Magic: The Gathering Arena
Magic: The Gathering Arena or MTG Arena is a digital Magic game, created under the umbrella of Magic Digital Next by the Digital Games Studio. Though it is stated that is it not considered to be the successor of Magic Duels, it fills the same product space. The game will exist independently from Magic Online. It is currently under Closed Beta development. The Closed Beta Kickoff happened on December 4, 2017.
First mentioned on August 3, 2017, its reveal was on September 7, 2017. The sound effects, colors and overall design of the battlefield are similar to the competing Hearthstone video game. MTG Arena would be available to download with no fee and is a free-to-play game. Players looking to enhance their game experience will have the opportunity to do so through play rewards and in-game purchases, but purchases are not required to access the full depth of authentic Magic gameplay.
Unlike Magic Online, MTG Arena will only focus on the newest cards and game modes. It will feature the full card sets in Standard, with around 1,000 new cards added every year. Wizards of the Coast is exploring opportunities to connect real-world in-store play with digital play — for instance, giving rewards in MTG Arena for attending a Prerelease.
|Date||Added sets||Other notable changes|
|2017-09-07||Alpha version revealed.|
|2017-12-04||Start of closed beta.|
|2018-01-18||Economy changed and collections wiped.|
|2018-03-22||NDA lifted. Economy changed and collections wiped. New starter decks.|
|2018-04-26||Economy changed. Paid economy and events added.|
|2018-06-07||Standard banlist introduced. Economy changed. More event types added.|
Free to play mode, best-of-one matches, players start at Beginner rank and advance from Bronze to Diamond (each containing 4 tiers) and end at Masters. Mulligan for best-of-one looks the same, except "the system draws an opening hand from each of two separately randomized copies of the decks, and leans towards giving the player the hand with the mix of spells and lands (without regard for color) closest to average for that deck".
Entry fee is 500 Gold or 95 Gems, best-of-one matches, run ends after 7 wins or 3 losses. Match results affect constructed rank. Players win Gold and individual cards. Rewards based on total wins are:
- 0 wins — 100 Gold and 3 uncommon+ cards
- 1 win — 200 Gold and 3 uncommon+ cards
- 2 wins — 300 Gold and 3 uncommon+ cards
- 3 wins — 400 Gold and 3 uncommon+ cards
- 4 wins — 500 Gold, 2 uncommon+ and 1 rare+ cards
- 5 wins — 600 Gold, 2 uncommon+ and 1 rare+ cards
- 6 wins — 800 Gold, 1 uncommon+ and 2 rare+ cards
- 7 wins — 1000 Gold, 1 uncommon+ and 2 rare+ cards
Single matches, run ends after 7 wins or 3 losses. Players make 40+ card decks and keep all drafted cards. Booster draft formats are: HOU-HOU-AKH, RIX-RIX-XLN, DOM-DOM-DOM. Deck construction and drafting times aren't limited, and players draft vs. AI opponents. When sign-up time is over, there's additional 2 hours time to finish matches. After draft match window closes players get rewards according to their win record. Draft has its own rank system.
Entry fee is 5,000 Gold or 750 Gems. Players win Gems and extra Boosters (80% chance for 1, 10% for 2, 10% for 3). Rewards based on total wins are:
- 0 wins — 50 Gems
- 1 win — 100 Gems
- 2 wins — 200 Gems
- 3 wins — 300 Gems
- 4 wins — 450 Gems
- 5 wins — 650 Gems
- 6 wins — 850 Gems
- 7 wins — 950 Gems
Similar game mode in Magic Online is called Friendly Single-Game Draft League.
Bo3 with sideboarding, 5-2 match limit. 190 Gems / 1000 Gold.
1500 gems only, Bo3 with sideboarding, 5-2 match limit
Playable card setsEdit
- Welcome deck 2017 (small reprint set)
- Kaladesh block
- Amonkhet block
- Ixalan block
- Dominaria (non-block expansion)
Standard format was added in June 2018, Kaladesh block was included last, along with introduction of Standard and its bans. Future banned cards will be compensated with respective wild cards (Rampaging Ferocidon and Ramunap Ruins not included).
