Historic Anthologies was released on March 12, 2020. With it comes 25 new-old cards curated just for the Historic format in Arena.
For the previous article on past sets, click here:
Historic Anthologies 1: Is it Worth It?
There are some excellent new cards available in this new bundle. This article won't go into whether cards are good or bad or what cards are the most exciting, there are plenty of articles on this subject already. This will stick purely to the topic of value.
The previous set included 20 new singles to add to your collection, where as this new set adds 5 cycle lands, bringing the total singles to 25.
The entire play set is 100 cards.
The cost for the entire 100 card play set is 25,000 Gold or 4,000 Gems.
Real World Cost
Because the pricing structure for this set introduces a new unequal exchange rate to the economy, we have yet another data point that changes the values again. We are now looking at a calculated value of 5.8360 Gold per Gem.
This gives Historic Anthology 2 two different calculated values, depending on your method of payment:
All values are in $USD.
What's in the set?
Let's take a look at what you get in this set. The $USD values listed here are current mid-trading values in Paper Magic, and have absolutely no coloration to Arena. The Paper Magic values are listed just for fun and reference.
A quick word on Paper Magic Values
While the Paper Magic values have no connection to Magic Arena, I just wanted to show some sort of Paper Magic values, even if these are just virtual cards. I invest in Paper Magic too, so this is important to me in knowing how much free or discounted value I am getting from Arena.
For $23-$25, you are getting excellent value from this. The Paper Magic singles alone are worth $70.30, with a full Paper Magic play set being worth a cool $281.20 in value.
What this is telling you is that if you wish to play with these cards at all, regardless if they are Paper Magic or virtual Arena cards, you are able to play with them on Arena for almost a 12X cheaper cost.
Of course we don't need to state there is absolutely zero value to anything you have purchased in Arena. The minute you put money into Arena, you are simply spending it on current and future fun in the game. There is no investment value received for money spent in Arena.
Free to Play Players (F2P)
If you have a lot of extra gold laying around, and play a lot of historic, it's a no-brainer to grab these up at the gold rate, since this is the F2P method of choice and this would be completely free.
If you are successful at drafting and have acquired a lot of extra gems from winning that you don't need for the foreseeable future, then use gems, since this is cheaper than using gold.
You will need to make a choice regarding your extra gold or gems and which one is worth the cost.
Since this is such a large purchase, you will need to plan ahead on what you need that gold and those gems for in the future. 25,000 gold takes roughly 23 days to build back up with minimal play effort. Will you need that gold before then? Gems take a while to build back up too from all those draft games you will need to win.
Spending Real Money
If you spend real money regularly in Arena, you can look at this a bit differently.
Since you can't buy gold, and many items are gold purchases only, do you have enough gold to keep yourself going for whatever you may need, such as new Daily Deal cosmetics? If so, spend the gold, since you don't need it since you spend real money anyway.
Otherwise, spend the gems on this set, because, again, it's a better rate over gold for someone who actually spends real money in Arena. You can easily replace those gems by purchasing more, or through draft winnings if you are successful in that format.
Before Purchasing this entire set!
Keep in mind that either 25,000 gold or 4,000 gems is a huge purchase price. Do you still need to do more drafts? The addition of Daily Deals in the Arena Store has added a lot more gold and gem sinks lately. Do you value cosmetics items? Those new Nyx lands cost 15,000 gold on their own. They are constantly bringing back older sleeves and other deals and bundles lately.
Also consider too that completing the Mastery Pass will give back 1,800 gems over time, paying for almost half the Historic Anthologies II set, or the purchase price of the next Mastery Pass.
There is a lot to mull over.
What if I only need a few cards?
Here are the individual card values for each purchase method:
Gold = 25,000 Gold / 100 Cards = 250 Gold per Card = $.25 per card
Gems = 4000 Gems / 100 Cards = 40 Gems = $.23 per card
That said, lets take a look at current wild card values:
Using wild cards on a single set of these cards will cost you
7 x Common = $22.75
6 x Uncommon = $16.14
10 x Rare = $54.20
2 x Mythic = $32.54
A full play set, being 4 of each card, will set you back $125.63.
Why is this important to know wild card values? It helps us determine how many wild cards to spend before it becomes more expensive than just purchasing the entire set.
Remember that you also can't buy wild cards directly. You must get them from opening Arena booster packs. Some Arena booster packs you get for free, some you get from spending gold or gems over time. All of this adds up to how much free or real money you have spent in the game for those wild cards vs how much cheaper real money might be depending on your needs.
A good example of this is that 1 Arena Booster pack is 1,000 gold. Every 6 booster packs you open is guaranteed to give you a Rare Wild Card from the Wild Card Wheel. To get just 4 rare wild cards, you will need to have spent 24,000 gold on 24 booster packs. You may as well just spend 1,000 more gold and purchase the entire Anthologies set and get all 100 cards.
