Last updated on March 29, 2024

Tin Street Market - Illustration by Noah Bradley

Tin Street Market | Illustration by Noah Bradley

With over 100 sets spread across 30 years of Magic’s history, it can be daunting to figure out where to start when you’re looking to buy packs. There are lots of questions that you might have. What set should you draft with friends? Which set is best for collectors? What set makes the best gift for a newer Magic player? Which set should you never touch with a 10-foot pole (coughHomelandscough)?

As someone who has played Magic for nearly 10 years and devoted countless hours to this game, allow me to be your guide into the magical world of spending hundreds (thousands?) of dollars on cardboard. Everything that follows is just my opinion, but I at least did some research for you first!

No One Size Fits All

Downsize - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Downsize | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

When buying Magic products, you should ask yourself some key questions about what exactly you want from boosters. They don’t call this game “cardboard crack” for nothing; it’s easy to get sucked in and spend way too much money on cards you never really needed anyway.

The best way to avoid this temptation is to have a plan before you start buying stuff. I’ll detail some great sets for you to purchase for a variety of reasons to get you started!

If You Had to Just Pick One

Blossoming Calm - Illustration by Michael C. Hayes

Blossoming Calm | Illustration by Michael C. Hayes

Modern Horizons 2 was the best set from 2021 and my easy pick for what you should buy if you have to pick one set to rule them all. It’s exciting to draft, there’s good money to be opened, and many of the cards will retain their value for a very long time thanks to their strength in Modern.

Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Modern Horizons 2 (MH2) Magic: The Gathering Draft Boosters
  • 1 New-to-Modern reprint in every pack
  • 1–2 Rares and/or Mythic Rares in every pack
  • Just add lands and draft with up to 12 players
  • Introduces powerful cards and beloved reprints to the Modern format

Lots of the weaker Modern cards in the set like Cabal Coffers happen to be Commander all-stars, which is another plus. If you can’t pony up the $200 price for a box and don’t care about Standard, I’d recommend Jumpstart instead.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Jumpstart 2022 Booster Box | 24 Packs (480 cards) | 2-Player Quick Play
  • 24 Jumpstart 2022 MTG boosters
  • 20 Magic cards in each booster—includes all the lands you need to play
  • 1 anime-inspired card in every pack
  • Total of 1–2 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • Each booster has over 40 possible themes—combine them for wild mash ups

Best Set for Standard 2024

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients - Illustration by Anna Steinbauer

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients | Illustration by Anna Steinbauer

Looking to jump into Standard with the release of Murders at Karlov Manor? Then you’ll want to get a mix of packs from the sets that are in the current Standard rotation: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, Streets of New Capenna, Dominaria United, The Brothers' War, Phyrexia: All Will Be One, March of the Machine, Wilds of Eldraine, and The Lost Caverns of Ixalan. You can then crack packs or draft with friends. Buy play boosters and find some booster fun while you draft.

The next rotation is scheduled for when Bloomburrow releases in September 2024. Both Innistrad sets, Kamigawa and New Capenna will leave Standard. So if you just want general Standard products, I would recommend choosing sets from Dominaria United and newer.

Magic: The Gathering Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box - 36 Packs (504 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper Card (541 Magic Cards)
Magic The Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box - 36 Packs (504 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper Card (541 Magic Cards)
Magic The Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$107.79
$118.37
$112.33
$104.73
$94.68
$107.01
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box - 36 Packs (504 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box - 36 Packs (504 Magic Cards)
$107.79
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper Card (541 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper Card (541 Magic Cards)
$118.37
Amazon Prime
Magic The Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic The Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$112.33
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$104.73
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$94.68
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$107.01
Amazon Prime

Best Set for Modern

Rise and Shine - Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel

Rise and Shine | Illustration by Franz Vohwinkel

Modern Horizons 2 Booster Box

Modern Horizons 2, as I already mentioned, is a slam dunk. The set overflows with powerful staples that have dramatically reshaped the Modern metagame since their release. Particular highlights include Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, Murktide Regent, Endurance and its elemental brothers in crime, fetch lands, and Urza's Saga. Even with Fury being banned, MH2 remains a serious winner for Modern staples.

Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Modern Horizons 2 (MH2) Magic: The Gathering Draft Boosters
  • 1 New-to-Modern reprint in every pack
  • 1–2 Rares and/or Mythic Rares in every pack
  • Just add lands and draft with up to 12 players
  • Introduces powerful cards and beloved reprints to the Modern format

You don't want to miss a few of the spectacular cards from The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle Earth. A box of LTR set boosters is great if you are not looking to draft. You have no chance of pulling the one of one, The One Ring, but you could get the default treatment one which plays powerfully, or Orcish Bowmasters which is a major player in Modern.

You might also want to buy some of the recent Masters sets to fill the holes in your Modern collection since MH2 is missing some staples like Snapcaster Mage, Engineered Explosives, and Force of Vigor. And don’t forget that you can always just buy singles if you know exactly what you’re looking for!

Magic: The Gathering Double Masters Draft Booster Box | 24 Packs (360 Cards) | 1 Box Topper
Magic: The Gathering Time Spiral Remastered Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Double Masters Draft Booster Box | 24 Packs (360 Cards) | 1 Box Topper
Magic: The Gathering Time Spiral Remastered Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$697.77
$265.00
$205.00
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Magic: The Gathering Double Masters Draft Booster Box | 24 Packs (360 Cards) | 1 Box Topper
Magic: The Gathering Double Masters Draft Booster Box | 24 Packs (360 Cards) | 1 Box Topper
$697.77
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Magic: The Gathering Time Spiral Remastered Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Time Spiral Remastered Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$265.00
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Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
$205.00
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Best Set for Commander

Obeka, Brute Chronologist - Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Obeka, Brute Chronologist | Illustration by Jesper Ejsing

Looking to stock up on staples for future Commander brews? Well, if you aren’t just buying singles, my recommendation is easily Commander Legends.

Commander Legends Booster Box

Commander Legends is a weird “peanut butter and jelly” set, where peanut butter (Draft) and jelly (Commander, don’t ask) combine their forces for a Magic experience like no other. I drafted this one with friends quite a few times last year, which is why I have so many Arcane Signets, Three Visits, and Thought Vessels sitting on my desk, just waiting to be put into various decks.

A box of Commander Legends is roughly $150 right now. If you aren’t sure what you want out of Commander, you can’t really do better than drafting a box of this with some friends and then building a deck out of whatever you’ve opened that inspires you. I built a Nymris, Oona's Trickster deck after seeing the card in action in a draft because it looked like a ton of fun.

Wizards of The Coast Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Draft Booster Box | 24 Booster Packs (480 Cards) | 2 Legends Per Pack | Factory Sealed
  • COMMANDER DRAFT IS HERE. Draft with the first ever booster packs designed for Commander—a Magic format all about battling your friends in epic multiplayer games.
  • 24 DRAFT BOOSTERS. Grab 3 packs, pick 2 cards at a time, and add in some lands for a 60-card Commander deck—then show it off in exciting free-for-all games with up to 8 friends.
  • 2 LEGENDS PER PACK. Every Commander Legends Draft Booster pack contains 2 legendary cards—enhance your deck with reprints of classic MTG commanders or 1 of the 71 commanders introduced in the set.
  • INTRODUCING FOIL ETCHED CARDS. Commander Legends debuts a special kind of foil—foil etched cards with beautiful metallic frames. In some Commander Legends Draft Boosters you can find a foil etched showcase legend or regular foil borderless planeswalker.
  • CONTENTS: 24 Commander Legends Draft Booster packs—20 Magic cards + 1 ad/token per pack, with 2 legends, at least 1 rare, and 1 foil each.

Keep in mind that there are two other draftable commanders set as well: Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate and Commander Masters! I didn't play much Masters personally, but really enjoyed Battle for Baldur's Gate. The set may be of particular interest due to the smashing success of Baldur's Gate 3.

If drafting isn’t your thing, I’d avoid Commander Legends and grab one of the Commander Legends precons. You may also want to check out the Innistrad: Midnight Hunt decks. If you're investing in EDH, even one deck from the Commander Masters Precon bundle will set you up with some of the greatest cards the format has ever seen. Precons are always a fantastic and affordable way to dip your foot into EDH if you’re new to the format.

Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Deck – Undead Unleashed (Blue-Black)
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Phantom Premonition | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Blue-White
Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Commander Deck – Obscura Operation + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)
Magic: The Gathering Commander Masters Commander Deck Bundle – Includes Set of 4 Decks (1 Eldrazi Unbound, 1 Enduring Enchantments, 1 Planeswalker Party, and 1 Sliver Swarm)
Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Deck – Undead Unleashed (Blue-Black)
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Phantom Premonition | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Blue-White
Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Commander Deck – Obscura Operation + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)
Magic: The Gathering Commander Masters Commander Deck Bundle – Includes Set of 4 Decks (1 Eldrazi Unbound, 1 Enduring Enchantments, 1 Planeswalker Party, and 1 Sliver Swarm)
Best for New Players
Best Budget
Best Value
Best Competitive
Best Bundle
$94.47
$45.97
$39.45
$47.40
$255.54
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Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Deck – Undead Unleashed (Blue-Black)
Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Commander Deck – Undead Unleashed (Blue-Black)
Best for New Players
$94.47
-
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Phantom Premonition | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Blue-White
Magic The Gathering Kaldheim Commander Deck – Phantom Premonition | 100 Card Ready-to-Play Deck | Blue-White
Best Budget
$45.97
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Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Commander Deck – Obscura Operation + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Commander Deck – Obscura Operation + Collector Booster Sample Pack
Best Value
$39.45
Amazon Prime
Magic The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)
Magic The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Commander Deck – Buckle Up (White-Blue)
Best Competitive
$47.40
Amazon Prime
Magic: The Gathering Commander Masters Commander Deck Bundle – Includes Set of 4 Decks (1 Eldrazi Unbound, 1 Enduring Enchantments, 1 Planeswalker Party, and 1 Sliver Swarm)
Magic: The Gathering Commander Masters Commander Deck Bundle – Includes Set of 4 Decks (1 Eldrazi Unbound, 1 Enduring Enchantments, 1 Planeswalker Party, and 1 Sliver Swarm)
Best Bundle
$255.54
Amazon Prime

Best Sets for Draft

Best of the Best

Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar - Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar | Illustration by Ryan Pancoast

Modern Horizons 2 Booster Box

I’m biased, but I wholeheartedly endorse Modern Horizons 2 as an all-star draft set. I’ve personally played over 200+ drafts on Magic Online and will probably be doing more later tonight! MH2 is a very enjoyable Draft experience with compelling archetypes, lots of options in Draft, strong balance between aggro and control, and interesting gameplay with lots of room for skilled players to win games. There are also some money cards in the set that you can’t help but grin when you open.

The only drawback of the set is its price point. As a premium set with a higher MSRP than normal, a box will cost you about $200. This is a bit more than two times as much as a normal Standard-legal set, so don’t buy anything you can’t afford!

Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Modern Horizons 2 (MH2) Magic: The Gathering Draft Boosters
  • 1 New-to-Modern reprint in every pack
  • 1–2 Rares and/or Mythic Rares in every pack
  • Just add lands and draft with up to 12 players
  • Introduces powerful cards and beloved reprints to the Modern format

Standard Set for Draft 2024

Master's Manufactory (The Lost Caverns of Ixalan) – Illustration by Racrufi

Of the sets in Standard currently, I’d rank the Draft formats:

#11. Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Crimson Vow Draft Booster Box

Crimson Vow has some of the most broken rares we've seen in any Standard-legal set in a long time: Dreadfeast Demon, Avabruck Caretaker, and Toxrill, the Corrosive all being in the same set is something else! When you get past the broken rares though, you have what is actually a surprisingly aggressive set. Blood tokens also play better than I expected and are one of the most effective anti-flood mechanics I've seen in a while.

Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Crimson Vow Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs + Dracula Box Topper (541 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Innistrad: Crimson Vow MTG Draft Boosters
  • 1 foil Dracula Series box topper card
  • 15 Magic cards per Draft Booster, including 1 Showcase Eternal Night Land
  • At least 2 double-faced cards in every pack
  • Return to the gothic horror plane of Innistrad for a sumptuous vampire wedding—as honored guest or delicious entrée

#10. Murders at Karlov Manor

Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box

Murders at Karlov Manor is complex with warded face down cards, creatures becoming suspects and then removing that distinction. In the case of cases, you tracked if it was solved or not, and some cards have you playing a mini-game of whodunnit like A Killer Among Us.

