Play Booster Design Skeleton Fact Sheet

Overview

  • Common slots are more detailed than Uncommon slots
  • Draft Boosters had 101 Commons and 80 Uncommons. Play Boosters have 81 Commons and 100 Uncommons. There are 60 Rares and 20 Mythic Rares in both.
  • Draft Boosters were locked into one land slot, ten Common slots, three Uncommon slots, and one Rare/Mythic rare slot, although things like double-faced cards could change this slightly.
  • Play Boosters have anywhere from 1 to 4 Rare/Mythic cards, which changes Limited considerably and as such changes the structure of set design.
  • They’ve made an effort to get rid of “unplayable commons”, or a card that is too narrow in what it does to be more than a sideboard card in most cases. And example would be a card that only destroys an Artifact and/or Enchantment.
  • The average power level of cards will be increased (although still with Limited in mind).
  • Most monocolor creatures will be playable in a deck of the given color.
  • Some effects, like “Gain control of target creature until end of turn, it gains Haste” have been moved from Common to Uncommon.
  • More modal effects will be used. A card that destroys an Enchantment will be paired with another effect that is generally more useful to give that card a better chance of making any given deck of that color.
  • On average, creature sizes will also be increasing. How much will depend on the color, and I’ll highlight this in the sections for each color. This is expected to make more creatures generally playable.
  • A number of Common one-drop creature slots have been cut. This is an effort to slow down Limited to some degree.
  • Uncommons will be shifting away from “sideways build-around”, or cards that can be built around that do not follow the set’s draft archetypes. These cards will be shifted to Rare, as Rares will show up more often in packs now.
  • Each two-color draft archetype should have at least six support cards, with 2x monocolor Commons, 2x monocolor Uncommons, and 2x multicolor Uncommons.
  • Synergy of draft themes will be more important than ever given the increased number of Rare/Mythic cards to help encourage playing with themes rather that as many bombs as possible.
  • Graveyard hate will be more common to prevent Rare/Mythic cards from always coming back.
  • Rare/Mythic cards will use extra pips of colored mana more often to make them harder to splash.
  • Some number of Rare/Mythic cards will play into draft themes.

White

  • 11 Common Creature slots, broken down into 1x one mana | 3x two mana | 3x three mana | 2x four mana | 1x five or six mana | 1x six or seven mana.
  • 73% of White commons will be creatures, up from 63%.
  • The average power of White’s Common creatures will be going from 2.95 to 3.28.
  • Keyword distribution at Common for White creatures will be: 3x Flying | 2x Vigilance | 1x Lifelink (Low Power) | .25x First Strike | .2x Double Strike.
    • Number lower than 1 mean that ability likely won’t show up every set at Common.
    • First Strike in general has “fallen out of favor” with R&D due to it’s ability to cause ground stalls, and it will mostly only be used on offense at Common.
  • 4 Spell slots, broken down int 1x Combat-related removal | 1x Exiling creature removal | 1x combat trick | 1x Enchantment & Artifact removal and/or removal spell.
  • White’s spells will mostly focus on removal in some way.
  • Combat tricks are more likely to keep your creature alive, which means they will be a type of creature removal.
  • Pacifism-style effects are being replaced by Banishing Light-style effects as a way to help White deal better with the added Rare/Mythic cards in Play Boosters with static or triggered abilities.
  • The Disenchant slot will often be paired with creature removal.
  • Go-wide team-pump effects will appear much more often on creatures, rather than on spells going forward.
  • White will have 10 Uncommon creature slots and 4 Uncommon noncreature slots. This is an increase from 61% of White Uncommons being creatures to 72% of White Uncommons being creatures.

Blue

  • 8 Common Creature slots, broken down into 2x two mana | 3x three mana | 1x four mana | 1x five or six mana | 1x six or seven mana.
  • 53% of Blue Commons will be creatures, up from 47%.
  • The average power of Blue’s Common creatures will increase from 3.39 to 3.62.
  • Keyword distribution at Common for Blue will be: 3x Flying | 1.5x Vigilance | .5x Ward N | .5x Defender | .5x Flash
  • Vigilance was added to Blue a year ago as a way to make Blue creatures want to attack more often.
  • 7 Spell slots, broken down into 1x Protective Instant | 1x Counterspell | 1x Cantrip | 1x Draw spell (2 to 3 cards) | 1x Overwriting abilities Aura as removal | 1x Top or Bottom (Opponent’s choice) spell | 1x Modal spell
  • This should make Blue better at answering Rare/Mythic bombs
    • Counterspells will be good at stopping big spells
    • Blue’s old tap-style removal will be replaced with Enchantments that overwrite a creature’s abilities and power/toughness
    • Spells that used to bounce to hand will now more often bounce to library
    • Blue will be more efficient at card drawing/filtering.
  • Blue will have 6 or 7 Uncommon creature slots and 7 or 8 Uncommon noncreature slots. This is a decrease from 53% of Blue’s Uncommons being creatures to 46% of Blue’s Uncommons being creatures.

