Each September, a new Magic year begins, and the Standard format starts anew. To help keep Standard fresh, sets that have been in Standard for longer than a year "rotate out" to make room for another year's worth of Magic sets. Here's how that will work in September 2021:
We know the idea of rotation can be concerning, especially to newer players. Know that you still can play sets rotating out—they will remain legal in Historic, after all. But to address your concerns, we'll be doing some stuff to help you out along the way, and this article will be a resource for that.
July 8: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Release
While Standard will still be its normal self, you can get a head start on the upcoming Standard format by playing in Standard 2022 queues. These will include only the sets that will still be in Standard after the rotation: Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven: School of Mages, and Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
There will be a Ranked version and Play version, both of which will be Best-of-One, and these queues will begin with the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms release.
Color Challenge Deck Rewards
Color Challenge rewards will offer ten new multicolored decks instead of the current ones, and the new decks will be legal in Standard following rotation. You can use these in the Standard 2022 events and start beefing them up with your existing collection to get a head start before rotation occurs in September. Existing players who have already beaten the Color Challenge are discussed below.
Starting with the Adventures in the Forgotten Realms release, Quick Drafts will be among the sets remaining in Standard following the upcoming rotation (with half of the drafts being Adventures in the Forgotten Realms as usual), so there's no need to avoid drafting in fear your cards will rotate out soon.
Individual Card Rewards
Individual card rewards (ICRs) for daily win bonuses and Standard-focused events will be limited to these same four sets. The sets rotating out will instead be included in ICRs for Historic-focused events.
Early August: In-Game Updates
With the early August release, existing players will be granted all ten multicolor decks that are used for rewards for the Color Challenge. The decks may receive some changes based on data collected since the initial versions of the decks were released. If you don't have the cards that you need to play any of the decks, those cards will be granted to your account as well to ensure you can play all ten decks.
Attempts to craft cards that are rotating out of Standard will give you a warning, reminding you that these cards will soon leave Standard, and ask if you still want to craft them. You're still welcome to craft them to play in Historic, of course—this is just a helpful reminder.
What we call the "renewal egg" will appear on your profile, reminding you how long you must wait to get your renewal rewards! See below for more details on that.
Early September: Innistrad: Midnight Hunt Release
As shown in the graphic above, the following sets will leave Standard:
- Throne of Eldraine
- Theros Beyond Death
- Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths
- Core Set 2021
All four of these sets will still be legal in Historic. Innistrad: Midnight Hunt will be legal for both Standard and Historic upon its release.
The renewal egg will "crack open" and give you renewal rewards!
First, you'll immediately get ten ICRs: nine rares and one mythic rare. Four will be rares, one from each of the sets remaining in Standard (Zendikar Rising, Kaldheim, Strixhaven: School of Mages, and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms), and the remaining six will include five rares and one mythic rare from Innistrad: Midnight Hunt.
Additionally, when the renewal egg opens, it will unlock Innistrad: Midnight Hunt packs and uncommon ICRs (which may upgrade to a higher rarity) on the free Set Mastery track, which you'll receive as you earn XP.
These ICRs and packs should help you get your Innistrad: Midnight Hunt collection started and make you better prepared to compete in the freshly renewed and exciting Standard environment!
Battlefields based on the sets rotating out will stop being used in Standard matches and will start being used in Historic matches. The Innistrad: Midnight Hunt battlefield will start being used for Standard matches.
Magic Is Always Changing
Magic's constant change is its greatest strength as a game, and the annual rotation and renewal of the Standard environment each year is part of that. We hope this gives you a better understanding about what's coming, and how we're helping along the way.