Quasiduplicate  - Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

Quasiduplicate | Illustration by Dmitry Burmak

With Murders at Karlov Manor we’ve entered the world of Play Boosters. These are going to affect how Draft works forevermore (or at least until WotC changes things again!).

One significant change is that you’ll sometimes get duplicate cards in your packs. Why is this, though? And does it ruin Draft?

Let’s take a look!

Why Does My Pack on MTGA Include Two of the Same Card?

Put simply, Play Boosters have two wildcard slots. In paper, one of these is a foil slot and one is non-foil. These could be any card from the main set, with no restrictions (although different rarities show up at different rates). There are no rules to stop these wildcards being the same as other cards in your pack, though, so you can end up with duplicates in your Draft pack!

One thing to mention is that this isn’t new in paper. Previously, you could open a pack with a foil copy of another card in the pack (even a rare!), and both were draftable. Now that Wizards included a non-foil wildcard slot alongside a guaranteed foil slot (instead of one-in-three packs), it just happens more often than before.

Is This a Bug?

Getting duplicate cards in your boosters in Arena Draft is a feature, not a bug. Because of the wildcard slots, you have a chance of getting duplicate cards in a single pack. As we don’t know the exact pull rates of the packs, it’s difficult to calculate how likely this is, but so far I think I’ve seen it twice in three Drafts. I’ve also seen it in paper packs with my non-foil cards.

MTGA Duplicate Card in pack
r/LRCast duplicate pack screenshot

What Is the “Wildcard Slot”?

The “Wildcard Slot” is the name given to two slots/places in a Play Booster pack (one foil and one non-foil) that can be any card in the set. This means you can get duplicates of other cards in the pack in either of these slots, which is something that’s new to Arena with Play Boosters, but we’ve before with the foil slot in paper packs.

What Is a Play Booster?

Play Boosters were a type of booster pack introduced with Murders at Karlov Manor. These boosters are a combination of Draft Boosters and Set Boosters, and are designed to be fun to open for collectors alongside working well in Limited formats. They are also the new boosters you’ll open in Drafts on Arena.

When Did This All Start?

Play Boosters (and the chance of opening duplicate cards on Arena) came with the release of Murders of Karlov Manor in February 2024.

Is This Only in MTGA Draft Packs or Can it Happen in Packs You Open?

You can open duplicate cards in your paper Play Boosters, as well as your Play Boosters in Draft on Arena. In fact, this isn’t something super new to paper boosters, as you’ve always been able to open a duplicate card in the foil slot.

Can You Get Three of the Same Card?

draft booster duplicate announcement on mtg arena

On Arena, Wizards has stated that you should not get three of the same card in a pack, despite there being two wildcard slots. It’s currently unknown if this is possible in paper, but if it is it’s incredibly rare.

Need Help and Advice Drafting? Use Arena Tutor

Still confused with what you’re doing with Draft? I can’t not recommend Arena Tutor at this point. It’s a great tool that’ll help you notice things you’ve missed in Draft, and can help both new and veteran players alike. If you’re looking for a new Arena plugin, give this a go! If you have any feedback on it, we’re always listening!

Wrap Up

Dack's Duplicate - Illustration by Karl Kopinski

Dack's Duplicate | Illustration by Karl Kopinski

Do I think that this change is going to be the end of Draft? Not! It’s something that’s been going on in paper since foils were first introduced, and although it’s going to happen more often now and be less cool when it pops up, it’s not going to break anything. What do you think though: Love or hate this?

Let us know all your deepest darkest thoughts on duplicate cards in your Draft in the comments below, and until next time… just chill, ok?

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