Black

  • 9 Common Creature slots, broken down into 1x one or two mana | 2x two mana | 2x three mana | 1x four mana | 1x four or five mana | 1x five or six mana | 1x six or seven mana.
  • 62% of Black’s Commons will be creatures, up from 52%.
  • The average power of Black’s Common creatures will increase from 3.25 to 3.56.
  • Keyword distribution at Common for Black will be: 2x Flying | 1.5x Menace | 1.25x Deathtouch | 1x Lifelink
  • Black’s flying creatures will be less strong than White’s or Blue’s.
  • Menace is being used more often, as R&D feels it plays very well.
  • Deathtouch will often be on smaller creatures.
  • Lifelink will appear on larger creatures in Black than it will in White.
  • 6 Spell slots, broken down into 1x Small conditional removal | 1x Combat trick | 1x Card draw (with additional cost) | 1x Discard spell (you choose) | 1x Unconditional removal | 1x Slightly overcosted removal
  • Raise Dead and other effects that don’t have a place at Common will either be moved to Uncommon or will be added to Creature spells.
  • Black will have 7 or 8 Uncommon creature slots, and 7 or 8 Uncommon noncreature slots. This is roughly the same % as with Draft Boosters.

Red

  • 9 Common Creature slots, broken down into 1x one or two mana | 2x two mana | 2x three mana | 1x three or four mana | 1x four or five mana | 1x five mana | 1x six mana
  • 64% of Red’s Commons will be creatures, up from 53%.
  • The average power of Red’s Common creatures will increase from 3.15 to 3.39.
  • Keyword distribution at Common for Red will be: 1.5x Trample | 1.5x Menace | 1.5x Haste | 1x Reach | .25x First Strike | .2x Double Strike
  • Red was given a dedicated Reach slot to combat the increased likelihood of facing Rare/Mythic creatures that have Flying.
  • 6 Spell slots, broken down into 1x Direct deal 2dmg | 1x Combat trick | 1x Card draw (either discard then draw or exile and play the card “soon”) | 1x Modal artifact destruction | 1x Direct deal ~4dmg | 1x Direct deal 6dmg for 5 mana
  • Red has lost more spell space at Common than any other color. Some of it was moved to Uncommon, some of it was moved to creatures.
  • Red will have 7 or 8 Uncommon creature slots and 7 or 8 Uncommon noncreature slot. This is roughly the same % as with Draft Boosters.

Green

  • 10 Common Creature slots, broken down into 1x one or two mana | 2x two mana | 2x three mana | 1x three or four mana | 1x four or five mana | 1x five mana | 1x six mana | 1x six or seven mana
  • 71% of Green’s Commons will be creatures, up from 58%.
  • The average power of Green’s Common creatures will increase from 3.59 to 3.7.
  • Keyword distribution at Common for Green will be: 1.5x Vigilance | 1.5x Trample | 1.5x Reach | 1 Deathtouch | .5x Ward N | .2x Haste
  • Green Haste creatures tend to be larger and at higher rarity, and are often aimed at Constructed rather than made for Limited.
  • 5 Spell slots, broken down into 1x Fight | 1x Bite | 1x Combat trick (pumps power) | 1x Mana acceleration | 1x Dig (not Tutor) for lands and/or creature.
  • Rather than a Fight or a Bite, Green now gets both, often with some buffing to help your creature remove a Rare/Mythic creature.
  • They are going to be more careful about giving Green easy access to every color of mana, as they don’t want Green to become nonstop “goodstuff” piles. Green is going to get land tutors less often, and dig effects (i.e. look at the top x cards and put a creature and/or land in your hand) rather than full land tutors. Acceleration spells are more likely to search for Green specifically, rather than any color. Green will still ramp without inherently making it easier to splash.
  • Green will have 9 Uncommon creature slots and 5 Uncommon noncreature slots. This increases the % of Green Uncommon creatures from 62% to 64%.

Multicolor

  • The number of Uncommon Multicolor cards is increasing from 10 to 20.
  • There will now be 2 Multicolor cards per color pair, rather than only one previously. This means that each color pair will have an enabler to help the archetype work, and the other will be a strong payoff for doing what the archetype wants to do.

Colorless

  • 3 Common Creature slots, broken down into 1x two mana creature “variance buster” | 1x three mana creature | 1x four mana creature
  • “Variance buster” is in reference to a creature that can help find lands via scrying and the like, or mana filtering.
  • Colorless cards will tend to be a bit stronger to help fill out decks, but won’t step on the toes of what the colors want to do.
  • 3 Spell slots, broken down into 1x Removal spell (expensive) | 1x Mana producing artifact | 1x Land fixing
  • There will be 4 Colorless Uncommon creature slots, 3 or 4 Colorless Uncommon noncreature slots, and 2 or 3 Uncommon land slots