This article is about an online tournament called The Arena Open which is exclusively held on the MTGA platform.
Read below for the Free-to-Play guide:
Arena Open Primer
The Arena Open is a tournament organised by Wizards of the Coast (WotC) on MTGA which is open for anyone to join and gives out cash prizes to winners! The first Arena Open was launched way back in May 2020 and since then it has improved leaps and bounds as WotC iterated on the overall structure of the Arena Open after listening to valuable player feedback and studying the game data. Now, we get an Arena Open almost every month!
The format of the Arena Open varies and was more constructed focused in its early days but has trended towards the superior format of limited more recently (unbiased opinion obviously). Below is the list of Arena Opens as of early February 2023:
The Arena Open consists of 2 days of tournament Magic and is always on weekends.
Day One of the Arena Open starts at 6am P.T (9pm or 10pm in Malaysia depending on the time of year) and ends at 6am P.T the following day. Players are free to enter the Day One portion of the Arena Open as many times as they wish within this timeframe as long as the entry fee of 25,000 gold or 5,000 gems are paid. New entries close at 3am P.T.
Players are free to participate in either the Best-of-One (Bo1) or Best-of-Three (Bo3) queues. For the Bo1 queue, players play until they reach 7 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first. For Bo3 queue, players play until they reach 4 wins or 1 loss, whichever comes first. Getting maximum wins rewards players with gems and an invite to Day Two.
Below is the latest prize list for Day One of the Arena Open:
According to expected value calculations done by the popular mathematician and Magic player Frank Karsten, the Bo1 queue gives players better odds of getting maximum wins and getting an invite to Day Two.
The Arena Open (with small prize tweaks) is this weekend!— Frank Karsten (@karsten_frank) May 14, 2022
Best-of-1 still gives the easiest path to Day 2. And if your game win rate exceeds 50.8%, then Best-of-1 remains better EV than Best-of-3. pic.twitter.com/MZeniOs4zL
Day Two of the Arena Open for limited formats consists of two drafts, I will label them Draft One and Draft Two accordingly. To qualify for Draft Two, players must get a record of 3-1 or 4-0 over 4 best-of-three draft league matches. In Draft Two, players carry over their losses in Draft One and play until they reach 4 wins or 2 losses, whichever comes first.
Draft One starts at 6am P.T and ends at 12pm P.T. Players are free to join a draft between 6 – 8am P.T only and to finish their draft matches by 12pm P.T. Subsequently and similarly, Draft Two starts at 12pm P.T and ends at 6pm P.T where players are free to join a draft between 12pm – 2pm P.T only and to finish their draft matches by 6pm P.T.
Below is the latest prize list for Draft One and Two respectively of the Arena Open:
- 0 wins: 500 gems
- 1 win: 1,500 gems
- 2 wins: 2,500 gems
- 3 wins: Token for entry to Draft Two
- 4 wins: Token for entry to Draft Two
- 0 wins: 5,000 gems
- 1 win: 15,000 gems
- 2 wins: $500 USD + Invitation to Qualifier Weekend
- 3 wins: $1,000 USD + Invitation to Qualifier Weekend
- 4 wins: $2,000 USD + Invitation to Qualifier Weekend
As you can see, the prizes for Draft Two are amazing indeed! Cash prizes and an invitation to the Qualifier Weekend awaits the victors who expertly ply their craft. Playing competitive Magic on the move or in the comfort of your own home is truly fantastic hence I recommend giving it a go! As of the time of writing I have not reached Draft Two as of yet but will keep on trying until it happens!
About the Author
Ram is a long time Magic The Gathering (MTG) player here to help newer players to either learn the game and improve at it mostly via Magic The Gathering Arena (MTG Arena) which is a fan-made free to play, digital version of the tabletop card game.