New MTG Arena Mastery System

Updated July 11th, 2019

Revamped Mastery System

Wizards heard the masses who were crying like infants who’d crapped their pants and made changes to the Mastery System. Gone are the daily XP caps, gone is the 200 XP for 3 daily wins, and returning is the familiar 15-win weekly rewards. These numbers below assume you are not purchasing levels, but earning them through game play.


  • 800 XP for daily quest
  • 200 XP for first 3 wins per day
  • Capped at 1 level/day (1000XP)
  • Weekly limit of 7 levels (7000XP)


  • 500 XP for daily quest
  • 250 XP for first 15 weekly wins
  • Weekly limit of 7 levels (7250XP)
  • Now you don’t have to play every day to still achieve the max weekly XP in the Mastery System (just every 3rd day, as long as you finish your quests)

Updated July 3rd, 2019

Initial Impression of the New MTG Arena Mastery System

After some technical difficulties getting connected, I was able to get on and play a few matches around 8PM ET on July 2nd. Unfortunately, the launch did not go as smoothly as I’m sure Wizards had hoped. Mixed with people’s apprehension about the new Mastery System, it was not a banner day for MTG Arena.

Mastery System Pros

  • I can get all the rewards I would earn for the Mastery Pass, even if I don’t buy it until later (I don’t have to commit to buying the pass now)
  • It appears they hope to account for missing XP needed to get to level 100, starting with a promo code LevelUp, which gets you 2 free levels. They also plan to have special events that reward XP. If these are regular/reasonable events, that could be cool, but if they’re higher-priced events, or “special” (RNG) events, like Omniscience draft, this becomes a “Con”.
  • The overall feel of the system is pretty polished, it makes me want to play and unlock things

Mastery System Cons

Almost every one of the “Pros” from above, unfortunately has a counterpoint in the “Cons”.

  • Too slow! As stated above, I’m excited about unlocking all the things and getting cards, boosters, etc. I’m not excited about doing it tomorrow…when I’m too busy to play. I hope to get some time to play each day, but I’m probably going to miss XP rewards.
  • The feeling of being “finished” after a few games. Last night, I played 5 games and had achieved everything I could in the Mastery System. Sure, I could have won a few uncommons and a bit more gold in dailies, but I didn’t have time for a draft/sealed event, and wasn’t interested in playing more constructed with my pre-M20 deck, so I just called it a night and watched Roseanne on Pluto TV.
  • If you’re like me, and you get a chance to play Arena every couple or few days, the system just feels like a clingy girlfriend/boyfriend. It’s like, “Sure, we had fun tonight, but we don’t have to make plans for tomorrow before the end of the date”.

In short, I don’t think the weekly reward system was better. I actually like the Magic Arena Mastery System, what I did like better about the weekly rewards was being able to mow through 15 wins when I had time to play, and what I don’t like about the Mastery System is feeling like I need to force time to play every day to get the same rewards.

From a Business Standpoint for Magic

Firstly, I was once a “whale” (a person who spends loads of money) in paper Magic. I’d easily buy 3-4 booster boxes per set, along with fat packs, drafts, sealed events, etc. Like Arena, my only real interest was the cards. Sure, I’d win a playmat or something from time-to-time, and I would use it, but I didn’t buy them. As you can imagine, immediately unlocking the pet cat, wasn’t a motivator for me to buy the Mastery Pass. As a result, I didn’t buy the pass yesterday, as I’d originally intended. When the system was first announced, I envisioned unlocking level after level and earning boosters and card rewards immediately. The way many of us mowed through the first 10-20 levels in WoW when rolling a new toon.

As stated, I’d fully intended to buy the Mastery Pass. Now, it’s likely, since I’m very busy right now, I won’t progress enough levels to make purchasing the pass worthwhile at the end of season. So, interestingly, in a bid to increase monetization, Wizards may have actually relegated me more to being a F2P player for this expansion.

Original Post

Probably the biggest change in the upcoming release of MTG Arena for Core Set 2020 is the introduction of the Mastery System/Mastery Tree, which will replace the weekly reward system of 3 packs for your first 15 wins.

