If you ask most enfranchised Magic players what they’d want to see in Magic Arena going forward, you’d get 2 answers. First they’d say a revamped economy, and secondly more formats like Pioneer or Modern. Well, we don’t have any news on the economy, but today, Wizards of the Coast dropped their Magic Arena Announcements article, and in it are some spicy tidbits about the potential for Eternal Formats in the game.
The lead in of the section is talking about Alchemy. Generally speaking, the team is happy with how Alchemy is shaping up. They do acknowledge though, the concerns of players regarding the impact of rebalanced cards in Historic. For the moment, this isn’t a huge concern as the rebalanced cards haven’t had too big of an impact.
They also acknowledge that with the introduction of Alchemy and Jumpstart: Historic Horizons‘s digital only cards, there is no longer a “true to paper” non-rotating format on Arena. The team hears us, the community, in our desire for such a format, and they’re actively looking for ways to support an eternal format. The question is which format?
There’s a few things that WotC are considering as to which format to add to the game. The first being player feedback as well as the Organized Play team, which is critical. Secondly, and most importantly, they want to make sure that whatever format that they do support will be set up for Long Term success. So let’s think about what formats could be possible here.
Pioneer is the first one on everyone’s mind. It has been probably THE most asked for format from the community. Sadly though, from an OP standpoint, there hasn’t been a lot of major traction in Pioneer. It almost feels like a forgotten format, but it’s possible an addition to Arena would turn that around. Technically, it’s be much easier to add this in, since the card pool is much smaller.
Another option that I think many would love is Modern. This is really the player’s format and one of the most popular from an Organized Play perspective. While this would take a lot more effort to add the card pool, people would definitely love to have Modern come to the game, and I’m sure there’d be no shortage of support for Organized Play.
How Will They Do It?
This is the tricky part. I think that with the fantastic financial year that Wizards had, there’s hopefully going to be more resources allotted to the Arena team to make something like this happen. What the team has told us though is that they’re going to be testing formats in upcoming Midweek Magic events, similar to our recommendations for Limited Time “Eternal Format” events.
What’s interesting is that if we look at the upcoming event set, there’s a “Blast From the Past” event from Feb 22 to Feb 24. It doesn’t have any event information below that, so maybe this is a spot where an eternal event could be tested? We’ll have to wait and see what shows up there, but at the end of the day, this is all great news to know that the Dev team is hearing the community and making strides to give players more options to play Magic digitally.
What are your thoughts on this? What formats would you want to see tested? Let us know in the comments!