November 28, 2023

MTG Arena Eternal Format Testing Happening Earlier Than Planned


A few weeks ago, Wizards of the Coast announcement that they would seek to support a “true-to-paper” non-rotating format. This was in response to players stating that Historic was no longer that option due to the addition of rebalanced Alchemy maps and Digital Only mechanics.

They said they would work with the Organized Play team and take player feedback to help decide which format to support. They also said they would be testing some of the contestants at upcoming “Midweek Magic” events.

From the list of announced events, the one that seemed like a likely starting point was the one titled “Blast From the Past”. Well, the event has happened and it’s just the beginning of something much bigger.

Blast from the past

The details of this event were not known until recently. Basically, the event is what some players were asking for in Historic. The card pool is essentially “True to Paper”. We do not have access to any of the digital-only cards, remastered sets, or additional sets like the Anthologies or Jumpstart. The oldest set available is Ixalan and encompasses all standard sets from there.

This is only the beginning

Initial feelings around the event were lukewarm at best. Many feel this doesn’t quite reflect the “True to Paper” format players were hoping for. Well, that’s just the beginning. Based on community feedback, we contacted Wizards of the Coast to find out if this event was actually the first test step for the “Eternal Format” project, or if it was just a little break for players.

The response we got was great, in that they said this event was a bit of both! This was primarily intended to be the first test towards Eternal format support. What we were also told is that players can expect to see another test event in March! To be clear, it will not be the same format as this time, but a completely different format!

READ MORE: MTG Lead Designer Hints at Possible Return to Previously Unlikely Plane

What would be a very good idea would be to possibly link the next Pioneer Challenger decks in a Midweek Magic test event. Coding these 4 decks into the game wouldn’t be a huge task. Additionally, gamers would get a better Pioneer experience. Heck, even give players more choice and throw in previous Pioneer Challenger decks for good measure.

The development team is closely monitoring player engagement with this and future events, as well as player feedback and chat. This will help determine which direction the team will go with this project. What this ultimately means is that Wizards is listening, and we’ll be investing more in Arena soon!

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