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MTG Arena Zone 2021 Year in Review and What to Expect in 2022

MTG Arena Zone 2021 Year in Review and What to Expect in 2022

Hello everyone! Another year is in the books and we’ve had quite the run at MTG Arena Zone! We did a lot during 2021 and plenty to look forward to in 2022 so let’s take a stroll down memory lane before going over the exciting things you can expect from us moving forward!


WHAT WE’VE DONE

Confront the Past Art by Kieran Yanner
Confront the Past Art by Kieran Yanner

VASTLY IMPROVED UI

Depending on when you started reading MTG Arena Zone, you may never know that the website looked any different. However we had to go through a lot of iterations of the home page to find the one that fit for us! Now, we have an easy to use menus, plenty of subdivisions, and a search bar to easily find anything you want on the website.

Furthermore, we have a wealth of information on the home page so a lot of the time you don’t even need to use the menu to find something you’d want to see! We’ll definitely always keep striving to improve the functionality (especially with content organization, which is the next step) and look of the website, but we’re much happier with how it looks now compared to 2020!

INTRODUCTION OF THE DECK BUILDER

After a lot of work, we finally introduced our own Deck Builder! Now you won’t have to go offsite to easily get lists or submit decks! This is where we scan for decks (from the user decks), and add them to our main deck database. The eventual goal is to get the two systems working together seamlessly, which is in the roadmap for next year.

We’re still looking to improve some of the features as well, but having a visual view, easy exporting, importing, and sample hands are all fantastic features to have for a deck builder.

ACQUISITION OF MTGMETA.IO

Magic content is our bread and butter, but we had a major leak in it for quite awhile: the lack of data driven analysis. We used win rates and tournament data when we could, but having to shop around on different websites to try to find it would be cumbersome and inefficient We decided we should make a hub where this information was easily available as well as a site that can give you matchup data and procure good lists. How could we accomplish that? MTG Meta.

With this acquisition, we’re able to provide data driven results from every online tournament directly to you, for free. Between our content and data, you can be sure to have the most up to date information on any given deck in any given metagame! Isn’t that something?

RELAUNCHING THE YOUTUBE CHANNEL

YouTube is a space that we’ve been looking to break into for awhile, but needed the time and resources to devote to it. Finally in 2021, we’ve decided to make a real concerted effort into the video space. I’ve been working hard to produce fun video content that can both work well with written content, as well as adjacent to it so you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you prefer watching your Magic content. We’ve had amazing support already considering how little time we’ve been trying it for so I have high hopes for the future of the channel!

If you’re interested in taking a look, you can check it out here!

TOP ARTICLES OF THE YEAR

Well if we didn’t highlight our content, what kind of content site would we be? Here are some of the top performing articles of the past year for your viewing pleasure!

Who would think someone would try to get a Magic deck copyrighted? Welcome to America!

We’re glad that people looking to break into Magic trust us with their first decks! I remember my first deck was a 76 card Affinity deck with 5 affinity cards! I wish had this article back then!

Finally the top article of the year! Our viewer base loves their Bo1 Standard as it absolutely blew the rest of the articles out of the water! It personally took me awhile to come around to it, but after playing a lot of Bo1, I see why you love the format so much!


WHERE WE’RE GOING

Witness the Future Art by Anato Finnstark
Witness the Future Art by Anato Finnstark

That is a solid amount of improvements in the span of a year, but like any good Magic player, we’re always looking to improve more! Instead of being satisfied with how far we’ve come, we have a whole slew of new initiatives you can expect in 2022!

MORE OPTIMIZATIONS

Early 2022, we expect to complete a major optimization of the website. You should see less ads, increased speed, and most importantly, an easy way to navigate around all our content. This is expected to be another big change to the structure of the website – so if you have any suggestions, leave a comment below on how you want to see things!

THE (MORE FORMAL) INTRODUCTION OF DOTGG

This kind of rides between 2021 and 2022, but I think it’s prudent to mention it here for those who are unaware. We formed a parent company called DotGG that will be the hub of all the websites under our umbrella. It had modest beginnings with just MTG Arena Zone as the sole property a few years back, but we expanded into Legends of Runeterra, Genshin Impact, and most currently MTG Meta! Throughout 2022, we plan to use the DotGG brand more often, but just know it’s the same team you are already used to, just a slight name change. How will we be using the name more often?

CREATING OUR OWN TRACKER APP

With the acquisition of mtgmeta we have the tournament sphere covered in terms of data, but there’s only so many tournaments and a massive amount of ladder games played daily! In 2022, we’ll be looking to create our own tracker app so we can have both sets of data: ladder and tournaments, and combine them into a big ultimate spreadsheet for the most accurate possible data! Of course fort those who value one more than the other, you’ll still be able to find them separate, but this would make MTG Meta the most accurate hub for metagame information on the internet!

THE BEGINNING OF DOTGG EVENTS

Although technically the first event will be held in 2021, this is really a 2022 venture for us! We noticed that between in person events being suspending and Wizard’s stance on Pro play, and the Insight Esports debacle, there was a huge hole where competitive Magic should be. Magic can and should be enjoyed in all of it’s forms, it’s the best game in the world after all, but not having an avenue to compete is something we couldn’t sit by and watch any longer. With that, we partnered with a seasoned online tournament organizer (Mike, he’s a great guy!) to bring you a constant stream of tournaments so anyone who wants to play will have the opportunity to do so!