What We Know About MTG Arena Mastery System

Mastery Levels in MTG Arena
Screenshot of Mastery Levels page 1/10 from the developer update video

Of course, this is assuming all the data presented in the video is accurate on release date:

  • Replaces weekly rewards (not daily)
  • There will be items you can win by playing for free
  • Completing levels earns rewards, apparently collecting XP completes levels. The official video indicates that “XP can be earned by completing quest and events”
  • By purchasing a “Mastery Pass”, which apparently come in 3400 gem and 5400 gem varieties, you can win additional prizes
  • The 3400 gem model lists a maximum attainable value of $200 (more on this in the “What We Speculate About MTG Arena Mastery Tree” section
  • The Mastery Pass apparently comes with a pet, which, it seems, everyone has been clamoring around the Wizards castle with torches and demanding. Meanwhile, I recently made fun of the concept and referred to how useless my World of Warcraft pets were.
  • The Mastery Tree provides some rewards by placing “mastery orbs” in sockets. From the video, we know at least one of those rewards is a card style.
  • Updated July 1st – Based on early access streamers XP can be earned at the following rate
    • 800XP for completing daily quests
    • 100XP for first daily win
    • 50XP for 2nd and 3rd win
  • Updated July 1st – 1000XP is one level
  • Updated July 1st – Levels can be purchased for 250 gems From an official Magic Article from Wizards, this feature will be available until the release at the end of this month, then it will be removed.
  • Updated July 2nd – Use promo code LevelUp to get 2 free levels (once you are able to login to the game)
  • Updated July 2nd – There will be other free codes and XP-earning events to-be-announced

What We Speculate About MTG Arena Mastery System

  • Most forum posters are speculating that you can mow through all the items in the Mastery System and collect all the rewards at your pace.
  • Some users have calculated (based on 100 levels in the Mastery System) that the 3400 gem Mastery Pass would, if you earned all the rewards, be worth
    • ~2000 gems
    • ~20 mythic rares
    • ~10,000 gold
    • ~20 booster packs (from standard sets)
    • various cosmetics
  • Some players are also speculating that free prizes end at level 60, and that’s why the video only showed the first 6/10 pages.
  • The graphic for the 5400 gem Mastery Pass states that you get “+10 Levels”, but lists the same “$200+ Value at Max Level”. Not sure what all the extra gems, coins, etc. in the exciter graphics indicate, but hopefully there will be more clarification before purchase date.
Mastery Pass Prices from Magic Arena
  • Mastery Tree orbs will be earned by winning with certain color combination decks
Mastery Tree from MTGA

What We Don’t Know About MTG Arena Mastery System

  • Most notably, we have no guarantee of what any of the rewards are. R&D might even change up from what’s shown in the developer update video.
  • Can a Magic player complete all the Mastery Levels at their own pace, or will they need to play every day, or on some schedule to receive all the rewards?
  • If a Magic Arena player completes some levels, then purchase the Mastery Pass, can they still earn those additional rewards?
  • Who in the name of Mindless Null was asking for pets?

Free Mythics in MTG Arena

There’s no better way to build your MTG Arena collection than with free cards, and statistically you only get a mythic about every 30 booster packs (not accounting for wildcards). I know many Magic the Gathering players ask, “How to get free mythics in MTG Arena?” or “What are some free MTG Arena promo codes?”. If you found this page searching for these types of mythic freebies and promo codes, and you’re seeing this before July 2nd, 2019, then act fast, as Wizards of the Coast is giving out 3 free random mythics if you redeem the promo code MYTHICMAGIC before 9AM on July 2nd, 2019.

This is part of Magic’s Core 2020 set promotion, and July 2nd is when the Core set arrives on MTG Arena. The prerelease events for paper Magic are scheduled for July 6-7, 2019 with the paper Magic M20 being officially released on July 12th, 2019. If you haven’t seen the set yet, you can check out the full Magic Core Set 2020 spoilers at scryfall.

My 3 Free MTG Arena Mythic Rares

Free MTGA Mythic Rare Promo
There are the mythic rares that Wizards of the Coast was generous enough to give me with their M20 pre-release promo code MYTHICMAGIC

Other MTG Arena Promo Codes

In case you missed the email, or have just started playing, here are some other MTG Arena (MTGA) promo codes that I believe are still active, as of the time of this writing.

