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Are Magic: The Gathering booster packs "color random"? I've tried Googling it, but nothing tells me anything specific.
Can you get booster packs by color, or are they filled with random colors?

2 Answers 2

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If you're talking about regular (also called 'Draft') boosters: their color distribution is completely random, except that some sets may have a somewhat skewed color distribution themselves, e.g. there might be more black cards than white cards in the set; then, booster packs will contain (on average) more black than white cards. An example of this Torment; from the checklist, it's also clearly visible that it's a set which contains a high number of black cards.

The only thing that is not random is the rarity distribution; each pack contains

one marketing card, one basic land, ten commons (one possible premium card in any rarity), three uncommons, and one rare (occasionally, about one in eight packs, replaced by a mythic rare).

(source: Gamepedia)


Can you get booster packs by color?

Actually, it turns out you can. As @murgatroid notes in the comments, beginning with Dominaria in 2018 Wizards started selling 'Theme boosters' (scroll down to the end of the article) with a fixed color distribution (depending on the set, a single color or a combination of two colors).

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    In 2018 Wizards started selling "theme boosters" which contain cards of specific colors: magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/feature/….
    – murgatroid99
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:10
  • I didn't know about those. That's probably worth being another answer, since it answers part of the OP's question "Can you get booster packs by color?"
    – Glorfindel
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:24
  • A single answer should answer the whole question. It shouldn't take much of an edit to remove the first sentence and say that the current information applies to standard boosters, then add a sentence or two about theme boosters.
    – murgatroid99
    Oct 6, 2019 at 16:26
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    I think it's misleading to focus on color distribution in sets. While technically correct, practically speaking all modern sets are color balanced close enough that you're not going to see a significant effect. Eldraine, for example, has exactly 37 monocolored cards of each color in draft packs. Oct 7, 2019 at 2:18
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    I also suspect that it's not truly random, as that would give people almost, or completely, single-coloured packs rather more often that people intuitively expect. Which again, interestingly enough, would make people think that it's not random (and also is bad for drafts, and is good for sealed). So my guess is that they have a deterministic, but way beyond humanely predictable, shuffling algorithm, to make sure that each pack appears at least somewhat mixed.
    – Arthur
    Oct 8, 2019 at 5:21
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Are Magic: The Gathering booster packs "color random"?

No.

This site has a detailed analysis of how packs are collated in general and also includes information specific to each set: https://www.lethe.xyz/mtg/collation/index.html

In more recent C1/C2 sets, the cards in the A run are often mono-colored cards of three particular colors (the exact choice of which may vary from set to set, but usually Jeskai or Mardu) in an alternating pattern. The cards in the B run are then alternating mono-colored cards of the other two colors. This helps ensure that each pack is likely to have a mono-colored common of every color (although this condition still may not be guaranteed, especially accounting for foils).

(From: https://www.lethe.xyz/mtg/collation/c1-c2-common-collation.html)

Some draft boosters have a very predictable distribution of colors for the 10 commons. For example, a Mystery Booster will (almost?) always contain two commons for each of the five colors: https://www.lethe.xyz/mtg/collation/mb1.html

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