A Guide to Buying Magic Cards: Boosters, Bundles, and Boxes

Updated on March 4, 2020
Jeremy Gill profile image

Jeremy casts spells in between his careers as a chemical analyst and campus manager.

How to Buy Magic: The Gathering Cards

Developed by Richard Garfield back in 1993, Magic: The Gathering has been entertaining players for decades. Players purchase cards to form custom-made decks, creating a strategic and personalized match.

But with so many Magic products available, it can be intimidating for newer players to jump in. Where should you buy Magic cards, and are the bulk bundles worth their price? Find out as we explore the pros and cons to Magic's three b's: boosters, bundles, and box sets!

Magic booster packs
Magic booster packs

Booster Packs in Magic

Description: Individual 15-card packs (guaranteed one rare or mythic rare)

Price: $4

Advantages:

  • Availability
  • Low commitment

The classic 15-card pack can be found nearly anywhere, from local game stores to franchises like GameStop and Wal-Mart. These contain one rare/mythic rare, three uncommons, ten commons, and one other card that changes between sets.

Individual boosters work well for players who don't want to commit to bigger bundles, and they're essential to draft formats (where players build decks from new boosters rather than pre-constructed decks).

Core 2019 theme boosters
Core 2019 theme boosters

Collector and Theme Boosters in Magic

Magic now has a few alternative boosters to consider. Collector boosters are somewhat expensive, costing a bit under $20 each, but guarantee multiple rares, foils, alternate arts, and other goodies to offset their higher cost. These are fun, but their value fluctuates, heavily depending on whether you score rares or more-valuable mythic rares. Fortunately, you'll sometimes find these packs included in other deals, like as an added bonus in the Throne of Eldraine Gift Bundle.

Theme boosters are 35-card boosters designed around a certain color or color pair. You have a small chance to get an extra rare, and I appreciate their consistency, giving you cards you know will fit into your deck's color scheme. At around $7 a pop, they're a fun way to flesh out your theme, albeit with mostly commons/uncommons.

Theros Beyond Death bundle
Theros Beyond Death bundle

Booster Bundles in Magic

Description: Box containing 10 boosters and other bonuses

Price: $30-40

Advantages:

  • Lower price per booster
  • Additional items

Each Magic expansion features a booster bundle packed with several treats. The extras vary per bundle, but you'll always get the ten boosters and deck box, often alongside a d20, poster, basic lands, and/or a promo card.

If you know you want several boosters, definitely grab one of these, which should be much cheaper than buying 10 individually, especially with the added treats. Prices fluctuate, but as of this writing, you can score a Theros Beyond Death bundle for less than $35!

Midway in price between the booster and bundle are the "Deckbuilder's Toolkits", but I strongly advise spending the few extra bucks for the bundle, where you get several additional packs (which translates to more rares and thus value).

Theros Beyond Death booster box
Theros Beyond Death booster box

Booster Boxes in Magic

Description: Box containing 36 booster packs

Price: $90-100

Advantages:

  • Vastly reduced price per booster
  • Extra promo card

For hardcore players who live and breathe Magic, booster boxes come with an absurd amount of cards. Their high cost will dissuade some, but there's no denying that when you do the math, they offer the lowest cost per pack. There aren't as many extra goodies as the booster bundle, but you do get a "buy-a-box" promo card as a little thank you.

Unlike the above bundles, these aren't always available in retailers, so you might want to order one online; the current Theros bundle costs less than $95. One strategy I've found effective is to get a group of (trustworthy) friends, buy a box together, and split the contents, reaping the reduced prices without committing to the full cost.

How do you prefer to buy Magic boosters?

See results

Buying Specific Magic Cards

We've now explored Magic's three main ways of obtaining semi-random cards, but there's always another route—buying specific cards, whether from gaming stores, friends, or websites like tcgplayer. This works well when you know exactly what you want and aren't interested in extra fluff. Magic also offers prebuilt commander and planeswalker decks to consider, where you can look up the cards you'll receive ahead of time.

Each mainstream method has its advantages, but in general, the more packs you want, the more expensive the item you should get, giving you the best deal per booster. But for now, vote for your preferred product and I'll see you at our next MTG countdown!

© 2020 Jeremy Gill

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hobbylark.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)