MTG Arena Golden Packs: Are They Worth Their Weight in Gold?

full cost and benefit analysis between MTG Arena's new Golden Packs and Draft and Mythic Packs.

MTG Arena Golden Packs: Are They Worth Their Weight in Gold?

Beginning with the release of The Brother Wars this month, MTG Arena is introducing a brand new reward pack called the Golden Pack, meant to reward players for purchasing booster packs through its online store.

These Golden Packs are meant to provide value for the committed Arena player, and provide an alternative path to doing Quick Draft events if your goal is to grow your card collection.

Here’s all the essential info for Golden Packs and a detailed analysis on cost/value:

How Do You Get a Golden Pack?

As a reward, Golden Packs cannot be purchased directly on the Arena store by either Gold or Gems. Instead, for every 10 packs purchased (regardless of Draft or Mythic packs), you will receive 1 Golden Pack as a reward.

Think of Golden Packs as the digital version of paper Promo Packs, provided by Wizards of the Coast and given out by local game stores (LGS) to loyal customers who play in their events.

Paper Promo Packs have the same intents and purposes as MTG Arena Golden Packs. It's a nice reward for loyal players who buy packs.
Paper Promo Packs are given out at local stores, with each containing 3 cards.

One special note is that opening reward packs (such as from Draft events, Mastery) do not count towards the 10 packs needed to obtain a Golden Pack. Those pack rewards do still count towards the Wildcards “wheel,” it’s just that packs bought directly from the store will be tracked separately.

What’s in an Arena Golden Pack?

There are 6 cards in a Golden Pack, with each being a Rare or Mythic Rare. There will be at least 1 Mythic Rare, and the other cards will each have a 1 in 8 chance (about 12.5%) to be a Mythic Rare as well.

All 6 cards will be from the current Standard sets, with at least 2 coming from the latest release. For those looking to build collections for Explorer and Historic, don’t rely on these Golden Packs to help much, it would be wiser just using your Wildcards to get older, top-tier cards like Collected Company and Thoughtseize.

Unlike the Draft or Mythic Packs, you can’t get Wildcards through the Golden Pack. That makes sense, since both Wildcards and the Golden Packs are a reward system meant to incentivise opening packs.

Value of Golden Packs VS Draft/Mythic Booster Packs

Before you can decide whether the Golden Pack is worth it, it’s best to understand the costs and compare them with the contents among Draft and Mythic packs.

PACKCOSTCONTENTS (Rare and above only)
Draft1000 Gold / 200 Gems1 Rare, Mythic Rare, or Wildcard
Mythic1300 Gold / 260 Gems1 Mythic Rare or 1 Rare Wildcard
Golden10,000 Gold / 2000 Gems (equivalent)6 (of either Rares and Mythic Rares)

If you compare the 3 different pack types purely based on a cost-to-contents perspective, it appears from the table above that the Golden Pack isn’t that valuable. For example, 10 Draft Packs will net you 10 Rares/Mythic Rares, whereas for the same cost (10,000 Gold), a Golden Pack only gives 6.

The Mythic Packs are also better than the Golden Pack, though not by much. 6 Mythic Packs cost just a little more than the Golden Pack, but will net you 6 guaranteed Mythic Rares, compared to an average of 1-3 from a Golden Pack.

However, because the Golden Pack is in fact a bonus reward for buying either Draft or Mythic Packs, one could argue that the Golden Pack is in fact free, thus making it the most value for money of the 3 pack types.

Getting Golden Packs VS Doing Quick Drafts

We’ve always championed the Quick Draft events as a consistent and free way to build one’s card collection. Granted, not everyone has the patience for that, or they may simply not enjoy the Draft format.

With the introduction of Golden Packs, might getting 1 Golden Pack, at the same cost of doing 2 Quick Drafts, provide better rewards? Let’s compare both methods in the table below, with 2 separate scenarios from the Draft events:

1 Golden Pack10,000 Gold16 Rares/Mythic Rares (randomised)
2 Quick Drafts
(Average Run)
10,000 Gold12 Rares/Mythic Rares (randomised, 8 through packs, 4 through 900 Gems)
2 Quick Drafts
(Perfect Run)
10,000 Gold19 Rares/Mythic Rares (randomised, 10 through packs, 9 through 1900 Gems)

This comparison starts off with equal cost, by either using 10,000 Gold to purchase 10 Draft Packs + free Golden Pack, or enter 2 Quick Draft events.

As returns from Quick Draft are highly dependent on win rate, an average run equates to 4 wins, netting 1 pack and 450 Gems. We are also assuming that players will Rare Draft, i.e. always picking the Rare card from each of the 3 packs you are drafting from.

Between 10 Draft Packs + Golden Pack, and 2 mediocre runs in Quick Draft, the Golden Pack path wins with 16 Rares and above, versus 12 through Drafts.

But if you’re able to accomplish 2 perfect Quick Draft runs (very difficult even for pro players), then the Quick Draft path will net 19 Rares/Mythic Rares, 3 more than getting a Golden Pack.

Advantage of Golden Packs over doing Quick Drafts:

  • Fast. Buying packs only takes a few clicks. Drafts are long, time-consuming events.
  • Return on investment not dependent on draft luck/gameplay

Disadvantages of Golden Packs compared to Quick Drafts:

  • No way to earn Gems. Gems are important in some scenarios, for example entering a Sealed event or obtaining the Mastery Pass can only be done through Gems.

End Step: Should You Get the Golden Pack?

There is a lot to praise for the Golden Pack, and truthfully very little downside apart from the fact that you can only get it by purchasing other packs from the MTG Arena store. At its core, it’s a sweet reward that Wizards has rolled out, and goes some way in restoring the goodwill among players who have been overwhelmed with new products.

If your goal has been to stick as a free-to-play player, but haven’t had the luxury of time or expertise to do Quick Drafts, then it’s highly recommended to use Gold (not Gems) to obtain Draft and Golden Packs straight from the store.

What do you think of the Golden Pack? Is it a fine addition to the Arena economy, and would that entice you to open packs rather than do Quick Drafts? Let us know in the comments!

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back To Top