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Alchemy Rebalanced Cards

Alchemy is a new, digital-first format only on Starting from December 9, 2021, Magic: The Gathering Arena! Alchemy is MTG Arena’s version of Standard; it includes all Standard sets, and rotates as it normally does. However, it will also regularly rebalance cards and add supplemental cards with each premier set, incorporating digital-only mechanics such as Conjure, Perpetual, Seek.

In this article, we aim to record every card rebalances so you can find them in one place. Each card will show its old and new version, summary of the change and the reasoning for the change according to Wizards of the Coast. Here are some important points you need to know about the rebalanced cards:

  • Owning a rebalanced card gives you every version of that card. When you receive a rebalanced card from an Alchemy booster, you will also receive the Standard version of the card, and vice versa.
  • Alchemy versions of rebalanced Standard cards will contain the MTG Arena “A” in-line with the card name. They will also have the MTG Arena “A” as a “foil stamp” at the bottom of the card.
  • Rebalancing cards are planned to be taking place on a more frequent basis to keep the format fun, fast, and dynamic.
  • Rebalanced cards will also be replaced with their original cards in other live digital-only formats, such as Historic and Historic Brawl.

October 6, 2022

These changes include changes to Historic-only rebalanced cards, as well as additional changes to Streets of New Capenna Limited play. Full breakdown here:

July 7, 2022

Arriving on Thursday, July 7, the next game update brings several adjustments to cards—individually and in support of deck diversity. Additionally, Grinning Ignus will be banned in Alchemy effective July 7.


Cauldron Familiar
Gains “Cauldron Familiar can’t block.”

Cauldron Familiar

The Meathook Massacre
Removed “Whenever a creature an opponent controls dies, gain 1 life.”

Meathook Massacre

Cauldron Familiar and Meathook Massacre have shown themselves to be too strong versus conventional creature-based decks in Historic. Cauldron Familiar effectively shuts down creature combat, and Meathook Massacre punishes the opponent for trying to build a board state to get around Cauldron Familiar. We are hoping these two changes make other creature-based decks more competitive against Food decks.

Dragon's Rage Channeler
Delirium effect now +2/+0 (from +2/+2)

Dragon's Rage Channeler

Dragon's Rage Channeler is one of the most powerful cards in Historic, especially in the Arclight Phoenix deck, and we are hoping to make it easier to interact with in combat and with removal.

Unholy Heat
Delirium now deals 4 damage (from 6 damage)

Unholy Heat

Unholy Heat too easily undermines red’s weakness to large creatures. This change is meant to make high-toughness creatures stronger against red in Historic.

Winota, Joiner of Forces
Now triggers when one or more non-Human creatures you control attack; unbanned in Historic.

Winota, Joiner of Forces

Winota, Joiner of Forces was too difficult to beat both in the early and late game when triggering multiple times per turn. By restricting it to triggering once per turn, we are keeping the explosive potential of the card but are allowing other decks to overcome it if they develop a strong board position.

Grinning Ignus
Banned from Alchemy

Grinning Ignus

One of Alchemy’s guiding lights is to keep the format fast, fun, and dynamic. While combo decks can be a fun and healthy part of metagames, this deck fell outside these format goals. We discussed rebalancing (and may do so at a future date), but each change we’ve considered so far would effectively eliminate this combo, so we’ve decided to ban the card instead.



Past sets in Standard and Alchemy have supported decks built around +1/+1 counters, and we’re buffing those cards to better support cards like Brokers AscendancySanctuary Warden, and Falco Spara, Pactweaver from Streets of New Capenna. These changes aim to make cards originally designed for Limited more competitive in Constructed, and to buff other cards that have not made an impact in Standard and Alchemy.

Bretagard Stronghold
Now distributes two +1/+1 counters each of up to two target creatures you control (up from one).

Bretagard Stronghold

We added flexibility to Bretagard Stronghold to make it better in games where it is more important to have a single big creature and games where only one creature is likely to be in play versus removal.

