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MTG: Arena Announcements and Alchemy Rebalancing, March 30, 2022

Once a week, Wizards of the Coast publishes an update to their weekly Arena Announcements blog, where they go over all of the important events and other upcoming offerings on MTG Arena. This article is a part of our continuing coverage on the Announcements, where we provide a concise summary of all of the vital new information each week.

Along with this week’s post, Wizards has also revealed the latest set of balancing changes for the Alchemy format. The company wanted to announce the changes early to give players time to review them in advance of upcoming competitive tournaments. However, the changes won’t actually be implemented on Arena until Thursday, April 7 – a week from tomorrow.

We’re going to get started by going over all of the changes that will be coming to Alchemy, and then we’ll get right into the rest of the information from this week.


Alchemy Rebalancing Unveiled – Rolling Out April 7

With this set of balancing changes, Wizards of the Coast has focused their efforts on improving two themes that never quite got there for constructed play in Standard: Warriors and Elves. Besides those two archetypes, there are also a handful of individual changes. All of the card tweaks announced today are buffs with no cards getting a reduction in power.

Alternatively, if you aren’t interested in Alchemy you can jump straight to the other announcements. Let’s take a look:

Warriors:

Wizards states that Warriors and Equipment, which were heavily featured in Zendikar Rising, are “especially susceptible to removal” due to steep equip costs and the amount of mana that has to be invested and re-invested. Therefore, many of the cards in the theme are being changed to be “less taxing on mana and more inherently resilient.”

Arms Scavenger

Card as printed:

Change: Gains “Equip abilities you activate cost 1 less to activate.”

Reason: “Arms Scavenger suffered from its spellbook being too difficult to cast in the early game. Having it reduce equip costs will make the spellbook cards more appealing to cast and give the card utility in the early game when mana is too constrained to cast the spellbook cards.”

Armory Veteran

Card as printed:

Change: Gains “Ward – Pay 2 life”

Dwarfhold Champion

Card as printed:

Change: Gains “Ward {1}”

Reason: “We added ward abilities to these two cards to give Warrior-Equipment decks more options to mitigate the inherent risk of building around Equipment.”

Bruenor Battlehammer

Card as printed:

Change: Now a 5/4, second ability has been re-worded to work with Neon Dynasty’s reconfigure mechanic: “0: Attach target Equipment you control to target creature you control. Activate only as a sorcery and only once each turn.

Reason: “We reworded Bruenor Battlehammer’s ability to work with reconfigure, as Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty Equipment creatures are a strong addition to the Warrior-Equipment deck. We also felt the card could use extra resiliency as a four-mana build-around.”

Expedition Supplier

Card as printed:

Change: Now triggers off Humans and Warriors

Reason: “Since most Warriors in Alchemy are not Humans, we added Warrior as a type that can trigger Expedition Supplier’s ability to give the Warrior-Equipment deck more tools to generate Equipment.”

Goma Fada Vanguard

Card as printed:

Change: Now counts Warriors and Equipment

Reason: “We are looking to have Goma Fada Vanguard scale better into the later stages of the game since later turns are often spent casting Equipment rather than more Warriors.”

Kargan Intimidator

Card as printed:

Change: First and third ability modes have been combined. First mode is now “Target Warrior gets +1/+1 and gains trample until end of turn.”

Reason: “To improve the general mana efficiency of the Warrior-Equipment deck, we combined two of Kargan Intimidator’s abilities to have it compete less with equip abilities.”

Kargan Warleader

Card as printed:

Change: Gains ward {1}, gives other Warriors ward {1}

Reason: “Since Warriors have a focus on Equipment and are less about playing as many Warriors as possible, we added a ward ability to this card to have it work better with the Equipment portion of a Warrior-Equipment deck.”

Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients

Card as printed:

Change: -2 now grabs a Warrior and Equipment, -3 now counts Warriors and Equipment:

Reason: “Since the deck-building cost of playing Nahiri, Heir of the Ancients is high, we felt the card advantage should be stronger than a generic four-mana planeswalker and the removal ability should scale better and be more consistent.”

