Last updated on May 21, 2021
Greed | Illustrated by Izzy
If you’ve played MTG Arena before, you know that gold is one of two currencies that are available on the platform, the other being gems. If you’re new to MTGA or haven’t played it yet, now you also know what it is.
Together they form the basis of the Arena economy; their purpose is to fuel it. That economy only works if you can use your gold for something and are able to get your hands on it in the first place. Lucky for you, that’s exactly what I’ll be talking about today.
Before we continue, though, you might want to know where you can see the amount of gold you have once you’ve acquired it. This is pretty easy. All you have to do is look at the top-right corner in any of the MTGA screens and it’ll be nestled nicely between the wildcards emblem and your gems.
Your gold on the MTGA home screen
Now that you know where to find your gold, we can get into how you can get your hands on it, what you can buy with it, the difference between it and gems, and what best to spend it on. In short, all you need to know to make sure you can make your gold shine. Let’s dig in!
How to Earn Gold
Gilded Goose | Illustrated by Lindsey Look
Knowing how to get your hands on the shiny stuff is the first step to being a part of the MTGA economy. It’s pretty easy because these are the things you come to MTG Arena for: winning games and completing daily quests. If you’ve got the Mastery Pass you’ll also get gold when you finish well in events and as you level-up on the Mastery Track.
You might be wondering, “What does that mean exactly?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve got full articles about the various different events going on and coming up, what you get out of the Mastery Pass, and all the different daily quests and their rewards.
These are all the things you can do when you want to earn a little gold. As you can see, there are quite a few ways to go about it. So many, in fact, that you really can’t not earn gold when you’re playing. Unless you’re really trying, of course.
With this list, you now have the knowledge of where to go looking for that much-beloved gold, but what you don’t know is how much gold you’ll be raking in.
How Much Gold Can You Gather?
Land Tax | Illustrated by Chuck Lukacs
With a little luck thrown in you can earn quite a bit of gold each week. How? Let’s take a look:
Let’s get into the calculations for those numbers, shall we?
From 15 daily wins, you can earn 750 gold per day. That’s 5,250 per week.
From 1 new daily quest each day, you can earn a max of 750 gold per day. This amount isn’t feasible to achieve every day because even with “rerolling” your quests, you may sometimes be stuck with a 500 gold quest. Let’s say you split the difference and get 625 gold on average every day. This is 4,375 gold per week.
Max gold per week: 9,625
Mastery Pass Earnings
For the Mastery Pass, we need to look at how much XP you get per week first. You earn 250XP per day for 10 match wins. That’s 1,750 XP per week. From one quest completed per day, you can earn 500 XP. That’s 3,500 XP per week. Finally, you can earn 3,750 XP a week from weekly wins. All that makes the total amount of XP you can earn in a week 9,000 XP.
A level-up is 1,000 XP, so this translates to gaining 9 levels per week, meaning you’ll pass approximately 1 level with 500 gold per week. So, the Mastery Pass earns you an additional 500 gold a week.
Max gold per week (total): 10,125
That’s some simple math for you. But how does gold compare to the other currency in MTGA? That’s coming up next.
Gold vs. Gems in MTG Arena
Smothering Tithe | Illustrated by Mark Behm
As you’ve probably gathered, gold and gems are not the same. And I don’t mean just the look of them. Yes, both can buy you items from the Arena Store, be used to enter events, be earned with wins and more, but there’s a few key differences, too.
The biggest difference between the two is that you can get gold for free while you usually have to pay for gems. I say “usually” because, if you’ve got the Mastery Pass, you get gems throughout the Mastery Track when you level up.
When you’re drafting and winning enough games, you also earn some gems every now and again. The same thing is true when you win entire drafts. But other than that, you have to buy them from the store for actual money. Okay, okay, there are those special deals every so often where you can exchange gold for more gems and basically just get some free gems if you have enough already. Pro tip: Always exchange gold for gems. That’s literally trading free stuff for money.
There’s more to gems than just this, though. You can also enter gems-only events with them. These are usually geared towards players who are more seriously trying to up their professional records, so don’t sweat about it too much if you’re a casual player.
