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Preconstructed theme deck

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Constructed by Wizards of the Coast, preconstructed theme decks are a type of Magic product composed of specific non-random sets of cards that are sold in their own packaging along with each core set and expansion. [1]

[edit] Expansion sets

Theme decks from expansion sets may contain any card printed in that specific block as of that expansion set.

[edit] Introduction

Preconstructed theme decks were first introduced for the Tempest set and contained 60 cards (including 3 rares and 12 uncommons). The amount of lands and common cards could differ. For most expansions there were four of these decks, which were simply advertised as theme decks. They could be mono-colored and bi-colored.

[edit] Adjustement of rarities

From Urza's Saga onwards, the theme decks contained 2 rares and 13 uncommons. Urza's Saga was also the first expansion set to have a three-color theme deck. Radiant's Revenge is the only theme deck with both rares being artifacts.

[edit] Adding multicolor

Invasion was the first expansion set to have a five-color theme deck.

[edit] New package design

Onslaught theme decks introduced a new design on their cardboard box that quickly showed the colors used to build the deck.

[edit] Change to intro packs

From the Shards of Alara set onwards, theme decks connected to expansions are referred to as intro packs, to better reflect the nature of these products, as they introduce newer players to Magic: The Gathering and older ones to new expansions, with their novel mechanics.[2][3] The decks were now made from a card pool composed of the most recent core set and the cards from the current block. Intro decks follow a number of design rules. [4] [5] Intro packs initially consisted of 41 cards featuring a foil rare, a booster pack, a strategy insert for the deck and a Magic "learn to play" guide.

[edit] Adjustment of size

Folowing the example of Magic 2011, with Scars of Mirrodin the size of 41 cards in the Intro Packs changed to 60 cards, like the old theme decks, but still included the booster pack. The card pool was still restricted to the current block.

[edit] Extra boosters

With Return to Ravnica, the Intro Packs increased to contain 2 booster packs.

[edit] Alternate art face cards

As of Khans of Tarkir, the face cards in Intro Packs are not just premium rare cards, but alternate art premium rare cards that won't be found in booster packs. [6]

[edit] Starter-level sets

Portal did not contain theme decks, but Portal Second Age and Portal Three Kingdoms contained five and three decks respectively. Each of these decks contained three rares. Starter 1999 contained five theme decks, each with two rares. All of them were mono-colored.

[edit] Core Sets

Theme decks from Core sets are only made with cards from that core set, while theme decks from expansion sets have cards from that set's block.

[edit] Introduction

Theme decks for Core sets were introduced with 7th Edition, after the discontinuation of the Starter-level sets. They contained two rares and five uncommons with a total of 40 cards. Early Core Sets contained only mono-colored theme decks.

[edit] Change to intro packs

From the Magic 2010 onwards, theme decks connected to core sets were referred to as intro packs, as well. Magic 2010 also contained the first dual-colored Core set theme decks. The Core Set intro packs now had the same content as expansion Expansion intro packs (a ready-to-play 41-card deck featuring a foil premium rare, a sealed 15-card booster pack, a strategy insert and "learn to play" guide).

[edit] Adjustment of size

With the Magic 2011 Core Set, the size of 41 cards in the Intro Packs changed to 60 cards, but still included the booster pack.

[edit] Extra boosters

With the Magic 2013 Core Set, the Intro Packs increased to contain 2 booster packs.

[edit] Box sets

Main article: Box sets

Early box sets like Anthologies, Beatdown and Battle Royale experimented with different numbers and sizes of theme decks.

Main article: Duel Decks

The Duel Decks contain two theme decks and a total of eight rares.

Other preconstructed decks appeared in the Premium Deck Series, the Commander series, in Planechase (2009) and Planechase (2012), and Archenemy.

[edit] Event Decks

Main article: Event Decks

Starting with Mirrodin Besieged Wizards of the Coast also designed competitive Standard-legal decks, called event decks, for expansions and Core Sets. Although released simultaneous with new sets, they might contain cards outside of the current block or core set, as long as they are legal. Initially each set had two event decks.

[edit] Reducing to one

From Dragon's Maze onwards each set only featured one event deck.

[edit] MTGO

[edit] Masters Edition II

Main article: Masters Edition II

[edit] Mirage block (MTGO)

The Mirage block theme decks were designed for MTGO, as these expansion sets were printed before theme decks were first printed in the Tempest block.

[edit] References

  1. Aaron Forsythe. (August 27, 2004.) "The Theme? Decks", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Mark Rosewater. (June 2, 2008.) "The Year of Living Changerously", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Wizards of the Coast. (June 2, 2008.) "Changes as of Shards of Alara", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Mark Rosewater. (January 12, 2011.) "Design Challenge #5: "Introductions Please"", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Tom LaPille. ( February 18, 2011.) "Making Introductions", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
  6. Dan Barrett. (August 15, 2014.) "Revealed at Gamescom", Daily MTG, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.

Preconstructed theme decks and intro packs by block
Ice AgeMirageTempestUrza'sMasquesInvasionOdysseyOnslaughtMirrodinKamigawa

RavnicaTime SpiralLorwyn–ShadowmoorAlaraZendikarScars of MirrodinInnistradReturn to Ravnica
Related pages: Core sets/Preconstructed theme decks