Starting with Kaladesh on September, 2016 Intro packs were replaced by Planeswalker decks. A planeswalker deck is a preconstructed theme deck designed by Wizards of the Coast as a starter product for beginning Magic players.
Each set will have two Planeswalker Decks, each built around a different Planeswalker. Those Planeswalkers will be characters relevant to that block. Each Planeswalker Deck will be a preconstructed 60-card deck and will be packaged with two booster packs from that block with an MSRP of $14.99. The Planeswalker Decks will be released in each of the eleven languages that Magic is published in.
The decks will play into mechanical themes of the block, most often making use of a new keyword mechanic. The default will be that the decks will be two-color even if the Planeswalker is monocolor. (Remember that a "default" means that's what we will do most of the time, but we reserve the right to change things up if we feel a particular Planeswalker Deck wants to be different.)
The other big difference about Planeswalker Decks is that there's going to be five cards in each that won't be found in the expansion, but that will be considered connected to that block for Standard legality (meaning Planeswalker Decks will be playable in Standard). Here's what you can expect:
One copy of a mythic rare planeswalker
Each Planeswalker Deck will have a brand-new planeswalker card, obviously of the Planeswalker the deck is themed around. These cards are being designed to be fun and flavorful but not pushed for tournament play. The idea is we want new players to be excited by them and for them to have a big impact on the game, but we don't want established players to feel obligated to buy the Planeswalker Decks. As a default, the planeswalkers will be expensive to cast and splashy. There will be one copy of this card in the deck, with art tied to the appropriate world.
R&D spent a lot of time debating whether or not the decks should have planeswalkers, and ultimately decided that we couldn't have a Planeswalker focus to the decks without having a card that actually represented them. We felt very strongly that the Planeswalker focus was key. We then had an even lengthier debate about how the planeswalkers should be designed. How many loyalty abilities should they have? Ideas ran the gamut from three to zero. In the end, we decided that we wanted them to work like all the other planeswalkers, but that we would make sure to design them more with beginners in mind.
Two copies of a rare spell that has an effect and also tutors for the specific planeswalker
It was important to us for the deck to have a planeswalker, but we wanted it to be mythic rare—which meant that each deck could only have one. Was there a way to help the planeswalker have a big impact if only one was in your deck? The rare was our solution to this problem. The rare usually will cost one mana less than the planeswalker (to help ramp into the planeswalker) and have an appropriately themed effect. It will then search your library or graveyard for a copy of the specific planeswalker and put it into your hand. (Note that it only looks for the Planeswalker Deck's version of the planeswalker and not any version. Allowing you to get any version had huge developmental issues.) This functionally allows the player to have three copies of their planeswalker, which will increase the chances that it makes its way into play. There will be two copies of this card in the deck and it will have art tied to the Planeswalker.
Three copies of an uncommon permanent that is enhanced by having the planeswalker on the battlefield
For the uncommon, we are making a permanent that is upgraded if you have the relevant planeswalker on the battlefield. Note that unlike the rare spell, the uncommon is looking for any version of the planeswalker—not just the one that comes in the Planeswalker Deck. This card will be thematically tied to the Planeswalker of the deck in name and art. There will be three copies of this card in the deck.
Four copies of a common flavored to the Planeswalker
At common, we have a basic staple effect—one the Planeswalker would cast most often, with art showing them casting it. There will be four copies of this card in the deck.
Four copies of an appropriate common dual land
Oath of the Gatewatch and Shadows over Innistrad introduced a ten-card cycle of dual lands that enter the battlefield tapped. It is our intention to make sure that ten-card cycle stays Standard-legal so that budget players will always have access to them. For Planeswalker Decks, the plan is to include the appropriate ETB-tapped dual land that matches the colors of the deck. The card will have brand-new art tied to the world of the block. There will be four copies of this card.
That means of the 60-card Planeswalker Deck, there will be four mechanically unique cards with ten total copies in the deck (one of the mythic rare, two of the rare, three of the uncommon, and four of the common). There will be fourteen cards with new art (the ten listed above plus the four copies of the dual land). All the rest of the cards will be from the large set if the Planeswalker Deck is tied to the large set and from the whole block if the Planeswalker Deck is tied to the small set. The art on all those cards will match the art used in the block.
The Planeswalker Decks will premiere with Kaladesh, this year's fall set, where they will replace Intro Packs. I've had a chance to see the first two decks and I think beginning players are going to be in for a real treat.
One last thing before I move on. The above breakdown is our current philosophy of how to make use of the new cards in the product. As the Planeswalker Decks get played and we start getting feedback, we might tweak how we use the new cards.
Errors, misprints and typos
1 Card is a Misprint:
Terrain Elemental: Wrong artist Christine Choi instead of Magali Villeneuve.
