MTG Wiki
Advertisement
This page is about the format. For the game term, see Historic.

Historic
DCI Sanctioned
Paper {Cross}
Magic Online {Cross}
Magic Arena {Tick}
Rules
Type Constructed
Multiplayer {Cross}
Add. rules Best-of-one and Best-of-three

Historic is a constructed non-rotating format for Magic: The Gathering Arena that was officially announced by Wizards of the Coast on June 27, 2019.[1][2]

Description[ | ]

Historic was implemented in November 2019, as a format that allows Arena players to make use of cards that are no longer legal in Standard after their rotation.[3] The format is exclusive to Arena, and is intended "to be a fun and casual way [that players] can continue to play with all the cards in [their] collection".[1] Initially Historic was to be the platform's eternal format, on par with paper Magic and Magic Online's Pioneer, Modern, Legacy, and Vintage non-rotating formats. Historic-legal paper sets are those from Ixalan onward, with many cards from earlier sets added at Wizards of the Coast's discretion through digital anthologies and bonus sheets.

As of December 2021, Historic uses rebalanced Alchemy cards instead of original similar-to-paper versions of cards.[4] The change meant the format is now considered a "living format" that can have balance changes applied when Wizards of the Coast sees fit.

The format includes a Historic Play queue (both best-of-one and best-of-three), Direct Challenge, practice matches with Sparky, as well as some rotating events that are not beholden to Standard (such as Pauper, Singleton, etc.).[1]

History[ | ]

The introduction of Historic coincided with the first rotation for MTG Arena, and the release of the fall set of that year, Throne of Eldraine.[1] Before R&D settled on Historic the name used for the rumored format was "Standard Plus".[5] The format was inducted as tournament-sanctioned in Mythic Invitational 2020, and Historic replaced Draft as the second format for major competitive events for 2020-2021. Initially, Historic was merely another time-partitioned format that started at Ixalan, but as time went on a large selection of powerful other cards were added through supplemental sets, such as Jumpstart, Historic Anthology and the Strixhaven: Mystical Archive cards.

In December 2021, the release of Alchemy: Innistrad paired Historic with it in terms of card changes. While the extra set itself was treated as another influx of cards, the ten cards rebalanced for the Alchemy format carried over their changes into Historic. This had the side effect of unbanning Omnath, Locus of Creation.

Although Alchemy as a digital-only format was received favorably by players, the inclusion of its exclusive cards in Historic was less popular. Their inclusion meant Arena lost its only "true to tabletop" non-rotating format, as the introduction of Pioneer had been put on hold with no long-term format plan made public. The negative feedback forced Wizards of the Coast to quickly announce that they would be searching for an alternative.[6] This came to be the Explorer format.

With the continuing expansion of bonus sheets, the list of programmed but generally unplayable cards on Arena slowly grew. With the release of Khans of Tarkir and its prebanned fetch lands, the Arena team opened a new format that corresponded to Vintage: Timeless.

Set Legality[ | ]

The following paper releases were captured in Arena and are hence legal in Historic. Further supplemental sets are listed below.

The following digital-only releases are legal in Historic.

Historic Anthologies[ | ]

Main article: Historic Anthology

Historic Anthologies are added to the game to supplement the Historic format. WotC adds "new" old cards to MTG Arena "from across Magic's history" for use in the format. 15-20 new cards were added in November for the beginning of the new format ("Historic Anthology 1"), and adding more cards every quarter of the year.[7] While the rate was slower than expected for the first few years, combining them with the Explorer Anthology repositioned the average rate higher.

Upon announcement of the format, both the "new" cards and the cards rotating out of Standard (thus becoming Historic cards themselves) were announced to require two Wildcards each to craft—rather than the usual one.[8][9] After feedback from the player's base, the decision to change Wildcard redemption rates for rotated cards were revoked. It was decided that redemption for all rotated cards would remain 1:1.[10]

Bonus sheets[ | ]

Debuting in Time Spiral block, bonus sheets are all-reprint collections of themed cards that appear with a frequency of one in every pack. While a one-off for many years, the second iteration was Strixhaven: School of Mages, which put the newer sheets on Arena and Historic. As the sets are several dozen cards but with half of them being on Arena already, the small selection of high-impact reprints that remain puts it in a similar vein to Anthologies.

Mystical Archive[ | ]

The Mystical Archive brings in reprints of famous instants and sorceries from across time and the history of Magic and was not legal in Standard. These 63 cards range from common reprints from that year to cards restricted in Vintage. It was released on April 23, 2021. Seven cards from this set were preemptively banned.

Retro Artifacts[ | ]

In the same vein as the Archives, 63 famous Artifacts from across Magic were printed in The Brothers' War. Fewer Standard or Historic reprints were made, but in exchange, only one artifact selected was deemed blatantly unsafe for Historic, being Mishra's Bauble, which received a preemptive ban. Phyrexian Revoker was considered unfun for Historic Brawl and was preemptively banned there.