I have a ton of useless wild cards I don't need...
You may think that you have an abundant supply of wild cards that you don't care about, and you have every card in all the sets already.
But keep in mind that WotC keeps teasing bringing older sets back into Arena. You may suddenly find you have a big need for wild cards if that happens.
Spend at your own risk.
So, is it worth it?
This depends entirely on your needs.
Do you want the entire play set for completionist purposes? It's cheaper to just buy it using gems or gold.
Do you only need a single set for Brawl use? It's still cheaper to purchase the entire play set using gems or gold.
Do you only need a few cards for Brawl? Craft those few cards you need using Wild Cards, but do your homework first to figure out if you will want more beyond just a few cards.
Do you only need a few cards here and there for Historic decks? Keep in mind that regular constructed decks need 2-3-4 copies of each card. This can quickly add up to costing you more in wild cards than it would be to just purchase the entire set. Make sure to do your homework before crafting any cards.
I hope this article was of use to you and helped you in your decision making process for Historic Anthologies II.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments.
See you in the Arena!
It's time to do another purge of stuff. I buy/sell/trade computers and other electronics, and have a lot of stuff that needs to go.
I have a large amount of Magic: The Gathering cards for sale as well, cheap!
Local pickup only (Orlando/Mt Dora, FL Area), no shipping.
Everything sold As-Is. No Refunds.
Please contact me for more info.
For those with no AC adapter, they are generally $15 on eBay, I can also order you one for the additional cost if you commit to buy. Batteries all in unknown conditions. The newer models I would assume still work fine and have some life left, the older models, just assume they don't work, or hold a shorter charge. Most show signs of wear, a few have surface scratches or cracks in the plastic. Contact me for more specific details on anything in particular.
Unless otherwise noted, everything is in good working condition. I did not test any DVD drives as I do not use them. WiFi works on everything. All laptops have a fresh clean install of a legit Windows 10 license and all updates as of when I refurbished the unit.
New-ish in box. Has about 10 minutes of flight time on it. Only signs of wear are a few gentle landings in the grass. Works great, never wrecked.
I just realized it wasn't for me after flying it around for a few minutes. I'm not really an RC guy.
Has brand new upgraded 4000mAH battery, direct from Traxxas, with only a couple minutes of flight time on it.
Includes everything it came with in the box.
Magic: The Gathering
Pauper / Common Playsets
2/12/20 PRICE DROP!
ALL sets $5/ea!!!
As of early July, 2019, Wizards of the Coast announced that they are officially recognizing Pauper as a fully sanctioned format! This means that they will have official events and tournament support for both local game stores and at larger events.
New to Magic Arena and want to try your hand at Pauper? You can own physical copies of many of the cards you play with daily online. This is a cheap way to get into paper Magic.
Many of these sets are out of print, so get them while you can!
I am also willing to trade sets. I am looking for War of the Spark common playset, and anything else not listed here. I am also looking for vintage cards. Let me know what you got!
Also available: If you want some "almost" full sets, and don't mind some missing cards, let me know, I will give steep discounts on multiple sets of your choice.
If you want to buy all the remaining bulk (roughly 50K+ cards), it's all for sale too, all boxed and sorted by set, color and alphabetized. Start your own online store! $500 for all of it ($.01/ea per card).
ALL sets $5/ea!!!
I will be happy to meet you somewhere nearby 32822 for delivery.
The following sets are still available:
*Missing Cards / Partial Sets – Please ask what’s missing if interested in a partial set, I have them documented on each set’s box.
*Amonkhet 99% - includes only 2x Essence Scatter, otherwise 100%
*Amonkhet 98% - includes only 1x Essence Scatter, otherwise 100%
*Guilds of Ravnica partial sets – ask about what’s missing, it ranges from 6 – 30 cards (out of ~400ish) – I can make a deal on these, let me know if interested.
*Ravnica Allegiance partial sets – ask about what’s missing, it ranges from 32-55 cards (out of ~452ish) – I can make a deal on these, let me know if interested.
*Iconic Masters – missing: Mana Leak, Thought Scour, Mind Stone, Star Compass and includes only 1 x Lead the Stampede.
Cards are all Near Mint condition. All prices adjusted to reflect any missing cards, and the included uncommons. If dual/special lands were not included in the set, it means I just don’t have any, so don't ask. Cards come in a mix of MTG bundle deck boxes, plain white card boxes, and empty booster boxes. Boxes may have markings on them left over from the previous owners. If there is a card missing that wasn’t mentioned, please let me know. I’ve handled hundreds of thousands of cards while putting these sets together. My hands, back, eyes and brain are tired, and sometimes things get miscounted by mistake. If the card was not mentioned as missing, then I probably have it and can get it to you.
