September 27th 1 PM PST 2018, marks the launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena open beta! It has been a very long time since we had a fun and engaging card game. We shall see if the latest digital version of Magic have the potential to be hottest card game since Hearthstone.
If you’re interested in giving Magic The Gathering Arena a try, here’s a step by step guide on how you can get started!
- Note: There are no more planned wipes. That means everything you earn will still be there at the official launch!
Download the Game & Make an Account
Download Magic the Gathering Arena beta client from the official website here. After you install the game, open it up and create an account.
Play Through The Tutorial
Whether you are new to the game or a Magic veteran, I highly recommend going through in-game tutorials (New Player Experience). Once completed, you’ll be given five free decks – which is an excellent way to get your collection started and start playing!
Note: You can still get the five free decks if you skip through the tutorial.
Complete Your Quests
Similar to Hearthstone, you get a new quest each day and you can store up to 3 quests. There are also Daily Rewards, Weekly Rewards and New Player Experience (NPE) Quests.
Buy the Welcome Bundle
The Welcome bundle provides a lot of value – allowing you to obtain gems at almost a quarter of their cost! (The exact cost will be determined once open beta launches. Will update.)
Get 3 Guilds of Ravnica Packs for FREE
Enter this code
and get three packs of Guild of Ravnica for free! It’s non-unique code and each account can only use it once. Go ahead and share the code with your friends!
To redeem, go to the ‘Store’ section of the game and then ‘Redeem Code’.
Participate in the Events
At launch, there will be five main events that players can join (for an entrance fee. There also modes with no entry fee – Play and Competitive Play. Will add info at open beta launch):
- Constructed – you build a deck with cards from your own collection and play against opponents.
- Competitive Constructed – Similar to the event above but with a much higher reward structure and higher entrance fee.
- Singleton Constructed – A special event for open beta launch week. Build a deck with just 1 copy of each card (except basic lands). No fees to join and you have the chance to win uncommon, rare and mythic rarity cards!
- Draft – a type of limited format, where you pick a card of out a pack of 14 cards (15, if including the land card) and pass it around the table (you will be in a table with 7 computer controlled players). You will then build a deck with the cards you have picked and then play against other real players with it. Learn more about the draft format here.
- Sealed – a type of limited format, where you build a deck out of 6 packs (containing 13 cards per pack). Learn more about the sealed format here.
Note: All events are best of 1 matches. If the event name has the word ‘Competitive’ in it – it will be best of 3 matches.
For information about the entry fee and reward structure of each event, visit this spreadsheet.
For future event schedule, check out this spreadsheet.
But which event should I play?
If you enjoy building a deck from the cards you own (your collection), then the constructed events are the ones you want.
If you want to be on a more even footing and want to test your deck building skills with a limited card pool then either draft or sealed are the events for you.
Get a Free Sealed Entry (Minimum 2000 Gem Value)
If you are attending the Guilds of Ravnica prerelease this weekend you will get a sealed event entry promo code. These are unique codes (one-time use, unlike the 3 free Guilds of Ravnica packs) and each account can redeem a free sealed entry only once.
Example: I will be attending 3 prereleases this weekend so I will end up with 3 sealed arena codes. I can only redeem up to 1 sealed code on my arena account, so I will be giving away my two other sealed arena codes to friends and family.
Do not want to play events or pay entrance fees?
The are also modes where there are no entrance fees – Play and Competitive Play!
Entry Fees, Rewards and Economy Analysis
Here is a detailed spreadsheet that contains the entry fee for each event, as well as the rewards for them. It also includes gem cost analysis for those looking to purchase the gem bundles from the in-game shop.
- The Sealed event offer the biggest rewards.
- If you want to be efficient in earning rewards based on the entry fee then drafting is the way to go.
- Buying the biggest gem bundle will allow you snag packs at $1 US dollar each. At the smallest bundle, each pack will cost roughly $1.33 US dollar.
- Check out the spreadsheet for more stats!
Really Important Tip
If you are planning to buy packs with gems, consider uisng the gems and enter quick draft or quick sealed instead! You can see from the breakdown of this spreadsheet that by entering those events, you are guaranteed to get back the same amount of packs/cards at zero wins, as buying the packs straight up. That means any wins you achieve from the events are bonuses, whether it’s 1 win or 7 wins! The biggest difference are the wild cards. Read on below.
There are three main situations where you want to spend gems on packs:
- Since limited events (draft and sealed) usually only consist of the latest sets, that means if you want packs from older sets like Dominaria, you would need to buy them from the store directly. But if you are after Guild of Ravnica packs, then draft and sealed events are the way to go! Click here for upcoming event schedule.
- You are after wild cards. Wild cards be found in packs and the act of opening packs will also give you wild cards (after opening X amount of packs). Players who play constructed need to consider this point more than limited players.
- You don’t enjoy limited format and money efficiency is not a huge concern for you.
The Currency Shuffle
This applies more to the free-to-play players (such as myself). There are few currencies or resources that you can earn in Magic Arena:
- Wild Cards – these can be turned into any card with the same rarity. Found inside packs. The action of opening packs will also contribute towards a progress bar that will earn you free wild cards.
- Packs – to be more opened to get more cards. Unlike paper Magic, packs can not be used to enter sealed/drafts.
- Gold – can be earned through daily rewards, quests and events. Used to buy packs and enter events.
- Gem – can be bought from the real money shop or obtained from events. Used to buy packs and enter events.
Since gems are much harder to come by and valued more, I recommend saving gems up to enter events and only buy packs using gold.
If you want to earn gold, enter constructed events (on top of doing the daily rewards and quests).
Then use the gold and enter draft/sealed events to earn gems.
If you do not have a big enough collection to win consistently in the constructed event, I recommend saving up 5,000 gold and play draft and earn gems that way. Draft and sealed are not affected by the size of your card collection, one of the main reasons why they are very popular among magic players.
What do I do with my Wild Cards?
I recommend saving them up and wait for the meta to form. It’s similar to saving up your arcane dust in Hearthstone – you do not want to spend them recklessly and regret your decision down the road.
Hope you found this guide helpful! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be adding much more guides and tips for Magic Arena to this website. Be sure to bookmark this site and check back often! I will also be sharing my deck lists and my free to play journey on the site as well.
See you at open beta!
Note: I am currently editing and updating other sections of this with more information about Magic Arena. Right now it looks bare bones and outdated. Please bear with me. Thanks!