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Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer



Greetings, Planeswalker! Magic the Gathering: Arena is the newest digital implementation of the venerable and popular collectable card game. Itís beautiful, itís fun, itís casual, itís totally playable without grinding yourself into a paste. Most importantly, itís MAGIC with very few caveats.

Letís start with the links, and not make folks scroll like crazy to find where I hid them:

Helpful links

Arena download site: https://magic.wizards.com/en/mtgarena
Trad Games thread: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3897251
Daily MTG: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles
Discord: https://discord.gg/35dWe9t
Deck overlay/collection tracker: https://mtgarena.pro/
Card database: https://scryfall.com/
Deck ideas and meta info: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/
Less-proven/currently brewing deck ideas: https://twitter.com/ArenaDecklists
Channel Fireball: https://store.channelfireball.com/landing
Competitive reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/spikes/
Currently active promo codes: https://draftsim.com/mtg-arena-promo-codes/



Welcome to the good one. Many of the common complaints about other CCGs go back to limitations those games placed on themselves due to technology at the time and/or the need to be mobile.

The downside is Arena has a HUGE hill to climb to go mobile. A mobile client has been teased as of Fall 2020, however, and time will tell how this goes.

The upside is you get to play on your opponentís turn. Spend some time getting used to the phases of each turn. Google ďpriorityĒ in MTG terms, and get used to the idea of the stack and how triggers work (and resolve).

Combat works very differently in Magic than in many other digital CCGs. Most people here will tell you itís better. Functionally it makes games a bit slower, but also a LOT less snowbally.



Welcome back! Many people used the Arena launch as an on-ramp back into a game they found too time- or cash-consuming. The good news is Arena is, in fact, MUCH less time- and cash- consuming.

You give up the ability to ďcash outĒ your physical collection, so the game is 0% investment. But for most people, $20-30 each set will go a long way toward making this a full Magic experience.

Now go check the price of a Scalding Tarn.

Letís get started!

What can I do?

Magic is split broadly into two formats: constructed and limited. Constructed is decks you bring with you (standard, Brawl, pauper), limited is decks you build as part of the event (booster draft, sealed). Every constructed event has its own rules about deck construction.

Both constructed and limited offer Best of One (Bo1) and Best of Three (Bo3) modes. In general, Bo1 offers faster, more varied, and more random play. Bo1 is how most digital games are played, and is best for when you want to jam games for an indeterminate amount of time. Itís more random, so DO NOT GET SALTY about Bo1.

Bo3 offers longer, more strategic matches. Bo3 is how paper Magic is played in tournaments, so many familiar players prefer it. It takes more time and meta knowledge than Bo1, but itís still very much Magic, so DO NOT GET SALTY about Bo3.

There is a limited ladder and a constructed ladder. Bo1 and Bo3 share the ladders, but will not queue into each other (obviously).

What is the ladder?

Ladder is similar to most other games. You win and go up, you lose and go down. The rank tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Plat, Diamond, Mythic) have floors, so you canít drop from Gold to Silver, but you can drop from Gold 1 to Gold 2. If you are having trouble in the unranked queue, jumping into ranked might be a great idea. Ranked will pair you with other people who are just starting out (or who are just coming back from a long break).

The rewards for ladder are intentionally VERY flat. The difference between Gold and Mythic is several hundred games played and only a few packs in rewards. This is the gameís way of telling you, ďGold 4 is fine, chill out and play what and when you want.Ē

How does the economy work?

There are a handful of currencies in Arena.

Gold is the hand-out currency, and it is most-commonly earned by completing your daily quests. You can spend gold on packs (1000 gold = one pack) or on events (5,000 gold for entry into one booster draft being the most popular, some tournament-structured events have gold buy-ins).

Gems are the in-app-purchase currency. You will most likely acquire them via paying money into the game. They also are granted as a reward for doing well in certain events. The most reliable way to convert gold into gems by using gold to enter Ranked Draft mode.

Experience is earned by completing quests, participating in events, cashing in codes, and winning games (up to a 15-game-per-week cap, rotating on Sunday morning, EST). Experience earns you free packs in the Mastery system.

Orbs are earned along the Mastery system, as well, and are used for unlocking the cosmetic versions of cards.

What is the Mastery system?

The Mastery system is Arenaís answer to season passes. On the free path, you earn a pack of the newest set every other level, plus some cosmetic Orbs. Paying the gem-equivalent of $20 gets you the season pass, which has larger and more varied rewards, plus a few other cosmetic trinkets.

How do I craft cards?

Opening packs earns you Wild Cards. You collect Wild Cards of every rarity (Common, Uncommon, Rare, Mythic), which you spend in the collection manager to acquire individual cards. You earn an uncommon and a rare wild card every six packs you open, and a mythic every fifth time around the circle. You can also open a Wild Card IN the pack (as in your rare for pack is a rare wild card). A rare wildcard is the best thing you can open.

