MTG Arena: State of the game - April 2020

MTGA Updates 
By: andreliverod - 14 Apr 2020

Player Drafts are coming to MTG Arena

Starting Thursday 16th April, two new Player Draft modes will be available in-game as a higher skill competitive experience with more rewards on the line. The mode plays reasonably similar to what you've come to expect on Magic: The Gathering Arena and closely replicates the experience that a player might have drafting with other people in tabletop Magic.

Here are the details:

  • Player Draft will be available for Best-of-One and Best-of-Three drafts.
  • Best-of-One bot drafts will still be available and will continue to rotate every two weeks.
  • Best-of-Three bot drafts will no longer be available; all Best-of-Three drafts will be with players.
  • If the current Bot Draft and Player Draft feature the same set, they will play in separate queues (players who drafted against bots will not be paired against players who drafted against other players).
  • Player drafts will function like leagues; you'll be matched against players outside of your draft pod.

The drafting part will be done with other real players, you will be placed in a pod with seven other players and make your picks with them. Similar to MTG Online there will be a timer so once you have started a draft you cannot leave during a pick and come back later. However once you are done with the drafting portion your opponents will be picked the same way as earlier, you will face other players from other draft pods with the same win-rate as yourself. This means that once you are done with drafting you can play the games at your own leisure.


There is a new draft User interface to help you understand which way packs are passed and the status of the other players' draft picks.


Log in during April and get a free Draft!

To celebrate the addition of Player drafts, Wizards are doing some special things with this next update

  • Both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three Ikoria Player Draft will be available on April 16.
  • Your first Ikoria Player Draft is free—no entry fee required! You can choose either Best-of-One or Best-of-Three.
  • You'll need to log into the game by April 30 in order to redeem your complimentary Ikoria Player Draft.



Premier Draft

  • Best-of-One, Player Draft, Current Set, Ranked

Ranked Draft -> Quick Draft

  • Best-of-One, Bot Draft, Set Rotates Bi-Weekly, Ranked

Traditional Draft -> Traditional Draft*

  • Best-of-Three, Player Draft, Current Set, Unranked

*In Traditional Draft, you will now draft against other players, not bots.



April 16—June 2020: Ikoria Premier Draft
April 16—June 2020: Ikoria Traditional Draft
April 17—May 1: Core Set 2020 Quick Draft
May 1—May 15: Ikoria Quick Draft
May 15—May 29: War of the Spark Quick Draft


Event Entry and Rewards

Traditional Draft

Entry Fee: 1500 Gems or 10,000 Gold
Event Record: Three matches (regardless of win/loss record)

  • 3 Wins: 3000 Gems, 6 Packs
  • 2 Wins: 1000 Gems, 4 Packs
  • 0–1 Win: 1 Pack

Premier Draft

Entry Fee: 1500 Gems or 10,000 Gold
Event Record: 7 wins or 3 losses (whichever comes first)

  • 7 Wins: 2200 Gems and 6 Packs
  • 6 Wins: 1800 Gems and 5 Packs
  • 5 Wins: 1600 Gems and 4 Packs
  • 4 Wins: 1400 Gems and 3 Packs
  • 3 Wins: 1000 Gems and 2 Packs
  • 2 Wins: 250 Gems and 2 Packs
  • 1 Win: 100 Gems and 1 Pack
  • 0 Wins: 50 Gems and 1 Pack


Card UI Improvements

An overhaul is coming to how cards appear in MTG Arena, giving them a more consistent Badge placement, improved scaling and having less clutter on the UI


Quantity dependent effects (e.g. Devotion, Adapt, etc.)
Keyworded abilities (e.g. Flying, Deathtouch, etc.)
"Read More" (e.g. Card specific text, triggered abilities, more than three keywords, etc.)
   Gained abilities


Developer Roadmap

64-bit Client

Starting with the June 2020 game update, Magic: The Gathering Arena will be transitioning to a 64-bit client. They will continue to support a 32-bit client for the release of Ikoria and the May game update, but afterward, there will only be the 64-bit client.


. . . which means, when they release on macOS, we will also be compatible with Catalina. Wizards and Skybox Labs are working together to achieve this long-awaited goal, the plan is to release a macOS client by the end of summer.

Cube Draft

Soon, you'll be able to draft using the crème de la crème of all the cards available in Magic: The Gathering Arena. As with Cube Sealed, Cube Draft will be a phantom event, only this time, instead of opening six "packs" worth of cards, you'll draft them against your fellow players.

Cube has no concept of rarity, so packs will contain plenty of exciting rares and mythic rares in your pool. The diversity of cards and the strategies and synergies make each run an exciting new experience every time, and as we continue to add cards to MTG Arena you can expect us to continue updating and iterating on the cubes we offer.

Historic Roadmap

Wizards will be continuing to support Historic, and they plan for it to be increasingly more prominent in Magic: The Gathering Arena as they expand our eternal format offerings.

Working on diversifying this play mode, specifically adding cards that fall outside the realm of Pioneer and Standard to keep this format interesting. Historic Anthology 3 is currently planned to release sometime in May.

Amonkhet Remaster

Work is going well on Amonkhet Remaster, and you should expect that to arrive sometime this summer. They are also continuing work with Magic R&D on future planned Pioneer-focused set remasters, though they remain in concept for now.

Between this, Historic Anthology 3, Core Set 2021, Jumpstart, and Zendikar Rising—there is plenty of new card content to look forward to for the rest of the year!

In concept


This is a big thing they are working on and it is stated that it is planned for 2020, and that they will have cross-platform support meaning that all players will be in the same pool no matter if they are using a desktop of mobile device.

Player Challenges

"Player Challenges" is the working name for competitive experiences that will have a short duration but high skill cap, providing ways to win significant rewards beyond gold, gems, and booster packs. 

  • Prizes and format will be different from our Metagame Challenges but will still follow an X wins or Y losses formats (i.e. not brackets or swiss).
  • While competitive, they will differ from Mythic Point Qualifiers as they will not require any sort of pre-qualification to compete.
  • They will also be separate from Magic esports and MPL play.
  • The goal is to have player entries support the prize pool; rewards will depend on region and local laws.

About andreliverod:

Founder and CEO of, he likes to play with fire and also has a Twitter account he posts his stuff on. If you are interested in supporting him on Patreon you will also receive an premium subscription!

"Nuts & Bolts Spike spends his energy looking within. He tries to understand his own internal flaws and works to improve them"


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