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I'm getting ready to invest in the 2015 MTG Core Set and I'm confused by some of the offerings. What is the difference between:

  • Magic: the Gathering - 2015 Core Set Deck Builder's Toolkit
  • Magic: the Gathering - 2015 Core Set / M15 - Sealed Fat Pack (9 Booster Packs & More)

The sealed fat pack seems to have other accessories like deck boxes (which I'm not really interested in). I'm mainly just curious about the cards themselves.

Does the toolkit have inferior cards compared to the fat pack? If I were to compete with just cards from the deck builder's toolkit, would I be at a horrible disadvantage?

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This is a little sparse to be a proper answer, but the Deck Builder's Toolkit is substantially less random than the Fat Pack (which is AFAIK just a collection of boosters with some accessories). Wizards calls the Toolkit's contents 'semi-randomized', which I believe means you can expect to get particular combinations of cards out of it. Unfortunately, neither is likely to get you particularly close to a competitive level in and of themselves - it will take quite a bit more to muster that. –  Steven Stadnicki Jul 12 at 5:29
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The reality is that neither product is meant for anyone who aims to be competitive. The closest prepackaged product to this would be the "intro packs", which are prebuilt decks + 1 booster. These are decks intended for standard play, but extremely limited in card quality by the price point WoTC places on the product. Intro decks will be competitive with each other, but not "serious" players. –  bengoesboom Jul 13 at 15:50
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@bengoesboom The event decks (not sure if the M15 clash pack is supposed to replace them or not) are much better than intro packs for competitive play. –  Hao Ye Jul 13 at 16:36
    
Changed "inferior to" to "different from" in title. The former is subjective (and hence frowned on in this site); the latter is objective. –  Tom Au Jul 15 at 19:46
    
@bengoesboom, While boosters in general are not cost-effective, both products are just fine for building a collection (the toolkit being superior for someone starting from scratch) and, ultimately, building a competitive deck. (Neither is enough on its own, however) –  Brian S Jul 24 at 14:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It depends on what cards you have and what you are interested in becoming.

If you are a beginning Magic player (i.e., you have no cards at all) then I would suggest getting the Deck Builder's Toolkit. This includes plenty of cards from all 5 colors, and you can easily craft a (fairly weak) deck from what you get out of it.

It should also come with 4 booster packs, which is nice, and the 100 lands, which you will really need. However, you will probably only get 4 rares out of the kit (the 4 rares from the booster pack).

If you at least have a collection of Magic cards, and want to get powerful rares, I would suggest getting a fat pack. They include 9 booster packs, so you are guaranteed at least 9 rares, though you have a good chance at getting foil rares or mythic rares (or both!). You will also get 80 lands, which is nice.

Does the toolkit have inferior cards compared to the fat pack?

The toolkit will come with 5 rares in the fixed card pool, plus 4-5 rares from the booster packs — and you will get a good amount of decent uncommons and commons to work with. The fat pack will come with at least 9 rares with a high chance of pulling a mythic rare, and will also include 27 uncommons.

If I were to compete with just cards from the deck builder's toolkit, would I be at a horrible disadvantage?

It all depends on who you are playing with. Just playing kitchen table Magic, you should be fine if you play with people who buy basic decks. However, at a tournament, you will get eaten alive by pretty much everyone. (Even some casual players with decent decks will destroy you.)

Also note, buying a fat pack is not really a good way to start, either, because although you will get those powerful cards you need in a deck, you won't get the "backbone" that your deck needs to survive. For example, you may get a powerful late game card from the fat pack, but if you don't have the cards to stay alive that long, that card is pretty much worthless in your deck. The Deck Builder's Toolkit has cards to help you in that circumstance.

In conclusion: it all depends on your circumstance. If you have no cards at the moment, buy a Deck Builder's Toolkit. If you have a good base of cards to work with, buy a Fat Pack. (If you have the money, I would suggest buying both!)

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Thanks. I have a deck builder's toolkit from 2013 so I already have basic lands and such. Looking to expand on it. –  Mike B Jul 13 at 19:56

I will argue with everyone here and suggest that there really is no difference between the fat pack and the toolkit. What you really need to look at is the cost per pack. Beyond that, consider what packs you are going to get. With the standard block still including the rtr block the toolkit has a limited chance of providing packs from this block that will cycle in October. On the other hand it will more than likely contain boosters from the theros block. The fat pack will only contain boosters from the set it promotes, thus limiting the variation for the playable formats. Generally speaking a booster pack will have a retail cost of $3.79 to $3.99, the deck builders toolkit retails at $14.99 to $19.99, and the fat pack retails at $39.99. If you break the costs down to a per pack price, you will find that the difference is nominal. In either case, being a starting player or a seasoned veteran of the game, both of these options will have benefits for a player. The land included in either of these boxes is really not significant. By this I mean that unless you just want to look at the newest land art, which is often a reprint anyway, there is really no basis for influence on your purchasing decision. At the end of the day, the real question is what set you like. What cards are you wanting to play? If you find that the m15 block has all the cards you need for your newest build, buy a fat pack. If you have no idea what sets are good and just want to get the feel of the standard format's mechanics, buy a toolkit.

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  1. The Deckbuilder's Toolkit comes with 4 randomized booster packs. So instead of getting 9 packs from 1 set (as you would in a fat pack), you will probably get a pack from four different sets.

  2. If you are into card collecting, the 2015 Deckbuilder's Toolkit comes with 15 exclusive cards. Other than the toolkit, the only way you can get these cards is from free intro decks at gaming stores, conventions, etc. or buying them as singles online.

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The toolkit can also be used as an introduction to limited formats for up to four players. Take one of the 10 card seed sets each, then draft the boosters and the fixed cards to fill out your decks. I've done this with previous toolkits in groups of casual players and each toolkit is good for a couple of evenings play at least.

If you have friends that are interested in attending prelease or launch events but don't know what to expect (or if you've never tried it yourself) this will help.

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Welcome to B&CG! –  Pat Ludwig Jul 28 at 18:58

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