Wizards of the Coast isn’t letting up today! They dropped the MTG Arena Organized Play announcement that players have been waiting for. Now they’ve also given us another big announcement for Arena players. We’ve been talking about the “What Was Written” events that have been on Arena the past few weeks. Now it’s officially been turned into a Format!
That’s right, the brand new format is called Explorer! What is Explorer exactly? It’s a Constructed, Non-rotating format that is “true to tabletop”. It uses all Pioneer Legal cards that are available on MTG Arena and will follow the Pioneer ban list. It will have normal and ranked constructed queues for best of 1 and best of 3, as well as Events.
Deck building for this format is now available on MTG Arena. The format will become playable with the release of Streets of New Capenna on April 28th. Eventually, the name Explorer will be phased out for Pioneer, but how do we get there?
Path to Pioneer
If Explorer is to become Pioneer, then more cards have to be added to the game, but how? Well we have that answer. In a way similar to how we predicted, Explorer legal cards will be added to the game through Anthology sets, namely Historic Anthology. We will be getting the first installment of cards in Historic Anthology 6 later this summer.
In our opinion, this is a much more preferable method to obtaining these cards, rather than the Alchemy method of packs. Considering that we’re getting smaller injections of cards, this makes a ton more sense, and it gives players a much more deterministic way to get into the format.
Regarding the Ban list, we mentioned that Explorer will follow the Pioneer ban list. This is true, but WotC have noted that if there are cards that end up becoming problematic and require action, they will ban those cards outright instead of suspending / rebalancing them. What’s nice about this is that this will follow the same policy as other tabletop formats, in that players will receive wild card compensation for any banned cards.
As the format get closer to aligning with Pioneer’s competitive card pool, they anticipate the cards that were banned in explorer to come off the banned list, which is nice.
Another fantastic and exciting announcement for Arena today, definitely go check out the MTG Arena State of the Game to learn more about the other cool things coming to the game soon!