Magic The Gathering Arena Formats Guide for F2P Players

by sipiwi94

Hey guys. A friend of mine was confused about all the formats you can pick in MTG:Arena, so he asked me about it. I thought I would write it here as well cause I remember it confused me too.

Constructed mode (You build your own deck and it free)

“Play” and “traditional play” is unranked.

“Ranked” and “traditional ranked” is ranked.

Traditional means that you are playing Best of 3 (BO3). In BO3 you can sideboard between games (you pick 15 cards from your collection before the game (in deckbuilding) and you can swap them into your deck if you want).

“Constructed Event” is Best of 1 (BO1) constructed. You pick a deck and play with that until you win 7 games or lose 3. It costs 500g to play and you get rewards based on how well you do.

“Traditional Constructed” is BO3 constructed. You play BO3 until you win 5 or lose 2 and gain rewards based on how well you do. It costs 1000g to play.

Draft mode

In Draft mode you pick cards and build a deck with the cards you pick. The way it works is: You are presented with a pack of cards and pick 1 card. Then you are presented with a new pack where one card is missing, and you pick one from there. This is repeated until all cards have been picked. Then you do the same with 2 other packs. The cards that you pick are added to your collection! In the end you build a deck of 40 cards with the cards you picked + an unlimited amount of basic lands.

“Traditional Draft” is BO3 draft, and it is always Ravnica Allegiance (the name indicates from which expansion the packs you open are). You play until you won 5 or lost 2. It costs 1500 gems and you get rewards based on how well you do.

“Ranked Draft” is BO1 and the expansion you draft changes from time to time. You play until you won 7 or lost 3. It costs 5000g or 750 gems and you get rewards based on your performance.

Apart from draft and constructed there are some weird formats here and there. They are only there for a period of time and the are usually not worth it if you wanna get the most out of your gems and gold (Those formats are for example Pauper, Sealed, and Omniscience).


The stuff that is best to play economically is Traditional Constructed. You get your money back + a bit more if you win 2 (and you are out after 2 losses so you only need slightly more than 50% winrate to go infinite). But you risk very little (1000g) so you build your economy slowly. Keep in mind you will be playing against the best decks in the game, so if you don’t play one of those you will not be in a good spot.

Ranked Draft is the also worth playing with a low winrate and you can pick (and keep) the cards you need for your constructed decks which makes it even better (cause it is keeper’s draft). The downside is that you get at least 4 packs in rewards (cause you open 3 and get 1 from rewards) so it is hard to go infinite (means you can play it forever without losing your gold and gems) in this format. ~5,5 wins each draft means you go infinite and you are out at 3 losses.

A thing to note with draft is that the packs you get are from the expansion that you are drafting. So the fewer cards you have from the expansion the better it is to draft. Another layer to this is that the newer expansions will be useful for a longer amount of time (Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance are the newer ones atm).

I hope this helped some of you. Tell me if I need to add something :-)


As many people were saying, Traditional Constructed is only valuable i you have a decent constructed winrate AND one of the ~5-10 best decks in the game. For me it was great because I came from Hearthstone so I picked up the game pretty quickly.

If you are completely new to the game I recommend buying packs or saving your gold.

I also didn’t mention how to get resources in the game, which is really important for new players.


You get 1 quest every day and if you complete it you get 500-750gold. You can hold 3 quests at a time. The quests are easy to complete because you don’t need to win to do it.

Daily wins

The first wins every day give you gold. This gold decreases really fast (250 –> 100 –> 50 –> 25). The first win gives you 250g and the next 3 give you 100g.

Free decks

In the beginning you will get additional quests daily. These quests give you a preconstructed deck. The first decks are mono color and the following are 2-colors. These decks are not the best, but there are some useful cards and you can easily improve them with the cards you get from other rewards.

Weekly packs

Every week you can get 3 packs. You get 1 pack after 5, 10, and 15 wins.


I would recommend that you try to always get your weekly packs, and that you miss as few quests as possible. The first 4 wins every day are also really valuable, so try to miss as few as possible.

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