Last updated on July 20, 2021

Patchwork Gnomes MTG Art

Patchwork Gnomes | Illustration by Mike Raabe

Patches and updates: every program, game, app, and system has them. They’re essential for any application that is currently being supported, and MTG Arena is no exception. Other than new sets being added to the client when they come out and monthly game updates, there isn’t a lot of consistency to the MTGA updates in terms of when you can expect them.

Even the monthly game updates don’t have a specific day and just kind of happen around the middle of the month. Usually.

This is in part because you won’t always know when an update is needed. Like when a bug suddenly rears its ugly head, for instance. But even when an update is scheduled, how do you find out? Where is this info made public?

Frantic Search MTG card art by Mitchell Malloy

Frantic Search | Illustration by Mitchell Malloy

It can be pretty time-consuming to slog through tons of websites every time you want to find out why an MTG Arena update was needed, so we figured it would be a great idea to give you a place where you can easily view all the update logs and patch notes that your heart desires!

We’ll keep adding the newest MTGA patch notes as they come up, so be sure to bookmark this page if you’re into keeping up with this stuff. This will be your complete and up-to-date reference to see what has happened and why!

Arena has had tons of game updates since it was launched, so we’ll start right after its official release for everything that’s changed since then. It’s also pretty important to know how to update the client, how to report bugs, and how to report other problems you might come across, so we’ll be covering those topics too.

With all that said, let’s flip the switch and get going!

Laboratory Maniac MTG card art by Jason Felix

Laboratory Maniac | Illustration by Jason Felix

Patch Problems?

If a patch broke your install of MTGA, or if you are having problems completing an update, never fear—we have an article about that. But if you are looking for a complete log of changes to MTG Arena and want to know what’s changed since the last update, read on!

2020 Patch Notes

June 8: 1.08.02.03 Historic Suspension

MTG Arena June 8 1.08.02.03 Historic suspension

To read the official suspension notes, head on over here.

Historic

June 5: 1.08.02.01 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena June 5 1.08.02.01 bug fixes

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

  • The Teferi Play Bundle no longer incorrectly shows +10 Mastery Levels for the locked item after purchasing. Full details for the play bundle as well as the Core Set 2021 Set Mastery are available here.

June 5: 1.08.01.00 Game Update

MTG Arena June 5 1.08.01.00 game update

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

We’re working on it! Check back soon.

May 21: 1.08.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena May 21 1.08.00.00 game update

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

Another day, another update. With these patch notes, MTGA announces Historic Anthology 3, adding 27 new cards to the Historic format. The Historic Ranked queue makes its return and is here to stay. Lastly, they’re introducing the “Arena Open” competitive event. Want to know what it’s all about? Me too, so let’s get into this!

Historic Anthology III

Historic is ever-expanding on MTG Arena and with that comes the newest Historic anthology. It gives you 27 new cards to play with, including Bolas’s Citadel, a cool and fun combo card that will enable a whole new set of decks. Head on over here for the full list of what’s included. The Historic Anthology 3 will be available in Arena’s store for 25,000 gold or 4,000 gems.

Historic Ranked

  • Historic Ranked has returned and is here to stay
  • Historic Play and the unranked Play queues now provide daily win/quest progress and are also here to stay

The best and biggest change is the return of Historic Ranked and the ability to complete your daily quests with it now. If you’re big on Historic, this will be music to your ears and let you dive ever deeper into this format.

Obviously, new cards being added to play and experiment with isn’t a bad thing either. It keeps the format exciting and those creative juices flowing as to what you can come up with this time around. The fact that you can get all these cards in exchange for gold or gems is perfect for all of you out there (myself included) that like playing Arena at no extra cost.

Collection

Having trouble finding those awesome Godzilla cards you so preciously collected after the release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths? You’re now able to search for them by both their Ikoria and their Godzilla card name, a win/win situation.

Deck Building

  • You’ll see a “Craftable” status using the Wildcard symbol in decks with uncollected cards
  • You’ll get info from the tooltip on what the error is when a deck is flagged as invalid
  • When you’ve got enough Wildcards of all appropriate rarities in your deck, the deck manager will give you a “Craft All” button
  • You’ll get a warning when your deck is invalid because of banned cards and they’ll sort higher than decks that are completely invalid

Effective small changes go a long way, which is what they’ve done here. Easier ways to find your cards and view what’s wrong with decks helps you navigate your way to a solution much quicker and in a more effective manner. In my personal experience, always a welcome addition.

Gameplay

As I’ve just mentioned above, fixes that let you better navigate your decks and cards in them is always a welcome addition. The updates to gameplay offer exactly that to a variety of things.

Cards

  • Lurrus of the Dream-Den now removes near-hand castables once their ability has been used for the turn
  • You’ll now see a count on the stack when mutate abilities count the number of times that creature has mutated
  • You’ll now see the value of triggers that care about the “number of times this creature has mutated” on the mutate badge while the trigger is on the stack
  • The rules text on First Strike and Double Strike has been updated to clarify that it doesn’t apply during “Fight” effects
  • You’ll now see all planeswalkers’ current loyalty count when turned into creatures
  • You’ll now see a * for demigods’ devotion when the card’s not in play
  • The auto-targeting rules for abilities will no longer auto-target when there is only one valid option, but they will auto-submit once you have selected all possible targets
  • You’ll see reminder text for creatures that must block or must be blocked
  • Cards that have a player choose a color now display a badge with the chosen color to their opponent
  • Double-tapping the Quick Tap hokey (default: Q) will attempt to tap all non-creatures for mana and determine what is tapped for what colors

Other

  • You can now “View Battlefield” when deciding whether to Mulligan
  • The “View Battlefield” option will be available after a game has completed
  • The active player now holds priority when they put a “Fight” trigger on the stack

Useful changes combined with ease-of-use makes for happy players, wouldn’t you agree? That’s what I feel these updates do for the gameplay.

General

Just like gameplay and collection updates, general updates improve the way you interact with the game resulting in less frustration. WotC has given you a couple of fixes for just that:

  • Various improvements to player draft when detecting whether a player has abandoned the draft
  • Historic Tournament Challenge is now supported in Direct Challenge matches (enforces BO3 match structure, timers, match clock, and banned/suspended cards)
  • Players who are granted decks through the Tutorial and Color Challenge now receive all copies of cards in those deck regardless of what cards they have collected, and duplicate cards beyond a playset will reward Vault progress or gems (the mysterious Vault makes an appearance!)
  • Miscellaneous improvements to how cards display on the battlefields

Quick, simple, easy to understand, no-nonsense improvements. There, I said it.

Output Logs

I can’t recall seeing the logs in the patch notes very often, so without further ado:

  • The file name for output_log.txt has changed to Player.log
  • Output logs will also save the log from your previous session (Player-prev.log)
  • Additional initial tracking support for player draft

When you’re having problems with MTG Arena, it’s important that those problems are stored and saved properly so the developers can pinpoint its origin and fix it. Making them easy to find on top of that definitely helps in that respect!

The part about additional support for player draft I feel is the most interesting and will probably be expanded upon. Player drafts are popular and the chances of something malfunctioning increase once more players jump into them. Proper support for those malfunctions sounds like the right way to go!

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

We’re all still in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic and, even though its grip seems to be loosening at the moment, it’s great to see so many awesome events taking place on MTG Arena to help you get through these times. The newest and most exciting of which is the Arena Open, so let’s kick it off with that and work our way down the list from there.

Arena Open

  • You must be 18 years or older to participate
  • Regional eligibility restrictions apply, void where prohibited
  • Receiving monetary rewards requires having or creating Wizards, DCI, and i-Payout accounts
  • Refer to the official Terms and Conditions for complete details

Day 1

  • Start: May 30, 2020 at 8 a.m. PT
  • Sign-Ups End: May 31, 2020 at 4 a.m. PT—you’ll still have a few hours to complete your current run, but you won’t be able to join after this deadline.
  • Event End: May 31, 7 a.m. PT
  • Format: Best-of-One Standard Constructed
  • Event Record: 7 wins or 3 Losses (whichever comes first)
  • Entry Fee: 20,000 Gold or 4,000 Gems – You may participate in Day 1 multiple times.
  • Entry Reward: The Godzilla Lands

Day 2

  • Start: May 31, 2020 at 8 a.m. PT
  • Sign-Ups End: May 31, 2020 at 10a.m. PT – You’ll have until the event ends to complete your matches, but you must join during this two-hour window.
  • Event End: May 31,6 p.m.PT
  • Format: Best-of-Three Standard Constructed
  • Event Record: 7 wins or 2 Losses (whichever comes first)
  • Entry Fee: None—previous qualification from Day 1 required.

Other Events

As usual, head on over to our Event Calendar for all the details, but here’s a quick summary of what to expect! Quick draft is continuing, of course, and we can expect to see War of the Spark, Ikoria, and Rivals of Ixalan pop in. That’s right, we’re getting a Historic quick draft!

Player draft continues with Ikoria until June 25, and we’re still waiting to see what’s going on there once it ends. We’ll be getting some specialty drafts in June as well, including the long-awaited Cube draft and an Omniscience draft.

