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Fangs of Alara

Some significant changes on the horizon for Magic players.
For details, check out today's articles at WoTC - Changes as of Shards of Alara, and The Year of Living Changerously.

Theme decks are to be discontinued and replaced with 'Intro Packs'. Wizards indicate that this approach will be the best tool for introducing new players into the game by allowing them to learn with the most current cards.
(Here is the hybrid b/u/r intro pack named Grixis Undead)

Intro pack contents include:
41-card preconstructed deck, which includes
1 premium foil rare and one non-premium rare,
A booster pack of the current set,
A set-specific insert explaining the new mechanics in the set and info on the preconstructed decks included in the intro packs, and
A learn-to-play insert for new players that includes game rules, deck building tips, and storyline information.

For comparison, Theme Deck contents for Shadowmoor included:
2 rares, 13 uncommons, 45 commons, lands and 1 premium land
Total - 61 cards

Now here is the make-up of an Intro Pack for Shards of Alara:
1 premium rare, 1 non-premium rare, 7 uncommons, 32 commons / lands, 1 Shards of Alara booster pack
Total - 56 cards

In sumamry, the new Intro Packs are to have three fewer uncommons, two fewer commons, and no premium land. To offset, this, Wizards will include one extra foil rare. This will be offered at the same suggested retail price that the preconstructed Theme Decks are going for. I think Players may like this Into Pack in that the Booster Pack included is anticipated to provide 1 rare (or 1 mythic rare), 3 uncommons and 10 commons and 1 basic land.

Did you just said 'Mythic whaa ? ? '. Yep - a new level of rarity is to be included within MTG sets starting with Shards. Expect approximately a 1 in 8 chance of pulling out a mythic rare in the new Alara boosters. Speaking of which, lets have a quick look at the anticipated number of rarities in the upcoming block.

Shards of Alara breakdown -
Mythic rare – 15 / Rare – 53 / Uncommon – 60 / Common – 101 / Basic land – 20

"Paper" and "Scissors," the rarity breakdown is as follows:
Mythic rare – 10 / Rare – 35 / Uncomon – 40 / Common – 60

MaRo also treated us to a sneak-peak of an Alara Mythic Rare . . .

First off . . . Planeswalkers are back ( ! Yeah ! )
Second point - If you thought Sarkhan Vol looks a bit like a vampire, I'm with you.
The card frame gives labels him as 191/249 - remember number-crunchers - the 4 different art-types for basic lands count towards 20 of the 249 in this set.

The black 'Vein Drinker' creature on the Grixis Undead Intro Pack above pretty much puts the wooden stake into any counter-arguments that 'suck heads' will be making a big return to Magic.

Finally, a quick note about block and set sizes . . . they are losing a bit of weight. Starting with Shards of Alara, Wizards will be printing fewer cards based on new and existing player feedback.

Here is what the Shards of Alara block will be providing in terms of numbers.
Shards of Alara: 249
"Paper" (codename): 145
"Scissors" (codename): 145

Until next time, Happy & Safe Gaming everyone !

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