MTG Standard Rotation Guide 2020
What is Standard Rotation?
With the advent of Arena, Standard is the most accessible and widely played constructed format in Magic: The Gathering. Four Magic sets are released (one approximately every three months) and added to Standard each year, and subsequently the four oldest sets in Standard rotate out along with the release of the Fall set on September. This happens as soon as the patch is released on MTG Arena on the fourth Thursday of the month. Tabletop Magic follows the official release schedule, which happens on a Friday a week later.
No sets will rotate with the release of Core Set 2021 on June, 25, 2020.
What Sets are Currently in Standard?
The most recent Standard rotation occurred on September 26, 2019 with the release of Throne of Eldraine. The sets Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019 rotated out and, since then, have only been legal in other non-rotating formats such as Historic and Pioneer.
|Rotates out September, 2020||Rotates out September, 2021|
|Guilds of Ravnica (GRN)||Throne of Eldraine (ELD)|
|Ravnica Allegiance (RNA)||Theros Beyond Death (THB)|
|War of the Spark (WAR)||Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths (IKO)|
|Core Set 2020 (M20)|| Core Set 2021 (M21)|
Release date: June 25, 2020
What Sets will be Rotating Out of Standard in 2020?
The next rotation will happen on September 24, 2020 when the set Zendikar Rising is released. Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, War of the Spark, and Core Set 2020 will be rotated out of Standard on the same day. The table below shows the new Standard format after rotation.
|Rotates out September, 2021||Rotates out September, 2022|
|Throne of Eldraine|| Zendikar Rising|
Release date: September 24, 2020
|Theros: Beyond Death||TBA|
|Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths||TBA|
| Core Set 2021|
Release date: June 25, 2020
The following cards are in current Standard sets, but are banned and is not legal for play in Standard. The link will take you to the ban announcement and explain the reasons behind their bans.
|Card Name||Set||Ban Date|
|Field of the Dead||Core Set 2020 (M20)||October 21, 2019|
|Oko, Thief of Crowns||Throne of Eldraine||November 18, 2019|
|Once Upon a Time||Throne of Eldraine||November 18, 2019|
|Veil of Summer||Throne of Eldraine||November 18, 2019|
What Happens to my Rotated Cards?
Cards that rotate out of Standard remain in your collection, and MTG Arena supports events and play queues that allow players to use cards from rotated sets in non-rotating formats such as Historic, and in certain events.
They may be used in Standard again later, if they are re-released in future sets (as “reprints”). For example, currently you can use the Dominaria or Ixalan versions of Opt in Standard because it was also released in Throne of Eldraine.
Closer to the time of rotation in 2020, MTG Arena may hold special events and rewards to help “renew” players’ collections for the new Standard environment. If there are events and rewards, they’ll be from the last 4 sets only – Throne of Eldraine, Theros: Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Core Set 2021:
- There will be no Limited events (Draft or Sealed) for sets rotating out of Standard.
- Players will no longer receive Individual Card Rewards (ICRs) from soon-to-be rotating sets.
- You can still redeem Wildcards and purchase packs from the rotating sets, but there will be an in-game reminder and confirmation message to let players know that the card is due to be rotated out soon.
- The new player experience (tutorial) and Account Mastery Tree may be updated for Core Set 2021, to reward new starter decks and card styles.
- Existing players may get access to new starter decks before rotation, so that everyone has access to decks that are Standard-legal.
- Players may receive bonus gifts and rewards that consist of cards only from the new Standard format, to kick-start their post-rotation collection.
Please note that this information will be updated once details are confirmed by the MTG Arena team.
Having your hard earned collection rotated out isn’t always a pleasant experience, especially since your cards cannot be exchanged for any other kind of currency. The impacts on each player will differ based on their situation, based on factors such as:
- Collection status, such as amount of Wildcards and set completion
- Amount of time and money spent on the game
- Preference in what type of decks to play
- Players who join the game later on may have a harder time catching up (be sure to check out our Budget Deck collection)
In general, being able to play with the cards you purchase and obtain for as long as possible will be in your best interest. Let’s take a look a few examples from current Standard decks, as it best illustrates how players should navigate through this:
Temur Adventures (Example Deck)
This deck archetype consists of cards primarily from Throne of Eldraine (its feature mechanic), which rotate out in 2021. The Adventure cards are powerful in their own right since they represent both a spell and a creature on one card. This means that they are also likely to be played in other decks, such as Bonecrusher Giant and Brazen Borrower. On the other hand, it also requires more shocklands” – Breeding Pool, Stomping Grounds and Steam Vents – since it is a three color deck. Those cards are from Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance, which all rotate out in September 2020. However, these lands are staples in Historic anyway and are essential if you plan to play non-rotating formats.
Mono Red Aggro (Example Deck)
Mono Red Aggro is always a great entry-level deck that’s great for beginners, and sometimes is even one of the better decks in the format! It only consists of one color, which means there is no need to use rare lands here, other than Castle Embereth, which is a nice bonus but by no means absolutely essential. In the current version of the deck, the majority of the cards are from sets that will remain in Standard after rotation. This is the sorts of deck that will help you earn in-game rewards quickly so you can complete quests and events and build your collection, so you can best prepare for the new Standard.