Dueling Coach
Entering the battlefield now distributes two +1/+1 counters among one or two target creatures; activated ability cost changed to W, Tap (reduced from 4W, Tap)

Dueling Coach

Dueling Coach’s ability was too expensive and heavily relied on other cards to be worth activating. The changes are aimed at making it a more self-sufficient four-mana creature and even stronger when combined with other cards.

Fall of the Impostor
Costs GW (from 1GW)

Fall of the Impostor

We are buffing a removal spell for the +1/+1 counter deck since synergistic decks often have trouble including interactions that don’t contribute to the deck’s strategy.

Gnarlid Colony
Now four +1/+1 counters if kicked (from two +1/+1 counters)

Gnarlid Colony

Sigardian Paladin
Costs 1GW (from 2GW); activated ability costs GW (from from 1GW); now 4/3 (from 4/4)

Sigardian Paladin

Hagra Constrictor
Costs 1B (from 2B)

Hagra Constrictor

Tenured Inkcaster
Costs 3B (from 4B); now 3/3 (from 2/2)

Tenured Inkcaster

We are aiming to give +1/+1 counter decks more options to win through blockers with these four changes.

Iridescent Hornbeetle
Costs 3G (from 4G); now 3/3 (from 3/4)

Iridescent Hornbeetle

Since Iridescent Hornbeetle has a unique effect for +1/+1 counter decks, we are making it more efficient for Constructed play so players building these decks have more options.

Moss-Pit Skeleton
When triggered, Moss-Pit Skeleton’s last ability now returns Moss-Pit Skeleton to your hand at the beginning of the next end step (as opposed to the top of your library).

Moss-Pit Skeleton

Skyclave Shadowcat
Costs 2B (from 3B); activated ability costs B (from 1B)

Skyclave Shadowcat

We are aiming to give +1/+1 counter decks more options for card advantage with these two changes, especially versus control decks.

Ochre Jelly
Gains ward 2

Ochre Jelly

Exile effects were too effective against Ochre Jelly and made it difficult to sink mana into the card. Adding ward 2 will make it stronger against cards like Vanishing Verse and Skyclave Apparition.

Oran-Rief Ooze
Changed “each attacking creature” to “each creature you control” on the second ability:

Oran-Rief Ooze

Since Oran-Rief Ooze has a significant deck-building cost, we felt it did not need the additional restriction of having to have creatures attack alongside it.

Tanazir Quandrix
Now 5/5 (from 4/4)

Tanazir Quandrix

Buffing Tanazir Quandrix to 5/5 will give it better defensive utility against the four-power Dragons, Angels, and other flying creatures in Alchemy and make it more threatening while attacking with its last ability.


Decks built around instants and sorceries often have very few or no creatures to interact with. We are buffing creatures and other cards that synergize with instants and sorceries to encourage more decks that are easier to interact with.

Ardent Dustspeaker
Costs 2R (from 4R); now 3/2 (from 3/4)

Ardent Dustspeaker

Maelstrom Muse
Costs UHR (from 1UHR)

Maelstrom Muse

Rockslide Sorcerer
Costs 2R (from 3R); now 2/2 (from 3/3)

Rockslide Sorcerer

Tome Shredder
Costs 1R (from 2R); now 2/1 (from 2/2)

Tome Shredder

We are making these four creatures more efficient to give decks built around instants, sorceries, and creature type Wizard cards more options to play and build decks with.

Master of Winds
Now 1/5 (from 1/4); triggered ability changes to “base power and toughness becomes 5/1 or 1/5 until end of turn”

Master of Winds

Master of Winds’s stats were not competitive with other flying creatures at the same cost. Since many flying creatures have four power, this change will let Master of Winds profitably block those creatures and attack for more damage.

Mentor's Guidance
Costs 1U (from 2U)

Mentor's Guidance

Reducing the cost of this card will make it more competitive with other creature-centric card advantage options like Of One MindChart a Course, and Winged Words.