The same is true for certain items in the store like particular sleeves, bundles, and packs. I don’t really mind, though. I’m a casual player on Arena and don’t care for pimping my deck outside of the awesome swag free codes can give you. If you’re someone who does like to get those perks, you can always buy or earn gems to get them. And if you do, buy the $99.99 option. You’ll get the most gems for your buck that way.
Speaking of money…
What is Gold Worth?
Trading Post | Illustrated by Adam Paquette
Let’s get into the gray territory of the MTGA economy: gold isn’t worth the same with every item you buy in the store. I hear you, now that’s news. Quick, grab your phone and spread this breaking story!
Okay, so that’s not actually very surprising. But how much is gold worth in actual money? Thanks to my awesome co-writer on Draftsim, Nikki, who did the hard math in her own bit on gems, I can give you the following numbers:
- Premier, quick, and traditional draft: $0.000873962505 per gold
- Avatars: $0.00097106945 per gold
- Sleeves: $0.000873962505 per gold
- Packs: $0.0009999 per gold
You can think of this as between 87 and 99 cents per 1,000 gold.
Gold vs. Gems
Compared to gems, these numbers change quite a bit. Again, this number is taken from Nikki’s bit on gems. A single gem holds an average value of $0.0058264167. This basically means the following:
- Premier, quick, and traditional draft: $0.0058264167 per gem
- Avatars: $0.0058264167 per gem
- Sleeves: $0.0058264167 per gem
- Packs: $0.0058264167 per gem
In other words, around $5.82 per 1,000 gems.
On average, that’s a $0.00489669 ($4.90 per 1,000) gap. That’s quite the difference. This means that gems give more buying power, which isn’t too surprising You have to put down actual money for them, so it’s only logical that you can get more for less with gems because of it.
There’d hardly be an incentive to buy or work to earn gems in the first place if this wasn’t the case. On top of that, everyone would riot because you can’t get into certain events without them. In short, it’s a good thing they’re giving you a big advantage if you do decide to buy gems.
Using Gold in MTG Arena
Coveted Jewel | Illustrated by Jason A. Engle
You can use gold to buy items from the Arena Store and enter a number of events with it. On special occasions, you can even convert your gold into gems, though this doesn’t happen very often and is usually for a limited time only. To make it easy, I’ve created a list for you:
Should you Buy Packs With Gold or Gems?
I’m going to assume the point of view of a casual player who plays for free for this bit.
If you’re this type of player, of which there are quite a few on MTGA, the best thing to do is to buy packs with the gold you earn. Why? Because it’s free. You don’t need to invest any gems you might have gathered into buying packs. Instead, use your hard-earned gems to enter special events or drafts you wouldn’t be able to enter with gold. That way you get the best of both worlds.
In all honesty, I also wouldn’t buy any packs with your gold. What I would do instead is enter drafts. That way you get to experience drafting in a casual way, gather more cards, and maybe win a few games and gold (or even some gems) in the process. But that’s just what I would do.
If you don’t care about drafting and just like creating a couple of decks from the cards you get, then buying packs is the way for you. Keep your eye on the daily deals because packs come up every now and then, which gives you more bang for your gold.
Accumulated Knowledge | Illustrated by David Palumbo
So, what have you learned today? You’ve learned that:
- Gold is one of two currencies in MTGA;
- There are many ways to earn gold;
- You can gather between 9,625 and 10,125 gold per week depending on whether you’ve got the Mastery Pass or not;
- The biggest difference between gold and gems is that the former is “free”;
- You should always convert gold to gems whenever the chance comes up in the MTGA Store;
- You should buy packs with gold instead of with gems;
- You should enter drafts instead of buying packs if you want a fun experience and to get new cards;
- You should buy packs if you don’t like drafting and just want to jam your own decks.
There you have it, that’s what you’ve learned. I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into gold and will use it to make more informed purchases in Arena in the future. If you want to earn even more gold, make sure to use our Arena Tutor. It helps you make informed choices on what picks to take in a draft, causing you to draft a better deck and win more games. And more winning means more gold. Yay!
That’s all for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll see you in the next one!