Booster packs contain a small number of randomly assorted items (8–15 for cards; 3–8 for figurines). Booster packs are the smaller, cheaper counterparts of starter decks, though many expansion sets are sold only as booster packs. While booster packs are cheaper than starter packs, the price per item is typically higher. Booster packs are generally priced to serve as good impulse purchases, with prices comparable to a comic book and somewhat lower than those of most magazines, paperback books, and similar items.
In many games, there is a fixed distribution based on rarity, while others use truly random assortments. When the distribution is based on rarity, booster packs usually contain one or two rares, depending on the game, while the remainder are of lesser rarity.
Examples of sizes from different games
- Magic: The Gathering
- In the expansions Legends, The Dark, Arabian Nights, Fallen Empires, and Antiquities, cards were sold in 8 card booster packs. In Limited Edition Alpha and Limited Edition Beta, as well as from Unlimited Edition onward, the cards were sold in 15 cards per booster: 11 commons, 1 rare, and 3 uncommons; Core Set boosters contain a basic land as one of the commons. Starting with the Shards of Alara block, booster packs for both Core Sets and expansions began to contain 1 land, 10 commons, 3 uncommons, either 1 rare (7/8 chance) or 1 mythic rare (1/8 chance), and either a tip card (which explains the new rules in the set, such as exalted in the Alara Block or Infect in the Scars of Mirrodin Block) or a token (which is of a type produced by a card in the set). Also, roughly one in every four booster packs contain a foil card, which can be of any rarity, including basic land. Since foil cards replace a common, no matter what the rarity of the foil, it means that there is a chance that a booster pack could contain 2 rares, a rare and a mythic rare, or even 2 mythic rares. Also, the presence of a foil card means that there is a chance that there are two of the same card in the booster pack (one foil and one regular), which would not occur otherwise.
- Note: Innistrad boosters, first released in September 2011, contain a slightly different proportion of cards due to the introduction of double-faced cards. In Innistrad boosters one of the 10 commons is replaced by a double-sided card. This double-sided card can be of any rarity and either regular or foil, with the likelihood of a specific card being present depending on its rarity. Also, there is roughly a 3/4 chance that the basic land will be replaced by a checklist. Finally, non-double-sided foil cards may still be present, probably still in roughly 1/4 of the boosters.
- 6 cards booster: 5 random cards which may be common, uncommon, rare, or mythic rare. Includes 1 basic land and either a card containing an explanation of a magic the gathering keyword (e.g., first strike, chroma, hybrid mana symbols) or a token creature card.
- Booster packs from the Dragon's Maze set, from the Return to Ravnica block, contain 1 rare, 3 uncommons, and 10 commons; however, Instead of a basic land, they contain either a guildgate card, a Shockland or the mythic rare land Maze's End.
- The Spoils
- 13 cards per booster: 1 rare, 3 uncommons and 9 commons with each card available as a foil (randomly replacing a common) in each set except Seed 2. In Seed 2 there are still 13 cards per booster: 1 rare, 12 commons with the rare being randomly replaced with a foil version about 1 in every 6 packs. Seed 3 (TBA) will be a fix set, meaning there are no randomized boosters. This set will contain 30 cards. The following set (TBA) will resume randomized booster packs.
- Call of Cthulhu Collectible Card Game
- 11 cards per booster: 1 rare, 3 uncommons and 7 commons. Recently, the game switched to non-collectable expansions called Asylum Packs.
- The Lord of the Rings
- 11 cards per booster: 1 rare, 3 uncommons, 7 commons. There is a one in seven chance that a special foil card takes the place of the rare.
- Star Wars Miniatures
- 7 figures per booster, split: 4 commons, 2 un-commons and 1 rare or very rare. In some sets such as Universe, there will be a guaranteed 'Huge' figure, which may take the place of a very rare, rare or uncommon.
- Duel Masters
- 10 cards per booster: guaranteed to contain rare cards, 2 is also possible in a booster. If a booster does contain 2, one will be rare while the other will be very rare, or super rare. In the Japanese version, there are only 5 cards per booster pack and there is no guarantee to have rare cards, however, it is possible to get holographic cards of any type.
