The Road Map For MTGA - Where WOTC Hopes To Take Arena In The Future

Genoslugcs August 12, 2023 7 min
The Road Map For MTGA - Where WOTC Hopes To Take Arena In The Future

There was a ton of news in the recent 30th Anniversary GenCon announcement, and a fair portion was devoted to the future of MTGArena. In fact, we got to hear insights into where the company wants to take Arena all the way up until 2026! That said, the main goal is to get Arena to more players, make it more assessable, and help players find their MTG fun as quickly as possible. But that was just the tip of the iceberg - Get ready for a massive amount of MTG Arena News and much more.

Today I'll be covering everything you need to know about MTG Arena in the now and in the distant future; This includes changes coming to the platform, which sets you can expect to see coming to Arena (and which ones you won't), as well as some very exciting news for new features. So, let's jump right in.

MTGA Assistant

You can find a full rundown of the key info from GenCon here and the full GenCon announcement video here.

The Road Map For MTG Arena - Upcoming Changes, News, Set Releases

magic the gathering arena logo

Upcoming Fifth Anniversary

You may or may not know that Arena is approaching its fifth year of existence. And to hear MTGA Executive Producer Chris Krilitz tell it, they have some special stuff coming in the next month to celebrate the occasion. What exactly the surprises are, he wouldn't say. Instead, he said, "Our fifth anniversary is next month, and we're going to celebrate with players and have a few tricks up our sleeves coming next month."

WOTC is a little hit or miss (mostly miss, unfortunately) with anniversary surprises, but they also learn from their mistakes. So, I dare say that I'm hopeful. If you are active on MTGA, keep your eye out for this news to drop because it may be pretty spicy. Until we know what it is, let's move on.

Improved Duplicate Protection & New Achievement System

In tandem with the fifth anniversary of Arena is the release of Wilds of Eldraine. And a few cool things are coming along with the set's release. The first is something players have asked for forever - A way to reduce duplicates in our Arena collections. To quote the source material, "This will help all those players who have been with us the last five years and may not need a 13th copy of Duressimage in their collections."

You May Also Like: The MTG Assistant App: Enter The Battlefield Prepared

While I do love some hand disruption, Duress is a good example of the issue. We don't know exactly how this system will work yet, but I'm certainly happy to hear it's on the horizon.

Another change that was mentioned to be coming in the future is a new achievement system that rewards more than wins & loses and "encourages more types of play." I love the idea of having a system in place that resembles the achievement/trophy system on Xbox or PlayStation. For example, getting a shoutout for countering 100 spells or dealing a certain amount of damage with mana dorks would be cool.

Future Remasters Sets: Khans of Tarkir & Shadows Over Innistrad

khans of tarkir mtg art

The upcoming remaster of Shadows Over Innistrad will be the last remaster set coming to Arena for a while. And yes, unfortunately, this means a few of the other remasters mentioned at GenCon (Ravnica Remastered, for example) won't be available for Arena.

However, Arena is getting a full release of Khans of Tarkir before the year is out! And by full release, I do mean full release. This means players can access every card in the original set and get the full Khans of Tarkir experience. If you've never played with the set, you're in for a treat, and if you have, I'm sure you'll be stoked to do it again.

Modern Horizons 3 On Arena

The next "straight to Modern" set is Modern Horizons 3 - And while Modern isn't coming to Arena, MH3 is. Apparently, the set is too good of a draft experience not to bring it to as many players as possible, so that's what they're doing. Modern Horizons 3 will be available to draft on MTGArena!

Pioneer Masters

At the end of 2024, Arena will reach what's being called "Tournament Pioneer" by releasing Pioneer Masters. The set will make all tournament-caliber decks playable on Arena. If you're not a Spike, worry not, more casual cards will continue to be added through anthology releases for more casual players of the format.

Pioneer is a fantastic format, and I imagine it will be incredibly popular when it comes to Arena. It's picked up a lot of steam in the years since its inception and giving more players access to it is incredible. I've even heard people speculate that Pioneer could overtake Standard on Arena.

Integrating Online And Tabletop Play

MTGA Executive Producer Chris Krilitz stressed that as they move further into 2024, one of their primary goals was to create a system where online and tabletop play are less divided. For example, players can go play paper MTG at an FNM and earn rewards for Arena.

