New Format and Premier Play Path For Magic: Arena Revealed

Wizards of the Coast have officially revealed that changes will be coming to Magic: Arena. This includes a brand new play format as well as some changes to how the digital Premier Play Path will be handled

Published: April 21, 2022 4:10 PM /


The logo for Magic: Arena with a table of cards in the background

Those familiar with tabletop gaming have at least heard of Magic: The Gathering. It is one of Wizards of the Coast's most popular franchises and one of the most successful trading card games ever produced. It has its own active competitive community, ongoing support with new sets, and has crossed over multiple times with another popular franchise: Dungeons and Dragons. Now, Wizards of the Coast have announced that some changes will be coming to their digital platform, Magic: Arena, which includes a new format as well as some changes to its competitive play.

What Is The New Format Explorer in Magic: Arena?

The first of these announcements came from Wizards' official website. After showcasing various unique mechanics coming to the digital release of the newest set, Streets of New Capenna, Wizards of the Coast mentioned the introduction of the new Explorer format. It is a Constructed, non-rotating "true-to-tabletop" format. It will use the same Constructed queues and events for Standard and will include Best-Of-One and Best-Of-Three in both ranked and unranked play. This is Magic: Arena's version of the physical game's Pioneer format, which encompasses cards from the currently released set all the way back to Return to Ravnica. Explorer format will begin with the same banned list as Pioneer, but due to the game's nature of having digital only card effects, that list is subject to change.

The announcement of this format even confirms the release of a new anthology set. The post states, "cards will be added gradually, starting later this summer with Historic Anthology 6, which will include cards for both Historic and Explorer play." The Explorer format will be available to play April 21.

A visual pyramid of the revised premier play path for Magic Arena
Image Credit: Wizards of the Coast

How Is The Premier Play Path Changing For Magic: Arena?

If you tend to play Magic online competitive, these next announcements are important. Along with revisions to the Magic Pro Tour, the competitive path for Magic: Arena is being changed as well. First, ranked ladders are being re-worked and downplayed going forward. This is to allow more flexible ways for competitive players to find their footing. In addition, payouts at various qualifying events have changed. Qualifier weekends will still be two days of Best-of-Threes in a shared format.

Play well enough on Day 1 and you can win up to 20,000 gems in prizes. Stay in the running to Day 2 and you can qualify for an Arena Championship, and a shot at a $200,000 grand prize. In order to participate in these weekends, you will have to play a Qualifier Play-in Event. This requires an entry fee of either 20,000 Gold, 4,000 Gems, or 20 Play-In Points. Play-In Points are earned by hitting the maximum number of wins in any evergreen Constructed Event or in a Traditional Draft event.

If you have been waiting for your chance to get into the competitive scene of Magic: Arena, start grinding up those resources and look over card lists now while you can. These changes will all go into effect when Streets of New Capenna goes live for the game alongside its physical release on April 29.

Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? Leave a Comment or e-mail us at

a candid selfie of the staff writer, husky build, blond hair, caucasian.
| Staff Writer

Ever since he was small, Tyler Chancey has had a deep, abiding love for video games and a tendency to think and overanalyze everything he enjoyed. This… More about Tyler