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On amazon, there are plenty of listings for 36 booster packs that are part of the same set. Given that there is one land card in each booster, and each pack comes with 15 cards, you would receive 14*36 = 504 non-land cards. Given there are generally 180-275 cards in a set and the distribution of cards is mostly skewed towards commons, isn't there a very high likelihood of getting more than 4 copies of the same card in a purchase like this, especially for sets with lower card counts?

If so, do folks typically buy these sets for reasons other than deck building (drafting perhaps, or other reasons?) or would these boxes still be good purchases for those looking to get into deckbuilding for kitchen table games?

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    It's not a "very high likehood". With these numbers you are 100% guaranteed to get more than 4 copies of some commons. I guess most buyers don't care, as rares and uncommons are what you're paying for, and you aren't getting too much of those in a booster box. – tsuma534 Feb 9 '16 at 14:34
  • @tsuma534 It is only a guarantee for sets with less than 90 commons. – Rainbolt Feb 9 '16 at 14:50
  • @Rainbolt Thank you. I made a silly error in my equation. – tsuma534 Feb 9 '16 at 14:58
  • For those downvoting, I'd appreciate some feedback! – tarun713 Feb 9 '16 at 15:10
  • Be wary of buying 36 packs that aren't still sealed in a display box. Chances are decent that they've been mapped and don't contain the most expensive cards from that set and/or don't contain any rares. Or at least only buy them that way when you are happy to get that and are paying less for them. – LovesTha Feb 12 '16 at 3:09
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The first part of your question can be answered. Yes, you may end up with more than 4 copies of the same card, and the chances of doing so obviously go up the more packs you buy. People that buy packs in bulk are doing so to get the rare cards, of which there are only one card per pack. You need to buy quite a few packs to get a play set (4 copies) of each rare. The extra cards you get in the process could potentially be traded or sold to help recoup the cost (though you'll only get back a small percentage of what you spent).

As to why people do this, there are too many reasons to list. Drafting, collecting, searching for a specific card, gifting, etc. Buying a bunch of packs is a good way to get a random sampling of cards. If you're trying to just have one strong deck, you're better off buying singles and/or preconstructed decks.

  • Note that wizards pre-con decks are usually not terribly strong. – Zinma Apr 22 '16 at 5:35

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