Kaladesh Planeswalker Decks: Chandra Pyrogenius and Nissa Nature's Artisan product shot
Kaladesh Planeswalker Decks display box product shot
Aether Revolt Planeswalker Decks: Ajani, Valiant Protector and Tezzeret, Master of Metal product shot
Amonkhet Planeswalker Decks: Gideon, Martial Paragon and Liliana, Death's Manipulator product shot
Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Decks: Nissa, Genesis Mage and Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver product shot
Ixalan Planeswalker Decks: Huatli, Dinosaur Knight and Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage
Ramp of Approval, Making Magic
Kaladesh Packaging, Promos, and Planeswalker Decks, Feature Article
Exclusive Cards in the Planeswalker Decks, Card Preview
Aether Revolt Packaging, Promos, and Planeswalker Decks, Feature Article
Exclusive Cards in the Aether Revolt Planeswalker Decks, Feature Article
Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck Lists, Feature Article
Modern Masters 2017 and Amonkhet Packaging, News
Exclusive Cards in the Amonkhet Planeswalker Decks, Card Preview
Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck Lists, News
The Promos and Planeswalker Decks for Hour of Devastation, Card Preview
Exclusive cards in Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck, Feature Article
Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck Lists, News Article
Ixalan Promos, Planeswalker Decks, Packaging, and FNM Tokens!, Card Preview
Builder's Toolkit, Sample, and Welcome Decks Cards
|001||265/264 M||Chandra, Pyrogenius||Jason Rainville||Chandra, Pyrogenius Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|002||266/264 C||Flame Lash||Viktor Titov||Chandra, Pyrogenius Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|003||271/264 U||Guardian of the Great Conduit||Magali Villeneuve||Nissa, Nature's Artisan Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|004||267/264 R||Liberating Combustion||Lius Lasahido||Chandra, Pyrogenius Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|005||270/264 M||Nissa, Nature's Artisan||Willian Murai||Nissa, Nature's Artisan Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|006||268/264 U||Renegade Firebrand||John Stanko||Chandra, Pyrogenius Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|007||269/264 C||Stone Quarry||Efflam Mercier||Chandra, Pyrogenius Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|008||272/264 C||Terrain Elemental||Christine Choi||Nissa, Nature's Artisan Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30||YES|
|009||273/264 R||Verdant Crescendo||Zack Stella||Nissa, Nature's Artisan Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|010||274/264 C||Woodland Stream||Efflam Mercier||Nissa, Nature's Artisan Kaladesh Planeswalker Deck||2016-09-30|
|001||188/184 R||Ajani's Aid||Terese Nielsen||Ajani, Valiant Protector Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|002||187/184 U||Ajani's Comrade||James Ryman||Ajani, Valiant Protector Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|003||185/184 M||Ajani, Valiant Protector||Anna Steinbauer||Ajani, Valiant Protector Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|004||186/184 C||Inspiring Roar||Chris Rahn||Ajani, Valiant Protector Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|005||192/184 C||Pendulum of Patterns||Raoul Vitale||Tezzeret, Master of Metal Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|006||194/184 C||Submerged Boneyard||Christine Choi||Tezzeret, Master of Metal Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|007||190/184 M||Tezzeret, Master of Metal||Tyler Jacobson||Tezzeret, Master of Metal Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|008||191/184 R||Tezzeret's Betrayal||Tyler Jacobson||Tezzeret, Master of Metal Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|009||193/184 U||Tezzeret's Simulacrum||Craig J Spearing||Tezzeret, Master of Metal Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|010||189/184 C||Tranquil Expanse||Sam Burley||Ajani, Valiant Protector Aether Revolt Planeswalker Deck||2017-01-14|
|011||271/269 U||Companion of the Trials||Aaron Miller||Gideon, Martial Paragon Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|012||270/269 M||NEED UPGRADE|
Gideon, Martial Paragon
|Daarken||Gideon, Martial Paragon Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|013||272/269 R||Gideon's Resolve||Jakub Kasper||Gideon, Martial Paragon Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|014||273/269 C||Graceful Cat||John Stanko||Gideon, Martial Paragon Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|015||274/269 C||Stone Quarry||Florian de Gesincourt||Gideon, Martial Paragon Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|016||276/269 U||Desiccated Naga||Svetlin Velinov||Liliana, Death Wielder Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|017||279/269 C||Foul Orchard||Mark Poole||Liliana, Death Wielder Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|018||275/269 M||Liliana, Death Wielder||Clint Cearley||Liliana, Death Wielder Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|019||277/269 R||Liliana's Influence||Winona Nelson||Liliana, Death Wielder Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|020||278/269 C||Tattered Mummy||Slawomir Maniak||Liliana, Death Wielder Amonkhet Planeswalker Deck||2017-04-28|
|021||201/199 U||Avid Reclaimer||Josu Hernaiz||Nissa, Genesis Mage Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|022||202/199 C||Brambleweft Behemoth||Florian de Gesincourt||Nissa, Genesis Mage Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|023||209/199 U||Cinder Barrens||Titus Lunter||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|024||205/199 M||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver||Svetlin Velinov||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|025||203/199 R||Nissa's Encouragement||Tommy Arnold||Nissa, Genesis Mage Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|026||200/199 M||Nissa, Genesis Mage||Chris Rallis||Nissa, Genesis Mage Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|027||208/199 R||Visage of Bolas||Titus Lunter||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|028||206/199 U||Wasp of the Bitter End||Tomasz Jedruszek||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|029||204/199 C||Woodland Stream||Florian de Gesincourt||Nissa, Genesis Mage Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|030||207/199 C||Zealot of the God-Pharaoh||Gabor Szikszai||Nicol Bolas, the Deceiver Hour of Devastation Planeswalker Deck||2017-07-14|
|031||281/279 C||Castaway's Despair||Chris Rahn||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|032||282/279 R||Grasping Current||Yongjae Choi||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|033||286/279 C||Huatli's Snubhorn||Randy Vargas||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|034||287/279 U||Huatli's Spurring||Zack Stella||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|035||285/279 M||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight||Anna Steinbauer||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|036||283/279 U||Jace's Sentinel||Alex Konstad||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|037||280/279 M||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage||Clint Cearley||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|038||289/279 C||Stone Quarry||Noah Bradley||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|039||288/279 R||Sun-Blessed Mount||Joe Slucher||Huatli, Dinosaur Knight Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|
|040||284/279 C||Woodland Stream||James Paick||Jace, Ingenious Mind-Mage Ixalan Planeswalker Deck||2017-09-29|