Free Arena Booster Pack Codes

PlayRavnica – 3 Free Ravnica booster packs
PlayAllegiance –
3 Free Ravnica Allegiance booster packs
– 3 Free War of the Spark booster packs
OneBillion – 1 Free War of the Spark booster pack
PLAYM20 – 3 Free Core Set 2020 booster packs

Free Card Style MTG Arena Codes

OVERTHEMOON – Free Arlinn, Voice of the Pack stained glass card style
INNERDEMON – Free Ob Nixilis, the Hate-Twisted stained glass card style
SHIELDSUP – Free Teyo, the Shiledmage stained glass card style
WRITTENINSTONE – Free Nahiri, Storm of Stone stained glass card style
ENLIGHTENME – Free Narset, Parter of Veils stained glass card style
STARTERSTYLES – Free card sleeve and and six card styles

Mastery System MTG Arena Codes

LevelUp – 2 Free Mastery System levels
BroughtBack – 2 Free Mastery System levels (2000 XP)

MTG Arena Wildcards : What Should I Craft?

You’re building your MTG Arena collection, you’ve opened some packs and you’ve earned some wildcards. Wildcards are a great way to craft the specific cards you need to complete a sweet constructed deck, which you will use to ceremoniously send damage directly to your opponent’s face. As is often the case, after burning through your wildcards, you realize that your unbeatable deck has a 20% win rate against RDW. Potentially, you discover that most of the cards you crafted are of little use outside the “secret tech” deck you cooked up while feverishly studying spoilers. If your creation fails to mill, discard, land destroy, etc. your opponent into submission, your stuck with those cards. To get the most out of crafting your wildcards in MTG Arena, I urge you to consider the versatility of a card and where it is in the rotation cycle. Below is the expected MTG Arena standard rotation schedule:

SetRotation Date
IxalanFall 2019
Rivals of Ixalan
Core Set 2019
Guilds of RavnicaFall 2020
Ravnica Allegiance
War of the Spark
Core Set 2019

Wildcards for Land?

A wise Magic player once told me, “You can have all the best spells, but lose every time if you don’t have the right mana base”. This advice was given to me in reference the introduction of check lands in Magic 2010 and why I should be trading for playsets of them. This turned out to be sound advice, not only because they are great for mana fixing, but because they’ve been reprinted so many times since then. Check Lands have been in standard about as much as they’ve been out of standard since 2009. As you can see from my collection, I feel like their essential elements of constructing any multi-colored deck. As a result, they are highly versatile, and won’t just fit in handful of decks, which is the case with many one-dimensional rares you could choose to craft with your wildcards.

While I love check lands, and their propensity to be reprinted, one can’t overlook that shock lands aren’t set to rotate out of standard until fall of 2020. By that time the Standard+/ MTGA Eternal format should be off the ground, ensuring that these cards will also have a reasonable lifespan in your collection. One important detail to remember concerning shock lands is that, while they are not a basic land, they have the basic land types. So if a card states that you can “Search your library for a Forest”, then Breeding Pool, Overgrown Tomb, Temple Garden and Stomping Ground are all valid choices. This will be particularly meaningful if the fetch lands ever make their way onto MTG Arena, as shown below, you could sac a Misty Rainforest and fetch up an Overgrown Tomb.

To me, any of these dual-colored lands is a wise choice for your wildcards, but you’ll likely get more standard playtime out of shock lands, unless check lands are reprinted in Core set 2020, which we should know before long.

Top 3 Cards to Craft with Wildcards from Each Rarity

After grabbing the lands you’ll need, below are some cards I consider great wildcard redemptions. For me, these are cards that either can easily have a deck built around them, or can easily be used to support a number of decks. In most cases these are spells that your opponent must deal with, or spells that deal with one of these aforementioned game-changing spells. As we approach the fall, it’s hard to recommend anything that rotates out of standard in 2019, if you’re primarily interested in playing standard. On the other hand, if you’re optimistic about the Standard+ format, I’ll include a couple of “honorable mention” recommendations from Ixalan/Rivals/Dominaria/Core 2019 sets.

Mythic Wildcard Choices

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no, it’ a bird

God-Eternal Kefnet

I’ve had a lot of fun with Kefnet. His copy mechanic is great with card draw, burn or destroy/exile spells. At 4/5, he’s a formidable flying creature that will likely find it’s way back onto the battlefield in a few turns if he’s destroyed or exiled. Kefnet is a strong and versatile card that fits well into a number of decks, as a result, it’s a great choice for your mythic wildcard.

Flying, trample, card draw & life gain!

Hydroid Krasis

Hydroid Krasis is the swiss army knife of standard magic cards and well worth spending mythic wildcards to craft. Can’t decide between card draw spells, lifelink creatures, evasion and tramplers? No need to decide, drop 6 mana and you’ve got a 4/4 flyer with trample and you just gained 2 life and drew 2 cards…unless of course it gets countered 😢.

