13 Apr 2020 2:54 PM +00:00 UTC

New Magic: The Gathering Update Will Add Player Draft, and First Ikoria Draft Will Be Free!

Magic: The Gathering Arena is getting a new update with the release of the latest set, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, so starting this Thursday, two-player Draft modes will be available in-game as a higher skill competitive experience with more rewards on the line. Drafts in Magic Arena are usually with bots, so this is the first update that will let players draft with fellow people just like how it's done in tabletop.

Here are the details of MTG Arena's player draft Wizards of the Coast revealed today:

> Player Draft will be available for Best-of-One and Best-of-Three drafts.
> Best-of-One bot drafts will still be available and will continue to rotate every two weeks.
> Best-of-Three bot drafts will no longer be available; all Best-of-Three drafts will be with players.
> If the current Bot Draft and Player Draft feature the same set, they will play in separate queues (players who drafted against bots will not be paired against players who drafted against other players).
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> Player drafts will function like leagues; you'll be matched against players outside of your draft pod.
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Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Players who join a Player Draft will be placed at a digital table until they are paired with seven other players. Once all eight players are ready, they will confirm your readiness before the draft begins. "From there, the draft will commence similarly to how it would against bots, with each player picking a card from their current pack and then passing it to other players," WotC explains. "We did add one little failsafe to the UX where a single click reserves a card (but doesn't automatically select it as your pick). Double-clicking, dragging the card to your deck, and/or hitting the "Confirm Pick" button will lock in your pick."

Players will also be able to see whether the cards are being passed to the left or the right, and they can see the status of every player in the draft.

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Credit: Wizards of the Coast

There will be a time limit for each pick in the Player Draft (75 seconds for pack one, pick one; but time gets reduced later on as fewer cards are left to draft). If you don't choose a card before time runs out, the game will pick one for you, and if you reserved a card via single-click, it will pick the reserved card.

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Once drafting portion is done, you will be paired up with players who also drafted with others, but not necessarily the same pod. This is similar to how Magic: The Gathering Online leagues are done.

The first Ikoria Player Draft will be free, so no entry fee required, but you need to log in the game by April 30 to get your complimentary Ikoria draft.

You can watch the latest MTG Arena State of the Game below:

Are you excited to draft with other MTG players on Arena?

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Watch my MTG Arena Cube Sealed video below:

Watch 5-Wins MTG Arena Cube Sealed with Abzan from JakeVyper on www.twitch.tv

Related: MTG Artist Noah Bradley Reveals The Process of Painting Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth's Song of Creation