- Recent sets use 5 figure boosters. A booster contains 2 or 3 commons, 1 or 2 uncommons, and 1 rare, but super-rare or chase figures may replace one of the other figures in the box (which is replaced varies based on the set). Prior to the Avengers set, HeroClix typically used 4 figure boosters with a much more complicated six-tier rarity scheme, with a few exceptions such as the Fantastic Forces set, which had three figures boosters because of the larger size of many of the pieces, and the 1 or 2 figure boosters formerly marketed at retail stores.
- My Little Pony
- 12 cards – 8 common, 3 uncommon, 1 rare. Booster packs have approximately a 1/4 of having a common swapped with a 'parallel foil' card and approximately a 1/12 chance (1/13 Premiere, 1/11 Canterlot Nights) of having a common swapped with an ultra rare (always foil). It seems as if you have some degree of safety in not receiving two of the same rare in a single booster box. No cards with the 'Fixed' rarity will be in booster packs, these are only found in the theme/starter decks.
- Originally 11 cards per booster pack – 1 rare card, 3 uncommons, and 7 commons. With the release of the E-Series, it became 9 cards per booster – 5 commons, 2 uncommons, 1 reverse holo, and 1 rare. Became 10 cards after the release of Diamond and Pearl with 3 uncommons instead of 2.
- World of Warcraft
- 15 random cards – 10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare or epic, and 1 hero card or loot card. Booster packs also have one UDE point card redeemable online (during the time Upper Deck Entertainment held the WoWTCG license). Boosters are available for all released card sets. Starting with "March of the Legion" expansion, Booster packs contained 19 random cards: 3 extra commons and 1 extra uncommon. The 15-card format returned by "Throne of the Tides" expansion.
- Normal OCG booster pack: 5 cards per booster, not guaranteed to have rare cards.
- Normal TCG booster pack: 9 cards per booster, 1 non-common card (can be rare, super rare, ultra rare, and in some cases, secret rare or ultimate rare) and 8 commons. From The Duelist Genesis onwards, the 100% guaranteed rare had NOT been substituted for a rarer card, rather instead replacing 1 of the common cards. In other words, there are still 9 cards in lucky packs: but with 7 commons, 1 rare, and 1 super, ultra, ultimate or secret rare.
- Doctor Who - Battles in Time
- Normally 9 cards per pack: 8 commons and 1 rare, with a 1 per 6 packs chance of a super-rare card, a 1 per 24 packs chance of an ultra-rare card, and a 1 per 1000 packs chance of the Golden Ticket.
- Normally 9 cards, 2 rares (sometimes 1 super or ultra, then a rare) and an assortment of uncommons and commons.
- Normally 5 cards per pack, with at least 1 card being rare or better. There is a chance of getting epic (1 in 10) and legendary cards (1 in 40), with a significantly lower chance of getting golden versions of cards.
A starter deck (also known as an intro deck, battle box, and other terms) is a box of cards or figurines designed as an entry point into a CCG or collectible miniature game for beginners. Starter decks are typically pre-constructed though they can also be random. Non-random cards may sometimes be referred to as "fixed" cards. Typically they are intended as a launching point, with an encouragement for further purchases to modify and improve these decks or sets.
Starter decks may contain any number of items, including rulebooks, playmats, counters, dice, storage boxes, and common cards such as "basic land" in Magic: The Gathering, and other items. Some starter decks are meant for two players, so that a single set can be used instead of each player buying one separately.
- Brown, Timothy (1999), Official Price Guide to Collectible Card Games, p. 5
- Miller, John Jackson (2003), Scrye Collectible Card Game Checklist & Price Guide, Second Edition, p. 14.
- Owens, Thomas S.; Helmer, Diana Star (1996), Inside Collectible Card Games, pp. 13, 69.
- "Rarity and Power: Balance in Collectible Object Games". Gamestudies.org. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- Mark, Rosewater. "Every Two Sides Has a Story". Retrieved 25 October 2017.