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Best Way To Start Your Collection in MTG Arena: How to Get More Cards in MTGA

They don't call it "The Gathering" for nothing.

Getting into Magic Arena can be daunting. There are so many decks that require rare and mythic rare cards and if you want multiple good decks, you’re going to want a solid collection. There are a lot of options for you if you want to collect cards, with Wizards having added a bevy of options for prospective Arena players. If you want to start collecting cards in Arena, this is a guide to the best way to start your collection on MTG Arena and how to get more cards.

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How to Get Cards in MTG Arena

Like many free-to-play games, Magic Arena has two distinct currencies. The first is gold, which the game will reward you with often, giving you gold for completing challenges or rewards for certain events. Gems, on the other hand, are mostly bought with real money. If you want to collect cards in Arena, then finding a way to maximize your use of the in-game currencies will be your key to getting your collection started.

A dollar is about 150 to 200 gems, but you can only get gems in packs of at least $4.99 and up. The more expensive packs give you more gems for your buck, but not so much so that it’s only worth buying gems in bulk. You can also get by on gold, but the economy is mostly skewed so if you want a lot of cards quickly, you need gems. If you feel you can take your time, then you can try to play Arena without paying real money, but that will be quite hard.

MTG Arena Promo Codes, Explained

Plenty of free promo codes online let you unlock packs from various sets without spending gems or gold. These, and the color challenges, should be your first port of call when making a new MTG Arena account. You can then crack those packs open to get cards. You can also save them for later, and as we’ll discuss further shortly, it’s sometimes more valuable to wait before cracking open a pack.

In order to enter a promo code, go to the store and enter it in the promo code section of the shop. Also, keep your eyes out for codes that Wizards of the Coast release for their future sets and any codes your physical products might have. If you have a preconstructed deck there’s a chance you can also get it in Arena.

Drafting and Sealed

Limited Events are generally agreed to be the best ways to get cards. In this special game mode you have to make a deck out of cards provided to you by opening packs. You usually keep the cards from your draft. Not only do you get a decent amount of cards, but you can play with those cards immediately. In addition, you get rewards for winning a Limited Event that include packs and gems. The gems mean you can potentially do back-to-back games of draft or sealed, discounted by the rewards you get from previous events.

The difference between draft and sealed is that in sealed, you open six packs and then make a 40-card deck with the cards you open. With draft, you and several other players are put together in a draft pod, where you will each have three packs. Each round, you open a pack and pick a single card from it before passing it to another player. The packs wheel around the group until there are no more cards, and then you open another pack. Eventually, you will make a 40-card deck with the cards picked from each pack.

Drafting has the bonus of letting you cherry-pick the cards you want from a series of three packs. Sealed has the advantage of giving you more cards overall. Drafting also requires a little bit more skill than sealed, and you’ll want to look up videos and tutorials on drafting beforehand to fully understand the game mode. Sealed is much simpler, and perhaps best for a first-timer compared to limited.

Drafting usually takes a lot of gems and gold. Drafts usually cost somewhere around 10,000 gold or 1,500 gems. In addition, most sets will not be available to draft. You can always draft the newest set, but other sets rotate in and out.

Buying Packs

Buying packs is not as exciting as Drafting, but still worth doing every so often. These packs come with five commons, two uncommons, and a single rare or mythic rare. The main benefit of buying packs is being able to get those packs from specific sets that you may not be able to draft.

As we mentioned before, it may be beneficial to crack these packs a little later after you buy them. If you already have a lot of a set through drafting, because you can’t get duplicates of cards the cards you get from the packs will often be from a narrower pool, meaning you could get some of the cards from the set you haven’t be able to pick up yet. It might mean that you don’t have to spend a precious wildcard.

Mythic packs are a specific type of pack. We covered them more specifically in another guide, but in general, you want to hold off on these until you already have a decent collection.

Packs are worth 200 gems and 1,000 gold, except for Mythic packs which are worth 260 gems and 1,300 gold.

Mastery Rewards

While you’re playing, you can also get cards from the Mastery system. You get XP for playing games and completing challenges that go towards your mastery of a specific set. These rewards include cosmetics and packs and generally incentivize you to play regularly.

You can also purchase a Mastery Pass, which enhances these rewards. This can be a bit questionable as a Mastery Pass costs 3,600 gems, and while you can get some decent benefits, it requires you to be pretty dedicated to playing regularly. If you’re just trying Arena now, stick to drafts and packs before you shell out for a Mastery Pass.

How to Spend Wildcards – General MTG Arena Advice

Wildcards are another way to obtain cards, and are in fact your only way to obtain specific cards. While you get these by opening packs, they are also a reason to buy packs, as you get Wildcards from them sometimes. Additionally, you also get a Wildcard track, where if you open enough packs you can get Wildcards for free. Unfortunately, they hand out Wildcards occasionally, rather than in large numbers. Generally, you’ll always have a shortage of rare and mythic wildcards.

You should only spend Wildcards if you want specific cards for a deck or if that card looks like it will be a staple in a format. If you like a card, but don’t have a deck in mind for that card and it doesn’t seem like it will be format relevant then consider opening packs from the set until you get it or drafting until you see it. Only spend Wildcards when you need to complete a deck you seriously intend to play and only if you can’t find a substitute in your collection.

You should generally spend Wildcards extremely cautiously, especially as you begin a collection. The one exception is that as you gain more cards, you can begin to spend common and uncommon Wildcards more frivolously. In general, only spend Wildcards if you can get or complete a playset (four copies) of the card you are attempting to buy.

That’s it for our guide to the best ways to start an MTG Arena collection and how to get more cards. If you want more Magic the Gathering guides, stick to Twinfinite. We have a guide on how to upgrade the Brother’s War MTG commander precon decks.

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Ross Lombardo
Ross Lombardo wrote for Twinfinite for five months from 2022 to 2023. A history and screenwriting graduate, Ross had been writing for about a year during their time at Twinfinite. Still waiting for a Jade Empire sequel for more than 17 years, Minecraft, Magic: The Gathering, indies, RPGs and pop culture were Ross's bread and butter.