23, Dec, 21

Is Alchemy an Excuse for Overpowered Cards in MTG Standard Play?

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The announcement of the Alchemy format on Magic: The Gathering Arena was met with mixed feelings, to say the least. There were a few different reasons for this but a prominent worry among the community was that it was going to have a negative effect on Standard play.

While Wizards of the Coast have repeatedly stated that Alchemy will have no bleeding effect, not everyone is sold. Could this new format just lead to less moderation of Standard cards before release and in turn, an onslaught of overpowered cards in the future?

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Is Standard Play at Risk Thanks to Alchemy?

Players main concern with Alchemy, and its effect on Standard, is that because cards can be altered and changed post-release, there will be less moderation and testing done on new sets before release. While there haven’t been too many game-breaking cards released throughout 2021, those that were a little too overpowered have now been dealt with in the Alchemy format.

It’s hard to imagine a future where Standard isn’t still one of the two main formats in Magic: The Gathering alongside Commander. To maintain this, keeping a close eye on Standard sets will be key and there is no way that WotC will let things slip now. Each set will still go through rigorous playtesting to ensure all rules texts are clear and fair.

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Will WotC Push Alchemy Further?

alrund alchemy changes

It’s hard to say for sure whether or not WotC will push Alchemy as one of the key formats in Magic: The Gathering. Our initial feeling is that it will remain a background feature for now but should it gain proper traction, all bets are off.

Of course, MTG is starting to enter a new digital age and with that comes the need for changes. The ever-changing nature of Alchemy might prove too much for players to adapt to, especially with the set rotations and additions that will happen across the course of each year.

Player power will be in full effect to determine the future of Alchemy (and Standard) because if the community just isn’t interested, don’t expect WotC to pump extra resources into it.

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