Then Skarrgan comes in the night!

Skarrgan Hellkite

He’s a hasty 4/4 flyer or a 5/5 flyer with a built in Chandra’s Pyrohelix, what’s not to love? I had a tough time choosing between Skarrgan and Ilharg, the Raze-Boar. Ultimately, my personal experience of winning games with an empty hand and Skarrgan’s direct damage ability make it more versatile as a wildcard target, in my opinion.

Rotating Mythics

If you don’t mind that these cards will rotate out of standard in the Fall of 2019, I highly recommend you craft them with your mythic wildcards. Nicol Bolas, the Ravager would be a great card even if he didn’t arguably have the best planeswalker in standard on the back. Nicol Bolas, the Arisen has 4 abilities and every one is a potential game changer. Rekindling Phoenix is simply irritating to play against. While Rekindling phoenix can be exiled, any other approach to removing it usually requires a 2 prong approach, and often an opponent is forced to lose a creature and commit to a burn/removal spell to ultimately rid the board of Rekindling Phoenix. Rekindling Phoenix is particularly useful again board wipes, like Kaya’s Wrath.

Rare Wildcard Choices

It’s my crab arms, isn’t it? That’s why we’re breaking up?

Growth-Chamber Guardian

Plain and simple, this card is highly versatile. As you can imagine, Growth-Chamber Guardian’s triggered ability is most meaningful with 4 copies. War of the Spark introduced a lot of new proliferate cards as well that make this card even more formidable and a great choice for a rare wildcard.

Assassin’s Trophy

Destroy any permanent for 2 mana. You can sit on this knowing you can handle most threats that enter the battlefield. Great for handling those pesky “exile a permanent” enchantments and dealing with unruly planeswalkers, like the next recommendation.

Ugin, the Ineffable

Ugin is great for creating a chump blocker that effectively results in a card draw. Opponents may even shy away from attacking to prevent the card draw. If an opponent’s permanent is problematic enough, Ugin can deal with that too, but I rarely use this ability until I’ve controlled the board and protected Ugin to a high likelihood of staying on the board.

Rotating Rares

Admittedly, there are certainly rares more frequently played in standard, but these are 2 I feel like are worth rare wildcard investments. Hostage Taker completely changed my winning percentage with Grixis Control. Sword-Point Diplomacy, in my opinion has a great deal of potential and is one of the most underrated rares in Ixalan.

Common & Uncommon Wildcard Choices

If you’re like me, you may have opened most of the commons/uncommons for the available sets on Magic Arena already, and/or are sitting on a pile of wildcards and can pretty much craft anything you need ad hoc, even if it’s for jank that you discover will never work after 3 matches. I’ll highlight a few cards to ensure you have in your collection.

There are lots of great uncommons, but these are just a few examples of cards I needed directly after their release, and, instead of waiting to get them in draft or open them, I just crafted them with my uncommon wildcards.

Most of these cards find their way into the majority of decks with their respective colors, so you’ll get a lot of mileage out of these. Particularly if you’re just getting started, these are some versatile cards to have. I included evolving wilds, as it is great for thinning decks, and I’m a sucker for landfall mechanics. If you don’t think you’ll need Evolving Wilds (you play RDW and never want lands coming into play tapped, for instance), you can save the common wildcard for something else you might play more often, like Savage Smash, Notion Rain, Titanic Growth or Defiant Strike.

Share your thoughts in the comments below. What would you recommend crafting with MTG Arena wildcards?

Build a MTG Arena Collection Quick & Cheap

Don’t Squander Your Freebies

As you get started, MTG Arena showers you with some coins and incentives for accomplishing some not-so-noteworthy accomplishments. It’s easy to take this windfall and squander it on booster packs in the store. I’ll urge you, as a first step to building your collection, do not do this. Packs are a dead-end investment, if you’re serious about building a collection on a budget. Horde coins and gems like a greedy dragon in the Misty Mountains.