This page will be a running log of changes to the Arena Current Values when the occur.
Calculations can be found on my shared Google Sheet: Arena Calculated Values
This update is long overdue, but not much has changed since May.
The July 16, 2020 update brought the borderless planeswalker bundles, and with it a another price point to add to the card style pricing. Prices actually dropped from $2.19/avg to $2.14/avg overall, with these particular bundles being priced at $1.87 / 320gems and $1.60 / 1600gold.
The average price of avatars came down slightly, though that price decrease was for only one avatar, Basri Ket. While his gem price of 500 remained the same across the board, they lowered the gold price from 3000 down to 2500 for just this one avatar.
Not much else has changed. Gold/Gem/Dollar values are still the same.
Not much has changed. It appears that WotC is dialing in what people are willing to pay, as well as their conversion rates. Rates have been kept the same for many months now.
As far as changes go, the only change in the past month was for sleeves. There was a daily deal on country flag sleeves for 1,500 gold / 300 gems. This brought the average value of sleeves down from $5.63 to $4.30.
There are no other changes to report. I have not messed with the individual card values pricing at all, I may pick back up on that project later.
I did not have a March update, since it was so close to the Feb update, and nothing had really changed.
I have a new calculation that I added in. Individual card values.
WotC is selling individual cards via Historic Anthologies I and II. With this, I was able to calculate the cards values. Since there is no actual value on each rarity or card itself, we can only go by a bulk purchase price at this time.
There are 80 cards in Historic Anthologies I and 100 cards in Historic Anthologies II. There are also the special art lands they are now selling, the Unsanctioned full art lands, and Unsanctioned Hidden Squirrel lands. Unlike the Theros Nyx Lands, these particular lands are not being sold as "cosmetic".
Based on this, and the fact that you can use basic lands infinity times, I am going to go out on a limb her and say each land bundle has 20 of each land to help calculate an actual real world price for them.
I figure that most decks have 24 lands, most people use special castle lands or dual lands for most mono or duel colored decks, and then 20 regular basic lands would be the minimum you would need to fill out your deck for a cohesive look.
Based on this, I figure that each land is really 20 lands each, and therefore 100 total lands for the purchase price of each of the two land bundles.
Calculating out each gold and gem value of each bundle, the values come out to 4 different dollar amounts, bringing the average to $.17 per card.
I don't know if I will keep this value or not, as it seems a stretch to add in the lands this way, but it's the only logical way that I see since nobody just purchases 1 single land, and gets to use it 20 times in each deck in a real paper deck, meanwhile the other bundles you actually need and get 4 individual copies of each unique card.
Gold dropped a little. Card styles had even more wacky pricing in the "daily deals" area of the store, making their values drop slightly. Uncommon wild cards went up slightly in value, as did the Gold per Gem exchange rate.
With the release of Historic Anthologies II, the exchange rate will be changing once again.
They have priced this at 4000 Gems or 25,000 Gold. This adds one more different rate of 6.2500, bringing the total number of different rates to 5.
We now have:
This moves the rate from 5.7325 to 5.8359, and thus lowering the $USD value in the game economy.
2/29/2020 Rate Calculation Adjustment!
Going into March, we see more sales happening in the Daily Deals section of the store. I decided to not count these as part of the exchange rate simply because they are sales. But of note, it seems they are keeping the values in the Daily Deals to a 5 Gold per Gem rate, regardless of the wildly changing random prices they are putting on things.
After looking over all the various rates, I decided to change how the Exchange Rate is calculated. Instead of counting every different item I see in the entierty of Arena, and averaging them together, I am only going to average together the different exchange rates found.
For this we have 4 different rates showing:
This averages out to 5.7325 Gold per Gem. This of course will change the values of everything, but I believe this is a much better way to calculate this value going forward.
Today marks the February Update and with that comes new things in the store.
We have the introduction of the "Daily Deals" which I believe is going to wreak havoc on the values of everything with their "sales". Some have new rates we can use for conversions too, which helps, but doesn't help.
I added in the Brawlers Guildhall cost into the conversion rate as well since it seems to be sticking around. I decided that even if it changes the pricing, I will start to include any and all items or events into the conversion rate if they have both a gold and a gem cost listed.
We also have the coveted Theros Beyond Death Full Art Lands, each color bundled with a Nyx basic land. These are being sold for 3000 gold, so basically 2 card styles for that price, which actually lowered the value of card styles this week from $2.26 down to $2.21.
The Secret Lair first bundle of 7 sleeves is also now available. These are selling for 600 gems or 4000 gold each, giving us another data point to use for conversion rates.
The changes are shown below
Today we have a new event that has appeared: Standard Treasure.
The Gem to Gold rates are different for both costs, so we now have yet another item to use for our Gold to Gem conversion rates.