FNM continues strong every Friday, as you’d expect. Workshops are also still going every week from Monday to Wednesday. Nothing new there, but not necessarily not exciting! On the Historic side, we’ve got three events to throw at you other than what we’ve already covered: ranked/traditional ranked is here to stay, as I mentioned; Historic Shakeup is coming to use in June; and, finally, we’ll get the Historic Challenge at the end of June.

The Brawlers’ Guildhall hasn’t disappeared yet and is continuing with a new prize into July. The Festival of Monsters was an interesting one in May.

I told you there’s a lot going on in the upcoming months. Enough to keep you busy, safe, and entertained all in one. The Arena Open surely deserves the most praise. As all IRL events have been scrapped, being able to still have competitive play is a major upside for all new, old, and upcoming pros out there. Give it your best shot and see if you can make it to day 2!

Bug Fixes

No game update is complete without its own set of bug fixes. This time they’ve made a bunch of fixes to cards and some general ones as well. Here’s the list:

Cards

  • Certain tutorial-specific cards are no legal for Standard constructed play;
  • Mystical Dispute should no longer show a cost reduction in hand if the criteria is no longer met;
  • You can target yourself with Loaming Shaman even when you have zero cards in your graveyard;
  • Proud Wildbonders put into play by Winota are now able to assign their own damage as if they weren’t blocked;
  • Multiple Lavabrink Venturers with different odd/even choices no longer visually stack while on the battlefield;
  • Copies of Crackling Drake revealed in your opponent’s hand now accurately update their power/toughness based on the number of instants/sorceries in your opponent’s graveyard;
  • It should now be functionally impossible to concede an entire best-of-three match by conceding as you take lethal damage in one game;
  • Players who disconnect during a best-of-three while using a companion will no longer be prevented from sideboarding when they reconnect;
  • Typeless permanents with tap abilities (thanks, mutate…) were not visually tapping when the ability was used, now they are;
  • Inspecting a card and using “View Mutations” no longer shows the battlefield version of some cards;
  • Mutating a face-down card should no longer cause visual issues;
  • Companion names no longer overlap with the timer display when your opponent has both a commander and a companion.

General

  • Bouncing a mutated token creature no longer shows the token as being in your opponent’s hand;
  • Planeswalkers’ loyalty abilities no longer appear greyed out if something allows them to be used a second time (e.g. Oath of Teferi);
  • Pauper deck validation now allows for the use of uncommon versions of a card if a common version exists within MTG Arena;
  • Various localization fixes;
  • Miscellaneous other bug fixes.

All in all, a bunch of handy fixes on issues that were necessary. It slightly shrinks the list of bugs present in Arena. There’s always more to fix. Luckily, there’s always the next update as well.

Community Commentary

The Reddit thread for this update is full of praise for the permanent availability of Historic Ranked and that it now counts towards your progress. This makes it a viable option to only play that format if you so choose.

Because of this development, there are people calling for the same to be done with Brawl, which is still only available on Wednesdays. I couldn’t agree more, but we’ll have to wait and see. Considering the continuation of the paid Guildhall event, it might be a while.

The auto-tap ability of non-land mana sources is also greatly appreciated, as is the combo-enabling addition of Bolas’s Citadel to Historic.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself, or to share your own experience over there or in the comments down below.

With that, I bid you a good day. See you next time!

May 7: 1.07.02.00 Minor Tweak

MTG Arena May 7 1.07.02.00 tweak

To read the official tweak update notes, head on over here.

Events

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Quick Draft

  • Various improvements to draft bot picks

Note: This was a data-only deployment, and no update is required.

April 30: 1.07.01.00 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena April 30 bug fix

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

Bug Fixes

  • Godzilla Monster Series card styles now correctly respect the “Hide Alternate Art Styles” setting;
  • Setting/removing a companion now properly saves when making changes to your deck list;
  • Using different printings of cards will no longer appear to work when Lutri, the Spellchaser was set as your companion;
    • Note: This was a visual bug—Lutri properly recognized repeated cards and refused to be your Companion despite what the Deck Builder may have tried to tell you;
  • Umori, the Collector will no longer cause your collection to flip back to the first page when adding cards to a deck with Umori set as your companion;
  • Thryx, the Sudden Storm no longer makes certain x-cost spells cast through Underworld Breach uncounterable at improper converted mana costs;
  • “Gem Cards” from duplicate protection once again show which set you are receiving it from;
  • Various localization fixes;
  • Other minor bug fixes.

April 23: 1.07.00.05 Set Release Fixes

MTG Arena April 23 1.07.00.05 set release fixes

To read the official set release update notes, head on over here.

Events

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths Premier Draft

  • Adjusted Rank-Based Matchmaking for Premier Draft
    • Developer’s Note: As some of you may have noticed, there were certain scenarios where you were being matched against somebody with a much higher (or lower) Rank than yours – this should address that issue. Regardless, players were still being properly matched on their current W/L record (Ranked draft formats use both your rank and your win/loss record when searching for an opponent).
  • Adjustments to opening-hand algorithm for Premier Draft
    • Developer’s Note: We intend for best-of-one formats to use a modified opening-hand algorithm which pulls multiple potential opening hands and chooses one; Premier Draft was operating contrary to that, and we have fixed it accordingly. To stave off any conspiracy theories, it was previously using our best-of-three opening hand rules (which pulls one, and only one opening hand).

General

  • “Checking for Updates” should take significantly less time.
  • Autotap and Smart Stops once again recognizes when certain modal spells (e.g. Thassa’s Intervention) can cast one mode but not the other.

Bug Fixes

Gameplay

  • Sideboarding a designated Companion into your mainboard during best-of-three matches should now function correctly.

Cards

  • Lurrus of the Dream-Den now correctly handles X values in converted mana costs (For spells with X in their mana costs, use the value chosen for X to determine the spell’s converted mana cost. For example, if a permanent spell costs xWhite, you could cast it with X as 1 but not as 2).
  • Jubilant Skybonder’s cost increase now functions correctly when there are multiple instances of this card on the battlefield.
  • Players can now appropriately select cards from their graveyard with Mausoleum Secrets.
  • Setting Zirda, the Dawnwaker as your Companion will no longer cause the game to crash if you have cards with the Ascend keyword ability in your deck.
  • Mythos of Brokkos should no longer bring back non-permanents from the graveyard to your hand if cast with no permanents in your graveyard.
  • Mutated creatures are now counted as one creature for Settle the Wreckage, as they should be (702.139c of the Comprehensive Rules, if you’re curious).
  • A mutated Cavalier of Thorns should no longer be able to target “itself” if you chose to exile it when it dies.

April 16: 1.07.00.00 Set Release Update

MTG Arena April 16 1.07.00.00 set release update

To read the full official set release update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

This update is all about Ikoria and the accompanying updates for MTG Arena. Wizards has now implemented Player Draft, Godzilla Series Monsters, and FNM Challenges in a flash. All this plus a lot of other extras have become available. So, let’s take a look at what they are.

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths

IKO is now available on MTGA, and what an epically monstrous set it is! They cooked up something really special with this one. Here’s the downlow on what you can do to make the most of it:

  • Players who pre-order Ikoria: lair of Behemoths will receive a bonus code for items on MTG Arena from participating retailers.
  • Your mastery of the new abilities can make the difference:         
    • Mutate
    • Companion
    • Cycling
    • Keyword Counters

A great incentive from Wizards to help out your LGS through these difficult quarantine times, I’m a fan. It helps everybody involved: you, MTGA, and the all-important LGS. You can start playing IKO right now and knowing the abilities before you jump into a game is just sensible, so a sweet preview is included in the patch notes. Let’s rock on to the next gigantic item, pun intended.

Godzilla Monster Series Card Style

  • Until May 21, 2020 get bonus Godzilla Series Monster card styles with IKO pack bundles or on entry into any Ikoria Draft or Sealed event:
    • You won’t receive the same card style more than once!
  • When searching for the card style, make sure to search for the original card name.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Godzilla universe, and to be able to get these cards and card styles both in real life and on MTGA is pretty amazing. Don’t hesitate to collect all 18 and get your monster game on! Glad they included that you need to put in the original card name in order to find the cards, just in case you were wondering.

Player Drafting

We’ve had to wait a long time, but now that it’s here it’s been well worth the wait. Find a spot at the digital table and get your draft on the way it was intended. Here’s what WotC had to say about it:

  • Draft with 7 other players in one of two draft options: Premier or Traditional (you’ll still be able to draft against bots in the third option: Quick Draft);
  • Queue up to form a group of eight players to start a draft;
  • Each pick is timed to keep the packs moving and the event fun for everyone;
  • Select a card to set it as your “Pick”, and then double-click, drag, or click the “Confirm Pick” button to lock it in;
  • If you don’t pick a card in time, the system will auto-pick a card (the game will let you know in the last 5 seconds which one it’s going to pick for you);
  • Players that disconnect will receive a small amount of time to return to the game before their cards are all auto-picked;
  • Players can go to the “Table View’ and see the current pack position and also see who is in the draft with you;
  • Once drafting is complete, you’ll be paired against the larger pool of drafters in the event (you won’t be paired against opponents who drafted against bots);
  • The new headers and the pick confirm system have been integrated into bot draft as well.

