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Wizards of the Coast releases Magic cards in base/core sets and in expansion sets. The different editions of the base set each contain 302-449 cards, which have all been printed before, with the exception of Limited Edition, which was the game's first set. Expansion sets expand the game by adding new cards. Expansion sets beginning with Ice Age have come in sets of three which form a "cycle" or "block" consisting of one large "stand-alone" expansion set of more than 300 cards, followed by two small expansion sets of less than 200 cards, which continue the themes introduced in the large set. Like the base set, stand-alone expansion sets contain basic land cards; other expansion sets do not.

Traditionally, the large set of each cycle has been released every October, with the small expansion sets associated with it being released the following February and June; this practice began with Alliances in June 1996. The block, Lorwyn, broke this pattern. Wizards announced that Lorwyn will consist of one large set and one small set, released in October and February respectively. It was be followed by another "mini block," Shadowmoor, which also consist of one large and one small set.

All expansion sets, and all editions of the base set from 6th Edition onward, are identified by an expansion symbol printed on the right side of cards, below the art and above the text box. Wizards of the Coast also assigns a three-character expansion code to each expansion. In the table below, expansion symbols and expansion codes are listed in parentheses following the name.

Base/core set editions

Beginning with Alliances in June 1996, expansion sets were released in a regular pattern: the base sets were released in October with the small expansion sets being released in February and June. Thus, beginning with Alliances, only year, not every month, of release is given for expansion sets in the table below. Also beginning with Alliances, expansion sets were given codenames while in development; the code names of the three expansions of a cycle usually fit together to form a phrase or common theme. The only block set to break the pattern of months after Ice Age Block is Dissension, which was released a month early, in May instead of June, because of the July release of Coldsnap. Future Sight followed the trend created by the release of Dissension by being released in May 2007.

Set Set Symbol Abbreviation Release Date
Limited Edition Alpha Limited Edition Alpha Common LEA August 1993
Limited Edition Beta Limited Edition Beta Common LEB October 1993
Unlimited Unlimited Edition Common 2ED December 1993
Revised Revised Edition Common 3ED April 1994
4th Edition Fourth Edition Common 4ED May 1995
5th Edition Fifth Edition Common 5ED March 1997
6th Edition Classic Sixth Edition Common 6ED April 1999
7th Edition Seventh Edition Common 7ED April 2001
8th Edition Eighth Edition Common 8ED July 2003
9th Edition Ninth Edition Common 9ED July 2005
10th Edition Tenth Edition Common 10E July 2007
Magic 2010 Magic 2010 Common M10 July 2009
Magic 2011 Magic 2011 Common M11 July 2010
Magic 2012 Magic 2012 Common M12 July 2011
Magic 2013 Magic 2013 Common M13 July 2012
Magic 2014 Magic 2014 Common M14 July 2013
Magic 2015 Magic 2015 Common M15 July 2014
Magic Origins Magic Origins Common ORI July 2015

