This is the first in two articles where we look at the cost per card. Firstly though, we need to understand the odds of each Rare/Mythic.

Zendikar Rising bought a new change to the odds of opening packs in MTG Arena as stated by Wizards here on the promo drop rates:

  • 64 Rares and 20 Mythics in the ZNR set (vs 53 and 15 beforehand)
  • Odd of a Mythic in the Rare slot moved to 1 : 7.4 from 1:8 previously

Therefore here’s how the standard looks at current in terms of rares and mythics:

Zendikar Rising2806420
Core 212745315
Number of Rares and Mythics in each set of Standard

And with the improvement of pulling a Mythic, here’s the odd of a Mythic instead of a Rare in the rare/mythic slot of each pack opening:

Odd of Mythic instead of Rare
Zendikar Rising13.5%(1:7.4 chance)
Core 2112.5%(1:8 chance)
Ikoria12.5%(1:8 chance)
Theros12.5%(1:8 chance)
ZNR sees a 1% increase in the Mythic pull rate
The Rare/Mythic slot will contain a wildcard one in every 30 packs

Now, ironically, in MTG Arena (as we’ll discuss in a future economics post), this is not necessarily a good thing. The Rares slot crucially includes lands and therefore this increase to Mythic chances reduces the chance you’ll pull rares.

So what does this mean in terms of chances to pull a card you want?

Well, both the Rare/Mythic slot can also be a wildcard and this chance has randomisation protection in that you’ll pull 1 Rare and 1 Mythic Wildcard on average, every 30 packs.

Therefore, if you are opening 1 pack and are looking for 1 specific rare or mythic you get the following odds (if the wildcard chance is active):

Rare- unwantedRare- wantedRare- wildcardMythic- unwantedMythic- wantedMythic- wildcardRare (overall)Mythic (overall)
Zendikar Rising82.30%1.31%2.88%12.41%0.65%0.45%86.5%13.5%
Core 2182.99%1.60%2.92%11.28%0.81%0.42%87.5%12.5%
Odds of pulling a Rare or Mythic you want from one pack

So, you can see that per pack, when you’re looking for 1 of the 64 rares (usually for a specific deck) the odds of pulling the one rare you want, overall your chances dropped by 19% (from 1.6% to 1.3%).

When you’re looking for 2-3 rares to round out a new deck, it compounds further. For Mythics, it improves in ZNR compared to before, but as you’ll see in part 2 …


Therefore if you’re looking for a playable set of 4 rares for instance, you have a 2.88% chance for a wildcard, but will be active only once every 30 packs. Otherwise you’re running a 1.3% chance of the card in ZNR.

The really really important fact of this is that WILDCARDS are the primary way you’ll get the deck you want in free to play or if you’re opening a limited number of packs. Unless you’re cracking 100 packs per set, you need to think about the cost of rares in terms of wildcards.

Which is where the wildcard generator becomes so key – every 6 packs creates a rare wildcard. We’ll pick this up next time to show the cost of the cards and what you’re earning/paying for that collection.


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