MTG Arena: State of the Game – September 2019

Posted in Magic Digital on September 20, 2019

By Wizards of the Coast

Once Upon a Time…

. . . There was a game director by the name of Jay Parker. And Jay Parker lived for adventures. He loved them so much, he was adamant about sharing these adventures with fellow players. And there's a food joke in here somewhere.

Jay Parker has many tales to share with his fellow adventurers. Some tales known, some unexpected. Perhaps you've heard of some of them:

  • Introduction: Throne of Eldraine
  • That Time You Could Play Any Deck in Standard
  • That Time You Could Win Every Card in Standard
  • Fee-Fae-Fo-Foxes, It's Eldraine Set Mastery
  • The Rightful Standardization of Naming Architectures in Certain Events
  • Remember, Remember Renewal Rewards
  • MTG Arena Beyond Launch: A Developer Story

Into the Story

We've got new cards, new mechanics . . . you know what? Let's make it a whole new Plane! Welcome to Eldraine—a storybook land of castles and cauldrons, of chivalrous knights and trickster faeries. Mark your calendars if you haven't already, because the new set releases on MTG Arena on September 26.


Giant Opportunity

Play any Standard deck. Win every Standard card.

You know what else is happening on September 26? The official launch of Magic: The Gathering Arena. First and foremost, we wanted to extend a big thank you to all our Beta players who've helped us reach this point, and we look forward to playing more Magic with you in the years to come.

To celebrate this moment, we're going to roll out the red mythic orange carpet and hold a special MTG Arena Launch Celebration event, where you can build and play with any deck in Standard.

Yep, that's right.

For this event, we'll be giving you access to playsets of every card in Standard whether they're in your collection or not. All you need to do is brew, build, and play! You'll be able to do this for up to twelve games, so be sure to take advantage of your ability to build as many decks as you like and swap them between matches, because the following weekend, you'll have the opportunity to earn a copy of every card in Standard.

Oh yeah, you read that right too.

On October 6, we'll be holding a 36-hour follow-up event where you can also build and play with any deck in Standard. If you manage to earn twelve wins before receiving two losses, you'll walk away with a prize that includes one copy of every Standard card for your collection (and yes, this includes Throne of Eldraine). Be warned, you only have one shot (or one opportunity!) to participate in both events.


Play Any Deck – Standard

Event Details: We'll provide access to playsets (four copies) of every card in Standard, which you can use to build and play any deck in Standard. You can build as many decks as you like, and you can change them between matches.
Event Dates: September 26 at 8 a.m. PT (3 p.m. UTC) to October 1 at 8 a.m. PT (3 p.m. UTC)
Entry Fee: None, but you can only participate once. 
Format: Standard Best-of-One
Event Record: Up to 12 games (win or lose)

Win Every Card Challenge – Standard

Event Details: We'll provide access to playsets (four copies) of every card in Standard, which you can use to build and play any deck in Standard. You can build as many decks as you like, and you can change them between matches.
Event Date: October 5 at 8 p.m. PT (3 a.m. UTC) to October 7 at 8 a.m. PT (3 p.m. UTC)
Entry Fee: None, but you can only compete once. 
Format: Standard Best-of-One
Event Record: 12 wins or 2 losses (whichever comes first)
Event Rewards: 

  • 12 Wins: 1 Copy of every card in Standard + 1 Sealed Event Token + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 11 Wins: 1 Copy of every card in Throne of Eldraine + 1 Sealed Event Token + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 9–10 Wins: 1 Sealed Event Token + 5 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICRs + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 8 Wins: 5 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICRs + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 6–7 Wins: 4 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICRs + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 4–5 Wins: 3 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICRs + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 2–3 Wins: 2 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICRs + Golden Egg card sleeve
  • 0–1 Wins: 1 Throne of Eldraine Rare ICR + Golden Egg card sleeve

Eldraine Set Mastery

But first, Core Set 2020 Set Mastery! The Core Set 2020 Set Mastery will end on September 26, 2019 at 4 a.m. PT (11 a.m. UTC). Once that deadline has passed, players will not be able to earn any additional Mastery rewards or XP until Throne of Eldraine is available on MTG Arena!

  • Psst! You can use the aptly named code "FiveBonusLevels" to earn . . . five levels! You have until September 25 at 12:00 a.m. UTC to redeem this code!
  • The Standard 2020 events are still happening!

Now, back to Throne of Eldraine. We will be launching a new Set Mastery with the release of Throne of Eldraine! We'll be detailing this early next week, but you can expect some small tweaks based on what we've learned from our first Set Mastery (and, of course, plenty of rewards).

Purchasing the Eldraine Mastery Pass will earn you even more rewards, starting with the Garruk, Primal Hunter avatar, the Fae Fox pet, and a Throne of Eldraine card sleeve based on the beautiful key art by Seb McKinnon:

ELD Mastery

Okay, but seriously—that face!


Seasonal Ritual

Yes, this is your faerie guidemother reminding you again that with the release of Throne of Eldraine comes our Standard rotation. While Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019 will still be available in MTG Arena, cards from those sets will no longer be playable* in Standard formats or events:


*Unless they also appear in those sets, e.g., Luminous Bonds appears in both Rivals of Ixalan and Guilds of Ravnica, so both versions are still playable in Standard.

