The booster box birthday bonanza

© Wizards of the Coast LLC

I should have known something was up when I started to prepare dinner and found that there was a Magic 2014 booster pack sitting in the vegetable crisper. There was another one in the meat crisper, a third by our chef’s knives, a fourth underneath a container of pine nuts, and two more sitting in areas near where my husband had asked me where the various ingredients were for our dinner.

It was a week until my birthday, and he had told me that he had a special surprise for me. He also let slip that he’d done some math and figured out how to divide a certain number into seven somewhat equal parts. Knowing how much I love surprises, I tried to keep my curiosity to a minimum, but I couldn’t resist picking up the packs and showing them to him.

“Where did these come from?” I asked. “Is this part of my birthday present?”

“Maybe,” he drawled. “Maybe a little bird came by and dropped them off.”

“Oh, you mean like a Booster Pack Fairy?”

“No, a little bird. The Booster Pack Bird.” he insisted. “But since the packs are here, maybe we could play a bit after dinner?”

Now, ever since I started watching the monthly “Friday Nights” series created by Loading Ready Run and sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, I had always wanted to try playing Pack Wars. I mean, judging from the video below starting at/around 3:02 minutes, it seems like a great way to open booster packs from an entire box if you don’t have enough people to do a draft:

As I understand it, the way you play Pack Wars is like this:

  1. Get 3 copies of each basic land. You should have 15 cards of lands in all the colors.
  2. Acquire some booster cards, preferably from the same set.
  3. Each person opens up a pack, takes out the token/ad card, and shuffles together the new deck they’ve created.
  4. Cut the other person’s deck and draw seven cards.
  5. Play as normal.

We played the first night in a pack-by-pack showdown, each of us opening up a new pack after each game. However, for subsequent nights, we adopted the “Friday Nights” house rule where if one pack wins, it remains the challenger for the new pack that’s being opened. We also adopted the “No mulligans in Pack Wars” rule, as the whole point of the format is to be heartbreakingly infuriating—but in a fun way.

For each night leading up to my birthday, I would find packs in odd (but easy to notice) locations. Some nights we played with six packs, others we had to use five. I opened some great foil cards, including a Liliana of the Dark Realms; my husband was quick to Duress it at which I conceded before I got really cross with him. I also opened up a Jace, Memory Adept and he quickly moved over into my Standard deck.

Happy birthday, honey! I hope you like sorting Magic cards...!
Happy birthday, honey! I hope you like sorting Magic cards…!

By the time we opened up all of the booster packs, we had more fun and spent more time together than we had in a while. I got to see and use a great many number of cards, and had a better idea of how to use them, how to counter them, and what cards were really great to play. I also got a ton of promo cards that I can use in future crafts.

Of course the biggest problem with opening up an entire booster box of cards is… How am I going to sort and store all of them?!

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