Collecting Core Set 2021

Posted in Card Preview on June 5, 2020

By Mike Turian

Before joining Magic Online as its digital product manager, Mike worked as a producer for Wizards's technology department, a product manager for organized play, and as an R&D lead developer. He has played Magic Online since it came out in 2002 and Magic since The Dark.

Hello!

I'm Mike Turian, principal product designer for Magic. One of the areas I focus on is how we are capturing the essence of each Magic set with treatments that amaze and highlight the set. In this article, I'll be sharing some new card images for showcase cards, borderless cards, extended-art cards, and more! I'll be giving a complete breakdown of the Core Set 2021 Collector Booster, as all these treatments are found within Collector Boosters, and I'll also cover all the other Core Set 2021 products you can find each of these cool new treatments inside.

Showcase Treatments

Teferi Showcase Card

Here is Teferi in his showcase treatment! No need to feel blue, there is a special showcase frame for each color's planeswalker card!

For the showcase treatment in each set, we were looking to highlight the coolest elements and capture the essence of the set. With Core Set 2021, we were looking to bring Planeswalkers to the front and center. Adam Prosak, the Core Set 2021 set design lead, was already working on a vertical cycle associated with the five monocolor planeswalkers in the set. With each mythic rare planeswalker having a rare, an uncommon, and a common reference, we knew we had a great match for the showcase cards in the set. Adam had already worked to make sure all the cards that referenced individual Planeswalkers worked well together. We loved how adding a sweet creative treatment highlighted that connection as well.

Talking with Senior Graphic Designer, James Arnold, about how he put together the new showcase frame treatment shown above, he notes how the creative treatment for Teferi is based on the original blue mana frame. Then he wanted to fold in elements of the refraction design similar to what is being reflected in the art. Lastly, you can see how the framing elements are partnered with Teferi's costuming to extend Teferi from the art into the entirety of the card.

While Teferi is the only Planeswalker with four variations of art in the showcase frame, each Planeswalker in the set had their frame built out to capture their spirit for both their own planeswalker card as well as each card in the Planeswalker's cycle of cards.

Showcase Ugin, the Spirit Dragon

Ugin is featured in Core Set 2021, bringing back Ugin, the Spirit Dragon. We were so excited about the showcase treatment that we knew we had to create an Ugin showcase frame as well. Even though Ugin doesn't have additional name-referenced cards like the other five Planeswalkers in Core Set 2021, nor a basic land (sorry, Wastes!), featuring Ugin was too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Showcase Island

There was one final piece to add to the showcase set of cards—basic lands! Each of the five monocolor planeswalkers in Core Set 2021 has their own basic land featuring their home plane. For instance, this Island shows off Teferi's home plane of Dominaria in the showcase frame, and now you can cast all your Teferi spells with style!

These showcase cards can be found in Core Set 2021 Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters along with any product which has those packs contained within them.

Borderless Treatments

Borderless Ugin, the Spirit DragonBorderless Grim Tutor

Borderless treatments for planeswalker cards were introduced to Magic with Mythic Edition for Guilds of Ravnica and have been continued in each set since Throne of Eldraine. This borderless treatment has become a favorite, and we love the opportunity to bring stunning renditions of each Planeswalker to life. Each of the six Planeswalkers in Core Set 2021 gets a borderless treatment featuring unique art.

In addition, the positive reception to the borderless treatment got us thinking about where else we could capture that excitement. In Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, we featured the Triome lands in a borderless style. With Core Set 2021, we decided to feature six reprint cards that we knew would resonate with players. We combed through the set to find the perfect fits for the borderless treatment and chose from the set one uncommon (in the borderless treatment, this uncommon has a rare symbol), three rares, and two mythic rares.

Borderless Containment Priest

These borderless cards can be found in Core Set 2021 Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters along with any products that have those packs contained within them.

Teferi, Master of Time

Showcase Teferi, Master of TimeShowcase Teferi, Master of Time 2

Showcase Teferi, Master of Time 3Showcase Teferi, Master of Time 4

As Teferi, Master of Time is the Planeswalker face of Core Set 2021, we wanted to add one more element to him to capture his spirit. The teams working on the set were developing Teferi's suite of powers while senior art director Cynthia Sheppard was leading the commissioning of art for the set. She felt that since Teferi would be embodying time manipulation that we could show off Teferi manipulating time by creating multiple versions of art for him.