Each player account starts out with 3 Booster packs to open for each set available, as well as the following 10 preconstructed decks, with more than 300 unique Magic cards:
|Preconstructed deck name||Colors included||Iconic card|
|Azorius Ascension||W||U||Kumena's Awakening|
|Dimir Manipulation||U||B||Tetzimoc, Primal Death|
|The Brazen Coalition||B||R||Captain Lannery Storm|
|The Sun Empire||R||G||Burning Sun's Avatar|
|Selesnya Pride||W||G||Regal Caracal|
|The Legion of Dusk||W||B||Call to the Feast|
|Izzet Spellweaving||U||R||Enigma Drake|
|Golgari Exploration||B||G||Wildgrowth Walker|
|Boros Assault||W||R||Glory-Bound Initiate|
|The River Heralds||U||G||River Sneak|
A player can build up to 30 decks(60 in the future) with 60 to 250 cards, including the preconstructed decks (though those can be deleted), and chose one of them for Ranked or Quick Constructed modes. Filters allow searching by rarity, color, type, and ownership; set filtering is planned for future update. Specific basic lands can be found by writing land name in search box (e.g. "island") and pressing Reset in Advanced Filters menu.
There are two in-game currencies forming the basis of the MTG Arena economy.
- Gold — by winning games (4 wins per day, 550 gold total), completing daily quests with reward of 500 or 750 gold, and finishing events.
- Gems — purchased for real money from the in-game store. VAT not included.
- 750 Gems — $4.99 USD
- 1,600 Gems — $9.99 USD
- 3,400 Gems — $19.99 USD
- 9,200 Gems — $49.99 USD
- 20,000 Gems — $99.99 USD
Both gold and gems can be used to unlock packs, events, and more in the future. While there will be some cosmetic items that can only be purchased with gems, there won't be any gameplay content that can only be unlocked with real money.
Booster packs are eight-card boosters containing 5 commons, 2 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare. Single pack costs 1,000 gold or 200 Gems through bundles. Packs can be purchased for gems in bundles of 3, 6, 15, 45 and 90. Rare wildcards guaranteed every 15 packs and mythic wildcards guaranteed every 30 packs. 45 and 90 pack bundles of Dominaria also contain Firesong and Sunspeaker, similar to Buy-a-box-only addition for paper release. Custom pack amount can't be bought. Purchasing via Gold requires no confirmation.
3 packs per week (1 for every 5 wins) are rewarded through weekly quest. Those packs won't have banned cards inside.
Draft packs will contain 14 cards mirroring tabletop drafts (the basic land has been removed). Drafting will also add cards to your collection, as any card you draft will be automatically added to your collection.
Individual card rewardsEdit
Individual cards planned to be earnable through play. Wizards of the Coast tested a system where for every match win, players will receive one card, up to 30 per day, but switched economy to higher daily gold rewards.
Wildcards are special cards that have a chance to appear in the place of each card at any rarity in every booster you open. Wildcards have their own rarity of common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare. Wildcards can also be received through opening The Vault. You can redeem a Wildcard one-to-one for any card at that same rarity.
Every time you open a booster, you earn progress toward unlocking The Vault. When you would collect a fifth copy (or more) of a card, you earn vault progress instead of adding that card to your collection. The current contents of the Vault are:
- 3 uncommon wildcards,
- 2 rare wildcards,
- 1 mythic rare wildcard.
As of April 2018 in the closed beta you earn 3.(3)% Vault progress for each 8-card Booster pack that you open. Every time you get the fifth copy of a card will earn you progress towards your next vault opening:
- Mythic — 1.(1)%
- Rare — 0.(5)%
- Uncommon — 0.(3)%
- Common — 0.(1)%
In other words receiving a Vault requires either opening 30 booster packs or getting duplicates through packs/drafting: 1000 common, 333 uncommon, 180 rare, or 90 mythic rares duplicates. Duplicates progress define value of 1 mythic = 2 rares = 3.(3) uncommon = 10 common duplicate cards. Therefore value of a single Vault with 1 mythic, 2 rare and 3 uncommon wildcards is equal 3 mythic wildcards. That way single wildcard of any rarity equals 30 duplicates of same rarity.
- Jeffrey Steefel. (June 13, 2017.) “Magic Digital Next Update”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Chris Cao. (October 25, 2017.) “MTG Arena Closed Beta Incoming”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Chris Cao. (November 21, 2017.) “MTG Arena Closed Beta Starts December 4”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Twitter announcement from @wizards_magic
- Jeffrey Steefel. (September 7, 2017.) “Everything You Need to Know About Magic: The Gathering Arena”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Charlie Hall (April 23, 2018). "Magic: The Gathering is testing out digital codes in physical packs of cards." Polygon.com
- Magic: The Gathering Arena World Premiere Stream
- State of the Beta for May 30, 2018
- State of the Beta for May ... - Magic the Gathering: Arena
- [https://mtgarena.community.gl/forums/threads/23699 Drop rates for Quick Draft ... - Magic the Gathering: Arena
- Chris Clay. (January 17, 2018.) “Developing the MTG Arena Economy”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- State of the Beta for April 25 - Magic the Gathering: Arena