This is the first set that I finally started playing all of the draft games on. While my methods for collection drafting haven't changed, I actually spent time to play if what I had was able to build a somewhat playable 2 color deck. A few games I didn't bother with, but most of them I played out.
I was able to do 1 premium draft and 19 quick drafts. I waited until the set was over since there were a lot of extra free packs to gain, and I wanted to show fully what F2P gets you. I ended the set by opening 74 M21 packs, followed by 15 packs from ELD, THB and IKO.
The other 3 sets are only mentioned in that they will reflect in total wild cards earned after all of this. Card stats themselves will only reflect M21.
Since there wasn't much else I wanted to get past 20 drafts, I cut my spending short and saved my gold for the rumors of more full art lands being released, which they did with the Unstable lands that I purchased. I got far more enjoyment out of those than the 3 quick drafts worth of vaulted cards I would have received.
I ended up using several cards from M21 for the Mono White Lifegain deck: Selfless Savior, Speaker of Heavens, Swift Response and Basri Ket. I also used the new rotation proof Arena only card Hallowed Priest.
I do purchase the mastery pass each set, for free from past gem earnings, and this set was no different.
I used MTGAHelper as my tracker to help figure out what I did and did not have while drafting so as to avoid duplicates as best as I could.
I wanted to change things up a little this time because it might help better show what total amounts of cards you can obtain from the free-2-play path. I typically show my collection stat articles right after I finish drafting, but this time I waited until the set mastery was completed since there were more free M21 packs rewarded this time, and those do add up over time.
I want people to see just how much of a collection you can obtain, even if you have to wait a while to get all of the free packs. Free is free, don't ever overlook that. If time is your enemy, then money is your solution, so waiting out the set mastery is probably not for you. Patience will be rewarded in the end.
I did of course buy the mastery pass, but I bought it with gems earned from previous set drafts that were all free. The point of that statement is that once you get the gems rolling in, you can play for free indefinitely and afford some free upgrades. Packs and stats included in the mastery pass I will be including in these stats as well because they were all free for me.
I also did a Jumpstart even as well, but didn't record any of my cards since it wasn't for M21 nor did I get any wild cards for doing so. The extra 15 other booster packs from the mastery pass will be mentioned solely for reasons of showing total wild cards when all is said and done, but the cards themselves won't be part of these numbers since they are not specifically for M21's collection data.
I am going to leave out most of the gameplay related stats, which you can find in my M21 Post Gameplay Stats article. These stats will focus on collection stats and wild cards only.
M21 Booster Pack Stats
All booster packs were free, earned through set mastery, mastery pass, codes and draft rewards. I did not purchase any packs this set.
These packs were tracked independently from the draft, so all numbers reflect what can be expected if you only opened 74 booster packs for the current set and nothing else.
M21 Draft Stats
For M21, I completed 19 quick drafts, and 1 player drafts that I got for free with a mastery pass token.
These stats also include 18 M21 ICRs obtained through daily gameplay and other free event rewards as well as the above 74 M21 booster packs and 20 drafts. Wild card data includes the additional 15 other packs opened via mastery pass rewards.
New Data Projects... incomplete.
Here is a little preview of some data points I am working on to help figure out when to quit drafting. This is going to show the point of when your common/uncommon duplicates are each crossing the line of dupes vs what you got to keep. Since I focus on drafting for my collection and not really caring about the wins, I want to make sure I get the most for my gold.
I don't know how accurate it is at this point, as I stopped working on it to focus on other things, but this is the gist of it.
The red/yellow lines reflect the drafted uncommon cards. You can see that about 18-19 drafts is when you start vaulting more uncommons than you keep.
The two blue lines represent the drafted common cards. I am not sure why both are goign up, this is where I stopped playing with this chart and went on to other things rather than complete fixing this chart. I'll probably work on this more during Zendikar Rising.
So, to look at the uncommon lines crossing, this is the point when I would say stop drafting and open all your packs purely for the rares. If you still have gold left over to spend on this particular set, then buying packs would be a better value for the rares only, especially with the duplicate protection.
