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The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

TheIncredulousHulk posted:

Thermo-Alch fuckin owns and is probably my favorite individual card on Arena. A true pimp and an absolute king of a guy

This

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Huxley
Oct 10, 2012




Grimey Drawer

I got to untap two Alchemists as Flame of Keld went off today against lifegain and it was raucous.

TheIncredulousHulk
Sep 3, 2012

Now cracks a noble heart.


The UR deck looked pretty decent on Mengucci's stream just now but it's tough to tell when everybody's playing weird poo poo

e: UW Yorion looks like hot garbage, which is about what I expected

TheIncredulousHulk fucked around with this message at 08:26 on Sep 17, 2020

drewmoney
Mar 11, 2004


Tried the MacOS version today for the first time in months and it's still really broken. Cursor is out of whack, crashes, errors every time you load it.

Amazing.

Thank goodness for Bootcamp.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



I'm trying this Magic Arena game, and while there's plenty of helpful guides online for what stuff does, there's little in the way of "Go from nothing to having something effective!" Presuming I want to balance both enjoyment and efficiency (without spending more than the intro deal and maybe the Master Pass) I'm wondering what to do? One guide has an associated spreadsheet for drafting, and tells you the optimal point to start opening packs, but that'd mean waiting quite a while for new cards (even if I'm not getting many packs and only one rare in those.) It says this is the way to go with drafting, but with F2P'ing the gold to play drafts, it looks like I might get into a draft a little more than once a week (because I'm rubbish at magic.) I'll keep going with the starter decks for now (and unlocking the multi-coloured starter decks...)

But what's the best way to accumulate cards, get better decks, and have fun—without dropping a ton of cash—while being somewhat efficient?

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Mrenda posted:

I'm trying this Magic Arena game, and while there's plenty of helpful guides online for what stuff does, there's little in the way of "Go from nothing to having something effective!" Presuming I want to balance both enjoyment and efficiency (without spending more than the intro deal and maybe the Master Pass) I'm wondering what to do? One guide has an associated spreadsheet for drafting, and tells you the optimal point to start opening packs, but that'd mean waiting quite a while for new cards (even if I'm not getting many packs and only one rare in those.) It says this is the way to go with drafting, but with F2P'ing the gold to play drafts, it looks like I might get into a draft a little more than once a week (because I'm rubbish at magic.) I'll keep going with the starter decks for now (and unlocking the multi-coloured starter decks...)

But what's the best way to accumulate cards, get better decks, and have fun—without dropping a ton of cash—while being somewhat efficient?

Like any other mobile game, you have to either slowly grind out daily wins to get the in-game "free" currency or spend money on in-game paid currency to get everything faster. You get new cards either from buying packs outright, drafting, or from daily individual card rewards. The upside of drafting is that, if you're good enough, the gem rewards you get from winning can pay for another draft, which allow you to "go infinite" and get a virtually unlimited number of drafts and packs. Realistically this is not achievable for most people. I would only recommend drafting if you enjoy the format.

Essentially, the path to getting more cards depends on three axes: time, money and skill. If you're skilled enough, you can draft infinitely to get all the cards you want in a given set. If you have enough money, you can directly purchase as many packs of cards as you want. Otherwise, you need to spend time getting daily wins and completing daily quests to get free gold, which you can use either to draft or buy packs. The theoretical optimal FTP path is that you do every daily quest (remember that you can reroll quests once per day in order to get ones that pay 750 instead of 500 gold) and use the gold to draft, which pays out in gems and packs, which you then use to draft more.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

The nice thing is that newer players tend to get matched together, so to start, you don't need the OP netdecks to get wins. Eventually you'll want to craft a few key rares and mythics with wildcards to make grinding out wins easier, since over time as your in-game MMR is determined, you'll get matched with better players.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



The Klowner posted:

Like any other mobile game, you have to either slowly grind out daily wins to get the in-game "free" currency or spend money on in-game paid currency to get everything faster. You get new cards either from buying packs outright, drafting, or from daily individual card rewards. The upside of drafting is that, if you're good enough, the gem rewards you get from winning can pay for another draft, which allow you to "go infinite" and get a virtually unlimited number of drafts and packs. Realistically this is not achievable for most people. I would only recommend drafting if you enjoy the format.

