The Beginner’s Guide to Magic: The Gathering Arena

Guest Reporter

If you are stepping into the world of Magic: The Gathering Arena, you are going to need some help.


With the recent announcement that MTG Arena is coming to steam and consoles soon, we expect an influx of new gamers, so we’ve decided to compile a beginner’s guide containing all the necessities.


Not only are we going to discuss the game and its specs, but we are also going to dive into drafting software and how they help new players. The addition of drafting software gives players the chance to understand the game and build powerful decks without the element of trial and error.

About MTG Arena

MTG Arena is what many are claiming to be the best introduction to the world of Magic: The Gathering for new players.


With many still encouraged to stay at home and the world shifting continually closer to a digital environment, it makes sense.


MTG Arena is a free-to-play competitive fantasy card game that stays true to its subject matter. It’s nowhere near as intimidating to be a beginner as it once was, either. There’s an abundance of helpful software and tutorials, like Draftsim’s Arena Tutor, to help you find your footing.


It was released in 2019 and to this day remains one of the most played card games on the market.


When it arrives on consoles, you can expect it to see on a top 10 list of the best Xbox games for beginners.


PC Requirements

MTG Arena isn’t graphically demanding and it can run on the lowest spec PCs out there.


The minimum requirements are :

  • Intel Core I5 Processor 
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1024MB VRAM for Graphics 
  • Windows 10 Operating System


While you won’t need the latest Nvidia GeForce Graphics Card to enjoy the world of Magic: The Gathering, climbing your way to the top of the arena still looks fantastic.


Once you open Magic: The Gathering Arena for the first time, you will be introduced to the game through a helpful tutorial.


A helpful blue spark will give you helpful advice and instructions as you follow the steps.


Once you’ve finished the tutorial, you’re rewarded with free decks you can use in online duels.


If you also recently purchased a set of physical Magic: The Gathering cards, that pack come with a redeem code. This allows you to transfer those same cards into the digital deck in MTG Arena.

How to Play


There is a drop-down menu giving you different types of matches.


Once you have selected the match type, it’ll take less than 2 minutes to find an opponent.


Now you will be required to choose a deck from your collection.


You are presented with a set of cards from your deck that you can either keep or discard.


MTG Arena is turn-based, so once a player finishes their move, the other player is allowed to place a card down.


To play a card in MTG Arena, you simply click on the card and drag it onto the field.


As a card is laid onto the field, you have the option to attack or pass to the opponent.


Hotkeys can also be assigned to speed up the gameplay so that you are not constantly clicking buttons with your mouse.


Existing hotkeys include pressing Enter to end the turn or pressing the Z key to undo a placement.

Visual Cues

Each player has a turn tracker with different phases marked on the bar. These include the beginning phase, main, second main, combat, and end phase.


You can tell whose turn it is when your tracker glows orange. Cards are also illuminated orange once you select them.


Each card has a mana cost and mana can be obtained by placing down land cards. These cards produce 1 mana of the specified color.


Deck Management

Once you have hold of card packs, you can manage them and form decks. These decks can be named and ordered by either mana cost or a custom sort.


You can delete decks, import decks from registered sites that use drafting techniques, or export decks to share with your friends.


You can see cards you don’t own, giving you an idea of how to construct your next deck.


As you play the game, you will earn cards, but they can also be purchased using crystals. These crystals are the currency used in the game and can be bought with real currency.


Drafting is a process used to help newcomers build a deck and guide them using AI technology.


This is crucial to new players who are starting and don’t know how to form proper decks yet.


For example, Arena Tutor allows you to track what cards have been played, pick recommendations, and review your stats.


Most drafting software is free as they all intend on helping new players become professionals.

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