Plate Armor

Card as printed:

Change: Now costs {1}{W}

Reason: “We are aiming to give more Equipment options to decks building around them. Reducing this card’s mana value will give it a better chance of having immediate impact by enabling it to be cast and equipped in the same turn more consistently.”

Elves:

According to Wizards, the Elf archetype which was included as a part of the Kaldheim set lacked “options to experiment,” with “most of the strength” focused on just a few cards. The rebalancing changes are meant to make the deck more flexible.

Tyvar Kell

Card as printed:

Change: Starting loyalty is now 4 (up from 3), +1 puts two +1/+1 counters on Elves (up from one), -6 becomes -7

Reason: “Most of Tyvar’s strength is in repeatedly using the second ability. We buffed the first ability to be more competitive with the second ability. Since the Elf tokens are easy to attack through, we also made Tyvar more naturally resilient.”

Harald Unites the Elves

Card as printed:

Change: Chapter 1 now mills five cards (up from three)

Reason: “Since Harald Unites the Elves requires a large board and a filled graveyard to use each chapter effectively, we raised the floor of the card by creating a more consistent first chapter that is less reliant on having a filled graveyard beforehand.”

Elderfang Ritualist

Card as printed:

Change: Costs {1}{B} (from {2}{B}), can now return Tyvar Kell from graveyard to hand, must exile itself to return a card

Reason: “We cut a mana from this card to make it a consideration for Constructed, and we allowed it to return Tyvar Kell from the graveyard to line up with Harald Unites the Elves and Harald, King of Skemfar. Since this card is now at a more competitive rate, we made it exile itself to prevent two copies from repetitively returning each other to hand.”

Skemfar Avenger

Card as printed:

Change: Removed “nontoken”

Reason: “Many of the Elf-tribal cards, particularly rebalanced ones, create tokens, so we removed the nontoken restriction to have this card work with the full suite of options available to the Elf deck.”

Canopy Tactician

Card as printed:

Change: Is 3/4 (from 3/3)

Reason: “We gave this card a 4 toughness to give it a role as a more resilient option since most Elves have lower power/toughness and are susceptible to small sweepers and toughness-based removal spells.”

Harald, King of Skemfar

Card as printed:

Change: Now looks at seven cards (from five)

Reason: “Since the deck-building cost of Harald and other Elf cards is so high, we increased the number of cards Harald looks at to better reward that deck-building challenge and give more consistency to decks that opt to support their Elf creatures with more enchantments, artifacts, instants, and sorceries.”

Return Upon the Tide

Card as printed:

Change: Now creates three 1/1 Elves (up from two)

Reason: “Elves are often not worth reanimating, and the Elf deck has trouble finding room for non-Elf cards, so we increased the reward for reanimating Elves to make this a more appealing option for the deck.”

Thornmantle Striker

Card as printed:

Change: Costs {3}{B} (from {4}{B})

Reason: “We cut a mana from this card to make it more competitive with cards like Gelatinous Cube and other interactive creatures. We also felt this card should have a higher ceiling than similar options to account for the deck-building cost.”

Elderleaf Mentor

Card as printed:

Change: Costs {2}{G} (from {3}{G}), now 2/2 (from 3/2)

Reason: “We cut a mana from this card to make it a competitive consideration for Constructed and introduce a consistent way to make two Elves with a single card for the Elf deck.”

Elven Bow

Card as printed:

Change: You may pay 1 (from 2):
When Elven Bow enters the battlefield, you may pay 1. If you do, create a 1/1 green Elf Warrior creature token, then attach Elven Bow to it.

Reason: “We effectively created a two-mana Elf by cutting a mana from the token-creation ability. This gives the Elf deck a consistent 3-toughness defensive option that it was lacking before.”

Skemfar Elderhall

Card as printed:

Change: Ability costs {1}{B}{B}{G} (from {2}{B}{B}{G})

Reason: “There are a lot of utility land options in Alchemy right now, so we cut a mana from the activation to make this more competitive with the other options and encourage more interaction in the Elf deck.”

