Consider - Illustration by Zezhou Chen

Consider | Illustration by Zezhou Chen

To keep the formats fresh and balanced, WotC rotates the sets that are legal in Standard and Alchemy every few years. That’s a much-needed measure to change the best strategies and to prevent a certain deck from being dominant.

Alchemy rotation is right across the corner, so here’s all the relevant info on the rotation. Will you be able to keep playing your favorite cards? What’s getting out and what stays?

Fear not, because we’ve got you covered.

Does Alchemy Rotate? How Often?

Dawnbringer Cleric - Illustration by Lie Setiawan

Dawnbringer Cleric | Illustration by Lie Setiawan

Alchemy rotates each year in September, and each set is valid in the format for two years. For example, Wilds of Eldraine releases on September, 5th, 2023 and stays in Alchemy until September 2025, when it finally rotates out. Sets that are rotating now have been legal in Alchemy since 2021, and so on.   

When Is the Next Alchemy Rotation?

The next Alchemy rotation happens on September 5th, 2023. The following sets will rotate out of Alchemy:

What’s In Alchemy: Current Sets

These sets are all currently legal in Alchemy:

When Is the Next Rotation?

After this impending rotation, the next Alchemy rotation will take place in September 2024.

Why Does Alchemy Rotate?

Blur - Illustration by Dave Greco

Blur | Illustration by Dave Greco

Alchemy is a format developed with digital-first players in mind to provide a fresh experience with constant rebalances. The digital-only aspect of the format allows WotC’s designers to have more creative freedom with card design and to shake up the format more frequently. Also, with constant rotation, designers have more tools to balance a format, to see what’s working and what isn’t, and to take the necessary actions.

Alchemy Rotation vs. Standard Rotation

Standard and Alchemy Rotation

Initially, Standard and Alchemy would have the same rotation rules. However, WotC decided to give Standard sets more room to breathe, and the Standard rotation rules were altered. Now, each set in Standard is legal in the format for three years, while each set is valid for 2 years in Alchemy.

This image shows it best. Both Alchemy and Standard are rotating formats, but Standard keeps the sets MID, VOW, NEO, and SNC a little longer, until the next rotation. You can also see that Alchemy has 8 sets (not considering special Alchemy sets with exclusive cards), while Standard has at most 12 sets.

Why Is Alchemy Rotation Different Than Standard Rotation?

Baleful Beholder - Illustration by lars Grant-West

Baleful Beholder | Illustration by lars Grant-West

Before May 2023, Alchemy and Standard rotation happened at the same time. WotC decided, however, that sets will rotate out of Standard in three years rather than two, both for tabletop and for MTGO/MTG Arena. Alchemy has stayed the same, so sets in Alchemy rotate every two years. Alchemy doesn’t need to match Tabletop MTG, so it makes sense that Alchemy has its own rules.

What Is Alchemy Renewal?

Refuse to Yield - Illustration by Josh Hass

Refuse to Yield | Illustration by Josh Hass

Renewal is a way that MTG Arena helps players, especially new players that have smaller collections, to keep playing Standard and Alchemy, and that’s achieved via gifts. Players get new Starter Decks with all the cards included, and there’s gonna be some changes in the sets that are available for drafting, Jump In! packs content, and more.

If you log into MTG Arena before the rotation, you’ll also be able to open the Renewal Egg, which will contain the following benefits:

  • 10 ICR (Individual Card Rewards)
  • 5 rares from non-rotating sets
  • 4 rares plus a mythic rare from Wilds of Eldraine

How to Use Alchemy Cards After Rotation

Errant, Street Artist | Illustration by Justine Cruz

Even though these cards aren’t available in Alchemy anymore, you can play them in a bunch of formats, notably the Historic formats on MTG Arena.


The Historic format accepts every single card that has been released on MTG Arena thus far. Even if you can use your cards in Standard Alchemy, you can use them in Historic. Not all cards legal in Standard Alchemy can be used in Explorer though, only the cards that are equal in Standard and Standard Alchemy.

Historic Brawl

You can also use the Alchemy cards in Historic Brawl. Historic Brawl is a 100-card singleton format where you choose a legendary creature to be your commander.

Other Formats

You’ll be able to use Alchemy cards in specific temporary formats, like the ones in Midweek Magic. Casual formats that are sometimes available like Gladiator, Historic Pauper, and Peasant let you play with your Alchemy cards.

Wrap Up

Otawara, Soaring City - Illustration by Alayna Danner

Otawara, Soaring City | Illustration by Alayna Danner

Alchemy Rotation is coming soon with the release of Wilds of Eldraine, and that’s part of the rotating formats. For people that like to brew and test new ideas, this is usually a very exciting time. And if Alchemy isn’t your cup of tea, you’ll get a new set valid for Standard, Wilds of Eldraine. Don’t forget the nice rewards on MTG Arena!

And with some exceptions, your Standard decks are usually somewhat playable in Alchemy too, so you’ll have two formats to decide which one you prefer best. Are you looking forward to the Alchemy rotation? Let me know in the comments section below, or let’s discuss it in the Draftsim Discord.

Stay safe folks, and may MTG Arena bless you with nice rewards on the rotation.

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