Alchemy and Standard Rotation

MTG Standard Rotation Guide

What is Standard Rotation?

Alchemy and Standard Rotation

With the advent of MTG 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.

Alchemy is a recently introduced digital-only format that follows the same Standard rotation rules. However, it introduces additional digital-only cards with each expansion, existing cards are rebalanced on a regular basis, and does not have a banlist. More information can be found here.

  • Four sets have rotated (ELD, THB, IKO and M21) with the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt on September 16, 2021.
  • The next rotation happens in September 9, 2022 with the release of Dominaria United with four sets leaving Standard (ZNR, KHM, STX and AFR).

What Sets are Currently in Standard?

The most recent Standard rotation occurs on September 16, 2021 with the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. The sets Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Core Set 2021 are rotated out but will still be legal in other non-rotating formats such as Historic and Pioneer.

Rotates out September, 2022Rotates out September, 2023
Zendikar Rising (ZNR)Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID)
Kaldheim (KHM)Innistrad: Crimson Vow (VOW)
Strixhaven: School of Mages (STX)Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO)
Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms (AFR)Streets of New Capenna (SNC)

What Sets will be Rotating Out of Standard in 2022?

The next rotation will happen on September 9, 2022 when the set Dominaria United is released. Cards from Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven, and Forgotten Realms will be rotated out of Standard on the same day. The table below shows the new Standard format after rotation.

Rotates out September, 2023Rotates out September, 2024
Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID)Dominaria United
Innistrad: Crimson Vow (VOW)The Brothers War
Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty (NEO)Set name to be announced
Streets of New Capenna (SNC)Set name to be announced

Banned Cards

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 NameSetBan Date
Omnath, Locus of CreationZendikar RisingOctober 12, 2020
Alrund's EpiphanyKaldheimJanuary 25, 2022
Faceless HavenKaldheimJanuary 25, 2022
Divide by ZeroStrixhaven: School of MagesJanuary 25, 2022

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.


Rotation Preparation

Closer to the time of rotation in 2022, 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.

Events

There will be not be any scheduled Limited events (Draft or Sealed) for sets rotating out of Standard. Quick Draft and Sealed events will use sets starting from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt forward.

Quick Draft players will be playing and collecting only cards that can continue to be used in Alchemy or Standard in the fall.

Jump In!

The packets in the Jump In! event will also be rehauled for the new year. Packets using themes from the rotating sets will be retired, while remaining packets will be revised to contain only cards that won’t be rotating out.

This is in addition to the usual addition of new packets that will feature content from Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate.

Individual Card Rewards (ICRs)

Players will no longer receive ICRs from sets that will be rotating out of Standard from daily wins or Standard events. Cards from rotating sets will be added to Historic ICRs.

Booster Packs and Wildcard Crafting

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.

When you attempt to buy packs, craft a card, or purchase a card style for cards that are rotating out, the game will give you a reminder that these cards will soon rotate, and we will ask if you still want to complete the transaction. You’re still welcome to, of course – this is just to make sure that you’re getting what you want.

New Player Decks

The introductory two-color decks decks that players receive as part of the tutorial and new player experience will be updated in July 7, 2022 with Alchemy Horizons: Baldur’s Gate. For existing players, the intention is to recreate these updated decklists for existing players so everyone will have access to decks that are Standard-legal. If these decks contain cards that are not currently a part of your collection, you will be granted them.

These decks will feature only cards from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and forward, so they will remain legal in both Alchemy and Standard after rotation.

New players will receive these new decks from the Color Challenge and the onboarding quest line. As always, when a new player unlocks one of these decks for the first time, they will also receive all cards from that deck in their collection.

For existing players, these decks will simply appear in the Starting Decks folder in the Decks tab. Players who collected previous new player decks will receive any cards from the new decks that they haven’t already collected as a grant to make sure they can take these decks out for a spin.

Renewal

Players may receive bonus gifts and rewards that consist of cards only from the new Standard format, to kick-start their post-rotation collection.

Early August, At this point, players will see the “Renewal Egg” on their Profile screen. This is both a reminder that rotation is coming up and a package containing some special rewards that will help kick off the new year! Hovering over the Egg will show how much time is left until rotation when the Egg will open.

Log in before rotation to make sure you’ve gotten your Egg!

The Renewal Egg that players received before rotation will open in early September! First, you’ll receive ten individual card rewards to get your post-rotation collection off to a strong start. This will include one rare from each of the five non-rotating sets, and another four rares plus one mythic rare from Dominaria United.

In addition, you’ll get more Dominaria United cards and packs, as well as Jump In! tokens, added to your Set Mastery track. As you earn Mastery XP during the Dominaria United set period, you’ll unlock these extra rewards.


Standard 2023

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. Though you can still play them in Historic formats, 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. Especially if you are newer to the game, we recommend you start off with Standard 2023 queues when it arrives, where you are only able to use cards from the latest four sets that do not rotate from Standard in September.

You can refer to our full range of Standard 2022 content until closer to the release of Standard 2023:

Card Kingdom - Double Masters 2022
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