I want to enjoy the play booster pack structure because it's undoubtedly exciting to have more rares to pick, but I think another iteration or two will smooth out awkward times when duplicate cards show up in a draft pack.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Murders at Karlov Manor Play Booster Box - 36 Packs (504 Magic Cards)
  • INTRODUCING PLAY BOOSTERS—Get the best of Draft and Set Boosters, combined into one! Play Boosters are great for Limited play and fun to open, with a possibility of multiple Rares and at least 1 shining foil card in every pack
  • TRACK THE CLUES. CRACK THE CASE—Play detective as you collect evidence, don disguises, and identify suspects to decipher the deadly murder mystery at the heart of Ravnica
  • PACKS MAY CONTAIN MULTIPLE RARES—Each MKM Play Booster contains 1–4 cards of rarity Rare or higher, including the possibility of a special Borderless Mythic Rare card from Magic’s history
  • SHINING FOIL CARD IN EVERY PACK—Every Play Booster contains 1 shining Traditional Foil card of any rarity; in 20% of packs you’ll also find a Traditional Foil Land card (which may even be Full-Art!)
  • MAY CONTAIN ART CARDS, A PLAY BOOSTER EXCLUSIVE—Now found only in Play Boosters, some packs also contain an Art Card showcasing a piece of art from the Murders at Karlov Manor set, sometimes with a foil signature from the artist

#9. Streets of New Capenna

Streets of New Capenna Draft Booster Box

Streets of New Capenna, while relatively heavy on drafting non-green/red decks, still provided an enjoyable drafting experience. Nearly every deck goes three-color, and that's well supported through both the three-color lands as well as the dual-lands in nearly every pack.

Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper (541 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Streets of New Capenna MTG Draft Boosters + 1 foil box topper card
  • The best SNC packs for booster draft play—just draft, add lands, and play
  • 15 Magic cards per Draft Booster
  • 1 Rare or Mythic Rare card in every pack
  • Metropolis Full-Art Land in 33% of boosters

#8. March of the Machine

March of the Machine Booster Box

March of the Machine put out some powerful cards, but the bombs made this set lopsided and not quite the balance you want in the best sets for draft. Legendary duos remain really cool cards.

Magic: The Gathering March of the Machine Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 March of the Machine MTG Draft Boosters—the best boosters for drafting March of the Machine
  • 15 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
  • At least 1 Multiverse Legend card in every pack
  • 1–2 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • 1 Traditional Foil card in 33% of packs

#7. The Lost Caverns of Ixalan

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Booster Box

The Lost Caverns of Ixalan is an interesting set, but if you miss your plays on turns one, two and three, you're in big trouble with the aggressive decks out there. Some ultra powerful rares make the games unbalanced.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering The Lost Caverns of Ixalan Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs + 1 Box Topper Card (541 Magic Cards)
  • JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF IXALAN—Discover powerful relics and craft tools to give you an edge against the deadly dinosaurs, cunning traps, and ancient gods at the center of the world
  • BEST BOOSTERS FOR DRAFTING—Draft Boosters are designed to draft a deck and play with friends; everyone grabs 3 packs and passes them around to pick cards. Add some lands and you're ready for epic 2-player battles
  • TREASURE TROVE BOX TOPPER—Every box contains hidden treasure, with 1 Artifact reprint Box Topper card featuring exclusive Borderless alt-art
  • RARE OR MYTHIC RARE IN EVERY PACK—Every pack contains at least 1 card of rarity Rare or higher and may contain another with a shining Traditional Foil treatment
  • PLAY A GAME THAT FUSES ART, STORIES & STRATEGY—Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game that weaves deep strategy with art and mechanics that explore the themes of a particular world and story—whether you want to play a casual game with friends, collect cool cards, or get competitive, Magic welcomes you to The Gathering

#6. Dominaria United

Dominaria United Booster Box

Dominaria United has had a fairly smooth Draft experience thus far. Defender decks are, interestingly, really good. We've also seen domain-based decks become incredibly powerful, regardless of how many colors they're actually playing. This has led to the dual-lands becoming exceptionally worthwhile to pick up.

Magic: The Gathering Dominaria United Set Booster Box | 30 Packs + Box Topper Card (361 Magic Cards)
  • 30 Dominaria United Set Boosters + 1 foil Box Topper card
  • Best MTG boosters to open just for fun
  • 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
  • 1–4 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • At least 1 Legendary Creature and 1 Traditional Foil card in every pack

#5. The Brothers' War

The Brothers' War Draft Booster Box

The Brothers' War is pretty good to draft. I want to draft it more than most sets on this list. It's got solid fixing and some fun interaction packed inside. There are interesting decisions with prototype cards and typal synergies to make some decisions easier.

