Obsessive Collector | Illustration by Reiko Murakami
With the return of Jumpstart boosters in Dominaria United, WotC has seemingly ramped up a focus on paper Magic and everything that comes with it. Collector and theme boosters will be seeing a return as well just like with previous sets. But all of these new types of packs can feel daunting and often overwhelming when you’re in the store if you’re a new or recently returning player.
I’ve got you covered though. Today I’ll be focusing in on collector and theme boosters and how they differ. I’ll cover their individual contents, their purposes, the best of each, and which one may be right for you.
Let’s get started!
The Difference Between Collector and Theme Boosters
Comparative Analysis | Illustration by Willian Murai
It’s no secret that opening conventional (draft) boosters for the sake of cracking packs isn’t always the best value. That’s why Wizards has given players new types of packs for a variety of different purposes in recent years.
One of these newer types is the collector booster, a 16-card pack that features a bunch of special cards including plenty of foils, some showcase and extended art cards, the chance at a foil-etched card, and even cards not included in the base set! These are premium booster packs meant to be opened entirely for the sake of cracking packs and rolling the dice with what you may or may not get.
Theme boosters, on the other hand, are 35-card packs that center around a certain theme or color from its set. These packs are meant to supplement a collection from a certain set and include a varying number of commons and uncommons, but typically always include one or two rare/mythic cards.
Collector Booster Contents
While a collector booster’s exact content layout changes from set to set, you’re almost always going to get a few specific things each time. You’re always going to get between four and eight foil commons and uncommons, which is still much better than non-foils even if it isn’t exactly exciting. Especially when there are some premium uncommons in the set.
After that you’ll typically see an alternate art version of a common or uncommon, an extended art rare, a retro foil or foil-etched rare and common/uncommon, and some other foil cards. The idea here is that there’s always something exciting in the pack with every card. You’re not just going straight to the back of the pack like normal.
Theme Booster Contents
Theme boosters have a much more specific set of cards inside. They’ll include a total of 35 cards, almost entirely common or uncommon, which all come from a specific theme or color in the set. Sometimes it’s just some great blue cards, other times it homes in on a specific theme or mechanic featured prominently in the set.
While there isn’t a set number of rare/mythic cards in a theme booster pack, you’ll always get at least one or two every time.
Which is Better? Collector or Theme Boosters?
While theme boosters are much better for getting your hands on cards from a specific set for deckbuilding purposes, collector boosters are much more valuable to players looking to crack packs and hunt special versions of specific cards. As for which is better, it entirely depends on your purpose in buying sealed products in the first place.
If you’re just looking to fill out your bulk from a specific set and need a few playsets of various commons and uncommons, then theme boosters are without a doubt the best way to go. But if you’re looking to support your LGS and spend some cash on some foil and alternate-art cards, then the collector booster is the product for you.
Best Collector Boosters
Innistrad: Crimson Vow
- 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
If you’re looking to play the odds and possibly win big, then 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.
- 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
And finally there are the Modern Horizons 2 collector boosters, which offer some of the most valuable cards to Constructed player 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 in the set.
- 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 Theme Boosters
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt
While your purpose in buying a theme booster is to round certain aspects of your collection, there are a few sets that give a ridiculous number of cards for the price. One of those is the Midnight Hunt theme booster box. With 12 theme boosters included, you get two of each color as well as two 5-color packs.
- Return to the twisted plane of Innistrad once more for a set focused around the fan-favorite tribe of werewolves.
Strixhaven: School of Mages
The Strixhaven theme booster boxes are also a great deal right now. You get 10 theme boosters for about the same price as Midnight Hunt.
- Welcome to Strixhaven: School of Mages! In this latest release, Magic fans join the battle between five different colleges at Strixhaven, the most prestigious university for magical learning in the Magic Multiverse.Each college has its own unique personality and playstyle, and players can choose whichever college they prefer.
- Silverquill (WB), Prismari (UR), Witherbloom (BG), Lorehold (WR), and Quandrix (UG). Learn from the best professors and explore Strixhaven’s huge library.
- The design of this set is Magic’s take on the magical school genre. Each one of the featured colleges represents one of Magic’s enemy color combinations, with their own character and mechanics. Cards associated with the different colleges feature separate watermarked insignias.
- This listing is for 2 sets of all 5 themes(10 in total)2 Silverquill Theme boosters (WB)2 Prismari Theme boosters (UR)2 Witherbloom Theme boosters (BG)2 Lorehold Theme boosters (WR)2 Quandrix Theme boosters (UG)
- Release Date: April 23, 2021
Finale of Glory | Illustration by Stanton Feng
And with that I’ve covered everything when it comes to collector vs. theme boosters. All of these new boosters and sealed products can be confusing at times, but you’ll be fine as long as you do some research before you head to the store! I’m really happy to see the changes WotC has been making with sealed product in general. It never felt good to buy draft boosters just to crack them open to see some $0.75 rare you’ll never use.
These newer types of boosters help give players the right product for their goals, which is something you’ll never see me complaining about. But I want to hear your thoughts, too. Let me know what you think in the comments below or over in the official Draftsim Discord.
Until next time, stay safe and stay healthy!
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