An amazing addition to MTGA. It adds the human element that is so important in Magic, so I’m very happy to see this implementation. Plus, it looks pretty sweet as well. Great work all around.

Draft Event Name Changes

With new territories come new names. Here’s a list of what Wizards has changed to make it all easily identifiable for you:

  • Premier Draft: Ranked BO1 draft with other players (New)
  • Traditional Draft: Unranked BO3 draft with other players (Updated)
  • Quick Draft: Ranked BO1 draft with bots (Previously called “Ranked Draft”)

Definitely good to know about these changes up front, although I’m sure you can figure it all out as you navigate through MTGA. Still, good move on WotC’s part to be able to find this information online before you login. Check out our ultimate draft guide for a full rundown on what’s changed and what the new and updated drafts look like.

Play at Home, Stay at Home

FNM Home

Quarantine means everybody’s got to adjust to a new lifestyle. MTGA is no different, and to make it all easier for you, Wizards introduced FNM on MTG Arena. They’ve introduced the MTG Arena Promo Pack, which will contain two cosmetic items for MTG Arena with duplicate protection. Contact your participating WPN store for info on how to participate and get your code. If you’re curious, here’s what you could potentially get:

  • All 36 Sleeves featuring the Japanese Planeswalker alternate art;
  • New Guild-themed sleeves;
  • Ikoria card styles;
  • The Tamiyo player avatar;
  • And more!

Check out our event calendar to see what FNM events are going on and coming up. A great initiative to keep FNM alive, including some cool promos. It’s almost like you’re sitting in your local game store with your friends. Maybe even get together on a group chat with your friends for that OG FNM experience?

Brawlers’ Guildhall

Wizards is not leaving the Brawler’s Guildhall behind, the Play at Home, Stay at Home events reach out to here as well.

  • The Brawlers’ Guildhall will continue to have no entry fee;
  • This month’s reward is Firesong and Sunspeaker, which will now be legal as a Brawl commander!

If you’re not too big on Standard or draft, you can still get on MTGA and play some brawl, a fun and exciting format that changes with the times—its card pool that is.

Direct Challenge: Quest Progression

Keep earning those quest points by challenging other players and your friends. You’ll also continue to earn quest progress when directly challenging other players, as part of the Stay at Home, Play at Home initiative.

All of this ensures that you’re keeping your mind active and not dying of boredom. So, hop online, come on down, and play any of these cool events. You’ll have a ball for sure.

General

There are a bunch of general announcements so let’s take a look at what Wizards has to say, shall we?

Advanced Filters

  • Completely reworked Advanced Filters interface;
  • New filters for the number of copies in your collection;
  • You can now change your deck format within Advanced Filters (filters have always been reactive to what format you chose, but now you can see what filters are disabled);
  • Format groups (Standard and Historic) can be turned on or off in a single click.

With all these added features over the last couple updates, it’s good to finally see the interfaces have become more manageable and easier to navigate through. An effective overview for your MTGA cards, decks, and formats is just a treat, isn’t it?

Companion in Deck Builder

  • Lots of help in the deck builder for making a companion work in your deck;
  • New filtering option that can be turned on and off when deck building to match your companion restrictions;
  • Cards in your deck (and deck size) are highlighted if they don’t match your companion restrictions;
  • Companions can be imported into your decks using the “Companion” header before the line with the card.

With the new companions in IKO and the multitude of ways to activate them, it’s incredibly helpful to have a great set of features available to help you reach the different companion goals. Hopefully, this will run just as smoothly as the new interface and give you lots of wacky ideas for deckbuilding and enabling those cool companion rules.

Gameplay

The ever-changing landscape of gameplay and the numerous bugs and problems that come with it have shrunk a little bit more with these improvements:

  • A hanger will appear when the costs of activated abilities has been modified (no more wondering if Biomancer’s Familiar is working!);
  • Auto-tap is now slightly smarter about leaving open mana that can pay for more cards;
  • Cards with an X cost you can’t afford no longer hold priority;
  • When assigning damage as though it had not been blocked, the source of the damage will be highlighted;
  • VFX will play when the last counter of a particular type is removed;
  • You can now create “Limited” format decks with the following rules: minimum 40 cards in main deck, no maximum in sideboard, no maximum copies of any single card, no ban list.

We all know this list will just keep growing, but I feel we need to be thankful for all the changes that WotC makes to give us a better experience. And they’re not done yet, take a look at the smooth new card UI’s below.

Card UI Improvements

  • Power and toughness have been moved to the lower right;
  • The number of keyword icons to remove excess “noise” has been slimmed down to help ensure the other icons displayed on cards are the most relevant and useful (e.g., if a card has more than three referenced keywords, evergreen keyword references on the card are deprioritized and you’ll see “…” instead);
  • Icons should be much more consistent in size and placement.

Now that looks lean, mean, and clean, right? So much less clutter and a great way to showcase the incredible art that’s such a big part of MTG and something a lot of players love the most about the game. It does start to feel a little bit Hearthstone/Eternal-ish, though. I’ll let you decide whether that’s a bad thing or not.

Card-Specific

A couple of specific changes for specific cards that are cumbersome in the digital environment that’s Arena:

  • Torgaar, Famine Incarnate: You can now sacrifice creatures as part of the additional cost of Torgaar in order to get creatures into the graveyard to pay for the escape cost with Underworld Breach;
  • Zilortha, Strength Incarnate (a.k.a. Godzilla, King of Monsters) is… complicated:
    • Decreasing a creature’s power below 0 doesn’t necessarily destroy them, because the rule is about damage; a creature with 0 power isn’t destroyed unless it has at least 1 damage marked on it;
      • Just because the wall can’t fight back, Zilortha still has to smash it;
  • Cards like Covetous Urge now allow you to view your opponent’s hand even when there are no valid cards in hand to select.

It’s no wonder that with so much text and so many abilities, it can be a bit cluttered and complicated to present all that info and all those actions in a simple yet effective way. So, these kinds of changes showcase that Wizards is constantly working at making even the most difficult of cards a fun experience for you to play with. Something I can only encourage.

Ranked Play

For all you grinders, very exciting news in this next section. Go on, it’s right down here:

Rank Adjustments (Effect with the May 2020 Season)

In Gold, you’ll now move +2 for each BO1 win and +4 for BO3 wins instead of +1 (losses are unchanged at -1 for BO1 and -2 for BO3), which mirrors the rank advancement in Silver and applies to both Constructed and Limited ranks.

+2 advancement for each win makes moving up the ranked ladder a much more enjoyable prospect. It reminds me of the first iterations of MTG Arena when it wasn’t such a slog, but a lot more fun and achievable. Not that it’s incredibly easy now, but it definitely gives you a lot more incentive to keep trying… and succeeding.

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

A whole bunch of new events join us on top of all the previously announced awesomeness. Let’s dig right in.

Premier Draft

  • New event structure using player draft
  • BO1 matches, lasts until 7 wins or 3 losses
  • Ranked
  • Matchmaking based on a combination of your current record in that draft and your Limited Rank

Traditional Draft Changes

  • Now uses exclusively player draft instead of bot draft
  • Now lasts 3 fixed rounds regardless of record
  • Rewards have changed as a result of the new structure
    • 3 Wins: 3000 gems + 6 packs
    • 2 Wins: 1000 gems + 4 packs
    • 0/1 Win: 1 pack

Draft Entry Token

  • The “Traditional Draft Entry token” is now renamed the “Player Draft Entry token” and can be used for either Premier or Traditional Draft events;
  • Players will receive a complimentary Player Draft Entry token the first time they log in between April 16, 2020 (8 a.m. PT/15:00 UTC) and April 30, 2020 (8 a.m. PT/15:00 UTC);
  • Player Draft Entry Tokens don’t expire.

Workshops

  • Continue weekly, Mondays and Tuesdays;
  • Login each week to check out and play that week’s Workshop preconstructed deck format!

Additional Events

Not a day will go by where you don’t have the opportunity to play something you like on Arena. Quarantine is bad enough, so it’s good to see cool events to focus on and keep your mind off things. Don’t forget to check out our calendar (linked above) for all the details on what’s going on, what’s coming up, and (if you’re curious) what’s passed!

Store

As always, the inventory keeps rotating in the Arena Store. Let’s see what’s going on in this update.

Now Available

  • Ikoria: Lair of Behemoth packs are now in the store!
  • Bonus Godzilla Series Monster card styles come with the 6 Pack, 15 Pack, 45 Pack, and 90 Pack bundles for Ikoria only. Available until May 21, 2020.
  • Godzilla, King of Monsters is the Buy-a-Box card with the 45 and 90 Ikoria Pack. This card will be available after May 21, 2020.

Daily Deals

  • You’ll see some new types of offers showing up in Daily Deals!
  • Booster deals? Booster deals (and some other surprises too…).

Bundles

Triome Showcase Style Bundle

  • Costs: 2,000 gems or 10,000 gold.

Well, looks like the inventory is fully stocked on everything your IKO heart desires.

