Big changes in Booster Draft are coming to MTG Arena with Ikoria release

Draft in a pod of eight against players, not bots.

Image via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Player draft is coming to MTG Arena, featuring a Traditional and Premier Draft with real-life players, Wizards of the Coast announced today.

The wait for a non-bot Booster Draft in MTG Arena has finally come to an end. Multiple real-life player drafts and one bot draft are set to release with Ikoria: lair of Behemoth on April 17.

  • Premier Draft: A non-bot best-of-one player draft with up to seven wins and three losses.
  • Traditional Draft: A non-bot best-of-three draft with a total of three matches.  
  • Quick Draft: Formerly known as Ranked Draft, it’s a best-of-one draft with bots. Players can compete up to seven wins and three losses. No changes other than its name have been applied to Quick Draft.

Traditional and Premier Draft will begin on April 17 and will always feature IKO until the next Magic set is released. Quick Draft will begin two weeks after the release and will rotate sets. Unlike bot draft, Premier and Traditional will have a timer for picks. It starts at 75 seconds for the first pick and drops down to 30 seconds for the final picks. 

Screengrab via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Players also have to check-in prior to drafting since Premier and Traditional draft picks are done in real-time in a pod of eight players. But match play will be the same as it was before, with players matched against one another based on win/loss record and those in the queue for a game. 

Screengrab via WotC Magic: The Gathering

Each draft has an entry fee and paying with gold has been added as an option. The rewards structure for Premier and Traditional has also been reworked with an emphasis on rewarding players with wins a chance to play Draft again. 

Premium Draft

The entry fee for Premier Draft is 1,500 gems or 10,000 gold. Players will compete in a total of three matches regardless of wins or losses in a best-of-three format. Rewards start with one booster pack at zero wins and increase to 3,000 gems and six booster packs with three wins

  • Zero to one win: One booster pack 
  • Two wins: 1,000 gems and four booster packs
  • Three wins: 3.000 gems and six booster packs

Traditional Draft

The entry fee for Traditional Draft is 1,500 gems or 10,000 gold. Players are out after three losses and can earn up to seven wins in a best-of-one format. Rewards start at 50 gems and one booster pack at zero wins and increase to 2,200 and six booster packs with seven wins. 

  • Zero wins: 50 gems and one booster pack
  • One win: 100 gems and one booster pack
  • Two wins: 250 gems and two booster packs
  • Three wins: 1,000 gems and two booster packs
  • Four wins: 1,400 gems and three booster packs
  • Five wins: 1,600 gems and four booster packs
  • Six wins: 1.800 gems and five booster packs
  • Seven wins: 2,200 gems and six booster packs

Drafting with real-life players via Premier and Traditional Draft in MTG Arena begins on April 17 with the release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth