|Robert Gutschera (lead) |
|July 28, 2003|
Themes and mechanics
Keywords and/or ability words
|Fear newly keyworded|
|357 (113 Common 113 Uncommon 111 Rare 20 Land)|
|7th Edition||8th Edition||9th Edition|
|Magic: The Gathering chronology|
Eighth Edition featured 357 white-bordered cards (110 rare, 110 uncommon, 110 common, 7 fixed, and 20 basic lands), including cards from every previous expansion set since Alpha.  The seven fixed cards only appeared in the Core Game pack. The set introduced a new cardface design that allowed for larger art and more card text.
Eighth Edition added reminder text about flying to those creatures that have the ability. it was also the first core set to see Fear in print (Fear was keyworded in Onslaught). The tap symbol changed to the simple, straightforward, easy-to-see curved arrow, without the rectangle behind it.  The set introduced the basic supertype for lands.
The colored frames around the edges of the card were redesigned and narrowed, boxes were placed around card names and creatures' Power/Toughness, card names were printed in a more modern font (Matrix Bold, rather than Goudy Medieval) and mana symbols appearing in the text box of artifacts were no longer colored. 
Some players felt the new look interfered with the 'classical' fantasy feel of the game.  An early problem was that the new card frames of white and artifact cards were hard to tell apart with a quick glance, which lead to the darkening of the frame of artifact cards with Fifth Dawn.  The gray mana symbols in the textbox of artifact cards were corrected with Ravnica: City of Guilds.
Eighth Edition was marketed as Core Set, because there were concerns that older base sets confused newer players — their primary audience — by making them feel like they "missed out" on five or six previous editions and were hopelessly behind.  The set logo was still an "8" and it is still commonly referred to as Eighth Edition.
Eighth Edition was set to be released to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of Magic: the Gathering 's original release , so the developers took a different approach to the core set. Every previous expansion (34 sets in all) had at least one card reprinted in Eighth Edition that had not been reprinted in the base set before, with a series of votes on Magicthegathering.com website deciding what got reprinted.    New artwork for the reprintes often referenced the old art.  "Global Celebration" tournaments were held July 26-27, 2003 as a release event of 8th Edition and a commemmoration of Magic 's 10th Anniversary.  The participation bonus was a foil Rukh Egg.
Eighth was sold in 15-card-booster packs, 5 different Theme decks and a Core Game (which was a 2-Player Starter Set), but not in tournament packs. The boosters featured artwork from Blinding Angel, Lhurgoyf, Phyrexian Plaguelord, Two-Headed Dragon and Tidal Kraken.
The set featured randomly inserted premium black-bordered versions of all cards in the set, and also oversized Box-Topper Cards found at the top of each booster display box.  The Eighth Edition came with both 24-card Demogame boosters and 10-card sampler packs.
A rules change was that the card draw each turn no longer used the stack.  Instead the player simply draws a card as his draw step starts. He sees what he draws before abilities that trigger "at the beginning of your draw step" are put onto the stack. Spells and abilities that affect the normal card draw should be played during the upkeep step, not the draw step. The type line of each basic land now included the words "Basic Land" and the land's type, separated by a long dash. For example, a Forest card has the printed type line "Basic Land — Forest." Plains, Island, Swamp, Mountain, and Forest cards printed in earlier sets should be treated as though they had the same type line as the Eighth Edition basic lands.
8th Edition has 3 cycles.
- Circles of protection: Each of these common white enchantments has a mana cost of and the ability to prevent the all damage from a source of a given color for — Circle of Protection: White, Circle of Protection: Blue, Circle of Protection: Black, Circle of Protection: Red, and Circle of Protection: Green.
- Lucky charms: Each of these uncommon artifacts has a triggered ability that allows the controller pay to gain 1 life when a spell of a given color resolves — Ivory Cup, Crystal Rod, Throne of Bone, Iron Star, and Wooden Sphere.
- Taplands are dual lands that come into play tapped. They are from Invasion — Shivan Oasis, Elfhame Palace, Coastal Tower, Salt Marsh and Urborg Volcano.
The preconstructed theme decks are:
|Theme deck name|
Cards added to 8th Edition
Whenever a development team at the time worked on a base set, they made a wish list of cards they wanted to include but were unable to as the card did not exist and they were not allowed to add new cards. In essence, the team ordered cards for the next base set (traditionally two years later). This meants that the Seventh Edition development team had made a wish list for Eighth Edition. 
- Red's Enrage replaced black's Howl From Beyond in both 8th and 9th Edition.
- Green's Naturalize replaced white's Disenchant in 8th and all future core sets.
- The Urzatron set was added and found its way into many tournament decks during its inclusion in core sets.
Changes in rarity to 8th Edition
The Circle of Protection series, a perennial core set entity, remained in the set but changed from common to uncommon.
Cards removed from 7th Edition
- Counterspell was not printed in 8th Edition or since. It had been deemed that a hard counter costing just was too powerful. Cancel from Time Spiral would become the hard counter at .
- Merfolk were not printed in 8th Edition.
- Llanowar Elves lost from Birds of Paradise. 
- Mark Rosewater. (July 14, 2003.) "Let's Start at the Very Beginning", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Randy Buehler. (July 11, 2003.) "Something Old, Something Cool...", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (July 12, 2004.) "The Changing Tap Symbol", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (January 27, 2003.) "Frames of Reference", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- MagicTheGathering.com Staff. (January 20, 2003.) "Card Face Redesign FAQ", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (August 05, 2013.) "Twenty Things That Were Going To Kill Magic", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Randy Buehler. (October 31, 2003.) "A Scary Card Frame Story", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (March 31, 2003.) "Core Set", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (February 17, 2003.) "10th Anniversary Press Release", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Aaron Forsythe. (November 25, 2002.) "Selecting Eighth Edition Wrapup", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (July 01, 2002.) "No Two See the Same Game", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (July 7, 2003.) "Good to the Core. Selecting Old Favorites for Eighth Edition", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (July 29, 2003.) "Eighth Edition homage", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 09, 2003.) "Global Celebration announcement", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (June 27, 2003.) "Promo premium Rukh Egg", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (July 23, 2003.) "Eighth Edition box toppers", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Paul Barclay. (July 08, 2003.) "Eighth Edition Rules Update", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (July 21, 2003.) "Small Change", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater. (July 29, 2002.) "When Bad Things Happen to Good Cards", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.