Today Wizards of the Coast announced that it's trying to revitalize the Standard tournament format of Magic: The Gathering.
The announcement explains that the pace at which sets will be rotated out from the format is switching to three years instead of two. This means that there won't be a rotation this year, while in 2024, Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and Streets of New Capenna will be phased out.
The specific goals for the change are as follows:
- This will give current Standard cards more longevity. Time and again, we hear that players want to play with cards they love and enjoy longer. Standard is our only rotating format, and while keeping it fresh is important, we also feel that there's a more effective middle ground.
- It will allow mechanics and archetypes to be more effectively built on over time. As we moved away from the block model, we gained a lot of flexibility, but we also lost some ability to build on mechanics and themes within a set. With a longer window, we can find more opportunities to build up or revitalize archetypes. Coupled with the point above, that can lead to more diversity, longer-lasting archetypes, and enough competitive churn to keep players engaged.
- It also gives us stronger tools to create an environment where decks are more "color(s) and mechanic" (like Green-White Toxic or Blue-White Soldiers) and less midrange. With a larger card pool, the format can handle bigger swings with entire decks seeded at once.
It's worth mentioning that the change will also extend to the video game version Magic: The Gathering Arena, but it won't affect Alchemy which will remain on a two-year rotation for the time being.
This is just the first step aiming to ensure that Standard thrives at local game stores, and WotC is planning a "multistep plan" to support and revitalize the format. These steps are still in the planning phase and will be announced down the line.