Noob question: how to get started with Magic Online?

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I bought MTG 2013 for Xbox and was very dissapointed with the cards and decks. Apponents like Odric using illegal cards, etc. No full M13 cards etc.

I then bought the 2013 Fat Pack and was *very* dissapointed with the cards recieved. Junk cards. Not worth it. 

So before I sink more money down, I undertand I can pay $10 for Magic Online. Can someone please tell me what I actually get for this? I feel like I've been burned twice already and would like to know the real cost of entry do be able to actually play against other people. All I ask is M13 Standard. Very simple. 

... So before I sink more money down, I undertand I can pay $10 for Magic Online. Can someone please tell me what I actually get for this? ...

You'll get a M13 booster, a Planeswalker format pack, a bunch of (pretty much useless) Standard cards, and some "new player tickets" that you can use to enter "new player (phantom) events".

A note on the booster: DON'T OPEN THE BOOSTER! The chances are slim of you opening a booster and finding a wazoo card. You're better off using it to enter a draft, or selling it to buy singles. M13 boosters are currently arounf 3.30/3.15 (Buy/Sell) in the secondary market. 

A note on the Planeswalker format pack: THINK BEFORE OPENING! These cards are used in the Planeswalker format, which has a very limited card pool. These cards cannot be traded. Period. Many players later regret opening these, as they clutter up your collection.

The cards you get are an assortment of M13 commons and uncommons, enough to kinda build a deck, but not a "good one". You can certainly draft using "real" tickets (Tickets are MTGO "currency"), but you'll have to pay for those. If you prefer constructed, again, you'll have to pay for cards. You can't buy single cards from the MTGO Store, only boosters, preconstructed decks, and tickets. 

There are tons and tons of "bots", which are kind of like stores, where you can buy singles.

So, for 10 bucks, you get your foot in the door. You can play a few of the "new player drafts", but you don't get to keep the cards you draft. After that, ya gotta pay. Online card prices are significantly lower than paper prices, so you may be in for a treat. It isentirely possible to put together "competitive" decks for as low as $20-$40, but the higher end cards/decks do cost plenty. Building some of the top tier decks in a vacuum could run well over $1500 (depends on format).

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Cape Fear Games located in Wilmington, NC. Get 20% extra MTGO credit for your paper cards.
There are some good faq's and sticky threads in the new player forum on these boards:

You can play and have huge amounts of fun for very little money through various formats like Planeswalker, Pauper, casual, player run events, and more - or you can spend large amounts of money if you want to amass a huge multi-format collection and be competiitve at the highest level events.  It's definitely worth trying - very little risk to jump in and see if you like it.  You'll get your $10 worth of play for sure.    

Bubba put the short and sweet of it.

You will see power decks more often online than you will in paper.  You don't actually own the cards you buy online like you do in paper.  Other than that it is just like paper only much easier to find a game or purchase individual cards to finish UltimatePoochTheOpponent.dec at 3 a.m.  With few exceptions most cradz online are cheaper than paper.

"They were civilized they even drank their blood from a cup"→James Silke/Frank Frazzeta

"When the Cryptkeeper sticks 'em they tend to stay stuck"→Cryptkeeper

"Do not blame the current developers if there is something you don't like about Magic Online. Chances are no one asked the developers for their opinion."→elf

"They just look at me like I'm stupid and then I just say something like well you know WOTC does some dumb things sometimes."→wilmheath

"Like just about everything I've experienced with MTGO and the Magic WotC website, I'm finding it difficult to..."→0rbit

"the more general question is: at what point does an easily fixable interface issue become a defect?"→silentbobus

"Imagine, only four years later and I almost have as much functionality as I used to."→Algona

"WotC, you make an awesome game, why do you have to suck so bad at letting people have a fun time?"→MTGKaioshin

"If you are all about playing as many games as possible as fast as possible and you KNOW you have me beat, then concede and move on"→Johnh2005

"Wow. You're a real pleasure to help. Good luck figuring it out by yourself."→tempesteye

"It's you against the shuffler."→jwark

"this look like freeware that some kid down the street crafted up"→ProtossX

"ask them if the world came to an economic end tomorrow, whether they think little printed pieces of paper could be traded for actual goods or services"→dangerlinto

"You still have time before the buggy, non user friendly beta is shoved down your throat"→theminer575

"I could go on and on, but looking at these boards and other web sites there doesn't seem to be much point."→Dras

Server status→ Love or hate me I was brought to you courtesy of V3!

There's some good advice here, thanks everyone. Moving this thread to the Magic Online New Player Forum where you can get more answers. If you do end up getting a Magic Online account, feel free to add Wizards_Sean to your buddy list.

Sean Gibbons

Associate Community Manager

Official MTG Twitter: @Wizards_Magic Official MTGO Twitter: @MagicOnline

So, do you want to play "standard" or "only M13 cards"?

I think it is very uncommon for anyone to play with only cards from the core set (M13), but there may be small groups of players that do...

My forever unfinished blog of the 2010 MTGO Community Cup: if you're ever bored...
Don't think of MTGO as being a video game that you can somehow buy for $10.

MTGO is just a framework for playing Magic: the Gathering on a computer. You still have to buy/trade for cards to make the decks you want. The $10 account fee does give you some stuff to use right away, but it's not really stuff that will make you think "I have $10 worth of magic cards right here".

Making casual decks is very cheap and QUICK in MTGO, though. As long as you avoid the 5-10 cards in each set that are needed for tournament decks, everything else can be aquired very cheaply. Like, getting 5, 10 even 20 rares for one or two $1 tickets. Commons and uncommons are obtained for a few cents or fractions of a cent. So, if you ignore that $10 startup cost and are willing to sink a bit more money into it (say, $20-$40) you can build lots of fun decks to play in the casual room.
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