Magic The Gathering: Arena (Open Beta) |OT| Magic online without Windows 95

Jan 5, 2012
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What is Magic the Gathering (MTG in short) and Arena?

MTG is first paper collectible card game that was released in 1993 and start whole genre as we know it today. It remains one of the most popular (or even the most popular) "analog" card game. Despite this popularity stupidity of WoTC and Hasbro caused various Magic games to be crippled by design since they always were made to never damage popularity of paper version with one exception - that exception is Magic Online which offers perfect 1:1 experience with paper in the same way Arena does. So why did they decide to develop Arena? Well do you see that windows 95 reference in OT title ? Magic online looks like something from win95 era:


And requires players to spend a lot of money to keep playing since winning can translate in money gains for players as it allows full trading of cards.

Arena on the other hand is modern good looking F2P game where we can collect and play MTG without spending single dollar since we are rewarded with cards and in game currency for playing.

Why play MTG when Hearthstone exists?

Magic is on completely different level when it comes to complexity of mechanics and unlike digital first card games it is designed with interaction with opponent during his turn in mind with counter spells or spells that do something to opponent cards.

Sounds complicated - how can I learn how to play MTG?

Arena has built in tutorial to teach basic rules and interactions. It’s not very good but since there’s 25 years of history behind paper MTG net is full of various guides and tutorials.

What does open beta mean ?

As usual for modern online games it’s in fact soft launch hidden behind beta name - game had final planned wipe of collection and cards that we earn now will stay with us unless there’s some catastrophic collapse of economy system. Also while gameplay is fully implemented the game isn't feature complete as devs are still adding new modes, social features, improving deckbuilder etc.

Economy

There are two currencies - gold which is F2P currency you get for doing quests, winning games and as reward for various play modes. The other is gems which is premium currency - you get it for cash and also as reward for some of the events.

Wild cards - instead of using dust system you get wild cards (usually you get them from opening boosters) - 1 wild card (wc in short) can be used to craft any card of the same rarity.

Boosters:
Normal Booster contains 8 cards: 5 commons, 2 uncommons, 1 rare/mythic (1 in 8 chance for mythic). Each of those cards have random chance of being replaced with wild card of corresponding rarity. Also you get additional uncommon, rare and mythic wc just for opening several boosters. It costs 1000 gold/200 gems.
There are also draft/sealed boosters which are part of special game modes that include 14 cards (10 commons, 3 uncommons, 1 rare/mythic) without any wildcards but those can only be obtained in the own game modes and cannot be bought.

How do we get stuff:

Playing tutorial (can also be skipped) it grants 5 starter decks which are our initial collection
New player quests - those are once per account - they give gold, boosters and another 5 pre-constructed decks. It will take several days to clear them.
Weekly rewards - each week we get free booster from newest expansion for 5, 10 and 15 wins
Daily quest - each day you get one new quest which gives 500 or 750 gold, clearing them doesn't require winning at all, they can be re-rolled once a day and we can have 3 of them open at the same time
Daily wins - first 15 wins each day are rewarded with gold and random card rewards (at least uncommon rarity with chance of something better). Those rewards are front loaded since you get most of them for first 4 wins (250+3x100g) , then for win 5-11 we get 3x50 g + 4 cards, and then last 4 wins only give 2 cards and 2x25 gold.

to be continued- I have to admit I greatly underestimated amount of things than need to be covered so I'll be expanding on this OT in the next few days/weeks
 
Jan 5, 2012
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reserved for future use

As part of launch celebration we have special game mode:

Welcome Weekend - Free Singleton Event

Welcome to Open Beta! To help "jump-start" your new collection, we will be offering a special no entry required Singleton event all weekend long. Build a deck with only a single copy of any Standard-legal card (excluding Basic Lands - you can have as many of those as you want), and play against others to win prizes. No gold or gems required to join, and you have the opportunity to receive card rewards based on your wins. Each Uncommon card reward has a 15% chance to upgrade to a Rare or Mythic Rare.

Entry Options: Free!

