Last updated on April 19, 2024

Get the Point - Illustration by Steve Argyle

Get the Point | Illustration by Steve Argyle

Players looking for a way to get into the competitive scene in Magic used to have to play tabletop and attend Magic Fests (former GPs) or Pro Tour qualifiers (PTQs) with regular PTQs happening also on MTGO – things have rotated. It was not too long ago that the Arena Open became a thing, and now players have more options for venturing into the highest levels of Magic competition.

Some systems had to be revamped with the return of competitive play and the Pro Tour, and MTG Arena pro players got a new option to compete. This is where Play-In points come in. What are those, how do you get them, and how much do you have to grind on Arena to qualify for something?

Stay with me and I’ll answer all those questions, one at a time. Let’s get started!

What are Play-In Points?

MTG Arena Play-In points

Play-In points are additional rewards you can get besides gems, gold, and individual card rewards (ICRs) by getting wins in certain MTG Arena events. Simply put, Play-In points can be your entry fee to Qualifier Play-Ins, the first level of competitive Magic.

The Qualifier Play-In offers a way to qualify for the Qualifier Weekend if you get six wins in BO1 or four wins in BO3. And placing in the Qualifier Weekend can earn you a spot in the MTG Pro Tour, so that’s huge.

Even if you don’t make it to the Pro Tour (or that wasn’t your intention in the first place), it can still be worth your time to play in the Qualifier Play-In and Qualifier Weekend for the other rewards.

What Do Play-In Points Qualify You For?

For 20 Play-In points, you can enter the Qualifier Play-In on MTG Arena. You can also enter the Qualifier Play-In with an entry fee of 20,000 gold or 4,000 gems, but it’s more frugal to grind for Play-In points and use those.

These Qualifier Play-In events vary in format and structure. One might be a BO1 Standard event while another could be a BO3 Draft event. You can enter these events as many times as you want as long as you can afford the entry fee.

While the format changes with each Qualifier Play-In, the prize structure is always the same:

Match WinsBO1BO3
6 wins6,000 gems + Qualifier Weekend entry token-
5 wins6,000 gems-
4 wins4,500 gems6,000 gems + Qualifier Weekend entry token
3 wins3,000 gems6,000 gems
2 wins1,500 gems4,500 gems
1 win1,000 gems2,000 gems
0 wins500 gems500 gems

Even if you don’t get the entry token to the Qualifier Weekend, the prize structure for a Qualifier Play-In is very good if you have a decent win rate. It’s important to note the losses that you can have in a Qualifier Play-In, two in BO1 and one in BO3.

MTG Arena Premier Play Structure


Scoring enough wins in a Qualifier Play-In earns you entry to the Qualifier Weekend, which is the mid-tier of Premier Play. You can then qualify for the Pro Tour or for the Arena Championship if you place well enough, the Arena Championships offer cash in a $200k prize pool.

What About Ladder and Ranked Modes on MTG Arena?

The ladder on Arena is part of competitive play. Players can enter a Qualifier Weekend event through their ladder ranking (top 1,200 Mythic ranked in Limited or Constructed). One thing is for certain: the Qualifier Weekend will be stiff competition.

How Do You Get Play-In Points?

MTG Arena Traditional Draft event Play-In points reward

You can earn Play-In points from almost all permanent events on Arena. Constructed events from formats supported on the digital platform like Standard, Alchemy, Historic, and Explorer offer Play-In points as rewards in BO1 and BO3. Limited events like Traditional Draft also reward you with Play-In points on top of the regular rewards.

Here is a table with the Play-In points you can earn in each event, followed by a peek at the event lobbies:

Event NameEntry FeeMatch TypePotential Play-In Points
Traditional Draft10,000 gold / 1500 gemsBO32
Standard2,500 gold / 375 gemsBO11
Traditional Standard5,000 gold / 750 gemsBO34
Historic2,500 gold / 375 gemsBO11
Traditional Historic5,000 gold / 750 gemsBO34
Explorer2,500 gold / 375 gemsBO11
Traditional Explorer5,000 gold / 750 gemsBO34
Alchemy2,500 gold / 375 gemsBO11
Traditional Alchemy5,000 gold / 750 gemsBO34

Traditional Draft Events

Traditional Draft events reward you with two Play-In points for three wins.

Standard Events

MTG Arena Standard Event 7 wins reward

Constructed BO1 events like a Standard event reward you with one Play-In point for seven wins.

Traditional Standard Events

Traditional Standard events offer four points for five match wins.

Historic Events

Historic events give you a Play-In point for completing the win track.

Traditional Historic Events

Traditional Historic events could be worth four Play-In points to you.

Explorer Events

Explorer events will put one Play-In point in your account if you get seven wins.

Traditional Explorer Events

MTG Arena Traditional Explorer Event 5 wins reward

Constructed BO3 (Traditional) events like the Traditional Explorer event reward you with four Play-In points for five wins.

Alchemy Events

The low-cost, low rewards on Alchemy events can pay your seven wins back with a Play-In point.

Traditional Alchemy Events

Traditional Alchemy BO3 events reward you with four Play-In points for five wins.

Do Play-In Points Expire?

Play-In points do not expire. So if the current Qualifier Play-In event format doesn’t suit you, then you can opt to not take part and keep your precious points to spend on another event.

Is There a Maximum Number of Play-In Points You Can Get or Use?

You can have as many Play-In points as you can get. Considering that the entry fee for the Qualifier Play-In events are 20 Play-In points, you could enter the event multiple times if you have more than 20 stored away. And who knows, maybe WotC will even add other types of events along the way that require more than 20 points.

What are Qualifier Play-In Tokens?

The Qualifier Play-In Tokens get you into a Qualifier Weekend and are among the prizes for winning the maximum number of games in the Qualifier Play-Ins, which you may have earned entry to through your Play-In points. You could think of the Qualifier Play-In Tokens as the next step up from Play-In points.

Wrap Up

Finale of Glory - Illustration by Stanton Feng

Finale of Glory | Illustration by Stanton Feng

As more events start to pop up, it’s a great sign that Wizards is revamping the competitive scene. I’m more of a casual than a competitive player myself, but I still want the competitive scene to thrive. Maybe I’ll even earn enough Play-In points to take part in the next Qualifier Play-In. Maybe I’ll see you there!

I hope you’re all thrilled to grind those points. And if you’re using MTG Arena like me, you should already be using Arena Tutor. It applies AI to help you better understand what your opponents are playing, gives you ratings on Draft picks, tracks your collection and results, and more. And it’s free!

Until next time, let’s earn some Play-In points.

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