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Magic The Gathering (MTG): Arena guide

Our primer guide on what to expect from the new game from Wizards of the Coast.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Magic The Gathering Arena guide (MTG Arena) explains how the game works and will be updated with the top decks, tips, tricks and strategy advice over time.

MTG Arena will be the next iteration of the ridiculously popular card game Magic The Gathering. Given the recent news that the game's beta audience is about to be significantly expanded upon, we wanted to put together a quick guide to explain the ins and outs of what to expect when you first download the game.

In this article you'll find a breakdown of everything we currently know about this brand-new addition to the Magic universe. We plan to add to it over time as well, so do let us know if there's anything in particular you'd like us to focus on so we can prioritise covering it.

Until then, here's what you need to know to get up to speed on the latest developments on the game!

Navigation:

Use the following links to quickly navigate to the section of the guide you're most interested in right now!

1. Overview - A quick guide to what to expect from the new version of Magic.

2. Gameplay Video - - A look at how the game actually plays in a live environment.

3. Beta - How to sign up for the latest round of the game's beta period.

4. Cards - Everything that's been confirmed so far about the cards that will make it into the launch version of the game.

5. Screenshots - All of the official screenshots that have been revealed for Magic Arena so far.

6. Free to Play - The all-important details about how this free to play game will be monetised.

7. System Requirements - What you'll need hardware-wise to actually run the game.

MTG: Arena Overview

First up, here's the reveal trailer for MTG: Arena that was published in September of last year. We've summarised the main points for you just below the embedded video, in case you can't currently watch it.

  • MTG Arena is described as the team's chance to deliver an authentic digital Magic experience but with the fun factor of what you've come to expect from a modern video game.
  • With friends and players located around the world, the purpose of MTG: Arena is to provide a space where people can recapture that experience of playing with one another online, and wherever they happen to live.
  • They want to recreate the table-top experience where you can hang out, have fun, and grow your mastery of the game over time.
  • There are a lot more visual elements to this new version of Magic, and when your creature attacks you get a lot mroe weight to it, for example.
  • The team wants to remind everyone who started this kind of game in the first place, and who the people are who are going to keep this kind of game going as we head into the future!
  • When the project began, the question was asked: What's going to be important to the players? Immediately the answer came back. Real rules that are authentic, fun to watch, fun to play, but with all the control you need to get your strategy across at the same time.
  • The team set out to create MTG: Arena in full transparency with the players, so that the players could get to grips with it and inform development of it for themselves.

MTG: Arena - Gameplay Video

If you want an idea of how all that looks in action, here's a developer stream that was published yesterday and highlights plenty of juicy gameplay.

To get a look at more of the game in action, just head over to the official Magic: The Gathering YouTube channel where you'll find lots of gameplay uploads from across the last few months of testing.

MTG: Arena - Beta

A beta has been underway for several months now, but access to it has been remarkably tricky to achieve.

The good news is that the team is about to open the doors much wider than they have been to date, so if you've registered for interest previously make sure you check the email address you used over the next 24 hours. The big NDA lifts today - 22nd March 2018 - so expect a flood of content to land all over the internet in the coming hours.

If you've not yet signed up, just head over to the official MTG Arena beta site and register your email address there. It shouldn't be too late to get started if you only get your details dropped in today.

MTG: Arena - Cards

Here's what we know about the cards that will make it into the final game:

  • When the game officially launches, it will contain the full card sets that currently feature in Standard.
  • The team anticipates that approximately 1,000 new cards will be added to the game within each 12 month period.
  • This will ensure that the game is always becoming deeper, and providing more strategic space for players to explore.
  • Booster packs contain eight cards in total. Draft packs will contain 14 cards.
  • These packs can be purchased using a Gem currency, although the team has not yet confirmed how much these packs will cost in equivalent real-world money.
  • Rather than using a crafting dust economy, packs will sometimes contain what are known as Wildcards. You can trade these for any other card of the same rarity.
  • At this time it's believed that there will not be a trading system in the game, which would allow you to exchange cards - or sell them - to other players. This would apparently prevent the team from create the kind of economy that helps players make progress through gameplay alone.

MTG: Arena Screenshots

Here's a quick gallery of all the screenshots that have been released for MTG: Arena so far. As soon as more assets are released by the developers we'll add them in here:

MTG: Arena Free to Play Monetisation

MTG: Arena is going to be free to play, but how will the team monetise the development of the game?

First of all, those of you who don't want to - or can't - spend real money on the game will be able to enhance your experience of it by making use of daily challenges and associated rewards.

To get ahead of the pack faster, there'll be a micro-transaction system that allows you to acquire more cards and booster sets. The exact mechanics of this have yet to be determined, but the team do not feel it has to tie costs for MTG: Arena to those of real-world booster pack prices.

MTG: Arena System Requirements

The system requirements for Magic The Gathering Arena aren't too demanding at all. You'll need the following system as a minimum to play the game:

  • OS: Windows 7/8.1/10 (64-Bit)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 4 GB
  • Graphics: 1024MB VRAM
  • Resolution: 1280 x 720 minimum display resolution
  • DirectX: Version 10/11/12
  • Network: Broadbane internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX-compatible sound card

That wraps up the first edition of our MTG: Arena guide. Once the game goes live and we've had a chance to play around with it ourselves, we'll update this article with all sorts of tips, tricks and strategy advice.

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