MTG Booster Pack Guide 2024

Seriously, how many different booster types are there nowadays? Some are being discontinued, as new versions replace them. It’s easy to be over overwhelmed with so many options, if you aren’t the most enfranchised player. Don’t fear, though, as this MTG Booster Pack Guide can help you figure things out.

We’ll talk about current boosters, retired boosters, and boosters that are just occasionally used. At the end of the article, you should understand the differences between all of them.

Two Types of MTG Booster Packs

Nowadays, there we’re down to just two main booster types:

  • Play boosters
  • Collector boosters

Each one has their pros and cons, and neither is strictly better than the other. Below you’ll find the specifics for each booster, which should help you pick the perfect one for you.

The examples will be from the most recent set – Murders at Karlov Manor, with release date February 9, 2024. If you’re buying Collector boosters from another set, they should still work quite similarly. On the other hand, if you’re buying boosters from older sets, you’ll encounter Set and Draft boosters. But more about those in the Discontinued Boosters section.

Play Booster

Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster
  • Number of cards: 14
  • Contents: 8 commons, 4 uncommons, 1.45 rares or mythics (on average)
  • Boosters per box: 36 Play boosters

Play boosters are your regular boosters. They’ve replaced both Draft and Set boosters, and thus needed to fill two roles. First, they need to allow players to draft them. Second, they must be fun to open. As it turns out, Play boosters accomplished both tasks.

There’s typically 8 commons and four uncommons in every pack. This allows players to play Draft or Sealed with these boosters. So, if you want to draft with your friends, these are the boosters you need.

But what if you just want to open some boosters for the sake of it? That works too. Each Play booster has a chance of 1-4 rares or mythics. On average, you can expect around 1.45 rares per pack. Plus, there’s a foil card in every pack, as well as an alternate art card. Also, you might even get a card from The List. Quite a lot to be excited about.

Play boosters are currently the cheapest MTG boosters still being printed in every set. So, if you’re looking to buy some boosters, but don’t want to spend too much, these are the ones you want.

Pros

  • The cheapest boosters currently.
  • Essential for drafting.
  • Fun to open, as they contain alt-arts and have a chance for multiple rares.
  • Old school players will know what to expect.

Cons

  • Not that many exciting cards.

Collector Booster

Murders at Karlov Manor Collector Booster
  • Number of cards: 15
  • Contents: (Slightly vary from set to set.) Usually 5 rares and mythics, 10 commons / uncommons, 1 foil token – all cards are either in foil or have alternate art
  • Boosters per box:  12 Collector boosters

Collector Booster is the most expensive one. However, it also has the greatest number of exciting cards. Very high risk, high reward. There are many Collector booster boxes, available, but my favorite ones are two older ones from Ikoria and Zendikar Rising. You can take a look at the following two articles to find some examples of what you might expect:

You can also find a list of all Collector Boosters here.

In general, each pack has 15 cards with 1 double-sided token. They come with 5 rares or mythics and the rest are commons and uncommons. All cards are either in foil or have alternate art (borderless, extended or completely special artwork) – sometimes even both.

Here are a couple of examples of what you could get in the latest, Murders at Karlov Manor Collector boosters.

With all that being said, the cost difference tends to be significantly higher than any of the other booster types. As the name implies, these tend to fit better for collectors instead of your average player.

Collector Boosters also have the most foils of all pack types, which is great for anyone that loves to bling their decks. The fact that each pack has a double-sided foil token is also a plus, for anyone who likes to play token decks. 

Pros

  • Special art cards, some of which only appear in these packs.
  • Highest number of rares, mythics and foils per pack.
  • Great for collectors.

Cons

  • Highest Price.

Occasionally-Used MTG Boosters

Besides the two main booster types, there are three more that Wizards somewhat regularly, but not in every set. These are:

  • Beyond boosters
  • Jumpstart boosters
  • Welcome boosters

Let’s take a look.

Beyond Boosters

Assassin's Creed MTG Beyond Booster
  • Number of cards: 7
  • Contents: 1-4 rares or mythic rares, at least 1 foil card, at least 1 borderless card
  • Boosters per box:  24 Beyond boosters

Beyond boosters, which are the most recent ones. In fact, they weren’t released yet, as of writing of this article in March 2024. They’ll first appear as a part of a MTG Assassins’s Creed set, which will be released in July this year.

As you can see, these will mostly be used for some Universes Beyond products. (These are ones that use intellectual properties outside Magic.) These booster contain fewer cards than the others, but all the cards will be set into a specific universe. These boosters aren’t meant for drafting, so hopefully, this will result in stronger overall cards.

