In this article we explain everything about the Wildcard system in MTG Arena! What they are, how to obtain and redeem them, and the best cards to craft using these Wildcards.
What are Wildcards?
Wildcards are special cards in MTG Arena that you can redeem for any card you choose of the same rarity. You cannot redeem them for promotional or cosmetic variations of a card. The color of the Wildcard corresponds to the rarity, as below.
How do I obtain Wildcards?
Booster Packs – Wildcard Track
Whenever you open a Booster Pack in MTG Arena, you make progress toward earning Wildcards. This is called the “Wildcard Track”, displayed in the Packs section of the game on the top right hand side of the screen. There are two separate Wildcard Tracks, that rewards an Uncommon Wildcard and a Rare/Mythic Rare Wildcard.
For each Pack you open, you earn 1 progress in both the Uncommon and the Rare/Mythic Rare Wildcard Tracks. A Wildcard Reward (WCR) is triggered when you earn 6 progress on a track. When you fill your progress on the Wildcard Track, you earn a WCR and the Wildcard Track starts over again.
- Uncommon Wildcard Track: Each player starts MTG Arena with 3 progress in the Uncommon Wildcard Track, so you can expect to earn your first uncommon WCR after you open your third Pack.
- Rare/Mythic Wildcard Track: You will redeem 4 Rare WCRs in a row before you will redeem your Mythic WCR. The number of packs needed to obtain a Mythic Rare Wildcard is displayed when you hover over the Wildcard Track.
Booster Packs – Substitution
For each booster pack you open, one card in each rarity card slot (Common, Uncommon, Rare or Mythic Rare) may be substituted for a Wildcard of the same rarity at the following expected rates:
Booster Packs – Pity Timer
Each Pack you open that does not redeem for a Wildcard of a particular rarity will increase the drop rate for Wildcards of that rarity for the next Pack. This is called the “pity timer”. The expected rate seen in the above table only represents the probability to obtain a Wildcard, but some people can be extremely unlucky and this system prevents that from happening.
Once you acquire a Wildcard of that rarity from a Pack, the drop rates will reset to the base rate. You are expected to open Wildcards at a bare minimum, at the below rates:
- Common: 1 in every 5 packs at least
- Uncommon: 1 in every 5 packs at least
- Rare: 1 in every 15 packs at least (this can be pushed if a Mythic Rare Wildcard is opened)
- Mythic Rare: 1 in every 30 packs at least
It is important to note here that packs used for the limited formats (i.e. sealed and draft) are different to normal packs and do not contain Wildcards, and do not contribute towards the Wildcard Track either.
See topic: Vault
When you collect enough duplicate Common and Uncommon cards beyond the fourth copy, you will be able to periodically open the Vault. How often you can open the Vault depends on how much you play MTG Arena and your collection progress.
The Vault contains 3 Uncommon, 2 Rare and 1 Mythic Rare Wildcards. Please see the corresponding section for more details on this topic.
How do I redeem Wildcards?
There are two main ways of using your Wildcards. In the collection/deck builder section of the game, you will see the card gallery on the left, and the decklist on the right.
In the card gallery, the diamonds above the card indicates the number of copies you own for that card. If you are not in craft mode, left clicking will add the card to the deck (on the right), and right click will trigger the crafting screen. Activating the craft mode shows all the cards you are missing, including the ones you have no copies of, and both left or right clicking on a card will trigger the card crafting screen.
The screenshot below shows the crafting screen. You can adjust how many cards you want to craft buy clicking on the diamonds below. Note that you will also see a reminder for crafting cards rotating out of Standard soon, and the number of corresponding Wildcards you have to the right.
For the second method, if you import a deck containing cards you don’t own or add cards that you do not have to your deck, you will see the quantity of cards you are missing in red. You can click on the number to craft that specific card, or there’s a Craft All button above the Done button you can use to craft all the missing cards at once.
You can also use advanced filters in the Deck Builder and change to “Not Collected” to see all cards you don’t have any copies of. In addition, you can use advanced searching – if you type Q<4 like the example below, you will see all cards that you have less than 4 copies of. You can alter the parameters as you see fit.
You can also mouse over the wildcard icon in the top of the client to see how many wildcards of each rarity you have currently.
What cards should I craft with Wildcards?
Wildcards are a precious resource for most players, especially the Rare and Mythic Rare ones which are hard to come by. It also does not help that around every 3 months, a new Magic: The Gathering set is released, which can require more than 1000 cards to complete the whole set!
How you spend your wildcards depends on the following factors:
- Your personal budget and time: The more real money you spend on the game to buy booster packs, the less cards you will need to use Wildcards on. Likewise, you may have more time to spend on MTG Arena to grind out rewards from events, daily quests and daily wins.
- The type of deck you want to play: MTG Arena rewards players for winning – it is natural that you want to build a deck that can defeat your opponents more often than it loses! For new players, you are given set of decks that might give you a rough idea of what kind of decks you would like to play. Do you want to build a competitive meta deck players use for tournaments? Do you want to build a more casual deck that you find more enjoyable? What strategies do you prefer? Aggro, midrange, control, or combo? Research the cards and decks that interest you.
- Where we are at in the Standard rotation cycle: As of July 24 2019, we have about 2 months before the four of the sets (Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria and Core Set 2019) rotate out of standard (read more about it here) and become only playable in other casual formats.
- How specific the cards you want to redeem are: Some cards are only used in certain decks, whereas other cards are used in multiple deck archetypes. For example, Sorin, Imperious Bloodlord can only really be used in Vampire themed decks and most of the important Vampire cards are being rotated out of Standard. Nissa, Who Shakes the World is a generally powerful green card that can be used in various decks. Another good example of cards that are relatively safe to craft are “dual lands” such as Temple Garden, which are used in most decks that want to utilize both White and Green cards.
Putting all that together, we generally recommend you find a deck you want to play, and consider the cards in the deck and see how long they have in the Standard rotation cycle.
Here are also some general recommendations for types of cards that we think are relatively safe to craft with Wildcards.
Planeswalkers are staples in many decks, as they provide a different angle of strategy than creature – they are harder to deal with than creatures, and can activate their ability as soon as they enter the battlefield.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria is a good example of a Planeswalker that was prevalent in competitive decks throughout most of its life in Standard.
War of the Spark was also a set that centered around Planeswalkers, and it also gave them passive abilities that made them even more powerful. Traditionally Planeswalkers were only of Mythic Rare rarity, but in this set they introduced them at both Uncommon and Rare rarity as well.
A set or two of dual lands (lands that produce two types of mana) are generally available at all times in Standard. These lands provide us the resources to play more than 2 colors without sacrificing our deck’s consistency. Players usually substitute these lands for the common dual lands (e.g. guild gates) at the beginning.
These lands are staples in most decks, and you will be getting use out of these for as long as they are legal in Standard, and will be safe to craft.
- 24 July 2019 – 0.16.01.00: Section added.