If you are reading this, you are one of those interested
to find out how to make the best of your MTGPQ experience. This post intends to
help you navigate the various pitfalls which a newer player will face and give you a better idea of what to expect for your time and effort.
There are a few straightforward tasks which everyone should
try to complete:
The unfortunate fact is that MTGPQ has a few pitfalls
which can drastically worsen a new player’s play experience. The ones to
Always bear in mind that your chances of victory will be
influenced by a multitude of factors. These include your card collection, your
planeswalker collection, your Colour Mastery tier, your opponents and RNGesus. The
main factors you can control are your card and planeswalker collection, and
your Colour Mastery tier.
With that in mind, we will first cover the significance
of the distinction between Standard and Legacy, followed by suggestions how to
spend your in-game currencies, an overview on Colour Mastery, and what the
‘Wall’ is. Hopefully after reading through the next few sections, you will
understand why the aforementioned points are pitfalls and how to avoid them. That
will then be followed by looking at the value of spending money in this game
and some useful statistics on card drop rates to round off the general areas
one should know about in MTGPQ.
IIn MTGPQ, there are Standard and Legacy events. Standard
events are restricted to cards from Origins and the sets from the two newest MTG
years. The MTG year starts from the Fall release, so when the next Fall set is
released, the oldest four sets will rotate out of Standard.
For example, the Fall sets of the current two years in
Standard rotation are Ixalan and Guilds of Ravnica. When the Fall set of 2019
is released in MtGPQ, Ixalan and the other three sets in its year (Rivals of
Ixalan, Dominaria, Core 2019) will rotate altogether out of Standard.
When you tap the info button for each event, Standard
events will have a display circling the sets which are valid. Legacy events
will not. Also, Legacy events and card packs will have a blue banner on the top
left. Note that all cards from Free Boosters will be from Standard sets.
There are 4 primary currencies in MTGPQ.
Runes (the silver
stuff): These are used for levelling your planeswalkers. They are also used
for unlocking an additional deck slot when your planeswalker is at level 60.
Crystals (the gold
is your primary currency for obtaining new cards. Crystals are used for
purchasing most card packs, for purchasing planeswalkers and as the entry fee
for Trial of the Planes and Rising Tensions. Deck slots can also be purchased
with Crystals. Once in a blue moon there may be special offers which can be
purchased using Crystals.
Jewels (the pink
stuff): This is the currency designated by the developers for end-game
players to have an easier path to pursue the Mythics and Masterpieces available
in-game. They are used mainly for purchasing packs from the Masterpiece
Collection although there are occasionally special offers available for
purchase in Jewels.
Orbs (shown on the
Booster Crafting page): This is the currency
that enables everyone to eventually work towards a complete collection. Whenever you open a duplicate card, they are automatically converted into Orbs and Runes.
What should I spend on?
When players ask what they should be spending on, they
are typically asking about what to spend their Crystals on. Whether to spend on
cards or planeswalkers first, and which set to focus on getting cards from.
There are varying opinions on what to spend on first, but I’ll set out my
personal recommendations as follows:
you don’t have a decent collection of cards to work with, having strong
planeswalkers will not help you all that much. So at the very beginning, focus
on procuring cards first. Also coalition events usually have secondary
objectives which are better achieved by cards from the latest set. Coupled with
the power creep in the game, it is typically better to be purchasing cards from
the latest set (or two).
2a. Most events have nodes which require planeswalkers of certain colours. If you don’t have a planeswalker of the required colour you can’t participate, depriving you of the chance to earn progression and ranking rewards. Although the Origins planeswalkers are rather weak overall, their 50 Crystal cost can be recouped rather quickly through the additional rewards you will earn from being able to participate more in events. The caveat is that you should at least have decent cards in the colour of the planeswalker which you are getting as planeswalkers can only use Colourless cards plus cards of their own colour(s).
mono-colour planeswalkers cost 295 Crystals whereas dual-colour planeswalkers
cost 650 Crystals. Colourless and tri-colour planeswalkers cost 850 Crystals.
