Earlier today, we got a big announcement from Wizards of the Coast introducing a lot of new things to MTG Arena. Cosmetics, Core Set 2020, and quality-of-life changes are all fantastic, but let’s take a closer look at the last thing it introduced: the Historic format.
What is Historic?
In the Historic format, you will be able to play all your old Standard cards after they rotate each year! Essentially, Historic is a new version of Modern except it only uses Magic: The Gathering sets that are available on MTG Arena. This kind of format has been hinted at and had to happen to avoid angering millions of players who invested in Standard cards only to have them rotate.
No Kaladesh or Amonkhet in Historic…. yet
Historic will be officially starting with the Ixalan block. Many MTG players are dismayed because the Kaladesh block and Amonkhet blocks are both playable on MTG Arena. We know this because we played them during the closed beta. So why would Historic start without those two sets?
- Kaladesh: Kaladesh was a very, very powerful set. In fact, Kaladesh was so strong that we had more bannings in Standard that year than in any other in the past decade. It’s possible that the developers think that Kaladesh is too strong for the other sets that will be in Historic. They may be taking the time to play-test it more before committing to starting Historic off with strong combo decks like Aetherworks Marvel (sans Ulamog) and Copy cat.
- Amonkhet: Amonkhet was not as strong as Kaladesh as far as raw power goes. It was a neat set, but it never got out of Kaladesh’s shadow. Kaladesh and Amonkhet happened back to back. This meant that we never actually saw Amonkhet without the power of Kaladesh also being in Standard. This leaves Amonkhet’s power level as a wild card. In addition, Esper Control is already crazy strong in Standard and will continue to be strong in Historic. Could you imagine Esper Control with The Scarab God? No, thank you.
These are just a few theories; we don’t have much solid information about this decision. However, in the announcement they made sure to mention that Kaladesh and Amonkhet will be added one day… just not today.
No Ranked mode for Historic
The other big shocker is the lack of Ranked support for Historic. Competitive players who wanted to play in a stronger format than Standard are quite disappointed. No Ranked mode means that, at least for now, Historic is not being considered a competitive format. With any luck, it will be added later. The community has been very vocal about the need for Ranked mode, and MTG Arena developers tend to be pretty receptive to the wants of their player base.
There is so much more great news coming for MTG Arena! Magic: The Gathering has been taking off recently, and Daily Esports is here to keep you updated on our MTG news page. Be sure to check out the awesome Core Set 2020 spoilers coming to MTG Arena in this update.