MTG Arena: State of the Game – September 2020

Posted in Magic Digital on September 15, 2020

By Wizards of the Coast

Adventure Awaits

Get ready to Roil! In just a few short days, Zendikar Rising will be making its digital debut on MTG Arena alongside our September game update.

Love Hedron

Zendikar Rising

Zendikar calls. A quest awaits! Well . . . technically three of them plus daily and weekly rewards because all of that resets when we release a new set, but that's beside the point! Gather your adventuring party and don't forget your pet Rock as we prepare for perilous challenges and priceless rewards.

Zendikar Rising will introduce 280 cards to MTG Arena, and if you haven't been keeping up with the card previews, you can view the full card image gallery right over here. You'll also be able to add some showcase and alternate-art card variants to your collections, some available in the store for direct purchase this Thursday, while others will be earnable through in-game events starting in October.

  • Expeditions and cards from The List will not be added to MTG Arena. Both contain powerful cards that would blow out the power level of the format.

As for those beautiful full-art basic lands, you'll be able to add them to your collection in a similar fashion to the Godzilla Series Monster card styles we did for Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths. For a limited time, when you purchase a Zendikar Rising booster bundle with at least six boosters or enter a Zendikar Rising Draft or Sealed event, you will also receive copies of the full-art Zendikar Rising basic lands (duplicate protected, of course). Psst! This also includes the Jace pack pre-order bundle!

Lands

Spelunk your way over to this thread to discover all the details.

Express Yourself

Angry Hedron

One of the fun little features we're adding to Zendikar Rising is the ability to customize your in-game emote options. In addition to the default options, players will be able to unlock additional emotes from the Zendikar Rising Mastery Pass as well as certain in-game events.

Once they've been added to your collection, you'll be able to edit your available emotes through your Profile page, right next to Avatar and Pet select. And don't worry about being selective—there is no maximum to your choices! If you select all available emotes, you'll be able to scroll through all of them while in-game by using the arrow buttons by the emote selection.

Emote Options

Mechanics

Veteran explorer Matt Tabak has already provided a how-to guide for the tools and resources you'll have at your disposal as you brave the Skyclaves in his Zendikar Rising mechanics article, but we have some additional adventuring tips for when dungeon diving goes digital.

Modal Double-Faced Cards

New to Zendikar Rising are modal double-faced cards (MDFCs). Unlike previous transforming double-faced cards, either the front or (operative word) back face of an MDFC can be played—there is no transform trigger. In MTG Arena, you'll be able to mouse over an MDFC at any time to see both sides. We'll also show you the back side of any MDFCs in your opening hand to help with any mulligan decision making.

Party

We all know it's dangerous to go alone, so be sure to bring your adventuring crew with the new party mechanic. Your party consists of up to one each of a Cleric, Rogue, Warrior, and Wizard, automatically calculated to result in the largest possible party size. Cards that consider the party mechanic will have a count badge indicating your current party size, and you'll be able to mouse over to see additional information in the hanger (such as which roles could be added).

Landfall

This iconic Zendikar mechanic triggers whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control. In MTG Arena, you will be able to see the landscape of Zendikar rise (wink wink) over the source of the landfall trigger.

Kicker

Having previously appeared in Dominaria, kicker returns to Standard to give your spells that extra kick assuming you have enough mana for the optional additional cost. Spells that have been kicked, and their respective triggers, are surrounded on the stack by kicker VFX to emphasize their additional effects.

Zendikar Rising Event Schedule

  • Premier Draft: September 17–Winter 2020
  • Traditional Draft: September 17–Winter 2020
  • Sealed: September 17–October 2
  • Standard Metagame Challenge: September 26–29
  • Quick Draft: October 2–16
  • Zendikar Rising Constructed: October 3–6

Rotation 2020 and Renewal

Rotation

Adventure isn't the only thing awaiting in Zendikar Rising! Standard rotation will also be arriving on September 17, and while Core Set 2020, Guilds of Ravnica, Ravnica Allegiance, and War of the Spark will continue the party in Historic formats, it's time for a new Standard meta to rise. To kick things off, in addition to the Renewal Gift players will receive when they login after September 17, we'll also be adding additional rewards to the Zendikar Rising set mastery—no mastery pass required!

