Goldspan Dragon
10, Jan, 23

MTG Arena Is Getting Even Better for Free-To-Play Players

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Article at a Glance

After officially launching in 2018, MTG Arena has been constantly battling the stigma of being a digital client. Unlike Magic Online, in which cards can be traded and have real-world value, MTG Arena cards are essentially worthless. Despite this, cards can still be bought on MTG Arena, both via packs and through surprisingly expensive Wildcard bundles. As a result of this, MTG Arena can be an unexpectedly expensive game to play without a substantial time investment. Recently, however, Wizards of the Coast has gradually been improving MTG Arena for free-to-play players. Thankfully, following the first round of these changes, Wizards is implementing even more cost-saving features to appease the growing audience.

Golden Packs for Good

Ancient Gold Dragon
Ancient Gold Dragon | Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur’s Gate

First introduced alongside the release of The Brothers’ War in November, Golden Packs have been an incredible boon for free-to-play MTG Arena players. Providing significantly increased value for opening booster packs, Golden Packs were pure unadulterated free value. Subsequently, it should be no surprise that they were viewed as an incredibly welcome addition to MTG Arena. Unfortunately, however, while they did negate the need for players to endlessly Quick Draft, the implantation of Golden Packs worried some players. At the time, Wizards stated they were only introducing Golden Packs for The Brothers’ War, with expansion not guaranteed. 

“This change brings the rate at which you earn cards from pack purchases more in line with the rate you can earn cards from drafting. While we’re only applying this change to The Brothers’ War packs at this time, we’ll evaluate the results and consider expanding this to pack purchases from other sets in the future.”

Wizards of the Coast

Thankfully, while the continued future of Golden Packs seemed likely thanks to their reception, Wizards has recently confirmed their return. Writing in a recent MTG Arena Announcements blog post, Wizards stated, “based on community feedback and positive data, Golden Packs will continue with Phyrexia: All Will Be One for pack purchases.” For better or worse, the rate that Golden Packs are received, and the number of cards they contain, are not being adjusted for Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s release. Golden Packs will still be rewarded after purchasing ten packs containing six rare or mythic rare cards. 

Upon the release of Phyrexia: All Will Be One on February 7th, there will be some changes to Golden Packs. Namely, in how they’re specifically acquired. Currently, Golden Packs can be earned by purchasing 10 The Brothers’ War or Alchemy: The Brothers’ War packs. After Phyrexia: All Will Be One’s launch, however, only Phyrexia: All Will Be One packs will contribute to Golden Pack progression. Similarly to the implantation for The Brothers’ War, once Alchemy: Phyrexia: All Will Be One launches, these packs should contribute to Golden Pack progression as well.

Prime Pre-Order Pricing

Naomi, Pillar of Order
Naomi, Pillar of Order | Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty

Alongside keeping MTG Arena enjoyable for free-to-play players, Wizards also announced a surprise price reduction to better suit players’ needs. Starting on January 17th, Phyrexia: All Will Be One pre-orders will now be available as a trio of distinct bundles. Alongside the traditional Pack Bundle, priced at $49.99/€49.99, Wizards is launching new Play Bundles and Pass Bundles. Available at “new, lower price points,” these bundles are designed to offer players what they want without unnecessary spending. Here’s a little bit about each pre-order bundle that’ll be available for Phyrexia: All Will Be One.

Jace Pack Bundle – $49.99/€49.99

Oath of Jace
Oath of Jace | Oath of the Gatewatch

Priced at $49.99/€49.99, the Pack Bundle has been available as a pre-order order option for several set releases and remains unchanged for Phyrexia: All Will Be One. According to Wizards, this is because “we’ve seen this provides our players with value in their Constructed play when starting off a new card set.” Subsequently, Pack Bundle purchasers will receive the same stack of packs as usual and 5 Golden Packs. Additionally, the Pack Bundle includes a smattering of cosmetics to flaunt your pre-order status. The contents of the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Jace Pack Bundle is as follows. 

