August 12, 2022

Magic The Gathering Arena’s New Alchemy Format Will Digitally Rebalance Existing Cards

A whole new format is coming to Magic the Gathering Arena, expanding the controversial digital-only maps introduced earlier this year.

Alchemy will combine the defined rotation of Standard (meaning that maps from Zendikar Rising to Innistrad: Crimson Vow are currently legal) with the digital-only elements of Historic. Unlike Standard, however, Alchemy will allow cards to be digitally rebalanced at all times, separating them from their tabletop counterparts, and will feature exclusive new digital cards added alongside each first set.

RELATED: Magic The Gathering Arena Formats Explained: What Are Standard, Historical, Limited, and Brawl?

In one blog post announcing Alchemy, it is said that Alchemy’s intention is to provide digital-only players with a faster-evolving metagame than a standard related to the paper versions that we can provide. Digital players play more often than paper players, which leads people to find dominant strategies much, much faster.

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To better explain the format, Wizards of the Coast showed a few cards that have been rebalanced for Alchemy. For example, Phylath from Zendikar Rising, World Sculptor has been trampled, and her landing ability also gives the plant tokens which she upgrades until end of turn. Conversely, other cards will be nerfed instead. Alrund’s Epiphany has been significantly weakened, with a higher Fortell cost, and will only produce Bird Tokens if predicted. Alchemy will also allow cards banned in Standard to return in adjusted forms, such as Omnath, Locus of Creation now costing one more Generic Mana, and only seeing one card instead of drawing when it arrives immediately. of battle.


Alchemy rebalancing

Along with these rebalanced cards are new exclusive ‘extra cards’, which will be released in Alchemy alongside each first set (main legal standard). Examples shown are Disciple of Toralf, which summons lightning bolts to your library, and Absorb Energy, a counterspell that perpetually grants cards of the same type as the countered spell additional generic mana to its casting cost.

Alchemy will launch alongside the new Alchemy: Innistrad add-on set, which includes 60 cards designed for digital in Innistrad’s blueprint. While Alchemy: Innistrad contains 60 cards, future additional sets will be smaller, averaging around 30 cards each.


Alchemy Innistrad Cards

Alchemy will now be the primary starting format for history, as all alchemy cards will also be history legal and will remain in history after they release Alchemy. Indeed, Historic is now becoming a non-rotating version of Alchemy, instead of the Eternal format for playing the older Standard decks it was originally designed under. Despite this, Wizards are very keen to assure players that Alchemy is not replacing Standard or Historic. In fact, if you own a rebalanced version of a map, you will own all version of this map, including its unadjusted form for Standard, and vice versa.


On the one hand, the idea of ​​a “fixed” standard where wizards can quickly respond to problem cards like Omnath or Alrund’s epiphany is appealing. On the flip side, the response to this announcement has been largely negative, with many seeing it as another step towards Arena becoming a Magic-type digital game to compete with games like Legends of Runeterra or Gwent, and not the faithful adaptation. from Magic it was originally marketed as. You just have to see the immediate response in Twitch chat from MTG Weekly after his announcement to see how well it goes.


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Alchemy packs can be purchased with normal boosters.

In particular, the decision to also apply these errata maps to the historical format was criticalbecause until now only digital exclusives introduced in Historic Horizons have been adjusted after they are “printed”. Wizards confirmed that wild cards will not be given to rebalanced card owners, further justifying criticism of Arena’s struggling economy, where making competitive decks often requires opening hundreds of boosters.


Alchemy launches on MTG Arena on December 9.

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