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Which Packs to Buy on MTG Arena

Everybody loves opening packs. But there are so many of them, so which packs should you buy on MTG Arena? We’ll give you an answer alongside with some other information about packs on Arena.

Best Packs to Buy on MTG Arena

As with many questions of that sort, the answer is – “It depends.”

To be more exact – it depends on three things:

  • Standard rotation
  • Percentage of playable cards
  • Your collection

Let’s talk about all of them and then finish with our rankings of packs – from best to buy to worst to buy.

Standard Rotation

Once a year, Standard Rotation happens. Half of Standard legal sets rotates out and becomes only playable in Historic. Most players don’t even tip their toes into Historic. Even if you do, there are so many Historic cards, that most of your Standard stuff, won’t be good enough.

Therefore, it’s very important which packs will stay legal in Standard. You can read all about Standard Rotation here, but long story short, here’s what’s rotating out in September 2020:

  • Guilds of Ravnica
  • Ravnica Allegiance
  • War of the Spark
  • Core Set 2020

These sets are hence worse than the others, which are staying in Standard until September 2021. Keep that in mind when buying packs.

Playables

Another very important factor when picking the best pack on MTG Arena is how many playable cards the set has. With playable cards we mean cards that show up in the top tier decks.

The Best: Throne of Eldraine

The best set in this regard is – by far – Throne of Eldraine. It provides a ton of staples for the best Standard decks. Some of them are creatures with adventure mechanic (such as Murderous Rider and Bonecrusher Giant), but others are just efficient cards (like Gilded Goose or Embercleave).

Bonecrusher Giant

Besides all that, Eldraine also has some of the best lands – Fabled Passage is a staple in multicolored decks. All of castle lands (Castle Embereth for example) are constantly showing up in the best preforming builds. Truly, if you look at the best decks, almost half of the cards is from Eldraine.

The Medium: Theros and Ikoria

Theros Beyond Death and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths follow Eldraine by amount of playables. Those three sets, released in a row, certainly introduced plenty of powerful cards to Standard.

Theros has a variety of different strong cards. From Temple lands (like Temple of Deceit) to single powerful cards like Elspeth Conquers Death. Even some commons like Omen of the Sea appear in plenty of different decks.

Elspeth-Conquers-Death-MTGA

Ikoria has the companions (like Yorion, Sky Nomad), cards that completely changed the landscape of Standard format. You usually just need one of them, but there are other powerful cards to open in Ikoria, something like Lukka, Coppercoat Outcast for example.

If you want to see more strong cards from that set, check best cards to craft from Ikoria.

The Rest: Everything Else

Guilds of Ravnica also have some powerful cards, alongside War of the Spark which features a ton of planeswalkers, if that’s something you like. We’ll include the amount of playable cards in our final rankings of best packs to buy on Arena.

Your Collection

This is the one factor we can’t include in our rankings, since we don’t know what your collection is like. However, we can give some advice on how to take it into account.

It’s actually quite simple. Take a look at how many good cards are you actually missing from a specific set. If you have most of them, don’t bother opening any more packs of that set.

Best Packs to Buy on MTG Arena – Final Rankings

So with all that in mind, here are our final rankings, from the best packs to the worst ones:

  1. Throne of Eldraine
  2. Theros Beyond Death
  3. Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
  4. Guilds of Ravnica
  5. War of the Spark
  6. Core Set 2020
  7. Ravnica Allegiance
  8. Older packs
Which Packs to Buy on MTG Arena Throne of Eldraine MTGA

Throne of Eldraine is clearly the winner here, it has the most playable cards from all sets and it’s legal in Standard until September 2021. Theros and Ikoria are the other two sets that won’t rotate, but they have less playables, although still a fair amount – as opposed to other non-Eldraine sets.

If you want to buy Throne of Eldraine in paper, you can check its price on Amazon.

Can You Buy Older Packs on Arena?