  • Jace sleeve
  • 50x Phyrexia: All Will Be One packs
  • 5x Golden Packs
  • Jace card
  • Jace depth art card style

Koth Play Bundle – $24.99/€24.99

Koth, Fire of Resistance
Koth, Fire of Resistance | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Previously, pre-order Play Bundles on MTG Arena have cost the same as Pack bundles at $49.99/€49.99. For Phyrexia: All Will Be One, however, that cost is being cut in half, dropping to just $24.99/€24.99. Despite this steep reduction in price, however, Wizards isn’t removing a considerable amount from the pre-order offering. Taking out the Mastery Pass, as well as a single Draft token, Wizards hopes to offer a more compelling price point. Alongside promising “Limited play value through Draft and Sealed tokens,” the Play Bundle also contains a smattering of cosmetics. Here are the contents of the Phyrexia: All Will Be One Koth Play Bundle. 

  • Koth, Fire of Resistance sleeve
  • 2x Player Draft tokens
  • 1x Sealed token
  • 5x Play-In Points
  • Koth, Fire of Resistance card
  • Koth, Fire of Resistance depth art card style

Elesh Norn Pass Bundle – $14.99/€14.99

Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines
Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines | Phyrexia: All Will Be One

Alongside the traditional pre-order offerings, for Phyrexia: All Will Be One, Wizards is releasing a new pre-order option. Aptly named the Pass Bundle, this pre-order option contains exactly what you’d expect, the Mastery Pass. Priced at just $14.99/€14.99, this pre-order bundle is actually cheaper than the Mastery Pass that is available upon release. Priced for “broader audience value,” according to Wizards, this pre-order bundle is an excellent choice for those without the Gems to buy the Mastery Pass upon release. Alongside receiving the Mastery Pass, purchasers of this pre-order bundle also receive Elesh Norn-themed cosmetics. Here’s a breakdown of everything that’s included within the Elesh Norn Pass Bundle for Phyrexia: All Will Be One. 

  • Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines sleeve
  • Flensing Raptor pet
  • Phyrexia: All Will Be One Mastery Pass
  • Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines card
  • Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines depth art card style

A Welcome Return

Kenrith, the Returned King
Kenrith, the Returned King | Throne of Eldraine

Following the recent announcements from Wizards, MTG players quickly took to Reddit to share their excitement. Reddit user u/MicrowaveJabroni, for instance, lauded the confirmation of Golden Pack’s continued existence. “First meaningful reward improvement in forever. Very happy to hear it.” As an additional tidbit of good news, WotC staff u/LeeSharpe confirmed on Reddit that “The [Golden Pack] counter is set-agnostic. Any progress you’ve earned from purchasing BRO packs will still be used toward acquiring Golden Packs as you purchase ONE packs.” 

Alongside celebrating the continuation of Golden Packs, players were understandably pleased by the surprise announcement of pre-order price reductions. “Did I read the words lowering prices? And golden packs continue. What is happening,” u/Disastrous-Donut-534 commented. For better or worse, while prices have been cut, players pointed out that Wizards isn’t giving away free value. “Lowered price but removed items. So really, they split a bundle in two. Not that it’s a bad thing,” u/Spencie-cat noted. 

Mixed in between all of the positivity, Reddit users highlighted that Wizards is hyping up some big things for Magic’s future. In the Arena announcements article, Wizards states, “in 2023, Magic will be changed forever, so buckle up, steel yourself, gird your loins, and all the other metaphors to prepare for what’s to come!” Currently, it’s unclear precisely what Wizards has up their sleeves, but nevertheless, players are intrigued. “Is this just general hype language or referring to something specific? maybe just the story elements from Phyrexia: All Will Be One,” u/pchc_lx questioned. Answering this query, u/Disastrous-Donut-534 pointed out that “MaRo has said both story and gameplay will change with March of the Machines.” For better or worse, however, it’s still unclear precisely what these changes might be. 

Read More: Have Leaks Ruined MTG’s Latest Spoiler Season?

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