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1.03.00 Patch Notes

MTG Arena’s December update is now live! The new features have already been announced in the State of the Game a few days ago, but there are some surprise inclusions! Below is the summary:

  • Friends list now available
  • Brawlidays now live – a month long Brawl event. More upcoming events are in the patch notes and our event calendar.
  • Following cards are now suspended in Historic:
  • Deck sorting feature
  • Deck import no longer requires set code and card number
  • Theros: Beyond Death preorder available – and looks like some data for the set is in the game already! More to follow regarding this.


  • MTG Arena Gets Social – Our Friends List lets you gather your friends and easily challenge them to matches!
  • Pre-orders for Theros Beyond Death: Multiple ways for you to escape your fate. See more details below under “Store”




Developer’s Note: The next time we talked about Friends List we wanted it be absolutely certain that it would in-game and playable. … and yes, it’s finally here! Since the November update, we’ve been refactoring services to make sure Friends List can scale to meet player expectations. For context, were were looking at a system success rate (sending, receiving, accepting friends) from about 80% last November to 99.5% at scale (scale, meaning a heavy use of this system during peak game hours).

Regardless, this is still a new feature so we expect there to be a few kinks we need to iron out (see the Known Issues list below) but also – please report any issues you encounter! We’ll continue to improve upon this foundation as we work towards our next social features – direct messaging friends in-game.

Sending Friend Requests

  • Players can have up to 200 total Friends across outgoing and accepted requests
    • You can enter the display name (including the #####) or the email address associated with your friends’ MTG Arena account to send them an invite.
    • Entering a player’s email address sends an in-game friend invite, not an actual email. Players will need to log onto MTG Arena to accept your request.
  • Sending Requests Simultaneously:
    • If two players mutually send friend requests to each other using their usernames, they are automatically added to each other’s Friend lists.
    • If two players mutually send friend requests with one using sending an email request and another using sending a username request, users are not automatically added to each other’s Friend lists.
  • Friends requests never expire.

Accepting Friend Requests

  • You receive in-game notifications when you receive a new Friend request.
  • You can set your client to block incoming friend by navigating to Options > Account > and checking the “Block Incoming Friend Requests” box.

Rejecting Friends

  • If you reject a request, the other player is not notified – they just see that they still have an outgoing request.
  • Rejecting a friend request does clear it from your list of pending requests.

Blocking Friends

  • You can Block an unlimited number of players
  • Only the first 50 blocked players are displayed in-client.

Using Your Friends List

  • The Friends List is accessible on the bottom right of the screen, by click the person-shaped icon.
  • Once you’re logged in and through downloading/unpacking assets, you appear online to your Friends.
  • You can Challenge online friends on your Friends List
  • You can have up to one outgoing challenge. This challenge is canceled if you log off or transition to looking for a match (either through matchmaking or by accepting another challenge).
  • The initiator of a challenge sets the parameters of a challenge (e.g. Best of 1 vs Best of 3, etc.).

Known Issues

  • If two friends challenge each other simultaneously, you may be come stuck in a state where you both see an outgoing challenge, and are waiting on a response.
    • Workaround: You should be able to cancel out of the challenge, and have only one friend initiate a challenge request.
  • If you receive a challenge while you already have a play blade open, and you change the parameters of the challenge before accepting (e.g. your friend challenges you to Standard, and you wish to play Brawl), your friend may end up in a locked state.
    • Workaround: If you wish to change the parameters of an incoming challenge, please cancel out of the challenge before changing parameters on the play blade.



We have made changes to the deckbuilder to allow for easier sorting.

  • Decks can be sorted based on the following criteria:
    • Format (Standard, Historic, Pauper, Singleton, Brawl)
    • Last Modified or Alphabetical
    • Name
    • Color Identity
  • Decks no longer require the set or collection number when importing them to MTG Arena.
    • Note: Decks will still contain this information when exported.


We are Suspending four cards in Historic play to improve the overall meta. For full information on what Suspensions in Historic mean, please refer to our Historic Suspension Announcement article.

  • Once Upon a Time – We’re seeing much the same thing in Historic that we saw in Standard and Pioneer: Once Upon a Time is very prevalent in any top decks playing Green, and it is leading to Green in general being over-represented in the meta.
  • Field of the Dead – Similar to Once Upon a Time, Field of the Dead is constraining Historic in much the same way it affected Pioneer: it’s having too large of a damping effect on controlling and reactive deck options.
  • Veil of Summer – Much as we saw in Standard and Pioneer, Veil of Summer’s high efficiency is proving stifling to the overall metagame by neutralizing too many counterplay options.
  • Oko, Thief of Crowns – We wanted to give Oko a chance in Historic, but the data is showing similar, though less severe, issues to what we saw in Standard. Good night, sweet prince.

