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My first impression of this latest Magic the Gathering Core Set is that I love the artwork but not the way it is presented.
The stark black & white with a splash of colour has been used many times before, ever since computers have been used
as art packages and never better than in the excellent Sin City movie. But the white packaging overlaid with what looks
like light-grey floor tiles actually looks dirty and unappealing. I guess, like all art, it's a matter of personal opinion.

There are, to my knowledge, 5 theme decks for the 2015 Core Set, one for each of the principle Magic the Gathering
colours; at least that's what the advertising pictures show. In reality there are no colour borders on the decks (at least
there aren't on the 3 decks I have) and the main character card is set so deep, and behind a heavy duty plastic bubble,
that its colour isn't immediately noticeable, until you hold it close in good lighting.


Each Core Set Deck box contains a sealed deck of 60 cards (these are exactly the same for each similar deck) plus 2
Boosters (obviously these cards are not pre-determined). There are also a double-sided rules reference card and a full
card list for each pre-genned theme deck.

PRICE of GLORY:   Resolute Archangel Foil - White & Black
22 Creatures - 1 R. 5 U. 8 C  by type
13 Other Spells - 1 R. 4 U. 5 C by type
25 Lands - 12 Plains. 13 Swamps

HIT the GROUND RUNNING:   Mercurial Pretender Foil - Blue & Green
25 Creatures - 2 R. 4 U. 9 C by type
10 Other Spells - 4 U. 4 C by type
25 Lands - 13 Islands. 12 Forest

INFERNAL INTERVENTION:   Indulgent Tormentor Foil - Black & Red
18 Creatures - 1 R. 3 U. 7 C by type
16 Other Spells - 1 R. 5 U. 5 C by type
26 Lands - 13 Swamps. 13 Mountains

FLAMES of the DRAGON:   Siege Dragon Foil - Red & Blue
24 Creatures - 2 R. 2 U. 9 C  by type
11 Other Spells - 7 U. 2 C  by type
25 Lands - 1 Darksteel Citadel U. 12 Mountains. 12 Islands.

WILL of the MASSES:  Hornet Queen or Phytotitan Foil - Green & White
19 Creatures - 2 R. 3 U. 6 C  by type
16 Other Spells - 5 U. 6 C  by type
25 Lands - 13 Forests. 12 Plain


Of the 3 Decks I have, Flames, Infernal and Hit the Ground, Flames of the Dragon has 2 Gold and 13 Silver, Infernal
Intervention has 2 Gold and 12 Silver and Hit the Ground Running is the same, 2 + 12. Each of the inner boxes under
the plastic bubble is of colour coded card based on the predominant colour, though for some reason the box for Infernal
Intervention which is predominantly Black, the box is medium Grey.

These three decks are very well balanced against each other, at least they are in the hands of semi-regular MtG players,
tournament and high volume players may discover or create strategies that are beyond our simple play-for-fun ideaology.

Infernal Intervention:- a plethora of removal spells allow you to frustrate your opponents.
Flames of the Dragon:- For the player who loves fireworks and thoroughly enjoys using artifacts.
Hit the Ground Running:- The majority of these cards literally come out of the deck firing on all cylinders.

Of the six Booster packs that came with the three decks (2 in each) I was "lucky" enough to get one of each of the five
different art packs - surmising that there are five different pack arts as these are the only pictures I can find online.

Magic the Gathering Core Set 2015 is available in a variety of forms, from the Boosters and Theme decks mentioned here
to Fat Packs, Flash Packs and Builders Toolkit Sets. The theme is still Duels of the Planeswalkers and so if you like playing
in story mode you can continue to do so with this new set of 269 cards.

Hunt Bigger Game :
You are a Planeswalker. You travel across the limitless expanse of planes known as the Multiverse. As you discover new sources
of mana, the source of all magic, you work to forge your arcane destiny. You control an arsenal of spells and call deadly creatures
to your side. You are one of the most powerful beings in existence.
You discovered your true nature when your Planeswalker spark
ignited. This previously hidden connection to the Blind Eternities that lie between the planes is what sets you apart from the rest.
But one of  your kind hunts you for it.
The brutal Garruk is tracking down Planeswalkers like you - the ultimate prey. A master of
nature's ferocity, he is on your trail now. You must master your own magical path. Challenge other Planeswalkers and test your
skills so that  you can survive when Garruk comes for you!

Boosters have 15 playing cards and 1 decorative advertising card that can be used ingame if you play with your cards in card condoms
that are not see-through front and back.The Six Boosters yielded the following mix of cards. I believe you get a good cross-section of
cards in each booster whatever the art on its cover is:

2 Foils - 1 artifact 1 land
2 Enchantments - both Rare
2 Special Lands - Evolving Winds x 2
6 Artifacts - 1 R, 3 U, 2 C
6 Lands - 3 Red, 2 Green, 1 Black
15 Green - 1 R, 4 U, 10 C - no doubles
18 Blue - 5 U, 13 C of which there are 4 sets of doubles
11 White - 1 R, 1 U, 9 C of which there are 1 triple and 3 doubles
15 Red -  1R, 2 U, 12 C of which there is 1 triple and 3 doubles
13 Black - 0 R, 2 U, 11 C of which there are 3 doubles

Despite not being a fan of the packaging, I can state honestly that the cards are of the quality, in cardstock, artwork and design, and
they totally compliment the game of Magic the Gathering perfectly. The decks also compliment each other and play well before you
begin to get creative with the cards from the Boosters. From the Boosters that came with the decks I have the option of the following:
24 card mix for White & Black (Price of Glory), 33 card mix for Blue & Green (Hit the Ground Running), 28 cards for Black & Red (Infernal Intervention), 33 cards for Red & Blue (Flames of the Dragon) and 26 cards for Green & White (Will of the Masses).

Please note that I surmised that Resolute Angel is the main character card for Price of Glory because it is the only Rare card. I also used
this logic for the Will of the Masses deck where there are 2 Rare cards shown in the list - I have not actually seen either deck.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015