While we were already planning on running $1K tournaments (and hoping to scale up from there based on attendance), we got invited into the MTG Melee Organizer Program to get Qualifier weekend invitations as well as a Set Championship Invitation! Now players get to play for cash prizes as well as invitations to more tournaments! Sounds like a pretty sweet deal to me! Before I move on, I do want to point out that these tournaments aren’t going to be contingent on whether or not this Organizer Program continues. We only have confirmation for January so we’re not positive exactly what the future holds, but we plan on running tournaments through the year so you’ll always have an opportunity to play competitive Magic if you please!

Right now we’re focusing on the classic tournament structure with the competitive constructed formats, but we may be able to get more creative with that as well with different formats, tournament structures, leaderboards, achievements, and more. Furthermore, we are definitely looking into running tournaments in different games as well such as Legends of Runeterra and other potential future candidates so we won’t exclusively focus on Magic! We’ll have to see what the future holds! If you want to read about the tournament series, you can do so by clicking the link below.

BRANCHING INTO ESPORTS

Running a brand new tournament series is definitely exciting, but that’s not the only thing we’re trying to do for the most competitive of us in the community. To help aide the launching of the tournament series, we’re also looking into creating our very own Esports team(s)! We’re still working out the exact details, but the general idea would be a community of competitively minded individuals that can collaborate towards their competitive goals.

They would get free entry to our hosted events, exclusive Discord servers, unfettered access to all our properties, workshops, and hopefully much more! Similar to the tournament series, we definitely could be looking into doing teams for games beyond Magic as well. We’ll release more information as we confirm it, but expect word from us soon!

DELVING INTO COMPETITIVE MAGIC CONTENT

So we’re going to be running events constantly throughout the year and looking into getting our own esports team. What are we trying to accomplish? Well here’s your answer. Something we’ve been looking into for quite a long time is really branching into competitive Magic content. This may be a confusing idea as that implies what we’ve been creating thus far hasn’t been competitive content, but let me explain.

The crux of the articles are mtgazone can be divided into five main categories: deck guides, metagame/general Magic, Events, News, and Premium content. I’m a competitive person, so my content has been extremely reflective of that. Even when I do a Bo1 deck guide or I do a deck that’s more off the beaten path that I wouldn’t bring to a tournament, I still do my due diligence to make that strategy as good as I possibly can make it. When I talk about a metagame, I try to give everyone a leg up on what to expect on ladder and tournaments. This is all competitively minded content in one form or another, but that wouldn’t be what we would be aiming for. We’ve gotten closer to what I’m talking to with the Premium content as that tends to be more specific, but still not what I mean.

When I say competitive content, I mean content designed to make you a better player. Players watch streams a lot in an effort to improve and consume Magic content to do the same, but those avenues are presented as a means to get information, not improve. If you’re trying to do well in a tournament, are you going to be reading a bunch of deck guides to prepare? Well, of course! Having that information is absolutely vital. Knowing how to board with your deck and how others may board is going to be valuable, but does that make you an inherently better player? You’ll be stronger in that format and really savvy players can extrapolate those concepts to other parts of their game, but I have yet to hear about the player who became excellent from reading one hundred deck guides!

Magic players improve when they understand how the top players think and this is an avenue of content that has been vastly under-explored. When one thinks of the best Magic articles of all time, we always think of amazing theory pieces like Who’s the Beatdown or Drafting the Hard Way, not a Jund Midrange guide from 2014. The assumption would be that these are competing objectives, you write a theory piece to help players improve at Magic or you write an informational piece, but I vehemently disagree.

What this competitive content would be looking to do is both provide you with extremely curated information as well as giving you the building blocks of how strong players think so you can start integrating those concepts into your game. Magic is a purely mental game, the only things separating you from an MPL player is experience and approach. If we craft all our content by allowing you to shortcut the experience and explain the approach in as granular a way as possible, you can truly reap the benefits of their expertise.

A quick sideboard guide from a pro isn’t going to cut it with us, if you read a deck guide, you’ll understand why they built their deck that way, why they sideboard how they do, what else they’ve considered, and why their approach is a good one. This will be specialized content that will delve into many areas you’re used to like deck guides, theory pieces, and metagames, but done to such fine detail that it’ll be the most helpful content one could possibly read that will cover every facet of what it means to be a great player. This initiative will likely be an extension to the current Premium content you’re used to and exact details on this are still being worked out, but expect more information on this soon.

BRANCHING OUT FURTHER

So now we have tournaments, esports, competitive Magic content, what else could we possibly be looking to do? The answer is obvious… more! Everyone at DotGG has come together with a singular purpose, to keep providing great content you love to read! We have MTG Arena Zone, RuneterraCCG, MTG Meta, and Genshin Impact, but there’s a whole lot of games out there still!

We want to keep expanding what we cover so we have something for everybody! There are already a few games we’re looking into branching towards (any Teamfight Tactics fans here?), but we’ll definitely keep looking to see what other great games are in desperate need of strong content, and how we can help.

2022 is going to be an amazing year in terms of what our amazing readers are going to get and we hope you have a 2022 that’s just as good! We’ll keep you updated with all of our initiatives so in the mean time, play what you love, stay safe, and have an amazing year!

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DoggertQBones
DoggertQBones

Robert "DoggertQBones" Lee is the content manager of MTGAZone and a high ranked Arena player. He has one GP Top 8 and pioneered popular archetypes like UB 8 Shark, UB Yorion, and GW Company in Historic. Beyond Magic, his passions are writing and coaching! Join our community on
Twitch and Discord.

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