Timeless Witness
20, Dec, 23

MTG What Is Timeless?

Article at a Glance

MTG Arena now has a brand-new format; Timeless. Released on the 12th of December, 2023, this new Eternal format allows access to every card on Arena. Boasting an incredibly high power level, a restricted list, and permanently constructed queues, Timeless is poised to be the next best thing.

As the latest, and arguably greatest, format on MTG Arena, many players are understandably excited about it. Before we direct you toward all the best decks, however, it’s worth going over what this newfangled format even is. So, join us as we dive into everything you need to know about Timeless on MTG Arena!

What Is Timeless on MTG Arena?

MTG Arena Timeless
Via: Wizards of the Coast

Announced by Wizards on the 4th of December, Timeless is MTG Arena’s true Eternal format. This means that the format is non-rotating and every single card ever released on MTG Arena is legal to play. Some cards, however, are restricted, due to them being too powerful when used without limitation. Thanks to this unique quirk, the closest paper MTG equivalent to Timeless is the Vintage format. 

While Vintage and Timeless are both 60-card formats with incredibly high power levels, there are some major differences. For starters, Vintage has over 16,000 more cards than Timeless. Alongside this, Timeless will feature MTG Arena’s digital-exclusive and rebalanced Alchemy cards. 

Curiously, despite featuring Alchemy’s digital-exclusive cards, Timeless isn’t rebalancing everything. Instead, as Wizards states, Timeless will use “the original tabletop printings of all non-digital cards.” This means there will be no rebalances of cards like Orcish Bowmasters or The Meathook Massacre. 

MTG Arena Timeless Restricted List


Currently, the Timeless format has three cards on its Restricted List. These problematic cards were identified before the format’s creation thanks to a series of no-banlist events. Throughout these, Wizards identified that the below three cards needed to be Restricted in Timeless from day zero.

  • Channel
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Tibalt’s Trickery

What Is the Restricted List on MTG Arena? 

As mentioned before, Timeless will feature, and make use of, a Restricted List. A card on the Restricted List can only be used once in a deck’s combined main deck and sideboard. Ideally, this should allow Wizards to appropriately balance Timeless while allowing every card to be playable. 

Currently, Wizards of the Coast has not yet stated if Timeless will have a true banlist at any point. In theory, if a card is so broken that one copy can warp the format, it is possible this could happen. The chances that Wizards will create or reprint such a card for MTG Arena, however, are next to nothing.

Similarly to bans on MTG Arena, when a card is added to the Restricted List, players will be given compensation. Specifically, when this happens, players will receive wildcards for each copy of the card in their collection greater than one. For example, “if a player owns four copies of a card that is added to the restricted list, the player will receive three wildcards for that change.” 

As a note, MTG Arena players will not receive compensation for the three cards being added to the Restricted List with the launch of Timeless.

The Best Timeless Decks on MTG Arena

Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes
Minsc & Boo, Timeless Heroes | Commander Legends Battle for Baldur’s Gate

While Timeless has not been out for long, the format is already proving to have a diverse metagame. Primarily built around Historic’s banned cards, Timeless already feels like its own unique metagame. From the emergent trends we’ve seen so far, it also looks like the newfangled format will boast some compelling variety too!

Between Jund, Delver, Zoo, Mono-Red, and Mono-Black Necro, Timeless certainly has a lot going on right now. As if that wasn’t enough for you, the freshness of the format means there’s plenty of room for innovation. If you want to try out some novel new strategies using the best cards on Arena, now is the best time to do so. 

Despite the format’s youth, already a number of incredibly powerful decks have emerged and shown their strength. If you want to read up about these, we’ve got you covered. Here’s our comprehensive rundown of the best decks in the Timeless format on MTG Arena right now!

The Future of Timeless on MTG Arena

Timeless Lotus | Dominaria United
Timeless Lotus | Dominaria United

Since Timeless is launching as a brand new major format on MTG Arena, it won’t be going away any time soon. In fact, Timeless is very much here to stay, with permanent dedicated unranked and ranked queues. Over time, Timeless should just get better and better, with more cards and strategies emerging.

Currently, Wizards of the Coast has not committed to releasing Timeless Anthology sets, similar to Historic and Explorer. Within the format’s announcement post, however, this was identified as a possibility. Potentially, this could introduce iconic cards like the Power Nine to MTG Arena properly, however, there’s no guarantee of this.

Beyond this, Timeless has the potential to be another great format on MTG Arena. Potentially, like Alchemy and Historic, it could even be used for tournaments in the future. Whether or not that will happen, however, remains to be seen.

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