Either of which will take a long time for a new player to accumulate and will
still only allow you to participate in one node as you can’t assign a single
planeswalker to multiple nodes. If however, you have plenty of Crystals
(whether through hoarding or spending money) you can consider to skip straight
to better planeswalkers depending on which of the better ones are available in
the Vault. Not all 295 Crystal or 650 Crystal planeswalkers are worth spending
on. Safe picks dual-colour picks are Kiora, Saheeli Rai and Teferi. Other
dual-colour picks to consider are Nahiri, Huatli
(Radiant Champion) and Samut. Fairly safe mono-colour picks are Elspeth and Koth
of the Hammer.
you have a decent card collection and planeswalkers to contest in all colours,
then options start opening up for you. You may choose to get stronger
planeswalkers, or cards from other sets which you have less of, or even choose to save up in preparation of upcoming planeswalkers or the next expansion.
On Runes, levelling up your planeswalkers will unlock
abilities and improve stats. The trade-off is that matchmaking for PvP is based
on planeswalker level so you are likely to face more challenging opponents.
There is no single best rule on how to level your planeswalkers, but the
general consensus is that there is no rush to level them to the max level of
Colour Mastery is both a boon and a trap. Its intention
was to differentiate players of different skill levels to allow players to
compete with others of similar levels by splitting everyone into 4 tiers:
Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. You earn Colour Mastery points by using a
card repeatedly in your decks, with Common / Uncommon / Rare / Mythic /
Masterpiece giving 2 / 4 / 8 / 16 / 16 Mastery points when mastered to the
colour(s) of the card (or half the points to all colours if Colourless)
respectively. However, the implementation was not done in the best of ways.
Consequently, what happens is that players are lured by
the prospect of greater rewards in higher tiers and some choose to
intentionally master cards to reach a higher tier only to find that they cannot
compete as their card collection is way weaker than what is needed to compete
at that tier. And the biggest problem is that there is no way to drop back down
to a lower tier, so these players are stuck having to fight against opponents
with decks that outclass theirs completely. This can be the deathblow that kills
any fun you might have in MTGPQ (at least for quite a long while) so avoid
making this mistake.
Another consequence of this system is that it somewhat
discourages experimentation with cards as mastering too many cards will push
you more quickly towards a higher tier. This is unfortunate but the only option
at the moment is to try to avoid mastering bad cards and to consciously only
master the better cards you currently have, especially when your collection is
small and you are still gaining new cards at a decent rate.
At some point (primarily if you are a Free-to-Play
player) you will find that you are not getting that many new cards but your
collection still isn’t good enough to compete for top ranking within your tier.
This is in part due to MTGPQ not having a surge of packs for newer players like
many of the other Gacha games do, and also in part due to the sheer number of
cards that are available in the game (Standard stands at 1,123 cards as of the end of January
2019, Legacy has 2,353).
Don’t be too worried about this. At this point you would
hopefully already be in a coalition with people whom you can identify with or
share similar goals with. Take this time to better learn the intricacies of the
game rather than feeling like you have to rush to process new cards all the
time. At some point, you will break through the wall and maybe you will find
that you are then ready to take on greater challenges in MTGPQ.
Also take heart that the introduction of Booster Crafting
and Orbs means that your duplicate cards will now gradually contribute to you getting
to open a new card for your collection. The in-depth details of the system and
the conversion rates can be found here.
Let’s work our way down from the extremes.
Is this game Pay-to-Win? The short answer is no. The game
gives a decent amount of rewards if you can complete the various events each
day. Being in a coalition will also help you improve more quickly through the
advice and the additional coalition rewards you receive. This will allow you to
build up your collection to be able to perform better in future events.
Will you be able to be instantly or quickly competitive?
No. As previously mentioned, your card and planeswalker collection play
important roles in determining how competitive you can be. Your desired
planeswalker can take weeks to cycle into the Vault for purchase. You may not get a particular card you want from a set
regardless of the number of packs you open from the set. Instead you may only
be able to craft it with Orbs much further down the road. Even with Booster
Crafting, there is still an element of luck involved if there are other cards
in the crafting pool of the card which you want.
Luck is a factor which will persist throughout your time
with the game. There will also be luck involved in the card draw, board
generation and opponents faced for each match. This is an important aspect of
MTGPQ that one has to be comfortable with.
Will spending money help you be competitive more quickly?
Yes of course. You need cards and planeswalkers to compete. Kickstarting your
collection by being able to open more packs or having strong planeswalkers from
the onset will help you to earn better rewards more quickly. This in turn will
speed up your collection rate, which helps you build a better position.