Match Structure: Standard Singleton, Best of 1

Event Ends: 4 Wins or 2 Losses, whichever comes first.

  • 0 Wins: No Rewards
  • 1 Win: 1 ICR at minimum Uncommon rarity.
  • 2 Wins: 1 ICR at minimum Uncommon rarity.
  • 3 Wins: 1 ICR at minimum Rare rarity.
  • 4 Wins: 1 ICR at minimum 1 Uncommon and 1 ICR at minimum Rare rarity.


Singleton means you can have only 1 copy of each card in deck, so it's new player friendly and since it's free it's good idea to play it as much as possible.
 
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Jun 23, 2013
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Great OP. I'm updating it right now. I know there's all these other swanky card games out there, but MtG is the only one I have any interest in playing since I played it back in the day with regular cards. Still have some in a box somewhere.
 
Likes: Bolivar687
Jan 5, 2012
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It's kinda weird that there's so much silence on video games forums about this.

I've managed to play 2 sealed today as training before going to my LGS tomorrow - best thing is they are giving free code for arena sealed in paper packs so that's another 100+ cards for free :)
 

jshackles

Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the capability to make the world's first enhanced store. Steam will be that store. Better than it was before.
Jul 2, 2013
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I played a few matches today, was also in the (closed) beta. Game is great fun and I like the fact that you can "buy" the digital packs with in-game currency if you're a fan of grinding and/or not paying actual money for digital cards. The Pay2Win nature of Magic in general though pretty much assures me that I likely won't be winning very many matches.

Also the deck builder is still a bit obtuse, I think.
 

Claus Grimhildyr

Vincit qui se vincit
Jan 30, 2018
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I played a few matches today, was also in the (closed) beta. Game is great fun and I like the fact that you can "buy" the digital packs with in-game currency if you're a fan of grinding and/or not paying actual money for digital cards. The Pay2Win nature of Magic in general though pretty much assures me that I likely won't be winning very many matches.

Also the deck builder is still a bit obtuse, I think.
Assuming that the game is as generous with its rewards as it has been, I feel like that won't be much of an issue. At least in respect to how other CCGs play (Hearthstone in particular), I have not had to spend any money in the closed beta or the current "open" beta to win matches. You are given a healthy amount of cards and rewards to easily buy packs, select "mythic" cards, and other such to ensure you remain somewhat competitive.

As a long time fan of Hearthstone, this may very well beat it out as my CCG of choice. There isn't such a huge money sink so early on.
 
Jan 5, 2012
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I played a few matches today, was also in the (closed) beta. Game is great fun and I like the fact that you can "buy" the digital packs with in-game currency if you're a fan of grinding and/or not paying actual money for digital cards. The Pay2Win nature of Magic in general though pretty much assures me that I likely won't be winning very many matches.

Also the deck builder is still a bit obtuse, I think.
Deckbuilder is going to be changed later IIRC.

And I think it won't be that bad economy wise - we start with 5 expansions over 1000+ cards, while other games started with 1 core set so it's a lot to get but once we move into one expansion every 3 months it should be quite easy. I know I had big percentage of Dominaria and M19 after I played closed beta for few months.
 
Jun 13, 2014
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I was just wondering the other day why there hasn't been a new MtG game since 2015's Magic Duels. This seems to be a continuation of that direction, free to play with smaller packs unlockable by grinding or microtransactions, which I thought was a really great formula.

I like this a lot, already played the tutorials and a bunch of quick games, went .500 or just under. Looking forward to seeing what new decks I can unlock tomorrow. I really like how sealed and constructed events are already built in.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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I was just wondering the other day why there hasn't been a new MtG game since 2015's Magic Duels. This seems to be a continuation of that direction, free to play with smaller packs unlockable by grinding or microtransactions, which I thought was a really great formula.

I like this a lot, already played the tutorials and a bunch of quick games, went .500 or just under. Looking forward to seeing what new decks I can unlock tomorrow. I really like how sealed and constructed events are already built in.
Fucking A, it's pretty solid. I loved playing some Duels, albeit it was limited compared to playing the real thing but still. I like this one a lot.
 