Standard Treasure costs either 500 Gems or 2500 Gold, which is equivalent to $2.90 and
$2.50 respectively (as per previous rates). This averages out to 5 gold per Gem, which is currently the same rate of a Booster Pack.
This changes the Gold per Gem rate from 6.0833 to 5.8667.
I also added a few more data points that I had not previously looked at that will change the average values of everything as well. I included both the Standard and Historic Events (95 Gems or 500 Gold) and Traditional Standard (190 Gems, 1000 Gold). These both come out to the same rate of 5.26 Gold per Gems. Since the Standard and Historic events are the same rate, I only included a data point for a single one.
This changes the Gold per Gem rate from 5.8667 to 5.6942.
I am also starting to track the Traditional Draft costs, as this is one of the few items you can directly purchase via Gems.
The full updated list is as follows:
Previously we had Sleeves at 1200 Gems, with the one lone Gold obtainable sleeve, Liliana Yoshitaka Amano, at 4,000 Gold. This stayed this way for a long time, leading me to believe that that would be the standard Gold price for a sleeve.
As of the previous update, WotC has bucked the trend of sleeve pricing, and we now have new Exquisite sleeves (Cryptic Command and Lightning Bolt) at 8,000 Gold. I feel that this no longer represents a representation of Gems vs Gold because of the direction they are going with premium products, so I removed Sleeves from the conversion chart.
Because of this removal as a data point for Gems vs Gold conversions, this lowered the amount of items available with direct Gem and Gold costs, and thus has changed the values.
This changes the Gold per Gem rate from 5.533 to 6.083.
We also have a Standard Event that costs either
What this has done is lower the values, and thus the cost, of each item in the game across the board.
The full updated list is as follows:
It's been a while since I last wrote up a recipe article. I've been really busy with my new job lately and just don't have time to write as many food articles as I would like. My new boss loves bacon, jerky and bourbon. What better way to to say thanks than by serving him up with some good cooking!
Before getting started, this will either require a dehydrator or your oven needs to be able to hold a low temp at 160*F
I don't take credit for this marinade. I got into jerky making and have really been enjoying the Jerkyholic line of recipes. These guys are full of tips and tricks for great marinade recipes to best cuts of beef for jerky making. I have modified this slightly to exclude curing salt and substituted molasses for maple syrup.
Roughly half the weight of the raw meat, so 1 lb = 1/2 lb.
This is why Jerky is so expensive to buy in the store.
Cut your bacon either in half or into bite sized pieces. I went with the bite sized pieces myself. It makes for a more convenient snack. Put the cut bacon into a ziplock bag.
Next, mix all of the marinade ingredients up and pour into the bag.
Let all of the air out of the bag as you close it. Massage the bag a bit to make sure all of the bacon gets separated and that the marinade is able to coat everything as evenly as possible. Then set the bag in the refrigerator overnight.
Pre-heat your oven to 200*F
Prepare a few baking sheets with wire cooling racks on top of them. I also lined my baking sheets with aluminum foil, and then coated everything in olive oil. This will help later when the bacon is ready to come out of the oven and wants to stick to everything.
Place your bacon across the cooling racks so that they are suspended over the baking sheet. The purpose here is to help melt off as much fat as possible while they slowly cook.
Place your bacon in the oven for roughly 3 hours. I would set a timer to check once per hour to see how they are doing.
Below is a time progression of what my bacon looks like as it's cooking over the 3 hours.
You do not want them to get too crispy, or it will ruin the chewy texture of the final jerky.
Once they start to just lightly crisp up, they are done.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
Heavily pat the bacon in some paper towels to remove as much grease as you can from them. This will be important for the dehydrator. You can see how much grease drained out of the fat already in the bottom of the baking sheet.
Now, there are two paths to go next, one is if you have a dehydrator, and the other is if you do not.
Finish in the Oven (if you don't have a dehydrator)
If you only have an oven, you can set your bacon back on the cooling rack pans and cook for another few hours at 160*F, checking every hour until they appear done.
My oven is a newer (I say newer, it's 12 years old now!) LG digital model that lets me dial in the temp exactly where I need it.
If you have an older analog dial oven, you will need to use an oven thermometer to make sure it can hold 160*F. Otherwise it will overcook the meat and make it too crispy for jerky.
It will still taste good, but it will be more like crispy bacon than jerky.
Finish in the Dehydrator
My dehydrator is the Nesco Professional 600W 5-Tray Food Dehydrator, FD-75PR. I paid $12 for it from Goodwill, new-in-box.
Dehydrators are easy to find at most larger thrift stores, such as Goodwill. I typically find one every other time I visit there. They run about $10-15, often in a brand new in beat-up-dusty-box condition. People buy these things, use them once, then let them collect dust. Their loss is your gain!
