|Release date||July 28, 2003|
|Magic: The Gathering|
Eighth Edition (8th Edition) or Core Set was the standard base set for the collectible trading card game, Magic: The Gathering from its release in 2003 until 9th Edition's release in 2005. Its expansion symbol is the number 8 with 3 cards behind it.
- Eighth Edition was set to be released to coincide with the 10th Anniversary of Magic's original release, so the creators took a different approach to the base set. Every previous expansion had at least one card reprinted in Eighth that had not been reprinted in the base set before, with a series of votes on the Wizards website deciding what got reprinted. Eighth was also the first base set with a prerelease card (though some claim it was a 10th Anniversary card, not a prerelease). Eighth features many cards from older base sets and expansions. While many of these cards were very powerful during their original print run, some are not quite as powerful in newer tournament settings.
- Eighth Edition is the first set to feature the controversial 'new look' for Magic cards, which initially received mixed views. For example, some players claimed the new look ruined the 'classical' fantasy feel of the game. The most obvious changes were the card borders, but the font was also changed (from Goudy Medieval to Matrix Bold) and mana symbols in the text box were no longer colored (however this latter change did not last long, and was changed in Kamigawa Block).
To fulfill the goal of at least one card from each set, 8th edition included many new cards into the core set, many of which rotated out when 9th edition was introduced in July 2005. 8th Edition is the first Core Set to be released after the colors were restructured at the beginning of Onslaught block. As a result, cards excluded from 8th Edition included Counterspell, Prodigal Sorcerer, and Disenchant, which had been reprinted in every numbered edition previous to 8th. Prodigal Sorcerer's ability to deal damage has moved from Blue to Red, and the ability to cheaply destroy artifacts and enchantments has moved from White to Green. Other versions of Disenchant appear in higher casting versions, still in mono white, and other blue counter cards obviously still exist. However, there has been an increasing trend by the R&D department of Wizards to remove most 'hard counterspells' from newer set in exchange for 'soft counterspells' that will give opponents some sort of option or drawback to not let their spell be countered.
8th edition also reprinted several cards from normal sets with changed rarity. Some changed from common to uncommon, and from uncommon to rare.
- Avatar of Hope, from Prophecy
- Dwarven Demolition Team, last seen in Unlimited
- Giant Badger, originally a promotional card for an MTG novel
- Merchant Scroll from Homelands
- Peach Garden Oath from Portal: Three Kingdoms
- Rukh Egg from Arabian Nights
- Vexing Arcanix from Ice Age
Notable Omissions & Modifications
With the transition to 8th edition, several 7th edition cards were left behind. Tournament staples such as Opposition, Llanowar Elves, Counterspell, and Duress, all fell by the wayside. Some of these cards were very famous and had been with the game since its inception, and their removal caused a major uproar among players (although Llanowar Elves returned in Ninth Edition, the following Core Set).
The Circle of Protection series, a perennial core set entity, was modified from common to uncommon status.
A number of cards, such as Vizzerdrix, got reprinted only for the Core Game, a tool to teach Magic to new players, and didn't occur in booster packs, a refreshing change to many players.
Eighth Edition, as with its predecessors, does not feature any mechanics that were not present in previous versions of the base set, despite the reprintings from other sets. However, some abilities from previous versions of the base set were absent, including Banding.