In late July, Wizards of the Coast announced a surprise product that has created a huge buzz the MTG Arena community- Jumpstart: Historic Horizons. The new set brings many of the cards from the straight-to-Modern paper sets Modern Horizons 1 and Modern Horizons 2 to the Historic format on Arena, along with 31 cards that are new to Magic and are designed to function only in the digital client.
Originally, the Arena update that will add Historic Horizons was scheduled for release on August 10, along with some backend changes to the client that would require the August ranked season to be split in half. Now, Wizards has made a new announcement that the release of the update has been delayed until two weeks later.
The client update will be taking place on August 24, and all of the new content- which also includes the new 100-card Historic Brawl queue- will be unlocked two days later on the 26th. In addition, Wizards has decided to extend the Jumpstart play event until October 14 because of the short time between the set’s release to the fall Standard set Innistrad: Midnight Hunt on September 16.
As of now, no reason has been given for the update’s delay, other than that the delay “will provide a better experience for our players.” It’s likely that there are technical issues that have not been worked out, or that the development team needs more time to get other aspects of the set ready for release.
Due to the delay of the client update, the planned ranked season changes have also been scrapped. In the State of the Game bulletin, Wizards announced that the August ranked season would be split into two different seasons in order to accommodate the backend changes. With the release of the update pushed so close to the end of August, Wizards has decided to end the current season on August 24 instead, and begin the September ranked season immediately afterwards- about a week early.
It also seems that Wizards is intent on following through with any of the rewards they promised with the original announcement. Since splitting the August season in half was to essentially create an extra ranked season, Wizards decided to give out gold and pack rewards for both August seasons. Rather than eliminating those extra rewards, the rewards that were planned for both seasons will be combined.
Wizards also says that they will “stand by” their decision to grant the first 500 players in Mythic rank on August 10 (when the original season change was meant to happen) an invitation to the Qualifier Weekend as if the season had ended as planned. You can find the full details on the updated August ranked season on this page at Magic.gg.
The upside of the situation is that as a sort of apology for the delay, Wizards will be adding three Historic-themed Premier Drafts to Arena, and each player will get one free entry to each draft. Each draft will run for around five days before rotating to the next one. The sets that will be featured in each draft are Amonkhet Remastered (August 10-15), Kaladesh Remastered (15-20), and Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (20-26).
Below, find the full text of today’s announcement from Wizards of the Coast, including a full summary of all of the dates that have been changed.
In our State of the Game article for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, we shared that we’re working on a large change to some of our backend systems. As we’ve continued iterating and testing those changes, we’ve decided that we need a bit more time to get them ready for release. Unfortunately, the release of Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is tied into this backend change, so we need to shift the release date for that as well.
Here’s the short version: we’re moving everything out by two weeks. The release that was planned for August 10 is now expected to arrive on August 24, with Jumpstart: Historic Horizons now scheduled for release on August 26.
We also need to delay adding the new Historic Brawl queue until this update as well, but for players looking forward to that, we will be adding a Historic Brawl event (with no entry fee) on August 12 that will run until the queue is available.
There are additional impacts here as well. Because Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is now starting closer to Innistrad: Midnight Hunt‘s launch on September 16, we’re extending the duration of the Jumpstart: Historic Horizons event to run until October 14 so there’s plenty of time to enjoy both sets.
Updates to Ranked Play
We also shared in the State of the Game that we would be splitting the August 2021 Ranked Season into two seasons. With this shifted release date, we’re updating this plan as well: the August 2021 season is underway now through August 24, and the September 2021 season will run from August 24 to September 30.
Since we initially planned and announced this as two August seasons with two sets of rewards, we’re instead combining the pack, card style, and gold rewards from both seasons into the new August 2021 Ranked Season so players can still earn everything we had previously promised—it will be an excellent time to finish with a Mythic ranking!
Though the season won’t end until August 24, we’re also standing by our decision that the first 500 players to reach Mythic by 7:00 a.m. PT on August 10 will receive invitations to participate in the October 9–10 Qualifier Weekend; the August 2021 Ranked Season will then continue as normal, with the top 1,200 Mythic-ranked players at the end of the season receiving an invitation as well.
You can review all the details for the updated August 2021 Ranked Season over on Magic.gg.
Summary of Ranked Play Changes
- August 2021 Ranked “Doubling Season”: August 1–24
- Players can earn the combined rewards from the previously announced split August season. This applies to both Constructed and Limited.
- First 500 players on August 10 at 7 a.m. PT will receive an invitation to the next Qualifier Weekend in addition to the top 1,200 players at season end.
- September Ranked Reason: August 24–September 30
- October Ranked Reason: September 30–October 31
Premier Historic Drafts—First Entry on Us!
Given the additional time until Jumpstart: Historic Horizons arrives, we’re also adding more Historic-themed Premier Drafts with a “twist” to help hold you over until Jumpstart: Historic Horizon‘s release: the first time players join each of these drafts, we’ll waive the entry fee! These Premier Drafts will run for about five days before changing to the next. Here are the sets making a return:
- Amonkhet Remastered (August 10–15)
- Kaladesh Remastered (August 15–20)
- Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (August 20–26)
Complete Summary of Dates
First One on Us Historic Premier Drafts: August 10–26
No Entry Fee Historic Brawl Event: August 12–24
MTG Arena Game Update: August 24
Jumpstart: Historic Horizons: August 26–October 14
August 2021 Ranked Season (with combined pack and style rewards): Now–August 24
September 2021 Ranked Season: August 24–September 30
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Release: September 16
We know you build excitement and plans around the timelines we announce, and we try hard to stick to them. In this case, moving the dates was the best way to ensure that these large and important changes will provide a better experience for our players, and we hope the extra events will help make the wait for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons a little bit easier to bear.
Thank you for your patience for what comes next to MTG Arena!