Essentially, the path to getting more cards depends on three axes: time, money and skill. If you're skilled enough, you can draft infinitely to get all the cards you want in a given set. If you have enough money, you can directly purchase as many packs of cards as you want. Otherwise, you need to spend time getting daily wins and completing daily quests to get free gold, which you can use either to draft or buy packs. The theoretical optimal FTP path is that you do every daily quest (remember that you can reroll quests once per day in order to get ones that pay 750 instead of 500 gold) and use the gold to draft, which pays out in gems and packs, which you then use to draft more.

I do understand all that, and the likelihood (unlikely) of doing well enough in draft to go infinite. I'm just wondering do I open the boosters straight away and see about building out a deck (which will take a month or two with daily quests to get to even a basic point) or do I follow the advice of doing enough drafts that boosters opened are going to auto-magically fill out my remaining rares (with the non-duplicate system,) and then, further, do I spend gold on draft or packs, and do I spend gems from the starter bundle on drafts or packs.

If I go the draft-first route, I'm limited to what's running, but if I buy packs it's a case of what boosters I buy.

I think I will be getting the Master Pass once it "earns-its-keep" (it's retroactive,) and the starter bundle.

(This is the advice to draft picking every rare until a certain point and only then open boosters... https://www.hipstersofthecoast.com/...-to-play-guide/)

Kite Pride Worldwide
Apr 20, 2009




Speaking of getting more cards, which packs should I be opening to bolster the W/B deck? It's my favorite color combo after Simic but the stock U/G deck is kinda garbo. Unfortunately it looks like Ajani's Pridemate is rotating out soon so there's no point trying to chase after one of those, and that's the only card I know that would be a meaningful upgrade to the deck.

Bust Rodd
Oct 21, 2008

TURDS BOD



I would pick one of the starter decks you really enjoy, and maybe burn a small number of WC to make that deck good enough to feel better, then I would wait approximately 1-2 weeks and let the format shake out.

Everyone will have a much, much better idea of what decks will be good and bad very soon, and then it will be easiest for you as a new player to get in hard target the archetypes that you’re most excited about.

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


I have read that advice when I was starting out and it (and many other "beginner" advice articles) seems to assume that you have already invested several hundred days/dollars* into the game.
Or that you have played paper so much that you are utterly uninteresting in constructed formats.

My advice for drafting is: Play (cheap) draft until you get a feel on if you like/can win the current draft format. Then keep playing it if you like it. Otherwise buy packs or safe you money for draft rotation (every few weeks).

For standard: play a few weeks with the starter decks, then netdeck a budget-friendly deck. That basically is synonymous with Lurrus in the current meta. That should easily get you to diamond tier, where you can play until you become interested in a specific deck.

*paying one dollar gives you approximately one day of F2P rewards.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Mrenda posted:

I do understand all that, and the likelihood (unlikely) of doing well enough in draft to go infinite. I'm just wondering do I open the boosters straight away and see about building out a deck (which will take a month or two with daily quests to get to even a basic point) or do I follow the advice of doing enough drafts that boosters opened are going to auto-magically fill out my remaining rares (with the non-duplicate system,) and then, further, do I spend gold on draft or packs, and do I spend gems from the starter bundle on drafts or packs.

If I go the draft-first route, I'm limited to what's running, but if I buy packs it's a case of what boosters I buy.

I think I will be getting the Master Pass once it "earns-its-keep" (it's retroactive,) and the starter bundle.

(This is the advice to draft picking every rare until a certain point and only then open boosters... https://www.hipstersofthecoast.com/...-to-play-guide/)

If you genuinely enjoy drafting as a format, save your packs and your gold for drafting. If you prefer constructed, I would say just open the packs as you get them. Like Bust Rodd said, it will be a while before the meta shakes out, so for now just use the cards you get from packs, individual rewards, and wildcards to take one of the starter decks you already enjoy and improve on it incrementally. You don't have to worry about having a completely optimized t1 deck just yet, especially because the new set just came out and it will take time before the "good" decks emerge.

The important thing is that you approach the game as a game, and not as a checklist. In my opinion, and I can't stress this enough, you shouldn't draft unless you enjoy drafting.

Mrenda
Mar 14, 2012



The Klowner posted:

The important thing is that you approach the game as a game, and not as a checklist. In my opinion, and I can't stress this enough, you shouldn't draft unless you enjoy drafting.

