MTG Arena: State of the Game – December 2020

Posted in Magic Digital on December 7, 2020

By Wizards of the Coast

Changes to token creation, Arena Open details, and events to get you into the holiday spirit are all arriving later this week on MTG Arena. As 2020 comes to an end, it's time to check in on the current State of the Game.

Pest Control

Listen here, you little buggers . . .

While it's technically possible to create up to 2,147,483,647 creature tokens, some of you decided to take survival rule 782 as a challenge. Yes, there are always more scute bugs, at least until the game state becomes so infested that the only solution is to just burn it all down (also known as an unexpected match complete).

Since the release of Zendikar Rising, we have made various improvements to resolving triggers that number in the hundreds thousands, but there are always more scute bugs. This has become problematic, and not just for matches duking it out in a chitinous six-armed race; it's a swarm felt across the Multiverse. While tabletop play can shortcut its way to a bug blowout, our game rules engine needs to resolve every single trigger every single time. Creating that amount 1/1 green Insect creature tokens gets to be quite demanding and, at times, has caused enough strain on our servers that the scuttling of scutes was felt even in neighboring matches.

It's why we ultimately decided to implement some pest control. Starting with the December 2020 game update, we will be enforcing a maximum number of tokens allowed on the battlefield at any given time:

  • Each player will be allowed a maximum of 250 tokens on the battlefield at the same time.
  • If an effect would create a token past this limit, it instead does not; mana will be spent, cards will be tapped, permanents will remain sacrificed, etc., however, no additional tokens will be created if you are already at the maximum number allowed.

We decided on the 250 per player limit based on match data, as most games will come to a normal and expected match complete before the maximum number is reached. Additionally, if a player does decide to deploy scute siege weapons against their opponent, this number means their scuttling swarms should not leave their mark on other unrelated matches. We also coordinated this decision with our Magic Esports team to ensure that this limit does not have a meaningful impact on competitive-level play (for reference, Magic Online has had a similar token limit for years).

So, if you feel the crawling need to scoot, swarm, or scuttle to the excess—the days, and the number of tokens, are numbered.

Tales of Triumph

Speaking of competitive play, but before we continue . . .

The Arena Open Fine Print

  • You must be 18 years or older to participate.
  • Regional eligibility restrictions apply, void where prohibited.
  • Receiving monetary rewards requires having or creating Wizards, DCI, and i-Payout accounts.
  • Refer to the official Terms and Conditions for complete details.

Arena Open

With the next Arena Open less than a week away, it's time to lay out all the fine details. If you missed our previous announcement in November, the format this time will be Historic, and we will once again be offering Day 1 in both Best-of-One or Best-of-Three varieties:

Day 1

Format: Best-of-One or Best-of-Three Historic Constructed
Start: December 12, 2020 at 6 a.m. PT
Signups End: December 13, 2020 at 3 a.m. PT—you'll still have a few hours to complete your current run, but you won't be able to join after this deadline.
Event End: December 13, 2020 at 6 a.m. PT
Entry Fee: 20,000 Gold or 4,000 Gems (both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three)
Entry Reward: Kaldheim Promotional Sleeve

Best-of-One Best-of-Three

Event Record: 7 wins or 3 Losses

Event Record: 4 wins or 1 Loss

7 Wins: 2,000 Gems, Qualification for Day 2

4 Wins: 5,000 Gems, Qualification for Day 2

6 Wins: 1,600 Gems

3 Wins: 5,000 Gems

5 Wins: 1,200 Gems

2 Wins: 2,500 Gems

4 Wins: 800 Gems

1 Win: 1,000 Gems

3 Wins: 400 Gems

0 Wins: No Reward

0-2 Wins: No Reward

 

Day 2

Start: December 13, 2020 at 6 a.m. PT
Signups End: December 13, 2020 at 8 a.m. PT—you'll have until the event ends to complete your matches, but you must join during this 2-hour window.
Event End: December 13, 5 p.m. PT
Format: Best-of-Three Historic Constructed
Event Record: 7 wins or 2 losses

  • 7 Wins: $2,000 USD, December Kaldheim Qualifier Weekend Eligibility
  • 6 Wins: $1,000 USD, December Kaldheim Qualifier Weekend Eligibility
  • 5 Wins: 20,000 Gems, December Kaldheim Qualifier Weekend Eligibility
  • 4 Wins: 10,000 Gems
  • 3 Wins: 6,000 Gems
  • 2 Wins: 4,000 Gems
  • 1 Win: 2,000 Gems
  • 0 Wins: No Reward

Entry Fee: None—previous qualification from Day 1 required.

Entry Reward

A cold wind is blowing across the brutal battlefields . . .

Promo Sleeve

. . . and it's going to be metal. All players who join Day 1 will receive a promotional Kaldheim card sleeve featuring artwork from the upcoming set!

P.S. Be sure to check out our Historic All-Access FNM at Home event on December 11! Create and play with decks using Historic cards—whether they're in your collection or not!

'Tis The Season

And on that chilling note, let's talk about what else is happening in December! For those of you who will be spending the holiday season in the warmth, comfort, and safety of your homes, we've planned a variety of events to bring you joy . . .

Cube Draft

Cube draft will be returning, not once—but twice! And not just as Best-of-One but also Best-of-Three! As with the Arena Open and the Kaladesh Remastered Traditional Draft, we're continuing to explore ways to keep our Best-of-Three players from feeling left out in the cold. Both the Arena Cube and Tinkerer's Cube will be available in traditional Best-of-Three formats at the same time and at the same entry price as their Best-of-One counterpart, though will follow the three matches (regardless of win/loss record) structure as our other Traditional Drafts. 

Cube Draft

Arena Cube will be available starting on December 12 until December 20, and the Tinkerer's Cube will be available January 15 until January 28.

Shaking Things Up

You'll have to wait and see which cards end up on the naughty list, and you'll need to check twice, with Standard Shake-up returning on December 19–25, followed by Historic Shake-up on December 26–January 1.

HISTORIC BRAWL!

Last, as we previously promised, more Historic Brawl! We'll be starting the new year off with a weeklong Historic Brawl event—with no entry fee! From January 2–8, play as much Historic Brawl as you like with no entry fee required.

. . . And more!

We'll be debuting Guilds of Ravnica and Ravnica Allegiance Premier Draft alongside our normal rotation of Quick Drafts. FNM at Home events will continue into the new year featuring formats like Artisan, Omniscience, and Historic Pauper. A full schedule of events will be available in our patch notes.

Leaving Soon – Euro Lands

One final reminder before we wrap this up—the three Euro Land bundles will be leaving the store as part of the December game update. If you haven't picked these up yet, we don't recommend waiting much longer.

Cleanup Step

The December game update is scheduled for this Thursday, December 10, so keep an eye on our status page for the latest information on maintenance times! We're setting some bug-induced boundaries for token creation during matches and patching up more traditional bugs elsewhere in the game (key bug fixes include no more giant/disappearing text and symbols and games remaining count should display correctly in Best-of-Three events). We'll end the year with a variety of events to keep the holiday spirit strong, as we look forward to 2021 and the frozen battlefields of Kaldheim.

Food Golem Sleeve

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