Ever since Wizards announced their plans with Magic the Gathering Arena, we've been wondering how they're going to tie together their real-world game with this new digital initiative. Well, we got our answer as Wizards detailed how code reception in the game is going to work. Right now the whole thing is being "soft launched" in New Zealand, and it's super possible that things will change before this all is released worldwide... But I like the direction they're taking so far.

Backing up a bit, MTG Arena is a new digital version of Magic that's currently available as a closed beta test. The easiest way to describe the game is that it's like Wizards took Magic and mashed it together with Hearthstone [Free], combining the best elements of each. Unlike the Duels series, MTG Arena features full 60 card decks, real Magic rules, and everything else you'd expect out of playing Magic the Gathering. The massive improvements they've made over Magic Online and the Duels games is totally refreshing the UI to make it super easy to watch as a spectator, and of course, they made it was more accessible via being totally free to play.

In a nutshell, codes for MTG Arena will be distributed inside of packs of the MTG card set Dominaria (in New Zealand, again). The codes have a 10% chance to give you a pack of digital cards, and a 90% chance to reward 100 gold and one of five cards: Benalish Honor Guard, Syncopate, Drudge Sentinels, Ghitu Journeymade, or Llanowar Elves. This seems really cool, but oddly enough they're limiting people to ten codes they can redeem. It's an odd decision, as you'd think Wizards would want to encourage as many people as possible to buy as many physical packs as they can. The digital awards they're giving out are effectively free to Wizards, after all.

They do point out that this isn't necessarily what players should expect from the full launch code redemption system, as it "will likely be changed or tweaked in the future." They're only shooting for testing the redemption process, which I suppose makes then ten code limit make sense in the event that the balancing of these redemption throws MTG Arena out of whack if people could just redeem a bazillion codes.

Either way, we're huge Magic fans around here and are super excited to see MTG Arena evolve in ways like this.

  • AlexanderApostate

    I signed up for this beta ages ago and never heard back. I’d like to give it a go ASAP. As for codes in packs, that strikes me as a clever idea—though, like the author, I hope the choice to limit them to ten is nixed in short order.