I'm in the groove now of my Magic farming strategy. I've just used the last of my New Player Points on my third account and the practice has made me a much better player - in fact I've now gone 3-0 a couple of times. Not bad for someone who's only been playing just over a week!
The tactic is to open an account then play 4 New to Magic Sealed Deck tournaments. Coming in with 2 or 3 wins in one of these tournaments wins 2 tickets and you get 5 free ones with each account. In other words a new account gives 5-13 tickets for $10 plus tax. Tickets otherwise cost about $1 each although there's some fluctuation on the secondary market.
On my first account I had a one win and two two win results for 11 tickets. My next account I didn't get any 3-0s but I did manage to get 4 two win results for 13 total tix. My third account I got 2 2-1 results and 2 3-0s for 13 total tix. In addition I got 60 Khans Of Tarkir cards as Sealed Deck prizes (2 rare, 22 uncommon and 36 commons) although asking a buybot for an offer only gave me an offer of 0.17 tix. I clearly didn't get any sought after rares.
I had decided I would spend £40 getting back into Magic. That's $60 which is 5 new accounts so I'll do 2 more. I've also since decided since I'm having fun that I'll spend an additional £40 each time a new expansion comes out, including the one at the end of the month, so that's about £160 per year. That's a reasonable budget that over time should see me becoming competitive without again becoming the huge spender I was in my youth.
It did occur to me to wonder whether farming noobs is ethical. In the end I decided yes, its fine.
First I'm fairly clueless myself. I'm not used to it and am making a lot of mistakes. While I used to play Magic that was years ago and I've only been playing this game, MTGO, for just over a week.
Next I think it's fine to farm noobs anyway. Magic is farm or be farmed, that's just how it is. Every Magic player farms other Magic players. You can't give people cards for winning and not expect people to gravitate towards however they get the most wins.
Next it seems to be designed deliberately. There's no need to give away tix with new accounts, they could give account bound entry vouchers like Blizzard did in Hearthstone with the free arena entry as part of the Goblins and Gnomes prelaunch. If Wotc, who are pretty smart cookies and very experienced at this business, have set things up so newish players optimally farm very new players it's likely as a way of retaining people at the crucial point of having run out of free stuff and having to think about playing with the big boys and girls.
Then again a simpler explanation is simply that Eve has ruined me for online ethics.
The next phase is to experiment with Pauper format until I can reliably get about 50% win rate then use my tix to enter events.