MTG Arena: State of the Game – February 2020
This month’s MTG Arena update is due to arrive on February 11, 2020! Here is the summary of today’s post and a round up of the changes that will be coming this patch:
- Soon we will be able to draft with other human players, i.e. “pod drafting”! We are shown a screenshot of the work in progress. For now, we will be able to use 40 card decks in a Direct Challenge as well as being able to transfer our sealed or draft decks to our collection, making sharing them more intuitive. This feature has been added to support the upcoming Magic World Championship XXVI tournament, where a portion of it will be Theros Beyond Death draft.
- A special Magic World Championship XXVI Showcase event where you can play with the 16 Standard decks submitted by the competitors, to win Mastery XP and a Card Sleeve for up to 3 wins.
- Players can purchase the Nyx Basic Lands for 3000 Gold each from the Store.
- Festival of the Gods series of events spanning 5 weeks from February 22. Similar to Festival of the Fae, there is an entry fee to win some Showcase Card Style Rewards (the Demigods and Gods – you can see them here).
- Free-to-enter “Workshop” events with minimal rewards, where you play with decks provided with different themes (e.g. Brawl, 7-0 draft decks).
- Ranked Draft Theros Beyond Death will be rotating every two weeks – two weeks on, two weeks off.
- Game Director Jay Parker and Executive Producer Chris Cao will be holding an AMAA (“ask me almost anything”) on the /r/MagicArena subreddit concerning events and formats, scheduled for Monday, February 10 at 11 AM PT. You can ask questions in advance in the reddit thread here.
Check out the original post from the MTG Arena development team below for more information!
As we celebrate the release of Theros Beyond Death and the upcoming Magic World Championship, the February game update brings a variety of ways for you to experience Magic: The Gathering Arena.
MAGIC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP XXVI
Sixteen players. $1,000,000 in prizes. In a little over a week’s time, the best Magic players in the world will travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete for the title of Magic World Champion. And, this year, they’ll be competing on MTG Arena.
To support the Draft portion of the event, we’ve added the option for players to Direct Challenge each other in a Limited Tournament Match that will follow the same rules as other Best-of-Three Draft formats in MTG Arena. Players also have the option to choose a 40-card deck as one of the options for other Direct Challenge matches, where you can play around with options like timers and who goes first.
Rest assured that this is not what we meant when we referred to eight-person drafts in our developer roadmap. We are actively working on the ability for you to draft against other human players completely in-game, however, that feature will be arriving in a game update later this year.
We’ve also added the option to easily export your decks from Limited events, be they Draft or Sealed. With the February update, you’ll see an “Add to Decks” button above your deck box which . . . adds your decklist to your other decks.
BE YOUR CHAMPION
While tuning into the World Championship coverage over on twitch.tv/magic, you can also be your champion in MTG Arena (metaphorically speaking). During the weekend of the Magic World Championship XXVI, MTG Arena will be hosting the Worlds XXVI Showcase, which will allow you to play Best-of-One matches using the decklists submitted by the sixteen players competing in this Worlds event. You can find details for this event here.
There will be no entry fee, and you’ll be able to inspect and change decks in between matches. You’ll also earn rewards for your first three wins, though you can keep playing until the event ends! The Worlds XXVI Showcase will begin on February 14 at 8 a.m. PT, and you’ll have until the following Monday at 11 a.m. PT to channel your inner champion.
THE STARS ALIGN
This is where we talk about how you can add those beautiful Nyx basic lands, as well as the other constellation-themed showcase card styles, to your collection.
First, let’s talk lands. With the February game update, players will be able to purchase each Nyx basic land and card style bundled together from the store for 3,000 gold each. You’ll only have to purchase each land once, as once unlocked, you’ll be able to add as many copies to any number of decks you want.
FESTIVAL OF THE GODS
For the remaining showcase card styles, we’re taking a page from the Eldraine storybook and holding another festival of events, this time centered around each of the monocolored Gods from Theros. We start things off hot with the Fires of Purphoros, which players can enter to earn the constellation showcase card styles for Klothys, Anax, and the bronze-blooded deity himself.
