Imoen, Mystic Trickster
13, Jul, 22

Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate Is Free to Play Right Now!

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Article at a Glance

It’s no secret that Alchemy isn’t the favorite format of many players. This has left the new Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate set with an uphill battle to win over the hearts of players. By cannibalizing seasonal rewards, starting a new Mastery Pass, and replacing Standard drafts, things aren’t off to a great start. Nevertheless, now might actually be the best time to go and play this new, much-maligned set!

Midweek Magic

Robe of the Archmagi
Robe of the Archmagi | Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate

While MTG Arena may not have Friday Night Magic, it does have its enjoyable competitor; Midweek Magic. This event’s format rotates every week, so it has something for everybody throughout the course of its rotation. Alongside offering a chance to play Arena’s more niche formats, Midweek Magic always provides rewards for participating players. Who doesn’t love rewards!

This week, Wizards of the Coast has kicked off a fan favorite Midweek Magic format; the Phantom Draft. Unlike regular drafts, in Phantom Drafts, you don’t keep the cards you draft. This allows players to avoid the temptation of rare drafting while typically reducing the event’s cost. In this week’s Midweek Magic, the cost of entry couldn’t be any lower; it’s literally free!

However, there is only one tiny catch with this week’s Midweek Magic. The set you’re able to Phantom Draft is Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate. We already know this isn’t what many people want to play; however, it is free. Thanks to this low cost, there’s not really a reason not to try out this exciting draft environment. You’ll even get a pair of rare individual card rewards and a cosmetic if you win three games.

Alchemy for All

WotC as Minsc & Boo pushing Alchemy
Wizards of the Coast pushing Alchemy to Arena players circa 2022

As much as we joke about how hated Alchemy is, this is actually a brilliant move on Wizards’ part. Without the barrier of entry fees, players can try out the new set without spending their hard-earned gems. This lets players form their own opinions on the set, rather than piling on hate while refusing to play it.

While this won’t help the issues Horizons: Baldur’s Gate causes with Arena’s economy, it should show off the set’s greatest strength; it’s fun. As much as MTG players may enjoy it, not every set needs to be drafted for infinite value. For instance, un- sets typically haven’t held any value beyond their gorgeous lands. Despite that caveat, the comedy Un- sets are still lauded additions to MTG. 

It stands to reason then that Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate should be praised in the same regard. Even by those who hate Alchemy and never intend to play it. With unique and some downright wacky mechanics, Horizons: Baldur’s Gate is undoubtedly an interesting draft environment. The fun of this draft environment shines all the brighter without the threat of needing to win every game. This is the beauty of the free Phantom Draft. 

Unfortunately for those looking to get a real taste of Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate, you may only play this Phantom Draft once. This means you’d better draft a deck you like, as you’ll be stuck with it until the event ends. There’s also no promise from Wizards on when this event may return in the future. After this Phantom Draft, the Midweek Magic events will be Historic Pauper, Singleton, and Explorer. 

The Phantom Zone

Blur | Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate

Unfortunately for Limited Draft fans who cannot go infinite, Phantom Drafts are a rarity on MTG Arena. Predominantly appearing via the Midweek Magic events, there’s rarely a guarantee when Phantom Drafts will return. Or which sets they will be returning for. This severely diminishes the potential appeal of drafting for new players; otherwise, they must invest their hard-earned gems to participate. 

With a reduced cost or non at all, Phantom Drafts allow players to have some carefree fun. Since MTG Arena is a business, it’s understandable that fun isn’t always free; however, it’s also an effective marketing tool. After spending hours enjoying this Midweek Magic event, I, for one, am far more inclined to continue playing Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate once it’s gone. 

Read More: A Major MTG Arena Bug Is Exploiting Matchmaking

Magic Online also uses Phantom Drafts to significant effect by offering them to new players. This allows a prospective new Magic addict to get a taste for the game without first handing over a non-insignificant fee.

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