A New Standard Is On the Horizon!

Posted on Monday, May 15th, 2023
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Posted in mtg

This month, we announced that starting with Wilds of Eldraine, Standard sets will remain legal for three years, instead of rotating after two. But how did we make that decision, and why Wilds of Eldraine?
The first answer is easy. Players fear change. They want to build a deck on mtg arena, lose 45% of their matches to variance, and go on Reddit with several pages of statistics that prove the shuffler is a sentient AI designed to take their win equity and give it to players who pay more in the cash shop. We recognize this as a valid play style, so we’re giving those players another year to enjoy that experience without needing to invest in new cards. After all, if they spent money on wild cards to craft better decks, they might start winning more (because of the shuffler AI), and that’s practically cheating. Unethical, at the very least. We wouldn’t dream of encouraging that type of behavior, which is why we often make sure the Arena cash shop is shut down after major format changes.

The second question, “Why Wilds of Eldraine” is a little more complicated. To understand exactly where WOE fits in the big picture, we need to zoom out to look at two of magics most popular formats. Modern and Commander. These formats, on the surface, seem incredibly different. Commander is a casual singleton multiplayer format, while modern is expensive. But there’s one thing the two formats DO have in common. If you guess “devoted fandoms!’ you would be wrong. No one actually likes Modern, they just play it for prizes. No, the actual answer is ‘format targeted sets!’ Modern Horizons and Commander Legends are completely responsible for their respective formats popularity, according to our market research from MTG Arena players. That’s why, for the first time ever, Wilds of Eldraine is going to be a Standard Focused expansion! Most magic sets are balanced around draft, and to a lesser extent, sealed. By making a set whose cards won’t be legal in low-power low-synergy formats like that, we were able to really crank up the power level of cards for standard players!

Wilds of Eldraine will be a constructed-legal-only expansion. Rather than set boosters, draft boosters, and collector booster, Wilds of Eldraine will feature Game boosters, Set boosters, and Match boosters. Game boosters have 15 cards including three full art lands, one double sided token, one rare, mythic rare, or ultimate rare, and ten uncommons. Set boosters are already well known and well loved by magic players around the world, and we see no reason to change a winning formula. Match boosters will be full of foils and special treatments, with a chance to open up to four rare cards, as well as incredibly hype serialized cards from The List, including standard-legal reprints of fan favorites from old Standard formats like Oko, Stoneforge Mystic, and Upheaval! Match Boosters will only be available in prerelease kits, so make sure you make it to the prerelease to grab as many as you can, while supplies last!

And speaking of prereleases, aren’t those usually sealed? How will that work, when Wilds of Eldraine is only legal in constructed sets? Don’t worry! We’ve got something extra special planned! Starting with WOE, and then in one set each year, the format for the prerelease will be changed from sealed, where Standard Focused cards would be far too powerful and disruptive, to Team Unified Standard! Find two friends, bring your best decks, and then open six Match boosters to see what powerful new cards you can add to take familiar archetypes to the next level!