worse. Containing one less Wildcard slot, nonplayable object (Tokens, etc), and no guarantee of an art card, there are definitely downsides to Play Boosters. The only upside in their contents is that Play Boosters will contain two more playable cards since Set Boosters only contain 12 cards. 

Despite the change in content, according to Wizards, Play Boosters are going to cost roughly the same as Set Boosters. Ultimately, this makes Play Boosters a marginal downgrade, that’s spared by the inclusion of the two extra cards. While this may be disappointing, on a major upside, purchasing packs won’t nearly be as confusing anymore.

Another positive of the change to Play Boosters is that these new packs can now also be properly played with. Able to be used in Draft events, this detail should hopefully make Play Boosters more fun and useable. As a result of this change, the contents in Play Boosters won’t be structured like Set Boosters. Instead, they’ll be more random, similar to how Draft Boosters are now.

Ultimately, since Play Boosters are still months away from release, it’s difficult to say if they’re an improvement or not just yet. With positives and negatives on either side of the argument, we’re just going to have to wait and see. Hopefully, considering there’s no turning back, this change will definitely be for the better.

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