Eldritch Moon finally launched, marking the end of the Shadows of Innistrad block. With every release comes the usual selection of products. This set will be the last to follow the traditional format of Booster Packs, Fat Packs and Intro Decks however but more to come on that later.
This shows the selection of products available for this set, going from Fat Pack at the left, the 5 Intro Decks in the back and the good old Booster Box to the right, displaying some of the single Booster Packs in the middle.
For those new to the game, the most basic of the product is the Booster Pack. It is a single pack containing 15 randomized cards broken down as follows: 11 Commons, 3 Uncommons and 1 Rare or Mythic Rare card. Other cards can be in the packs as well, found in almost every pack is a token or rule card along with a land or a rule card. In the occasional pack you can also find a Foil card which replaces a common in the pack but the Foil can be of any rarity, making it possible to obtain 2 Mythic Rares in one pack. To add to the randomness of packs, with Shadows Over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon, the inclusion of double-sided cards made it possible to open 3 Rares or Mythic Rares in one pack as if the pack includes a Rare or Mythic flip card, the rare flip card also replaces a regular common. These packs come fairly randomized inside a Booster Box but a fair constant is that a Booster Box will have about 4 Mythic Rares in the content of its 36 packs. This constant comes from my personal experience, not by crunching numbers and analyzing variables.
Booster packs are also available in other ways than just buying them as single packs or by the box. One such way is to purchase a Fat Pack. A Fat Pack is a container box that comes with 9 Booster Packs, a pack of basic lands, 2 small card boxes and a spindown life dice.
The Fat Pack box itself is a nice storage box and will fit sleeved cards with no issue, holding about 250 single sleeved cards with ease and about twice as many unsleeved cards. They are made out of cardboard so it doesn’t mean you should toss it everywhere if you do use it for carrying cards around but will protect your cards well enough and the lid does take more than just a bit of bag shaking to come off, saving you from picking up a mess of cards at the bottom of your bag. As part of the content, a Fat Pack also comes with 2 smaller cardboard box, made to fit about 60 unsleeved cards with ease. Those are very thin cardboard box themed to the set of the fat pack and, on a personal opinion, are more made to sort out cards you may need in the future while you’re looking through your cards thinking of what kind of deck to build. The last notable part of the Fat Pack is the spindown life dice. As shown below, they come in many color and bear the symbol of the set or special release it came with.
Many veteran MTG players will have more die than they know what to do with but I can never get enough of them. The uses for them is more than just life counting. A creature needs counters? Use a spindown! You cast a Planeswalker and need to track the devotion? Spindown! You or your opponent is playing with the poison effect? Spindown! You see where I’m going with this. The only usage of these die that I dislike is when they are used for the roll to see who goes first as all the numbers are sequential, the higher ones being on one side while the smallest are on the opposite, making it easy for someone practised in rolling them to favor their odds compared to a regular D20 used for D&D for example.
Last but not least, the Intro Packs are also available. Each Intro Pack feature a Foil Rare with an alternate art, meaning the art will be different than if you open the same card in a booster pack. As displayed in the photo below, you can see the difference. The Intro Pack alternate arts are on the bottom while the regular design is see above.
Intro packs each feature a theme, for an example in Eldritch Moon, the Red/Green Intro Pack is based around wolves and werewolves while the Blue/White is Spirits themed. The cards in the intro decks feature cards from the base set of the block (Shadows Over Innistrad) and the current expansion (Eldritch Moon). These decks are intended as entry level products for someone new to the game and offer a pleasurable experience when used to play against someone else playing an intro deck. As a full disclaimer, these decks as is out of the box would not really suffice for competitive play but offer a starting point to expand upon if you wish to. Each Intro Decks also come with 2 Booster Packs, allowing you to modify them a bit depending on your luck and preferences with the cards obtained this way.
For those wondering about pricing, here’s the breakdown of the MSRP for the U.S. from Wizards of the Coast:
Booster Pack: $3.99
Fat Pack: $39.99
Intro Deck: $14.99
The MSRP for a Booster Box (36 Packs) is $143.64 but often enough, card stores will offer special pricing on buying a full box all at once.
This concludes the break down of Eldritch Moon’s product line. It is to be noted that some of the products will be changing for the next Base Set, Kaladesh, coming in September.
The Fat Packs will be replaced with what’s called a “Bundle”. A Bundle features the exact same content as a Fat Pack except for the booster pack count, which is increased to 10 instead of 9.
The Intro Decks will also be a thing of the past, making way for the Planeswalker deck. Kaladesh will have 2 “intro” deck featuring 2 different Planeswalker. These decks will also contain cards that are tournament legal only available in them as they relate specifically to the featured Planeswalkers.