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Fucking A, it's pretty solid. I loved playing some Duels, albeit it was limited compared to playing the real thing but still. I like this one a lot.
That's definitely another area where I have to give this one some credit, it has a lot more sets to work with out the gate than the last Duels, which was also trying to open things up a bit.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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That's definitely another area where I have to give this one some credit, it has a lot more sets to work with out the gate than the last Duels, which was also trying to open things up a bit.
It's pretty sweet so far. I love it. Red starter deck is nice.

Edit: Lol, classic Duels mana screwing still in effect though. Either none, or nothing but sometimes. Just way the RNG rolls I guess sometimes.
 
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Got back from my pre - I went with Izzet pack and ended with strong Izzet-Boros mix with some some boros cards added which ended pretty strong as I went 4-1-1 and won 6 boosters :)

Im wondering what formats they are going to add, the only format I cared about was modern.
Arena is standard only and later they are going to introduce quasi-modern like format which starts with Kaladesh - full modern would need 15 years of sets added with mechanics not implemented yet.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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Got back from my pre - I went with Izzet pack and ended with strong Izzet-Boros mix with some some boros cards added which ended pretty strong as I went 4-1-1 and won 6 boosters :)



Arena is standard only and later they are going to introduce quasi-modern like format which starts with Kaladesh - full modern would need 15 years of sets added with mechanics not implemented yet.
ya I was just wondering, I never liked started, cause you have to keep buying new decks every year.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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Holy shit, there's some serious bugs with this game though. Glad it's still the beta.

One card wanted me to pay mana when I played it and it had no amount listed to pay. Just kept running down the timer asking me to pay, so I had to cancel it. Couldn't even use it. I already paid it to put it down, but wanted me to pay more. (opponent had nothing that required me to pay more either).

Goblin Siege Commander asks you to sacrifice a goblin to do 2 damage to any creature, except it would only let me target my own creatures, not an opponents.

Seems it has problems with some of the special abilities on cards in general.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Checked it out a bit. Still seems like the money sink that MTG is. I want to draft or play sealed but don't want to spend money :) It's fine if you can enjoy grinding in constructed for ages.

Maybe it's fairly priced compared to other online CCGs, I dunno, never did play any others.
 
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reminder: they released "magic duels" 3 years ago, back then they said it will stay like hearthstone. now you cant move your collection over to the new game, lots of players put $$$ into it. i dont would bet on "arena", at least i will stay away.. and wait for "artifact". ;-)
 
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Duels was not a real magic - you had same rules but deck building was crippled since higher rarities had lower limit than in paper while arena is full 1:1 paper mtg and can be used to test things for your competitive decks. I've heard tons of people talking about it or asking questions during pre-release. And stuff like codes distribution in packs is pretty good sign on serious push this is getting.

IMHO for digital future of magic it's either now or never.

Goblin Siege Commander asks you to sacrifice a goblin to do 2 damage to any creature, except it would only let me target my own creatures, not an opponents.
Nah he worked month ago - but you might be clicking him wrong - read very carefully what the game is writing I remember I shoot one of my own goblins several times when I tried to use him first :D

Some cards are not very intuitive in how you would expect them to work.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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Nah he worked month ago - but you might be clicking him wrong - read very carefully what the game is writing I remember I shoot one of my own goblins several times when I tried to use him first :D

Some cards are not very intuitive in how you would expect them to work.
I tried to re-use him several times and it wouldn't let me highlight any of their creatures. I'd just gave up and took him out of the deck. I also don't have enough goblins to make a fun aggro goblin deck anyhow.

But yeah, some cards do not work very well, like a dragon that asked me to pay a cost to put him down after I already put him down (basically double, and it had nothing listed on the card at all). And I don't like how it blocks you from using instants at certain times. It's going backwards from older duels games even in some respects.

Other way it's pretty nice, and I like it. The classic mana screwing (either too much or too little even when you have the same amount) still happens fairly often. And going against people who threw down $100 is kind of annoying.

Otherwise it's pretty enjoyable.

