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Rebalanced cards are a feature of the digital Magic: The Gathering Arena game formally introduced in October, 2021.[1]

Description[]

Digital-only cards in digital-only formats like Historic give Wizards of the Coast the ability to functionally rebalance cards simply and clearly. They can simply update the text digitally, and the cards will remain accurate to their new function.[1]

Functional rebalancing is a significant change in how formats are balanced. Going forward, WotC will be managing formats on MTG Arena in two different ways. "Print" formats, like Standard, will continue to work exactly like they do in tabletop Magic. For "Live" formats, like Historic, balancing is added alongside banning and suspension as a tool to address problems and make improvements to the format.[1]

Currently, WotC is restricting these changes to digital-only cards, where there will be no conflict between a digital and printed version of a card. They are working on expanding beyond this (for example, by rebalancing previously banned cards so they can be safely returned to play in digital formats only).[1]

December 2021 introduced Alchemy, a digital variation of Standard that allows for balance patching of powerful cards.[2]

History[]

Rebalanced cards were introduced on a temporary basis in Mirror, Mirror, a short MTG Arena event on July 3-6, 2021, featuring some of Historic's iconic banned cards.[3][4]

A more serious and permanent version was during the October 2021 Ban and Restricted List Update, when five designed-for-digital cards from Jumpstart: Historic Horizons were updated.[1] The most critical change was shutting the loop created by Vesperlark and perpetual toughness shrinkers; other assorted positive effects were also added.

Some more Standard-focused cards were changed in December 2021 with the announcement of Alchemy.[5]

List of Rebalanced cards[]