Shadows of the Past[ | ]

A first for Arena sets, Shadows over Innistrad Remastered also had a bonus sheet, comprising 81 cards from the original Innistrad block.

Multiverse Legends[ | ]

This bonus sheet brought 65 Legendary creatures representing the multiversal war caused by New Phyrexia's Invasion of the Multiverse. Only 16 cards were not already in Historic but Ragavan, Nimble Pilferer was deemed to be at high risk of warping the format and preemptively banned.[11]

Enchanting Tales[ | ]

This bonus sheet consists of 63 enchantments, 38 of which were new to Arena. Blood Moon, Intruder Alarm, Land Tax, Necropotence, Sneak Attack and Spreading Seas were preemptively banned from Historic but are legal in Historic Brawl.[12]

The List and Special Guests[ | ]

Main article: The List
Main article: Special Guests

With Murders at Karlov Manor and the shift to Play Boosters, the fundamental structure of booster packs was overhauled. One of these changes was the addition of The List to MTG Arena, as one slot had a 12.5% chance of becoming one. This resulted in a curated addition of various reprints to MTG Arena, some of which were not present before. While not guaranteed as true bonus sheets, the thematic collation of The List puts it in a similar space. Show and Tell was the only card from this cycle to be preemptively banned.

Breaking News[ | ]

The bonus sheet for Outlaws of Thunder Junction contains 65 cards that build on the set's theme of committing a crime. From this, there are 29 new-to-Arena cards. Force of Vigor, Commandeer, Reanimate, and Mana Drain were preemptively banned to keep the format distinct from Timeless and prevent it from getting too quick or too powerful.[13]

Modern Horizons 3 Reprints[ | ]

The new-to-Modern reprints of Modern Horizons 3, marked in paper by having their original set's expansion symbol as a watermark, are presented as a bonus sheet. As all are pre-Modern cards, only three cards were not new-to-Arena and did not contain any that needed preemptive banning.

Remastered sets[ | ]

In 2020, Wizards of the Coast planned to add "remastered" versions of older sets to Magic: The Gathering Arena.[14] The MTG Arena team, in conjunction with Magic R&D, looked at blocks and condensed them into a single larger set that only includes the most relevant cards. This was to allow them to focus on what made these sets fun and exciting for players while delivering the content much more quickly.

The long-term commitment would eventually lead to additional support to formats beyond Standard and Historic and are supposed to be working towards Pioneer. However, only the two blocks that were already digitalized in the closed beta were remastered, whereas a large number of non-Pioneer cards in Strixhaven: Mystical Archive and Modern Horizons 2 were implemented instead of cards from sets legal in Pioneer. As such, Historic developed its own identity with digital designs, while the expansion of Explorer into Pioneer will be done through Anthology drops rather than curated blocks.

Shadows over Innistrad Remastered was announced in October 2022 as the first Arena remastered set since the revival of Pioneer, the debut of Explorer, and the return of the Pro Tour. It was released on March 21st, 2023.

Amonkhet Remastered[ | ]

Main article: Amonkhet Remastered

Contains cards from Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation, alongside some extra Rares and Mythics to shape Historic. It was released on 13th August 2020,[15] putting into the format for Mythic Invitational 2020.[16]

Kaladesh Remastered[ | ]

Main article: Kaladesh Remastered

Contains cards from Kaladesh and Aether Revolt. It was released on November 12th, 2020.

Shadows over Innistrad Remastered[ | ]

Contains cards from Shadows over Innistrad and Eldritch Moon. It was released on March 21st, 2023. It contains some additional cards from the original Innistrad block in the form of the Shadows of the Past bonus sheet.

Supplemental full sets[ | ]

Jumpstart: Historic Horizons[ | ]

Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is an MTG Arena exclusive card set, released in August 2021. It contains hundreds of cards from Modern Horizons, Modern Horizons 2, and more — it includes 31 new-to-Magic cards that utilize digital-only mechanics.

Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate[ | ]

Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate is a reimagining of Commander Legends: Battle for Baldur's Gate, a supplemental paper set designed for multiplayer Commander. As such, the MTG Arena version modifies the cards less suitable for one-on-one play into digital-only variations. Notably, these produce cards with identical arts but functionally different rules texts.

The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth[ | ]

The Universes Beyond set The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth is a straight-to-Modern product and was ported directly into Arena as a draftable set.

Khans of Tarkir[ | ]

Main article: Khans of Tarkir

As part of the mission to port Pioneer into Arena, and the upcoming Murders at Karlov Manor using a morph derivative mechanic, Khans of Tarkir skipped ahead of Battle for Zendikar in coming to Arena. Being a well-regarded draft format with many popular cards, the set was not remastered and uploaded as is.

