Magic - The Distributed Planar Collection
For each plane, I’ve put together a small custom draft set that captures some highlights of the setting, usually drawing from multiple expansions. Then, I periodically host competitions at which we draft the set, and the winner gets to keep it!
New Planes (2014 to present)
|Theros||Theros, Born of the Gods, Journey into Nyx||June 2017||Brian|
|Tarkir||Dragons of Tarkir, Fate Reforged||August 2017||Jeremy|
|Kaladesh||Kaladesh, Aether Revolt||March 2018|
|Amonkhet||Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation||June 2018|
|Ixalan||Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan||September 2018|
After this, I’ll have caught up with Magic’s own release schedule and could do giveaways as the next new set is released (roughly every four months) or just transition to playing new sets online. Either way, if I want to maintain a three-month giveaway cycle, then I would start dipping into the next section.
Old Planes (Before 2009)
|Otaria||Odyssey block, Onslaught block||2019|
|Mirrodin||Mirrodin block, Scars of Mirrodin block||2020|
|Kamigawa||Champions of Kamigawa||2021|
|Ravnica||Ravnica block, Return to Ravnica block||2022|
|Lorwyn||Lorwyn block, Shadowmoor block||2023|
|Zendikar||Battle for Zendikar, Oath of the Gatewatch||2025|
|Innistrad||Shadows over Innistrad, Eldritch Moon||2026|
I have a harder time seeing myself willing to give these sets away without first playing them out. Champions of Kamigawa has an excellent reputation as a draft set, and Ravnica–even if diluted considerably by its sequel–seems like a keeper as well. Even though Otaria and Mirrodin lack the reputation of these other sets, their component sets have their fans, and my hope is that by combining two blocks, the sets are more interesting. Lorwyn loosely aligns with these redeeming qualities, as it’s basically two blocks in one (Lorwyn + Shadowmoor) and has rabid fans in various corners of the internet. Alara’s the main exception, but even here, I’d have to put in a considerable effort (much less cash outlay) to get this set going; here’s hoping they do a Return to Alara sometime, obviating the “need” for this. In any case, I anticipate I’d be willing to part with all of these sets after a sufficient number of plays. I think I just wait till I’ve got a more regular playgroup that’s able to play sets more than once, and then I can start rotating through these.
Cutting two colors from each set (one if it’s multicolor) does a good job of forcing players to explore deeper archetypes and make use of weaker cards, thereby simulating a typical 8-player booster draft. For each player count, we adjust the format so that everybody sees about the same number of cards each time while also ending up with ~45 cards from which to build a 40-card deck.
|Players||Cards||Draft Format||Play Format||Notes|
|2||162||18-round Grid Draft||One-on-one|
|3||225||3-pack Sealed + 12-round Grid Draft||Free-for-all||Sealed packs from Core + Multiplayer modules|
|4||225||1-pack Sealed + 5-pack Booster Draft||Two-Headed Giant or Round Robin (1v1)|
|5||225||5-pack Booster Draft||Star (without color restrictions)|
In all cases, a pack consists of just nine cards, rather than the usual fifteen.