We shall wait a while longer to figure out exactly how good these boosters are. However, if you’re a fan of a particular franchise, such as Assassin’s Creed, these boosters are going to be a great way to acquire some flavorful cards.

Jumpstart Booster

MTG Booster Guide Jumpstart

Number of cards: 20
Contents: 2 rares, 10 commons and uncommons, 8 lands (2 of which are foil)
Boosters per box: 18 Jumpstart Boosters

The main idea of Jumpstart boosters is that you open two, shuffle them together, while your opponent does the same. Then – boom, you’re ready to battle one another. Each booster contains 20 cards, with around 8 lands. Thus, you get a 40-card deck from two boosters mashed together. For a 2-player game, you need 4 boosters.

These boosters are semi-randomized. This means that there are 10 different configurations that you can get. Each theme has a special slot for a rare, which can be any card from the respective set. The latest set containing Jumpstart boosters is March of the Machine. You can find the available themes on Wizards’ official website.

Jumpstart boosters are cool if you want to play quick casual Magic, while collecting cards. However, if you want to open a large portion of boosters, this product probably isn’t the best one, as the themes tend to repeat themselves.

Welcome Booster

Welcome Booster What to Buy MTG Beginner Free

The Welcome Booster is a product that new players could get for free. How? By going to their LGS (Local Game Store). You can ask the staff about what they recommend for beginners and if they perhaps have a Welcome Booster, that you could get. Keep in mind that not every store will have these in stock, especially since the product is quite dated nowadays.

Each Welcome Booster contains the same cards. The first version of this product had Niv-Mizzet, Parun and Garruk, Primal Hunter as the strongest cards. The newest, Dominaria United version offers Defiant Bloodlord, Siege Rhino, and Chandra, Heart of Fire. This latest version will be used for the near future and won’t be updated from set to set.

Are you a new player, and will try to get your free booster? You can also find additional best products for MTG beginners here.

Discontinued MTG Boosters

Finally, here are the MTG boosters that are no longer being printed. However, you might be buying an older set and want to know what’s the difference between some out-of-print packs. Or you just want a trip down the memory lane. Whichever the case, you can find info about the oldies below.

Draft Booster

Caverns of Ixalan Draft MTG Booster Guide 2024
  • Number of cards: 15
  • Contents: 1 rare / mythic, 3 uncommons, 10 commons,1 basic land, 1 token / ad card
  • Boosters per box: 36 Draft Boosters

Draft Booster packs used to be the regular boosters, like the ones players were buying for for decades. They came with 15 cards, with usually 1 rare or mythic and a slim chance of a second one in the foil slot.

Draft Booster were meant, as the name implies, for draft games. They were cheaper and balanced for drafting, as typically there weren’t multiple rares per pack. 

Set Booster

Lost Caverns of Ixalan Set MTG Booster Guide
  • Number of cards: 12
  • Contents: 1 rare / mythic, 6 commons / uncommons, 1 foil, 1 art card, 1 token / ad / The List card.
  • Boosters per box: 30 Set Boosters

Set Boosters were introduced with Zendikar Rising, back in 2020. There were a total of 12 cards with a chance at 1-4 rares/mythics per pack. On average, each Set Booster contained 1.34 rares.

You could also get a card from The List, which contained several reprints of cards from older sets that will randomly appear in some Set boosters. Most of them seemed kind of random, but some players were glad to get something unexpected. A card from the list can nowadays be opened in a Play booster.

These were the cheap boosters that players opened just for fun.

Theme Booster

MTG Booster Guide Theme Booster
  • Number of cards: 35
  • Contents: 1-2 rares / mythics, 33-34 commons / uncommons all cards of a single color
  • Boosters per box: 12 Theme Boosters, 2 per theme

Theme Boosters first appeared in original Dominaria. You might still sometimes find them often see them at Walmart and other similar stores. Each pack focuses on a theme. Usually the themes are one of the five colors and maybe a sixth theme of all colors. 

With Theros Beyond Death, Wizards introduced special rares, which only appear in Theme Boosters. These packs were great for players seeking a specific color.

These packs contained 35 cards with 1-2 rares, so if you care only about rares, these are usually the worst packs to pick. You’ll also end up with tons of extra commons and uncommons, which isn’t too bad, but can get annoying depending on storage and how many packs you get. 

Typically, these packs are better as MTG gifts for new players or players that love specific colors. Note that the last version of these boosters came with the New Capenna set, which was a while ago.

