MTG Arena Ranking System Explained

MTG Arena Ranking System Explained
'Ranks don't matter' says the player who loses all their games and wonders why they are not ranking up.

Whether you play Standard or Historic in MTG Arena, you will encounter the ranking system. This is used to assess which player can face which player based on their skill level that is determined their ranks. This article will give an in-depth discussion on how the ranking system in each of the game modes work and how you can progress towards a higher rank in matchmaking.

The Basics

Ranks are basically divided into six categories namely, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, and Mythic. These are further divided into four tiers each with the exception of Mythic division which is divided into percentiles. You will basically start at Tier 4 then work your way up to the next tier until you reach the minimum wins needed to progress to the next division. 

Unlike other games, you can immediately see your ranking progress every time you play a game. The ranking system for constructed and limited only differ in the number of wins needed to progress to the next tier.

Constructed is the game mode that you are probably most familiar with. This is where you play your, as the name implies, constructed decks against the constructed decks of other players in your skill group. A constructed deck is composed of a minimum of 60 cards from the different sets available in the format. The ranking is the same all throughout the constructed game modes whether it is Traditional or not, Historic or Standard. 

Limited play, on the other hand, is played on events. Here, you get to draft cards from booster packs and construct a 40-card deck from the drafted cards. 

The Climb

With all the basics in the bag, let’s now talk about how to progress on the ladder. It’s actually quite simple. You just need to win games. A lot of games in fact. 

Let’s do some quick math to determine the number of games you need to reach Mythic in Constructed.

There are six categories and four tiers in each of them. In order to progress to the next Tier, you need to earn six ‘progress points’. In the Silver and Bronze Category, you get two points each time you win a game. On the higher ranks, Gold to Diamond, you only get one point per win.

In order to reach Gold Tier 4 we would need:

2 categories x 4 tiers x 3 wins = 24 wins to reach Gold Tier 4 if you are starting from Bronze Tier 4. 

Now from Gold 4 to Mythic, the ratio is just 1:1 so you will need:

3 categories x 4 tiers x 6 wins = 72 wins.

All in all, if you go undefeated, you will only need to play 96 games to reach Mythic from Bronze Tier 4.

Of course, the road is not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s more of Rogues and Goblins so nobody is expected to go unscathed on the road to Mythic since losing a game will remove a point from your progress. That is no biggie in the lower ranks since you can get two of those the next time you win, but, in the higher ranks, losing one game is already a huge setback. 

The same concept applies to Limited but you only need three progress points to move on to the next tier. You are potentially looking at a smaller number of games to reach Mythic but the drawback is that Limited is a pay-to-play mode so if you are not spending real money on the game, you will not see much Limited play in your climb to Mythic. 

The Summit

All competitive MTGA players aspire to get into the Mythic ranks since that is the peak of the ranking climb. As we already know, that climb is not at all easy even if you play the most overpowered deck known in any format. Mythic, however, has a climb of its own. The real cream of the crop. Since you will no longer be divided into Tiers in Mythic, it will be both easier and harder for you to climb to Mythic #1.

Yes, I said both easy and hard. Easy since you climb in the percentile quickly but it is also hard since all of you are trying to do the same thing. Of course, if one person progresses, for sure another one will fall. This is the difficult part of the climb since you can lose places in the top 1000 even if you win your games. 

How you are rated in Mythic is more complicated now compared to the previous ranks since it is no longer measured in progress points. The idea of a matchmaking ranking (MMR) is used here to determine what percentile you are in. The actual MMR value is hidden so you still won’t have an idea of the actual MMR value. All you know is how high or low you are relative to the other Mythic players. This value is measured through the use of the Glicko system. In a gist, the Glicko system measures your relative skill by assigning a numerical value and adding/subtracting points from it depending on your performance. Basically, if you beat a higher rated player, you will have more points added to you and more points deducted from him/her. If that higher rated player beats you, the point deduction that you will receive is not that drastic,  and the addition that he/she will receive in his/her rating is also minimal. This ensures that players are ranked accordingly based on how they perform. 

The Glory

Of course, ranking up also has its perks paid at the end of the season. A season lasts for a month and you get rewards at the end of the season based on where you finished in the rankings. You can get packs, gold, and card styles as a reward. Here is the list of rewards for each ranking:

Bronze: 1 Booster Pack

Silver: 1 Booster Pack + 500 Gold

Gold: 2 Booster Packs + 1000 Gold + 1 Card Style

Platinum: 3 Booster Packs + 1000 Gold +2 Card Styles

Diamond: 4 Booster Packs + 1000 Gold +2 Card Styles

Mythic: 5 Booster Packs + 1000 Gold +2 Card Styles

The Comeback

After the end of the season, you will be relegated to a lower-ranking since the rankings are not permanent. This will help keep the game competitive by encouraging the players to grind it out again in ranked matchmaking. The highest-ranking that you can be relegated to is Gold Tier 1, which can only be achieved if you garnered a rank higher than Diamond Tier 1 the previous season. 

Here is a list of how you will be relegated based on your ranking the previous season:

Bronze (tier 2-4) = Bronze 4

Bronze 1 - Silver 3 = Bronze 3

Silver 1 - Silver 2 = Bronze 2

Gold 4 = Bronze 1

Gold 3 = Silver 4

Gold 2 = Silver 3

Gold 1 = Silver 2

Platinum 4 = Silver 1

Platinum 2-3 = Gold 4

Platinum 1-Diamond 4 = Gold 3

Diamond 2-3 = Gold 2

Diamond 1 and Mythic = Gold 1 

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Born and raised in the cold City of Pines, Erik is a master of rhymes. Songs and sagas of games untold, Erik will discover and unfold.
Gamer Since: 2010
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