Magic: The Gathering The Brothers’ War Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 The Brothers’ War MTG Draft Boosters—the best boosters for drafting The Brothers’ War
  • 15 Magic cards per booster
  • At least 1 Retro-Frame Artifact card in every pack
  • At least 1 card of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • 1 Traditional Foil card in 33% of packs

#4. Phyrexia: All Will be One

Phyrexia: All Will be One Draft Booster Box

Phyrexia: All Will be One is a fast draft environment with all the poison decks running around. Maybe I'm a sucker for aggro strategies, and really like the challenge of pushing damage and proliferation. If you manage your combat tricks, the play becomes pretty intricate.

Magic: The Gathering Phyrexia: All Will Be One Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Phyrexia: All Will Be One MTG Draft Boosters—the best boosters for drafting Phyrexia: All Will Be One
  • 15 Magic cards per booster, including 1 card of rarity Rare or higher
  • At least 1 Phyrexianized Land or Panorama Full-Art Land in every pack
  • 1 Traditional Foil card in 33% of packs
  • Glory to Phyrexia—resist the Phyrexian invasion or forfeit your flesh to join them in perfection

#3. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt

Midnight Hunt Draft Booster Box

Midnight Hunt is a fun Draft format that is probably the most aggressive Standard-legal Draft set. Most decks in Midnight Hunt have fairly cheap mana curves and lean on flashback effects for long-term card advantage. The color balance of Midnight Hunt is probably my biggest complaint, as Gruul is underpowered and Dimir is almost always good. Still, it's an enjoyable format so give it a try!

Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Booster Box | 12 Count (Pack of 30)
  • 30 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Set Boosters
  • Best MTG booster to open just for fun
  • 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per pack
  • 1–4 Rares and/or Mythic Rares plus at least 1 foil in every pack
  • May contain Commander cards—get 1–2 in 14% of packs

#2. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Draft Booster Box

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty hit on nostalgia from the original Kamigawa sets, and Wizards was determined to make this modern one we love. Their R&D department does good work becuase the viable decks in nearly every color are evident in this set with lots of exciting decks.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Draft Booster Box | 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • 36 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty MTG Draft Boosters
  • 15 Magic cards per booster
  • Ukiyo-e Land in 33% of Draft Boosters
  • Just draft, add lands, and play
  • With cyberpunk cards full of color and chrome—the future is bright in Kamigawa

#1. Wilds of Eldraine

Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box

Wilds of Eldraine quickly became one of my favorite sets to draft in recent history. There aren't any color combinations that are especially weak, which lets me breathe a sigh of relief after drafting Rakdos 250 times back in Adventures into the Forgotten Realms. The heavy emphasis on tokens and enchantments is refreshing, too.

Magic The Gathering Wilds of Eldraine Draft Booster Box - 36 Packs (540 Magic Cards)
  • A TALE ONLY YOU CAN TELL—Venture into the untamed Wilds of Eldraine, a fairy tale-inspired world in the Magic multiverse, and free the kingdom from a curse of endless slumber
  • BEST BOOSTERS FOR DRAFTING—Draft Boosters are designed to draft a deck and play with friends; everyone grabs 3 packs and passes them around to pick cards. Add some lands and you're ready for epic 2-player battles
  • BEWITCHING BORDERLESS CARDS—Every Draft Booster contains at least 1 Borderless Enchanting Tales card with alt-art that looks right out of a storybook or may even feature special anime-inspired art
  • RARE OR MYTHIC RARE IN EVERY PACK—Every pack contains 1 card of rarity Rare or higher and may contain up to 3, including 1 possible Rare or Mythic Rare with a shining Traditional Foil treatment
  • PLAY A GAME THAT FUSES ART, STORIES & STRATEGY—Magic: The Gathering is a collectible card game that weaves deep strategy with art and mechanics that explore the themes of a particular world and story—whether you want to play a casual game with friends, collect cool cards, or get competitive, Magic welcomes you to The Gathering

Update! I now have a list of my favorite Draft formats ever, right here.