Place all of your bacon pieces in the dehydrator. Spread them out enough to give them room for the air to move around them. I used 2 racks for 1lb of bacon.
Set the dehydrator for 160*F and let them cook for another 2-3 hours.
As I approached hour 3, I decided they were done and took them out.
You can see here they look a bit more shriveled up and darker in color. Further grease had dripped into the bottom tray and these are about as dry as I can get them without cooking them further.
Bacon is so fatty that it's hard to get all of the grease out. Beef dries up a lot better, but then it's not bacon!
I patted them all again with paper towels to remove further grease and then stored it all in a sealed container with some paper towels in the refrigerator.
If you want to store these longer term, I suggest reading up on curing salts. Jerkyholic explains the use of curing salts if you want to get into that, but mine jerky usually doesn't last a week so it will be fine in the refrigerator.
Don't think of this as just "jerky".
Think of it also as fancy bacon bits! Put these in salads, put some in your sandwiches, dice it up and put it in recipes that call for bacon, such as baked potatoes or broccoli salad, etc. The bourbon maple flavoring adds a rich taste to any recipe!
I will be adding mine to a special mac and cheese recipe for another article soon.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Making jerky is not very difficult so long as you have time, patience and a good dehydrator. The right cuts of meat and a good marinade makes for wonderful high protein snacks.
What is Collection Drafting?
Collection Drafting is drafting for the sole purpose of building your collection. This goes beyond Rare Drafting, where you pick the rares each time, but still pick other specific cards in order to build a winning draft deck to play with.
Collection Drafting has no intention of winning any games or really even playing the games, unless you just want to. By playing, there are more gems on the line to win, but your card pool will be left with sub-optimal picks, leaving you with the jankiest of jank to play with. Its often not worth the time. But go right on ahead if you love jank! Just remember the majority of other people probably picked their card pool to build winning decks with. Personally I don't enjoy playing the draft games, so for me, I am perfectly OK skipping the game play.
If you love to play draft games, then this article is not for you. This article is specifically for those looking to build a larger collection for their constructed needs through a more optimal system of obtaining those cards.
How do we get started?
We will need a few things to get started:
First of all you need gold, and lots of it!
If you just started playing Arena, this is still the preferred method of obtaining a large collection quickly, and this article is still for you. This will help you get ahead of the curve when it comes to amassing a large collection and a better card pool to start out with.
Many of us have spent the entire previous set grinding away for gold. For those that have, hopefully you should have roughly 100K gold at this point. For those that don't, this method will still benefit you greatly. I have even broken this down into 50K gold to show you what you can get from even half of that vs just opening up packs.
Unopened Booster Packs
Whenever a new set comes out, you may be tempted to start opening those shiny brand new booster packs. WAIT! Don't open them until you have completed all of your Ranked Drafts.
This will help force even more good rares your way in the end. This will also be your source of wild cards, though waiting until after draft has no bearing on the wild card outcome.
Just know you won't be getting any wild cards in the draft process. They come strictly from the regular Arena booster packs.
You will need to install a tracker that tracks not only your collection inventory, but also shows you the best draft picks for both limited and rare drafting.
One such tracker is MTGAHelper. You can read my guide on how to install and configure it here: MTGAHelper Installation
The tracker will help you keep track of what you do and don't already have in your collection. This helps produce far fewer duplicates. The limited and rare draft pick information will help you pick the stronger cards first, which will be even more important if you have less gold to draft with.
This article will will show MTGAHelper being used as examples throughout. This article is not sponsored by MTGAHelper in any way. I simply enjoy using it for my own needs.
How much did I spend?
I started with only planning to do 20 drafts this time. I wanted to save my gold for any events that came up between now and the next set. I figured at some point the Theros Full Art Lands would be available, so just in case its via an event, or gold, I will have the extra gold. If not, I have saved plenty for the next set.
Also, I was not as interested in this set as the past few sets, so I really didn't need to go for all the rares. 20ish drafts would be plenty for 100% commons/uncommons and at least half the rares. I'm good with that!
How long did it take?
Drafting all of these sets only took several hours, mainly because I was writing down every single card picked for my spreadsheet. You could easily blow through 20 drafts in an hour or so if you hustled through.
I had so much fun picking cards that I ended up doing one more draft for a total of 21. This also gave me the exact amount of booster packs I needed to get data on an even 50 Arena Booster packs I would be opening afterwards and collecting data on too.
I'm ready to collect! Now what?
Now that you have gold and a tracker installed, lets get started! Go ahead and start up your tracker if it isn't already open, and then start up MTG Arena.
By default, MTGAHelper is set to automatically pop up when you start a game or start a draft.
What do we have here? Lots of cool information to use to help you with your collection building.
LSV/Channel Fireball Limited Values
These values are based on Luis Scott-Vargas's (LSV) picks for Limited play, which are the strong cards you will want if you are going to play out your draft games after you have finished drafting your cards.
