Tamiyo, Collector of Tales - Illustration by Chase Stone

Tamiyo, Collector of Tales | Illustration by Chase Stone

It’s no secret that Magic has gone through some serious changes in recent years. With everything from the push to more digital play with MTG Arena and the return of the Pro Tour, the current state of sealed products can quickly get overshadowed.

But knowing what you’re getting into and being an informed consumer is critical to successful MTG finance. Which is why today I’m going to go over the difference between the collector and Jumpstart boosters you may have seen at your local game store or other retailers. I’ll cover their contents, the purpose behind each type of pack, which may be right for you, and the best of both kinds.

Let’s get started!

The Difference Between Collector and Jumpstart Boosters

Twincast - Illustration by Christopher Moeller

Twincast | Illustration by Christopher Moeller

Collector boosters and Jumpstart boosters differ in many areas, but the most important difference to keep in mind is their intended purpose.

Collector boosters are meant to be exciting packs that you can open in hopes of finding cards to add to your collection like foils, rares, showcase cards, and more. But Jumpstart boosters are meant to be combined and played with right out of the pack. It’s the epitome of “shuffle up and play.”

Collector Booster Contents

While each set’s collector booster may look a little different depending on the type of set it is, each pack typically contains 16 cards with a range of different rarities, foils, and arts. This of course means that they cost much more than your traditional draft booster, typically falling in the $10 to $20 range for normal Standard-legal sets.

The Streets of New Capenna collector booster, for instance, had plenty of foil commons and uncommons, two cards with extended art, a showcase Phyrexian or borderless rare, and two gilded foil, foil-etched, or traditional rare/mythic and common/uncommon cards.

Collector boosters has a wide variety of special and shiny cards that you wouldn’t find in a traditional draft booster, which makes them more exciting to open when you’re in the mood to crack packs.

Jumpstart Booster Contents

Jumpstart boosters have 20 cards with a guaranteed list of contents for each specifical pack including lands. The idea is that players can buy two packs each, combine the contents, and come out with a 40-card Constructed deck to quickly get to playing with.

They’re great for new players who don’t have a collection and can’t afford to buy a new precon. I’ve bought these for friends and family interested in the game because they’re a low-cost way to start playing immediately.

Which is Better? Collector or Jumpstart Boosters?

Better Than One - Illustration by Alex Konstad

Better Than One | Illustration by Alex Konstad

The answer to which booster is better depends entirely on what your goals are.

If they’re to play Magic with a friend or on the spot, Jumpstart boosters are without a doubt the way to go. They’re good for players of all skill levels and investment because they allow for fresh players to get a true feel for the game, and for veterans to play when their collection isn’t with them or if they don’t have two decks.

But if your goal is to just crack some packs, look for a special foil-etched mythic, or just spend some money at your LGS, collector boosters are going to be your choice. I wouldn’t recommend these to new players since they’ll just then be sitting on 16 rare cards with no sleeves or protection, and quite frankly nothing to do with them.

Collector boosters are best bought when your LGS has a promo card available as long as you spend a certain amount of money, assuming you don’t need more sleeves or a binder.

Best Collector Boosters

Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Innistrad: Crimson Vow collector booster

The best collector boosters in terms of value are the Crimson Vow ones. They go for just over $10 a pack when bought as a box, which is half as expensive as, say, Neon Dynasty or Battle for Baldur’s Gate.

Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Crimson Vow Collector Booster | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Innistrad: Crimson Vow MTG cards + 1 foil token
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Innistrad: Crimson Vow
  • Loaded with rares, foils, special treatments, and more
  • 5 Rare and/or Mythic Rare cards in every pack
  • Return to the gothic horror plane of Innistrad for a sumptuous vampire wedding—as honored guest or delicious entrée

Commander Legends

Commander Legends collector booster

If you’re looking to play the odds and possibly win big, the Commander Legends collector boosters certainly have some value in them. Vampiric Tutor, Jeweled Lotus, and Mana Drain are all begging to be opened in foil.

Magic: The Gathering Commander Legends Collector Booster Pack | 15 Cards | 5 Legends Per Pack | 13 Foils | Min. 2 Extended-Art Cards
  • 15 CARDS, NOTHING BUT THE BEST. Collector Boosters are a shortcut to the coolest cards in Commander Legends—rares, foils, alternate art, special card styles, and more.
  • THE FIRST FULL SET SPECIFICALLY FOR COMMANDER.
  • Open the first ever booster packs designed for Commander—a Magic format all about battling your friends in epic multiplayer games.
  • CONTENTS: 15 Magic cards + 1 foil token

Modern Horizons 2

Modern Horizons 2 collector booster

And there’s of course Modern Horizons 2 collector boosters, which offer some of the most valuable cards to Constructed players across just about every format. The set dominates Modern, Legacy, Commander, and even Vintage, which means you’ll have use for plenty of rares and mythic within the set.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Modern Horizons 2 Collector Booster Pack | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Modern Horizons 2 (MH2) Magic: The Gathering cards + 1 foil token
  • 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

Best Jumpstart Boosters

Jumpstart booster box

While each Jumpstart booster should be chosen based on what cards and style of gameplay you like best, there are some pretty sweet mythic cards in certain packs. Of course the Jumpstart packs are blind so there’s no way to buy specific ones, which means you’ll just have to rely on the luck of the draw.

Teferi

The Teferi Jumpstart booster contains a Teferi, Master of Time and a Teferi’s Ageless Insight, both of which are excellent blue staples in Commander.

Angels

White, on the other hand, has the Angels Jumpstart booster, which has Baneslayer Angel and Linvala, Keeper of Silence.

Lands

If green is more up your alley, the Lands Jumpstart booster contains a copy of Oracle of Mul Daya and Ulvenwald Hydra, which is some nice value for a beginner pack.

Magic: The Gathering Jumpstart Booster Box (24 Packs)
  • READY TO SHARE: The Jumpstart booster box includes 24 booster packs of 20 cards including lands. Each booster pack follows one theme.
  • A NEW PLAY EXPERIENCE: Shuffle two booster packs together and you’re ready to play! Jumpstart is a unique way to play Magic: The Gathering that lets you assemble a 40-card deck and start battling in minutes. Skip the deck building part!
  • WHAT WILL YOU CREATE? Will you get Cats and Dragons vs Elves and Unicorns? Pirates and Angels vs Dogs and Dinosaurs? Each booster pack contains one of 121 possible card lists so there are over 14,000 possible 40-card decks!
  • THEMED LANDS: Every pack includes one basic land with art that matches the pack’s theme.
  • SPAN THE MULTIVERSE: You’ll find cards and themes from throughout the entire history of Magic: The Gathering.

Wrap Up

Tidy Conclusion - Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

Tidy Conclusion | Illustration by Bastien L. Deharme

With that I’ve covered just about everything you need to know about collector and Jumpstart boosters! I think all these new styles of packs are a great way to introduce new players to the game while giving veterans some more exciting sealed product to buy aside from just draft boosters.

But what do you think? I want to hear your thoughts on the current state of paper Magic, not just on the various kinds of boosters. Let me know down in the comments or over in the official Draftsim Discord.

Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!

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