December State of the Beta: Rank 1.0 Breakdown

Posted in NEWS on December 12, 2018

By Chris Clay

New Ranking System

We are adding a new ranking system to MTG Arena! There will be seasons, each lasting approximately one month, and you’ll be able to earn rewards based on which rank you can achieve. For the preseason, the reward structure is as follows (and before you ask, we do plan on expanding the types of rewards players can earn during ranked seasons, namely once cosmetics have been added to the game):

  • Bronze: 1 pack
  • Silver: 1 pack + 500 gold
  • Gold: 2 packs + 1000 gold
  • Platinum: 3 packs + 1000 gold
  • Diamond: 4 packs + 1000 gold
  • Mythic: 5 packs + 1000 gold

Ranks will operate separately for constructed and limited, and you will earn rewards for BOTH your constructed rank and limited rank separately. How do these ranks work? Let’s see how they look in the client:


You can see your rank and progress toward advancement here. Each rank has four tiers, with Tier 1 being the best tier within that rank. There’s a number of steps at each tier, and winning and losing games gives (or removes) your steps as follows:


Steps Gained with Win

Steps Lost with Loss

Steps needed to Advance a Tier





















Once you get enough steps, you’ll move into the next tier at that rank, or if you’re at tier 1, into the next rank! Once you ascend into a new rank, you’re safe for the rest of the season. Losing games will never move you down a to a lower rank. It can push you down a tier within a rank, but we will offer some protection when you first move into a tier.

In Mythic, you’ll be able to see what percentile among Mythic players you’re in, or what rank you are #1-#1000 (if you’re in the top 1000 Mythic players). Note that your percentile or rank can go up or down after each game, and even when you are not logged in due to the games of other players. Currently, this will only be presented to you when you complete a Ranked game, but we are planning to show it everywhere your rank is displayed in a future release.


As of the December 13 update, ranks have been reset and all players will start at Bronze Tier 4. We’re starting off in what we’re calling a “Preseason”, from December 13 through January 31. We want to measure how players are proceeding through the ranking system and making sure everything’s working how we hope it will with rank progression and matchmaking, in order to make sure players are being matched quickly and against the best opponent we can find for them. There is the question of why we're starting with best-of-1 for Ranked. Of the over quarter billion games played on MTG Arena since Open Beta, 97% have been in best-of-1 games. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to expand the breadth of competitive Magic, provide a competitive scene for MTG Arena that is familiar to the majority of our audience, and put the ranking system through the largest volume of games we can.

Once you log in after a season completes, you’ll get your rewards for season, and be reset to a new rank based on your rank in the previous season:

Previous Rank

New Rank

Bronze Tier 4

Bronze Tier 4

Bronze Tier 3 Bronze Tier 4
Bronze Tier 2 Bronze Tier 4
Bronze Tier 1 Bronze Tier 3
Silver Tier 4 Bronze Tier 3
Silver Tier 3 Bronze Tier 3
Silver Tier 2 Bronze Tier 2
Silver Tier 1 Bronze Tier 2
Gold Tier 4 Bronze Tier 1
Gold Tier 3 Silver Tier 4
Gold Tier 2 Silver Tier 3
Gold Tier 1 Silver Tier 2
Platinum Tier 4 Silver Tier 1
Platinum Tier 3 Gold Tier 4
Platinum Tier 2 Gold Tier 4
Platinum Tier 1 Gold Tier 3
Diamond Tier 4 Gold Tier 3
Diamond Tier 3 Gold Tier 2
Diamond Tier 2 Gold Tier 2
Diamond Tier 1 Gold Tier 1
Mythic Gold Tier 1

Events Using Rank

  • Ranked (New!)
  • Ranked Draft (Update)

Previously, the event called “Play” was both a ranked space, as well as a space where we matched people in part based on their deck strength. We're changing that. "Play" will primarily match based on your Play MMR and use Deck Weighting as a secondary metric to help people find fast, fun games easily, without being Ranked. For more information on the changes to matchmaking, check out of December State of the Beta: Matchmaking breakdown.

If you’re looking to rank up in constructed, you’ll want to play in the new “Ranked” event! Like Play, there’s no entry or rewards in Ranked, you just join a game with the deck of your choice at your convenience. Unlike "Play", Ranked won’t use Deck Weight as part of matchmaking, and instead we will primarily be matching players based on (you guessed it), Rank.

Looking to rank up through Limited? The single-game match drafts (known as "Quick Drafts" during Closed Beta, and "Draft" between Open Beta and now) will all be Ranked. While these will continue to rotate among sets, the cardset changing doesn’t cause a reset to your rank, and your rank will persist until the current season ends. We’re adding the word “Ranked” to the names of these events so this is clear!

These are currently the only events we plan to have ranked, especially during the Preaseason as we learn more about how all of you are interacting with the ranking system and how we need to adjust it to provide better experiences. Of the quarter billion games played on MTG Arena since Open Beta 97% have been in best-of-1 games. We’re looking at this as an opportunity to expand the breadth of competitive Magic, and provide a competitive scene for MTG Arena that is familiar to the majority of our audience.

We certainly welcome your feedback on how well the ranking system is working for you.

Other Event Changes


Speaking of best-of-3, we are renaming these events from “Competitive” to “Traditional”. This is to better indicate that these events function outside the MTG Arena ranking system and are instead for people who want to mirror a Magic experience that more closely resembles tabletop. Additionally, Traditional events go beyond a best-of-3 format. They’ll continue to not use the hand selection algorithm that is used in non-Traditional modes, and starting with this release constructed Traditional events will not allow the MTG Arena exclusive cards from the New Player Experience.

Constructed Event Structure and Reward

We're also going to change the rewards players earn in our evergreen constructed events. Our goal with these events was to give players an opportunity to test their skills and give rewards based on their performance. Unfortunately, what we saw was many players taking the decks we gave as part of the New Player Experience straight into constructed events, and their win rates were, as you might expect, not great. We believe part of this was the framing of these events, specifically a reward structure that included individual card rewards (ICRs). This may have caused newer players to consider these events as a way to build their collection rather than test their skills, which was never our intent.

We believe we can correct this, by making some changes to both the Traditional Constructed and Constructed Event. First, we're unifying the cost of entry and event structure to be the same for both. Secondly, we're removing ICRs from the reward structure entirely and adjusting the amount of gold you can potentially earn. Win more than you lose, you come out ahead. Break-even, and so does the amount of gold. And while this isn't a change with this update, it is a good time remind everyone that matchmaking for these events is based solely on your current Win/Loss record. Rank, Deck, and MMR do not factor into it.

The new structure is as follows:

Constructed Event/Traditional Constructed Event

Entry: 600 gold, or 120 gems

Match Structure: Constructed Event is best-of-one, Traditional Constructed Event is best-of-three

Event Ends: 6 wins or 3 losses, whichever comes first


  • 6 wins: 1300 gold
  • 5 wins: 1000 gold
  • 4 wins: 800 gold
  • 3 wins: 600 gold
  • 2 wins: 400 gold
  • 1 win: 300 gold
  • 0 wins: 100 gold