Free-to-Play MTG Arena Guide – 8 Tips

MTG Arena allows you to play Magic anytime and anywhere for free. However, as with many other free games, you can also buy in-game items and currency with real money. So, you might ask yourself: “Is there a way to play MTG Arena for free and still have a chance to win and have fun?”

To that the answer is yes. This Free-to-Play Arena Guide will give you 7 tips that will help you get more wins, explore new formats, and build a bigger collection completely for free. 

As always, you don’t have to follow all the tips. You can play in any manner you wish. The following tips are just suggestions to make MTG Arena experience a little bit more enjoyable for free to play players. 

1. Choose the Right Deck

In MTG Arena, as in paper Magic, choosing the right deck to begin with is key. After getting through the tutorial you will find yourself with 15 different decks, 10 based on the duel color Ravnica guilds and the 5 other based on mono color archetypes.

Choosing the right deck to tackle quests with is very important. For this, try playing with all of them. This way you’ll see which deck fits your play style – usually the one you win the most with. This leads us to the next tip:  

2. Finish Quests, Earn Gold

Quests are the backbone of MTG Arena economy. Completing quests will gives you gold, which is required to get into events and buy packs. Besides, quests also give you experience points (XP), which go towards the Mastery System. 

The Mastery System is separated into two paths. Free Pass and Mastery Pass, which you need to unlock to get rewards from.

Free pass grants free-to-play players with free boosters long as you constantly play the game, complete quests, and win games. The more XP you get, the faster the rewards will come. Unfortunately, the Mastery Pass has a price to it which can only be purchase by spending gems (the in-game currency). However, you will find out a way to gain access to this without spending any real money later on this article.

Arena Quests Gold

Going back to the gold and quests; Quests can be completed by playing matches against other players. The quests will usually ask you to play a certain color or do something like for example: “Destroy 20 creatures your opponents control.” 

Completing these daily quest and playing the game constantly will, in time, reward you. 

Here’s a secret to get more out of your quests. You can re-roll a quest. You click on the quest, which gives you 500 Gold, for a chance of getting a slightly harder quest, which gives you 750 Gold. Getting this extra 250 Gold is important for signing up to events. 

Choosing the right deck to complete this quests is also important. If one quest tells you to play blue and another tells you to play black, playing a blue-black deck will count for both quests. So have that in mind when trying to complete them.

3. Don’t Buy Packs.

Buying packs in MTG Arena it’s usually a mistake. This is not only due to the high probability of getting junk or duplicate cards you don’t want or need, but it also takes away gold which would be better spent in other places.

Getting packs is just not worthy. You might argue that they add up to getting wildcards, but in reality the investment in packs is waste and you should avoid them at all costs. Especially once you consider that playing events gives you more cards from the same amount of Gold. I’ll talk more about events a bit later.

You get free packs either way by achieving quests, winning events, and using these Arena promo codes.

4. Building the Right Deck 

After having played the game for a while you will want to build your own deck or get a tier-one competitive deck. You might have access to cards you need through getting them in packs, but there are also wildcards, which can be converted into the cards you need and want. So this the tip will be to:

Save Your Wildcards

I as many other players, have made the mistake of spending valuable wildcards for cards that ended up not being good enough to win games.  A way to better make use of your wildcards is to:

Look for Deck Guides

There are many guides out there that will give you options of decks which contain 0 rares and have a high win rate. Looking up the right guide for the right deck will help you build something that suits your play style and will earn you wins.

You can find Standard decks here. However, if you want to build your own deck, you can check our deckbuilding guide.

5. Play Standard Events 

After familiarizing yourself with the common decks played by other players, and after becoming winning with a deck, you should sign up to a Standard event. This event is a great first step in getting used to playing in a competitive tournament against other players. 

The price of entry to this event is pretty low – 500 gold or 95 gems. The rewards are based on your wins. 

0100 Gold + 3 uncommons
1200 Gold + 3 uncommons
2300 Gold + 3 uncommons
3400 Gold + 3 uncommons
4500 Gold + 3 uncommons
5600 Gold + 1 rare + 2 uncommons
6800 Gold + 2 rares + 1 uncommon
71000 Gold + 2 rares + 1 uncommon

If you lose 3 times you are out of the tournament. At four wins you get your gold back and an 3 extra uncommons. This event is the best way to get experience and rewards.

If you have a good deck you want to try it out, this is the best event to do so. 