The following card is now available for play in Historic:

  • Rhys the Redeemed – Though we’ve added this card particularly for Brawl, it will also be available for play in Historic and can be crafted using rare Wildcards.


  • An automatic stop has been added before declaring attackers if you have a spell or ability that would let creatures with Defender attack.
  • In cases where you can search your opponent’s hand or graveyard, we now default to checking their hand.
  • When selecting one or more cards in a Graveyard browser, cards that have an ability on the stack, or are referenced by an spell or ability on the stack, are offset.
    • For example, if your opponent has two Cauldron Familiars in their graveyard, and one is returning to the battlefield, you will be able to tell which is which when playing a card that exiles a creature from the graveyard.
  • Daily / Weekly Wins objectives now show current progress and total goal (15 wins) with a segmented progress bar:


Rhys the Redeemed is now available on MTG Arena!

  • Rhys the Redeemed is legal in Brawl (as your commander, or in a deck that shares the same color identity) as well as in Historic.
    • Rhys is not legal in any other Standard format or events.
  • Rhys can be crafted using Wildcards.
  • Players can also earn a copy of Rhys the Redeemed by winning their first game in the Brawlidays event.



Ranked Throne of Eldraine will be available through Theros Beyond Death‘s release on MTG Arena. Additionally, the following ranked drafts will be available:

  • Ranked Draft War of the Spark: December 20, 2019 – January 3, 2020
  • Ranked Draft Dominaria: January 3, 2020 – January 16, 2020 (Note: Dominaria is not a Standard legal set.)


This event will occur on a special Throne of Eldraine themed Holiday battlefield!

Event Dates: December 12, 2019 – January 16, 2020

  • Wednesday Brawl will continue to be available in addition to this event.
  • You can also challenge other players to Brawl using the Direct Challenge feature.

Entry Fee: 10,000 gold or 2,000 gems
Format: Brawl
Event Length: Play as many games as you want!



Event will occur on a special Throne of Eldraine themed Holiday battlefield!

Event Dates: December 20, 2019 – December 30, 2019
Entry Fee: 2500 gold or 500 gems
Format: Historic Artisan (commons and uncommons only). An additional list of banned cards is available below.
Event Length: Play as many games as you want!

Event Banned List:


Event will occur on a special Throne of Eldraine themed Holiday battlefield!

Event Dates: December 30, 2019 – January 6, 2020
Entry Fee: 2500 gold or 500 gems
Format: Standard with additional banned cards. (See below.)
Event Length: Play as many games as you want!

  • 1st win: 1000 XP
  • 2nd win: Card Style for Flux Channeler
  • 3rd win: 1000 XP
  • 4th win: Card Style for Escape to the Wilds
  • 5th win: 1000 XP

Event Banned Cards (in addition to the current Standard banned list):


Event Dates: January 10, 2020 – January 16, 2020
Entry Fee: 2500 gold or 500 gems
Format: Momir emblem with a deck of lands and selected planeswalkers on MTG Arena.
Event Length: Play as many games as you want!

  • 1st win: 1000 XP
  • 2nd win: 1000 XP
  • 3rd win: 1000 XP


Prove your skill in Historic!

Event Dates: January 11, 2020 – January 13, 2020
Entry Fee: 10,000 gold or 2,000 gems
Format: Traditional Historic (Best of Three)
Event Length: 8 wins or 3 match losses, whichever comes first

  • 0 wins: 4 rare/mythic Historic ICRs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve
  • 1 win: 1,000 gold + 4 rare/mythic Historic ICRs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve
  • 2 wins: 2,000 gold + 4 rare/mythic Historic ICRs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve
  • 3 wins: 3,000 gold + 4 rare/mythic Historic ICRs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve
  • 4 wins: 4,000 gold + 4 rare/mythic Historic ICRs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve
  • 5 wins: 6,000 gold + 8 Packs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve + Gaea's Cradle Sleeve
  • 6 wins: 6,000 gold + 12 Packs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve + Gaea's Cradle Sleeve
  • 7 wins: 6,000 gold + 16 Packs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve + Gaea's Cradle Sleeve
  • 8 wins: 6,000 gold + 40 Packs + Treasure Hunt Sleeve + Gaea's Cradle Sleeve

Note: For wins 5-8, the packs are divided equally among IxalanRivals of IxalanDominaria, and Core Set 2019.

Treasure Hunt and Gaea's Cradle Sleeves:


Please Note: This event is open only to players who qualified by finishing in the Top 1200 Mythic in Constructed or Limited in the October 2019, November 2019, or December 2019 ranked seasons.

