A month after Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast announced Alchemy – its somewhat controversial new digital-only game format for MTG Arena players – the firm has now announced it will soon permanently rebalance “a new handful” of cards.
Announced as part of a round-up of MTG Arena announcements on the official Magic: The Gathering blog on Wednesday, Wizards says the new rebalance will be timed so as to avoid any “late-breaking changes to the format” directly before the Arena Open competitive event (January 15-16) and the subsequent Qualifier Weekend event (January 22-23) – but that, after those are done, we can expect “Alchemy’s next phase” to launch.
According to Wizards, the rebalances will bring “boosts to some fun cards that aren’t getting much love right now, as well as adjustments for some current strategies”. There’s no clarification offered ahead of time on how many cards will see changes, however – nor whether these will be tweaks to mana costs, subtle wording swaps, or complete redesigns.
MTG Arena’s Alchemy format stoked some aggravation from many Magic players when it was launched at the beginning of December 2021, to the extent that MTG head designer Mark Rosewater even went to bat for the new format in his personal blog.
Some fans were dead set against any form of the game that’s completely designed for digital play, and others irate at the newly “rebalanced” cards extending into the game’s Historic and Historic Brawl formats, as well as Alchemy.
However, Wizards is sticking to its guns – and will be hoping to win some more hearts and minds with its next batch of rebalanced digital-only cards, writing in Wednesday’s blog post: “we’re excited for it, and we hope you are, too”.
In the meantime, this weekend’s Arena Open will take place in the Alchemy format, with a maximum prize pot of $2500 – if you can win enough qualifier games on the first day, then win eight games on day two (without losing more than one). Everybody who enters will, however, get the charming ‘Undead Butler’ in-game card sleeve shown above.
Need to catch up with Magic: The Gathering’s cream of the crop? Check out our guide to the best MTG cards of 2021. Alternatively, get started in the digital game with all the essential MTG Arena codes.