Avoid the ranked ladder when you’re just starting out. This is where the most competitive decks are, so it is usually not worth it for a new player. The monthly rewards are also pretty mediocre, so you shouldn’t put to much effort into ranked immediately.

6. Play Draft Events 

Draft events are the most rewarding events in MTG Arena. These events have multiple benefits, as you will:

  • expand your collection
  • improve your skills
  • explore a different format
  • play with cards that are outside of the meta,
  • transform gold into gems, which you can use for the Mastery Pass. 

There are three different kinds of Draft events: 

Quick Draft

  • Entry fee: 5,000 Gold or 750 Gems
  • Drafting with: bots
  • Playing Until: 7 wins or 3 loses
  • Format: best of one
01 Pack + 50 Gems
11 Pack + 100 Gems
21 Pack + 200 Gems
31 Pack + 300 Gems
41 Pack + 450 Gems
51 Pack + 650 Gems
61 Pack + 850 Gems
71 Pack + 950 Gems

Traditional Draft

  • Entry fee: 10,000 Gold or 1,500 Gems
  • Drafting with: humans
  • Playing Until: 3 matches finish (regardless of wins or losses)
  • Format: best of three (with sideboard)
01 Pack
11 Pack
24 Packs + 1,000 Gems
36 Packs + 3,000 Gems

Premier Draft

  • Entry fee: 10,000 Gold or 1,500 Gems
  • Drafting with: humans
  • Playing Until: 3 matches finish (regardless of wins or losses)
  • Format: best of one
01 Pack + 50 Gems
11 Packs + 100 Gems
22 Packs + 250 Gems
32 Packs + 1000 Gems
43 Packs + 1400 Gems
54 Packs + 1600 Gems
65 Packs + 1800 Gems
76 Packs + 2200 Gems

As you can see each different draft event is played differently and has different rewards. 

Quick Draft is the best way to learn the format without spending too much gold. The event is worth it even if you don’t have very high win rate, as you keep the cards you drafted and the entry fee is the lowest.

Traditional Draft is for more experienced players that are used to playing in paper. It has a sideboard and it is a best-of-three format, which is not for everyone.

Premier Draft is the main way to play the format in MTG Arena. It is high stakes, high rewards. Getting wins in this format is the best way to gain gems and packs. 

Don’t get distracted by the cool cards you get when drafting. Picking the right cards for your draft deck is key to winning games. Pick to win. So, look up a guide which will help you familiarize with the set that is being drafted. If you’ll draft the latest set, you can find some advice in Core 2021 Draft Guide for example.

7. Consider Buying the Mastery Pass

Finally, consider buying the Mastery Pass. This tip is not for everyone, though. The Mastery Pass is only worth it if you play MTG Arena frequently and complete most quests and get max daily XP. 

The pass costs 3400 gems. It gives you a pet, a card back, and an avatar immediately with the purchase. You’ll also get a bunch of Gems, packs and a free entry to a draft event, once you advance in levels.

Free to Play Guide Mastery Pass MTG Arena

All in all, it is worth it if you plan on playing everyday. The mastery pass resets every time a new set is released, and it will have to be purchased again. 

It is really worth purchasing it with Gems you can acquire through playing draft events, especially if you do plan on playing a lot of Arena. You can also wait to see on which level you’ll finish. A week before the new expansion you see all of the rewards you can get at your level and they you can decide if the Pass is worth it for you.

8. Have Fun!

This is just to remind you to have fun. Remember it’s just a game, whileit can be frustrating and infuriating sometimes, the purpose of it is to enjoy yourself. So, relax, have fun, and enjoy your time playing this amazing game. Explore new formats and play however you want to. Go on and have fun! 


That’s the end of our Free-to-Play MTG Arena Guide. Hopefully you found some tips that you can use. If you don’t want to miss more helpful Magic content, news, codes and memes, join us on Facebook or Instagram. We’d be happy to have you.

5 thoughts on “Free-to-Play MTG Arena Guide – 8 Tips”

  1. Well I tried the standart event..
    Not a good idea for new f2p players. Much harder then then to start with ranked.
    I even ranked up for every lost in standard event.
    And the players I was matched with? Not a single chance. I couldnt even play as they were just mutating and milling and playing out of exile. Until the whole boardgame was full of creatures and got wiped in one blow 😀
    Waste of gold for new f2p.


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