Rowan, Scholar of Sparks // Will, Scholar of Frost
Rowan starting loyalty now 3 (from 2); Rowan ultimate now -5 (from -4)
Will starting loyalty now 5 (from 4); Will ultimate now -8 (from -7)

Turn Over

It was too difficult to have Rowan and Will stay on the battlefield to make use of their passive, so we’re increasing the starting loyalty to make them easier to protect.

Sorcerer Class
Cost for level 3 now 1UR (from 3UR)

Sorcerer Class

Most of Sorcerer Class’s power was in level 2, and level 3 was often not worth reaching due to its high cost. We are reducing the cost to reach level 3 to make the card a more consistent win condition given its high deck-building cost.

Umara Mystic
Gains haste

Umara Mystic

We added haste to Umara Mystic to let it scale better into the late game when played with other cheap instants and sorceries in the same turn.


Painful Bond
Added “nonland”

Painful Bond

We are adding “nonland” to Painful Bond so it doesn’t add misleading text to lands in your hand.

Obscura Polymorphist
Added “up to one”

Obscura Polymorphist

We are adding “up to one” to Obscura Polymorphist so you aren’t forced to exile a creature if it would be disadvantageous to do so.

May 5, 2022

The major changes included some targeted rebalances based on the current meta, as well as additional smaller buffs on cards we consider to be Alchemy build-arounds.

Other minor changes, which are mostly increasing toughness, are aimed at making various Alchemy build-arounds more resilient to removal and more relevant in combat.

Citystalker Connoisseur

Added “nonland” to its enters-the-battlefield ability:

  • When Citystalker Connoisseur enters the battlefield, target opponent discards a nonland card with the greatest mana value among cards in their hand.

We are aiming to enable slightly more counterplay to Citystalker Connoisseur by protecting lands from its discard ability, particularly the channel lands from Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and the cycling lands from Streets of New Capenna.

Painful Bond

Changed “mana value 3 or greater” to “mana value 3 or less”:

  • Draw two cards, then cards in your hand with mana value 3 or less perpetually gain “When you cast this spell, you lose 1 life.”

Decks were too easily able to circumvent Painful Bond’s downside by including very few or no cards with mana value 3 or greater. We are changing what mana values Painful Bond affects to better balance against the efficient card advantage it provides by encouraging decks to either include more cards with higher mana values or be willing to pay an additional life cost.

A-Omnath, Locus of Creation

Changed “scry 1” back to “draw a card”; the rebalanced cost remains 1RGWU:

After seeing the impact of the rebalanced Omnath, Locus of Creation in Alchemy and Historic, we are changing Omnath back to drawing a card when it enters the battlefield. It will continue to have its rebalanced1RGWU mana cost.

Settle the Wilds

Now costs 2G instead of 1GG.

Given the high deck-building cost to include permanents with mana values 4 or greater, the strict double-green mana requirement felt like an unnecessary hurdle. By making this card easier to cast we hope it can find a place in more decks, especially with the release of Streets of New Capenna and its focus on multicolor strategies.

Semblance Scanner

  • 3/1 -> 3/2

Captain Eberhart

  • 1/1 -> 1/2

Veteran Ghoulcaller

  • 2/1 -> 2/2

Artillery Enthusiast

  • 1/1 -> 1/2

Garruk, Wrath of the Wilds

  • Starting loyalty is now four (instead of three).
  • Third planeswalker ability now costs six loyalty counters (instead of five).

Geist of Regret

  • 4/5 -> 5/5

Experimental Pilot

  • 1/1 -> 1/2

Tireless Angler

  • 1/4 -> 2/4

Swarm Saboteur

  • 2/1 -> 2/2

April 7, 2022

This round of rebalancing consists of buffs only, primarily to the Warriors and Elves tribal archetypes.

