Magic: the Gathering


Analysis: The Arrival of Play Boosters and their Impact

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Alongside a flavorless "no changes" statement, Wizards of the Coast revealed one of the biggest news for 2024. Let's understand what are "Play Boosters"!

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translated by Joey Sticks

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Many players were waiting for Wizard's October 16th bans announcement anxiously. When a bland "no changes" announcement came out, the standard reaction was closing our browsers and moving on with our lives. However, the "no changes" announcement was also useful to announce big news that might have gone by unnoticed: Play Boosters!

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To sum up, after a few years of observing the various products related to a single set, Wizards decided to make Draft Boosters and Set Boosters a single product, which will be named "Play Boosters". According to Mark Rosewater's article, the idea was to get this feedback from consumers (both positive and negative) and release a product that would better serve two needs they noticed: improving the quality of what can be in a booster (more chances of getting rares/mythics) and make it a product that won't exclude Limited.


So, again, according to MaRo's article, from the "Murders at Karlov Manor" set onwards, which will probably be released in February 2024 (to the date this article is being written, there isn't an official release date), the only available boosters will be Play Boosters and Collector Boosters. If you want further information about Play Boosters, just check out the official announcementlink outside website.

Image content of the Website

It might seem small, but it will impact the game considerably, including economically. Let's consider:

Analyzing the Impact

Play Boosters Will Have Prices Based on Current Set Boosters

That means Limited events (that means, the ones in which you acquire sealed products and build your deck with whatever you open, such as Sealed and Draft events - including Pre-Releases) will go up in price, though we don't know yet by how much;

Product Acquisition Options Will Be Simpler

It is so confusing keeping up with each type of product currently and trying to know by heart what may or not be in each of them. By condensing a few products together, it is easier for people to acquire products at stores; the choice will be between "Play Boosters", which will be the "standard booster", or "Collector Boosters", which will include alternative art/variant cards, etc.

Play Boosters Bring the Possibility of Opening Up More than 1 Rare/Mythic per Booster

MaRo himself recognized, in the article, that it was a challenge to design these sets, as they'll need to consider the impact of the "big bomb cards", that is, the rare/mythic cards which can easily win the game on their own. As they'll be more frequent, sets will be adjusted (which probably suggests strong/good removal tools will show up more as common cards - pay attention, Pauper folks!).

Play Boosters Bring Less Common Cards per Booster

That is an indirect consequence of point 3, but it is important to highlight this as well, as it potentially points to "good" common cards having even more value, because they'll be "harder" to acquire.

Potentially, in the Secondary Singles Market, Rare/Mythic Cards Prices Will Tend to Drop a Bit, and Common Card Prices Will Go Up a Bit

This is another logical consequence of points 3 and 4. If we consider stores will only have the option of Play Boosters to open and sell singles, the trend will be to have a higher frequency of rare/mythic cards and a lower frequency of common cards when compared to the numbers we have today.

That, theoretically, should reflect on card prices, with rares/mythics prices being reduced and common prices rising.

Play Boosters Will Have One Less Card

Part of the math explained by MaRo in his article showed they've reduced the number of cards in the booster while designing the product without affecting the playability of Limited formats.

Of course, it isn't possible to know the extension of this move, but the fact is that Play Boosters will effectively have 1 less card (14 cards x 15 cards in current Draft Boosters), and that, added to the other changes, will considerably impact all analyzes on Limited formats in future sets entirely.


Final Words

These are the reflections that are still in the air after this big news announced by Wizards! Keep in mind, again: this change will only come after the Murders at Karlov Manor set, so we'll have a few months of waiting still.

What do you think about the points I've brought? What other effects do you think this will cause? Share it all with us!

Cheers, and see you next time!