These values are not necessarily useful for constructed, but can still give a good indicator on power level. If a card is strong in one format, there's a change it may be strong in other formats. If you mouse over the value for each card, you will see a quick description of what LSV says about the card and why he picked it.
You can also go to Channel Fireball's website and read up on LSV's Constructed rantings for each card, which may be of more value for what you are going to be using these for.
For more information on LSV's picks and articles, head over to Channel Fireball.
MTGAHelper Rare Draft Pick
This next indicator will show you what picks are the best for Rare Drafting. I am not fully sure how this is weighted, as it seems to be pulling information based on decks I am tracking on the MTGAHelper Website... of which I am not currently tracking any decks.
On the MTGAHelper website, there is a "Deck Sources" under the advisors drop-down that is letting me track decks from different websites. I have one from Aetherhub selected, so it's possibly it's tracking the top meta decks from Aetherhub and relaying this information back to me in the form of this Rare Draft pick.
Cards in your Collection
This is the number I am most interested in. I want to know how many of these cards I already have in my inventory so I pick only cards I need and avoid as many duplicates as I can.
For MTGAHelper, this number will only update between drafts, so you may want to keep your tracker's website open to make sure you don't grab a 4th copy of a card if you're getting close to 4 copies.
My Collection Picking Method
Now that you have the basics of what you are looking for, I will explain how I make my own picks.
For each and every pick screen that wheels my way, I look at the top few cards to make sure there are no Rares or Mythics that I missed. The first pick of every pack will have your guaranteed Rare, but sometimes the bots will not take the Rare as their first pick, so you may have a Rare show up on subsequent picks. I have seen Rares show up on pick 4 and 5 before, so always check before clicking on a card.
Once I make sure there are no rares on the screen, I look at the LSV ratings on the tracker and pretty much always go for the strongest rated Uncommon.
From here I will keep picking Uncommons until there are nothing but Commons left. After that I will continue to pick Commons based on the strongest LSV rating.
One caveat to this for me is that if there are specific cards I really want to upgrade my daily decks with, I will always pick those first over any other Common or Uncommon. Once I have all 4 of what I absolutely want, I will go back to selecting the strongest LSV rated card.
If you are going to be doing 20+ drafts, you can rest assured that you will get roughly 99% of both the commons and uncommons, so don't worry about passing some over, as they will most likely show up again.
Keep in mind too that after you finished doing your Ranked Draft, you will have a ton of Arena booster packs to open, which will often fill in the rest of the Commons and Uncommons you are missing.
My point is, for 20+ drafts, don't worry about Commons and Uncommons, you will usually get 99% of the full playset of both of them.
Once I have finished picking my cards, if I feel like playing, I might play a game or two. I typically don't since my pics won't really be anything cohesive for winning. I am simply picking them for building constructed decks out of.
After playing or not, go ahead and end the draft, claim your prizes and move on to the next one.
That's basically it. There's nothing complicated to it if you don't plan to play any of the draft games out. You're simply hand picking all the cards you want for your collection.
MTGAHelper Draft Data
After each Ranked Draft, or any time you like, you can head over to the MTGAHelper.com website to check in on how you did.
The screen below shows all of the cards I acquired after my first draft.
The left column shows my inventory changes for each event. From this screen, you can see that I played a few games before doing a draft.
The right column shows all new cards acquired for this particular day.
Looking at the next screenshot, we can see what it looks like after 21 drafts.
If you scroll down the screen, you will see on the left side every single draft you did, and every card you got to keep, how much vault progress you gained, gems earned, booster packs earned and more.
On the right side, you can see every card acquired from all 21 drafts that I was able to keep. It does not show which cards got vaulted.
I waited until the next day to open all of my booster packs. The below screenshot is the results of all the booster packs I opened after doing 21 Ranked Drafts.
On the left hand column, you can see each and every pack that I opened, what I got to keep and what the vault progress was for cards that got vaulted.
Just like with the draft results, the right hand side shows all of the cards I was able to keep from all of the opened packs.
What can I expect to get from Ranked Draft?
I'm glad you asked, as I also just finished my Arena Theros Beyond Death Ranked Draft Data article!
You can find all of this information here: Arena THB Ranked Draft Data
In this article I go into more detail on what I actually drafted. I also break down various amount of drafting from 10 to 21 Ranked Drafts. I also break down what 50 Booster Packs alone will get you if you blow all of your gold on booster packs only instead of spending it on Ranked Draft.
Many people on social media will tell you that opening packs by themselves is the better way to go, and that doing Ranked Draft without playing any of the games is a waste of time, but the math does not lie. Ranked Draft will get you more useful cards in your collection for far less Gold, especially with lower amounts of gold.