There is duplicate protection in place on rare and mythic cards. You WILL NOT open a rare or mythic card of which you already own a playset (4 copies). The game simply rerolls that card in the background for you. Common and uncommon cards do not have duplicate protection.

Every common and uncommon you open past your 4th goes a small percentage toward unlocking your Vault. When the Vault hits 100% you get a little treasure chest in your top bar; clicking it gives you a small handful of Wild Cards. You start building toward your next vault immediately, whether you click the chest immediately or not. In practice, donít worry too much about the Vault, itíll just happen on its own about once per set and the rewards are relatively small.

How do I build a collection?

How you build your collection will depend on your goals and how you want to play. If you love to play constructed, spend your gold on packs. Packs lead to Wild Cards, which are what you use to craft your stuff. 5,000 gold is five swings at opening a card you need, plus moves you nearly all the way around to unlocking a rare Wild Card.

If you love to draft, spend your gold on drafts. You will earn wild cards more slowly this way, but you need them less because you primarily want to draft. 5,000 will give you any rares you draft, but only the packs you open as rewards will go toward your Wild Card wheel.

Craft cards you want to play in decks you expect to be fun. If you want to craft a card you currently own zero copies of, click over to the search interface and click on the toggle for cards not yet in your collection. They'll show up dark in the UI to show you don't have any, but you can craft them from here.

FAQ

Iím brand new ...

First off, I'll repeat this link from above. Every set has its own promo code for some free packs, and they'll occasionally put out codes for other freebies. After you finish the new-player stuff, go try every code on this page:

https://draftsim.com/mtg-arena-promo-codes/

OK, done. I'm brand new, what deck should I build?

This is far and away the most-asked question, and also the hardest one to answer in an OP. Intro decks are going to change nearly every set, and ďwhat deck is good?Ē is going to change a lot more often than that. So hereís a link:

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/metagame/standard#paper

This contains the best information for what decks and cards are good at any given moment. It has recent tournament results, broad strokes at the current meta, and playable budget decks.

Look for cards that fit both into some of the budget lists and the current meta, and start there.

If you just want to play games to win, thereís almost always a common/uncommon heavy aggro deck that focuses on a handful of rares and a basic-heavy manabase. Seek it out. Feel free to ask the thread. We'd rather steer you in the right direction than have you spend all your new-player Wild Cards on a deck that is not going to be fun.

I want to spend some money, whatís the best way to do it?

Finish the New Player Experience completely to unlock the starter decks and cards, then buy the intro bundle. Its contents will probably change from set to set, but itís always going to be the best value starting out.

Can I go infinite like on MTGO?

Probably not, itís much harder in Arena.

Are they going to put in old sets?

Yes! The long-term plan is for Pioneer to be playable on Arena. This means some large chunks of cards need to be dropped into the game, but the popularity of Pioneer in paper and on MTGO has made this a priority for the game. These cards will likely come to us in the form of Masters sets. Amonkhet Remastered was the first of these, bringing in most every constructed relevant card from Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation alongside a handful of other powerful cards for play in Historic.

What is rotation? What is Historic?

Every year in the fall, Magic releases a new set. And with the fall setís release, we rotate all the sets from 2 years ago out of Standard. So with the release of Zendikar Rising in Fall 2020, standard will include the following sets:

Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria Lair of Behemoths, Core Set 2021, Zendikar Rising plus any other sets that release prior to Fall 2021.

Historic is the "non-rotating" format of Arena. It comprises every card available on Arena, starting with the game's open beta launch. Historic will eventually comprise the complete card list of Pioneer, but also has had occasional Historic Anthologies, smaller releases of cards specifically for Historic that mostly have comprised cards not legal in Pioneer. The overall idea is, "If you can play it on Arena, you can play it in Historic."

Historic, of course, maintains its own banlist, along with a "Suspended" list. Suspended cards are on time out as the team decides whether to remove them permanently from the format (potentially resulting in wild card refunds) or let them back in once the format has gotten more powerful. Only one card so far has come back from being suspended, Field of the Dead, and it was banned permanently a few months later.

What's the deal with packs?

If you came from paper, you're familiar with 15-card boosters. Arena introduces 8-card boosters as well, and they perform different functions. When you buy a pack with gold or earn it through a reward you get an 8-card pack. This has duplicate protection and advances your Wild Card wheels. You can open Wild Cards in these packs.

The 15-card packs still exist, but only as part of limited. There is no duplicate protection and opening them does not advance your Wild Card wheels. If you draft (or open in a Sealed pool) a rare or mythic you already have four copies of, you'll play the event with that card and be given some gems to compensate.