February 24, 2022

16 cards are rebalanced for Alchemy, and 1 nerfed and unbanned for Historic. Zombie cards from the Innistrad sets, particularly concerning the decayed Zombie token mechanic, receive buffs along with some of the Alchemy-designed cards and a few others that haven’t seen much play. Fires of Invention is reintroduced to Historic with a nerf. [Original article]

Alchemy Rebalancing for February 24, 2022

While we are waiting to see the full impact of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty on the Alchemy metagame before making balance changes there, we are taking this opportunity to buff the Zombie deck and other cards that are agnostic of Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty set-specific themes. The overarching goal of the Zombie buffs is to strengthen the decayed mechanic. Since the more generic Zombie build-around cards, such as Champion of the Perished and Bladestitched Skaab, are in line with other creature-themed deck rewards, we instead chose to strengthen the Zombie-specific mechanic that separates Zombie decks from other creature-themed decks.

We are also aiming to adjust Town-Razer Tyrant’s play rate and win rate as it is a staple in multiple top decks in Alchemy, and we are rebalancing and unbanning Fires of Invention in Historic.

Cobbled Lancer

  • Change: Ability costs {1}{U} (from {3}{U})
  • Reason: “Cobbled Lancer’s biggest strength is in its mana efficiency, but decks using it for its efficiency were often uninterested in using the activated ability. We are aiming to play to the card’s strengths by making the activated ability cheaper.”

Death-Priest of Myrkul

  • Change: Removed mana cost from the triggered ability (was {1}), power/toughness increased to 3/3 (from 2/2)
  • Reason: “The mana gate on the triggered ability made Death-Priest of Myrkul a weak turn-four play, as it could not immediately create a token when used in decks utilizing decayed. The power and toughness increase will also help insulate the Zombie deck from 2-damage board wipes, which are often used to beat creature-themed decks that rely on creatures with lower power/toughness.”

Falcon Abomination

  • Change: Added flash
  • Reason: “Overcharged Amalgam was difficult to play in Zombie decks because so many of the Zombie-themed payoffs are best played on your turn. We are aiming to give another option to play alongside Overchaged Amalgam by introducing an instant-speed threat to deploy if Overcharged Amalgam doesn’t have good targets to counter.”

Hobbling Zombie

  • Change: Costs {1}{B} (from {2}{B})
  • Reason: “Most decayed token generators require a specific condition, like Ghoulish Procession, or a significant mana investment, like Tainted Adversary. Reducing Hobbling Zombie’s casting cost will give another cost-effective and reliable source of decayed tokens alongside Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia.”

Narfi, Betrayer King

  • Change: Costs {2}{U}{B} (from {3}{U}{B})
  • Reason: “Narfi, Betrayer King’s reanimation ability is the strongest part of the card, but as a result, decks would often try to discard or mill Narfi and actively avoid casting him. Reducing the casting cost will make it less punishing to draw Narfi when he is unable to be milled or discarded and strengthen its role as an answer to board wipes for the Zombie deck.”

Sepulcher Ghoul

  • Change: Power/toughness increased to 2/2 (from 2/1)
  • Reason: “Sepulcher Ghoul was too harshly countered by expendable tokens and creatures such as Cursebound Witch and Eyetwitch. Giving it a second toughness will let it get into combat much more by profitably attacking through 1- and 3-power creatures.”

Skull Skaab

  • Change: Removed nontoken restriction
  • Reason: “Decayed tokens are often the best creatures to exploit, but Skull Skaab would be too repetitive in Limited without the nontoken restriction as players would almost always exploit a Zombie token and replace it immediately. Since this change will not affect Limited, we are able to remove this restriction and provide another option to play with the decayed and exploit mechanics together.”

Stitched Assistant

  • Change: Costs {1}{U} (from {2}{U}), now scry 2 (from scry 1), power/toughness decreased to 2/1 (from 3/2)
  • Reason: “At three mana, this card was overshadowed by Fell Stinger. Since drawing multiple Fell Stingers can lead to awkward draws, we chose to move it to two mana to be a more efficient but less powerful card-advantage option alongside Fell Stinger.”

