Updated December 2021
This guide is meant to be a quick start guide to bring new players up to speed on Magic: The Gathering’s Arena Client (MTGA). If you are new to Magic: The Gathering overall, there are many other resources available to help teach you the game's rules.
Quests: You may have up to three Quests at a time. They can be completed in any mode other than Direct Challenge and Bot Mode. Quests always offer 500 or 750 gold when completed. In addition, you receive 500 experience on the Mastery Rewards Track (more on that down below). You will get one new Quest every 24 hours, up to a maximum of three. You can refresh one quest per day to replace it with another random quest. It is often recommended to refresh your 500 gold quests to try and get a 750 gold Quest.
Daily Win Rewards: Every win in a constructed, limited, or event match will give you a daily win reward. These may be completed 15 times per day, and at the start of each day will reset. Wins can provide a mix of Gold, experience on the Mastery Rewards Track, and cards. The exact reward depends on how many wins you have already within the day.
Weekly Win Rewards: These reset every week on Sunday at 2AM Pacific Time Zone. They can be earned by winning in Standard Play, Ranked Mode, and Events. Each win earns you 250 experience on the Mastery Rewards Track. You may earn this 15 times a week for a total of 3750 experience.
Experience: Experience is how you unlock the rewards along the Mastery Rewards Track. It is earned from Daily Wins, Weekly Wins, and Quests. If you manage to complete all daily wins, weekly wins, and quests within a week, you will earn 7500 experience per week. On rare occasions, it is awarded for Special Events.
Mastery Rewards Track: The Mastery Rewards Track begins with every new set release. The new set Mastery begins and the previous set Mastery ends. As you earn experience, you will unlock rewards along the top (free) half of the Mastery Track. There are currently 90 Levels, and you need 1,000 Experience to complete each Level. At any point, you may pay 3400 gems (or 5400 for 10+ extra levels) to unlock the bottom half of the Mastery Track and immediately receive all rewards on the bottom half of the track for each Level you have previously completed. The free track offers only booster packs and five Mastery Orbs to be used on the Mastery Tree. The paid track offers pets, card styles, additional boosters, gold, additional Mastery Orbs, mythic cards, draft tokens, and gems.
Mastery Tree: The Mastery Tree is an additional rewards track within the Mastery Rewards Track. Each Mastery Orb that you earn on the Mastery Rewards Track can be used to unlock a card style within the Mastery Tree. You can earn 5 Mastery Orbs on the free track, and an additional 25 Mastery Orbs can be unlocked with the paid track. There is a total of 30 Card Styles that can be unlocked if you are able to reach Level 90 on the Rewards Track.
Ranked Seasons: There are two types of ranks in MTGA. As you play constructed events, you can increase your Constructed Rank. As you play Limited events, you can increase your Limited Rank. At the end of each month, you earn rewards based on your ranks. You are also able to earn invitations to special events. At the end of each month, the season ends, and you will be set back a few ranks to start the new season.
Rankings: All new accounts start at the rank of Bronze 4 for both limited and constructed ranks. As you win games, you can increase to Bronze 3, then 2 etc. If you have won enough games at Bronze 1, you will increase to the rank of Silver 4. After progressing through Silver, you achieve Gold. After Gold, you move to Platinum. After Platinum, you increase to Diamond. If you manage to win enough at Diamond 1, you increase to Mythic. Mythic does not have the 4 levels like the other ranks. You will get a number that equals your server rank. For example, Mythic 204 would mean that you are currently the 204th highest ranked player on the Server. If you are not within the top 1200, you will get a percentage.
There are 9 different regular Queues to play constructed Magic. There is no entry cost or rewards for these Queues. They are defined below:
Play: This Best-of-One Queue will not impact your constructed rank. You may enter with a historic or standard 60+ card Deck. It is often used for new players, tweaking decks, or for completing quests.
Standard Ranked: This Best-of-One Queue will impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Standard-Legal Deck.
Traditional Standard Play: This Best-of-Three Queue will not impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Standard-Legal Deck. It is important to make sure your 15-card sideboard is up to date, as you will be able to side board in between games during the match.
Traditional Standard Ranked: This Best-of-Three Queue will impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Standard-Legal Deck. It is important to make sure your 15-card sideboard is up to date, as you will be able to side board in between games during the match.
Traditional Historic Ranked: This Best-of-Three Queue will impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Historic-Legal Deck. It is important to make sure your 15-card sideboard is up to date, as you will be able to side board in between games during the match.
Historic Ranked: This Best-of-One Queue will impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Historic-Legal Deck.
