Core set

Core sets (stylized as Core Set) form the base set of cards for tournament play and rotations. After Limited Edition in 1993, all core sets through Tenth Edition consisted solely of reprinted cards. As of Magic 2010, they feature new cards alongside reprints. Core sets were discontinued in 2015, but were reintroduced in 2018.


Core sets formerly contained more cards than expansion sets and ranged from 249 cards (Magic 2010) to 449 cards (Fifth Edition).

Core sets may be distinguished from expansion sets by the addition of reminder text on cards, so as to elucidate abilities and mechanics that are unfamiliar or initially incomprehensible to newer players, such as first strike, flying, haste, protection, regeneration, and trample.

Most core sets do not have a unified storyline among cards. Cards’ flavor text may nevertheless refer to expansion sets and their settings or even real-world people, texts, or things (e.g., the Fifth Edition Boomerang and the Seventh Edition Boomerang). Two sets are an exception to this:

Seventh Edition tells the story of a war among the paladins—Eastern Paladin, Northern Paladin, Southern Paladin, and Western Paladin—narrated through the flavor text of cards from the set.
Magic Origins focuses on the backstories of Gideon Jura, Jace Beleren, Liliana Vess, Chandra Nalaar, and Nissa Revane.
Core sets were often seeded with cards that reinforced the themes of upcoming blocks, or used to provide answers to cards that were more powerful than was anticipated in the year preceding it. The last goal of core sets was to play well with the block that was leaving Standard, while not relying so heavily on it that the cards would not work after rotation.

List of core set

Limited Edition Alpha
Limited Edition Beta
Unlimited Edition
Revised Edition
Fourth Edition
Fifth Edition
Sixth Edition
Seventh Edition
Eighth Edition
Ninth Edition
Tenth Edition
Magic 2010
Magic 2011
Magic 2012
Magic 2013
Magic 2014
Magic 2015
Magic Origins
Core Set 2019