Alrund, God of the Cosmos // Hakka, Whispering Raven

  • Change: Alrund’s ability now reveals the top three cards (from two cards), Hakka’s power/toughness increased to 3/3 (from 2/3)
  • Reason: “Alrund, God of the Cosmos’s strength is in its flexibility of being a five-mana win condition that can fill gaps in the curve before then. We are buffing both sides to play into this flexibility by having it be more relevant in combat earlier in the game and a more consistent win condition later in the game.”

Cosmos Charger

  • Change: Costs {2}{U} (from {3}{U}), foretell costs {U} (from {2}{U}), power/toughness decreased to 3/2 (from 3/3)
  • Reason: “While individual foretell cards have proven to be strong, building around the mechanic is too inefficient. Making Cosmos Charger cheaper will help subsidize the expensive mana requirements of the foretell mechanic, and a mana-efficient Cosmos Charger will have the potential of being a threat for disruptive aggro decks.”

Gitrog, Horror of Zhava

Change: Removed opponent’s option to sacrifice token creatures
Reason: “Gitrog, Horror of Zhava is effective at generating card advantage but is not much of a threat against the metagame’s more common token producers, such as Wedding Announcement and Ranger Class. We are aiming to make GItrog a more reliable win condition by increasing the opponent’s cost when denying it from combat.”

Tibalt, Wicked Tormentor

  • Change: Second ability now deals 4 damage in both instances (from 3 damage)
  • Reason: “Since Tibalt, Wicked Tormentor is not an aggressive card, opponents were too easily able to take the 3 damage from the second ability. We are aiming to make the second ability more balanced with the other two abilities by increasing the range of targets it can destroy, making it more punishing for the opponent to take the damage.”

Tireless Angler

  • Change: Now triggers when a Swamp enters the battlefield in addition to Islands
  • Reason: “We felt Tireless Angler triggering off Swamps would be a flavorful addition that would also allow the card to see play in more decks.”

Sinister Reflections

  • Change: Costs {1}{U} (from {U}{U})
  • Reason: “Previously, Sinister Reflection [sic] was effectively restricted to mono-blue creature decks. We are aiming to expand its applications by making it easier to include in multicolor creature decks, perhaps Zombies or Ninjas!”

Vega, the Watcher

  • Change: Gains ward {2}
  • Reason: “Vega, the Watcher was too fragile to reliably build around mechanics like foretell and flashback. Giving Vega, the Watcher ward 2 will make it a safer turn-three play and better reward players who wait until a later turn to get immediate value with Vega.”

Town-Razer Tyrant

  • Change: Ability deals damage in the end step (from upkeep)
  • Reason: “Town-Razer Tyrant was needlessly punishing creature decks that mostly operate at sorcery speed. Adjusting the timing of the trigger will give decks a full turn to use the land at no cost and more information before deciding whether to sacrifice their land.”

Fires of Invention

  • Change: Costs {4}{R} (from {3}{R}), unbanned in Historic
  • Reason: “Fires of Invention is an exciting card to build around but was able to generate too much mana too early in the game. By delaying the card one turn, we are aiming to lower the ceiling and better align it with the deck-building cost of the card.”

January 25, 2022

18 cards are rebalanced for Alchemy, and 1 specifically for Historic. Buffs have been centered around AFR’s Venture and Dungeon mechanic, nerfs to the new overtuned Alchemy cards and Blue cards currently dominating the format. Teferi, Time Raveler has been unbanned from Historic and rebalanced. Read the original article here.

Alchemy Rebalancing for January 27, 2022

Since Alchemy’s launch, we have been happy with the overall deck diversity in the format. Our intent with this round of changes is to better balance the play rates between the top decks while ensuring they all remain viable. We also hope that the minor adjustment to some of the top decks alongside buffs to other cards will allow more decks to compete at the highest level of play.

After closely monitoring our first round of Alchemy rebalances, we’re happy to report that they had minimal impact on Historic win rates among existing decks, but we also understand players’ concern over future unknowns. Based on that feedback, we will be weighing the potential Historic impact more heavily in our rebalance decisions, starting with the adjustments we’re announcing today.