What you won't get is a ton of wild cards. You will still get a lot from opening up all your saved booster packs, but not as many as if you had just spent all your Gold on booster packs alone. Of course with only opening booster packs, you also won't get all of the Gems that you get from Drafting.
You will need to decide what is more worth your while:
More Hand Picked Cards + Gems OR Fewer Random Cards + More Wild Cards.
Now, drafting will only take you so far in collection building. Once you get past 20-22 ranked drafts or so, it really starts to get saturated with common and uncommon duplicates to the point where it starts to negatively affect you for card collecting purposes per amount of gold spent. At this point I would advise switching over and spend any remaining gold you were planning to spend on booster packs. This will give you more rares you don't already have along with a ton of wild cards in the process. I never reach this stage though, as I only spend enough gold to do 20-22 Drafts (100K-120K Gold) each set and call it quits from there.
I hope you found this article helpful. I have been using this method for the past 4 sets released with great success.
Below is my collection so far.
These cool screenshots are taken from the Collection page on MTGAHelper.
THB and ELD are the two sets that I spent 21-22 drafts on. Core Set 2020, I did maybe 18? drafts. I don't recall. WAR and RNA I did maybe 10 drafts each as I was working to get out of the New Player Rut. GRN, M19, DOM, RIX and XLN I was not fully back into playing on Arena. I have been playing since Closed Beta and took a long while off before I got back into MTG again.
If you want to know how to get started on saving Gold for the next set, I would advise reading my article: MTG Arena: Stuck in the New Player Rut? It will explain how to get out of the rut of not having any Gold, and how to get ahead of the curve so that you will start to amass a large collection starting with the next set.
Arena Theros Beyond Death Draft Data
Finally, the wait for Ranked Draft on Arena is over with the new Magic: The Gathering set Theros Beyond Death. It's time to spend all of that hard earned gold from the past few months of grinding.
If you're only interested in my spreadsheet data, you can find it here:
THB Draft and Pack Data
For drafting, I used the Collection Drafting method. For a more indepth article on Collection Drafting, please see my article Arena Collection Drafting (THB)
Data on 21 Ranked Drafts + 50 Booster Packs
For the draft process itself, I focused on Rares and Uncommons as much as I could, then picked Commons as a last choice. Doing so netted me pretty much everything I was looking for out of this process.
21 drafts, not including opening the booster packs after, gained me the following cards:
After this I opened all 50 booster packs for THB that I had saved. This data is completely stand-alone, so it will show what you get from 50 booster packs, regardless if you draft or not. This is good information for those that buy the large booster pack bundles.
Combining both the 21 Drafts and the 50 Booster packs worth of cards and calculating in all of the duplication combined, this is what I ended up with for my totals.
From this we can see that I pretty much aquired the entire Common and Uncommon playset and more than half of the Rares.
At this point, the only thing you will be gaining from the draft process is 3-4 Rares per draft and 50 extra gems at a minimum, unless you decide to play it out.
You could chose to Rare Draft and play the games out at this point since you are no logner concerned with commons and uncommons. You can then take your time to build a proper draft deck and maximize winning for the extra Gems rewards.
For me, I got what I came for, so I was satisfied without playing any games.
Here are the few random stats that I received as well from the entire process:
I collected the Wild Card data from each of the 50 Arena booster pack opened as well:
Since the Wild Card wheel rate is published right in the game, it makes it easy to calculate guaranteed Wild Cards per packs opened.
This data shows the wheel rate in action:
Data on 10 Ranked Drafts + 10 Booster Packs
Lets say you just started out, or you have read my article MTG Arena: Stuck in the New Player Rut? and only have 50K gold to spend. What does that get you exactly? We'll I'm glad you have read this far, beacause I also broke that information down just for you!
This is what 10 Ranked Drafts looks like:
Here is what opening 10 Arena booster packs looks like:
And finally, here is the combined data for 10 Ranked Drafts and then opening 10 Arena booster packs after.
Now as an encouraging note, you will most likely get more Arena booster packs rewards than just 1 per draft, but this is the guaranteed published rate. For the first 10 Ranked Drafts that I did, I actually got 12 Arena booster packs, so my total cards and wild cards would have actually been greater than what the grand total shows.
50K Gold Comparison:
Ranked Draft vs Arena Booster Packs
Now for the controversial conversation that everyone loves to talk about. As a new player, should you spend your gold on Ranked Draft or just open Arena Booster Packs?
Well, I'm glad you kept on reading this far, because I also have this exact data as well.
Since typically newer players have less gold to start with, I am only comparing what you can do with 50K gold, since this is a nice obtainable number, even halfway through a set release.
From this comparison we can see:
Also take into consideration that those 50 booster packs are all completely random cards. You may not get anything you need, or you may get lucky and get everything you need. You may also get a ton of duplicates, and thus wasted gold. You never know.
