14, Sep, 21

What is Gladiator in MTG Arena?

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Article
at a
Glance

It’s not often that we get brand new formats added to MTG Arena however, as the game grows, so does its offering. Gladiator is one of the newer modes intended exclusively for the digital version of the game although you can play it with paper too.

This new format really challenges your ability to construct a feasible deck without having to rely on top-decking win conditions! Here’s everything you need to know about Gladiator and how it’s played.

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Rules of Gladiator in MTG Arena

Candlelit Cavalry Art
It’s an all-out war in the Gladiator format

The rules in Gladiator are fairly simple because it’s a Singleton format. This means you can only have one copy of any card in your deck. The deck size must be 100-cards minimum and there are no sideboards. The exception to this is cards which specifically state there is no limit to how many copies you can have in your deck. This means that cards like Dragon’s Approach, Persistent Petitioners, and Rat Colony are legal.

Cards with ‘outside the Game’ effects are limited in that their effects never happen. This means cards like Fae of Wishes and Mastermind’s Acquisition are nerfed. The legal card set is anything available on MTG Arena.

Matches are always best-of-three and you start with the standard 20 life points. It really is a simple game mode that is in place to challenge you to build a 100-card singleton deck and lead it to victory based on more than luck.

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Banned Cards

Oko, Thief of Crowns Art
Poor Oko isn’t invited to many parties

As with most formats, Gladiator has a ban list, and it’s not as expansive as other formats and there are some essential cards on there that will be unavailable to you.

There are expected cards like Oko, Thief of Crowns and Teferi, Time Raveler which are banned in most other formats. Beyond this; Field of the Dead, Natural Order, and Nexus of Fate round off the ban list.

With just five total banned cards, Gladiator manages to be a very open and accessible format because it offers plenty of potential moving forward.

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