Compleat Edition Boosters

MTG Booster Guide Compleat Edition

This booster is only available in the Compleat Edition Bundle (find its contents here). This is a very special booster, as it comes with 2 mythic rare cards and 10 basic lands. All of these have the special Oil Slick Raised foil treatment. The cards have a special look, like they have been touched by the Phyrexian oil.

VIP Edition Booster

VIP Edition Double Masters MTG Booster Pack Guide

VIP Edition Boosters were made only for the first Double Masters edition (so far). It’s the actual most expensive MTG booster pack, costing approximately the same as a whole box of regular boosters or even more.

So you can imagine it includes some goodies, and it definitely does. Each Ultimate Masters VIP Edition contains 33 cards (23 of them in foil) and 2 foil tokens. The most sought after cards are the 2 borderless Box Toppers that every pack gets. You can find more about the VIP Booster contents here.

Which MTG Booster Pack to Buy for Draft?

If you’re buying booster packs for draft, you should, simply pick the Play boosters or Draft boosters, if you’re buying packs from an older set. That’s what these packs were designed for.

However, could a draft also work with other boosters?

Set boosters only contain 12 cards, which isn’t quite enough. If you really want to, you could organize a draft with 4 packs per person, but it probably won’t be a great experience.

While I imagine it’ll be fun to play a draft with Collector Boosters, I don’t see myself being rich enough to do so. However, it would certainly open up some broken an unusual decks with tons of rares and mythics.

So all thing considered, just stick to Play Boosters, if you want to draft. In case you’re new to drafting, you can learn how to draft here.

MTG Booster Pack Guide: Final Thoughts

So, there are pros and cons to every pack, and each type is better for specific players. As you’ve seen there’s been a ton of different boosters, so it’s great to see that we mostly use just two nowadays. 

Also remember that each booster type might come with some small differences depending on the set, so make sure to research each set before you buy packs. Comment below if there is anything you want to add, or if you want to brag about your pulls.

Anyway, that’s the end of this MTG Booster Pack Guide, hopefully you found out which Booster Pack to buy for yourself. Until next time, have fun, and may your boosters contain many exciting and powerful cards.

11 thoughts on “MTG Booster Pack Guide 2024”

    • Because this article focuses on different types of boosters. And a bundle is just, well, a bundle of specific boosters. However, there’s a separate article coming soon that discusses the pros and cons of a bundle.

      Reply
  1. Thank you so much for this article. What kind of booster (draft or set) do you recommend, if my target is to collect the complete edition of a set (regular cards, no extended or foiles)?

    Reply
    • Since both the set booster and draft booster get you approximately the same amount of rares per dollar spent, we have to take a look at which gives you more commons and uncommons. That would be the draft boosters. In order to complete the set you’ll still need to buy some singles however. So one option you have is to buy one or two draft booster boxes, and complete what’s missing by buying singles.

      Reply
  2. Which booster set have you found is best for Crimson Vow? I want to surprise my son with some for Christmas but have no idea what I am doing. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hey, Collector Booster is the best one, but also the priciest. If you want something a bit more budget friendly, then you can go with Set Boosters, especially, if he isn’t planning on drafting. You can also check our MTG Gift Guide, for some awesome ideas. The best option overall would be to simply go with Crimson Vow Gift Bundle, which has a single Collector Booster, some Set Boosters, and additional cool stuff as well.

      Reply
  3. I have a question. When you buy a set booster is there a chance that you get cards from 2008 or 2009 from a set that isn’t part of that booster set? I bought the neon dynasty booster set from Amazon and I got a bunch of cards that aren’t even neon dynasty. I am afraid that I might of got ripped off. I am a new player and didn’t even think about people opening and sealing the box. Is this a possibly this happened..Thanks

    Reply
    • Each Set booster has a slot where you can get a card from The List. This card can be a card which isn’t a part of that booster set, it can be from a very old set too. You can check if the card belongs to the list, by looking at the bottom left corner. If there’s a planeswalker symbol, the card is a part of the List. If you bought a whole booster box you might get multiple cards from older sets, but max one per booster.

      If there are multiple cards from an older set in your booster (or if the older card doesn’t have the planeswalker symbol), you got repacked boosters. That’s very unlikely to happen if the booster box had the official Wizards plastic wrapper around it.

      Reply
  4. I’m completely new to mtg and this run down on booster packs was brilliant for people like me, completely idiot proof, thank you 🙏

    Reply
  5. As a person who just got into magic recently this articles helped me more than you can imagine so I just wanted to leave my love and appreciation for the one the wrote it. Again thank you so much.

    Reply
    • We’re happy that it was helpful to you. Thanks for your comment, and have fun playing Magic, it’s an amazing game. CardGameBase team.

      Reply

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