New Magic: The Gathering Arena Format Coming With 2019 Rotation

Magic: The Gathering is preparing for its annual set rotation this fall. At the same time, Magic Arena is preparing to keep its players engaged with the cards that will leave Standard with a brand new format to play. Jay Parker is the new director of Magic: The Gathering Arena, having replaced Chris Clay. Parker introduced himself to the Magic Arena community by appearing on the Weekly MTG live stream on Twitch.

During the discussion, a viewer in the chat asked about how Magic Arena plans to handle this fall’s set rotation. To date, Magic Arena has been Standard exclusive. The game featured sets from the Amonkhet and Kaladesh blocks — Amonkhet, Hour of Devastation, Kaladesh, and Aether Revolt. Those sets became unplayable and left the game's store once they rotated out of Standard last year. Magic Arena is still in its beta phase and the developers promised that a solution to the rotation problem would be coming.

On the stream, Parker confirmed that said solution would be ready in time for 2019’s Standard set rotation. The rotation will occur in the fall when the set now known only by the codename Archery releases. Parker did not elaborate on what that format would be, but he did say that the developers would not be removing cards from the game during this fall’s rotation. Cards in a player's library will remain in that player's library following the rotation. A formal announcement of this new format will come during the release of Magic’s Core Set 2020, which is set to happen in July.

That’s not much to go on for now, but many Magic Arena players have speculated that the game may introduce an Arena-specific “eternal” format. In Eternal Magic: The Gathering formats, sets never rotate out. One example is the Modern format, which allows all cards from the 2003 Mirrodin set and newer. Another is the Legacy format, which allows cards from every Magic set ever, minus specific cards banned from tournament play.

Magic Arena currently includes the Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, Core Set 2019, Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, and War of the Spark sets. Core Set 2020 comes to the game on July 2nd. When Archery arrives in the fall, Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019 will exit the Standard format.

Fans have theorized that the new format would allow for all cards from Ixalan onwards. Some speculate that the format may even herald the return of the Amonkhet and Kaladesh block sets to the game. Fans will have to wait until next month for more specifics.

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(h/t Dot Esports)

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