Yes, you can. However, we wouldn’t recommend it. There isn’t a single set that really stands out by the amount of playable Historic cards. So you’d be better off just crafting the cards you need.

How Many Cards Are in the MTGA Pack?

There are two different versions of packs in Arena. Regular packs and Draft packs.

Regular Arena Packs

These are the packs you open under the Packs tab, and buy in the Store.

Regular pack contains 8 cards:

  • 1 rare or mythic rare
  • 2 uncommons
  • 5 commons

Each card can be replaced by a wildcard of the same rarity. You can’t get two or more copies of the same card in one pack.

wildcards what to craft in mtg arena

Draft Packs

Draft packs are packs that you open in draft or sealed. They are mostly the same as booster packs in paper.

Draft pack contains 14 cards:

  • 1 rare or mythic rare
  • 3 uncommons
  • 10 commons

You can’t get two or more copies of the same card in one pack.

Cost of MTG Arena Packs

One pack costs 1000 Gold.

You can buy them in bundles with Gems.

BundleCost
3 Packs600 Gems
6 Packs1200 Gems
15 Packs3000 Gems
45 Packs + 1 BaB Promo9000 Gems
90 Packs + 2 BaB Promos18000 Gems

As you can see, you don’t actually save any Gems when buying multiple packs. You are always paying 200 Gems per pack.

Buy a Box Promo

However, once you get to 45 Pack Bundle you’ll get a Buy a Box Promo. You get two of them in the 90 Pack Bundle. You can find all of them in the table bellow.

EditionBuy-a-Box Promo
DominariaFiresong and Sunspeaker
Core Set 2019Nexus of Fate
Guilds of RavnicaImpervious Greatwurm
Ravnica AllegianceThe Haunt of Hightower
War of the SparkTezzeret, Master of the Bridge
Core Set 2020Rienne, Angel of Rebirth
Throne of EldraineKenrith, the Returned King
Theros Beyond DeathAthreos, Shroud-Veiled
Ikoria: Lair of BehemothsZilortha, Strength Incarnate
Godzilla, King of the Monsters Magic the Gathering Buy a Box Promo

Is it Better to Buy Packs or to Draft?

You would think that it depends on your win rate. It does, but only somewhat. The better you are, the more profitable the draft is. But do you really need to be that good?

Let’s do some math. We’ll propose that you value a Regular Pack at 200 Gems, and Draft Pack at 150 Gems (since it isn’t duplicate protected, etc.). You pay 750 Gems as an entry fee (5000 Gold also works). You will get at least one Regular Pack as a reward with a chance of a second one. Let’s see how it works out.

WinsAcquiredValue (converted)Profit
03 Draft Packs, 50 Gems, 1.2 Packs680 Gems-70
13 Draft Packs, 100 Gems, 1.22 Packs794 Gems+44
23 Draft Packs, 200 Gems, 1.24 Packs898 Gems+148
33 Draft Packs, 300 Gems, 1.26 Packs1002 Gems+252
43 Draft Packs, 450 Gems, 1.3 Packs1160 Gems+410
53 Draft Packs, 650 Gems, 1.35 Packs1370 Gems+620
63 Draft Packs, 850 Gems, 1.4 Packs1580 Gems+830
73 Draft Packs, 950 Gems, 2 Packs1800 Gems+1050

So you will be better off playing Draft – unless you lose three games without winning at least one. If you enjoy drafting, this is a no-brainer. You should never buy packs and only play Draft to get cards.

Draft is a really fun format for us. If you need some help with it – here’s our Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Draft Guide.

On the other side, if you just don’t like Draft, or if you want a specific booster, which isn’t available for drafting, you can still just buy your packs and be fine with it. Another benefit of doing so is getting your wildcards faster. The reason for this is explained here.

Pack Up

That would conclude everything about packs on MTG Arena. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask us in the comments bellow or on our Facebook / Instagram page.

Since you’re an Arena player make sure to check our Complete List of Arena Codes for free boosters and card styles.

Until next time, may you open all the cards you wish for in your packs.

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