Thalia and The Gitrog Monster
7, Apr, 23

MTG Players Request Monumental Missing Story Feature

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Article at a Glance

Now that March of the Machine’s story has finally concluded, the Phyrexian Arc is almost all said and done. Sure, there’s still March of the Machine: The Aftermath to go, but surely that’s not going to be too important… Right? It’s not like they’ll de-spark a bunch of our beloved Planeswalkers… Right..? For better or worse, at the moment, it’s unclear what the future will hold for MTG. What we do know, however, is that the final episodes of March of the Machine’s story were quite a letdown. Rather than simply lament that fact, however, some MTG players are hoping to make things better by requesting a rather major story overhaul. 

Suspect Storytelling

Atraxa's Fall
Atraxa’s Fall | March of the Machine

Currently, despite the importance of MTG’s story within the game, Magic’s storytelling isn’t perfect for many players. This was especially evident during March of the Machine, which sadly left many players disappointed toward the end. Despite leaving a lingering bad taste in players’ mouths, Wizards did a lot right for March of the Machine’s story. For starters, by increasing the number of story chapters, the often problematically rushed storytelling was finally able to slow down. Alongside this, audio segments and card spoilers kept players intrigued to read every chapter as it was released. 

Unfortunately, however, while Wizards did do a lot of good, March of the Machine’s story wasn’t entirely perfect. As, for the story’s last few episodes, everything suddenly sped up to an incredibly frustrating degree. Within the penultimate episodes of the story, almost all the supposedly immensely threatening Praetors were killed with little fanfare. Atraxa: Squashed. Vorinclex: Beheaded. Jin-Gitaxias: Hammered. Elesh Norn: Disintegrated. Thanks to this lightning-fast series of events, many players felt Wizards had squandered their additional recourses which were initially used so well. While this rushed finale is obviously a major concern, it’s not the only storytelling sore spot within MTG.

To get the full scope of a set’s story, MTG players don’t have a choice but to read the online-only story episodes. For some, this is a highly enjoyable experience that’s well worth looking forward to. Others, however, aren’t too eager to read eighteen 5,000-word blog posts to know what’s going on. Mercifully, MTG does at least have Story Spotlight cards to give players the gist of the most impactful story moments. Just looking at these 20 cards from March of the Machine in isolation, however, hardly explains everything. Subsequently, some MTG players are requesting substantial changes. 

Campaigning for a Campaign

Campaign of Vengeance
Campaign of Vengeance | Eldrich Moon

Proposing a solution to make the MTG story content significantly more digestible, u/nanobot001 took to the r/MagicArena subreddit. Here, nanobot001 boldly proclaimed, “Magic: Arena should develop mini campaigns’ with every set release.” Highlighting the need for this feature, nanobot001 lamented, as we’ve done above, how online story chapters aren’t perfect for everyone. 

“What they should look at doing is creating mini-campaigns with each set, where users have the ability to ‘play’ different scenarios that are key to the story. Players would be given certain decks, featuring planeswalkers that are featured in the story, and different match ups would allow you to play through important conflicts in each campaign. Games like Mortal Kombat pull this off really nicely where you’re playing against AI, but the context serves a greater story. There’s no reason why it couldn’t be done in Arena, and it would be a great reason for WOTC to push players to Arena, because there’s no other way to ‘experience’ the story.”


Alongside providing this compelling argument that’d significantly improve story comprehension, nanobot001 noted that there are several additional benefits to consider. For one, players can be rewarded for participation in these story campaigns, making MTG Arena more free-to-play friendly. Additionally, as nanobot001 explains, “players get a chance to “test drive” certain mechanics, combinations, and archetypes they would otherwise only read about, or, only play later as those cards are acquired.” As if these reasons weren’t compelling enough to boost engagement, nanobot001 also posited this could be beneficial for Wizards too! “It will ultimately drive interest in buying gems to drive wild card acquisition to pick up those cards they have played with through the campaign.” 

Throughout the comments to their post, it was clear that nanobot001 wasn’t alone in thinking this was a good idea. MTG players like u/Jehrzy, for instance, were keen to jump on the bandwagon and provide their support. “This is a fantastic idea! Story mode is always sweet, especially if it teaches the lore of the set.” Furthermore, players like u/RussischerZar noted that WotC actually has past precedent with making good MTG campaigns. “Yeah, I loved this in the Duels series, I’d be very happy if that came back!” As well as this support from players, we’ve got to agree ourselves. After all, we did write an article about Arena’s need for a campaign almost a year ago. 

Resource Allocation

Kambal, Consul of Allocation
Kambal, Consul of Allocation | Kaladesh

While it seems that many MTG players would love for MTG Arena to have a campaign, unfortunately, it’s not that simple. After all, implementing a campaign into Arena, especially one for each set, would require a huge number of development recourses. While we don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s likely these are already stretched thin at the moment. After all, MTG Arena hasn’t seen a large number of new specific card animations in a long while, much to many players’ disappointment. 

Thankfully, as much as we’re skeptical, there is some hope for the future. Later in 2023, MTG Arena will finally launch on Steam at long last. While this is no guarantee of success, it may well massively increase the popularity of the game. Should this happen, Wizards may well be able to allocate additional resources to creating dedicated campaigns and story content. While unconfirmed, it’s possible that plans for this may already be in the works. When announcing MTG Arena’s Steam release, Wizards revealed it’ll arrive alongside a reworked new player experience. Currently, there’s no word on what this fresh new player experience actually is, but a campaign is one possibility. Whether or not that actually happens, however, remains to be seen. We’ll just have to wait until Q3 this year to find out more. 

Read More: MTG Players Infuriated With Offscreen Death of Major Character!

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