I honestly don't know if I enjoy drafting. I only did it twice before, at a FNM, and the problem there was it was mostly a bunch of kids doing kid stuff between games (including college kids.) Also a really cramped space, shoved in beside people with no room to move on a crappy folding chair, which I guess isn't an issue for online. And yeah, game-first. I just pressed "Play" with the starter black deck, literally the one you get from the colour challenge, and won. So I guess the starter decks can do something when you're matched against other beginners. I am focusing on enjoying games rather than optimising, but it seems to be much-of-a-muchness what you actually do, which is a credit to Wizards, there's no "one-true-path" through Arena.

Edit: And thanks for answering my beginner Arena questions.

Nehru the Damaja
May 20, 2005



Game needs an emote for "look I'm just trying to play 40 lands before we get new quests, can we get on with it?"

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012




Grimey Drawer

Nehru the Damaja posted:

Game needs an emote for "look I'm just trying to play 40 lands before we get new quests, can we get on with it?"

Haha, I just finished doing this too.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

For posterity:

One pack costs 1000 gold.

One quick draft costs 5000 gold and pays out 50 gems (roughly equivalent to ~333 gold) and at least 1 pack on zero wins, plus the cards you drafted (on average around 2 rares and a bunch of commons and uncommons).

Let's say we take as a given that receiving a single rare or mythic is "equal" to opening a pack (commons and uncommons are, relatively speaking, worthless), and a pack is valued at 1000 gold. Let's also say the conversation rate between gold and gems is 1 gold to 0.15 gems (since one quick draft costs 5000 gold = 750 gems). And again let's say that you get 3 rares per quick draft on average (this probably means you're raredrafting). Finally, let's assume that you never receive a rare or mythic you have 4 of (this assumption breaks down as your collection increases). That means that at zero wins in quick draft, your reward is an equivalent 333 + 1000 + 3000 = 4333 gold. Using this calculation, the break even point in quick draft is 2 wins for an expected value of 5333 gold (with a 1/4 chance of an extra pack, for a total EV of 5583 gold). This means that if you can consistently hit 2-3 in quick draft, you will be getting a roughly equivalent value to spending 5000 gold on packs (5 packs) in the store.

Premier draft costs 10000 gold for entry. Premier draft is a little more difficult to estimate since the variance in rares acquired is much higher. If we assume that you raredraft in premier and acquire on average 5 rares/mythics, the break even point is between 2 and 3 wins, with EVs of 8666 gold and 13666 gold respectively. Note that it's much easier to get duplicates during a premier draft, since the less desirable rares are more likely to find their way across the table.

The expected value goes down greatly if you get a fifth copy of a rare/mythic, since it autoconverts to gems (20 gems = 133 gold for rare, 40 gems = 266 gold for mythic) when you receive it. It's also important to note that a pack from a given set isn't quite equivalent in value to a rare from that set, since packs also reward rare/mythic wildcards in their rare slot at a rate of ~15%.

The Klowner fucked around with this message at 13:36 on Sep 17, 2020

Jabor
Jul 16, 2010

#1 Loser at SpaceChem

You should do at least one draft a month since just playing one ranked draft game gets you a ranking pack, so even if you just raredraft hard and get zero wins you come out ahead.

And maybe you find out that actually, you quite enjoy drafting! Won't know for sure until you try, right?

Skyl3lazer
Aug 27, 2007

[Dooting Stealthily]







The Klowner posted:

For posterity:

-draft math-

I think this is ignoring that pack opening gives you wildcards?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012




Grimey Drawer

I didn't put an answer to this question in the OP because there are so many different ways to get into the game, but I think the most casual and enjoyable way to start out is to ignore all the draft math stuff and optimization.

Play the decks you think are fun and complete dailies in the low-ranked queue, and spend the majority of your gold on packs of the newest set. This will get you relevant cards and (more importantly) Wild Cards you can use to make your decks better and more fun.

Make sure you play in any free events, get all your playcode packs, and save up gold to do at least one draft per season. Try out drafting, but don't commit to it as the "most optimal" way to flesh out a collection. If you find you really enjoy drafting, feel free to go that way, but starting out best way to build a collection of cards you will actually play is to buy gold packs to earn Wild Cards to spend on the cards that make you excited to launch the program.

