How players obtain cards in MTG Arena has been one of the most asked questions ever since Arena was first announced. Today Wizards finally shared information about the preliminary implementation of the economy of MTG Arena so let’s take a look at how you will be able to obtain those shiny mythic rares.
Some players have more money than time to spend grinding for cards. For these players, gems are an option to help speed up the rate at which you can add cards to your collection. Gems are a premium currency that can be purchased with real world money and then be used to buy anything in the game that would otherwise be bought with Gold. Gold is the currency that free to play players will accrue as they perform certain tasks in the game such as daily, weekly or monthly quests. This is the status quo for free to play games these days so no surprises here.
Draft is one of the most popular limited formats in Magic: the Gathering and a great way to build your card collection. The Arena team has committed to releasing with this format for the initial launch. During a draft, each player will pay to enter the event and receive three 14 card booster packs. Any cards that that you pick to add to your draft deck during the event will be added to your permanent collection. As of right now, you cannot pay to enter a draft by using unopened booster packs. You must pay the event entry fee with either gold or gems.
Every time you open a booster pack in Arena there is a chance that any number of cards in that pack can be replaced by a “wildcard.” These wildcards can then be redeemed for any other card of the same rarity. One thing to note is that obtaining a wildcard in your packs has built in bad luck protection. What this means is that every time you open a pack and don’t receive a wildcard, the chance that you will open a wildcard in your next pack increases. Wildcards can also be hoarded to be redeemed at a later time. This will be a great way to get a head start on building decks that rely on cards from the most recently released set. Imagine that you have filled out your collection of Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan cards and the Dominaria set release is coming up in a month. You can use this time between set releases to grind up your collection of Wildcards so that you will be able to redeem them for the most sought after cards in Dominaria on the day of release!
Cards for Wins
The MTG Arena economy team wants to reward players for actively trying to win. Every day, for the first 30 wins of that day you will receive one random card to add to your collection. The card that you receive can be of any rarity with a ratio that obviously leans toward giving away more commons and uncommons than rares or mythics. This seems like a great way to encourage players to build decks that are meant to be competitive and win instead of decks that that are only good at completing quests such as “cast 30 red spells.”
In a digital version of Magic: The Gathering where you cannot trade or sell cards in your collection, there is no purpose to having more than four copies of any card. So what happens when you open your booster and you do pick up that 5th copy of Ravenous Chupacabra? This is where “The Vault” or loot crates as they are more commonly called come into play.
Every time that you would open the 5th copy of a card, instead of getting another copy of that card, you earn progress toward being able to open the vault. Inside the vault you will find wildcards, tokens to allow entry into events such as drafts, or cosmetic items. You will also earn progress toward being able to open the vault every time you open a booster pack, which as we have recently learned can be purchased with real world money via gems. So the most direct way of being able to get wildcards, and by extension the rares and mythics you need, will probably be:
- Buy a lot of gems with real world money.
- Buy and open a lot of boosters.
- Some of these will contain wildcards.
- The ones that do not may contain 5th copies of cards in your collection to add to your vault progress.
- Each booster opened adds to your vault progress.
- Open the vault for guaranteed wildcards.
Overall, these options for being able to obtain cards seems pretty varied and interesting. We still have to wait to see how often things like wildcards show up in boosters and how much effort it takes to be able to open the vault. I hope that wildcards show up enough to be able to generate a fairly decent stockpile before each set releases so that building that top tier deck doesn’t take months, but instead days. Only time will tell. That is all for now! Looking forward to seeing you on the battlefield.