As with all balance and card pool changes, we will be carefully watching the way the metagame evolves as a result. If we see signs in Alchemy or Historic that these changes have had an unintended impact, we will move to correct that. If we see that these changes have not done enough, we will correct that as well, and continue doing so as often as necessary. As we’ve stated before, our goal for Alchemy and Alchemy rebalances is to keep the format interesting and engaging every time players sit down to play.

In addition to the 18 rebalanced cards, we rebalanced Teferi, Time Raveler, and the updated Alchemy version will be legal in Historic play. In the future, we’ll be looking for similar opportunities to rebalance and unban cards currently on the Historic banned list, with the understanding that we have no intention of rebalancing iconic cards with significant Magic history (e.g., Brainstorm). And before you ask, you get to keep your Wildcards from the original banning.

Acererak the Archlich

  • Change: Removed opponent’s option to sacrifice a creature on the attack trigger.
  • Reason: The two primary goals with this set of changes are to make decks centered around the venture keyword action less clunky and more reliable at winning games. For example, too many venture cards were clustered at three mana, and we hope that decreasing the mana value of various cards will open up more options to build around cards like Acererak; Nadaar, Selfless Paladin; and Varis, Silverymoon Ranger. Similarly, by making Triumphant Adventurer hit harder, turning Cloister Gargoyle into a two-mana threat, letting Ellywick Tumblestrum ultimate one turn quicker, and having Acererak always create a zombie token, we are aiming for decks built around venture to win more consistently after completing a dungeon.

Assemble from Parts

  • Change: Lowered overall cost, now requires two black mana. Ability costs 1BB (from 3B).
  • Reason: We felt the dream of reanimating a creature on turn four with Assemble from Parts was too difficult to achieve. Changing the ability’s mana cost will make a turn-four reanimation much more consistent but will require a heavier commitment to black to support the adjusted cost.

Bloodrage Alpha

  • Change: Increased toughness. Is 4/4 (from 4/3).
  • Reason: As cards with a high deck-building cost, we felt this card alongside Puppet Raiser should be more resilient to make them more competitive when compared to some of the more universal four-mana options.

Cloister Gargoyle

  • Change: Lowered cost, reduced toughness. Costs 1W (from 2W), is 0/3 (from 0/4).
  • Reason: See above.

Dungeon Descent

  • Change: Rules adjustment, decreased cost. Removed “enters the battlefield tapped,” costs 1 mana to activate (from 4 mana)
  • Reason: See above.

Ellywick Tumblestrum

  • Change: Decreased activated ability cost. Third Planeswalker ability is now -6 (from -7).
  • Reason: See above.

Fate’s Reversal

  • Change: Lowered cost. Costs B (from 1B)
  • Reason: See above.

Find the Path

  • Change: Rules adjustment. Now adds two mana of any one color (from adding GG).
  • Reason: See above.

Puppet Raiser

  • Change: Increased toughness. Is 3/4 (from 3/3).
  • Reason: See above.

Precipitous Drop

  • Change: Costs 1B (from 2B).
  • Reason: See above.

Triumphant Adventurer

  • Change: Is 2/1 (from 1/1).
  • Reason: See above.

Divide By Zero

  • Change: Only Learns if it targets a spell or permanent with mana value 4 or less.
  • Reason: We are aiming to promote higher mana value cards in Alchemy. Divide by Zero was stronger as it targeted more expensive cards, and this change will more evenly distribute its power.

Fearsome Whelp

  • Change: Now triggers on upkeep (from end step), gains haste.
  • Reason: We are looking to make the explosive starts with Fearsome Whelp easier to interact with. Changing the trigger from end step to upkeep will give decks an additional turn to profitably interact with Fearsome Whelp. Giving Fearsome Whelp haste is a small way to compensate and make it more relevant in combat.