Check in every day for daily deals handouts. I always buy the on-sale packs, because the primary function of packs is filling the wheel and it's always cheaper that way, but others may disagree.

If you want to spend money, get the new player bonus, then the season pass. Then STOP. Play at least a season with just the pass and see if the game sticks before you drop more cash.

Huxley fucked around with this message at 13:58 on Sep 17, 2020

Lone Goat
Apr 16, 2003

When life gives you lemons, suplex those lemons.






the best way to get play is to play draft, and then enjoy draft, and then get good at draft, and then win draft, and you'll have be raking in the bucks.

i put $5 into this game two years ago and I have every single rare in standard (except some bad ones from M21 because that draft format was loving horrendous) (and enough wild cards I can just craft them all if I cared to) and ready to party in Zendikar

Yawgmoth
Sep 10, 2003

This post is cursed!


Nehru the Damaja posted:

Game needs an emote for "look I'm just trying to play 40 lands before we get new quests, can we get on with it?"
Or "I'm just here for <quest>, help me out thanks" so maybe my opponent doesn't scoop before my dozen tokens attack with the "attack with 45 guys" quest.

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



When’s this bitch come out

Nehru the Damaja
May 20, 2005



What do people think about the Naya Cycling deck? It's really light on rares so I've thought about crafting it, but I've also beaten it a couple times with my jank green precon so maybe it's not very good. How do "real" decks hold up against it?

Time
Aug 1, 2011

It Was All A Dream



fadam posted:

When’s this bitch come out

Turn
Your
Monitor
On

Around 11est so that you can play

Jabor
Jul 16, 2010

#1 Loser at SpaceChem

I dunno what the exact decklist is but probably bad since it's adding a third colour for no reason.

Boros cycling is pretty sweet for a zero-rare deck though. It's not like, gonna win the MPL or anything, but you should be able to bust out daily wins with it just fine.

The Klowner
Apr 20, 2019

I see past the sham that is society, and I'm into some incredibly fucked up shit.

Skyl3lazer posted:

I think this is ignoring that pack opening gives you wildcards?

Yes, but you also get wildcards from opening your vault after accumulating enough common and uncommon duplicates. Drafters will accumulate commons and uncommons at a much higher rate than pack crackers. So someone who uses their gold exclusively to open packs will get WCs more frequently and sooner than someone who drafts exclusively (again, assuming a very conservative draft win rate of 40 to 50 percent), but it's not a huge discrepancy in the long run.

Because of this, and because wildcards are difficult to quantify relative to gold, I left that out of the calculation.

Nehru the Damaja
May 20, 2005



Jabor posted:

I dunno what the exact decklist is but probably bad since it's adding a third colour for no reason.

Boros cycling is pretty sweet for a zero-rare deck though. It's not like, gonna win the MPL or anything, but you should be able to bust out daily wins with it just fine.

It adds Jolrael and the fliplands to smooth out the mana but it's otherwise about the same. I should specify the version I've beat was just the Boros one, but really opinions about either are helpful.

BioThermo
Feb 18, 2014



Kite Pride Worldwide posted:

Speaking of getting more cards, which packs should I be opening to bolster the W/B deck? It's my favorite color combo after Simic but the stock U/G deck is kinda garbo. Unfortunately it looks like Ajani's Pridemate is rotating out soon so there's no point trying to chase after one of those, and that's the only card I know that would be a meaningful upgrade to the deck.

While wait and see is the right approach, to answer your question Theros probably has the highest density of cards that can upgrade the deck. At uncommon you get Alseid of Life's Bounty, Daxos Blessed by the Sun, Mire Triton, Banishing Light, and at rare/mythic you might open Archon of Sun's Grace, Kunoros, Heliod, or Elspeth. Ikoria would have call of the death dweller at uncommon and Lurrus of the Dream den at rare, as well as removal like dire tactics or heartless act. M21 has archfiend's vessl at uncommon as well as more chances at extra copies of Vito, speaker of the heavens, fabled passage, Temple of silence, and baneslayer angel.

