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What is Magic: The Gathering Arena Player Draft?

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths released in MTG Arena just a few days ago, but that wasn’t the only thing new coming to Arena. Wizards of The Coast also introduced MTG Arena Player Draft. The new game mode improves upon the previous bot drafting system, and will provide a more competitive limited environment for players.

arena player draft

What exactly is MTG Arena Player Draft?

Player Draft is a limited game mode in which 8 players are placed together in a lobby. Once all are ready, they begin to draft cards from a 15-card booster pack. This all sounds pretty familiar, but players will now have a timer for each pick. This ensures that the draft goes at a fair pace, and challenges players to analyze their choices faster. The timer is scaled and will be reduced as the draft goes on. For example, the first pick begins with a 75-second timer, but the counter drops down to 30 seconds towards the last few picks.

Once the draft is complete, players will then match up against other players who chose to Player Draft. Opponents won’t always be from the same pod. This is a very similar system to the one used for leagues in Magic: Online.

Because Wizards of the Coast introduced MTG Arena Player Draft, they have made some adjustments to the limited game modes that players can choose from.

arena player draft

The new limited game mode options

  • Premier Draft: A best-of-one Player Draft with up to seven wins and three losses.
  • Traditional Draft: A best-of-three Player Draft with a total of three matches.
  • Quick Draft: A best-of-one bot-draft with up to seven wins and three losses. This game mode was previously known as Ranked Draft.

Quick Draft will keep the same pricing structure of 750 Gems or 5,000 Gold. However, both Premier and Traditional drafts will both manifest a higher entry cost. The new Player Draft modes will cost 1500 Gems or 10,000 Gold. No need to worry though, as Wizards of the Coast have also increased Player Draft rewards accordingly.

All in all, Player Draft is a very welcome addition to the game. Many competitive players will enjoy the new game mode since it is a great simulation of what it’s like to draft tabletop Magic. And for those players still needing to learn the basics of drafting, they can still do that through Quick Draft.

Currently, MTG Arena is giving away one free draft entry to each player.

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Paul Dudsdeemaytha

Paul Dudsdeemaytha is a Vancouver, BC-based writer and content creator at SQUAD. Paul specializes in creating guides for Magic: The Gathering and Legends of Runeterra. When he's not writing, you can probably find him throwing frisbees nearby.
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