19, Mar, 24

Wizards Announces Massive MTG Arena Changes!

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Article at a Glance

Magic Arena is one of the most popular ways to play MTG. Offering beautiful graphics for players to engage with when playing Standard, Limited, or a series of Digital-only formats, MTG Arena is a great way to get involved with Magic. The stunning tutorial makes it one of the best ways to learn the basics to the world’s most popular trading card game.

For players who have a more competitive edge, MTG Arena offers many opportunities for compelling competition. Including a ranked ladder for Constructed and Limited, as well as occasional MTG Arena Opens that allow you to play for real world currency, your technical play can have an impact on the rest of your life.

That’s where the dream for most MTG Arena players ends. There are Qualifier Weekends, offering players an opportunity to qualify for the coveted Pro Tour and the Arena Championship, but qualifying for these events through MTG Arena, even for a professional MTG player on the best teams in the world, can be a pipe dream. Qualifier Weekends up to this point have been unrealistically difficult. No matter how good you are at Magic, or at the format of choice, the chances of winning are so slim that you need a lot of luck on your side.

Fortunately, Wizards of the Coast has realized just how difficult it is for players to qualify for the ‘pro’ level of MTG through MTG Arena in comparison to other paths. To remedy this, announced today are some big changes coming to MTG Arena’s competitive structure. Will you be able to live the dream?

Larger MTG Arena Championships

Up to this point, the MTG Arena Championship has been one of the most prestigious and exclusive events that competitive players could qualify for. Only 32 players get to qualify for the event per season, and because of how difficult the qualifier weekend was previously, many participants did not even finish the second day.

For players who want to participate in MTG Arena’s most prestigious event, but simply couldn’t fare the difficulty of the Arena Qualifier Weekends, some big changes are coming. Instead of the Arena Championship being a 32-person event, the new Arena Championship now has an uncapped number of players. To reflect the influx of new players, some prize money is being added to the event as well.

This suggests that the Arena Championship will become easier to qualify for. As a result, Pro Tour invites will no longer be offered for players who manage to clear the second day of the MTG Arena Qualifier weekend. Now, only the top 16 of the MTG Arena Championship will get this honor. World Championship invites will remain unchanged.

Taking a Step Back

Since the MTG Arena Championship is expanding in size, it makes sense that it will become easier for players to qualify for the event. Qualifier Weekends are getting a big change that players are going to love.

Up to this point, in order for players to clear either day in the MTG Arena Qualifier Weekend, they need to go 7-1 at worst. You also need to do this on both days. This is a brutally difficult bar to cross in comparison to other events that qualify for the Pro Tour.

So, to reflect the new unlimited cap at the Arena Championship, players now get an extra loss on day one of the Arena Qualifier Weekend events. This may not seem like a big change, but as a consistent participant in competitive events like this, I want to assure you that having the ability to gain one extra loss can be a massive deal.

Qualifier Weekend Day 2

While the number of losses granted remains a bit unclear for day 2 of the MTG Arena Qualifier Weekend Events (it looks like only one loss), players now only need six wins to qualify for the Arena Championship.

Additionally, instead of going all the way back to the beginning of the process for each MTG Arena Qualifier Weekend, strong results that didn’t quite get to the Arena Championship can allow players to essentially re-que for the next month in a stronger position.

Now, 1-3 wins on day 2 gets you an automatic qualification for day one of the next Arena Qualifier Weekend. 4-5 wins gets a qualification for day 2! This allows many MTG Arena grinders to consistently re-qualify for Arena Weekend events without needing to do the play-in tournaments every month. Essentially, this awards strong players for consistent results.

That said, there are some perks that will be disappearing from these events to make this possible. Namely, the at-large point-based qualification system will disappear.

What is the Point-Based Qualification System?

During the announcement, many MTG players who heard that this point-based system would be disappearing didn’t even really know what it was. For that reason, we’ll explain it briefly.

Players who got to day 2 of the current Arena Qualifiers had a big incentive to try and win as many games as possible. While qualifying for the Arena Championship by besting day 2 is almost impossible, qualifying via the point-based system is not unrealistic.

Even though 32 players qualified for the Arena Championship every season, nowhere near this many players would actually finish day 2s of an event in a season – it was simply too difficult. Any leftover spots would be granted to players who have the most points through this qualification system. The more wins you get on day 2 of any event in a season, the more points you acquire.

While this was intended to incentivize strong players to play in multiple Qualifier Weekend events per season, what instead would transpire is that anyone who had a decently strong run in a day 2 would qualify. The events were simply that difficult, and the popularity of formats in these events varied heavily.

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Qualifying for an Arena Qualifier Weekend

In terms of qualifying for the MTG Arena Qualifier Weekend events themselves, there’s not a lot changing. Players who get top 250 on either the Limited or Constructed competitive ladders will qualify for Qualifier Weekend events of the following month. A strong performance at an Arena Open event also still qualifies you for Qualifier Weekend events to our knowledge.

The alternative to a strong ladder or Arena Open finish for Qualifier Weekend qualification is to participate in a play-in event. These events are generally held the previous Saturday to a Qualifier Weekend (best of one) and the day before the event (best of three). When these changes go live, there will be another play-in event added… somewhere in July?

Finally, MTG Arena Opens are staying the same, to our knowledge.

When Do These Changes Go Live?

It is important to note that these MTG Arena changes will not go live immediately. There are still a few Arena Qualifier Weekends using the old style before these changes eventually go live. The new system starts with the May Qualifier Weekend, which means that the Alchemy Qualifier Weekend this coming weekend, and the April Qualifier Weekend will be unaffected.

Interestingly, MTG Arena’s qualification rules aren’t the only ones that are changing. Regional Championships, as well as MTGO events, are also reportedly getting a positive upgrade. We’ll be talking about those in a later article.

For now, players interested in testing their mettle in the competitive ring of Magic may want to consider MTG Arena more heavily in their path to the Pro Tour. These changes seem incredibly positive for MTG Arena players everywhere.

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