Modern Horizons 3[ | ]

Main article: Modern Horizons 3

In conjunction with its tabletop release, the full Modern Horizons 3 set was launched on Arena. Draft boosters of the set also included the eight Modern Horizons 3 Commanders (Disa the Restless; Omo, Queen of Vesuva; Satya, Aetherflux Genius; Ulalek, Fused Atrocity; Azlask, the Swelling Scourge; Cayth, Famed Mechanist; Coram, the Undertaker; and Jyoti, Moag Ancient) replacing a card of any rarity at a rate of approximately 1:21 packs.[17]

Wizards of the Coast acknowledged that as a straight-to-Modern product, many cards in the set had the potential to upend the Historic metagame. To prevent the format from being warped drastically, seventeen cards were preemptively banned for power balance reasons.[18] Of these are the five Evoke Elementals from Modern Horizons 2 that were Special Guests for this set, as well as the five enemy Fetch lands that were released as a special package that is not considered part of the set in paper formats.

Subformats[ | ]

Brawl[ | ]

Brawl (formerly Historic Brawl)[19] is a variant of the Brawl format that is played with a deck of 60 cards. (Historic) Brawl is just what you would expect; the Brawl format (which otherwise uses only Standard-legal sets) with the added Historic card pool. It was introduced to MTG Arena in December 2020.[20]

100-card Historic Brawl[ | ]

100-card Historic Brawl was introduced in June 2021.[21][22] This is the closest to the Commander format that can be played on MTG Arena. In December 2023, it was renamed to just "Brawl".[19]

Alchemy[ | ]

Alchemy is a digital-only play mode that was introduced in December 2021 as a fast and ever-evolving experience.[23][24] It intentionally diverges from the metagame of Standard and other formats to provide an alternative experience to play.[25] Alchemy cards are legal in Historic, and Alchemy-focused rebalances are upheld. However, Alchemy rebalances may be reverted after rotation.

Main article: Alchemy

Suspensions[ | ]

To support the Historic format, Wizards introduced suspensions to control the balance that works well with Magic's history of using bans and restrictions while allowing more flexibility to adjust as the Historic format changes.[26] For gameplay purposes, a suspension works like a ban, in that the card will not be legal to use in the format while it is suspended. However, the wildcard refund that occurs with bans will only happen on the full announcement. The suspension policy only lasted up until 2022, coinciding with the end of the MPL era, the return to tabletop Magic, and the introduction of Explorer. Balancing for Historic from then on was done through rebalanced cards, which also did not refund wildcards.

Suspended cards[ | ]

Currently none.

Banned list[ | ]

As of February 6, 2024, the following cards are banned in Historic.

Preemptively banned[ | ]

The following cards from several sets were preemptively banned and thus never entered the format.

^† Excluding Brawl

Brawl[ | ]

As of August 4, 2022, the following cards are additionally banned in Historic Brawl.

Preemptively banned[ | ]

The following Mystical Archive and Retro Artifacts cards were preemptively banned and thus never entered the format.

Previously banned cards[ | ]

The following is a list of cards that have been banned at one point during their stay in the Historic or Historic Brawl environment.

Historic[ | ]

Brawl[ | ]

Special events[ | ]

Historic Shakeup[ | ]

Historic Shakeup is an MTG Arena event with a changing banned card list, you'll have to stay on your toes and think fast to find the right deck each week. Week 1 of Historic Shakeup started on March 19, 2021.[52]

Mirror, Mirror[ | ]

Mirror, Mirror was a short MTG Arena event in July 2021 featuring rebalanced versions of some of Historic's iconic banned cards.[53] The twelve cards banned before the release of Strixhaven all received "errata" that weakened them to a potentially balanced form.

References[ | ]

