What to do as new player?


New member
I started playing MtG back when The Dark had been out for a bit and I've come and gone multiple times over the years. I played some MTGO back when it first came out and later on played a good deal of Arena before I decided I hated the design of that version of MtG so very much. I can't really play paper so I've thought about getting back into MTGO and created a new account and honestly feel quite lost. I don't know how to operate the UI, but I can't even get that far because other than the "newcomer" cards I have no deck and no idea what the points I was granted are even for. The onboarding experience for MTGO just really leaves new players utterly adrift.

So, what should I be doing to get into games? Preferably with not spending money just yet, I want to see if I can feel ok with the UI before I invest. Are there any new player guides that show how to put together a workable deck with just the new player collection?

Thanks in advance for any answers!
This tutorial from MTGGoldfish is good:

Cardhoarder has a guide that is a little dated, but does explain some important basics like how the economy works, how to trade with bots, and some of the different formats available.

If you're just getting started, I would open a free loan account through cardhoarder or manatraders (link to Cardhoarder below):

This will allow you to rent a few tickets worth of cards for free.
You can use the loan account to play Penny Dreadful, which is a player-created budget format which only allows cards that are worth a penny or two. Decks in penny dreadful usually cost less than 5 tickets so you will be able to build the vast majority of decks just with the free loan account and start playing real games of Magic.

Join their discord / subreddit to learn more:

If you want to go past Penny Dreadful, I just want to warn you that MTGO does require real money to play. The next cheapest format would probably be Pauper where decks are more like 30-120tix. There's also budget decks in standard and other formats that you can build for cheap if you look around. Good luck.


New member
Hi Spaceboy,

I'm new myself and would definitely try out rental programs. I haven't tried out Cardhoarder so can't give any thoughts on that but I bought the Premium subscription for Manatraders which is about 400 tix for around £35. You can try out so many decks without breaking the bank!