Collector Boosters were announced back in July as part of Project Booster Fun. Throne of Eldraine is the first set to get access to them and whilst you could get them for free as part of the buy-a-box promo they can also be purchased individually for roughly £25. I’ve already opened up two packs (both of which contained Oko) but today I’m going to detail exactly what is in my latest pack to try and help clear up what you get in these relatively expensive boosters.
9 x Foil Commons / Uncommons
To start with, there are 9 slots which are all foil and will contain a mixture of commons and uncommons. These can include any of the commons and uncommons that are available in regular draft boosters which is effectively everything from #001-#3021. It’s hard to get too excited about this section of the pack, especially with only 2 uncommon cards in this pack. I’d usually be excited to see a foil storybook card but it is unfortunately a duplicate of one I already found in one of my previous collector packs!
3 x Special-Frame Cards
These 3 slots are dedicated to the cards between #270-#302 which encompass the three borderless planeswalkers and the storybook adventure cards. They aren’t foil (although they might be able to be) but they can be of any rarity. This pack was again fairly underwhelming in that we got three non-foil commons although they were all new to me so they help with my collection. The Reaper of Night // Harvest Fear artwork is particularly nice in my opinion and probably the best mechanically of these three cards (especially if you can double that adventure section with Lucky Clover).
1 x Ancillary Card
This slot is the most controversial as it can have any card found from #303-391 which is effectively anything found in “ancillary” products such as planeswalker and brawl decks. This includes the Kenrith, the Returned King buy-a-box promo and is the only way you can get him in non-foil ironically making it rarer and thus more expensive on the secondary market! The reason this slot is controversial is that you could end up with something really bad like a non-foil Thornwood Falls; nobody wants to get a common tapped land in these boosters…
Luckily we got a pretty good card this time around in the form of the rare Shimmer Dragon from the Faerie Schemes brawl deck. I really like this card and think it could actually see play in Standard2. There are already a number of decks that care about artifacts such as those built around Dance of the Manse but don’t forget that food is also an artifact; this could easily act as a finisher for those decks as a hexproof 5/6 flyer is going to be tricky to deal with, especially when it can tap food for cards multiple times. I think it’s particularly interesting that you don’t need to tap Shimmer Dragon to activate the card draw ability making this especially potent if you have a great number of artifacts on your opponent’s end step. I’ve been contemplating for a while if there was a brawl card that might fly under the radar into Standard and I think this could be it.
1 x Extended Art Rare / Mythic Rare
This slot gives you one of the extended art cards found in #334-391. As far as I’m aware this is the only way to get these cards which is slightly ridiculous bearing in mind there are 57 of them to collect3. It would make much more sense if you got three of these and then only one of the borderless planeswalkers / showcase cards as those are at least available in draft boosters. I find it particularly annoying as these are actually my favourite cards from the set. I was sceptical at first when I saw them digitally but they look utterly gorgeous in print.
In any case, I’m very happy with my Sorcerous Spyglass. It’s a reprint from Ixalan (Sorcerous Spyglass) but I love the new artwork showing a merfolk sorcerous rather than a pirate. It’s also an incredibly useful card in the current meta allowing you to lock down all manner of troublesome cards, especially planeswalkers. This is one of the best ways of protecting against Oko, Thief of Crowns which is going to be a very dominant card following the recent ban of Field of the Dead. Unfortunately it doesn’t really help with Teferi, Time Raveler as it is the static ability there that causes the most problems but this is still an eminently sideboardable card.
1 x Foil Rare / Mythic Rare
This slot is for a single foil rare or mythic rare from #001-#302. I was able to find a Castle Locthwain which is fine; it’s always nice to get foil rare lands and this is something that can easily go into any deck that has some swamps. That said, I’ve used this in a number of decks and I don’t think I’ve ever actually used the activated ability to draw a card. It could be useful in a situation where you are completely out of cards but more often than not the damage it will deal to you is just not worth the activation especially in the late game when it is of most use. Still, having a foil super star destroyer is never a bad thing!
1 x Foil Token
The final slot is reserved for a foil token but one detail that seems to have been missed from the Project Booster Fun announcement is that these are double sided! The front can be any token and the back is always one of the four food tokens, and yes both sides get the foil treatment. Collector boosters are the only place you can get these foiled tokens and whilst most people would likely have preferred another regular card I think it’s a nice touch. Unfortunately the human token I received was a duplicate from my first collector booster pack but with eight cards that can generate them there’s a good chance that I’ll find a use for them.
Overall this was a disappointing pack compared to my first two even if we accept that the bar was set very high due to the first ones containing high-value planeswalkers. Spending £25 on a booster pack for 3 rares, 2 uncommons, 10 commons, and a token just doesn’t feel that great especially when only one of those rares was a foil. Admittedly there were four showcase frames but as these show up fairly regularly in draft boosters they just aren’t a big enough draw to spend this much cash. I’ve already mentioned my issue with the extended art cards but it bears repeating that you can only get one of those per pack and there are 57 to collect; you’d need to spend at least £1425 to get all of those from opening boosters!
I want to like these collector boosters and it is fun to open up so much shiny4 stuff but be prepared for the fact that, like draft boosters, you may end up with something worth far less than the cost of the product. I’ll probably get a few more of these in the hope of getting some of my favourite cards in the extended-art treatment but in all likelihood it’s going to be cheaper to buy those on the secondary market.
The numbering scheme is a bit confusing but basically #001-#269 is the main set, #270-#272 is borderless planeswalkers, and #273-#302 is showcase framed adventure cards; all of these are available in draft boosters. After that, you get the buy-a-box promo, planeswalker decks, brawl decks, extended-art frames, and promo cards. ↩︎
Yes, the brawl decks are Standard legal as are the cards in plainswalker decks. Of course, some of them won’t do anything in Standard (such as Arcane Signet) as there is no concept of a “commander”. ↩︎
There are so many of them as they cover every non-planeswalker rare or mythic rare. ↩︎
This post is part of a weekday series where I open up a booster pack and pick a card to discuss. Whilst these are often the best cards from the set, I'll often pick one that is a bit niche or one that has cool artwork or flavour text. If there's a particular card you want me to take a look at, get in touch or join my Discord community.