What is everybody talking about?

Often, players will refer to their deckís colors by the officially sanctioned WotC names.

The Guilds (introduced in Ravnica block):

White + Blue = Azorius
Blue + Black = Dimir
Black + Red = Rakdos
Red + Green = Gruul
Green + White = Selesnya
White + Black = Orzhov
Blue + Red = Izzet
Black + Green = Golgari
Red + White = Boros
Green + Blue = Simic

The shards (introduced in Shards of Alara block, representing a color and the two colors itís touching on the color wheel):

Red + green + black = Jund
White + green + blue = Bant
Black + red + blue = Grixis
Green + white + red = Naya
Blue + white + black = Esper

The wedges (introduced in Khans of Tarkir, representing a color and the two colors it is NOT touching on the color wheel):

Blue + red + white = Jeskai
Red + white + black = Mardu
Black + green + blue = Sultai
Green + blue + red = Temur
White + black + green = Abzan

Four- and five-color have some informal names but nothing yet set in stone.

Huxley fucked around with this message at 17:33 on Oct 1, 2020

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Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

I'm going to jam Ferocidon into every deck possible for the next three weeks.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Cynic Jester posted:

Mono-blue Ferocidon is peak meta-buster. Trust me.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

https://twitter.com/coL_Amazonian/s...024999765749761

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Bust Rodd posted:

What weíve never had a whole set leak a month in advance before have we?

New Phyrexia had a PDF of every card get leaked about this early.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Zyla posted:

does anyone else super not care about historic?

Historic will be fine at 2:1, I've decided. But it'll be most fine for people who started playing before they announced its creation.

Modern lists are mostly made up of former Standard cards, it's not like there are a ton of cards that were no good at all in standard that suddenly became format staples in Modern. If you enjoy playing aggressive base-red decks, chances are you'll have most of the cards on rotation. Same for Kaya's Wrath or whatever. I don't enjoy counter-control in Standard, so I'm pretty sure I won't love the Historic version enough to feel like I missed out.

It will suck for the kinds of people who really get off on playing off-meta nonsense, because the Arena issue of bad cards costing the same as good ones gets twice as bad. So if some streamer breaks the format using one of the dumb red EDH enchantments or something, we're all screwed.

I did go through and craft a dozen or so 1-ofs, just in case Historic Brawl becomes a thing and I want to be able to play a Mox Amber or whatever.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Maybe eventually they introduce special "Historic-only Wild Cards" and start giving them out as rewards for the weekly event things. Four commons, two uncommons, one rare for your six wins.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Relin posted:

they made one brawl deck much better than the others, very nice

Which one do you find that to be?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Relin posted:

the faerie one dude. obviously. the other decks cant even interact with it hardly.

That's interesting. I played them all and that was the only one I couldn't squeeze a win out of.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Give me Bolt, god's perfect Magic card.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

If the equip Knight is good, it probably won't be because of Hammer.

What was the last standard-prominent equipment?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer


Working on 9 years, then.

I took a break starting with Theros and didn't want to just declare Feast and Famine was it, but I'm not surprised.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Bust Rodd posted:

LoL at crafting 4 Nexus now

This very smart fella crafted four Ferocidons without realizing they were still banned in Bo1.

Was quite bummed.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

qbert posted:

Does "Protection from [color]" prevent combat damage from that color? Does that mean that Questing Beast can be blocked by a Protection from Green creature and the blocker will die?

Protection prevents blocking.

quote:

Damaged by sources with the specified quality. (All such damage is prevented.)
Enchanted, equipped, or fortified by permanents with the specified quality.
Blocked by creatures with the specified quality.
Targeted by spells with the specified quality, or by abilities from sources of that quality.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

qbert posted:

I'm referring to a Protection from Green creature blocking Questing Beast.

Misread, sorry.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

This event is odd.

Just give us 100 xp per win you weirdos.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

qbert posted:

What deck were you using?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

It must just be some kind of technical limitation and this is the least bad version they could come up with without rewriting how the whole special event structure worked.

Maybe next time will be better, because this is objectively dumb.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

I will never play modo again, but since getting back into magic with Arena I've found myself actually watching a lot more modern than standard.

I REALLY hope Historic turns out to be good and well-supported, because I think that might be where my future lies in Arena. I'm cautiously optimistic!

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

A Moose posted:

Arena needs white border lands that look distinctly played, so I can make my deck half white border lands

I absolutely hate that they are doing the premium cards the way they are instead of doing alpha frames, white borders, and art reprints from the 90s.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Yeah, I can't fault them too much for wanting to prioritize and incentivize the play pattern most likely to keep them in a job.