Card Styles

Seriously, there are so many new card styles available that it’s easier to head to the patch notes and take a look there. Here’s a hint: they’re fun, fantastic, and plentiful! But, before you do, keep on reading, there’s just a little bit more for you to discover.

Bug Fixes

Wizards hasn’t been sitting still, so they’ve also tackled a bunch of bug fixes for us. Here they are:

  • Previously, if both players had seen the top card of a library using different methods, it wouldn’t show the owner the “this has been revealed” eye—now it does;
  • The UX logic for Agonizing Remorse has been modified so that it shows the opponent’s hand even if there are no valid targets in it;
  • Previously revealed cards placed face down by Atris will now be face down in the resulting pile instead of being revealed;
  • Blue text has been added to the stack versions of certain cards with conditional effects based on the type of mana spent;
  • The behavior for the Akroan War Chapter 2 mini-card has been cleaned up;
  • Significant updates were made to auto-tap to support Jegantha, the Wellspring;
  • A bug with certain cards (e.g., Run Away Together) where if their type changes before the spell resolves, the spell no longer completes has been fixed;
  • NPE deck unlock quests should now unlock properly and show the correct time until the next unlock;
  • Damage on non-creature permanents should no longer be marked;
  • Using a minus ability on a planeswalker will no longer cause them to respond with their “damage” VO;
  • Auras should no longer visually detach before going to the graveyard when the card they were attached to is removed;
  • “Name a Card” browsers can now correctly search for cards with hyphens in them.

Such a sweet sight when digital bugs get squashed. Keep up the good work over there, WotC.

Community Commentary

There have been a lot of positive and exciting responses for this update on the Reddit thread for these patch notes. Ikoria is lightening our monster appetites and the Godzilla card styles will be in hot demand. Plus, everybody will be hanging out in Platinum now that it’s so “easy” to move through Gold. At least we’re all together enjoying that Platinum view. Not such a bad deal.

All in all, a very positive view of this update and I couldn’t agree more. Wizards implemented a lot of cool new stuff and we can all reap those sweet rewards.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself. And if you have an experience with the new update you’d like to share, you might as well join the club and leave a comment. That is all for this grand update adventure. See you next time!

April 2: 1.06.01.00 Game Update

MTG Arena April 2 1.06.01.00 game update

To read the full official game update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths is almost upon us! In preparation for what promises to be a beast of a set, MTG Arena has been updated to enable you to pre-order the set in a couple of attractive bundles. The product will become available on the client on April 16, 2020. Let’s go over the patch notes for this update and see what they’re all about.

Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths

For those of you who hadn’t noticed yet, spoiler season for Ikoria has begun! You can follow all the latest releases in our catch-all Ikoria piece. Go check it out and see what the set has to offer including mechanics, rules, and, of course, spoilers!

MTG Arena Ikoria Bundles

There are three Ikoria bundles available for pre-order in the Arena store. Let’s look at all of them and see what they have to offer:

MTG Arena Ikoria Lair of Behemoths prerelease bundles

The bundle prices are the same as with previous sets, as are their contents.

The Vivien bundle is a nice way to get into the set and open a bunch of packs, which will increase your collection as well as your Wildcard Track progress.

If you want to experience how Ikoria works in a draft, however, it’s better to invest in drafting the set as much as possible when it’s released on MTG Arena on April 16. This will give you a better understanding of how the cards work. If that’s your goal, then drafting is the way to go.

The Lukka bundle is great if you’re already planning on getting a mastery pass. This includes a couple fun perks like card styles, sleeves, and Sealed tokens. The best perk, in my opinion, is getting the Azizi pet for free as a bonus when you buy both bundles. If you’re into growing your collection, jamming the Mastery set, and MTG Arena pets, then this your best bet.

Bug Fixes

With this update, WotC also addressed a couple of small bugs. These include:

  • Users with only Historic decks in their collection will now be able to join the Play queue;
  • Quest and win progress should no longer incorrectly appear on pages other than the Home Page;
  • The “Play Audio While Minimized” option now functions as intended.

Short but sweet. Any bugs fixed benefit the game, so the more they fix in general the better even if it’s only a few this time around.

Be sure to let Wizards know if you’re experiencing bugs yourself.

Community Commentary

In the Reddit thread for these patch notes, people are particularly happy with the “Play Audio While Minimized” bug fix. There’s also a breakdown of how cost-efficient it is to buy the Ikoria bundles, which is always great to read up on if you’re thinking of purchasing them.

If you want to get in on the action, feel free to head on over to the thread and comment your opinions of the bundles and bug fixes. You can also leave a comment here, of course!

March 25: 1.06.00.02 Game Update

MTG Arena Mar 25 1.06.00.02 game update notes screenshot

To read the official game update notes, head on over here.

  • Added FNM Home events to MTG Arena.
  • For more information, click here.

If you are seeing a white background when previewing the event, please restart your client to download the latest game update.

WotC COVID-19 response banner

March 12: 1.06.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Mar 12 1.06.00.00 game update notes screenshot

To read the full official game update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

There’s a new update for MTG Arena and some cool new features have been added! Chief among them are Historic Anthology 2, direct messaging (finally), and a whole new “New Player Experience”. But I think you’ll be most excited about the new Puppet Jace pet that is available in the store right now. Let’s run through the most important features of the update and, as always, give some feedback as well.

Historic Anthology II

MTG Arena Anthology II cards

The second Historic Anthology has arrived on Arena with 25 new cards included, and what a fine selection it is. You can purchase this play set (which includes four copies of all 25 cards) for 25,000 gold or 4,000 gems. Wanna see what exactly is in this new Anthology? Check it out!

If you’re not looking to drop that much coin on the whole set, though, you can also craft these cards with a 1:1 exchange rate. Keep in mind that Historic cards are only playable in Historic formats. However, playing Historic will earn you progress and daily/weekly win rewards until April’s game update, so maybe it’s time to try it out!

Whenever new cards are added to MTG Arena, we get that much closer to being able to play IRL formats like Pioneer or Modern. I think this could be a step in the right direction in increasing Arena’s popularity. For now, we can only speculate if Wizards will ever get to that point, but one can always hope.

What I am very pleased to see is that you can use gold or gems to purchase the entire Anthology II. This way you can get everything you need in one go, whether you prefer the clink of gold pieces or the clatter of hard gems. If you’re looking for specific cards, though, you’re better off using Wildcards to get them. instead of spending all your hard-earned in-game currency on the whole lot for just a piece of the pie.

Social

MTG Arena message function

On the social front, MTG Arena is getting two major additions:

  • Direct messaging
    • Send direct messages to your friends
    • New hotkeys for direct messaging
      • Tab to cycle between messages
      • Esc to close the chat window
  • Online Presence
    • You can now set your status to “Busy” and “Offline”
      • Busy disables notifications. You’re still online and able to receive messages and friend requests, but no notification will show up
      • Offline signs you out of the MTGA social features. You don’t appear online, can’t receive messages or new friend requests, and can’t see those already in your friends list.

In addition, you’ll also earn quest progress by playing with friends until the April game update! Unfortunately, this doesn’t include daily or weekly win rewards, just the quests.

These new features are welcome additions to the Friends List that WotC hastily added to Arena in December 2019 and will no doubt help improve the feature’s practical use. Being able to communicate with your friends is one of the most fun aspects of Magic, after all.

You might be wondering why Wizards didn’t just wait until they could put out a fully functioning friends list in the first place to save themselves the hassle of dealing with all the flak they got for putting out a not-really-finished one. Whatever the reason, you can now talk to your friends and get that playful banter going!

Historic

There is an update to the Banned and Suspended lists for Historic:

You’ll receive Wildcards of the appropriate rarity for the banned cards if you hadn’t back when they were banned in Standard. Also, you can still use the cards in Bot Match and Direct Challenges with your friends.

The Historic Ranked season will be available in BO1 and BO3 until the April game update.

The Oko, Once Upon A Time, and Veil of Summer bannings will surprise nobody with their track records, so it’s only for the best to see them banned in Historic too. The unsuspension of Field of the Dead surprised me a little bit, though. We’ve got a couple options to deal with it in the new Anthology, but is Ghost Quarter and Goblin Ruinblaster really enough? Let me know your thoughts in the comments down there.

Color Challenges

MTG Arena Color Challenges

The New Player Experience (NPE) has been updated and now features Color Challenges instead of the Account Mastery it previously sported. Each Color Challenge will cover the basics of the five colors of MTG, and new players will be able to unlock additional rewards by completing these challenges.

As more sets are released on MTG Arena, the NPE will keep moving with these sets. The challenge in this lies that you want to teach new players about both Magic in general and get them excited for the newest set. With this new addition, you have a great jumping-off point for new players to get familiar with MTG. Personally, I like getting to know Magic through challenges like these and I’m sure you newer players will enjoy this as well.

Brawl

In Brawl, we’ve also seen a new banned card Golos, Tireless Pilgrim. It’s important to know that you won’t be receiving any Wildcards in exchange for any Golos’ you own for this ban.

The Brawl Guildhall will also be returning to MTG Arena with Bladewing the Risen as the new reward. Check out our current events calendar for more details.

More activity on Brawl is always a good thing and will hopefully drive Wizards to make it available all the time (for free) instead of one day a week. For now, you’re going to have to make do with new bans and a new Guildhall.

