New Pioneer Format Announced – No Plans for MTG Arena Addition
Among the somewhat unsurprising news of Field of the Dead being banned in Standard, Wizards have also announced a new non-rotating format for Magic: The Gathering called Pioneer. This format will consist of sets beginning Return to Ravnica forward. This is a smaller and more manageable card pool compared to Modern, which begins at Mirrodin. You can read the full announcement here.
The most relevant information from this is that “… Currently, there are no plans to add it as a format to Magic: The Gathering Arena.” Perhaps this does not come as a surprise given that MTG Arena is still fleshing out its non-rotating format, Historic, where we have not seen any support for it thus far after Standard rotation.
We also know from the closed beta days that sets beginning Kaladesh are programmed into game already, and players have speculated that these sets could have been implemented into Historic. Instead, we may get selected set of “Historic-only” cards – which we do not have much information on yet, except Wizards plan to officially introduce Historic sometime in November.
This news comes as a disappointment as the will be supported on tabletop MTG and Magic Online, the other digital MTG option but not MTG Arena. There is a demand of players wanting to play other non-Standard formats, and especially being aware that “Standard, meanwhile, is thriving and being introduced to a new generation of players through Magic: The Gathering Arena.”
MTG Arena players can hope that down the track, Historic (and Brawl) becomes a well-supported format that allows players to enjoy it anytime, rather than at chosen time points. Another possibility is that the two formats will either be merged, and make use of the pre-Ixalan sets that is already coded into MTG Arena. After all, the charm of Magic: The Gathering is being able to play however you want, whenever you want.