Bot Match: You can Practice against the AI with any 60-card deck. (Note, you cannot complete quests in this Queue)
Brawl: This Best-of-One Queue will not impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Brawl-Legal Deck. Brawl is a format with a Commander and a 60-card deck that must not contain any card duplicates other than basic lands. Brawl only uses cards that are legal in Standard
Historic Brawl: This Best-of-One Queue will not impact your constructed rank. You must enter with a Brawl-Legal Deck. Historic Brawl is a format with a Commander and a 100-card deck that must not contain any card duplicates other than basic lands. Historic Brawl allows any card in your collection when deck-building.
There are 3 different regular Queues to play Limited Magic. These are defined below:
Quick Draft: This Queue begins a non-timed draft against AI bots. These games will impact your limited rank. It requires 750 gems or 5,000 gold to enter. The matches are Best-of-One Games. Keep playing games until you reach 7 wins or 3 losses. This draft is targeted at less experienced players with the rewards being relatively flat as you get more wins. All cards from the draft are added to your collection.
Premier Draft: This Queue begins a timed draft against other Humans. These games will impact your limited rank. It requires 1,500 gems or 10,000 gold to enter. The matches are Best-of-One Games. Keep playing matches until you reach 7 wins or 3 losses. This draft is targeted at more experienced players with the rewards being significant for 3+ wins. All cards from the draft are added to your collection.
Traditional Draft: This Queue begins a timed draft against Humans. These games will not impact your limited rank. It requires 1500 gems or 10,000 gold to enter. The matches are Best-of-Three Games. Play 3 Matches. This draft is targeted at very experienced players with the rewards being significant if you achieve a 3-0 record. These matches can also take over an hour to play with side-boarding. All cards from the draft are added to your collection.
Rotating Event: There are many different unique events that change up the rules from the regular Constructed and Limited Queues. Some are free, and some have entry fees. Rewards will be different for each event. They typically rotate these once every week or two.
Tournaments: Tournaments are mostly organized using 3rd party tools for matchmaking. There is limited tournament ability native to the MTGA client. WOTC does occasionally run limited and constructed 'Open' events within the client that offer real cash prizes.
You may view the cards in your collection at any time. This is where you can build decks, change sleeves, and filter by owned and unowned cards. In order to get new cards, you need to open booster packs, create them with wild cards, or draft.
Deck Construction: You can choose to either build decks from scratch, or import decks from the internet or a friend. You can also export your decks to share with others.
Wild Cards: Wild cards can be Common, Uncommon, Rare, or Mythic. These correspond to Magic Card rarities and can be spent to acquire a magic card of the corresponding rarity. Wild cards can be opened in packs. You also receive 1 rare wild card every 6 packs you open. Your progress towards your free Rare wild card can be viewed in the Packs tab. Every 30 packs, the rare wild card will be upgraded to a Mythic wild card.
The Vault: Every time you receive a common or uncommon that you already have 4 of in your collection (5th copy), you will make minor progress within your Vault. When your vault is complete, you will receive 3 uncommon wild cards, 2 rare wild cards, and 1 Mythic Wild Card. You cannot view the progress of the vault until you have reached 100% or above. If you receive a 5th copy of a rare or Mythic in your collection, you will receive gem compensation.
Store: Real money is typically only used to purchase Gems or bundles that include Gems. You can then use gems or gold to purchase Packs, Card Styles, Avatars, Sleeves, and Pets within the store. Many items rotate in and out of the store. You can also redeem codes in the store for various rewards.
Gems: Gems are considered the “Premium” Currency. Gems can be bought from the store using real money. Gems are also earned as a reward for some events, even if the entry was paid with gold. Gems can be used to enter most events. Almost all items in the store can be purchased with gems.
Gold: Gold is considered the “Free” Currency. There is no way to purchase gold with real money. It is typically earned from quests, daily wins, and event rewards. Gold can be used to enter most events. Almost every single item in the store can be purchased with gold with a few exceptions.
Cosmetics: There are many items and things that you can earn or purchase that have no game-play impact whatsoever. These currently consist of Avatars, Pets, Card Styles, and Sleeves. They are purely for fun!
Codes: Many of the above listed cosmetics along with packs, decks, and more can be redeemed by codes. You can purchase many of these codes right here through the Gray Viking Games Store. Keep in mind most codes are limit 1 per MTGA account and have expiration dates so be sure to redeem them while you still can!
Friends List: You can add and remove friends in the game. You will need their display name and their player number or email address. Once you are friends you can direct challenge them anytime you are both online.
Direct Challenge: Direct challenge allows you play casually against your friends. There is no entry fee to this feature. The direct challenge also has some additional features that allow tournaments organizers to utilize it for larger events.