How to Build an MTGO Collection for FREE: A New Players Guide (Part 3)
Hello and welcome back to the Magic Online Society’s tutorial on how to build an MTGO collection for free! If you haven’t read either part 1 or part 2, we highly recommend you take the time to read those so you stay on track with us. So at this point in your tournament grinding journey, you have played enough Penny Dreadful and Pauper to begin saving up some credits. You have roughly 200+ credits depending on your results and length of time. Now you are ready to move to our next recommended format, Modern!
Modern is an eternal MTG format, with 8th edition cards and forward to current sets being legal. This format is pretty expensive to break into, so deck selection is crucial. Later in this article we will point to some tips to make this transition easier. You can find the exact definition of the Modern format here. Building your first Modern deck is a major achievement, you have been grinding these tournaments for a year, you are a MTGO veteran, you have deep knowledge of the program, your skills are honed. Let's take it to the next level. There are a few events to play in for the Modern format and this is where you will begin to receive Treasure Chest boosters as prizes. Treasure chest boosters are given to players in WOTC premier play events and they have something inside called Play Points. Play Points allow you to enter actual Wizards premier play events, so you can either open them if you wish to start attempting real wizards events, or you can sell them for roughly 2.5 event tickets each.
The treasure chest is the ultimate gamble, sometimes the contents are worth .50 cents, other times 80 tickets. It is a gamble and it's easy to fall into the cycle of wanting to open them. For the purposes of this article, we are going to assume you are going for a classic EV and selling them for 2.5 tix each.
Now let's take a look at some tournaments that you can participate in for free!
Magic Online Society Community Modern League
The MOSCML is a free to play FNM style modern event. It's held every Monday at 7PM EST. It is 4 rounds with no cut to top 8. It is held on MTGMelee, and registration is free to the player. The prizes for these events are supplied by CardHoarder and will be given in treasure chests. The prizes for these events are as follows: 1st - 2 treasure chests 2nd - 4th - 1 treasure chest 5-8th - dependent on if the tournament has greater than 16 players and is typically secret lair cards. Door prize - 1 pack of MTGO cards from available pool
Magic Online Society Modern Monthly Series
The MOSMTG also offers a monthly series that is sometimes Modern. These events are free to play in and offer prizes which are typically secret lair promo cards, so visit their discord to find out more about their monthly series and the formats associated with it.
The EV from Modern can be good considering the time of the tournament, it's roughly 3-4 hours and you can earn up to 5 tix worth of credit. Let's say you play in each one and top 4, you can earn roughly 10-20 tix worth of credit. Not bad for a one night per week tournament.
So now you are continuing to play PD, Pauper & Modern. You have tournaments you can participate in pretty much any day of the week. You are living the MTGO grinding life for free. Each event you win is accumulating value in your account, and you started with absolutely nothing! You have gone from literal 0 to a FNM hero, you are continuing to save your credits and now you are ready to bust into the big big leagues, Legacy!
Ok, so you now have a wide array of PD decks that you are borrowing from the rental account. You own your own pauper and modern deck. You have accumulated credits and tickets from playing in these events and now we are ready to bust into the more expensive formats, Legacy. Legacy is a format of some of the most powerful cards in Magic. The legal card sets are from every set, Alpha, all the way to the present. In paper MTG, there is a reserved list that really has an unreachable bar of entry for most players. This is where MTGO shines above paper, there is no reserved list on MTGO. Meaning that reserved list cards are a fraction of the cost. You can find the exact definition of the Legacy format here.
There is in reality only one major free legacy tournament every week and that is the Magic Online Society's Community Legacy League.
Magic Online Society Community Legacy League
The Community Legacy League is a free-to-play FNM style event that is held every week on MTGMelee. It is 4 rounds of swiss with no cut to top 8. This event begins every Wednesday at 7PM EST and is free to register in. The prizes for this event are as follows: 1st - 2 treasure chests 2nd-4th - 1 treasure chest
5th-8th - depends on attendance and is typically secret lair promo cards.
Door prize - 5 player reward packs goes to someone who finishes all their matches but doesn’t make the top 4. Magic Online Society Monthly Series
The MOSMTG also offers a monthly series that is sometimes Legacy. These events are free to play in and offer prizes which are typically secret lair promo cards, so visit their discord to find out more about their monthly series and the formats associated with it. The EV for Legacy is about the same for Modern. Again, these EVs are above par considering the initial investment was 0. So congratulations to you! You did it! Now what? So now you have pinnacled, you have done it! You started with the free rental account and you now own a Pauper, Modern and Legacy deck of your very own! Now is the time to keep going, keep grinding, getting that value. Now you can take those credits, branch out into different decks, and begin changing decks on a regular basis. You did this with a lot of time, effort and consistent results! You can now decide what your next steps are. Do you want to advance from the private run circuit and start playing in bigger events such as Wizards Organized Play and play for a seat in the Magic Online Championship series? Or do you want to continue to help build community in the small Private Run Events? That's up to you. I want you to realize something here though. Take a moment and understand, you have played MTGO to build this collection up, roughly 2 years and you can have an account valued at 1,000 USD or more. You absolutely do not have to do this, you can just utilize the free account and play PD. You can get to Pauper, realize this is your favorite format and spend all your time upgrading your Pauper collection and only playing that. You can do the same with Modern or Legacy. You can even go further than legacy and start playing Vintage. When it comes to MTGO, your options are unlimited. Take another second to realize that you may not win every event. You may only make ¼ of the prizes that we mentioned. It all comes down to win percentage and how much time and energy you are willing to put in. There are other ways, less time consuming ways, but it requires investment. The purpose of this guide was to take you from literal 0 and build a legacy collection.
I also want you to understand that MTG can be addictive, it truly can. The desire to win can have profound impacts on your mental health. We highly recommend that you take time in between events, don’t push too hard, and do your best to have fun playing. Remember that your initial investment is 0, you haven’t lost a single thing by playing, so take your time, relax and have fun with this!