MTGA Free to Play Guide Part 1: General Tips

Magic: the Gathering


MTGA Free to Play Guide Part 1: General Tips

03/23/21 Comment regular icon0 comments

Welcome to the first article in my free-to-play series. In today's article, I will be tackling the basics you need to progress in MTGA.

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Finished downloading MTGA, and you don’t know how to start? Are you confused about what to invest in, and how to obtain maximum value as a Free to Play Player? Don’t worry, this series of articles is here to help you get the most out of the game, and get as much free stuff as possible! For today I will be providing you with some tips needed to help collect resources, and in the following article, I will teach you how to use these resources in the most efficient way possible.




Use the Free Codes

MTGA offers promo codes for different items including packs, cosmetics, and XP. Make sure to redeem those in the store section, who doesn’t like free stuff. 1.1.

MTGA Booster Pack Codes

Whenever a new set releases, MTGA provides players with codes that grant you 3 packs. Make sure to redeem these codes to boost your card collection, collect wildcards, and upgrade some decks using them.

TBA: to be announced*

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MTGA Experience Codes

The only available XP code is LevelUp. Using the previous code grants you 2,000 XP allowing you to earn benefits from the mastery tree. 1.3.

MTGA Cosmetic Codes

Those do not help build a collection, since you only obtain the card style and not the card itself. However, I want this article to include all current codes.
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Play Daily

Why should you play Daily? To complete quests and earn gold. Quests grant you XP which goes towards your mastery pass progression helping you unlock rewards. The mastery pass is divided into both the free pass and the paid pass. The free version grants you free boosters the more XP you earn. The paid version does have more rewards, but it comes with a price (Gems in our case). Don’t worry, I will tackle the mastery pass later on in this article, and how you can buy it without spending your hard-earned income. Quests can also earn you gold, either 500 or 750 gold. Here is a trick that some people do not know, you can reroll the 500 gold quests to have a chance to get a 750 gold quest instead. You might not feel like there is a big difference between 500 and 750, but believe me the gold piles up. Quests aside, let’s talk about gold. Why should you play daily? Arena rewards you for your first 15 daily wins, I will cover each of those rewards in a separate article. For now I just need you to trust me. You do not need to get all 15 wins every day, sometimes it’s not possible to invest all that time daily. What I encourage you to do is to get at least 4 wins daily. With 4 daily wins, you should earn 550 gold, assuming you also complete your daily quest you should be able to earn a minimum of 7,500 gold per week. The previous number assumes that you only get one 750 gold quest in the whole week, you are likely to earn more. Keep on collecting gold between set releases with 3 months between each set you should be able to collect at least 90,000 gold. Great, you know have 90,000 gold when a set first releases what do you do with it, that takes us to my next piece of advice.

Draft, and don’t buy Packs

Buying Packs on MTGA is not as rewarding as it might look. You are likely to open unplayable Rares. But wait... doesn’t opening Packs help you progress and earn wildcards? You are correct, but believe me, investing this gold in other events will help you earn more Packs and wildcards in the long run. You might not like playing Limited, or maybe draft specifically however, after playing MTGA for almost 3 years now I can guarantee you that it’s the best way to grow your collection. To grow your collection using draft events, you need to win games during draft, easier said than done, I know. The best way to improve in draft is to either read the many draft guides uploaded on this website or to watch streamers play. Many streamers explain the logic behind choosing a specific card in draft, and with this knowledge, you'll be able to improve your draft decks. What you should try to do is to win enough games to get back your entry fee or at least most of it. Let’s take Premiere draft as an example: it costs 1,500 gems to enter one. Winning 4 games in a Premiere draft earns you 1,400 gems, and you only paid 100 gems to open 3 packs.


What should I play: Premiere, Traditional, or Quick drafts? In my opinion, the best choice is Premiere draft. However, if you are new to draft you can try out Quick drafts since there is no time limit when it comes to picking your cards, you can use that time to make better choices and to study what works and what doesn’t. After playing Premiere and Quick drafts for a while you will continue ranking up, making it harder and harder to win those drafts (since you will face better opponents). What do I do now, you might ask? If you feel like winning Premiere and Quick drafts is getting harder, you have 2 options. You can move to Traditional draft, which I do not recommend since the prize structure is not very rewarding. What I do recommend is to wait for the season to reset, this will reset your rank and hopefully give you easier opponents to face. Beyond just growing your collection, Draft is the only way on Arena to convert gold into gems. How? You can pay the entry fee of drafts using gold, the prize pool however is in gems. Let’s say you pay 10,000 gold to enter a premiere draft, and you win 4 games. Good job, you just converted 10,000 gold into 1,400 gems (the prize for winning 4 games in Premiere).

Save up to buy the Mastery Pass

After converting some of your gold to gems, I recommend buying the Mastery Pass. I know this is a hard task, especially with the Mastery Pass costing 3,400 gems. However, I can assure you it is worth it since you will be getting a bunch of gems back, Packs, and a free entry to a draft event. Only buy the Mastery Pass if you play daily since the rewards are based on how much XP you earn which is a direct function of your daily play time. Here is another sweet trick for you: You can wait and see what level you reach at the end of the set release, and then decide if you should buy the Mastery Pass or not. Why does this work? When you buy the Mastery Pass, it will give you all the previous rewards you should have earned. Let’s say I bought the Mastery Pass at level 50; Arena will give me all the benefits for all the previous levels (1 to 49). At the end of the set, if you are at a high enough level buy the mastery pass, if not just keep those gems saved for the next set.


At times you might feel like being a free-to-play player is hard, and I know it is. I am here to reassure, however, that it is possible. The last piece of advice I can give you today is to take a break whenever you feel burnt out. Remember, you are playing MTGA because you love playing Magic and it makes you happy, if you are not enjoying playing daily then taking a break for a while it’s okay. That's all I have for you today, stay tuned for the next article in this series where I tackle deck choices and teach you how to best use your wildcards!
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I am an MTG Content Creator that plays both Standard and Historic. I fell in love with magic about 4 years ago and I love to teach and share my passion for the game with others.

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Magic The Gathering Arena Free to Play Series

MTGA Free to Play Guide Part 1: General Tips

MTGA Free to Play Guide Part 1: General Tips

Welcome to the first article in my free-to-play series. In today's article, I will be tack...

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