Divination art by Matt Stewart

Today, the team behind Magic: the Gathering Arena released a new FAQ that further details the way the game’s digital economy will function.

As Arena must co-exist alongside Magic‘s physical trading card game and the current digital offering Magic: the Gathering Online without devaluing the cards in either of those ecosystems, Arena‘s economics have been under a great deal of scrutiny. At the same time though, the Arena design team’s stated goal is to make the game “feel like tabletop Magic brought to life.”

A previous FAQ detailed the basics of a cornerstone of the Arena economy: gems and gold. Like other digital currencies tied to video games, gems and gold can be used for a variety of purposes in Arena. Players can buy booster packs or enter Draft events where they will be provided with booster packs to construct and play Limited format decks. However, while gold can be earned for free by winning games, completing quests, and winning events, gems are typically purchased with real world money or earned through Quick Draft events. The pricing structure is as follows:

  • 750 Gems: $4.99
  • 1,600 Gems: $9.99
  • 3,400 Gems: $19.99
  • 9,200 Gems: $49.99
  • 20,000 Gems: $99.99

All Gems purchased during the Closed Beta phase of Arena will be credited to owners’ accounts at the end of the process. And at the moment, the Gem pricing structure for booster packs is as follows:

  • 600 Gems: 3 Packs
  • 1,200 Gems: 6 Packs
  • 3,000 Gems: 15 Packs
  • 9,000 Gems: 45 Packs
  • 18,000 Gems: 90 Packs
Sage of Lat-Nam art by Matt Stewart

One important thing to note about boosters in Arena is that they do not correspond to the 10 common, three uncommon, and one rare/mythic breakdown we’ve come to expect from physical Magic boosters. Instead, Arena packs have 5 commons, 2 uncommons, and 1 rare or mythic rare. While this distorts the ratio of collection building between tabletop Magic and ArenaArena packs may prove to be a bit of a better value in the sense that players will collect rares at a lower price-to-pack ratio than they would in the real world.

And additionally, while most Arena packs will have 8 cards as opposed to 14, Arena “Quick Draft” events will feature 14 card booster packs so as to best recreate the experience of a real Magic draft. As of now, Quick Draft events will take place on the weekend for 5000 gold or 750 gems. Players will draft against 7 AI players and then play their matches against real opponents afterwards until they either reach 7 wins or three losses. The prize structure for this format is as follows:

  • 0 Wins: 50 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 1 Win: 100 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 2 Wins: 200 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 3 Wins: 300 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 4 Wins: 450 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 5 Wins: 650 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 6 Wins: 850 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted
  • 7 Wins: 950 gems, 1 to 3 Dominaria boosters, and all the cards you drafted

Similarly but separately, there will also be constructed events in Arena running at all times. In constructed formats, you’ll build decks using the cards you have collected from opening boosters and playing in drafts to build standard 60 card Magic decks. Entry to these events will cost 500 gold or 95 gems. You’ll play until you reach seven wins or three losses.

  • 0 Wins: 100 gold and 3 Uncommon cards
  • 1 Win: 200 gold and 3 Uncommon cards
  • 2 Wins: 300 gold and 3 Uncommon cards
  • 3 Wins: 400 gold and 3 Uncommon cards
  • 4 Wins: 500 gold, 2 Uncommon cards, and 1 Rare card
  • 5 Wins: 600 gold, 2 Uncommon cards, and 1 Rare card
  • 6 Wins: 800 gold, 1 Uncommon card, and 2 Rare cards
  • 7 Wins: 1,000 gold, 1 Uncommon card, and 2 Rare cards

According to the new FAQ, the Arena development team is also testing a system where each of the card rewards from Quick Constructed events has a chance to be upgraded to a card of a higher rarity. The probability is not yet finalized, however.

Divest art by Jesper Ejsing

Other rewards for playing Arena daily were revealed to be as follows:

  • First-Win Bonus: Your first game win will give you our biggest single-game gold reward, 250 gold, for the day.
  • Additional Win Bonuses: Wins two through four award 100 gold each.
  • Daily Quests: Players will receive quests that can currently reward 500 or 750 gold.
  • Wildcards: These special cards may appear in the place of each card, at any rarity, in every booster players open. Players can redeem a Wildcard one-to-one for a card at that same rarity.
  • Weekly Win Bonus: After reaching a certain number of game wins each week (five, ten, and fifteen) players will unlock an eight-card booster from the most recent Standard-legal Magic set.
  • The Vault: Another reward that helps players unlock the cards they want in their collection, The Vault has a progress meter that increases each time a player opens a booster pack or collects more than four copies of a particular card. When vault progress is full, players receive rewards. We’re still testing what rewards will be offered, but right now the Vault provides 6 Wildcards.

Finally, the Arena team plans to wipe all player accounts one more time prior to the end of the closed Beta period. All paid gems and cards redeemed via codes that have been seeded into physical packs of Dominaria in New Zealand will remain, but the following will be reset:

  • All cards in a player’s collection
  • All created and saved player decks
  • All player ranking
  • All player gold
  • All player earned gems (these are gems rewarded from events like Quick Draft)
  • All player quest progression

Arena has no set final release date at the moment. Stay tuned for the Beat for more news as it comes.


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