Shessra, Death’s Whisper

Card as printed:

Change: Costs {1}{B}{G} (from {2}{B}{G}), now 1/4 (from 1/3)

Reason: “Cutting a mana from Shessra, Death's Whisper will make it a Constructed consideration for both Elf and sacrifice decks, and adding a toughness will provide another resilient creature for the Elf deck.”

Individual Card Changes:

Finally, Wizards is making changes to three separate cards that are not a part of the two archetypes targeted by the biggest changes.

Symmetry Sage

Card as printed:

Change: Is 0/3 (from 0/2), now gives a creature base power 3 (from 2)

Reason: “We made Symmetry Sage more threatening and resilient to give blue aggressive decks more options in Constructed.”

Spell Satchel

Card as printed:

Change: Second ability costs 2 to activate (from 3) and requires removing two counters (from three)

Reason: “We’re making Spell Satchel’s second ability easier to use to have it scale better into the late game and give control decks more options.”

Base Camp

Card as printed:

Change: Removed “Enters the battlefield tapped”

Reason: “Since building around the party mechanic is open ended, we want to see what buffing Base Camp does to the deck before looking into rebalancing more cards around the mechanic.”

That takes us to the end of the Alchemy balancing changes. Again, unlike previous rebalances that have been effective within a day or so, these changes won’t be implemented on the client until April 7. We’ve covered all of the changes in detail here, but you can also check out Wizards’ official announcement for the rebalance.


New Products – Alchemy: Kamigawa Bundle and Mythic Boosters Coming This Week

With the recent launch of the latest Alchemy expansion Alchemy: Kamigawa, Wizards is introducing a one-time-purchase 20-pack bundle to replace the Alchemy: Innistrad bundle and help players build out their collections for Arena’s newest format. The bundle is much the same as the previous Innistrad product it’s replacing, which will be removed from the store on March 21. The Alchemy: Kamigawa bundle will be available for 15,000 gold or 3,000 gems.

In addition, Wizards will also be launching the Mythic Booster packs this week that were first announced during the much anticipated MTG Arena Economy-focused stream earlier this month. The Mythic Boosters are intended to help collectors fill out the Mythics from a set once they’ve collected all of the rares – the rare slot in each pack is guaranteed to be a card of Mythic rarity, unless it is replaced by a wildcard.

Players will be able to purchase one Mythic Booster for 1,300 gold, 30% more than a regular pack, or ten Mythic Boosters for 2,600 gems. If you missed the original announcement and Economy Stream, you can read all about it in our coverage embedded below.

Upcoming Events: Arena Open and Tinkerer’s Cube

Arena Open: MTG Arena’s two-day, cash prize, open-entry tournament series will be returning start on Saturday, April 16. This time around, the competition will be featuring the Historic format, with best-of-one and best-of-three options in Day 1, best-of-three only for the players who qualify for Day 2.

Players who achieve 6 wins or more on Day 2 will receive cash payouts ranging from $1,000-$2,500, and players who win 7 or 8 matches will also earn a qualification to the Qualifier Weekend in May – details yet to be announced.

In addition, all entrants will receive a Neon Samurai cardsleeve for use on the client. You can find additional details about the April Arena Open over on Wizards’ official event page.

Tinkerer’s Cube: Starting on April 15 and running through the 28th, the Tinkerer’s Cube draft event will be returning to the play offerings on MTG Arena. Tinkerer’s Cube is a phantom draft event, which means none of the cards drafted will be added to your collection. The draft will be available in both best-of-one and best-of-three offerings, with an entry fee of 4,000 gold or 600 gems for either option.

As the Tinkerer’s Cube is a returning event, we already have some handy guides to help guide you through!

In addition to our draft guide, embedded above, we also have two excellent articles from Chris Kvartek breaking down the allied archetypes and enemy archetypes in the format. As with other events on Arena, you can also take a look at Wizards’ official page covering the full details.


That brings us to the end of the MTG Arena Announcements for this week – we’ll be on the lookout for any further information about the Alchemy balance changes and keep you posted! In the meantime, if you’d like to check out the full post from Wizards, you’ll find it embedded in its entirety below.