Edit: The green/white Aura deck has been good to me. I love it.
 
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Threw down and used all my randoms to make a semi/sorta Red/Blue deck. Not too bad, but I need it to grow still. Kinda lame the daily/weekly limit. I get it, but meh. Means I'll only play a little bit each day. Oh well.

And seriously, AI needs to learn how to shuffle a deck.

Edit: Btw for anyone that doesnt' know, click the 'unfound' (whatever it's called) icon in the deck creation and you can choose cards you don't even have and make a deck from that. That's how I used all the random cards to get some red/blue cards. Can at least do a bunch of one setup easily. The rest you'd have to grind/pay for.

2nd Edit: I love the down to the wire battles. The fairly matched, each trading blows/spells. Those are awesome. Even if I lose it's very satisfying. Obviously moreso when winning. The mana screwing shit is lame, but that's just standard MtG.

Definitely a good game. Some shit is annoying to be sure, but overall it's solid.
 
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Likes: Bolivar687
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I've started playing this, not sure how long I'll last. I used to be big into magic and magic online but sunk sooooo much money into it. Thus far I like some things about it, like the feel of the UI (Which was a HUGE reason why Ieft when Magic online went from 2.0 to 3.0) feels pretty solid. The ability to craft any card you want with the bonus cards is really cool as well - I can see the inspirations they took from hearthstone and am for it.

I bought the starter pack but really don't see me paying any more and that's a good thing in my opinion - the fact that I feel like I can play without spending more (or really even that).

My favorite mode in Magic Online was always 2 Headed Giant, are there any plans down the road for that to be in this later?

I like that I can draft even with free currency, I wish I would have looked at that before I spent all my coins on single packs but oh well noticed pretty early at least, giving me the ability to earn gems and more than usual packs as a free to play person? Thumbs up.
 
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^ having drafts is pretty great, especially the ability to play with f2p currency and to win premium currency.

I think the green and green white decks might be a little OP. I had a pretty solid chain of wins last night with them, although it might just be that they're the easiest to play and my mtg IQ is still a little rusty.
 
Jan 5, 2012
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My favorite mode in Magic Online was always 2 Headed Giant, are there any plans down the road for that to be in this later?

I like that I can draft even with free currency, I wish I would have looked at that before I spent all my coins on single packs but oh well noticed pretty early at least, giving me the ability to earn gems and more than usual packs as a free to play person? Thumbs up.
No plans for any modes above 1vs I'm afraid and if they did they would probably do only brawl.

As for drafts from my closed beta experience - bots very often pass dual lands so rare drafting is quite good in Arena :D Once I get my first good deck I'll switch to drafting only since it gives tons of cards.
 
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I tried to re-use him several times and it wouldn't let me highlight any of their creatures. I'd just gave up and took him out of the deck. I also don't have enough goblins to make a fun aggro goblin deck anyhow.

But yeah, some cards do not work very well, like a dragon that asked me to pay a cost to put him down after I already put him down (basically double, and it had nothing listed on the card at all). And I don't like how it blocks you from using instants at certain times. It's going backwards from older duels games even in some respects.

Other way it's pretty nice, and I like it. The classic mana screwing (either too much or too little even when you have the same amount) still happens fairly often. And going against people who threw down $100 is kind of annoying.

Otherwise it's pretty enjoyable.

Edit: The green/white Aura deck has been good to me. I love it.

It's probably asking you to sacrifice your creature first as part of paying the activation cost. You can only target your creatures because you can't sacrifice your opponents creatures otherwise he'd be fucking amazing! ;)
 
Jan 5, 2012
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Ha I went 7-2 in my 5th Sealed using GBw deck - from my experience going with small splash of third colour is almost always better in Guilds sealed as mana fixing and dual lands are so common and so many cards are dual color

Also since I had that "free" code from paper event after 5 sealed (2,3,5,4,7 wins) I'm down few hundreds of gems but I've gained something close to 400 cards (as I started hitting 5th copies of more common ones) + 15 boosters.