A new event will be available each week starting on February 22, each available in-game for three days:
- Fires of Purphoros: Standard Artisan
- Nylea’s Call of the Wild: Giant Monsters Emblem
- Heliod’s Glory: Immortal Sun Emblem
- Erebos’s Memoir of Death: Historic Brawl
- Thassa’s Briny Bounty: 150-card Preconstructed Singleton
Each event will cost 2,500 gold or 500 gems to enter.
INTRODUCING WORKSHOP SERIES
We’re also looking to expand the type of events we offer that don’t require entry fees; bonus points if we can find some fun specialty modes that don’t require deckbuilding either. Hence, Workshops. These limited-time events are intended to give players a small taste of a variety of formats, and the only thing you have to do is show up and play. In addition to no entry fees or deckbuilding required, Workshop events will also reward you for your first win in each event. These rewards will vary from Workshop to Workshop—some will reward gold, others XP, and some individual card rewards (ICRs).
For the February game update, here is a breakdown of the Workshop events we’ll be featuring:
- Power and Glory: Brawl! If you’re new to the format, we’re providing a couple of decks for you to try out before Wednesday rolls around or you head over to the Guildhall.
- Heros of Theros: Play with Limited decks drafted by other players who managed to earn a 7–X record in their event. Have you ever asked yourself what a good Draft deck looks like? If so, this Workshop is for you!
- Uncharted Paths: Play with Standard Constructed decks purposefully designed to be a little off-meta. Sure, they’ll never Top 8 a Mythic Championship, but we love them anyways.
Each Workshop will begin on a Monday and will be available for 48 hours.
CHANGES TO RANKED DRAFT AVAILABILITY
Starting with Core Set 2020, we made sure ranked drafts of the most current set were always available, alongside a second draft that would rotate every two weeks. The data we’ve seen since then has been . . . counterintuitive. We started to see less overall Draft play when there were more events available. Variety is the spice of life, it seems.
So, from February 14–27, Theros Beyond Death Ranked Draft will take a two-week break before returning on February 28. It’ll be available for another two weeks, and then rotate again. Two weeks on, two weeks off.
First, don’t panic. We’re not trying to secretly take away Theros Beyond Death Ranked Draft. We may (operative word) revisit having multiple Ranked Draft events available once eight-person Draft is available, but for now, we’re going to see how play looks with one Ranked Draft queue so we can compare notes from before.
EVENT DESIGN AMAA
With an assortment of new events, the return of events like the Brawlers’ Guildhall, changes to Ranked Draft availability, and a look at expanding format offerings, we wanted to keep the conversation going in regards to how we plan events and play queues—including availability, cost of entry, and rewards.
MTG Arena‘s formats, goals, and outlook are clearly changing from the Standard-only direction we originally built the game on. You’ve made it clear to us that MTG Arena should provide fun experiences to all types of Magic players. And you’re right! Magic is more than any one collectable card game. It’s dozens of formats and event types that cater to a diverse player base, from Brawl brewers to Standard Spikes.
We’ve already ramped up our intention to bring more cards from older sets to MTG Arena, which includes several Historic anthologies alongside Amonkhet and other Pioneer-focused remastered sets planned for this year alone. We’re also going to continue trying out new modes and experiences, even if those experiments include both trials and errors.
As we move beyond Standard Constructed, we are at times going to have to rethink how we do things in a world where fall rotation doesn’t have the same impact for all players. Some of these things have worked great. Others, not so much. And some ended up being . . . a little bit of both, to be perfectly honest. Every time we try something outside of Standard, we’re going to have to evaluate how it affects all aspects of the game.
So, to give everyone a chance to ask questions and get answers, Game Director Jay Parker and Executive Producer Chris Cao will be holding an AMAA (“ask me almost anything”) on our the /r/MagicArena subreddit concerning events and formats, scheduled for Monday, February 10 at 11 a.m. PT.
We encourage you to participate and ask any questions you may have on our current in-game events, our plans for future events, or the status of any previously announced features.
Mark your calendars! The February game update will be arriving on Tuesday, February 11. Keep an eye on our status page for scheduled maintenance times, and as always—follow us @MTG_Arena for the latest news and information.