Last updated on July 13, 2022

Component Collector - Illustration by Mark Behm

Component Collector | Illustration by Mark Behm

Wizards has started to offer more options for us collectors and players to buy booster packs. The decision boils down to three options in each set: set boosters, collector boosters, or draft boosters.

Considering that draft boosters are your “standard” booster made for Limited play and usually only have one rare inside, the other two packs are better for collecting rares since they’re not balanced for Limited play. But which ones should you get?

Today I’ll walk you through set and collector boosters including the main differences. I’ll also rank the best you can get of each. Let’s get into it!

The Difference Between Set and Collector Boosters

Echoing Equation - Illustration by Volkan Baga

Echoing Equation | Illustration by Volkan Baga

The main difference between set and collector boosters is that collector boosters are more expensive, but every card has a different treatment, be it unique/alternate art or foil. You’ll get more extended art versions or alternate art versions this way.

Set boosters have a guaranteed foil and up to four rares, but it’s the normal version of the card and they usually only have one or two rares.

Set Booster Contents

The content of set boosters changes a little bit with each set. They usually contain a few commons and uncommons which are mechanically or thematically related somehow. You get 12 cards, and there’s a guaranteed rare or mythic card. Every set booster also has a foil card.

Some of these packs also can have an extra rare or two. Around 27% of the set boosters have two rares, around 3% have three, and 1% of them have four rares. It’s possible to get art cards, rules/token cards, and a basic land or full-art land as usual.

Set boosters are recommended for players that want the most rares from a given set and don’t care too much about commons or Limited balance. Each set booster also has a card from “The List,”  a collection of curated cards from Magic’s history.

Collector Booster Contents

Collector boosters are your best bet if all you care about are pimped versions of new cards, if you’re looking to add new foils to a Commander deck or cube, or if you want to take a shot at open a chase mythic from the set in the shiniest frame possible. Using Streets of New Capenna as reference, here’s what you can find in a collector booster:

  • 2 cards with the golden age or skyscraper treatment
  • 4 common foil cards
  • 2 uncommon foil cards
  • 1 foil full-art land
  • 1 gilded foil card
  • 1 foil rare card
  • 1 foil rare Commander card
  • 1 extended art rare
  • 1 foil 2-sided token

Which is Better? Set or Collector Boosters?

The best between set and collector boosters depends on your budget, intentions, and what you expect from each product.

If you’re looking to expand your collection with rares/mythics from the new set and get staples for Constructed play, then the set booster is the best booster, and the most budget-friendly one. But if you want to spin the lottery wheel, have a chance to find a premium card from the newest set, or just get prettier foil versions of the cards from a given set, then collector boosters are the way to go!

Best Set Boosters

Streets of New Capenna

Streets of New Capenna set boosters

You’ll need some staples from the newest set if you’re into Constructed and mainly Standard, and Streets of New Capenna set boosters are a good idea for that. There are also different frames for cards in this set, like the golden age and skyscraper treatment, which are very nice.

Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Set Booster | 12 Magic Cards
  • 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
  • Best MTG booster to open just for fun
  • 1–4 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every SNC Set Booster
  • Traditional or Gilded Foil card in every pack
  • At least 1 Showcase card in every pack

Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Innistrad: Crimson Vow set booster box

Crimson Vow set boosters offers a lot of rares that are seeing play like Sorin the Mirthless, Hullbreaker Horror, and Chandra, Dressed to Kill. The set also has cards like Toxrill, the Corrosive, Cultivator Colossus, and Avabruck Caretaker.

Magic: The Gathering Innistrad: Crimson Vow Set Booster Box | 30 Packs + Dracula Box Topper (361 Magic Cards)
  • 30 Innistrad: Crimson Vow Set Boosters
  • 1 foil Dracula Series box topper card
  • 12 Magic: The Gathering cards per booster
  • 1 foil or nonfoil Showcase Eternal Night Land in every pack
  • 1–4 Rares and/or Mythic Rares in every pack

Strixhaven: School of Mages

Strixhaven: School of Mages set booster

The best part of this set is the Mystical Archive cards, reprints of powerful instants and sorceries from Magic’s past. Each Strixhaven set booster contains a card from this Archive. Maybe you can get a special version of Electrolyze, Mind’s Desire, or Lightning Helix for your Constructed decks!

