Magic: The Gathering compilation sets

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The collectible card game Magic: The Gathering has released compilation sets, reprint sets, and box sets over its history. These are distinct from core sets and expansion sets, the most heavily marketed sources of new cards. With the exception of Chronicles, reprint sets generally do not affect tournament legality in supported formats; for example, cards reprinted in the Modern Masters reprint set, while legal for tournament play, did not necessarily cause the card to be included in the "Standard" environment. (If a card happened to be in Standard due to a separate reprinting, though, all "versions" of the card automatically become legal, including ones from a reprint set.)

These sets tend to be of two types: sets with a fixed deck buyers receive, and sets sold in randomized booster packs, similar to "normal" expansion sets, but only consisting of reprint cards. Chronicles, Premium Foil Booster, Modern Masters (and its later editions), and Eternal Masters have been the only compilation sets to be printed in randomized boosters as of 2017; all others have a fixed card set.


Chronicles was the first compilation set of Magic: The Gathering, released in July 1995. Unlike many later compilation sets, Chronicles was treated like a normal expansion set, including renewing tournament legality for cards reprinted in it. For tournament play, Chronicles was designated as an extension of the Fourth Edition base set. Chronicles reprinted cards from Arabian Nights, Antiquities, Legends, and The Dark.[1] Wizards of the Coast released a similar set called Renaissance into the German, French and Italian markets.

Modern Masters[edit]

Modern Masters
Released June 7, 2013
Size 229 cards (101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Development code Picasso[2]
Expansion code MMA
Dragon's Maze Magic 2014
Modern Masters 2015 Edition
Released May 22, 2015
Size 249 cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, 15 mythic rares)
Expansion code MM2
Dragons of Tarkir Magic Origins

Modern Masters is a series of Magic: The Gathering compilation sets. Each set consists of reprints of cards which are legal in the Modern format in the game. Modern includes all cards from Eighth Edition onwards, barring a small number of banned cards.

  • The first Modern Masters ("MMA") was released on June 7, 2013. It has 229 cards (101 commons, 60 uncommons, 53 rares, and 15 mythic rares) ranging from Eighth Edition through Alara Reborn. The set was released in the English language only.[3]
  • The second set, Modern Masters 2015 Edition ("MM2"), was released May 22, 2015. It has 249 cards (101 commons, 80 uncommons, 53 rares, and 15 mythic rares). In addition to the blocks in the original Modern Masters, the 2015 edition features cards from Zendikar block, Scars of Mirrodin block, Magic 2010, Magic 2011, and Magic 2012. The set was released in Japanese and Simplified Chinese in addition to English.[4][5] Twenty to thirty cards feature new artwork, and a number of new tokens are included.[5]
  • The third set, Modern Masters 2017 Edition ("MM3") was released on March 17, 2017. It was also released in English, Simplified Chinese, and Japanese. The 2017 edition added Innistrad block, Return to Ravnica block, Magic 2013, and Magic 2014 to the sets eligible for a Modern Masters reprint.

Booster boxes of the Modern Masters series contain only 24 booster packs, compared to a regular expansion containing 36 packs, with the intent that they be used for an 8-player Limited draft.

Basic Lands, which are present in most expansion set booster packs, are absent in the Modern Masters sets. Instead, a premium card (foil), which traditionally existed in a common card slot on random basis, is included in every pack.

The English booster pack in Modern Masters 2015 Edition used recyclable paper cardboard as packaging material instead of foil packs, the first set doing so in Magic history. It also raised some complaints of easier theft of the cards, however.[6]

The original Modern Masters distribution was highly limited and Wizards of the Coast stated they would not like to release as much as they did with Chronicles.[7] Wizards of the Coast eventually loosened this, and printed considerably more of the 2015 and 2017 editions of Modern Masters.

Notable reprints in the original Modern Masters included Dark Confidant, Tarmogoyf, and Vendilion Clique. Notable reprints in Modern Masters 2015 Edition included the above three cards again, Bitterblossom, Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, and Karn Liberated. Notable reprints in Modern Masters 2017 Edition included Tarmogoyf, Damnation, Liliana of the Veil, Snapcaster Mage, Voice of Resurgence, and the enemy color "fetchlands" such as Scalding Tarn.

