As it has been the case since Seventh Edition, there is a Ninth Edition box set called Core Game in existence which is aimed to be an introductory item to playing Magic and hence is categorized as a Starter Level product. It contains:
* 80 Ninth Edition cards divided into 2 decks and 1 Advanced Booster Pack (2 x 33 + 1 x 14)
*Content of Advanced Booster Pack:
"Do Not Open" Advanced booster pack (14 cards), this pack has exactly the same cards in each copy of the 9th edition core game:
Core Game Advanced Booster Insert is sandwiched at this location, possibly to separate the cards between the gold and silver players.
Rod of Ruin
* 1 standard foil Ninth Edition Serra Angel card
* 1 enhanced rule book with 9th Edition rules
* 1 CD which contains 2 explanatory test games, an online rule book, and the Magic: The Gathering Online software (English version only)
* 2 player guides which cover 1 demo game
* 2 playmats to explain the different game zones
* 2 cardboard life counters
* 1 consumer response card to provide feedback (English version only)
* 1 leaftlet carrying an activation code to receive a Core Game box set for Magic: The Gathering Online (English version only)
16 of the 80 cards, 9 of them being different, are exclusively available in the Ninth Edition box set. As a result, no foil versions of these cards exist. Being considered too weak for standard play, but being highly suitable to explain the basics of the game, these cards are part of Ninth Edition, but feature a special enumeration to distinguish them from regular Ninth Edition cards. For unknown reasions, the cards are assigned a number range of 10, yet there are only 9 different cards in existance. Designation 6/10 is unused.
The English and Japanese core games (the two-player game box designed for new Magic players) contain nine cards that don't appear in Ninth Edition booster packs. These cards have collector numbers that start with S, and they use the Ninth Edition expansion symbol. All of these cards are part of the Ninth Edition core set and are legal for play in all tournaments in which the Ninth Edition core set is legal.
S1 Eager Cadet (With new creature types: Human Soldier)
S3 Coral Eel
S4 Giant Octopus
S8 Goblin Raider (With new creature types: Goblin Warrior)
S9 Enormous Baloth
S10 Spined Wurm
Note that there isn't a card numbered S6/10.
The card Sea Eagle was originally slated to be numbered S6 of the 10 card S-Series in the Core Game, but it was pulled from the product in favor of Wind Drake late in development. There were only 9 different S-Series cards printed in the 9th edition Core Game for this reason.
(image of Drake) (Image of sea eagle)
The Italian, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian versions of the box set are smaller. They only contain:
* 22 Ninth Edition cards divided into 2 decks (2 x 11)
* 1 CD which contains 2 explanatory test games and an online rule book
* 1 playmat to explain the different game zones
Due to the drastic reduction of the card pool, only 2 of the 9 special cards, the Eager Cadet and the Goblin Raider, exist in Italian, French, German, and Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian. The card numbers have not been adjusted to this change.