Other useful information relating to spending money
The new planeswalkers out for cash will only be released
for Crystals in the Vault at least three weeks later, giving those who pay for
the planeswalker an exclusive period to utilise a planeswalker whose abilities
are typically built to synergise with the latest card set and help greatly in
hitting the objectives in coalition events. However, remember that
planeswalkers will eventually be available in the Vault for Crystals.
Managing your expectations on card drops will greatly
influence your enjoyment of this game. The drop rates for regular pack types,
ie. those which come in the 5-card pack, Super Pack (5x3) and Premium Pack
(5x5) configuration, are approximately 55% / 39% / 5% / 1.4% / 0.1% per card
for Common / Uncommon / Rare / Mythic / Masterpiece. Premium Packs are the best
option of the three for procuring cards as they come with an additional
There is currently no pity timer in the game. As such,
it's important to understand that there will be times where one goes on a
streak of good pulls with Rares, Mythics and even the occasional Masterpiece
popping up but there will also be streaks where all you see is Common and
Here are some handy statistics:
Use this information to help you decide whether to open
another Premium Pack or to save up for an incoming planeswalker or even just to
save for a rainy day. If you have a high percentage of the cards in a set, you
are liable to getting mostly duplicates in your next Premium Pack. At the stage
where you have all the Commons and Uncommons from a set with a notable number
of Rares, a Premium Pack may only yield 0 or 1 new cards on average.
Although these duplicate cards still yield you Orbs, one
should consider whether their collection is in a good enough position that they
can start saving Crystals for the release of the next set. An additional advantage
of saving for the next set is that any duplicate of the new set opened within
the first month of its release are worth 50% more Orbs than usual.
There have recently been constant changes to the event timetable. So please check the MtGPQ Sneak Peek thread for the latest official information.
(Check the MtGPQ Sneak Peek thread for this month in this forum for official information)
The advice in this guide should provide you with a strong
foundation for MTGPQ. For more advanced discussions, I recommend to seek out an
active coalition and/or the MTGPQ communities available (primarily the official
forums, Reddit, Discord and Slack).
I would like to add a caveat that this guide is for
players who are still finding their footing in the game. Certainly, some points
will remain valid while others will not as you progress on in the game. One
example being that if you are in the end-game phase for MTGPQ, Trial of the Planes
actually becomes your best option for spending Crystals on as opposed to being
an absolutely terrible option for newer players. (Read "Is Trial of the Planes for You?")
May you enjoy your time
for helping to collate information and feedback from the MTGPQ community
folks for giving me feedback on the guides and the motivation to do this in the
Ohboy for his
feedback and suggestions
GoblinPile, YH1J, TeamTiger, SaltyBarals, blacklotus and MrCeeJ for their input on the guides
Octal9 and Volrak for their hard work on
collecting drop rates hence allowing us to evaluate the various options
Hey, just a little feedback from someone who doesn't play MtGPQ (I tried it out when it was brand new, but decided I didn't have room in my life for it since I was already a serious Marvel PQ player):This article obviously has a lot of great info in it, but I think it might actually have too much for its intended audience. It starts off being very much about the first few weeks of play, how to get started, and some common setbacks to avoid, but I feel like it goes into too much depth with things like customer support policies on Mythic+ packs (how many people in their first few weeks are not only pulling these, but pulling them often enough to need to swap duplicates?) and other more high-end player concerns.I could be off base here, of course, but I think a lot of this could be cut by about half the verbiage -- and I am a longwinded nerd myself. Strip down to the big bullet points, and maybe link out to other discussions for the reasoning and fine details where appropriate. I also think it could be made more readable with a little bit of text formatting -- italicizing or bolding key concepts, and maybe breaking a couple more sections down to list format.All unrequested criticism aside, this looks like a really good player resource! Maybe I'll come back to it if the Marvel PQ servers have another unexpected outage like the one today... (as always, per the sig file, I am speaking on behalf of myself, not the publishers or devs)
Thanks for the information, but now I've actually played a few weeks I have a couple concerns. Firstly, if you want the related pack there is no downside to entering Trial of the Planes; you only need one win to get the pack(easy for anyone when the first node gives several attempts with no handicap) and entry(60 Crystal) is cheaper than buying single packs in the Vault(80 Crystal).Honestly not hard to win at least some Jewels and I've managed the max amount a few times.The only reason not to do Trials is if you are saving Crystals for something else. Otherwise it's a great alternative when you're new because you need some cards to get competitive but don't want to waste Crystal on inefficient purchases.You describe this same logistic in the link in your sig so I'm not sure why you're giving advice that contradicts it here. New players should typically get the most out of Trials. Personally I haven't done the Trials in a while because I was saving to buy Sarkhan but that's a decision I made once I had some decent cards.