Eternal Masters[edit]

Eternal Masters is a Magic compilation set released in June 2016. Similar to the Modern Masters sets, it reprints cards, but from all of Magic's history rather than restricting itself to the Modern format, thus aiming itself at casual formats such as Cube as well as the Vintage and Legacy formats.[8]


Released November 1998
Expansion code ATH
Urza's Saga Urza's Legacy

Anthologies was a box set and the second compilation set. It was printed in November 1998 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Magic. It featured cards from Alpha through Urza's Saga. The print run was unknown.

Unlike Chronicles, but like other box sets such as Battle Royale, the reprinted cards did not count as current product, and thus were only legal in formats which allowed the original cards being reprinted to be used, and were not automatically legal in Standard at the time the product was available.[9][10]

Anthologies had two decks, Green/White and Black/Red, and was printed with and without expansion symbols. The cards had white borders and standard backs.

The Anthologies cards with identical copies in 5th Edition (e.g. Armageddon, Nevinyrral's Disk, etc.) bear a striking resemblance to those from 5th Edition and can be difficult to differentiate. They can be told apart by looking at the copyright line: 5th Edition cards have "© 1997", whereas the Anthologies reprints have "© 1993-1998", which became the new standard for the copyright line with the release of Exodus.

Battle Royale[edit]

Battle Royale
Released November 1999
Size 160 (136 unique) cards
Keywords None new
Mechanics Compilation
Expansion code BRY
Mercadian Masques Nemesis

Battle Royale was a Magic: The Gathering boxed set, the third compilation set, released in November 1999 as a collection of cards emphasizing the multiplayer aspect of the game. Most of the cards included are ones that can affect multiple opponents. This promotion included cards from all different sets that existed previous to it. The cards still retained their original expansion symbols although they were printed with white borders, which was the standard for reprinted Magic: The Gathering cards of "core sets" until the 2007 release of Tenth Edition. These are the only sets that are printed with white borders (which started with Unlimited.) Another interesting aspect is that colored expansions symbols were added to the cards that didn’t have them previously (namely cards from Tempest, Portal: Second Age, Stronghold and Ice Age.)[9][10]

The set included 160 cards built into four different two-color theme decks which are 40 cards each: Spirit Gale (blue / white), Chargoyf (green / red), The Deluge (green / white), and Cinder Heart (black / red).


Beatdown expansion symbol
Released October 2000
Size 122 cards, 4 of them with alternate art
Expansion code BTD
Invasion Planeshift

Beatdown is a box set for Magic: The Gathering, and the fourth compilation set. It was not legal in Standard at the time of its release. Beatdown was released as a pair of preconstructed decks combined with accessories, unlike the normal distribution of Magic cards in randomized packs. Alternate art was done for four cards: Sengir Vampire, Erhnam Djinn, Ball Lightning, and Clockwork Beast. The set is white-bordered, and the expansion symbol is a mace. There are no White cards in the set.

The set includes 122 special edition Magic cards divided into two theme decks, Aerodoom and Ground Pounder. The focus of the two decks in the Beatdown box set is to overwhelm your opponent with decks that included some of the more powerful creatures in the game, to that date, such as the aforementioned Erhnam Djinn, Sengir Vampire, Ball Lightning and Clockwork Beast. The Beatdown set was released in October 2000.

Clockwork Avian was misprinted without flying in Beatdown.

From the Vault[edit]

From the Vault is a series of limited-edition Magic: The Gathering boxed sets. Each set consists mostly of cards released in previous Magic: The Gathering expansions, but in foil and sometimes with new artwork. Some From the Vault decks contain a pre-release of a card due to be released in the next Magic: The Gathering expansion. Typically, the boxed set also contains a 20-sided spin-down life counter die in addition to the cards. Because From the Vault releases are not normal expansion sets, the tournament-legality of the cards depends on the most recent normal expansion they were printed in.