  1. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (June 27, 2019). "MTG Arena: State of the Beta — June 2019". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022.
  2. MTG Arena Admin (June 27, 2019). "Introduction to Historic". DevTrackers.gg.
  3. Brent Terean (June 27, 2019). "MTG Arena update: Introducing the Historic format". Magic Esports. Archived from the original on January 21, 2022.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (December 2, 2021). "MTG Arena: State - Alchemy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  5. Cody Gravelle (December 06, 2018). "Magic Arena Will Eventually Have A "Standard Plus" Format". Screenrant.com.
  6. Wizards of the Coast (February 8, 2022). "MTG Arena: State of the Game - Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  7. David McCoy (August 29, 2019). "Historic Comes to MTG Arena in November with "New" Old Cards From Magic's History". Hipsters of the Coast.
  8. Wizards of the Coast (August 29, 2019). "MTG Arena: State of the Beta – August 2019". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 9, 2022.
  9. David McCoy (August 29, 2019). "Historic Cards Will Cost 2 Wildcards to Craft on MTG Arena for the "Health of the Game"". Hipsters of the Coast.
  10. Wizards of the Coast (September 13, 2019). "MTG Arena Update on Historic". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 12, 2020.
  11. a b Multiverse Legends Are Back In #MTGMachine (Video). Magic: The Gathering Arena. YouTube (April 12, 2023).
  12. a b c d e f g MTG Arena (August 16, 2023). "Due to the nightmares they may cause...". Twitter.
  13. Clayton Kroh (April 7, 2024). "MTG Arena Announcements – April 8, 2024". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  14. Wizards of the Coast (November 13, 2019). "State of the Beta - November 2019". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  15. Wizards of the Coast (August 4, 2020). "MTG Arena: State of the Game – August 2020". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  16. Wizards of the Coast (July 13, 2020). "Esports Update:2020 Mythic Invitational, Upcoming Announcements and More". Magic.gg.
  17. Clayton Kroh (May 28, 2024). "MTG Arena Announcements – May 28, 2024". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  18. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Wizards of the Coast (June 3, 2024). "MTG Arena Announcements – June 3, 2024". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  19. a b Patch Notes - 2023.33.00. MTG Arena Support (December 12, 2023).
  20. a b Blake Rasmussen (December 20, 2020). "Historic Brawl". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  21. a b Wizards of the Coast (June 16, 2021). "MTG Arena Announcements, June 16, 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on June 16, 2021.
  22. Jay Parker (July 29, 2021). "MTG Arena: State of the Game — Jumpstart: Historic Horizons". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on July 29, 2021.
  23. Wizards of the Coast (December 2, 2021). "Introducing Alchemy: A New Way To Play MTG Arena". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on December 9, 2021.
  24. Wizards of the Coast (December 2, 2021). "MTG Arena: State - Alchemy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  25. David Humpherys (December 8, 2021). "Designing for Alchemy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  26. Wizards of the Coast (December 10, 2019). "Historic Suspension Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  27. a b c Ian Duke (July 13, 2020). "July 13, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on January 29, 2022.
  28. a b Ian Duke (June 1, 2020). "June 1, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022.
  29. a b Wizards of the Coast (December 8, 2021). "MTG Arena Announcements, December 8, 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  30. a b Wizards of the Coast (October 13, 2021). "October 13, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 13, 2021.
  31. Jay Parker (August 24, 2020). "August 24, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 22, 2022.
  32. Gavin Verhey (January 20, 2022). "January 20, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on August 8, 2022.
  33. Wizards of the Coast (February 14, 2020). "MTG Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on December 25, 2023.
  34. a b c Ian Duke (March 9, 2020). "March 9, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on June 30, 2022.
  35. Jay Parker (May 19, 2021). "May 19, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 20, 2021.
  36. Jay Parker (June 9, 2021). "June 9, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on September 30, 2023.
  37. Ian Duke (February 15, 2021). "February 15, 2021 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on February 15, 2021.
  38. Ian Duke (August 3, 2020). "August 3, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on July 4, 2022.
  39. Ian Duke (October 12, 2020). "October 12, 2020 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 20, 2022.
  40. a b c d e Dave Finseth (December 4, 2023). "Introducing Timeless, a new MTG Arena format". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  41. a b c d e f g Lee Sharpe (March 26, 2021). "The seven Mystical Archive cards pre-banned in Historic have now all been previewed: ...". Twitter.
  42. a b Wizards of the Coast (November 9, 2022). "MTG Arena: State of the Game - The Brothers' War". Magicthegathering.com.
  43. Clayton Kroh (February 5, 2024). "MTG Arena Announcements – February 5, 2024". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  44. MTG Arena (August 4, 2022). "Patch Notes - 2022.18.10". Wizards.com.
  45. a b Wizards of the Coast (August 4th, 2020). "MTG Arena State of the Game August 2020". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  46. Wizards Customer Support (October 1, 2021). "With the release of Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, the card Pithing Needle is banned in both Brawl and Historic Brawl.". Twitter.
  47. Wizards of the Coast (December 8,2021). "MTG Arena Announcements, December 8, 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  48. a b c d Wizards of the Coast (April 14, 2021). "MTG Arena Announcements, April 14, 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  49. Ian Duke and Jay Parker (January 25, 2022). "January 25, 2022 Banned and Restricted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on January 25, 2022.
  50. Wizards of the Coast (February 23, 2022). "Alchemy Rebalancing for February 24, 2022". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  51. Wizards of the Coast (July 7, 2022). "Alchemy Rebalancing for July 7, 2022". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  52. Wizards of the Coast (March 17, 2021). "MTG Arena Announcements, March 17, 2021". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on November 10, 2022.
  53. Adam Styborski (May 6, 2021). "Welcome to the Summer of Legend". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on May 7, 2021.

External links[ | ]

Advertisement