MTG Arena Announcements, March 30, 2022

20-Pack Alchemy: Kamigawa Bundle Coming This Week!

Look for a single-purchase 20-pack Alchemy: Kamigawa bundle arriving in the Store tomorrow, Thursday, March 31. For 15,000 gold or 3,000 gems, this bundle will give you a boost as you add Alchemy: Kamigawa cards to your collection.

Check out the new Alchemy: Kamigawa cards to see what you can get!

Note: If you haven’t picked up the previous one-time purchase 20-pack Alchemy: Innistrad bundle, you’ll want to do that before March 31—the Alchemy: Kamigawa 20-pack bundle will be replacing it!

Mythic Booster Packs Arrive This Week

Also coming this week are the Mythic Booster packs discussed in the MTG Arena economy article and during the Weekly MTG broadcast. These packs will be available in the Store this Thursday, March 31:

  • 1 Mythic Booster pack for 1,300 gold
  • 10 Mythic Booster packs for 2,600 gems

Mythic Booster packs ensure that the card in the rare or mythic rare slot is always a mythic rare (unless it is replaced by a wildcard). These should help collectors who have completed their collection of rares for a set but are still missing mythic rare cards.

Upcoming Alchemy Balance Changes

As part of the April 7 game update, we are planning to rebalance a number of cards in Alchemy. Since this is very close to a Qualifier Weekend, we wanted to give players as much notice as possible. Check out the latest rebalancing changes coming on Thursday, April 7.

Arena Open Returns April 16–17

The next Arena Open kicks off on Saturday, April 16. This two-day event will feature competition in the Historic format, and all participants will receive the Neon Samurai card sleeve:

Check out the Arena Open page for details!

Tinkerer’s Cube April 15–28

The Tinkerer’s Cubeis back beginning Friday, April 15, and continuing through April 28. Draft three 14-card packs for Best-of-One and Best-of-Three matches with a chance to win gold and Historic individual card rewards! This is a Phantom event, so drafted cards are not added to your collection.

Find out more, plus check out a full card list, in the Tinkerer’s Cube article.

Event Schedule

Midweek Magic

Midweek Magic events begin on Tuesdays at 8 a.m. PT and end on Thursdays at 11 a.m. PT.

  • April 5–7: Challenger Showcase
  • April 12–14: Historic Pauper

Quick Draft

  • March 25–April 8: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
  • April 8–22: Zendikar Rising
  • April 22–29: Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty
  • April 29–May 13: Kaldheim
  • May 13–27: Streets of New Capenna
  • May 27–June 10: Strixhaven: School of Mages

Arena Opens

  • April 16–17: Historic
  • May 14–15: Sealed Streets of New Capenna

Other Events

  • April 1–8: Dominaria Premier Draft
  • April 8–15: Sealed Ravnica Mixer
  • April 15–28: Tinkerer’s Cube
  • April 28–May 20: Sealed Streets of New Capenna

March 2022 Ranked Season

The March 2022 Ranked Season begins February 28 at 12:05 p.m. PT (20:05 UTC) and ends on March 31 at 12 p.m. PT (20:00 UTC).

  • Bronze Reward: 1 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty pack
  • Silver Reward: 1 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty pack + 500 gold
  • Gold Reward: 2 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty packs + 1,000 gold + Hotshot Mechanic card style
  • Platinum Reward: 3 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty packs + 1,000 gold + Hotshot Mechanic card style + Mindlink Mech card style
  • Diamond Reward: 4 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty packs + 1,000 gold + Hotshot Mechanic card style + Mindlink Mech card style
  • Mythic Reward: 5 Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty packs + 1,000 gold + Hotshot Mechanic card style + Mindlink Mech card style

April 2022 Ranked Season

The April 2022 Ranked Season begins March 31 at 12:05 p.m. PT (19:05 UTC) and ends on April 30 at 12 p.m. PT (19:00 UTC).

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Paul
Paul

Dude from Vermont who likes to play Magic and Escape from Tarkov. Musician, writer, and gamer. Submit feedback or corrections to @Paul on the Discord.

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