Determine Your $ Budget

This might be $0, or you may have a few bucks you’re willing to pitch into the game to maximize your enjoyment (and collection building). I’ll urge you here, don’t buy gems at full price, and if you’re serious about your collection, also steer clear of the eye candy (sleeves, card styles, avatars, etc.). Assuming you have a budget, when I started playing, the intro bundle was $4.99 and they gave me 2500 gems and 5 booster packs. Currently gems, at the best price tier, are 20,000 for $99.99, or 200 gems/$1. With the intro bundle, you’re getting 500 gems/$1 and booster packs. It’s a great deal. I’ve only purchased gems otherwise when they had another special offer with reduced gem prices. At the time of this writing, I’ve spent $20 on gems and have cobbled together collection that allows me to build most competitive decks.

Some Mythic rares from my Magic Arena collection

Setting Collection Goals

While having every card in MTG Arena would be nice, most players just want to build competitive decks. If that’s your goal, focus on building decks with which you think can win competitive constructed tournaments, I’ll discuss why later in this article. Focus on versatile & powerhouse cards when redeeming your wildcards. Don’t burn through your them building your home-brew that’s completely untested and likely to leave you stuck with some garbage rares.

Getting Started Building Your Magic Arena Collection

Now you have some coins and possibly some gems in your account. You’ve completed the tutorial and unlocked the free decks. As stated earlier, this is where many people take the wrong path and immediately invest their rewards in booster packs in the store. Build your collection by entering competitive drafts. Why? You might ask. Simple, after earning 5,000 gold, you can, instead of buying 5 booster packs (with 8 cards each), enter a competitive draft with 3 booster packs (with 15 cards each). To start, you get 5 more total cards, but more importantly, we all know there are some garbage rares, and often in a 15 card pack, there’s a playable uncommon to draft instead. I mean, which of these cards would you rather have in your collection?

On top getting more cards and being able to pick the best cards from the packs, you now get to enjoy playing the limited format and have the potential to win gems and booster packs. Earn 750 gems and you’re in another draft, collecting more cards!

Daily and Weekly Quests

To ensure you have the gold and gems you need for limited events, try to keep up with your daily/weekly quests. I usually try to trade in my 500 gold quests for 750 gold quests. Also, with a few wins each day you can quickly earn another 500+ gold from the daily rewards pool. Needless to say, winning 15 games/week to get the 3 free packs is also essential to speed up your gathering of Magic cards into your MTG Arena collection.

Low on Gold and Gems?

A real staple for me during times I’m low on gold and gems is playing competitive constructed. If you have a strong deck that you can pilot fairly well, these events are a great way to win some extra gold and potentially pick up a couple of rares. Once you’ve got all the commons and uncommons, this is basically the same as winning 2 packs, since the rares are likely the only cards you’re missing. For me, the ranked rewards for monthly prizes are too low to invest a great deal of time playing ranked constructed. I’ll usually play to gold-level to get the booster packs, but the leap from gold to platinum, even with a reasonable win-rate, isn’t worth the time investment to get 1 extra pack.

What About the MTG Arena Vault?

If you’re not familiar with the Vault, MTG Arena has a completely nerfed system for duplicate cards, after you’ve collected a full playset of that card for that set (4x). Each additional card contributes toward opening the vault, but commons and uncommons mean so little that, if you’re not buying and ripping packs on the regular, you likely won’t see the benefits of the Vault adding cards to your MTG Arena collection more than every few months. I actually prefer the 5th card draft trade-in where they reward you gems for drafting the 5th rare/mythic card, which is also the policy if you happen to own playsets of the entire set.

Should I Play MTG Arena?

If you’re interested in playing Magic : The Gathering with other people, there are currently 3 primary flavors to choose from: tabletop (paper Magic), Magic Online (MTGO), and most recently, Magic Arena. Whether the latter appeals to you depends on several factors, so let’s start by describing what each genus of play offers:

Tabletop Magic (Paper Magic)

The original, this format certainly offers the most flexibility of game types. If you have the cards, you can play it: Commander, Modern, Cube Draft, Vintage, Standard, Pauper…it’s up to you. Playing any of these formats on paper requires one key element to constitute “playing Magic : The Gathering with other people”, an opponent. Many Magic enthusiasts find it difficult to carve out the time to go to the local card shop or comic store for scheduled events, or to get together with friends and agree that “Magic : The Gathering” is the game of the night, instead of “Kittens in a Blender”.

Magic Online (MTGO)

Now, if you still want some play flexibility, but are short on friends to play Magic with, MTGO may be for you. Magic Online offers most of the popular formats and has most of the cards. Originally released in 2002, Vintage Masters was added in 2014 to allow users to play some, but not all, of the cards going back to the very beginning of Magic : The Gathering. Play constructed matches against a friend, or play constructed or limited against random opponents.