With Ranked Draft, you are able to hand pick the cards you want and need first. You also get more kept cards for your collection.
Unless you just really need those few extra wild cards, Ranked Draft is still the preferred method for building your collection.
Keep in mind too that after a certain point, Ranked Draft will have less return, typically after 22 or so drafts. From this point if you still need to spend more on getting more rares, you should switch over to spending gold on Arena Booster packs, as you will get a better return on Rares you don't have, plus more wild cards.
How does this scale?
This is what nobody seems to have any data on, and I don't have the funds to just open 100 packs to find out.
As Theros continues on, I will keep collecting data on each free Theros pack that I open, but even this will only give me another 30 or so packs to gather data on, rounding out at 75-80 or so packs opened. (For ELD, I obtained 86 free booster packs from the entire season, including draft rewards and everything I got for free from the F2P Mastery Track and free codes. )
If there is anybody out there that has opened 100 Booster packs from a single set and recorded every card opened and every wild card gained per pack, I would love to see that data so that we have something to compare with for further research. Please contact me! If you have money sitting around and would like to donate it to help the community find this out, please contact me! I would love to collect this data to share with the entire Arena community so we can have this data once and for all!
What would 100K Gold get you?
We know what you get when doing Ranked Drafts from multiple sets worth of spreadsheets, not only from myself, but from others.
Speculation for opening 100 booster packs is that the duplicates would start to ramp quickly with no way to protect against this, as you would with the draft process, but you would receive twice the wild cards as shown here with opening 50 packs since that is at a set rate.
I don't want to speculate any further with any kind of projected calculations since it would leave us open to misinformation, which is the last thing I want to inject into the already toxic social media conversations out there. I'll just stick with the facts.
2/10/22 Update Issues
MTGAHelper is a companion data service that runs along side of Magic: The Gathering Arena (Arena).
MTGAHelper consists of a web interface for browsing all of your Arena data as well as a Tracking application. The Tracking application reads the log files from your Arena client and uploads your Arena activity to the MTGAHelper website. Using the MTGAHelper website, you are able to browse all of your Arena game play statistics, card collection and decks in an easy to read format.
This document will only explain how to create an account on the website, install the MTGAHelper Tracker and configure it for use.
Further questions on how to use the Website or Tracker can be found on the MTGAHelper Discord Channel
Step 1 - Creating an Account
First you will need to register for a free account with MTGAHelper.com
A Sign-In / Sign-Up screen will pop up.
For your convenience, you have the ability to simply sign-up and log in with either a Google or Facebook account, otherwise you may still create an account without doing so.
Choose a Sign-Up option:
After signing in, you will need to install the Tracking App.
Step 2 - Install MTGAHelper Tracker
Click here to download the MTGAHelper Tracker
You may also find the GitHub install link located at the very bottom of MtgaHelper.com.
Once the download has finished, click on the installer to start the MTGAHelper Tracker installation.
Note! You may be greeted by a Windows Protection warning as soon as you click on the installer.
If so, don’t panic! You may simply click on the More info link that is underlined in the warning. It should show that MTGAHelperTracker.msi is from an unknown publisher. This is perfectly OK for this particular app. Simply click the Run Anyway button below to continue.
NOTE! You will most likely get a prompt from Windows User Account Control (UAC), warning you about installing this software. Don’t be alarmed! This is perfectly safe for MTGAHelper. This simply means that MTGAHelper didn’t pay a lot of money to be considered a “Verified Publisher” to Microsoft. Many independent developers choose this route and there is no harm in doing so.
If this screen doesn’t pop up, and your installation window will not continue, look on your Windows Task Bar, you may see an icon flashing down there, which will be the UAC Prompt. Simply click on it, and you should then see the Yes button that you will need to click on.
MTGAHelper Tracker will now install.
It should take less than a minute to complete.
The MTGHelper Tracker installation is now complete.
Step 3 - Configure MTGAHelper Tracker
Next you will need to Sign In to the Tracker app
If you do not see the Welcome screen to Log In with, then proceed to the next step.
We will need to do one more step, but this time from within MTG Arena.
You are now finished configuring everything and are ready to start playing!
Go ahead and start a Practice Match with Sparky. This will verify that the tracker is fully working.
As soon as you see your opening hand, it should pop up an overlay showing your card draw statistics.
Once you see all of this working, feel free to quit the practice match and start playing!
When you are ready to see all of your Arena gameplay statistics, click on the MTGAHelper Website link located on the main home screen of the MTGAHelper Tracker, or open a browser and navigate to: https://mtgahelper.com
Make sure you are logged in, and you should start to see your stats show up in the various menus.
You should now be receiving all of the awesome benefits of using MTGAHelper.
If you need assistance, please join the MTGAHelper Discord Channel for help.