Magic: The Gathering Set Booster Pack Lot MTG Strixhaven
  • The Strixhaven Set Booster Pack includes 12 cards.
  • 1 in 4 Set Boosters includes a card from “The List”—a pool of reprints.

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set booster

One of the most recent sets with very powerful cards that are impacting Standard and other Constructed formats, this set has a lot of different treatments on cards to collect. From ninja to samurai to soft glow cards, Neon Dynasty set boosters are your chance to get a Constructed staple in foil or with a different art treatment.

Card Game Magic: The Gathering Set Booster Pack Lot MTG Kamigawa Neon Dynasty
  • The Kamigawa Neon Dynasty Set Booster Pack includes 12 cards.
  • 1 in 4 Set Boosters includes a card from “The List”—a pool of reprints.

Best Collector Boosters

Streets of New Capenna

Streets of New Capenna collector booster

Streets of New Capenna collector boosters have the gilded frame, which is a special “3d-ish” foil card with a depth effect. There’s also the possibility to get new planeswalkers like Elspeth Resplendent and Ob Nixilis, the Adversary with an art deco style.

Sale
Magic: The Gathering Streets of New Capenna Collector Booster | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Streets of New Capenna MTG cards + 1 foil token
  • Shortcut to the coolest SNC cards—including Collector Booster-exclusive special treatments
  • Opportunity to get a Foil-Etched or Gilded Foil card—up to 2 Gilded Foil cards per pack
  • Traditional Foil Metropolis Full-Art Land in every pack
  • 5 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack

Innistrad: Crimson Vow

Innistrad: Crimson Vow collector booster

Although I don’t like it very much, there are showcase cards with black and white art in this set. Crimson Vow collector boosters will be your cup of tea if you like this style of card. It’s possible to open Dracula, Lord of Blood, an alternative version of Voldaren Bloodcaster.

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

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty collector booster

Neon Dynasty has a cool anime/Japanese art theme if you’re into that kind of art. Cards like the channel lands and powerful planeswalkers like The Wandering Emperor along with Urabrask the Hidden and Greasefang are interesting pulls from the Neon Dynasty collector boosters. The new Tamiyo, Compleated Sage and the cycle of Marches like March of Otherworldly Light are also interesting.

Magic The Gathering Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Collector Booster | 15 Magic Cards
  • 15 Magic: The Gathering cards + 1 foil token
  • Shortcut to the coolest cards in Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
  • Only NEO packs that may contain a Neon Ink Foil or Foil-Etched card
  • Only MTG boosters with Extended-Art cards—get 1–3 in every pack
  • 9–10 traditional foil cards and 5 cards of rarity Rare or higher in every pack

Modern Horizons 2

Modern Horizons 2 collector booster 2-pack

Here you can find the Zendikar fetch lands like Scalding Tarn as well as Modern Constructed staples like Murktide Regent, Urza’s Saga, Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer, and Solitude. The prices of the cards in Modern Horizons 2 collector boosters vary wildly since there are lots of desired cards for eternal formats in this set, so the lottery is on!

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

Commander Legends

Commander Legends collector booster

Another set with a lot of expensive cards like Vampiric Tutor and Mana Drain along with commanders like Nekusar, the Mindrazer, Prossh, Skyraider of Kher, and more. A foil Jeweled Lotus costs about $800, so Commander Legends collector boosters might just be worth the risk.

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

Wrap Up

Commence the Endgame - Illustration by Noah Bradley

Commence the Endgame | Illustration by Noah Bradley

There are a lot of options when it comes to buying boosters and MTG products, and the options can be daunting sometimes. The average value of a set booster is higher because you’ll typically get more rares and more foil cards. And if you want to see beautiful and unique cards with different frames, collector boosters are really the way to go.

As usual, thanks for your time and attention. Let me know what boosters you’re buying and cracking in the comments section below over or over on the Draftsim Twitter.

Signing out!

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