4, May, 21

What Is Historic In Magic: The Gathering?

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Historic in Magic: The Gathering is one of the newest formats in existence, and it’s also one of the strangest.

While a lot of other formats have specific sets that they begin with and then add in new bits as they go, Historic is far less well-defined than that, and also only really a format on MTG Arena.

So, what is Historic in Magic: The Gathering, and what do you need to know about it?

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What is Historic in Magic: The Gathering?


Historic is a special format designed for MTG Arena. It encapsulates basically every card on the service aside from those that are banned (which we’ll list below here).

It’s a bit like Pioneer or Modern, but specifically for MTG Arena. While Pioneer and Modern both have specific starting sets and only get added to via newly released sets, Historic is different.

Historic was introduced in November 2019 as a way to allow players to continue using cards that had rotated out of Standard. Technically speaking, Historic includes sets from Ixalan onwards, but in reality, this includes Historic Anthologies and other supplemental products that mean that you will occasionally get cards from before Ixalan in the format. It’s wholly unique in MTG, and it’s a lot of fun.

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What cards are banned in Historic?


The banned list for Historic is as follows, and it’s fairly large given the rather small pool of cards it pulls from. This was bolstered substantially with the introduction of Mystical Archives in Strixhaven, which were banned ahead of their release. This is the list as it stands:

  • Agent of Treachery
  • Channel
  • Counterspell
  • Dark Ritual
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Field of the Dead
  • Fires of Invention
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Natural Order
  • Nexus of Fate
  • Oko, Thief of Crowns
  • Omnath, Locus of Creation
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Swords to Plowshares
  • Teferi, Time Raveler
  • Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath
  • Veil of Summer
  • Wilderness Reclamation
  • Winota, Joiner of Forces

It still feels like a bit of a shame to not have access to Lightning Bolt or Swords to Plowshares, because it means they’re in MTG Arena with no real use, which seems a bit pointless. Nevertheless, that’s everything you need to know about what Historic is.

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