All sets

Set Sym. Abrv. Date
Unlimited Unlimited Edition Common 2ED December 1993
Arabian Nights Arabian Nights Common ARN December 1993
Antiquities Antiquities Common ATQ March 1994
Revised Revised Edition Common 3ED April 1994
Legends Legends Common LEG June 1994
The Dark The Dark Common DRK August 1994
Fallen Empires Fallen Empires Common FEM November 1994
4th Edition Fourth Edition Common 4ED May 1995
Ice Age Ice Age Common ICE June 1995
Chronicles Chronicles Common CHR July 1995
Homelands Homelands Common HML October 1995
Alliances Alliances Common ALL June 1996
Mirage Mirage Common MIR October 1996
Visions Visions Common VIS February 1997
5th Edition Fifth Edition Common 5ED March 1997
Portal Portal Common POR May 1997
Weatherlight Weatherlight Common WTH June 1997
Tempest Tempest Common TMP October 1997
Stronghold Stronghold Common STH March 1998
Portal Second Age Portal Second Age Common PO2 June 1998
Exodus Exodus Common EXO June 1998
Urza's Saga Urza's Saga Common USG October 1998
Urza's Legacy Urza's Legacy Common ULG February 1999
6th Edition Classic Sixth Edition Common 6ED April 1999
Urza's Destiny Urza's Destiny Common UDS June 1999
Starter 1999 Starter 1999 Common S99 July 1999
Mercadian Masques Mercadian Masques Common MMQ September 1999
Nemesis Nemesis Common NMS February 2000
Prophecy Prophecy Common PCY June 2000
Invasion Invasion Common INV September 2000
Beatdown Beatdown Box Set Common BTD October 2000
Planeshift Planeshift Common PLS February 2001
7th Edition Seventh Edition Common 7ED April 2001
Apocalypse Apocalypse Common APC June 2001
Odyssey Odyssey Common ODY September 2001
Deckmasters 2001 Exp sym deckmasters DKM December 2001
Torment Torment Common TOR February 2002
Judgment Judgment Common JUD May 2002
Onslaught Onslaught Common ONS October 2002
Legions Legions Common LGN January 2003
Scourge Scourge Common SCG May 2003
8th Edition Eighth Edition Common 8ED July 2003
Mirrodin Mirrodin Common MRD October 2003
Darksteel Darksteel Common DST February 2004
Fifth Dawn Fifth Dawn Common 5DN May 2004
Champions of Kamigawa Champions of Kamigawa Common CHK October 2004
Betrayers of Kamigawa Betrayers of Kamigawa Common BOK February 2005
Saviors of Kamigawa Saviors of Kamigawa Common SOK June 2005
9th Edition Ninth Edition Common 9ED July 2005
Ravnica: City of Guilds Ravnica City of Guilds Common RAV October 2005
Guildpact Guildpact Common GPT February 2006
Dissension Dissension Common DIS May 2006
Coldsnap Coldsnap Common CLD July 2006
Time Spiral Time Spiral Common TSP October 2006
Planar Chaos Planar Chaos Common PLC February 2007
Future Sight Future Sight Common FST May 2007
10th Edition Tenth Edition Common 10E July 2007
Lorwyn Lorwyn Common LRW October 2007
Morningtide Morningtide Common MOR February 2008
Shadowmoor Shadowmoor Common SHM May 2008
Eventide Eventide Common EVE July 2008
Shards of Alara Shards of Alara Common ALA October 2008
Conflux Conflux Common CON February 2009
Duel Decks: Divine vs. Demonic Duel Decks Divine vs. Demonic Common DDC April 2009
Alara Reborn Alara Reborn Common ARB April 2009
Magic 2010 Magic 2010 Common M10 July 2009
Zendikar Zendikar Common ZEN October 2009
Premium Deck Series: Slivers Premium Deck Series Slivers Common H09 November 2009
Worldwake Worldwake Common WWK February 2010
Duel Decks: Phyrexia vs. the Coalition Duel Decks Phyrexia vs. the Coalition Common DDE March 2010
Rise of the Eldrazi Rise of the Eldrazi Common ROE April 2010
Magic 2011 Magic 2011 Common M11 July 2010
Duel Decks: Elspeth vs. Tezzeret Duel Decks Elspeth vs. Tezzeret Common DDF September 2010
Scars of Mirrodin Scars of Mirrodin Common SOM October 2010
Mirrodin Besieged Mirrodin Besieged Common MBS February 2011
Duel Decks: Knights vs. Dragons Duel Decks Knights vs. Dragons Common DDG April 2011
New Phyrexia New Phyrexia Common NPH May 2011
Commander Commander Common CMD June, 2011
Magic 2012 Magic 2012 Common M12 July 2011
Duel Decks: Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas Duel Decks Ajani vs. Nicol Bolas Common DDH September 2011
Innistrad Innistrad Common ISD September 2011
Dark Ascension Dark Ascension Common DKA February 2012
Duel Decks: Venser vs. Koth Duel Decks Venser vs. Koth Common DDI March 2012
Avacyn Restored Avacyn Restored Common AVR May 2012
Magic 2013 Magic 2013 Common M13 July 2012
Duel Decks: Izzet Vs. Golgari Duel Decks Izzet vs. Golgari Common DDJ September 2012
Return to Ravnica Return to Ravnica Common RTR October 2012
Gatecrash Gatecrash Common GTC January 2013
Duel Decks: Sorin vs. Tibalt Duel Decks Sorin vs. Tibalt Common DDK March 2013
Dragon's Maze Dragon's Maze Common DGM May 2013
Modern Masters Modern Masters Common MMA June 2013
Magic 2014 Magic 2014 Common M14 July 2013
Theros Theros Common THS September 2013
Commander 2013 Commander 2013 Common C13 November 2013
Born of the Gods Born of the Gods Common BNG February 2014
Journey into Nyx Journey into Nyx Common JOU May 2014
Conspiracy Conspiracy Common CNS June, 2014
Magic 2015 Magic 2015 Common M15 July 2014
Khans of Tarkir Khans of Tarkir Common KTK September 2014
Fate Reforged Fate Reforged Common FRF January 2015
Dragons of Tarkir Dragons of Tarkir Common DTK March 2015
Magic Origins Magic Origins Common ORI July 2015
Battle for Zendikar Battle for Zendikar Common BFZ October 2015
Oath of the Gatewatch Oath of the Gatewatch Common OGW January 2016
Shadows over Innistrad Shadows over Innistrad Common SOI April 2016
Eldritch Moon EMN July 2016
Kaladesh KLD September 2016
Aether Revolt AER January 2017

Special Sets

Reprint sets are sets of certain cards from previous sets that were re-released for different reasons. Some reasons include the cards were fan favorites and popular demand brought them back or in some cases, reprints were to commemorate certain events such as widely known matches or anniversary sets. Some reprint sets revolved around a certain theme such as the Beatdown set, its main purpose being to bring back old heavy hitters.

Special Series

Masters

Duel Decks

From the Vault

Supplemental sets

Compilation Sets

Box Sets

Reprint Sets

Unsets

Commemorative Sets

Starter sets

Portal[1]

Starter

  • Starter 1999 (Exp sym starter1999 five-pointed star) (August 1999)
  • Starter 2000 (none) (April 2000)

Notes and references

  1. Portal was a series of sets featuring simplified rules intended to introduce novice players of Magic: The Gathering to the game. Since October 2005 onwards they are legal in the Vintage and Legacy Formats [1].


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