General

There have been some more general changes. Amongst them are:

Updated Card Sleeve UX

MTG Arena card sleeve UX
  • Card sleeves now appear full page with vertical scroll
  • You can now select a default sleeve for new decks, which will also replace default sleeves in your already-made decks

Deck Sorting

  • Favorite and last-played decks are now stored server-side, consistent throughout all machines you play on
  • Deck displays are now split between valid and invalid decks for each event you’re playing

Gameplay

MTG Arena gameplay warning options
  • You can now enable and disable gameplay warnings
  • The “select deck” screen is broken up into two groups

Cards

  • Cards that deal damage based on Toughness now use the term “backbone”
  • Cards that can assign damage as if they’d not been blocked now use the term “unstoppable”
  • More cards now use a “soft confirm” (“Activate Ability” button appears when you click on the card)
  • More cards now identify if they will be destroyed or exiled at end of turn

Lots of great general changes that improve overall gameplay and UX have been added to MTGA this time around. I don’t know about you, but the deck sorting updated being stored server-side and available on “all machines” sounds like they’re gearing up for MTG Arena top finally cross over to other platforms. We know mobile should be coming this year, so let’s cross our fingers for that one sooner rather than later, shall we?

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

The Festival of the Gods is concluding with two events left. Hopefully you enjoyed these as much as I have and are excited to play these last two challenges with arguably the most popular of all the gods, Erebos and Thassa. After that, we’re slowly but surely creeping toward the new plane of Ikoria. So, let’s enjoy this last stay with the gods while we can.

The Workshop series will be back in March kicking off with a Historic event, and each Workshop will now feature a new “grab-bag” style reward.

MTG Arena Workshop Heirlooms of History event screen

Ranked draft is still rotating and will feature a non-Standard set at the end of March before cycling back to Theros in April.

Two new Historic events are coming at the end of March and then continuing into April, starting with Pauper and then heading into a Traditional Historic Challenge.

Cube Sealed is coming to Arena, with Wizards mentioned they’re looking at implementing Cube Draft (which means 8-person pod drafting needs to come to the client!) in their March state of the game. We’ll see more details on Cube Sealed in the following weeks, but with the screenshot we can see the rewards include cards, gold, and gems in you can scrape up five wins.

MTG Arena Cube Sealed event screen

Lots of great events to join and look forward to in the upcoming month, especially the Cube Sealed. You won’t be the only one who’s excited to learn more about what this event entails! There’s a little wait before that, though hopefully not too long. Luckily there are a ton of great events to keep you occupied until then!

Store

New items have been added to the store, here’s what’s available right now:

There are also 50 new card styles available. Oh, and here’s what’s leaving soon:

  • Drawn to Power bundle
  • Beyond the Grave bundle
  • Historic Anthology I

Lots of wonderful new products for you to peruse. The Jace Puppet pet seems like an instant classic, a strike for gold. There will be many, perhaps yourself included, that will gladly snag up this cool little pet. Get it while the gettin’ is good, they say!

Bug Fixes

As always, a bunch more bug fixes have been implemented in MTG Arena that will help fluency issues and in-game experience.

Community Commentary

On the accompanying Reddit thread for this update, it’s generally received positive feedback. The new keywords, backbone and unstoppable, have got people speculating about the possible new keyword(s) that will be featured in Ikoria.

On the other hand, there’s also talk about the weird choice of M19 as the ranked draft, and the option to enable and disable gameplay warnings not covering enough of the warnings. Especially interactions with Witch’s Oven and Cauldron Familiar.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself. And if you have an experience with the new update you’d like to share, you might as well join the club and leave a comment. That’s all for now!

February 20: 1.05.02.00 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena Feb 20 1.05.02.00 bug fix notes

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

Bug Fix

Following a nice few days without any serious mishaps on Arena, players were suddenly faced with a couple of bugs. Among them are:

  • Various changes to the THB bot priority
  • The Gitrog Monster is now playable in Traditional Historic events
  • The #FindYourChampion Trophy pet has been restored both for players who had already redeemed their code and for those who had yet to do so

These are a handful of great changes. Things that have to do with gameplay and prizes/redeemed items are especially good to keep a finger on. I’m sure you can imagine (if you don’t know firsthand) how frustrating it is when you’re trying to redeem something or have won something and it doesn’t show up or even disappears. Especially when you’ve paid for it.

Community Commentary

While there isn’t a specific Reddit thread on this, there were some complaints on the disappearance of the trophy pet.

February 11: Tutor Effects Hotfix

MTG Feb 11 Tutor Effects Fix patch notes

To read the official incident report, head on over here.

Bugfix

Following the February 11 game update, WotC reported that they were investigating a bug that prevented players from using “Wish” effects. The problem was quickly identified as having to do with split/adventure cards. The next day, Wizards reported that they fixed the problem urging players to run an update to resolve it.

It’s great to see a problem arise and then get swiftly picked up and dealt with by the Arena team. The bug was gone in a pretty short amount of time and everybody that played a “Wish” style deck could return to the fun of wishing their sideboard cards into their hands.

Community Commentary

As always, we checked Reddit⁠—this is listed about halfway down the Feb 11 – 1.05.00 Game Update—and found a number of players had encountered this issue. This sometimes evolved into awkward yet funny moments where players had to “fail-to-find” their “Wish” effects, so to speak, while others lamented having lost gold due to the bug. If you had any trouble related to this bug yourself, we recommend reporting it to WotC.

February 11: 1.05.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Feb 11 1.05.00 Game Update patch notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

Another big update, this time with the World Championship and new events being added alongside a slew of other updates. Let’s run through the most important features and provide some feedback as well.

General

WotC made some general gameplay and card changes, including:

  • The confirm for self-sacrifice permanents;
  • The hangar for defenders who can attack as if they didn’t have defender;
  • The display of modified costs for cards that allow you to pay mana as if it was any color;
  • Auto-tap;
  • Thassa’s Oracle displays a message similar to scry;
  • Medomai’s Prophecy named cards now show up on mouse-over;
  • Dreadful Apathy now works on cards that have stopped being creatures;
  • No more Nightmare Forests because of Nightmare Shepherd’s ability.

These and the other fixes named are all functional updates that allow the game to be played correctly with the right interactions between cards and their text. This is pretty important as accurate interactions on a platform like MTG Arena can help teach new players about the exact ways a spell and its effects work, which definitely benefits them in paper Magic.

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

The new Ranked Draft schedule was revealed and the World’s XXVI Showcase was added.

MTG Arena Worlds XXVI showcase event

Wizards added the Festival of the Gods as well, a series of events where each is associated with a god and awards showcase constellation styles for cards in that festival’s color.

MTG Arena festival fires of purphoros event

New Workshop events were announced where you follow Feldon as he shows you what he’s been tinkering with in his workshop. You’ll use pre-constructed decks in these events.

MTG Arena workshop heroes of theros event

The Brawler’s Guildhall event was restarted, and you can now win The Gitrog Monster on your first win.

MTG Arena brawlers guildhall event

A few more exciting events for you to play is never a bad thing, in our opinion, and these new additions will give you plenty of new games to enjoy. We’re especially excited about the World’s XXVI Showcase event and are interested in how many of you will be playing with the player’s decks as you watch coverage of Magic’s greatest stage.

We’re less excited about the Brawlers’ Guildhall. Still only playable for free on Wednesdays and the all-the-time paid version offering just a card that you can get in exchange for a Wildcard is just a feel-bad all around. If this was available all week with actually awesome rewards, we’d be the first to Brawl as we’re sure you would be too. It’s a fun format that deserves more time in the spotlight.

Store

A new feature was added in the store called Daily Deals. As the name suggests, there are deals everyday for you to get some awesome discounts on card styles, avatars, and more!

MTG Arena daily deals

New products are also available:

  • Drawn to Power Bundle
  • Beyond the Grave Bundle
  • Nyx Land Bundles
  • Secret Lair Drop Sleeves
  • Pets
  • Card Styles

To make room, a couple of products will be leaving soon:

  • Kunoros Pet
  • Dragon Whelp Pet
  • Escapist Bundle
  • Epic Enchantment Bundle
  • Historic Anthology 1

Changes to the store are going to keep on happening, as new sets mean new products and special items for you to get your hands on, and this update is no exception. The Daily Deals pique our interest the most and are great for players who like pimping their decks with cool card styles and other cosmetic items at a discount. Although we wouldn’t hate it if they actually added cool cards or packs on there for a fun discount every now and then, but whether or not that will happen…

Additional bug fixes

Wizards has implemented a few more bug fixes for our playing pleasure:

  • Permanents attached to other permanents now highlight correctly when they’re being destroyed, even if they are in a stack;
  • The level 30 Mastery Pass reward now correctly lists a traditional draft token;
  • Sometimes lands weren’t stacking correctly. Now they are!

The more bugs that are fixed, the better. You never want to see something unexpected when you’re playing a game online, especially if it negatively affects you. Although some bugs can occasionally be hilarious in their own right, if your game is bug-ridden and you’re not amused, be sure to report your bugs.