Which leads me to my second point; not all Events prevent a single Planeswalker being used on multiple Nodes. Edit: I previously had an event that claimed to be Locked which wasn't but you're right about that. Multi-colour has pros and cons, sure, but the following is still generally true. 3 Colour PW's are both powerful and versatile, so while saving for them takes patience I think it's a more effective investment overall. The 3 available mono PW's right now in the Vault are arguably the best for their colour(Eslpeth, Koth and Vivien), but still not as good as Sarkhan, Nicol Bolas or some of the two colour PW's.Anyway, a lot of this is subjective as people have preferences for certain PW's, just saying that covering multiple Nodes is only for some events and multi-colour also helps with Objectives. There are times where I literally can't cover a certain objective with a certain colour. It helps to cover your weak spot with the big 3 colour PW where a stronger mono-colour isn't going to change the problem.Regardless of these concerns(which are intended to be constructive and to help any new players but take them how you will) I appreciate the effort you put in and pointing out that Colour Mastery is a one way street is crucial enough for that alone to merit this being stickied. The only other thing is I've either skipped the wall or it hasn't come yet. Maybe when I'm in Gold League, although Silver seems easy most of the time. Some strong enemies, sure, but half the time their decks look like they were made using Auto-fill.
Hmm, so I may not have read all of the averages and probabilities from that article beforehand(skimmed it, tbh), ahaha... Excuse the bold sections, lol. Still, while Elite Packs may not have a perfect ratio on paper I wouldn't undervalue the significance of Mythics. Just a shame Elite packs can fail. And I do admit that I've gotten far more Jewels from competitive events.First one I opened I got a solid Mythic(End-Raze Foreunners, nice with Nissa as below), but the one I opened yesterday was a Rare(Benthic Biomancer which is more niche and not great).That's recent though(they're Allegiance cards after all) so it doesn't disprove your point.Another thing with Trials is that sometimes you just don't have the time. Do everything else that you can for the day before even entering one; there's a fixed number of attempts per Node anyway so live your life before dropping Crystal on something that's too much of a time investment.
I think I may have skipped the wall thanks to Selesnya and Lifelink Soldiers(especially helpful in campaign events with huge HP bosses); my Nissa and Gideon win rates took off long before I got Chandra, Jace or Lilianna performing half as well. That was a bit of luck due to pulling Emmara, granted, but Hazda Marshall is a fine token generator with the right setup also. This was helped greatly by Chords of Calling, so the Exclusive Cards from Rising Tensions do help, yeah. Chord was a good tool to begin with but scaled as I got some better targets. Some Exclusives less so but this next bunch look strong on average. Circu, Dimir Lobotomist was what made Jace viable for me, also; I don't have the infamous Sphinx's Tutelage so he gave me access to the spell-lock strategy which has come in handy sometimes. Patience required, lol.The Booster Crafting benefits once they cycle through once are handy too. I'm using them to pick up Legacy cards so I can access some older card effects for Objectives in certain events.And yes, I was very deliberate at finding a competitive Coalition. This is key! Especially seeing as your Coalition points don't transfer, find a good one sooner rather than later, any new players. Your Coalition will benefit from it and therefore you will too.Anyway, I'm glad to have Sarkhan. I should put some more XP into him, actually. Disclaimer to anyone considering buying him that he needs to hit a higher level to function well. Stockpile your XP, which goes for any purchased PW's as the original 5 scale poorly with the possible exception of Lilliana.Just trying things atm; so many options. The Gruul Exclusive we just got is my focus right now; seeing how many Saprolings I can get before playing him.I guess at a certain level there will be more removal but I'm sure I'll Adapt thanks to Simic.