Free-to-Play MTG Arena Guide – 9 Tips

MTG Arena is a great way 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 9 tips that will help you get more wins, explore new formats, and build a bigger collection completely for free. 

Of course, 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 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 in a two-color combination, and the 5 other in each one of the five MTG colors.

Selecting 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 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 free boosters – as 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, in this article.

MTGA How to Get Gold As F2P Player

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 spells of a certain color or do something specific, like: “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 in the long run.

Choosing the right deck to complete this quests is also essential. 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 keep that in mind when trying to complete them quickly.

3. Don’t Buy Packs.

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

F2P Player MTG Arena Guide Should I Buy Packs

So, buying packs is just not worth it. You might argue that they add up to getting wildcards, but in reality, investing in packs is waste, and you should avoid it. Especially once you consider that playing events gives you more value for the same amount of Gold. I’ll talk more about events in a bit.

However, this doesn’t mean that opening packs is bad. If you can get packs without buying them, that’s great. You can do so by completing quests, winning events, and with this next tip:

4. Claim Arena Promo Codes

MTG Arena also offers a bunch of free stuff, like Packs, experience points and cosmetics. You might completely miss that, since it isn’t widely promoted within the game. You can get all that by claiming free Arena promo codes.

Since Arena got released, many new codes have been added to the game. You can find a full list of all currently available Arena promo codes here.

5. 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 aren’t playable in Constructed 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 (+20% for second Pack)
11 Pack + 100 Gems (+22% for second Pack)
21 Pack + 200 Gems (+24% for second Pack)
31 Pack + 300 Gems (+26% for second Pack)
41 Pack + 450 Gems (+30% for second Pack)
51 Pack + 650 Gems (+35% for second Pack)
61 Pack + 850 Gems (+40% for second Pack)
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: 7 wins or 3 loses
  • 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 a very high win rate, as you keep the cards you drafted and the entry fee is the lowest. If you’re just starting out, you should stick to this one.

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 New Capenna Draft Guide, for example.

If you’re playing a different draft format, you should check for our other MTG Draft Guides here.

6. 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 my next tip is 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 little to no rares and have a somewhat 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 various Standard decks here. However, if you want to build your own deck, you can check our deckbuilding guide.

7. Play Ladder

If you like to play Constructed formats (such as Standard, Explorer, etc.), you should play in the respective Ranked queues. The best one to start with is Standard Ranked, as it has the least amount of cards, therefore being the easiest to learn and master.

Playing Ranked is completely free, and you won’t lose any resource, if you lose games. This means you can play it completely stress-free. If you do manage to do well, you’ll progress to higher ranks, and you’ll get an MTGA Ranked reward at the end of the month.

Sometimes I used to recommend the Constructed events, but since the big change that happened to them, I can no longer do so – at least not for the new players.

What About Constructed Events?

Constructed events, such as Standard event, used to be a great first step in getting used to playing in a competitive tournament against other players. They had a low entry fee (500 Gold or 95 Gems), and a flat payout structure.

However, Wizards change these events in favor of the more competitive crowd. The entry fee was raised to 2500 Gold or 375 Gems. The rewards are now more top-heavy, as you can see in the following table: 

025 Gems
150 Gems
275 Gems + 1 Pack
3200 Gems + 1 Pack
4300 Gems + 1 Pack
5400 Gems + 2 Packs
6450 Gems + 2 Packs
7500 Gems + 3 Packs + 1 Play-in-Point

If you lose 3 times, you are out of the tournament. You have to reach 5 wins in order to get your entry fee back. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend these events to less experienced players.

Nevertheless, it is a way to convert Gold to Games, if you don’t like to draft.

8. 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 usually costs 3,400 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.

F2P Free to Play MTG Arena Guide Mastery Pass

All in all, it is worth it if you plan on playing almost every day. 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 and Constructed events, especially if you do plan on playing Arena a lot. You can also wait to see on which level you’ll finish. A week before the new expansion, you see all the rewards you can get at your level, and then you can decide if the Pass is worth it for you.

9. Have Fun!

This is just to remind you to have fun. Remember it’s just a game, while it 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.

7 thoughts on “Free-to-Play MTG Arena Guide – 9 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.

  2. Also there is now one more, good way to boost your collection as f2p player. Jump in! The entry fee is really low (1000 gold the same as a pack fee) and you are getting at very least 2 rare cards (maybe even 2 mythic rares). Whats more, you can target specific cards that will be usefull for you.

    There was once a article on this site telling you what are exact chances for rares / mythic rares in each booster. Sadly it wasn’t updated for some time. But well, until it is updated you can look for other sources 🙂


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