Known Issues

There are still some known issues that WotC is dealing with, so make sure to read the patch notes if you’re wondering whether to make a bug report or not. You’ll find several known issues in the notes, with cards and in the store.

You sometimes get the idea that Wizards has no idea what is going on with the products they put out, so it’s smart of them to keep pointing out that they aren’t just sitting around and are actively working on fixing things. Their trend of letting us know what they’ve already discovered in these MTG Arena updates is smart and we for one encourage them to keep doing it.

Community Commentary

The responses from you, the community, have been fairly positive. A lot of people are talking about liking the The Gitrog Monster for Brawl. The Daily Deals have also been well received, because who doesn’t like a sweet deal? You can check out the Reddit thread for yourself and see what people are talking about. And if you have an experience with the new update you’d like to share, feel free to leave a comment.

Someone in the thread did note that there is a switch in how Thought Erasure and Agonizing Remorse show you the opponent’s hand. It’s now just their hand that gets revealed upside down instead of a browser that showed you the opponent’s hand, so be aware of that one when playing those cards.

January 30: 1.04.01.00 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena Jan 30 1.04.01.00 bug fix notes

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

  • All players should have access to Theros: Beyond Death basic lands
    • Note: This only refers to the regular basic lands. The Nyx basic lands will be available to all players at a later date.
    • If you do not see the Theros: Beyond Death basic lands in your collection, please contact support for further assistance.
  • Players who redeem codes from the Ashiok and/or Elspeth Planeswalker decks no longer incorrectly receive Nyx basic lands as part of the in-game deck.
    • Note: Developer error in their favor; players who incorrectly received the Nyx basic lands will still have them in their collection.
  • Various updates to the Theros: Beyond Death draft bots.

This was a data only deployment. There is no downtime associated with this patch, and no update is required.

Known Issues

The Theros Mastery System incorrectly shows a Ranked Draft Entry as part of the Level 30 Mastery Pass reward. Players receive a Traditional Draft (best-of-three) Draft Entry.

January 21: 1.04.00.03 Hotfix

MTG Arena Jan 21 1.04.00.03 hotfix

To read the official hotfix notes, head on over here.

  • Fixed an issue where player logs were being kept indefinitely.
    • When you update to the latest client, any existing logs will be automatically deleted.
    • Going forward, MTG Arena will automatically delete logs older than three days when the game is launched.

There is no downtime associated with this patch. Magic: The Gathering Arena will automatically update the next time the game is launched.

Known Issues

  • Some players do not have access to the Theros Beyond Death basic lands.
    • UPDATE: We are beginning to resolve this issue for impacted players. All players should have access to the Theros Beyond Death basic lands by early next week.
    • NOTE: This is reference to the normal basic lands. We’ll have more information on how all players can obtain the full-art Nyx basic lands and other showcase card styles in a future update.

January 16: 1.04.00.01 Hotfix

MTG Arena Jan 16 1.04.00.01 hotfix

To read the official hotfix notes, head on over here.

Hotfix

Not long after the January 16 update, a hotfix was needed due to increasing network errors. The errors caused a lot of players to get disconnected from the game or see a black screen when launching Arena. The hotfix resolved this issue with Wizards stating that they would continue to monitor the situation.

It’s obviously a big concern when your audience can’t get to the product that you’re offering them, so WotC quickly jumped on this to fix the problem.

Community Commentary

On Reddit, the hotfix went by without too many people commenting on it. Maybe Wizards was quick on the draw with this one and not a lot of people had a chance to encounter the problem, which is always a good thing. There was one question about possible compensation for people who lost games because of the disconnections.

The advice was to open a ticket with WotC support for possible compensation. This, of course, goes for all issues you might run into where you lose games, gems, or gold because of a valid bug. Never hesitate to open a ticket and give Wizards feedback on what happened.

January 16: 1.04.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Jan 16 1.04.00 game update notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

This update set us up for Theros: Beyond Death, with all cards being added MTG Arena. Next to that, it also updated the new Set Mastery and Mastery Pass, together with new events and improvements to decks and collections. We’ll give you a small recap with feedback below.

MTG Arena theros beyond death poster

Set Mechanics

A new set means new mechanics and Wizards listed the THB mechanics as well as a link to see them in action. Here’s what you’ll be encountering on this trip to Theros:

  • Escape
  • Devotion
  • Constellation

If this is your first time visiting Theros then all these mechanics will be new to you. But, for those who have been here before, this is at least a little familiar with the popular mechanics of devotion and constellation making their return. Escape is the new kid on the block. There’ve been a lot of mechanics that deal with the graveyard before and escape seems like a good add-on to what already exists.

There are obvious synergies with self-mill and discard strategies in multiple formats across Magic, making escape something that has a viable life beyond just this set. We feel like this is a big plus. There’s nothing more annoying than new mechanics that really don’t add anything to the story and flavor of Magic (coughenergycough).

Gameplay

  • New cards will be called out in your collection like so:
MTG Arena new card update
  • You can now mark your favorite decks so that they’re easy to find and select:
MTG Arena favorite decks

These are two new functions that are very positive additions to MTGA. We’ve all had that moment when you got new cards but then it took forever to find them, so having them pointed out to you (until you close the game or mouse over them) is really handy.

The same goes for your favorite decks. Especially if you’re a brewer and have a ton of decks in various stages of awesomeness, this feature will be very helpful. Having your favorite decks pop-up right at the top is sweet!

Warning: having too many favorite decks will lead to trouble in this department.

General

They’ve made many changes to general features in the game, including:

  • Enchantments not on their controller’s side now have a hanger identifying the owner;
  • Update to how Auras entering the battlefield without being cast is displayed;
  • Identical triggers will no longer stack when set to manual;
  • An easier-to-use browser when picking between two piles;
  • Full control will disable auto-tap while it’s being used.

In the cosmetics department, they’ve made a rather big change: you can now disable the card styles of cards with alternate art. In their own words:

  • This option is disabled by default;
  • It can only be enabled/disabled during matches;
  • Disabling alternate artwork will disable it everywhere, even when viewing card styles in your own collection.
MTG Arena gameplay artstyle options

These feel like great changes that improve the flow of the game. The multitude of changes surrounding “full control” is especially beneficial and truly gives you more control over what you can do. The cosmetic addition of being able to disable showing a card’s alternate art is also a great add. We’re sure that people are happy that they can have control over which art they see.

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

The new schedule for THB events was released.

Then there’s the introduction of the Brawler’s Guildhall, formerly known as Brawlidays, and it works exactly the same. Talrand, Sky Summoner will be the reward for your first win here.

Standard Treasure has been added as a playable event:

Theros Constructed is also on the menu:

  • Build a constructed deck using cards only available in Theros: Beyond Death
  • If a card appears in sets other than Theros: Beyond Death (e.g., Field of Ruin) you can choose either version of the card to use

Perhaps one of the biggest waits has been the addition of Historic Constructed and Historic Traditional Constructed to MTG Arena, and now they’re here! The fee to play is the same as for Standard and traditional Standard events.

MTG Arena Historic event

There is no denying that Historic Constructed and Historic Traditional Constructed is the real treasure in this update. We’ve all been waiting for this update to be able to play the format in this way, and now you can finally sink your teeth into it.

The THB events are plentiful as well and we’re sure that you can find something you’d want to participate in on there.

Store

Theros is now available in the store as well as a whole slew of card styles, with a few of these on sale. A couple of products will also be leaving the store again, probably due to the limited space of the web.

There are also two new bundles you can purchase:

  • Epic Enchantment Bundle
  • Escapist Bundle

Sweet new products, especially when there is a new set to devour, are always fun times. It’s no wonder THB becoming available in the MTG Arena store is the main feature here and we fully agree that this deserves the spotlight.

Bug Fixes

There’ve been a lot of bug fixes in general, but especially in gameplay. For a full list, we suggest heading over to the official release. As mentioned before, they mostly focused on gameplay which seemed to have a lot of issues over the last few weeks. We’re glad to see that Wizards has tackled many of them.

Known Issues

There are still some known issues that WotC is dealing with, so if you’re wondering whether to make a bug report or not, make sure to read the patch notes to see if it’s already known to Wizards. They describe several issues known to them with cards and gameplay.

Community Commentary

The reactions in the Reddit thread to the changes introduced in this update are positive. Many people are really liking the new cards feature as well as the ability to turn off alternative art. The renaming of the Brawl event was looked down on a little more, and with good reason. The whole format should be more visible if Wizards wants to make this a viable new format to play and get people excited for. This answer to a comment is particularly funny.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself. And if you have an experience with the new update you’d like to share, you might as well join the club and leave a comment.

2019 Patch Notes

December 18: 1.03.00.02 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena Dec 18 1.03.00.02 bug fix notes

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

Bug Fixes

Fixed a bug that could cause players to become stuck on the Victory/Defeat screen after completing a match.

Note: This was a data only deployment. No update is necessary.

December 17: 1.03.00.01 Bug Fixes

MTG Arena Dec 17 1.03.00.01 bug fix notes

To read the official bug fix notes, head on over here.

Bugfix

This bugfix consisted of three parts, one of which was specific to Germany where pre-orders weren’t available yet. A connection fix for BO3-match players was also implemented as well as a fix to the friend challenges.

