Wizards of the Coast revealed in its most recent MTG Arena State of the Game update that the platform will eventually support the Pioneer format, though that plan is still in its infancy and there are other formats that will be supported first. Magic: The Gathering only unveiled the Pioneer format in late October, but the new way to play the game has quickly exploded in popularity and is already one of the most popular ways to play on tabletop.
Pioneer is meant to fix a lot of the issues that are currently present in Magic: The Gathering‘s eternal formats. Card accessibility has made formats like Vintage and Legacy unrealistic for most players, while Modern is currently an expensive endeavor as well. Pioneer, by way of using more recent sets in Magic, makes it easier for players to put together decks they’d like to play while also creating a dynamic format that’s still more powerful than Standard. Modern has also been criticized for the downtime between each player taking actions that’s caused by the fetch lands, cards that necessitate a player shuffle their deck after activating them. Pioneer was announced with the fetch lands that would’ve been legal otherwise pre-banned, indicating that Wizards would like the play experience to in that format to involve less deck manipulation and more on-board play.
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One of the biggest hindrances that’s immediately noticeable for Pioneer, however, is the fact that it isn’t currently supported by MTG Arena – just Magic Online, the digital platform that Wizards currently focuses most of its online eternal format support on. According to the MTG Arena State of the Game November update, however, Pioneer will be coming to MTG Arena eventually, but not any time soon. The blog post acknowledges that “Pioneer is one of the formats that we’re working towards,” but also concedes that it will be “a longer journey before we can talk specifics.” It’s acknowledgement from Wizards that Pioneer will feature on MTG Arena at some point, though, which is good enough for many fans who just wanted to know whether it would eventually arrive on the platform.
Wizards also announced that Historic will finally be getting more support, revealing the format’s extended card pool with the announcement of the twenty cards that will be added to it. Standouts like Cryptbreaker, Elvish Visionary, Ornithopter, and Mind Stone all seem poised to make an impact in Historic, although it remains to be seen if that format will have legs now that Pioneer has been announced and functions so similarly in terms of getting rotated cards back into battle. There are a lot of interesting points to unpack in the announcement, which shows just how much Wizards has planned for the platform.
These are good problems to have, though. MTG Arena Pioneer will be one of the most exciting additions to the platform whenever that happens, and is already taking the Magic: The Gathering tabletop scene by storm. If Historic is a smaller but still enjoyable MTG Arena format, then that’s all the better for Wizards, as the company simply wants to expand its breadth of play options for the new players who are discovering the game through its most visually-appealing product.
MTG Arena is available now for PC. A Mac release is planned for the future.
Source: Wizards of the Coast
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