All-Time Greats

Manamorphose - Illustration by Adam Paquette

Manamorphose | Illustration by Adam Paquette

If you want a classic draft experience with some of the all-time best sets in Magic history, well, you’ll be paying for it! Original Innistrad and Modern Masters are widely considered to be some of the best Draft formats of all time, and they both have money staples like Liliana of the Veil, Snapcaster Mage, and Tarmogoyf too.

The catch though is that a box of Innistrad will cost you (gulp) several hundred $$$. Modern Masters is surprisingly slightly cheaper, though that’s still far more than Modern Horizons 2! Given this terrible value, I can’t really recommend going classic unless you’re a true high roller. Recent Draft formats have been decent to great quality, and I’d suggest you play those three to six times instead.

Best Gift Set

Dinrova Horror - Illustration by Johann Bodin

Dinrova Horror | Illustration by Johann Bodin

The best set to give as a gift is going to vary depending on the giftee because only you know what your friend really wants and what they play. If they’re an FNM Standard- or Draft-focused player, a bundle from a recent set would be a great buy. If they’re an older, more experienced player, then you could consider going all-out with an MH2 collector box.

Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Collector Booster Box | 12 Packs (180 Magic Cards)
  • 12 Modern Horizons 2 (MH2) Magic: The Gathering Collector Boosters
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Modern Horizons 2
  • Only Modern Horizons 2 boosters with Foil Etched cards and Extended-Art
  • 4 Rares and/or Mythic Rares per pack (max. of 3 Mythics)
  • Introduces powerful cards and beloved reprints to the Modern format

A solid in-between with some great casual cards to open would be Jumpstart 2022, a unique product that mixes Sealed and Draft together for fun, fast-paced gameplay. Jumpstart is my recommendation if you’re unsure, but keep in mind that the cards don’t have much value for a Standard-focused player.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Jumpstart 2022 Booster Box | 24 Packs (480 cards) | 2-Player Quick Play
  • 24 Jumpstart 2022 MTG boosters
  • 20 Magic cards in each booster—includes all the lands you need to play
  • 1 anime-inspired card in every pack
  • Total of 1–2 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack
  • Each booster has over 40 possible themes—combine them for wild mash ups

Best Set for Casual Play

Jumpstart 2022 is my recommendation for casual players, both as a gift or just as something to buy for yourself and play with friends. Useful kitchen table and Commander cards plus a board game-style gameplay model that comes right out of the box can’t be beat, and the price point isn’t exceptionally high either. Other Jumpstart sets are also good; if you want kitchen table MTG, just go with whichever one you can get the cheapest!

Best Set for Expected Value

Deflecting Palm - Illustration by Eric Deschamps

Deflecting Palm | Illustration by Eric Deschamps

This isn’t really my personal ballpark, honestly (#mtgfinance). There’s certainly money to be made in Magic by stockpiling away sealed products and selling them later. Beloved sets like Khans of Tarkir sell for double what they used to, and Innistrad is listed at several times the price it was back when it was released.

If you just want to crack packs with an eye towards value, Modern Horizons 2 is the best option because of how many powerful and expensive cards it contains, but you could get burned by opening too many junk rares. If you’re interested in learning more about this, I highly recommend checking out this finance community.

Wrap Up

Aven of Enduring Hope - Illustration by James Ryman

Aven of Enduring Hope | Illustration by James Ryman

Even after nearly 10 years of playing this game, I still can’t help but smile when I hear the familiar sound of a pack opening. There’s something about opening boosters that just can’t be matched by buying singles, so I hope that my advice helps you make some sound purchases!

What’s your all-time favorite set to open? Do you have any other suggestions on what to buy and what to avoid? Let us know in the comments below, or head over to Twitter if that’s more your style. And don’t forget to check out our blog if you’re looking for more content like this.

Until next time, may your packs always contain Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer.

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2 Comments

  • Avatar
    Rod December 27, 2021 9:42 pm

    If I just wanted to purchase a set- or more- to set aside unsealed for 15 years for my two great grandchildren which ones should I buy? Thanks.

    • Avatar
      Dan Troha December 30, 2021 9:33 am

      This is incredibly hard to predict, but I would probably say one with a limited print run might have the best chance of being worth a lot. But if you’re not looking to do that, of the current sets, Modern Horizons 2 is definitely the most “special” feeling.

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