All very good fixes for those encountering these problems Especially connectivity problems, which are always high on the frustration list. We’re glad that Wizards was on the case.

Community Commentary

People on the Reddit thread are reacting well to the bug fixes, especially the connectivity and friend request bugs being resolved. Someone did mention that they still couldn’t enter the store, though. Sadly, no further info on whether this was eventually fixed was available.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself. If you have an experience you’d like to share, go right ahead and leave a comment.

December 12: 1.03.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Dec 12 1.03.00 game update notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

The most important things in this update are the changes made to social interactions on Arena as well as the pre-orders for Theros: Beyond Death becoming available. Feel free to read the official release, but we’ll be giving you a small summary with feedback below.

Social

The ability to add your friends has arrived in Arena, finally! If you’re interested in the roller coaster that was this social feature, check out our article on the topic.

MTG Arena send friend request screen

The following features and topics were touched on for this release:

  • Send friend requests
  • Accept friend requests
  • Reject friend requests
  • Block friends
  • How to use your friends list
  • The known issues

This seems like a really great addition to Arena, especially because it’s something we as a community have been asking for from the get-go. We’ll be holding our breath with this one though because it all feels a little bit rushed after they previously announced the friends list would be delayed (twice). So, there’s a bit of trepidation on our part that it probably needs a bit more work to enjoy it the way we’d like.

Gameplay

The first thing mentioned is an addition to the deck builder to make it easier to sort your decks. Just some basic filtering functions and a search option, but still very useful.

Before:

MTG Arena deck sorting old version

After:

MTG Arena deck sorting update

For the Historic format, Wizards is suspending four cards that are warping the meta in undesirable ways:

Rhys the Redeemed is now available for the Historic format and will also be legal for Brawl.

There have of course been some general changes, and these include:

  • An automatic stop before declaring attackers in case you have a spell that lets defenders attack;
  • When you can search your opponent’s hand and graveyard, it defaults to the player’s hand;
  • Cards that have an ability or trigger on the stack are highlighted when browsing graveyards;
  • Daily/Weekly Win objectives now show current progress and total goal (15 wins) with a segmented progress bar.

Old:

MTG Arena daily&weekly wins old version

New:

MTG Arena daily&weekly wins update

Overall, there are useful changes here. Being able to more easily sort your decks is a great new feature and the same goes for the general changes.

The bannings that have been happening across Magic formats has now also arrived at Historic, the only difference being that they’re suspended (see our Historic article for an explanation). For now. It kind of makes it sound as if these cards are maybe OK when they’re clearly not healthy for the format. Just ban them and be done with it, we say!

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

There are still a ton of events happening in this festive month, so let’s take a quick look.

Historic Artisan offers you the chance to play with commons and uncommons only. There’s a couple of additional banned cards for this event:

You’ll be hit with another Standard Shakeup. The format is Standard with additional banned cards.

Next, you’ll get the chance to get better acquainted with Planeswalker Momir. You’ll get a Momir emblem with a deck of lands and selected planeswalkers on MTG Arena to play with for the event.

Then you can test your skills in the Historic Challenge (BO3). The Mythic Invitational Qualifier is also here again where the top players will qualify for the Mythic Invitational.

Quick note: The only way you can enter this event is if you qualified for it.

Even if you didn’t qualify for the Mythic Invitational Qualifier, there are a lot of great events for you to choose from for the remainder of December, and we like it! The variety of choices for you gives more diversity to MTG Arena, which is always great as it leaves you with a ton of picks depending on your mood.

Store

The store also has lots of new things to offer, including:

  • Elspeth Play Bundle
  • Ashiok Pack Bundle
  • Kunoros Pet
  • Avatars
  • Sleeves
  • Card Styles

Because digital storage is limited there’s also a list of things that will be leaving soon as well as a list of things that have already left. Check the full patch notes for all the details.

If you’re a casual player, you don’t need to invest in any of these products as it’s just not worth it money-wise. The cool Planeswalkers you can always get using Wildcards and we’re sure you can live without a pet or fancy sleeves and card styles.

However, if you’re a big fan of any of these styles, sleeves, pets, and bundles you should dig in because they’ll only be available for a limited time. Remember, old products leave the store every time new ones are added.

Bug Fixes

No different than past or future updates there have been more bug fixes to cards, gameplay, and event awards. For a full list, check out the full official patch notes.

Known Issues

There are still some known issues that WotC is dealing with, so if you’re wondering whether to make a bug report or not make sure to read the patch notes to see if it’s already known to Wizards. They describe several issues known to them related to gameplay, cards, and general issues.

Community Commentary

Strangely enough, we couldn’t find a Reddit thread for this update. Maybe Christmas only being two weeks away was too much to handle anything else right now. If you’ve found it, please let us know!

We feel that this update will be generally disliked, though, because of the Friends List feature.

Of course, there are good things in this update with lots of fixes and sweet new features that will be helpful to you as a player and overall enjoyment of MTG Arena, let’s focus on that and end the year on a high note.

November 26: 1.02.01.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Nov 26 1.02.01.00 game update notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

This relatively small update introduces Dragon Whelp as a pet on MTG Arena as well as a couple of bug fixes and a list of known issues to round out the patch notes. Let’s walk you through it.

Store

Dragon Whelp will now be available as a pet that accompanies you on the Arena battlefield. This little guy is inspired by the card of the same name from MTG’s first set and will be available for purchase in the store for 20,000 gold or 3,000 gems.

Flashbacks on the history of Magic is always a sure thing to entice players. Everybody loves a nod to a time when the game was new, and nobody knew what the impact of it would be in years to come. We very much like that you can purchase the pet for currencies in the store and not have to get the Mastery Pass to own it.

Bug Fixes

As we mentioned before, for a small update they found time to deal with a decent number of bugs:

  • Players should no longer receive a “Network Error: Deck Validation failed.” message when submitting a deck with Mirage basic lands;
  • Food tokens can no longer be sacrificed to pay multiple costs;
  • The auto-tapper correctly takes into consideration mana filtering abilities that require you to sacrifice a permanent when determining whether you can cast a card;
  • Players who disconnect and reconnect during a BO3 match can properly sideboard in-between games;
  • Historic cards now display properly when sideboarding in Direct Challenge matches.

The more bugs fixed, the better it is for you and for the game. We like that Wizards is so dedicated to continually deal with issues on MTG Arena. Keep it up, we say!

Known Issues

There are still some known issues that WotC is dealing with, so if you’re wondering whether to make a bug report or not make sure to read the patch notes to see if it’s already known to Wizards. They describe several issues known to them with sleeves, cards, and gameplay.

Community Commentary

As always, we headed over to the Reddit thread to see what the community’s saying and it looks like most people enjoy the update. The pet especially got a lot of attention with most people liking it.

There are a couple of mentions about still-active bugs. Let’s hope the guys and gals at Wizards can come around and fix these problems, too.

November 21: 1.02.00.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Nov 21 1.02.00.00 game update notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

This update is driven by the introduction of Historic Anthology, its launch event, and its ranked BO3 queue. There are also a few performance improvements as well as the implementation of the Standard bannings of Oko, Thief of Crowns, Once Upon a Time, and Veil of Summer.

Social

The promised Friends List has been delayed.

Sometimes you wonder how a company that does so many good things can do so many wrong things. From difficulties launching MTGA on multiple platforms to choices of cards for a set, they drop the ball sometimes. Sadly, this is another one of those instances where it’s impossible to understand why this couldn’t come to fruition. Of course, we’d rather have a great result than a mediocre one, but still, you end up wondering “how hard can it be?”.

Gameplay

Historic is here, and Wizards is letting you know. Everything from its inception to card choices is explained in their official release. You can now play BO3 for this format until January 15th on Arena.

In Standard, the world is becoming a lot more pleasant and fun to play with the banning of Oko, Thief of Crowns, Once Upon a Time, and Veil of Summer. They go on to explain what this entails for you as a player and how to go about it if you still want to craft these cards as well as that you can no longer receive them as ICRs.

They’ve made a lot of general fixes as well as a couple of performance and stability improvements. The entire list can be found in the official patch notes.

All in all, good changes and fixes throughout the field here. Historic will have a lot of people excited and we can imagine you are as well. It’s always fun to have older cards enter a place where you can still use them and play with them. Sigh, if only there was a paper format that did that…

The bannings just had to happen, it’s a good call from Wizards. These cards were destroying formats and making play very unfun. It was truly join them or JOIN THEM. Now we know what it was like when Jace, the Mind Sculptor was legal in Standard. Although we still sometimes dream about that but don’t tell anybody.

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

MTG Arena is starting things off with the Historic Anthology Event. Then there’s also a Historic Pauper event. After that, you can set your sights on playing Ten Life Draft.

A variety of fun events for you to play here and we’re excited! Being able to get cracking with the new Historic format is a great start of the festive season. All events are nicely put back to back so that you always have something fun to look forward to but can stay focused on the event at hand. Pauper is already a fun format IRL and mixing it up with Historic for MTG Arena is a smart move as well. Are you wondering what kind of decks are available to you in Pauper? We’ve got you covered.

