Changes are coming to Magic: The Gathering. Specifically, the world's most popular trading card game is changing how its booster products are handled with the introduction of Magic: The Gathering Play Boosters.
The Magic: The Gathering Play Boosters Announcement
In an official Magic blog post, Mark Rosewater explained how Magic: The Gathering Play Boosters would change things. Simply put, Set Boosters and Draft Boosters are being combined into this new kind of booster pack.
As for why this change is happening, Rosewater cited both inventory and format concerns.
Set Boosters are significantly more popular than Draft Boosters. But Set Boosters are not designed for Limited Play (i.e. Sealed and Draft). If a store only stocks Set Boosters, then they can't run Draft. Certain stores can't stock both since Draft Boosters will just take up space.
Since Draft is a very important format for Magic: The Gathering, this situation only gets worse. More people are buying Set Boosters but not playing Draft. Draft boosters aren't being sold, leading to stores not stocking them, leading to substandard Draft play.
Rosewater continued to explain what a Magic: The Gathering Play Booster will contain. A single Play Booster will include six common cards, a common from The List, two uncommons, a rare or mythic rare, a basic land card, a non-foil wildcard, a foil wildcard, and a non-playable token or art.
This general pattern may shift from set to set.
There are several notable differences between Play Boosters and Set Boosters. Play Boosters have two more playable cards and have no connected commons or uncommons. Alternatively, they have one fewer non-foil wildcard and only have a 1-in-3 chance of containing an art card.
As for how they compare to Draft Boosters, the effect is much more notable. In addition to being viable for Draft play, Play Boosters have a chance of containing up to four rare or mythic rare cards, and contain an additional foil and non-foil wildcard. The trade-off is the Play Boosters will contain three fewer common cards.
Magic: The Gathering Play Boosters will premiere as part of the set Murders at Karlov Manor. This means this change in boosters will not affect the upcoming sets announced at MagicCon: Las Vegas Play Boosters will sell for the same price as Set Boosters. Play Booster display boxes, however, will contain 36 boosters like Draft Booster displays did. This will increase the price of these display boxes.