For Teferi, Master of Time, there are four regular-frame versions, four showcase versions, and a borderless version along with each in foil. That is a lot of Teferi!

Extended Art

Extended-Art Sparkhunter MasticoreRin and Seri, Inseparable Buy-a-Box

Extended-art treatments continue to be a popular way to show off a little something extra in decks. For each rare or mythic rare that doesn't have a showcase or borderless treatment, we want the Collector Booster to highlight each of those rares with a cool treatment of its own.

We upgraded the Core Set 2021 Buy-a-Box promotional card to have the extended-art treatment. You can get a foil Rin and Seri, Inseparable at your local store with each purchase of a Draft Booster display box or Collector Booster display box (while supplies last). The non-foil extended-art version of Rin and Seri will also be available in Collector Boosters in the non-foil extended-art slot referenced above. Beyond Rin and Seri, each other extended-art card can be found in Collector Boosters in both foil and non-foil.

Collector Boosters remain the only way to get extended-art rares and mythic rares.

Each Collector Booster will have the following contents:

Collector Booster Contents

Collector Booster Info

  • 4 Foil commons, common dual lands, or basic lands
  • 2 Foil uncommons
  • 1 Foil showcase basic land
  • 1 Extended-art rare or mythic rare (45 rares, 8 mythic rares)
  • 2 Foil rares or mythic rares, or foil extended-art rares or mythic rares
  • 2 Showcase commons or uncommons, or a borderless card being previewed by Martin Juza on June 8 (5 commons, 6 uncommons)
  • 1 Showcase or borderless rare or mythic rare (8 rares, 17 mythic rares including 5 versions of mythic rare Teferi)
  • 1 Foil showcase common or uncommon, or a borderless card being previewed by Martin Juza on June 8 (5 commons, 6 uncommons)
  • 1 Foil showcase or borderless card, any rarity (5 commons, 6 uncommons, 8 rares, 17 mythic rares including 5 versions of mythic rare Teferi)
  • 1 Foil token

In a pack of a Core Set 2021 Collector Booster, you are always getting a minimum of four rares or mythic rares, and about 45% of the time, you will get five. Each pack will include 11 foils (plus the foil double-sided token) and 4 non-foil cards.

In Draft Boosters, we continue to feature exciting borderless and showcase treatments. For non-foil cards, 1 in about 3½ Draft Boosters will have a showcase or borderless card (any rarity excluding basic lands) with about 1 in 15 Draft Boosters having that card being a rare or mythic rare. In addition, 1 in every 7 Draft Boosters will have a showcase basic land. Foil cards continue to show up 1 in every 3 Draft Boosters, as we have since upped their frequency with Core Set 2020. Foil showcase and borderless cards show up around 1 in every 35 Draft Booster packs.

To Recap, How Do I Find All of These Cool Cards?

Extended-art cards – Extended-art cards are found exclusively in Core Set 2021 Collector Boosters. Every Collector Booster has 1 of 53 non-foil extended-art cards with a chance of getting up to two additional of the 52 foil extended-art cards. The foil Rin and Seri, Inseparable can be obtained at your local game store via the Buy-a-Box promotion.

Showcase cards – All showcase cards can show up in Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters. The Core Set 2021 Bundle comes with ten Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain showcase cards as well. The Prerelease Kit has six Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain showcase cards as well. Likewise, the Planeswalker Decks for Core Set 2021 each come with a Draft Booster which can contain these cards.

Borderless planeswalkers and reprints – All borderless planeswalkers and reprints can show up in Draft Boosters and Collector Boosters. The Core Set 2021 Bundle comes with ten Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain borderless and reprints as well. The Prerelease Kit has six Draft Boosters, and those boosters can contain borderless and reprint cards as well. Likewise, the Planeswalker Decks for Core Set 2021 each come with a Draft Booster which can contain these cards.

Core Set 2021 is filled with lots of amazing treatments! We always want to make opening booster packs the most fun experience possible, and we love the excitement that these cards add to cracking open a booster pack. Let me know what you think of all these treatments on Twitter @mturian. Thanks for reading!

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