The Important Stuff

  • Users must have created an MTG Arena account and logged into their account on or before September 17 to be eligible for rewards.
  • Individual Card Rewards are from current Standard sets as of September 17, 2020.
  • Limit one (1) activation per MTG Arena account.

Renewal Gift*

  • 10x rare or higher ICRs

Renewal Mastery Rewards

  • Level 3: 2x Zendikar Rising uncommon Individual Card Rewards (ICRs)
  • Level 5: 1x Zendikar Rising booster and 1x Zendikar Rising mythic rare ICR
  • Level 7: 2x Zendikar Rising uncommon ICRs
  • Level 11: 2x Zendikar Rising uncommon ICRs
  • Level 15: 1x Zendikar Rising booster and 1x Zendikar Rising mythic rare ICR
  • Level 17: 2x Zendikar Rising uncommon ICRs
  • Level 21: 2x Zendikar Rising uncommon ICRs
  • Level 25: 1x Zendikar Rising booster and 1x Zendikar Rising mythic rare ICR
  • Level 31: Standard 2020 basic sleeve

Again, to be eligible to receive renewal rewards you must have created and logged into your account before the release of Zendikar Rising!

*For players who have been asking how to add these Amonkhet Remastered basic lands (non full-art) to your collection, that was an oversight from the August game update. They will be also be granted as part of the renewal gift on September 17.

Set Roadmap for 2021

As part of our Zendikar Debut moment, we also revealed the upcoming sets for Magic: The Gathering throughout 2021. MTG Arena will be supporting all of the Standard sets (including Adventures in the Forgotten Realms and both Innistrad sets), and while Time Spiral Remastered and Modern Horizons 2 will only be available for tabletop play, we're fabricating additional content for MTG Arena, including Pioneer Masters, Historic Anthology IV, and Kaladesh Remastered.

Developer Roadmap

Developer Roadmap

In Development

Mobile

As we affirmed in the Zendikar Rising debut—soon. For our developer roadmap purposes we still list it under "In Development" because on "Coming Soon" generally means the next game update, and it's not quite that soon. However, each month brings us closer to MTG Arena's launch on mobile devices, and we plan to support both iOS and Android devices at launch. Players should expect the same formats, features, and collections they currently have access to when playing on desktops.

Kaladesh Remastered

So, this is a two-part story involving both Kaladesh Remastered and Pioneer Masters. As you probably noticed, we've added the former to "In Development" and pushed the latter back to "In Concept." Let's break down the reasons why:

  • We learned a lot from Amonkhet Remastered that we want to build on sooner rather than later.
  • We have a better idea of the power level of Historic in a post-Jumpstart, Amonkhet Remastered, and Mythic Invitational world, and we felt this was a good time to reintroduce Kaladesh and Aether Revolt to MTG Arena.
  • . . . It's still a step toward Pioneer!

One of the biggest takeaways from Amonkhet Remastered was how players chose to interact with the set and add cards to their collection. Based on our Historic formats, roughly the same amount of people who play Constructed Historic purchased Amonkhet Remastered packs through the in-game store. Math checks out. What surprised us was how many players participated in Amonkhet Remastered Draft and Sealed events, which greatly exceeded our expectations and blurred the line between Historic and Standard players.

The Kaladesh block was known for its fast, fun Limited environment as well as its powerful cards for Constructed play, so it readily builds off the foundation of Historic that we've built throughout the year.

You should expect Kaladesh Remastered by the end of the year.

In Concept

Pioneer Masters

As noted above, we've shifted Pioneer Masters back to the concepting so we can iterate on what we've learned from Amonkhet Remastered and will likely learn from Kaladesh Remastered. When we originally concepted Pioneer Masters, we put a heavy emphasis on Constructed play staples, and while this remains a guiding star, we're going to use this time to get more playtesting in to ensure the Limited environment is just as fun. We believe that the additional time and iteration will make Pioneer Masters a better set overall, however, this does push the release date into 2021.

Cleanup Step

Zendikar Rising (and more!) will be available starting this Thursday, September 17. Keep an eye on our status page for scheduled maintenance times, and as always—follow us @MTG_Arena for the latest news and updates.

Can't wait? Tune into our Early Access event on Wednesday, September 16, where some of your favorite streamers and content creators will be showing off the new set and the new meta all day long.

ZNR Early Access

P.S. Don't forget to pre-order!

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