You May Also Like: What Is FNM In MTG? - Preparing For Your First Friday Night Magic

In other words, as we move into the next year, there will be less of a gap between online Arena play and paper, in-person play. As someone who plays online for convenience, I also love getting out and playing in real life. And if they can create a system that can somewhat bridge the gap between these two worlds, I think it would encourage more digital players to play paper as well.

Universes Beyond

universes beyond logo

Arena will continue to try to take as many universes beyond cards as possible, but it won't be everything. For LOTR: Tales of Middle-Earth, they took the whole set. However, that won't always be the case. For example, for the Fallout crossover, they're doing "cosmetics," which gives players aesthetics of the wasteland for their existing cards instead of the new ones.

You May Also Like: The One Ring MTG Card Has Been Bought By Post Malone

According to the video, they're still exploring options for what they can do for Assassin's Creed crossover. So, some (or even all) of the cards may make it onto MTGA, but even they aren't sure yet. What is certain is that Universes Beyond: Final Fantasy will come to Arena! Fans of the classic video game series rejoice.

2025 & Beyond - Core Principles For The Future

The Arena team was clear that nothing this far in the future is set in stone. With that "intents Vs. deliverables " disclaimer out of the way, they gave us general ideas of what they hope to achieve for MTGA in the near future, and the blueprint is as follows:

How To Get More Players On Arena

Obviously, WOTC would love to get more players on Arena, and that's what they intend to do. While we don't know exactly what these ideas will come to fruition as, they did elaborate on their thought process.

Chris Krilitz said,

"This is why we emphasized our new player experience this year and why it was important to have the Lord of the Rings (MTG set) delivered specifically so we could reach more players through their love of Middle-Earth. We also know we had opportunities to provide better experiences to those players that we just didn't have the bandwidth to execute on.

So, part of what we're discussing now is how do we fill those gaps, how do we bring in new players and introduce them to the best game in the world? In order to answer this we also need to understand what we're missing. For digital, we think there is an opportunity to better serve players who might be intimidated by jumping into a free-to-play, player-versus-player experience right out of the gate. So, we're actively discussing that."

How can we give players a sandbox where they can have fun and be comfortable building their magic skills without the pressures of winning and losing, particularly in front of other players?"

Improving The Collectible Aspect & Adding Multiplayer

Moving forward, he continued by elaborating on some areas where they feel MTGA can be improved.

"We know there are a lot of types of Magic players, and currently, Arena is addressing a specific portion - Those who are, again, big fans of the 1v1 player experience. So, another lens we're using to talk about the future is, 'If you're already a Magic fan, what digital experience are you missing?' And then, we can figure out what we can do to address this. This is a big area for exploration, and it has a couple of parts.

The first is collectability. Collectability is a core part of Magic, and we think there is a lot we can do to improve that experience for players and make collecting more exciting, more rewarding, take that and allow players to personalize their experience better. Secondly, Arena is a really good player-versus-player game, but it doesn't support more than two players. So, how do we get three or more players at the digital table?

And how do we deliver in these spaces? Do we continue to add to Arena itself? Do we look at Arena as a core platform that we can expand and create different iterations that serve different needs? If we're doing that and tailor-making these experiences, how do we keep everybody connected in the ecosystem?

This is a bunch of work we have to figure out and make sure that we're building this one unified Magic experience for players who have different needs. So, want to make sure that we have that connective tissue for those experiences."


As you can see, there was a ton of MTGA news in the GenCon spoiler video - The fifth anniversary of the platform, upcoming changes, what sets you will and won't see, and finally, a glimpse far into the future of what the company has envisioned. A lot of the road map for Arena into 2026 looks like it's headed in a good, healthy direction, at least on paper. However, much of what was discussed is still in its inception. So, we'll see how much come to pass and if it has the intended effects.

If you play Arena now, what do you think of this news? And if you don't, would changes like this get you on board? I look forward to hearing from you on this. Until next time, take care.


Login to comment


Search Articles

Enter The Battlefield Prepared

With the MTGA Assistant deck tracker MTGA Assistant