Free next week? Magic: The Gathering Arena’s Open Beta is

Brodie Fogg 21 September 2018 NEWS

Make way, the OG TCG is coming to challenge Hearthstone's digital throne.

How many of you have canvas shopping bags bursting at the seams with folders bursting at the seams with thousands upon thousands of Magic: The Gathering trading cards. If you're one of our kin, you can appreciate having to make space in your one bedroom apartment for your ludicrous trading card collection, hesitant to trash even the most worthless Basic Land cards. Which is why the idea of a digital version of Magic: The Gathering is not just incredibly alluring but also storage efficient. Well, get ready to free up your spare room (and your schedule) because Magic: The Gathering Arena is going into Open Beta.

If you didn't manage to get access to the closed beta of Magic: The Gathering Arena, you probably feel pretty aggro about the hand you were dealt. Well stop shuffling your feet and get ready to go big on Friday 28 September 2018.

Day 9 and Danny Trejo play Magic: The Gathering Arena

What's the deal with Arena?

For those out of the loop, Magic: The Gathering Arena is Wizards of the Coast's run at Blizzard's reigning digital TCG champ, Hearthstone. Many tried and failed to capture the same magic but none have even come close – even Elder Scrolls had a crack with it's (honestly ace) Legends but even it couldn't reach the standard set by Blizzard's beautifully animated card game.

But this is Magic: The Gathering's (MTG) game. The single most popular physical card game in the world has provided heavy inspiration for the (often) watered down mechanics of almost every successful clone that followed. Think about your favourite TCGs and we guarantee they will be in some way influenced by the legacy of MTG, and now that its digital competitors have carved out a whole new niche, Wizard of the Coast is laying all its cards on the table with a physical/digital TCG hybrid, bringing its beloved card game to life with fully-realised 3D characters, cards and environment models.

Magic: The Gathering Arena brings together the digital and physical card games by including unique codes in the physical booster/pre-release packs that unlock unique content and events in Arena. Every Planeswalker (starter) deck will also include a code to unlock the same deck in Arena when the new expansion, Guilds of Ravnica, launches on 5 October 2018.

All of which will be new to those who played the Closed Beta...

I already played the Closed Beta so what's in it for me?

If you're one of the lucky few who gathered early for the Closed Beta, there are a few reasons to stay at the table. Aside from the physical deck integration mentioned above, returning players will also be treated to fresh music, art and battlefields, an all-new game mode (Sealed Events) and free entry to the Singleton event until 21 October.

Our resident MTG expert will be checking out the Open Beta when it launches next weekend. If you're a veteran Magic fan, be sure to check it out.

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