Hullbreaker Horror

  • Change: Removed “This spell can’t be countered”.
  • Reason: Removing “This spell can’t be countered” will make Hullbreaker Horror easier to interact with in both control mirrors and other blue decks. Since blue control decks also have access to Malevolent Hermit and Lier, Disciple of the Drowned, we felt removing the third instance of “can’t be countered” will make the mirror more fun. This change will also make aggro-control more viable as cards like Disdainful Stroke can more reliably interact with threats in the pure control decks.

Inquisitor Captain

  • Change: Added “if you cast it and” to the enters-the-battlefield ability.
  • Reason: We are making it more difficult to overwhelm the board with Inquisitor Captain. The interactions with cards such as Glasspool Mimic in Alchemy and Soulherder in Historic made it too difficult for creature-based decks to attack advantageously without relying on flying or forcing them to ignore combat altogether.

Lier, Disciple of the Drowned

  • Change: Added “during your turn” to the flashback ability
  • Reason: We are aiming to make Lier, Disciple of the Drowned less effective when combined with Fading Hope and Divide by Zero. The two bounce spells are very effective at protecting Lier and controlling creatures. This change will help players remove Lier, favorably attack, and interact with the opponent’s graveyard on their turn.

Sanguine Brushstroke

  • Change: Removed life gain from sacrificing Blood token trigger.
  • Reason: We are specifically targeting how Sanguine Brushstroke matches up against aggressive strategies. We opted to change Sanguine Brushstroke instead of The Meathook Massacre to minimize the impact to Historic and to have less of the deck’s power concentrated in a single card. Removing the life gain from the enchantment will allow aggressive decks to focus their answers on the conjured Blood Artist and overall increase their chances of pushing through lethal damage.

Town-Razer Tyrant

  • Change: Added “nonbasic” as a targeting restriction.
  • Reason: We are aiming to promote more monocolor decks in Alchemy and provide a few opportunities to play around the Dragon’s ability. Multicolor decks can include more basic lands to reduce their chances of being denied a specific color of mana and play around turn-three Town-Razer Tyrants.

Teferi, Time Raveler

  • Change: Costs 2WU (from 1WU), now has 5 starting loyalty (from 4), static ability becomes “Your opponents can’t cast spells during your turn.”
  • Reason: We are aiming to move Teferi, Time Raveler away from a generically strong card to a specialized anti-control tool. Increasing the mana cost will make Teferi less effective at controlling the board, and the new static won’t incidentally stop cards like Finale of Promise and Dreadhorde Arcanist from working.

December 9, 2021

11 cards are to be rebalanced for the first Alchemy update, Alchemy: Innistrad. Read the original article here.

Alchemy Rebalancing Philosophy

To foster an evolving metagame and to keep pace with the millions of games played on MTG Arena each day, we will be regularly rebalancing cards in Alchemy.

Weakening cards (nerfs) will be the primary tool to affect the metagame. Nerfs will be aimed at cards and decks that have an outsized impact on the metagame, either through their own strength and win rate or by suppressing other strategies. The goal of nerfing cards is to allow more strategies to compete and interact with these cards, and we are hoping the nerfed cards will continue to be relevant and powerful options in the format.

Strengthening cards (buffs) will be targeted at popular and highly played cards that are not part of the competitive metagame. Buffs will have the goal of improving the experience and overall quality of life of those playing with these cards and are less likely to affect the competitive metagame. This first set of Alchemy buffs targets single cards for a wide variety of strategies, but we will also look to buff multiple cards for a single strategy in future updates.

We will not be rebalancing iconic cards that have a significant history behind them. Cards like Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Lotus Cobra, Thoughtseize, and Negate are powerful but often used as references and examples to evaluate new cards and abilities. Rebalancing them would be too disruptive to those conversations. If these cards cause issues, we will look to address them indirectly through live balancing or ban them if necessary.

As Alchemy is a new format and a new tool to manage digital formats, we expect this philosophy to be updated and changed as we collect player feedback and data on the impact of these changes.