The following is a list of the released or announced From the Vault sets:

  • From the Vault: Dragons was released August 29, 2008.[11] It contained 15 cards, all of which were Dragons or Dragon-related, and one of which was a pre-release of a card in the Shards of Alara set. 7 of the cards had new artwork (counting the pre-release).
  • From the Vault: Exiled was released August 28, 2009.[12] It contained 15 cards, all of which are or were banned or restricted in at least one format.[13] 8 of the cards had new artwork.
  • From the Vault: Relics was released August 27, 2010.[14] It contained 15 cards, all of which were artifacts, and one of which was a pre-release of a card in the Scars of Mirrodin set. 11 of the cards had new artwork (counting the pre-release).
  • From the Vault: Legends was released August 26, 2011.[15] It contained 15 cards, all of which were legendary creatures, and one of which was a pre-release of a card in the Innistrad set. 8 of the cards had new artwork (counting the pre-release).
  • From the Vault: Realms: was released on August 31, 2012. It contained 15 cards, all of which were lands.[16] 7 of the cards had new artwork.
  • From the Vault: Twenty was released on August 23, 2013. It contained 20 cards, each of which represented a year in Magic's history, in commemoration of Magic's 20th anniversary.[17] 9 of the cards had new artwork.
  • From the Vault: Annihilation was released on August 22, 2014. It contains 15 cards, with a "sweep the battlefield" theme.[18] 6 of the cards have new artwork.
  • From the Vault: Angels was released on August 21, 2015. It contains 15 cards, all of which were angel themed (14 creatures, 1 sorcery),[19] with five of them having new artwork.
  • From the Vault: Lore was released on August 19, 2016. It contains 15 cards, all of which showcased important moments in Magic's story.[20]

Premium Deck Series[edit]

Premium Deck Series was a set of preconstructed 60-card Magic: The Gathering decks. All cards were foil and were reprints of cards first printed in other Magic sets.[21] All of the cards are black bordered and tournament legal in their original formats.

There have been three Premium Deck Series printed:

  • Premium Deck Series: Slivers was released November 20, 2009. All creatures in this deck were of the Sliver subtype (including the mythic-rare Sliver Overlord).[22]
  • Premium Deck Series: Fire & Lightning was released November 19, 2010. The set was mono-red and revolved around Elemental creatures and various red spells that dealt direct damage to creatures or opponents.[23]
  • Premium Deck Series: Graveborn was released November 18, 2011. The set revolved around cards that deal with the graveyard.[24]

In July 2012 at San Diego Comic-Con, Wizards of the Coast announced that the Premium Deck Series would be discontinued after Graveborn.

Duel Decks[edit]

Duel Decks are a series of boxed sets for Magic: The Gathering, each consisting of a pair of 60-card decks built around a rivalry between two forces, often planeswalkers or creature type "tribes". Typically, each deck contains a mythic rare, several rares, and a number of cards with alternate art. Most cards are reprints of cards from previous sets; however, some duel decks contain pre-release cards from unreleased future sets.