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



Time posted:

Turn
Your
Monitor
On

Around 11est so that you can play

cheers

KidDynamite
Feb 11, 2005

No, Mr. Rice, I expect you to PLEASE WORK OUT


when does zendikar go live?

going to miss getting passed the gw tokens deck no matter what in m21 draft

plainswalker75
Feb 22, 2003

Pigs are smarter than Bears, but they can't ride motorcycles


Hair Elf

According to their twitter, maintenance starts in 20 minutes and is expected to last 3 hours, so I'd assume after that

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



KidDynamite posted:

when does zendikar go live?

going to miss getting passed the gw tokens deck no matter what in m21 draft

Time posted:

Turn
Your
Monitor
On

Around 11est so that you can play

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



Lock it in right now lads: what's going to be the most expensive card of the set?

Based on how high people on Twitter are on it, I suspect it's going to be the white bolt land. Apparently its nuts.

BioThermo
Feb 18, 2014



But then you're playing white.

MisterZimbu
Mar 13, 2006


Mrenda posted:

(This is the advice to draft picking every rare until a certain point and only then open boosters... https://www.hipstersofthecoast.com/...-to-play-guide/)

I tried this in M21, and I'm torn on the "raredraft everything" approach.

I did get there, but there's a lot of feelbads along the way having to raredraft something that doesn't fit your deck over a critical uncommon/removal spell. It's very hard to maintain a >50% winrate when it seems like you're P1P1'ing Necromentia and Animal Sanctuary all the time.

Having 80 boosters sit unopened is a great test of your willpower, though.

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



How do you raredrafters keep track of if you have a copy of a rare or not during a draft? Can you back out to collection during the picks?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012




Grimey Drawer

fadam posted:

How do you raredrafters keep track of if you have a copy of a rare or not during a draft? Can you back out to collection during the picks?

You can hold one of the control/alt/shift keys when you hover a card and it'll show you how many copies you have.

I can never remember which one, though.

A Moose
Oct 22, 2009



Honestly the best way to enjoy Arena is pretend it isn't free. Like yeah, if you really want to prove a point to someone, you can technically be 100% free to play, but that's not fun. Look up any deck you want to play on mtgGoldfish or mtgtop8 or something and see what it would cost in paper.

I usually buy about $50 of gems when a new set comes out (which is definitely on the high end but still nowhere as expensive as paper), and I use most of it to draft, but then I get tired of drafting and blow some on packs for wildcards. I can usually build at least 2-3 meta decks as long as I don't blow wildcards on dumb poo poo.

fadam
Apr 23, 2008



Huxley posted:

You can hold one of the control/alt/shift keys when you hover a card and it'll show you how many copies you have.

I can never remember which one, though.

oh based

A Moose posted:

Honestly the best way to enjoy Arena is pretend it isn't free. Like yeah, if you really want to prove a point to someone, you can technically be 100% free to play, but that's not fun. Look up any deck you want to play on mtgGoldfish or mtgtop8 or something and see what it would cost in paper.

I usually buy about $50 of gems when a new set comes out (which is definitely on the high end but still nowhere as expensive as paper), and I use most of it to draft, but then I get tired of drafting and blow some on packs for wildcards. I can usually build at least 2-3 meta decks as long as I don't blow wildcards on dumb poo poo.


Yeah same, I just buy whatever the pack promo and the mastery pass is each time a new set comes out and that's typically enough to let me play everything I want with minimal alterations (I'm still using Shatter the Sky, the Nike Air Monarchs of board wipes, in historic).

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Lone Goat
Apr 16, 2003

When life gives you lemons, suplex those lemons.






The Klowner posted:

Yes, but you also get wildcards from opening your vault after accumulating enough common and uncommon duplicates. Drafters will accumulate commons and uncommons at a much higher rate than pack crackers. So someone who uses their gold exclusively to open packs will get WCs more frequently and sooner than someone who drafts exclusively (again, assuming a very conservative draft win rate of 40 to 50 percent), but it's not a huge discrepancy in the long run.

Because of this, and because wildcards are difficult to quantify relative to gold, I left that out of the calculation.

It takes 900 commons or 300 uncommons to open a vault. I average about 30-40 drafts to be finish a set and I'm not rare drafting but I am winning enough that prize boosters I get makes up the difference. At 40ish c/u a pack that's roughly enough for one vault from just the drafts since I have to get the 4ofs in the first place before the Vault starts filling.

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