Between this and weekly booster rewards I'll probably never have to buy any booster of Guilds.

Also Wizards posted first 5-0 lists from MTGO so let the netdecking commence :)

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articl...titive-standard-constructed-league-2018-10-01

That mono-blue aggro deck looks very arena friendly due to minimal amount of rares.
 
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This is not a Hearthstone competitor - it's too interactive. I can't play it while working!

It might steal some players from Elder Scrolls: Legends, whose new client accidentally the whole game...
 
Mar 16, 2009
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The client looks pretty good and performs much better than the original beta. Unfortunately I can't play long term because I have a problem stopping my play sessions in TCG/CCG like an alcoholic has with drinking.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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Some of the cards these days, lol. They're just more annoying than anything. Almost seems like they aren't taking into account certain ways to utilize (or abuse) them.

And the #1 enemy in this game, is the AI deck shuffler. Without a doubt. I've seen it overly help me, and likewise screw me. With the same deck, same setup. RNG is just silly sometimes as far as card shuffling goes.

Edit: Don't get me wrong, the game is pretty damn cool. But god, the shuffling is nightmare fuel.

I almost don't even know why there's a Mulligan option. It might as well be "do you want to quit?" instead most times. I don't think I've ever Mulligan'd and gotten a better hand (mostly mana). Other times it gives it perfect and the other person gets stomped. It's definitely a little silly in that regard.
 
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The preconstructed Eternal Thirst B/W deck is monstrously satisfying. Feels like it would be a bitch to play IRL with all the buffs, tokens and health shenanigans.
 
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#44
I heard that the best free way to accumulate cards is grinding competitive constructed until you get enough coins for Competitive Draft. I did pretty well tonight and made it to the next to last reward but it took hours. I honestly feel like I would rather just spend the money on gems than grinding like this.

Some of the cards these days


, lol. They're just more annoying than anything. Almost seems like they aren't taking into account certain ways to utilize (or abuse) them.
No, I'm with you. As an older Magic head, I absolutely abhor Planeswalkers. I just had a game against someone using Teferi, and he was able to exile a permanent per draw, and he just unloaded on drawing cards getting rid of all my creatures and lands, while we both sit around with max life waiting for him to finally cast a creature.

And the #1 enemy in this game, is the AI deck shuffler. Without a doubt. I've seen it overly help me, and likewise screw me. With the same deck, same setup. RNG is just silly sometimes as far as card shuffling goes.
Also agreed. I've lost A LOT of games because of successive bad draws, first getting no lands, then getting five and a creature, mulliganing a third time just to get an equally abysmal hand.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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No, I'm with you. As an older Magic head, I absolutely abhor Planeswalkers. I just had a game against someone using Teferi, and he was able to exile a permanent per draw, and he just unloaded on drawing cards getting rid of all my creatures and lands, while we both sit around with max life waiting for him to finally cast a creature.
I almost stalemated against a guy using Teferi while I used the (slightly modified) Eternal Thirst deck. He finally won, but I kept him busy for quite a while.
 
Sep 17, 2009
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One thing they need to add is for the game to flash in the taskbar when it is minimized if it becomes your turn
One thing they need to add is for the game to not freeze (or stop updating the screen draw I should say) when you play in a window and minimize it.
 
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One thing they need to add is for the game to flash in the taskbar when it is minimized if it becomes your turn
It needs punchier and more varied sound design for things that need your input or ruin your side of the table. I'm playing on the second monitor and I can't pay attention all the time. Hearthstone and TESL practically shout at you when needed.

I also like that Hearthstone acknowledges your mouse even if you don't click the window. I'm always paranoid that I'll trigger something in MTGA when all I want is to inspect a card.
 
Jun 23, 2013
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Also agreed. I've lost A LOT of games because of successive bad draws, first getting no lands, then getting five and a creature, mulliganing a third time just to get an equally abysmal hand.
#2 Enemy. People who play slow. My god, some people think for hours (hyperbole) on the simplest of decisions. It's insane.

It's just annoying when they could clearly win and they're just Hmmm :pie_thinking: what card next.
 
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