Magic: The Gathering Arena – Guide on Going Free to Play

Your Entry Guide on Going Free to Play on MTG: Arena

Do dailys in Jump-Start (as its an even playing field for a starting player) and play Quick Draft for accumulating your collection. Do not buy packs from the store.

As an experienced player in MTG and under the circumstance that I just recently made a new account for my nephew (He is 9 and recently discovered Paper Magic. I am playing a new account on his fathers mail address, free to play, to to hand to him next year when I grinded all the currency as a birthday gift) I thought I share my 2 cents on how to try to beat the economy and maximize your earnings while staying mostly free to play.

AH, “mostly”, you say. Well yes, hear me out. While this strategy works just fine without spending a dime, the starter pack (one-time buy) does hold above average value compared to anything else you see in the shop, so, if you enjoy this game, I would suggest to get it, though feel free to not get it. Its gonna be there, taunting you in 5 month still, so no rush or worries.

First Day

You will start by doing your tutorial games and quests with Sparky, the AI. You’ll learn basic MTG rules and, as far as I checked last time, can not be skipped anymore (i remember it could, back in the day when I started). So you go through that, getting some meh cards as rewards. The actual rewards wait when you finished the first color challenge, and its the basis to build a good economy for yourself: “Jump-Start-Tokens”. I think you will get 5 after finishing the first quest line and use them carefully.

Jump Start is a format for beginners, so its probably a good experience for you if you are new to Magic or if you havent played in 10 years. The idea is simple, pick one out of 3 synergies and then another out of 3 to make a deck. I would suggest to go for creature based synergies, for example I do play a “Soliders” and “Backup” deck, with a lot of smaller human cards which give eachothers buffs. Very straight forward, very fast wins. “Flyers” “Vampires” might be good. There are probably hundreds of variations that work.

In this mode you will also receive daily win rewards and quest rewards for your daily quest. I would say this is your Go-To game mode for the first days and weeks if you can. This mode is a very even playing field to achieve your daily wins. The other being limited (where we go into detail later) and standard/historic ranked, which are highly competitive after bronze ranks. I would not suggest you go to ranked, as this can be a frustrating experience for someone who just started. Decks there are highly tuned and copied from the internet, which you will have no chance to compete with unless you keep buying packs for money.

Did I mention: DO NOT EVER BUY PACKS. The return on investment is too low. I mean, im not gonna stop you, but there are better ways to spend your gold for growing your collection than buying packs. I even dont buy them anymore when they are on 10% discount. Just not worth.

Next Days

You will receive 1 daily quest per day. You will also have one re-roll per day. Its highly suggested to re-roll any 500g Quest to have the chance to get a 750g quest. Sometimes I try to finish my one 750g quest, while deliberately keeping my 500g quests open, so if tomorrow I receive a 750g quest randomly, I have another chance at flipping a 500g into a 750g quest.

Do your daily wins in Jump-Start (dont waste all your tokens at once, it will cost you later if you want to change your deck) and do your Red/Black daily quest in normal play if you feel lucky. Go to ranked if you are a masochist. To progress with this strategy, you will need to rack up some golds and did I mention: DONT BUY PACKS, EVER.

The Weekend

Now, we go into the real MVP of these strategies. Quick Draft (and to an extend, premier draft) returns excellent values compared to most other game modes with only a bit of effort. While, for other modes (Constructed events, Historic Events, Standard Events) you need good, well balanced decks, decend skills and good winrates to get something out of it, Quick Draft gives you an average output which is much higher.

Granted, entry fee is 5000 Gold (equivalent of 5 packs in the store, which means 5 rares, 10 uncommons and 25 commons) you will receive at least 3 Rares (from the packs you opened, pick those, if you care about your collection) sometimes more if you can catch some from the bots, about 9 Uncommons and probably somewhere around 40 commons.

You will also receive at least 1 pack and 50 Gems if you go 0-3. And trust me, you will go 0-3 unless you know a bit of what you are doing. I will not go into Draft Strategies, other websites and youtube channels have done so extensively (LimitedRessources on YT, NumotTheNummy on YT) and you can look it up if you are trying to get better.

The crux here is, MTG Economy is based on Rares and (to some extend) Mythic Rares. They will be offered in Shop with “Rare Wildcard Bundles” and such. The limited factor in building any decks you want is going to be Rares. By spending 5000 Gold in the Shop, you would get 5 random rares in the packs (yes, plus some arbitrary % of a Wildcard, meh).

But by spending 5000 Gold to play quick draft, you are guaranteed 3 rares, average about 4-5 rares if you draft them, get to play some decent games, do your quests, get at least 1 pack and 50 Gems as a reward (up to 950 Gems and 2 Packs).

Yes, Draft is not easy. But no one said, learning to play Magic: The Gathering was easy.

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