The new digital version of the game police are referring to as ‘Teenbane’, Magic: The Gathering Arena, is almost ready to launch in full after a year in open beta. Wizards of the Coast have announced a launch date of September 26th for both the free-to-play card game and its latest expansion, Throne Of Eldraine. Its new cards will send wizards off to a new world inspired by fairytales and Athurian legends, full of knights, hunters, little mermaids, faeries, witches, adventures, crystal slippers, and oh so much food.
Brundo Dias told us Arena is “much more affordable and approachable than Magic has ever been” though he did acknowledge he might be “speaking from the inside of a deep pit of obsession with Magic as a game.” Been there, buddy. That’s why I have not, cannot, and will not play Arena. The Duels games with their singleplayer campaigns were enough to satisfy my ongoing idle interest in Magic but naw, this is too much. I didn’t get past buying paper cards to start buying digital cards.
September 26th will also spell the start of Arena’s new year of Standard format, rotating older sets out into other formats. Out go cards from Ixalan, Rivals Of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019, replaced by Throne of Eldraine, and, eventually, two sets following that plus Core 2021. They’re also introducing a new format, Historic, which will slowly but steadily add new (well, old) cards from across Magic’s history.
Before all that, Arena yesterday launched the Eldraine Courtside Brawl. This mode has four preconstructed decks to give players a peek at cards coming in the new set. You might want to read up on new set mechanics like Adventures and Food first.
You can download Magic: The Gathering Arena’s client through its website. Arena is also due to launch this winter on the Epic Games Store as the “exclusive third-party PC download partner” because I guess that’s another thing Epic will pay for. A Mac version will follow.