Since this chart updates with each new draft completed, it will continually show you when you're getting close to that point and when to stop.
Drafting will still reward you with more overall value with gems and extra booster packs though, but if all you are after is rares then this is where you would stop drafting and start opening packs.
I am going to try to get these stats related articles down to a minimum so they are easier to maintain and give all of the relevant facts without having to ramble on about them. I am continually tweaking my spreadsheets with each set release, and even during the set when I find something that is off, or a new stat to track, or even just a better way to show the data.
I hope you enjoyed what you saw. Your takeaway is that this is what you can expect from a daily F2P player with 4 wins a day, every day, and a mastery pass.
I almost didn't make it to the end of M21. I was so burned out the last couple of weeks of play and hated the stale meta. I was about to quit for a week and then realized a few days ago that I had calculated my spreadsheet end date using the wrong date. I used the release date of Zendikar Rising for paper, and forgot to subtract a week for Arena. So at that point I had only a couple of days left, so I powered through. I then realized since I was expecting to have one more week, I didn't have any of my spreadsheets finalized, or my new fresh one cleaned and ready for Zendikar Rising, or any of my collection stat spreadsheets ready to go for the new set. I got it all going and am ready to close out the old stats for M21 finally.
I started M21 with Azorius flyers until quick draft started, played about 19 drafts, plus 1 premier draft that I had a free token for, and then switched over to mono white lifegain. I tried mono green stompy a little but it just wasn't going fast enough for me.
For the first time since I started playing, I decided to actually play my draft games out in order to earn the gems so I could save a few dollars on the mastery passes going forward. Even though I was only rare drafting for my collection, I still managed to win enough games to pay for the next two mastery passes. It's unbelievable how many wins I got just by pure luck of the opponent having worse luck than I was.
All of the FNM @ Home events helped add a lot of value to this set release as well, I made sure to participate in every one of those.
Core Set 2021 makes the fifth full set I've been tracking via spreadsheet, with the help of MTGAHelper to verify my statistics. My spreadsheet didn't change too much since the Ikoria set, though I made a few tiny tweaks here and there, added a couple extra columns to track additional data as well as continued tweaks in the large draft and pack opening spreadsheets.
All stats started on 6/25/20 and ran through 9/17/20, when Zendikar Rising was released. I was able to get one extra daily grind in for M21on release day, just before the big update.
While I strive to have accurate stats, due to decimal places, and sometimes missing a cell or two in my spreadsheet, totals may not fully add up, so don't try mathing them. If you are interested in all the raw data, please let me know and I can share the spreadsheet with you.
Total Gameplay Stats
These stats are from all types of gameplay, including daily gold farming in the play queue, ranked draft, events, ranked BO1, and just play testing decks for fun in the play queue.
The larger loss ratio was due to the oppressive decks circulating in the meta. I quickly recognized if I was going to have a chance in the first few turns and conceded early on if not. Most of these decks play way too long for daily grinding, so I was not going to wast my time only to lose to them.
Daily Gold Farming and Individual Daily Deck Stats
My daily routine was to win a minimum of 4 games per day in the play queue, and complete a daily quest if able. I played more on occasion, but usually 30-60 mins a day was enough for me if I already met my daily minimums.
These stats are only for games played in the play queue during my daily farming routine, or events that allowed either deck. These are the main two I used during this set release and does not reflect other decks I played throughout.
Mono White Lifegain
Azorius Flyers (various versions)
I only do ranked draft for the cards, gems and booster packs. For the first time since I started playing, I actually played all of my draft games if I had something I could actually build a deck out of. For Arena, I do what I call collection drafting. You can more about that my article for Arena Collection Drafting.
I only made a few small tweaks to the spreadsheet this time around and it seems to be working even better. It's much more accurate and finely tuned for every little bit of data that I want to track.
I hope everyone enjoyed their journey through Core Set 2021. Until the next set...