So 2:1 is a slim bummer, but it is a problem a wallet can solve if I want it to badly enough, so it'll all work out one way or another.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

At some point, "good and fair cards that we're never going to put in standard again" entering the card pool is really exciting, and as long as there's a way to get them other than happening to be online during the week they put them in (which obviously there will be), I don't see any downside whatsoever.

What are people even mad about? At some point a Shock format grows into a Bolt format, and putting in Bolt is going to be the right call. Same for like, Birds or Snapcaster or one of the good Lilianas.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Bolt would be too good in the first year, but 3-4 years from now it'll be safe.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

zoux posted:

We’re all gonna be dead tho

I made children, so for my own sanity I have to live in hope that humanity holds out long enough for them to cast Lightning Bolt in Magic The Gathering: Arena.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

I wish the game would tell me how many times I cast Wizard's Lightning for 1 vs 3.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Lone Goat posted:

the title of this thread also has a slur in it, maybe they thought it was a safe space to be a shithead?

I don't think this as what you mean, but I went back and forth on the title (it's a reference to a TV show).

On like page 2 someone posted "Teferi godmother" and I immediately wished I had thought of it, instead, but I think only mods can change titles.

Some mod, feel free.

CapnAndy posted:

Honest question, how do you plan to solve a wildcard problem with your wallet? You can't buy those.

And yeah, I meant "If I want to buy into Historic badly enough, there's at least a price tag and not a hard wall."

I seriously doubt I'm going to be willing to do it, of course. I figure so long as I'm still playing, I'm going to collect the kinds of cards I enjoy playing. If a Historic deck pops up that runs a bunch of cards I don't have, there's a reasonable chance I'm not going to enjoy it.

This screws anyone joining the game new, and that's also a huge bummer. I hope they have a plan in place so it isn't just a FYGM format.

Huxley fucked around with this message at 21:54 on Sep 12, 2019

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

odinson posted:

Only the checklands are rotating right? shocklands are still in for a while?

Until this time next year.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Does this Momir event have 1k for the first win?

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Tom Gorman posted:

Probably U/W Fliers. I've been using something close to this, don't craft anything specific for it. Just use the main tools and throw in whatever blue/white flying dudes.

It's stress-free because if you lose it's usually not because you misplayed, b/c you can't really misplay with it. Just ram birds into their face and if you win you win, lose you lose.

https://aetherhub.com/Deck/Public/141730

This deck can absolutely clock as fast as Cavalcade when it goes off.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

They're probably just sick of standard and enjoying the chance to play a format that isn't solved and will only exist for a couple of weeks.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

But apparently the event is free and pays out a rare ICR for going 0-2, which seems ... exploitable. Unless I'm misreading something.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

I'm going to miss you Llanowar Elf. Come back soon, little buddy.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

GrandpaPants posted:

Is that 5 level code for this mastery pass season or to get a head start on the next mastery pass season?

This season. It's only active through the 26th.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer


Arena is great, because it allows us to go from, "New set looks awesome, so many fun new things to try!" to "Oh poo poo, that's going to be absurd and terrible to play against," before the set even comes out.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

I started the day beta opened:

2048 matches
618 boosters
350k gold earned

Never bothered to go higher than Plat 4/Gold 3.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Kjermzs posted:

Besides the statistics, does the email actually matter? Is there a code in it?

Nope.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Sinteres posted:

Oh, the email isn't how you get Fblthp? If it's just personal stats I guess I don't care.

quote:

As much fun as you have had earning gold, cracking packs, and playing games, we have had just as much fun creating this game with the help of your feedback.
As a thank you, a unique code for a new avatar and card sleeve are going to find their way to your email within the next week.

We hope you enjoy the launch celebration events and renewal rewards these next couple of weeks. See you in the game!

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Doltos posted:

Every sealed draft I do always starts the same. 6 rares, all poo poo, all perfectly spread out across 5 colors. It wouldn't hurt so bad if this loving draft type wasn't made to eat gems.

It's become a tradition of mine, doing mock sealed pools on Draftsim and thinking, "Boy I would love to open these packs" over and over.

Then running it live and opening multiples of the 8-mana red enchantment of the set.

Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

axeil posted:

Is draft open yet for Eldraine, either traditional or ranked? Want to spend my gold/gems on drafts because I haven't played competitive limited in forever.

Normally Bo3 draft (gems only) is available at launch and Bo1 ranked (gems or gold) becomes available 2 weeks after release.

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Huxley
Oct 10, 2012





Grimey Drawer

Kanfy posted:

Only Sealed is available at launch, Bo3 draft comes in 4 days. It's the usual impatient Limited player tax to drain 'em of gems.

Ah, I'd never bothered with 1500 drafts when 2000 sealed was available and just assumed they both were up at launch.

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