Release date Code Name t b c u r m notes
2007-11-16 EVG Elves vs. Goblins 3 8 Green elves vs. red goblins.[25][26]
2008-11-07 DD2 Jace vs. Chandra 3 6 2 Blue Jace Beleren vs. red Chandra Nalaar.[27][28]
2009-04-10 DDC Divine vs. Demonic 3 8 2 White angels vs. black demons.[29][30]
2009-10-20 DDD Garruk vs. Liliana 3 6 2 Green Garruk Wildspeaker vs. black Liliana Vess.[31][32]
2010-03-19 DDE Phyrexia vs. The Coalition 10 2 Black Phyrexia vs. five-color coalition.[33]
2010-09-03 DDF Elspeth vs. Tezzeret 10 2 White Elspeth, Knight-Errant vs. blue-artifact Tezzeret the Seeker, 2 Scars of Mirrodin previews.[34]
2011-04-01 DDG Knights vs. Dragons 10 2 White-green knights vs red dragons.[35]
2011-09-02 DDH Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas 10 2 White-green-red Ajani Vengeant vs. blue-black-red Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker.[36]
2012-03-30 DDI Venser vs. Koth 10 2 Blue-white Venser, the Sojourner vs. red Koth of the Hammer.[37][38]
2012-09-07 DDJ Izzet vs. Golgari 37 38 33 10 2 Red-blue Ravnica's Izzet League vs. black-green Ravnica's Golgari Swarm, 6 Return to Ravnica pre-releases.[39][40]
2013-03-15 DDK Sorin vs. Tibalt 41 32 35 10 2 Black-white Sorin, Lord of Innistrad vs. red-black Tibalt, the Fiend-Blooded.[41][42]
2013-09-06 DDL Heroes vs. Monsters 41 35 32 10 2 White-red humans and auras vs. green-red large trampling creatures, 6 Theros pre-releases.[43]
2014-03-14 DDM Jace vs. Vraska 3 41 42 25 10 2 Blue Jace, Architect of Thought vs. black-green Vraska the Unseen.[44][45]
2014-09-05 DDN Speed vs. Cunning 2 39 42 27 10 2 Red-white-black Zurgo Helmsmasher vs. red-white-blue Arcanis the Omnipotent, 6 Khans of Tarkir pre-releases.[46][47]
2014-12-05 DD3 Anthology 35 28 6 A reprint of the first four releases.[48]
2015-02-27 DDO Elspeth vs. Kiora 2 44 50 14 10 2 White Elspeth, Sun's Champion vs. green-blue Kiora, the Crashing Wave.[49][50]
2015-08-28 DDP Zendikar vs. Eldrazi 10 39 10 2 Green-white Zendikar vs. black-red Eldrazi, 6 Battle for Zendikar pre-releases.[51][52][53]
2016-02-26 DDQ Blessed vs. Cursed White-blue Blessed Cursed, 6 Shadows over Innistrad pre-releases.[54][55][56]
2016-09-02 DDR Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis Green Nissa, Voice of Zendikar vs. Black Ob Nixilis, Reignited[57]


  • Deckmasters: Garfield vs. Finkel, usually known as simply Deckmasters, was a set released in 2001 featuring copies of the decks used in a promotional match between Richard Garfield, the creator of the card game, and Jon Finkel, a Magic World Champion. Two decks were included in the set, a red/green deck used by Richard Garfield, and a red/black deck that was played by Finkel. It is the fifth compilation set.[9][10] The match from which the decks are taken was held in January 2002. About a year before, Wizards of the Coast challenged Garfield and Finkel to build a deck out of Ice Age and Alliances cards to compete against each other with. They were given very strict criteria to build these decks, such as that each deck could only use four rare cards and no more than two copies of any one card. Some cards were banned for the purpose of this event such as Kjeldoran Outpost. Finkel won match one because Garfield misplayed the current timing rules at least twice during the course of the game. Garfield joked, "Shouldn't we be playing by the rules as I made them?" In the second match, Garfield was defeated by lack of mana. "This is the first time I am sitting up here and am honestly unhappy that my opponent is manascrewed," Finkel confessed.
  • Premium Foil Booster was released by Wizards of the Coast in 2010. It was sold as booster packs which contained a randomized collection of 15 cards from Alara block, except all guaranteed to be foiled. All 539 cards printed in Shards of Alara, Conflux, and Alara Reborn were potentially included.[58]


