is the name of the Magic: The Gathering
beginners set which came out on August 27
. The set contains 173 cards. The set became known as Starter 1999
after the release of Starter 2000, and is the fourth starter level set.
After three sets in the Portal Block, Starter
was Wizards of the Coast
's fourth major attempt at a "Starter Level" set that new players could come into the game and understand.
Most of its cards were reprints of cards already available (many of them from the Portal-sets). But it also contained 26 new cards, created just for the release. Starter cards were available in a fixed-deck game, randomized boosters and 5 preconstructed decks (one for each color).
The starter game came with two decks, two playmats, a step-by-step play guide, and a simplified version of the Magic: The Gathering rule-book. The starter-game contained eight cards which weren't available in the boosters.
Starter ended up causing confusion, because up until the set's release, Tournament decks were known as "Starters".
Starter had a short print run, and has become very difficult to find. It was replaced with Starter 2000 less than a year later.
No new mechanics were introduced with Starter. It left out elements unnecessary for basic gameplay, such as artifacts, instants, and complicated abilities.
Wizards of the coast attempted to market Starter by providing a guru program to experienced players to help new players start the game, the guru program awarded players with redeemable coupons for booster packs and a special collectable set of "Guru Lands".