For those of you who wish to play non-Standard cards, our Play queue will support Historic decks and we have more Historic events planned for later this year.

Battle Display

Now that there is Standard and non-Standard play, we'll also be updating most of the in-game names we use for our events and play queues.

  • Play -> Play
    • Both Standard Play and Historic Play will be playable through Play—your deck will determine which format you're playing!
  • Ranked Play -> Standard Ranked
  • Traditional Play -> Standard Traditional Play
  • Traditional Ranked -> Standard Traditional Ranked Play
  • Constructed Event -> Standard Event
  • Traditional Constructed Event -> Standard Traditional Event

Another thing to pay heed to is that the Constructed Event and Traditional Events will end (albeit temporarily!) on September 26. This is to ensure that players don't get stuck with invalid decks after set rotation. These events will resume (under their new monikers) with the Throne of Eldraine update.

Treats to Share

September 26 also means that renewal is here! This means it's almost time for presents and additional play rewards as we venture forth into the new Standard meta:

Renewal Gift: Eligible players will receive 10 rare (or higher!) individual card rewards (ICRs) from Standard sets (Guilds of Ravnica forward) when you log in after the Throne of Eldraine game update. As with other rare ICRs, they may upgrade to a mythic rare at a rate of approximately 1:8.

Renewal Rewards: Eligible players will receive additional rewards for the first 25 levels of the Eldraine Set Mastery, for a total of:

  • 14 Throne of Eldraine booster packs
  • 2 Mastery Orbs
  • 4 Standard booster packs (GRN, RNA, WAR, M20)
  • 10 uncommon ICRs


All players who create their account prior to the fall set rotation (September 26) will be eligible, so don't let the clock strike midnight scheduled maintenance time before playing MTG Arena!

Once and Future

While this marks the official start of our story, it's just one beginning—and we'd like to give you a sneak peak at some of the other adventures we already have planned:

  • Coming Soon: Clean, shine, and polish. Features listed here are going through the final stages of development as our quality assurance team puts them to the test. This is when things are "close enough" to release that we can start talking about timelines and release dates.
  • In Development: Turning ideas into reality. Items listed here are in active development, with dedicated developer resources and task lists to complete.
  • In Concept: Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboards). This is our planning stage, where we decide which ideas become features, but also which ideas must stay ideas for now. Once decided, features are scoped out, iterated on, reworked, and reiterated as we start to figure out exactly how to bring ideas to digital life.

Dev Roadmap

As you can see, there are plenty of stories we still want to tell! Our next chapter brings us to the month of October, where we will bring some of our most requested features to the Realm—Friends List and Constructed Brawl.

Friends List will be the first iteration of our social features and will provide an easier way for you to see whether your friends are online as well as challenge them to games of Magic. More features are already in development (such as the ability to message your friends in-game between matches), and we're beginning to concept even more ways we can show the Magic of friendship in MTG Arena—such as sharing decks in your collection with your friends to play with during Direct Challenge matches.

And if you're looking for a reason to try out our new Friends List, October will also bring Constructed Brawl to MTG Arena. For those of you who participated in the Eldraine Courtside Brawl earlier this month, that was just a taste of what's to come! October will bring a reason to brew, bake, and amuse-bouche this format with the ability to build your own decks for play in our once-per-week Brawl events or all the time in Direct Challenge matches.

And with our plan for upcoming cardsets out in the Wilds, you can see that many of them are already being worked on for MTG Arena. Our next cardset will bring us beyond death and back to Theros . . . but there's still lots to live for before we start talking about that.

MTG Arena Beyond Launch

What we're sharing in today's roadmap is only the start of what we'll bring to you in MTG Arena. There are plenty of big things in early planning, and even bigger things we're still dreaming about.

Magic will go to more platforms—the Epic Games Store and macOS are just the start. And the features on the roadmap are the ones we're ready to talk about. We're always working internally on lots of additional features we want in the game (which includes many of the features you want too!). Pod Drafts, Spectating, Data API, four-player formats, and lots of other, crazier things come up all the time. We love seeing the community get excited about these features too, and the discussion really helps us understand what players are looking for with each feature.

Oh, and before we forget—this does mean this is your last chance to earn your gift for participating in our Open Beta! Create your account before September 26, or your present will get totally lost.

Beta Reward

Rally for the Throne

Throne of Eldraine launches next week on September 26, 2019. As we are wont to say, keep an eye on our status page for the latest information on maintenance times, and follow us @MTG_Arena for even more news and updates.

Not soon enough? Well, be sure to tune in on September 24 as some of your favorite content producers and streamers show off proper court etiquette (or how to live on the Wilds side) in our Throne of Eldraine Early Access event.

Early Access

Latest Magic Digital Articles


September 15, 2021

MTG Arena Announcements, September 15, 2021 by, Wizards of the Coast

Stabilization Progress The team has made progress on improving stability and eliminating bugs following the update. Thursday’s (September 16) update will bring a few notable fixes:: Fi...

Learn More


September 14, 2021

MTG Arena: State of the Game – Innistrad: Midnight Hunt by, Wizards of the Coast

Rotation and Renewal It's that time of the year again! Cards aren't the only thing transforming on Innistrad—with the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt also comes Standard rotation. Th...

Learn More



Magic Digital Archive

Consult the archives for more articles!

See All