Alrund’s Epiphany

  • Change: Only creates Bird tokens if foretold, foretell cost is 5UU (from 4UU)
  • Reason: We are aiming to make Alrund's Epiphany less effective at winning games from an empty board, either through combining it with Galvanic Iteration or naturally chaining them together. With this change, Birds cannot be created from copies from Galvanic Iteration (regardless of whether the original was foretold), and chaining Alrund's Epiphany is more difficult as it cannot be cast in the same turn it was foretold. Alrund's Epiphany needing the support of creatures like Smoldering Egg and Goldspan Dragon will allow more decks to interact with this strong win condition.

Esika’s Chariot

  • Change: Enters the battlefield with one Cat token (from two), Crew 2 (from Crew 4)
  • Reason: We are looking to make Esika's Chariot easier to interact with using removal spells as it generates too much value against one-for-one removal spells, and vehicles are inherently strong against sweepers (like Wrath of God). The change to crew 2 will better support synergies with smaller tokens such as 2/2 Wolves or pairs of 1/1 tokens.

Faceless Haven

  • Change: Becomes a 3/3 creature (from 4/3)
  • Reason: Removing the fourth power on Faceless Haven will make it easier to stabilize against aggressive monocolor decks. Decks will have more time to find answers when being pressured by Faceless Haven and have more options in deck building now that 4-toughness creatures can profitably block the land.

Goldspan Dragon

  • Change: Removed “or becomes the target of a spell”
  • Reason: Like the Esika's Chariot change, we are looking to make Goldspan Dragon easier to interact with using removal spells. Goldspan Dragon’s trigger, particularly when combined with Negate or Saw It Coming, heavily punished interaction, and creature interaction is a facet of Magic that we want to promote rather than discourage.

Luminarch Aspirant

  • Change: Triggers at the beginning of your end step (from beginning of combat on your turn)
  • Reason: We are looking to tone down Luminarch Aspirant’s immediate impact on the game, particularly when it follows a turn-one creature. We decided to move the trigger to the end step as opposed to the upkeep to maintain the defensive utility of growing creatures in anticipation of an attack.

Omnath, Locus of Creation

  • Change: Costs 1RGWU (from RGWU), scry 1 when entering the battlefield (from draw a card)
  • Reason: Most of Omnath, Locus of Creation’s strength comes from refunding the card spent to cast it and sometimes refunding its mana cost. We are still preserving the potential for explosive turns but are making it less efficient by removing the ability to fully refund itself. We changed the enters-the-battlefield trigger to scry 1 instead of removing it altogether to still provide a window of interaction before the landfall triggers since playing lands does not use the stack.

Cosmos Elixir

  • Change: Now “gain 2 life and scry 1” (from “gain 2 life”)
  • Reason: Cosmos Elixir had too low of a floor for a four-mana card in situations where the 2 life per turn is not meaningful. Adding scry 1 to the trigger will raise the floor and help players catch up by finding their life gain synergy cards or other life gain cards to start drawing cards.


  • Change: Is 4/4 (from 4/3)
  • Reason: Decks with Demilich are often light on creatures and have trouble pushing through multiple removal spells and engaging in combat. The 4 toughness will make Demilich a more reliable card to build a deck around.

Druid Class

  • Change: Level 3 costs 2G (from 4G)

Wizard Class

  • Change: Level 3 costs 2U (from 3U)
  • Reason: Most of the power in these two class cards is concentrated in the first two levels, and the total investment to reach level 3 was too high. Making level 3 easier to reach will make these cards more well-rounded and promote the gameplay of leveling up your class as the game progresses.

Phylath, World Sculptor

  • Change: Has trample, Landfall trigger has “It gains trample until end of turn.”
  • Reason: Phylath, World Sculptor competes with Tovolar’s Huntermaster as a green six-mana creature that creates multiple creatures. Since Phylath, World Sculptor has a high deck-building requirement, granting it and its landfall trigger trample will better separate it from Tovolar's Huntmaster by making it more effective at ending the game.

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