Card Date of change Original Changed to Reason
Davriel's Withering 2021-10-03 Target creature perpetually gets -1/-2. Target creature an opponent controls perpetually gets -1/-2. To prevent an undesirable combo with Vesperlark that can result in a drawn game.
Davriel, Soul Broker 2021-10-03 -3: Target creature perpetually gets -3/-3. -3: Target creature an opponent controls perpetually gets -3/-3. To prevent an undesirable combo with Vesperlark that can result in a drawn game.
Faceless Agent 2021-10-03 Power/Toughness: 2/1 Power/Toughness: 2/2 Making it better
Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv 2021-10-03 0: Conjure a Shivan Dragon card into your hand. +1: Conjure a Shivan Dragon card into your hand. Eases balancing loyalty
Subversive Acolyte 2021-10-03 Mana cost {B}{B}
Power/Toughness: 2/2
[...] becomes a Human Cleric. It gets +1/+2 [...]
[...]becomes a Phyrexian. It gets +3/+3 [...]
Mana cost {1}{B}
Power/Toughness: 2/3
[...] becomes a Human Cleric. It gets +1/+1 [...]
[...]becomes a Phyrexian. It gets +3/+2 [...]
Distinguishing from Gifted Aetherborn as a defensive play
Alrund's Epiphany 2021-12-09 Creates Bird tokens
Fortell {4}{U}{U}
Only creates Bird tokens if foretold
Foretell {5}{U}{U}
Make Alrund's Epiphany less effective at winning games from an empty board
Esika's Chariot 2021-12-09 Creates two cat tokens
Crew 4
Creates one cat token
Crew 2
Make Esika's Chariot easier to interact with using removal spells
Faceless Haven 2021-12-09 Power/toughness: 4/3 Power/toughness: 3/3 Make it easier for others to stabilize against aggressive monocolor decks
Goldspan Dragon 2021-12-09 When attacks or becomes target of a spell, create a Treasure token When attacks, create a Treasure token Make Goldspan Dragon easier to interact with using removal spells
Luminarch Aspirant 2021-12-09 At the beginning of combat on your turn, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control At the beginning of your end step, put a +1/+1 counter on target creature you control Tone down Luminarch Aspirant's aggressive impact
Omnath, Locus of Creation 2021-12-09 Mana cost: {R}{G}{W}{U}, draw a card when enters the battlefield Mana cost: {1}{R}{G}{W}{U}, scry 1 when enters the battlefield Lower the refund ability of Omnath
Demilich 2021-12-09 Power/toughness: 4/3 Power/toughness: 4/4 Make more resistant to removal
Druid Class 2021-12-09 Level 3 cost: {4}{G} Level 3 cost: {2}{G} Make more well-rounded and promote the gameplay of leveling up your class as the game progresses.
Wizard Class 2021-12-09 Level 3 cost: {4}{U} Level 3 cost: {2}{U} Make more well-rounded and promote the gameplay of leveling up your class as the game progresses.
Phylath, World Sculptor 2021-12-09 Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put four +1/+1 counters on target Plant you control. Has Trample
Landfall - Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, put four +1/+1 counters on target Plant you control. It gains trample until end of turn
Distinguish from Tovolar's Huntmaster as a top-end
Acererak, the Archlich 2022-01-27 Whenever Acererak the Archlich attacks, for each opponent, you create a 2/2 black Zombie creature token unless that player sacrifices a creature. Whenever Acererak the Archlich attacks, create a number of 2/2 black Zombie creature tokens equal to the number of opponents you have. Removes sacrifice option
Assemble from Parts 2022-01-27 {3}{B}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Shuffle it into your library. Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a 4/4 black Zombie in addition to its other types. Activate only as a sorcery. {1}{B}{B}, Exile this card from your graveyard: Shuffle it into your library. Create a token that’s a copy of it, except it’s a 4/4 black Zombie in addition to its other types. Activate only as a sorcery. Increase potential for turn 4 reanimate; densifies black mana in exchange
Bloodrage Alpha 2022-01-27 4/3 4/4 Increase resilience as a four-mana card
Cloister Gargoyle 2022-01-27 {2}{W}, 0/4 {1}{W}, 0/3 Upgrade to Venture in general
Dungeon Descent 2022-01-27 Enters the battlefield tapped. {4}, {T}, Tap an untapped legendary creature you control: Venture into the dungeon. Activate only as a sorcery. Enters the battlefield untapped. {1}, {T}, Tap an untapped legendary creature you control: Venture into the dungeon. Activate only as a sorcery. Upgrade to Venture in general
Ellywick Tumblestrum 2022-01-27 −7: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control have trample and haste and get +2/+2 for each differently named dungeon you’ve completed.” −6: You get an emblem with “Creatures you control have trample and haste and get +2/+2 for each differently named dungeon you’ve completed.” Upgrade to Venture in general
Fates Reversal 2022-01-27 {1}{B} {B} Upgrade to Venture in general
Find the Path 2022-01-27 Enchanted land has "{T}: Add {G}{G}" Enchanted land has "{T}: Add two mana of any one color" Upgrade to Venture in general
Puppet Raiser 2022-01-27 3/3 3/4 Increase resilience as a four-mana card
Precipitous Drop 2022-01-27 {2}{B} {1}{B} Upgrade to Venture in general
Triumphant Adventurer 2022-01-27 1/1 2/1 Upgrade to Venture in general
Divide By Zero 2022-01-27 Learn If its mana value was 4 or less, learn Encourages expensive spells
Fearsome Whelp 2022-01-27 Flying
At the beginning of your end step, each Dragon card in your hand perpetually gains “This spell costs {1} less to cast.”
Flying, haste
At the beginning of your upkeep, each Dragon card in your hand perpetually gains “This spell costs {1} less to cast.”
Gives a longer window to prevent the discount - gains haste in exchange
Hullbreaker Horror 2022-01-27 This spell can't be countered Can be countered Made easier to interact with in both control mirrors and other blue decks.
Inquisitor Captain 2022-01-27 When Inquisitor Captain enters the battlefield, if there are twenty or more creature cards... When Inquisitor Captain enters the battlefield, if you cast it and if there are twenty or more creature cards... Removing blink and cloning chains
Lier, Disciple of the Drowned 2022-01-27 Each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard has flashback. As long as it is your turn, each instant and sorcery card in your graveyard has flashback. Gives more shields-down moments when in conjunction with bounce spells
Sanguine Brushstroke 2022-01-27 Whenever you sacrifice a Blood token, each opponent loses 1 life and you gain 1 life. Whenever you sacrifice a Blood token, each opponent loses 1 life. Weakens impact against aggressive strategies.
Town-Razer Tyrant 2022-01-27 When Town-razer Tyrant enters the battlefield, target land you don’t control... When Town-razer Tyrant enters the battlefield, target nonbasic land you don’t control... Lowers impacts against one and two-color decks
Teferi, Time Raveler 2022-01-27 {1}{W}{U}; 4 starting Loyalty; Each opponent can cast spells only any time they could cast a sorcery. {2}{W}{U}; 5 starting Loyalty; "Your opponents can't cast spells during your turn." We are aiming to move Teferi, Time Raveler away from a generically strong card to a specialized anti-control tool.

References[]

  1. a b c d e Jay Parker & Donald Smith (October 13, 2021). "October 13, 2021 Banned and Resticted Announcement". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  2. Wizards of the Coast (December 2, 2021). "MTG Arena: State - Alchemy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  3. Adam Styborski (May 6, 2021). "Welcome to the Summer of Legend". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  4. Wizards of the Coast (June 30, 2021). "MTG Arena Announcements". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
  5. Donald Smith (December 2, 2021). "Alchemy Rebalancing Philosospy". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
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