Want to Play MTG Arena for Free? Here’s How to Build a Huge Gold And Card Collection

Want to play Magic the Gathering for free on Arena? No spending of money needed, just time and steady commitment.

Want to Play MTG Arena for Free? Here’s How to Build a Huge Gold And Card Collection

We’ve covered some quick and really cheap ways to get into Magic: the Gathering, and one of those tips is to get into the latest online platform Arena. But how do I build a big Gold and card collection on Arena without spending? If you look at the the “Store” tab, the prices aren’t negligible and these are digital products that you can’t resell on the secondary market.

How Much Gold and Gems Can You Earn on Arena Without Paying?

Building a big collection of gold and gems in MTG Arena can be done for free but takes time.

This is my Arena collection and available currency in 18 months of playing the game. I’d spent US$5 at the very beginning with the starter pack. 18 months might seem like a long time to accumulate 160,000 coins, 6800 Gems, 110 Rare Wildcards and 58 Mythic Rare Wildcards. But I have also used a lot of resources, purchasing at least 180 packs using Gems, and also playing a Quick Draft event (5000 coins entry fee) every week.

This net-positive economy is driven by a daily routine and by playing certain events. You can build up a big Arena Gold and card collection without paying a cent, by using the free currency (coins) to earn premium currency (gems). With a good win average of 50%, this will be overall profitable in the long run.

Step 1: Set Up a Daily Routine and be Consistent

The first step to building a huge Arena collection is to develop a routine of playing daily. Every day the daily win rewards will reset. The win rewards give out coins on a diminishing scale, and up to 15 wins per day. To optimise the coin payout over time, it is most efficient to target just 4 wins a day.

Daily WinCoins Earned
1st win250
2nd to 4th win100 each
6th, 8th, 10th win50 each
12th and 14th win25 each

Just 4 daily wins will earn 550 coins per day, equivalent to 3850 coins per week. I don’t recommend playing for more than 4 wins a day as a lot of time is expended to get more wins. Note that losses do not count for anything, so every loss is time that is gone. A 6th win that requires 3 games (2 losses before a win) and earns only 50 coins is not a good deal.

Do not buy individual packs with these coins! Although you could, there is a better way to grow your Arena collection. We will go into that in more detail later on.

Next up on the coin-gathering mission is to do your Daily Quests. Every day, at the same time when daily rewards reset, a new quest is added to your profile. These are more thematic requirements, such as “play 40 lands,” or “cast 45 green or blue spells.”

Quests give either 500 or 750 coins, and players are allowed to refresh a quest once a day. Thus it is always better to refresh a 500-gold quest in the hope of getting a 750-gold quest. At the end of the week, you would have earned at least 3500 gold coins from Daily Quests.

Step 2: Put Gold Coins to Work for You

With 3850 gold coins from daily wins, and another 3500 coins from daily quests, that means you have at least 7350 gold coins a week at your disposal. Again, don’t spend these on individual packs as it is not as economical as playing certain events. There are 2 events that many beginners take part in – Quick Draft and Standard Event – and we will focus on Draft first.

Averaging 3 wins in a quick draft will get you better rewards than opening packs

Quick Draft costs 5000 coins to enter. It is a Draft format where the player (you) and 7 others (bot A.I) each open a booster pack of cards. Every one picks 1 card, and passes the remainder on until the pack is depleted. This process is repeated for 3 packs. At the end of the picking process, you build a deck and battle for 7 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first.

Suppose you average 1 win for every 1 loss (50% win percentage), and you end the event with a 3-3 score. Your rewards are 300 gems and a minimum of 1 pack (with a chance for a 2nd pack). Here’s a comparison of rewards between this Quick Draft scenario and opening 5 booster packs directly with 5000 coins:

Quick Draft RewardsOpening 5 Packs with 5000 Coins
Minimum 4 rares (3 from Draft picks and 1 reward pack)Maximum 5 rares
Minimum cards: 53 cardsMaximum cards: 40 (8 per pack)
300 Gems (= 1.5 packs)

Look at the table above and you’ll see the rewards are significantly better with Quick Draft. You’ll be able to build your Arena collection at a faster pace. One might point out that you can only get 4 Rares from the event, and that’s if you always pick the Rare cards. However that is a minimum, and there are times when Rares are passed over by the bots.

Once you improve your average win percentage, the Gem rewards get better with more wins. These gems have a clear exchange rate to coins/packs:

200 gems = 1 pack = 1000 coins

These gems can be used for any purpose, including purchasing booster packs. That counts as at least an additional rare card in the Quick Draft rewards.

There are some downsides to playing Quick Draft that you should be aware:

  1. The Draft packs do not count toward your Wildcard rewards. Normally opening packs adds to your tally of redeeming wildcards (6 packs for 1 Rare Wildcard), but this does not apply in Quick Draft.
  2. The Draft format has a learning curve and new players can easily find themselves going 0-3 in the event. In that scenario, with 50 gems and 1 pack (possibly 2) as a reward, you benefit less. But everyone starts somewhere, and with more practice your win percentage will go up.

Don’t be discouraged with Draft. We have a good strategy guide on how to draft in Arena, do check it out and also contact us if you have any questions. If you found all those words above a little too dizzying, check out our instructional video below:

End Step: What to Do After Earning Gems?

Our advice: reinvest those Gems in more Quick Drafts or use them for Mastery Passes. These provide the most value for your Arena collection. However spending 9000 Gems for 45 packs is also a decent proposal, since you’ll be earning plenty of Wildcards. Wildcards are great for expanding your collection in a deliberate way. You’ll also be able to select the exact card you want, rather than leaving to chance from random packs.

After playing from Tempest to Urza's Saga block, Ted took a 20 year break from the game before returning to the classic Plane of Dominaria in 2018. His favourite formats are Commander, Draft, and, grudgingly, Standard.
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