While some people play MTG for fun, others view it as a vehicle for optimizing their time. Some people demand value, and they want to know whether or not any given action is the best possible one.
They do say that time is money, and if that’s true, then use as little time as possible for the maximum possible gain. But if time is short, does that mean we’re all poor?
Anyway, Drafting in MTG Arena is fun, but is it actually worth it? Is taking part in an MTG Arena Draft a good way to get cards and gems, or should you look elsewhere?
Should You Draft in MTG Arena?
If you’re simply Drafting for fun or for practice, then the answer is yes. Drafting a lot will make you better at Drafting, and while it’s not quite the same as doing it in person, you’ll still get used to building a limited deck, learn more about the set, and have a good time along the way.
If you want to make sure you’re breaking even, then the amount of wins you’ll need to do so varies depending on the type of Draft event, but you can easily check it by seeing what the rewards are for different amounts of wins.
To make things as clear as possible, here are how many wins you need to break even for each type of Limited event on MTG Arena.
- Quick Draft – 6 Wins
- Premier Draft – 4 Wins
- Traditional Draft – 3 Wins
- Sealed – 6 Wins
- Traditional Sealed – 4 Wins
As a note with the above win requirement, this is only considering the gems you receive for winning. If you factor the packs you receive into the event cost, you typically don’t need to win as much. Should you account for this, however, do remember that gems, not packs, pay for events. Subsequently, over time you may lose money, and be unable to create an infinite loop of Drafting.
Drafting is one of the best ways to build your collection on MTG Arena… as long as you can win. If you’re capable of getting the full seven wins required in an Arena Draft, you can essentially get all your money back for winning. All the cards you obtain through the Draft are, therefore, free.
What Else Do You Gain From a Draft on MTG Arena?
Aside from the gems, which are a big factor, the other things you’ll gain from a Draft are your packs in the prizes, but also the cards themselves.
As you get to keep every card you pick, it can sometimes be worthwhile to choose a Mythic Rare in a pack, even if you’re not going to play it.
We would say that it’s generally worth Drafting as long as you’re confident you can hit some kind of gem payout, but it’s also just good fun, and it’s one of the best things to spend your gold on.
What About Golden Packs?
While Drafting may be worth it in most cases, especially if you can win and go infinite, there is an alternative. Introduced in The Brothers’ War in 2022, MTG Arena now has Golden Packs. Providing additional rares and mythic cards when opening backs, Golden Packs makes pack opening more viable for most players.
As good as Golden Pcaks can be, however, you’ll only get cards from them (unless you’ve completed your collection). Thanks to this, Drafting is almost always better to do, provided you can keep up your win record. Should you be able to, MTG Arena is your oyster, however, this does require more time and effort compared to opening packs.
Draft Is Changing on MTG Arena!
As if Golden Packs didn’t throw enough changes into the mix, in 2024, Draft on MTG Arena is changing even more! Alongside the release of Muders at Karlov Manor, Wizards is debuting a brand new type of pack, Play Boosters. These new packs will replace both Set and Draft boosters physically, as well as on MTG Arena.
As we covered in our big article on this bold new development, Play Boosters will undoubtedly shake up the Draft experience. This is largely thanks to containing one less common card and having more potential rare/mythic slots. For the value enthusiast, this should make Drafting even more compelling on MTG Arena!
Alongside these two major changes, The List is also being integrated into the new Play Boosters. This means that, for the first time, The List is coming to MTG Arena! While on the surface this seems like absolutely amazing news, unfortunately, there is a catch. Despite being a part of the upcoming Draft experience, not every card on The List is coming to MTG Arena.
Ultimately, this means that not every Limited Draft and match on MTG Arena is going to be one-to-one with the paper experience. Explaining this situation, Wizards pointed toward the disparity between old formats on Arena and paper.
“Limited packs on MTG Arena will include the new features of Play Boosters, like having cards from The List and Special Guests. Because MTG Arena’s older formats are different from those of tabletop Magic, we have worked with the Play Design team on a few card swaps on The List to mesh better with MTG Arena’s formats.”Wizards of the Coast
Despite this rather important detail, according to Wizards, using Play Boosters on MTG Arena “will feel as close as possible to drafting at your local game store.” How much this is true, however, remains to be seen.
Thankfully, despite the changes, the usage of Play Boosters on MTG Arena will not change the price of events at all. Alongside this, there will be no changes to packs outside of Limited events. This means packs from the Store and Set Mastery will be the same as they are now.