Magic Arena (MTGA)

Magic Arena is unquestionably a response to the success of Blizzard’s Hearthstone online collectible card game. Most notably, the economy, quests, and what I like to call “exciter graphics”, which are purely aesthetic elements, like booster packs exploding and in-game animations that demonstrate the ferocity of some creature or massive carnage wrought by some spell.

Aurelia, Exemplar of Justice literally ripping a whole in your retina display (assuming you’re using bootcamp to play on Mac)

Magic Arena consistently offers a few play modes, an introductory single-player tutorial (where you win some free cards), standard (the only constant constructed format, at the moment) and limited (varying sets, blocks) that are true to Magic form. One slight deviation is that, like Hearthstone, many play formats are single game (requiring no sideboarding) instead of matches. There is talk of a “standard +” when Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Domanaria and Core Set 2019 rotate out of standard in the Fall of 2019. Occasionally, their are special events for things like pauper, singleton or momir. There are always random opponents waiting in MTGA, but don’t expect a lot of features for playing with your actual friends. There is a rudimentary tool for a direct challenge, but otherwise no buddy list, chat or other social features.

What Medium of Magic : The Gathering is right for you?

Now that we know the primary play formats of paper Magic, MTGO and MTGA, let’s look at the other considerations for what play location best suites you.


This is a big consideration for most players. Paper Magic and MTGO are trading card games, which means you can trade cards with other players. These cards have value (whether monetary or event tickets), they drive an economy where some older Paper Magic cards are pushing the $100k+ pricetag. Paper Magic cards are real, tangible, can be PSA-graded, boasted about to friends and sold on eBay to cover divorce proceedings (when your wife learns what your PSA 9 Beta Time Walk costs). In short, you own them until you sell them, trade them, lose them, or the government ceases them. MTGO, offers roughly the same experience, though most buying/selling is done with event tickets within MTGO. Also, in the doomsday scenario where MTGO ceases to exist, or there is a massive data loss, your collection is lost. MTG Arena, on the other hand, is a collectible card game. You can collect the cards, but you cannot trade them with other players, so MTGA has a closed economy. If you get a card in your account, it always comes from Wizards of the Coast, and will theoretically always be in your account. Cards are never acquired second hand from another player, so currently the only ways to acquire cards is by opening boosters (which includes drafting/sealed events), redeeming wildcards or winning cards as prizes.

Getting started, particularly if you want to be competitive, can be quite a financial undertaking with paper Magic and MTGO. In short, the primary economy is buying and trading. Card shops and comic stores offer competitive tournaments with varying prizes, but most competitive players understand they will have to buy booster packs or certain cards to remain competitive. This economy also exists in MTGO, where it is possible to win tournaments and gain prizes, but probably not sustainable to build your collection without some significant investment. This is certainly a major selling point for MTGA. Arena gets you started with some playable rares and lots of useful commons and uncommons, within the first couple of hours of play. No money spent. Daily quests and weekly quests/rewards allow you to win gold (which can be used to buy packs, aesthetics, or enter events) and 8 card booster packs (1 rare/mythic rare, 2 uncommons & 5 commons). Ranked drafts can be entered with gold, which reward gems as prizes. Gems are a higher value currency in MTGA and can be used to enter bigger events, buy booster packs, enter events and sometimes purchase exclusive aesthetics (which can only be purchased with gems). In short it’s possible, unless Wizards nerfs the prizes/quest rewards, to build a reasonable collection over time with a limited investment.


If you like playing standard constructed and limited events, MTGA is a perfect fit for you. If you primarily enjoy legacy, modern, 1v1 commander, etc. MTGO or paper Magic are better suited for your play. Lastly, if you are only interested in casual formats, like cube draft, vanguard, multiplayer commander, etc. paper Magic is really your best choice.


MTG Arena is free to play, so it’s basically no risk. If you don’t like it, you’ve only lost the time invested in trying it. Of all the ways to play officially licensed Magic : The Gathering, MTGA, in my opinion offers the most economical mix of casual and competitive play. Playing consistently will allow you to build a reasonable collection, save some gold/gems and earn wildcards to build tier 1 decks to play in constructed events. If you want to fast-track your competitive constructed play, you can also just buy booster packs. To me, this MTGA is not a pay-to-win environment, but it does offer a pay-to-win-quickly option.