  1. ^ "Modern Masters – Current Trends and Future Prospects". Retrieved 2013-10-29. 
  2. ^ "Blogatog". Mark Rosewater. 2012-12-09. Retrieved 2012-12-09. 
  3. ^ "Modern Masters Brings Classics Back To Magic: The Gathering". 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  4. ^ "Announcing Modern Masters 2015 Edition". Wizards of the Coast. 2014-12-08. Retrieved 2015-04-16. 
  5. ^ a b "Video Feature: Announcing Modern Masters". Wizards of the Coast. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Feature Article: Modern Masters Explained". Wizards of the Coast. 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  8. ^ Eternal Masters information
  9. ^ a b c Miller, John Jackson (2001), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, p. 520. 
  10. ^ a b c Moursund, Beth (2002), The Complete Encyclopedia of Magic The Gathering, p. 720. 
  11. ^ "Announcing "From the Vault: Dragons"". Magic Arcana. Wizards of the Coast. 2008-05-13. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  12. ^ Magic Arcana (2009-03-18). "Announcing "From the Vault: Exiled"". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2009-07-03. 
  13. ^ LaPille, Tom (2009-08-07). "Meet the Exiled". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  14. ^ "From the Vault: Relics". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 17 September 2010. 
  15. ^ Ashley, Monty (February 7, 2011). "Announcing "From the Vault: Legends"". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  16. ^ Ashley, Monty (February 29, 2012). "Announcing "From the Vault: Realms"". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 29, 2012. 
  17. ^ Ashley, Monty (February 17, 2013). "Announcing "From the Vault: Twenty"". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Announcing "From the Vault: Annihilation"". Wizards of the Coast. February 10, 2014. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Announcing From The Vault: Angels". Retrieved 11 October 2015. 
  20. ^ "Announcing From The Vault: Lore". Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  21. ^ "Premium Deck Series: Slivers". Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
  22. ^ "Premium Deck Series: Slivers Official Decklist". 
  23. ^ "Premium Deck Series: Fire & Lightning Official Decklist". 
  24. ^ "Premium Deck Series: Fire & Lightning Official Decklist". 
  25. ^ "Magic the Gathering Elves Vs. Goblins Duel Deck Box (6 Decks)". Dave and Adam's Card World. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  26. ^ "Duel Decks: Elves vs. Goblins". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  27. ^ "Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra". Gamehead, LLC. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  28. ^ "Duel Decks: Jace Vs Chandra". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  29. ^ "Divine vs. Demonic - Duel Decks". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  30. ^ "Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  31. ^ "Duel Decks: Garruk vs Liliana". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  32. ^ "Duel Decks: Garruk vs. Liliana". MTG Salvation. Retrieved 2014-11-25. 
  33. ^ "Magic the Gathering Phyrexia Vs. The Coalition Duel Deck". Dave and Adam's Card World. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  34. ^ "Elspeth vs. Tezzeret Duel Deck". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  35. ^ "MTG Duel Decks Knights vs Dragons Spoiler". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  36. ^ "Wizards Announces Ajani vs Nicol Bolas". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  37. ^ "Duel Decks: Venser vs. Koth". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  38. ^ "Magic the Gathering Venser Vs. Koth Duel Deck". Dave and Adam's Card World. Retrieved 31 May 2014. 
  39. ^ "Izzet vs Golgari Duel Decks". Magic Spoiler. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  40. ^ "Duel Decks: Izzet vs. Golgari". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  41. ^ "Sorin vs. Tibalt Duel Decks". Magic Spoiler. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  42. ^ "Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2015-04-04. 
  43. ^ "Duel Decks: Heroes vs Monsters". Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  44. ^ "Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska". Magic Spoiler. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  45. ^ "Duel Decks: Jace vs. Vraska". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  46. ^ "Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning". Magic Spoiler. Retrieved 2014-05-31. 
  47. ^ "Duel Decks: Speed vs. Cunning". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  48. ^ "Announcing Duel Decks: Anthology". Wizards of the Coast. 2014-08-07. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  49. ^ "Announcing Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora". Wizards of the Coast. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2014-11-03. 
  50. ^ "Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Kiora". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2015-03-24. 
  51. ^ "Announcing Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi". Wizards of the Coast. 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  52. ^ "Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi". Wizards of the Coast. 2015-08-17. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  53. ^ "Duel Decks: Zendikar vs. Eldrazi". MTG Salvation. 2015-08-27. Retrieved 2015-08-27. 
  54. ^ "Announcing Duel Decks: Blessed vs. Cursed". Wizards of the Coast. 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  55. ^ "MTG - Magic: the Gathering. Duel Decks: Blessed vs Cursed". Magic Spoiler. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  56. ^ "Magic: The Gathering: Duel Deck: Blessed vs Cursed". Purple Pawn. 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2016-02-08. 
  57. ^ "Duel Decks: Nissa vs. Ob Nixilis". MAGIC: THE GATHERING. Retrieved 2016-11-05. 

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