Event Dates: January 11, 2020

  • Event Begins: January 11, 2020 14:00 UTC
  • Event Must be Joined By: January 11, 2020 16:00 UTC
  • Matches Can Begin No Later Than: January 12, 2020 02:00 UTC

Entry Fee: None, but must be qualified. Players can join at most once.
Format: Traditional Standard
Event Length: 10 wins or 2 match losses, whichever comes first
Rewards: 200 gems per match win

Top players will qualify for a Mythic Invitational!




Elspeth Play Bundle

Developer’s Note: We’ve received great feedback from our Limited players who have been looking for a Preorder option geared more towards them, which is the idea behind the Play Bundle. Instead of packs, it includes two Sealed Event tokens, the Theros Beyond Death Mastery Pass, and will automatically unlock the first ten Mastery Levels when Theros Beyond Death releases.

  • Price: $49.99 / € 49.99
  • Contents:
    • Granted on January 16, 2020:
    • Granted upon purchase:
      • Elspeth Mosaic Sleeve

Ashiok Pack Bundle

  • Price: $49.99 / € 49.99
  • Contents:
    • Granted on January 16, 2020:
      • 50x Theros Beyond Death Booster Packs
      • 1x Nightmare Muse”] Card
      • Ashiok, Nightmare Muse Card Style
    • Granted upon purchase:
      • Ashiok Mosaic Sleeve

Purchase both pre-orders and receive the Kunoros pet as a promotional unlock (also available separately)!

Kunoros – Pet Only

  • Price: 3000 Gems or 20,000 Gold
  • Available until January 16, 2020

Card Style Sales


Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God

  • Price: 3000 Gold or 500 Gems

Eternal Army

  • Price: 3000 Gold or 500 Gems
Mu Yanling
  • Price: 3000 Gold or 500 Gems


Lightning Bolt Exquisite Sleeve

  • Price: 8000 Gold

Cryptic Command Exquisite Sleeve

  • Price: 8000 Gold

Card Styles entering the Deckbuilder:


  • Adventure Abound Bundle
  • Animated Armory Bundle
  • Court Knights Bundle
  • Familiar Faces Bundle
  • Aggressive Negotiations
  • Uncovered Artifacts Bundle
  • Standard 2020 Bundle
  • Throne of Eldraine Set Mastery Pass




  • Having multiple types of near hand castables (cards in a zone other than your hand that you can still cast) now sorted correctly.
  • Adventure cards with showcase frames now display properly when ordering blockers.
  • Rankle, Master of Pranks’ SFX no longer loops indefinitely if no choice is selected.
  • Chandra, Awakened Inferno’s emblem created by Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God’s static ability now displays correctly if you are using the stained glass card style.
  • Dreamcaller Siren’s VFX textures now display properly when the card enters the battlefield.
  • Knight of the Ebon Legion’s VFX now properly scales depending when changing zones/states.
  • Ajani, Strength of the Pride’s 0 ability now displays VFX in the correct location.
  • Cavalier of Thorns’ SFX no longer persists on the battlefield.
  • Skarrgan’s Hellkite VFX should now display properly on all battlefields when entering play.
  • The Great Henge’s VFX should no longer appear on tokens created by cards entering the battlefield while The Great Henge is in play.


  • Auto-Tap now correctly recognizes mana that can be produced by Guild Globe or Golden Egg.
  • Mana cost of cards dragged from hand no longer visually clips through various objects on the battlefield.
  • Triggered “you may pay {X}” abilities no longer show a value when returning from exile.
  • Resolve All is now properly paused if your opponent Casts an Adventure card.
  • Creatures that can’t block are no longer stacked with identical creatures.
  • Adjusted the Adamant VFX to make the mana cost easier to read while cards are in your hand.
  • Orzhov Exquisite Sleeve VFX no longer plays incorrectly in the purchase overlay.


  • Core Set 2020 Ranked Draft now correctly grants the Ogre Siegebreaker Card Style after 7 wins.


  • Unlimited FPS in the advanced graphics options may cause visual issues in deck builder.
    • Workaround: Temporarily set your FPS to 60 or lower while in deck builder.
  • “Artisan Historic” format name is missing in certain language options.
  • A search that fails to return cards may have missing translation depending on your language options.
  • Players may get stuck in the Mulligan browser if they choose to take a mulligan as their timer runs out.
  • Token copies of creatures that require a choice as it enters the battlefield do not appear until after the choice is made.
  • Some token copies of creatures are missing rules text.
  • Players are unable to scroll through their Friends List if the Challenge button is currently being moused over
  • Accepting a Friend Request while its Block menu is open causes the menu to get stuck
  • The Friend Online pip updates erroneously if scrolling the friends list while alternating the cursor between online and offline friends
  • Players are able to Block/Unfriend other players when a Friend Challenge request is pending.


Developer’s Note: We’re looking to making this a regular part of our game updates.

Source: DEC 12 – 1.03.00

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