MTG Arena Economy Addressed in WotC Stream—Players Aren't Thrilled

Expect to see new wild card bundles, mythic-guaranteed packs, and more in your Arena client soon.

Card: Smothering Tithe | Art: Mark Behm

It's no secret that the MTG Arena economy is severely lacking. While it's technically possible for players to grind drafts and events to play for free, doing so takes an impossible number of hours.


Likewise, those who are willing to spend cash don't have an easy (or efficient) way of getting what they need for their decks.


Wizards of the Coast (WotC) has been teasing a stream meant to address these economy issues for several months now. That took place on Thursday with Weekly MTG host Blake Rasmussen and WotC's Executive Producer for Digital Magic, Chris Kiritz.


The two discussed changes coming to the Arena economy and some of the flaws that plague it.


Keep reading for a recap of the biggest topics of the stream and what to expect moving forward. You can also watch the stream in its entirety in the player below.



Arena Wildcard Bundle Coming Soon

All Arena players know that getting enough wildcards to build new decks is a constant struggle. In fact, it's one of the biggest issues that players have with the client.


During its recent economy stream, WotC announced that it plans to start selling wildcards directly for the first time. They'll come in the form of a $49.99 USD bundle that contains 12 rare and 4 mythic wildcards.


If that sounds like a thin deal, well, that's because it is.


WotC claims it got to that number based on how many wildcards you'd get for opening a number of packs roughly equal to $50.


Players were quick to figure out that spending $50 on gems and buying packs (46 of them) would net you about nine rare and three mythic wildcards. Of course, that doesn't count the random 46 other rare/mythic cards you get from opening the packs or the hundreds of commons/uncommons.


As such, the new wildcard bundle feels like a bad deal, albeit a quick way to get wildcards for new decks if you're willing to spend some money.


Guaranteed Mythics

While the wildcard bundle is a pretty big disappointment, a different change could help create more innovation and brewing on Arena.


WotC plans to release new boosters, starting with Neon Dynasty, that contain a guaranteed mythic rare card in place of the typical rare. This will help players complete their mythic playsets a lot more efficiently than trying to earn wildcards by opening regular packs.


The new "Mythic Booster Packs" will cost 1,300 gold rather than the usual 1,000 gold. Although that's a bit of an increase, it is definitely worth it when you're hunting those elusive mythics.


No Dusting for Arena

Another solution for the economy that many players have discussed is dusting. Used by many other digital games, dusting allows you to swap cards you don't need for cards you want at a slightly negative rate.


For instance, you could "dust" three unwanted cards and get a wildcard to make a new one.


In the recent stream, Kiritz said that dusting is "not on the menu" for Arena. That dismantles the hopes many players had for an easy solution to the wildcard problem—even if it wasn't the best one.


Instead, WotC wants to continue encouraging players to open packs. Oddly enough, Kiritz mentioned the idea of "reducing regret" as the reason why. Given the fact that many players already hesitate to spend their wildcards since they are so rare, it's interesting this is the approach they're taking.


Alchemy Tweaks Coming

After a solid showing in the recent Neon Dynasty Championship, Alchemy has been the topic of more discussion in recent days. The rare/mythic wildcard density in Alchemy sets is exceedingly high, making it difficult for players to get the cards they need without breaking the bank.


Kiritz noted that WotC is pondering a "change to some of the offerings" but didn't expand further on that idea.


He also mentioned that Wizards is considering a Limited mode for Alchemy. It's difficult to picture how that would pan out given the most recent set has just 30 cards. Still, it would give players a way to get cards more efficiently.


Sparky Playtesting in the Works

While not all Arena time-limited events are liked by players, the "All-Access" events tend to be popular. They let you get a sense of whether you'd enjoy playing a deck even if you don't have the wildcards to craft it.


On a positive note, Kiritz said the team wants to develop a similar feature that would be available all the time. Some have envisioned a testing mode where players could trial new decks against Sparky, Arena's AI.


Meanwhile, Kiritz mentioned the potential of adding an all-access feature to the unranked play queue. That would be very interesting and would appeal to many casual players.


Of all things mentioned in the stream, it is one of the most exciting.


Having more options to playtest janky decks without spending precious wildcards could help increase diversity in the metagame and give creative new decks a chance to break out.


Constructed Events Prize Structure to Change

For those who don't like grinding Limited to get gold, there aren't many good ways to play for free on Arena. Constructed events offer strong players a chance to profit if they maintain a high win-rate.


It appears those events may get a bit more lucrative, according to WotC. Moving forward, constructed events will have a new prize structure. Although the details haven't been finalized, changes could include the possibility of winning gems and packs rather than gold and random cards.


That would be a welcome change for competitive grinders. It would also make the prizes similar to those won in Limited events. Players who aren't a fan of Limited would be able to grind and play for free a bit easier if this is indeed the new prize structure.

 

What do you think of the new economy changes? Are you looking forward to the wildcard bundle? Hoping to buff your collection with mythic-guaranteed packs?


We want to hear from you in the comments below or on social media!

 

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