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Rotating format is the name given to a tournament format which only allows cards from a selected number of expansions, which changes over time.[1] Rotating formats are used in Standard. Formerly, they were also used in Extended. With one exception, rotation always has been a yearly event.


Set rotation (or rotation for short) used to be based on blocks, rather than individual sets. Each year, a certain block and a corresponding core set would rotate out. There were three exceptions however:

The unusual block splitting of Tarkir was during an experimental change in rotation where half as many sets (the two-set blocks) would leave twice as frequently.[2][1] The first mid-season rotation with Shadows over Innistrad was the only time this happened, as the hostile reception made Wizards return to the yearly rotation, where the two oldest blocks rotated.[3] After the introduction the Three-and-One Model, the rotation returned to the same cycle, but now defined as the four oldest sets in Standard rotating out when the new fall set releases.[4]

Although two Innistrad sets come out only two months apart in the latter part of 2021, R&D is not changing how many sets are being added to Standard during the rotation window, but just shifted the timing around slightly.[5][6][7] They are are trying a new schedule where the premier sets are early fall, late fall, winter and spring (all times based on Northern Hemisphere seasons).[8] There will be non-premier product released in the summer. This way, some premier sets gain more time in Standard.[9]

Banned lists[]

A banned list exists for every rotating format (see Block Constructed).