Every month, Wizards of the Coast publishes a "State of the Game" article for Magic: The Gathering's online play-interface, MTG Arena. This article typically details the new features for MTG Arena ranging from as big as an all-new set to minor cosmetic shifts, and gives us a sneak peek of features to come. Yesterday, Wizards of the Coast published their "State of the Game" article for September, and here's what we can come to expect for Arena in the near future!
A look into future features and sets on MTG Arena via the Developer Roadmap.
Most excitingly, the Developer Roadmap for MTG Arena was also revealed to show that players will be getting access to Kaladesh Remastered, a reimagining of both the Kaladesh and Aether Revolt sets in one set. If Amonkhet Remastered is any indicator of how that will affect Historic, Kaladesh Remastered will likely contain cards from the Kaladesh Inventions Masterpiece series of cards as well as some cards from outside of those two sets, likely with updated art. Beyond that, mobile play is in development as well. Ideally we will see a mobile version of MTG Arena before 2021 arrives. Notably, Pioneer Masters will be released as well, likely ushering in the genesis of the Pioneer format on MTG Arena.
The artwork for Skyclave Plunder, a new card in the upcoming set Zendikar Rising. Illustrated by YW Tang.
Despite the above being the biggest piece of MTG Arena news today, the first thing we get a glimpse of in the article is the new set's debut on the interface. Zendikar Rising will be released tomorrow on MTG Arena, and while we won't be seeing Expeditions or any cards from "The List" in the set, that doesn't preclude them from being printed in the future. Furthermore, showcase art and other alternate-art versions of cards in the set will be obtainable through the shop and through events in the near future.
The "Avatar and Pet" section of the player profile page on MTG Arena.
Next, we will be getting a cosmetic update in the form of new emotes. These animated emotes will be attainable when people order bundles or through the Zendikar Rising Mastery Pass. They have some degree of personality but it's not bold to predict that many players will be annoyed by them, if past emotes are anything to go by. Still, they're cute enough and perhaps a reasonable, if a bit silly, substitute for actual emoting in the age of social distancing.
The rotation schedule for the Standard and Brawl formats.
Finally, following the emote information comes the Standard rotation schedule for 2020. Come tomorrow, the following sets are out of Standard (and, by association, Brawl):
This will, in turn, make room for Zendikar Rising in 2020 and Kaldheim, Strixhaven and Adventures in the Forgotten Realms in 2021. The twin expansions set in Innistrad won't be in the rotation until around this time next year, but that's just something to look forward to at this stage. We also won't see Time Spiral Remastered on MTG Arena nor will we see Modern Horizons 2, but we are getting a few things in the interim, like Historic Anthology IV, that may sate players' nostalgia. Will we see a "classic-frame" cosmetic? We certainly don't know, but wishful thinking, we suppose!
We are quite excited to see what these developments will bring!