Store

The Historic Anthology 1 Bundle. It costs 3,400 gems and the cards included are:

Soul WardenKinsbaile CavalierBurning-Tree Emissary
Distant MelodyHypnotic SpecterSerra Ascendant
Treasure HuntImperious PerfectHidetsugu’s Second Rite
Tendrils of CorruptionCryptbreakerOrnithopter
Goblin MatronFauna ShamanPhyrexian Arena
Kiln FiendDarksteel ReactorMind Stone
Elvish VisionaryCaptain Sisay

There are also six other bundles available at different price points with different contents:

  • Court Knights Bundle
  • Adventures Abound Bundle
  • Animated Armory Bundle
  • Familiar Faces Bundle
  • Aggressive Negotiations Bundle
  • Uncovered Artifacts Bundle

Feel free to check out the official release to see how these are built up. While there you can also peruse which products are on sale, what products will be leaving soon, and what products are no longer available in the store.

There are a lot of products to wrap your head around this time and they all seem to tie into the star of the show: Historic. Every one of the products refers to it in some form and we think this is really smart. This lets you know that they are proud of this format and are pushing it in a big way, nothing wrong with that. You are the master of your wallet, so you can decide for yourself whether any of them are a must-have.

Bug Fixes

The bug fixes focussed on cards and gameplay, for a complete list check out the patch notes.

WotC is doing a great job once again of staying on top of issues. Yes, there will always be more bugs, but you’ve got to give credit where credit is due.

Known Issues

There are still some known issues that WotC is dealing with, so if you’re wondering whether to make a bug report or not make sure to read the patch notes to see if it’s already known to Wizards. They describe several issues known to them related to gameplay, cards, and the store.

Community Commentary

There are a few mixed emotions about this update on Reddit. Overall people are excited about Historic and Pauper, though. Most of the negative talk is about bugs, which is something you’ll always have to deal with in really any digital game.

Feel free to head on over to the thread and read what people have to say for yourself. If you’ve had an experience with the new update and you’d like to share it you’ll be in the right place for that, too.

November 18: 1.01.00.04 Ban Update

MTG Arena Nov 18 1.01.00.04 ban notes

To read the official ban update notes, head on over here.

This is a very small update that deals with new cards being banned in Standard. Oh no, which ones could they be! Just look below and find out.

Gameplay

Oko, Thief of Crowns, Once Upon a Time, and Veil of Summer are now banned in Standard on MTG Arena.

Good call, Wizards.

Community Commentary

We couldn’t locate a Reddit thread for this update. Everybody was probably so shocked by this banning that creating a thread was completely forgotten about. If there is one out there, please let us know.

It is, of course, a well-known fact that everybody was glad to see these cards go. Will there be any format left where these cards will be left legal? Let us know your thoughts.

November 7: 1.01.00.03 Hotfix

MTG Arena Nov 7 1.01.00.03 hotfix notes

To read the official hotfix notes, head on over here.

Bug Fixes

  • Players should no longer experience lag/gameplay delays while playing Magic: The Gathering Arena
  • Due to the downtime caused by this hotfix, we have extended the Omniscience draft event until Monday, November 11 at 8 a.m. PT (16:00 UTC).

November 5: 1.01.00.02 Ban Update

MTG Arena Nov 5 1.01.00.02 ban update notes

To read the official ban notes, head on over here.

Gameplay

Brawl

  • Oko, Thief of Crowns is now banned in Brawl on MTG Arena.
    • This includes using Oko, Thief of Crowns as your commander or as part of your deck.
    • General Reminder: Direct Challenge matches (outside of Tournament Mode) does not enforce card bans.

October 24: 1.01.00.01 Hotfix

MTG Arena Oct 24 1.01.00.01 hotfix notes

To read the official hotfix notes, head on over here.

Bug Fixes

  • Players using a non-English language should no longer experience infrequent disconnects
  • The Play button should now work if players had selected a Historic deck while on the Standard deck selection page
  • Players no longer need to change match settings to select a Historic deck in Direct Challenge
  • Players can now change their Brawl decks after finishing a Brawl Direct Challenge match

October 24: 1.01.00 Game Update

MTG Arena Oct 24 1.01.00 game update notes

To read the full official update notes, head on over here.

Highlights

This is the first major update after the official release of MTG Arena on the December 26th. It tackles a lot of things, including:

  • Brawl Launch Event
  • Throne of Eldraine Showcase card styles
  • Festival of the Fae and new events
  • Extra Life Event: a charity event with special items

Come with us while we walk you through the most important features of the article and provide some feedback as well.

Gameplay

Brawl has come to MTG Arena!

The three most important things you need to know before you start playing are these:

  • Sorcerous Spyglass is currently banned in Brawl;
  • Brawl will be available as a play queue every Wednesday;
  • Direct Challenge now supports Brawl.

There are a lot of general fixes this time, check out the full patch notes if you’re curious. While you’re there you can read all about Field of the Dead being banned as well as auto-tap now being able to utilize more cards with mana abilities.

Brawl coming to Arena is the star here, and something people have been asking for for a long time. We’re sure you’re happy to see it make its grand appearance, just like we are. Well, we say “grand”… Only on Wednesdays, though.

And that is a major hurdle for all this. Why aren’t you able to play this at your leisure anytime you want? Isn’t that what an online client that’s always available is for? We’re confused with this decision and hope WotC will revise the availability quickly so you can play anytime you feel like it.

The banning of Field of the Dead is something that has been looming for a while and we’re glad it finally happened.

Events

Check out our Calendar for full details

There are a lot of events planned and we’ll be giving you a summary of what you can expect to see in the upcoming weeks.

  • The Brawl Launch Event
  • Festival of the Fae, including:
    • Artisan
    • Oko’s Madness
    • Cascade
  • Wednesday Brawl

There’s a lot of sweet action coming your way and they’re all about Brawl and Throne of Eldraine, which is exactly what we like to see when they offer new products for you to play with.

Extra Life

Extra Life is a fundraiser for Seattle Children’s Hospital. This year Wizards is hoping to raise more money than ever before and they’re doing this by releasing dedicated product, a creator campaign, Extra Life streams, and auctions for uncut sheets. The products they’re talking about are:

  • Ponies: The Galloping and Extra Life sleeves
  • Uncut sheets of Magic: The Gathering cards
  • Ponies: The Galloping Card Set, containing 3 limited edition My Little Pony MTG cards

Doing something for charity is always a good thing and Wizards showing that they want to support the Seattle Children’s Hospital just warms our hearts. If you want to help support the cause, make sure to purchase these products while they’re still available.

Esports

The Mythic Championship Qualifier launches again this weekend and all players who qualified should be able to see the event in-game. If you don’t but feel like you should’ve qualified, make sure to contact support.

For those of you who are grinding games trying to get into a qualifier, we wish you all the best! For you lucky ones that will be playing in this Mythic Championship Qualifier, good luck!

Direct Challenge

With this update, Direct Challenge will no longer be able to go through Discord.

This is a “sweet” little message, but what does it mean? Sadly, they don’t tell us the correct way you can directly challenge someone, or otherwise why they “deprecated”, as they literally put it, the use of Discord to enable this. Hopefully, WotC will tell us more about this decision and how you can circumvent it.

Store

There are a couple of fine new products coming to the store, so be sure to check them out when you’re logged into MTG Arena again. For now, here’s a list of what’s available:

  • Extra Life charity items
  • Showcase Bundles
  • Standard 2020 Bundle
  • Brawl Commander card styles

There’s also a list of items that will be leaving soon as well as items that are no longer available.

The store is an ever-moving revolving door of products and some of these are worth paying money for—We’re looking at you, Extra Life. So, if you’re feeling generous, drop some money for a good cause or spend it on something blingy like the Brawl Commander card styles.

Bug Fixes

There are a whole ton of fixes that WotC has made to Arena, though this time they’ve focused on stability and performance issues.

Not a big surprise that they’re focusing on the former two. Arena has been officially live for almost a month now and we’re sure that there are a lot of hiccups they’ve had to deal with in that period. Good to see them staying on top of things and patching up bugs left and right.

Painsmith MTG card art by Eric Deschamps

Painsmith | Illustration by Eric Deschamps

Update Complete

That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed the article and are now up to date on everything bug and patch related and well equipped to squash those pesky problems!

Borderland Marauder MTG card art by Scott M. Fischer

Borderland Marauder | Illustration by Scott M. Fischer

4 Comments

  • Chris April 1, 2020 10:45 pm

    While I have to admire the time that was spent on this guide, it really makes me question why I would want to install this game if I have to read a novel to fix problems?

    • Dan Troha April 2, 2020 3:00 pm

      Chris – not required to play the game! This is just a collection of everything that Wizards of the Coast has released in the past 6 months so you can see a log of what’s changed in the program.

  • mattk June 26, 2021 8:22 pm

    there is a glitch where if you have vorinclex and a planeswalker and you +1 the planeswalker, it adds 2 loyalty instead of only 1. seems like not a glitch but a programmer didn’t know the rules of the game very well.

    • Dan Troha June 28, 2021 7:45 am

      Not sure if serious? This is Vorinclex’s first static ability.

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