Arena goes to ELeague and gets its first Standard rotation. This is your week in Magic news.
This Week in Magic
Arena Rotation and Historic Update
When Throne of Eldraine gets released, Arena will experience its first Standard rotation. The format, which only uses sets from the last two calendar years, will lose access to Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019. As Arena is still in Beta, it is noted that there will not be a collection wipe with the next update. The run up to the release of Throne of Eldraine will feature special events, including a format that will contain Guilds of Ravnica through Magic 2020. This format will be available starting on September 9th.
The most recent Arena State of the Beta also included information on the introduction of the Historic format. Historic will be a legacy format on Arena. As cards leave Standard, they will still be available to play in Historic. There will be a ranked queue for Historic and it appears that the intention is that the format will become part of the competitive Arena ecosystem. To facilitate a healthy, vibrant, and interesting, cards that are currently not on Arena will be added directly to system to be available for Historic play. As of now, these cards will not be available in booster packs and will only be available by crafting them using wildcards. However, it will take two of the appropriate wildcards to generate a card on the Historic list. This change will take place in November, so until that time Historic cards from sets rotating out of Standard can be crafted at a 1-to-1 rate.
The pending scarcity of Historic-only cards has prompted discussion in the world of Magic. Making each card effectively twice as expensive as one in Standard may impact the ability of players to acquire the new-to-Arena pieces. There is also some concern that as the cardpool on Arena grows, the barrier to enter Historic will continue to increase. Time will tell, of course, and it is possible that the feedback could change the course of Historic.
Arena Coming to ELeague
Starting September 4th, ELeague (from Turner and IMG) will run Arena events for their Twitch broadcasts. Running through December 18th, the ELeague series will have a mix of invited players and qualified. Each week will feature a single-elimination bracket, with the previous week’s winner being deemed the “player to beat”. As of now there is no plan to rebroadcast highlights of the event on Turner’s television station TBS.
Throne of Eldraine is on the Way
This week we also received a few tidbits about Throne of Eldraine. The first is one of the new Planeswalker cards: Oko. Speculated as a blue-green-black planeswalker, Oko’s lore depicts him as a faerie shapeshifter from Eldraine. We are likely to find out more about Oko and Throne of Eldraine during a Twitch broadcast on September 4th–which was teased via a viral marketing campaign featuring gingerbread men.
Next weekend sees a Team Modern Grand Prix at MagicFest Indianapolis. This will be the first Modern Grand Prix after the bans of both Hogaak, Arisen Necropolis and Faithless Looting. Indianapolis will also be the first Modern Grand Prix where Stoneforge Mystic can make its return from the Banned List. Next weekend will also showcase the Top 4 Magic Pro League players in the Sapphire Division duking it out for a chance to earn a bye into Day Two of the next Arena Mythic Championship.