A couple weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast announced that they would be looking to support a “true to paper” non-rotating format. This was in response to players stating that Historic was no longer this option because of the addition of Alchemy rebalanced cards and Digital Only mechanics.
They stated that they were going to be working with the organized play team and taking player feedback to help decide which format to support. They also said that they were going to be testing out some of the candidates in upcoming “Midweek Magic” events.
From the list of announced events, the one that sounded like it’d be a likely place to start was one titled “Blast From the Past”. Well, the event has come and it’s only the beginning of something much bigger.
Blast From the Past
The details of this event weren’t known until recently. Basically the event is what some players were asking for in Historic. The card pool is essentially “True to Paper”. We don’t have access to any of the digital only cards, remastered sets, or supplemental sets like the Anthologies or Jumpstart. The oldest set available is Ixalan and encompasses all standard sets from there forward.
This is Only the Beginning
Initial sentiments around the event were lukewarm at best. Many feel that this doesn’t exactly capture the “True to Paper” format that players were hoping for. Well, this is just the beginning. Given the community feedback, we reached out to Wizards of the Coast to find out if this event was actually the first stage of testing for Project “Eternal Format”, or if this was just a little breather for players.
The response that we got was awesome, in that they said that this event was a little of both! This mainly was aimed at being the first test towards Eternal Format support. What we were told as well is that players can expect to see another test event sometime in March! To be clear, this will not be the same format as this time around, but a whole different format!
What would be a really great idea would be to possibly tie in the upcoming Pioneer Challenger decks into a Midweek Magic test event. Coding those 4 decks into the game wouldn’t be a huge task. Plus players would get a better Pioneer experience. Heck, even give players more choice and add previous Pioneer Challenger decks in for good measure.
The Development Team is closely monitoring player engagement with this and future events, as well as player feedback and discussion. This will help determine which direction the team will go with this project. What this ultimately means is that Wizards is listening, and we’re going to get some more investment in Arena soon!