UPDATED: October 2013
This tutorial is one of many intended for players new to Magic Online. It will be addressing questions, offering some tips and shortcuts, and sharing general information to take you from MTGO newcomer to veteran! Also make sure to check out our Tutorial page for other great tutorials about MTGO.
Today, we will be discussing what to do with your starting product after you register for a Magic: The Gathering Online account.
New Account Package
So you have your brand new MTGO account, screen name and all. But what’s next? What’s the best way to continue from here to maximize your fun for the lowest cost? Well, allow me to assist you. Today, we will be discussing:
- Where to find your initial card inventory and how to “unlock” it.
- What to do with the contents of this inventory in order to have countless hours of fun without spending a single cent!
- How to be smart about expanding your collection and the places you have to know to accomplish that.
- A lot of other tips, tricks, and strategies I wish someone would have told me when I started out!
I assure you, if you follow this advice you will get the most out of the limited resources available to you here in the beginning.
So let’s have a look at your initial inventory in your collection binder after creating your account. You get to your collection by clicking on: MENU -> CARDS -> COLLECTION (see below)
After you have opened your binder, you have to look for your starting content. Every new account comes with the following:
- Five regular “Event Tickets”
- Twenty “New Player Points”
- A predefined collection of cards
After you have opened your collection binder you will find the mentioned items. Let’s have a look at those and talk about the best way to use them.
1) MTGO Event Tickets
Event Tickets (or “tix” as most players call them) are the basic currency in MTGO. While they were created to pay for entering events (thus the name), they are used widely as the de facto “money” to make purchases as well. One Event Ticket can be purchased in the Wizards of the Coast store for $1.00 (plus any applicable tax). They are also bought and sold among players for roughly that value. The five Event Tickets in your New Player Package can help you begin to accrue cards for your collection if you use them efficiently.
My advice is hold onto them for now. They can be used later to purchase cards when we have a better idea what kind of deck we would like to create and play.
We will keep our Event Tickets for now and use them at a later point for additional cards. Tickets are always useful to have as they are the most widely accepted currency on MTGO.
2) Five Vanguard Avatars
Avatars have two main functions in MTGO. They allow you to play a special format called “Vanguard.” In this format (meaning a specific way to play game based on various criteria), one of the Avatars represents you in game, modifying your starting life total and hand size, as well as adding special abilities that you may use. Additionally, they set your profile picture (the physical icon represented to other players). You can read more on Avatars and what you can do with them here.
Avatars are usually given out as additional prizes for participating in and winning tournaments. They vary in value. Some cannot be traded (such as the basic ones you have in your collection now) and therefore have no value. Others are rare and cost tickets to acquire (such as the Platinum Angel Avatar). Generally speaking, the majority of Avatars are cheap and very easy to come by.
If you want to change your Avatar to alter your in game profile picture go to: MENU -> SETTINGS -> DISPLAY -> SOUNDS and pick the Avatar you like by scrolling to the left or right. When you’ve made your choice just click “CLOSE” and the pic will be used as your “In Game Picture”.
Avatars are used to modify a game of Magic with new abilities and provide players with a character representation as their profile picture. The five basic ones you own right now CANNOT be traded. You will be able to get additional Avatars over time and all others can be bought, sold or traded as normal cards. We will spend more time to going into the details of this when we feel more familiar with playing and know how to build a deck.
3) A bunch of MTGO Singles
Your new account contains hundreds of cards that you can use to build your first decks and play them against other beginners in the New Players Room. To use these cards you first need to build a deck with them. After this, just head to the “New Players Room” to battle other beginners! If you don’t know how to build a deck on MTGO go straight to our How to Build Your First Deck video. You can find the complete list of cards you will receive here.
Those singles will give you the opportunity to try out deck building for yourself and battle with other beginners with your own creation. Try out different combinations of cards and see what works best for you and what kind of decks you have the most fun with.
4) MTGO New Player Points
You will receive 20 of those “New Player Points” that can only be used for so called Phantom Events that allow you to test tournament play in a low pressure environment with fellow newbies. Each New Player tournament is a 4-player Phantom queue. This means each event will launch as soon as four players join and each player will play two matches, win or lose, but the cards played with will not be added to players’ collections. You cannot trade these tickets with other players or use them for any other purpose.
New Player Points are used to enter special beginner limited tournaments and cannot be traded. MTGO Academy recommends to use those after you have familiarized yourself with the client and feel you are ready to try out a booster draft or sealed tournament but don’t want to spend to many “real” tickets yet. “Phantom Event” means you will NOT keep the cards you open in the boosters, but rather use those only during the tournament.
Now you are ready to play in the “New Players Room.” You can get there by clicking on the “NEW PLAYER” button on the “HOME Screen”.
When the “Game Window” appears, you only need to load your deck by clicking on “BROWSE.” Pick the deck you want to play. If you cannot find your deck in the list check the drop down at the top and pick “Net Deck” or “Local Deck” and see if it appears there (You always have the possibility to save your decks locally on your computer, called “Local Deck” or on the Wizards Servers, called “Net Deck”).
What should I do with the tickets now?
Once you feel a little more comfortable playing and know what deck(s) you would like to create, it’s time to invest your tickets in more cards! But before you purchase anything, here’s a tip on how to obtain some free cards! There are several dealers online that provide bulk cards at absolutely no cost. To learn how to find these dealers and expand your collection without spending any resources other than time, watch our video How to Get Free Cards. You can also visit MTGO Academy’s own Academy_Quizbot and win 4 free cards for answering a Magic trivia question!
There are several ways to spend tickets, but our recommendation is to buy in bulk for now. That means you offer your tickets for a larger amount of cards that will increase your collection considerably. Bulk is a common slang for cards that are not worth enough to warrant single sale and usually you can get:
100 commons for 1 Event Ticket
25 uncommons for 1 Event Ticket
12 rares for 1 Event Ticket
1 mythic for 1 Event Ticket
Please note that many cards are worth much more then 1 ticket if they are popular and widely used in tournaments. The above is a general rate that really only applies for cards that are not used widely in competitive play. If you want to get a nice bundle of bulk, you can visit automated stores called “bots” on MTGO and exchange your tickets for cards. You can also use an online dealer that offers bulk deals. MTGO Academy offers several wonderful bundle deals in our store, including ever-popular tribal packs and our massive mega pack!! The bots in question are easily found by their ads that often read:” Selling x commons for 1 ticket” or “Selling x rares for 1 ticket”. (By ‘x’ we mean a fixed sum: 10, 20, etc.)
Be careful with bots. The maximum number of cards you can trade in one session is 400. So if a bot offers you, for example, 600 commons for 2 tickets, he will take the ticket first and give you 400 cards, saving the missing cards as credit. Usually, you can come back and pick the rest in another trading session; however, there is no guarantee that a bot will do this. So be careful, as this credit could be lost. Always make sure that the bot is operated by a trustworthy dealer or player. It can be beneficial to ask other players or friends about their experiences regarding buying and selling cards.
Alas, we are at the end of our journey with this article, but there is much more to explore for those that wich to journey onward! I encourage you to check out our other content in article and video form and let us know in the comments if you have any suggestions or questions about Magic Online and all that goes with it. If you would like to continue learning about the intricacies of Magic Online, I highly suggest that you check our newest tutorial section (with links seen in the table below).
Lastly, remember this: we were all new to the game at one point. It’s the one thing as fans and players of Magic that we all have in common!
Marin (Plejades on MTGO)