Gaming, Hands-On

Unboxing MTG Phyrexia: All Will Be One Set Booster & Collector Booster – Japanese Body Horror Artworks!

Magic: The Gathering’s newest set, Phyrexia: All Will Be One (or ONE, for short), is released for tabletop today. It is the third instalment in MTG’s four-part Phyrexian storyline, and it features artwork inspired by Japanese body horror, including 40 hand-selected cards with “ichor” showcase art.

To celebrate the launch of the new set, Wizards of the Coast sent us Set Booster and Collector Booster boxes of ONE to check out. If you’re interested to pick up the new set, here’s our unboxing of the Set Booster and Collector Booster. It’s a very eye-catching set, and if you’re lucky enough, you can even pull cards with artwork done by the legendary Junji Ito.

Before we get to the good stuff, we have to open this little puzzle piece Wizards sent over! It’s wrapped in a neat paper packaging complete with a wax seal, and after unwrapping it, we find a rather interesting wooden box.

At a glance, it looks simple enough to open, but that’s not the case at all. After thoroughly inspecting the box – and carefully pulling on the different pieces – we finally managed to slide the box open. Inside is a piece of paper with a stained glass artwork that writes…”we shall cleanse their impurity.”

That’s the Phyrexian for you.

Anyway, let’s start with the Set Booster now; we’ll save the (much more expensive) Collector Booster unboxing for later. Unlike a Draft Booster, a Set Booster is meant to be more “exciting” to crack open. This is probably why it is popular among folks who just enjoy opening booster packs instead of using them for Limited play, such as Draft or Sealed.

What makes an MTG Set Booster more exciting to open is the structure of the 14-card pack for ONE. 12 of them are guaranteed Magic cards, while the other two are an art card and a token/ad card; the latter has a chance to be replaced with a card from “The List.”

Typically, when you crack open a Set Booster, the first card you’ll see is an art card followed by a land card, but this appears to have changed with ONE. Depending on how you open the pack, you may see the art card first, but the cards now face the other side with some changes to the order. Technically, the art card is now the “last” card in the pack.

So the order of a ONE Set Booster now looks like this: a token/ad card; a guaranteed foil card; the main set’s rare or mythic rare card; two wildcards; a common or uncommon card with the ichor showcase treatment; six uncommon and common cards with some connection to each other; a panorama or Phyrexianised full-art basic land; and an art card.

There are a few interesting things to take note of. The guaranteed foil card, for example, can be of any rarity with either a borderless or ichor showcase treatment. The same goes for the two wildcard slots, so in essence, you’ve got four chances of getting a rare or mythic rare card in every ONE Set Booster.

The basic land slot in a pack of ONE Set Booster is also guaranteed to be a full-art card, and there’s a 20% chance of it receiving the foil treatment. We managed to crack open a couple of foil (Phyrexianised!) basic land cards from the Set Booster, and it looks really, really good.

Speaking of Phyrexianised cards, we were also lucky enough to pull a Phyrexianised Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines, which is quite a valuable card with a powerful effect. The card alone costs more than half of a single ONE Set Booster box at the time of writing, so if we had bought this box ourselves – thanks again Wizards for sending this to us – we would’ve recouped the cost easily.

Next, we have the ONE Collector Booster, which contains 16 cards a pack; up to six of them can be rares and mythic rares. The first slot is a foil rare or mythic rare, followed by a non-foil borderless rare or mythic rare, a “Step-and-Compleat” foil of any rarity, a common or uncommon foil showcase ichor card, a rare non-foil extended-art Jumpstart or Commander rare/mythic, and a rare non-foil extended-art card.

Other cards in a ONE Collector Booster pack include a traditional foil rare/mythic, two uncommon traditional foil, four common traditional foil, a traditional foil panorama or Phyrexianised basic land, and finally, a foil double-sided token.

And that’s our unboxing of the Set and Collector Boosters of Magic: The Gathering’s new Phyrexia: All Will Be One set. If you’re keen to check out this new set, give your nearest hobby shop a visit tonight. After all, it’s Friday Night Magic!

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