MTG: Arena - Zendikar Rising, what is the expansion pack?

MTG: Arena - Zendikar Rising, what is the expansion pack?
Rebirth of Zendikar is the latest chronological expansion of Magic The Gathering. We find it physically in stores from September 25th and obviously digitally in MTG Arena from a week before, after the classic pre-release period and, in addition to inaugurating a new block for Standard players, it marks the debut of a new booster specifically dedicated to those who want to thicken their card collection while maintaining the taste of surprise, typical of when it comes to Magic.

Next to the classic booster draft, the backbone of Magic for more than twenty years, to the recent collector booster full of rare, here is the brand new pack of the expansion or set booster if you prefer English terminology.

What is it in concrete terms?

Let's start with the cold numbers : the expansion pack is clearly not aimed at players who intend to play limited with the various drafts and sealed. The classic 15-card booster draft that can be found anywhere is always available for them.

The new pack of the expansion consists of 12 cards, 3 less than the draft, but the value of the cards we find inside it is very different since it will be possible to find up to 4 rare cards, one of which is guaranteed, and there will always be at least 1 foil. In addition there will be a 1 in 4 chance of finding a card from the List, a very particular selection of cards that have made the history of Magic: The Gathering.

So, in summary, while in the booster draft we have some very precise certainties - 10 common, 3 uncommon, 1 rare or mythic and 1 basic land - in the pack of the expansion we have a more random composition, with no limits of rarity imposed that allow us, at least, to equal the pack for the draft , but in the vast majority of cases, to increase the quality of the loot collected.

The Unwrapped

Wizards has tried to maintain and indeed enhance the sort of ritual that players follow when they decide to open a bag. For this reason, the cards in the expansion pack follow a very precise order that aims to generate an increase in arousal in the player until he reaches the classic orgasm of a mythic rare. A sort of journey in search of pleasure.

This journey is divided into 4 different parts, 4 chapters that mark the contents of the booster. It starts with a welcome, a sort of acclimatization. The first card revealed is a complete illustration: these are not playable cards but a pure and simple collector's item. Rebirth of Zendikar contains a total of 81 cards with full frontal art and, in 5% of cases, therefore in one in 20 sleeves, this card with illustration will have even more value because it will be signed by the artist with a golden signature.

The second card is a land, again in a fully-illustrated version. In 15% of cases this land will be foil, but be careful, even if this were the case, it will always be possible to discard at least a second foil card in the booster as there is a slot dedicated to this form of rarity.

A to conclude the welcome chapter, we then find the 6 common and uncommon cards linked together by some kind of theme or aspect related to the atmosphere of the expansion.

Right here we find the main change of destination of the envelope expansion versus the draft booster. Not having to be balanced for competitive or in any case immediate play, Wizards has been able to indulge in making sure that the common and uncommon can be completely unrelated in terms of colors and mechanics.

It is also true that on the total we will find less common and uncommon than the draft pack but their balance certainly makes more sense for those aiming to complete the entire expansion set.

The peculiarity of these 6 common and uncommon cards is that the their rarity is random. In these six slots of the expansion pack there will in fact be an uncommon one but the other 5 communes all have the potential to become uncommon too with a 2% probability of the total to open a booster consisting of 6 uncommon while the highest percentage of de-enveloping, 40%, involves a combination of 4 common and 2 uncommon.

The fireworks

We then arrive at the second chapter of the journey, the fireworks . This specific part aims to generate excitement. An enthusiasm related to chance. The first slot is the bomb: a common or an uncommon that can be both a standard card and a card with the showcase style.

The other 2 slots are dedicated to 2 cards that can be of any rarity: from common to mythic rare with the added possibility that the rare and mythic rare are in showcase style. to the rare slot that is further on in the booster.

Looking at the percentages of the various combinations it turns out that the greatest probability, about 1 out of 2, is to find 2 communes but there is 17, 5% chance to find a common / rare combination, 4.3% to find an uncommon / rare combination, and 1.6% to find the pack with 2 rares in this slot. In total, adding all the possibilities, it turns out that 23.4% of the time, so in almost one pack out of 4, we will find at least one rare or one mythic rare in this double slot.

The chapter of fires has been archived fireworks, we arrive at the grand finale. This is the only section of the journey where rarity is enforced and guaranteed in order to offer the same certainty that the player has when he finds himself opening the classic booster draft.

The chapter is occupied by 2 cards: the first is necessarily a rare or a mythic rare. Among other things, with Rebirth of Zendikar increases the probability of finding mythic rares since now we will find a mythic every 7.4 rare, while in the past the lucky unbuckle happened every 8 rare.The second slot guarantees a foil card instead. Of any rarity. Which means that if you are super lucky you could get your hands on yet another rare or mythic extra card.

After the grand finale we find the epilogue: a single slot dedicated to promotional token cards that we also find at the end of the draft packs. But even here Wizards has chosen to insert another ace because in an envelope out of 4 a card taken from the List could jump out instead of the token.

The List

But what is this List that we also mentioned at the beginning of the video?

In practice Wizards has pulled out of the hat an old mechanic already seen in Time Spiral and in the mystery boosters: it has put together a list of 300 cards that represent the past of Magic and reprinted them unchanged as they originally were complete with borders and official symbols of the set, with one exception: a small Planeswalker symbol placed in the lower left corner.

Listed cards of all rarity are found and clearly they are not automatically legal in Standard games because they maintain the legality of the original format.This particular slot of the expansion pack therefore meets the most avid collectors, offering an additional possible to unwrap something exceptional and unexpected.

The expansion pack costs € 1 more than the draft booster: € 5.50 instead of € 4.50 and is currently only available in language English.

Wizards has stressed on more than one occasion that this is an experiment and it is likely that already with the next expansion something could change within these packs.

About us Did you like this additional option for unbusting? Let us know below in the comments if you have already purchased and opened the new booster set or if you are sticking with the classic draft packs.

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