I know I am a little late on this news, but Magic the Gathering Arena is now on Steam. If you are looking for the most convenient way to play MTG standard, this is a solid option. The app works well enough, and you can always find a match when you need one.
I don’t have the longest history with Magic the Gathering, but I love card games. I grew up collecting Pokemon and playing Yugioh. I got into MTG during the Return to Ravnica set when there were still base sets. One of my coworkers at the time found out I liked Yugioh, and he convinced me to get into Magic. He took me to my first Friday Night Magic, and we made it our ritual to go every Friday after. I didn’t do well, but it quickly became my favorite part of the week. I always had weird decks people enjoyed playing against, and I met some very cool people. Unfortunately, my schedule changed, and I haven’t played in person in years. I did try getting into MTGO, but it was too much of a hassle to be worth it. It didn’t capture what I loved most about Friday Night Magic.
Since then, I’ve played a lot of Hearthstone and every other CCG on the app store. It took me until Brother’s War to take MTGA more seriously. I may not be a high-ranking player, but I’ve been enjoying it for the casual magic experience that it has become for me. I don’t have friends, time, or money to get into paper Magic. As it is, I only have time for my dailies and an odd-ranked match here and there. I would love to have the time to see how high I could rank, but I am content with where I am.
I am a mostly free-to-play player. I have only spent $20 total on this game to unlock the battle pass, but I had already built my competitive standard deck without spending any money. The battle pass is a great way to build your collection if you play enough to make it worth it. You can use real money or earn gems through drafts. Be warned, the grind in this game can be soul-crushing. You will lose a lot in the beginning. Once you’ve been placed in your ELO and earned enough Wild Cards to build your deck, it gets better.
I didn’t feel like the grind was bad because I just wanted to play Magic, even if I lost. I jumped straight into ranked. I was able to get into gold casually, and it became a lot easier once I built a better deck. The starter decks get a lot of bad press, but they aren’t bad if you are just trying to play and earn your dailies. If you care about rank, just play casual. It will match you with people with the same deck level. But if you are trying to play this game seriously, there are some pretty good guides out there that will help you play efficiently.
If you’ve been thinking about getting into Magic the Gathering, MTGA is a great place to start. The color challenges give players a solid foundation for how the game works and the game does a great job of teaching players the different mechanics. The grind can be a little soul-crushing, but if you are just playing for fun, it isn’t too bad. Once you get a solid understanding of the basics and want to play with real people, I would look into getting a precon commander and finding an LGS to play at.
If you are new to MTGA, make sure you reroll your dailies. You can reroll one quest a day, reroll anything that gives you 500g and keep anything worth 750g. The most efficient way to build your collection is by playing draft. You get the most cards from drafts, and you can earn gems that you can use to unlock the battle pass or cosmetics. You also get a free pack each month by participating in a draft. If you aren’t good at draft, go download the untapped.gg companion. It has a nifty little overlay that gives tips on what to draft. If you are playing on PC, you should also be running this app. It has a fantastic feature deck building feature that sorts deck lists by what you can afford based on your collection and the number of wild cards you own.
The best advice I can give players going into this game is to not let the grind become more important than your fun. This is a game run by a greedy corporation, and they are constantly making choices that make it hard to support the game. The game is buggy and there is a huge grind in this game by design, especially if you are free-to-play. There are efficient ways to tackle this grind, but you have to evaluate if the amount of time you need to spend on that grind is worth it. If you enjoy the grind, or if the end goal is worth it, by all means, go for it. But if playing Magic becomes soul-crushing, and you find yourself logging into this game because you have to and not because you want to, it’s okay to step away, take a break, and play a different card game. Come back after you take your break, this game isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I have read all the guides and watched all the videos. I know how to grind efficiently, but I choose to play this game in a way that is fun for me. I hate playing drafts, so I don’t draft. I know it’s more efficient than buying and opening packs, but I have more fun opening packs than drafting. What I am saying is, pick and choose the advice that helps you enjoy the game the most. Games should be fun, and Magic is no exception.