For the first time ever, Magic the Gathering Arena is doing a “rebalancing” of its digital-only cards, along with bringing some big changes to its Historic format.
If you’re unfamiliar, Historic is a format that essentially allows players to use any card ever released onto Magic the Gathering Arena, the digital version of the card game. It’s a casual mode that allows players to use cards that are no longer legal in the more official formats. As reported by The Gamer, Wizards of the Coast is now moving to officially ban three cards in Historic; Tibalt’s Trickery, Memory Lapse and Brainstorm. Previously, these three cards were suspended, giving Wizards of the Coast time to see how a ban would work.
The Historic Horizons expansion brought the first-ever digital-only cards to Arena, and with that Wizards is rebalancing a few of the cards as well. The announcement post lays it out like so.
- Davriel’s Withering and Davriel, Soul Broker’s third ability now only affect “target creature an opponent controls.”
- Faceless Agent is now 2/2 (from 2/1).
- Sarkhan, Wanderer to Shiv’s second ability is now +1 (from +0).
- Subversive Acolyte now costs 1B (from BB), is 2/3 (from 2/2), and had the toughness increases from becoming Human or Phyrexian reduced by 1.
All of these changes will be in Magic the Gathering Arena effective October 14, 2021. Donald Smith from the Play Design team commented on the changes by saying,
“Like digital-only designs, live balancing is a new tool to maximize the potential of our digital formats. This first set of changes is not meant to significantly impact the metagame but improve the ladder experience. This will also give us a chance to collect feedback and data on how the environment reacts to these changes. While we will still ban and suspend cards, we will also look for opportunities to improve the competitive metagame and address other issues through live balancing.”