New MTG Arena format uses Magic’s most powerful cards

Magic: The Gathering Arena will introduce Timeless, a new high-power format where all MTG Arena cards are playable, later in December.

MTG Arena format Timeless - Wizards of the Coast art of Monastery Swiftspear

On December 4, Wizards of the Coast announced a new MTG Arena format. According to an official blog post, ‘Timeless’ will be “a new Constructed format where all cards on Magic: The Gathering Arena are playable”. This new melting pot of MTG cards is set to launch on December 12.

Timeless decks will be Constructed and use 60 cards, like many of its sibling MTG formats. Any digital card available on Arena can be used, and it sounds like there’s going to be no MTG banlist whatsoever.

Instead, Wizards of the Coast is debuting its first ‘restricted’ list on MTG Arena, where only one copy of a card can be used in your deck and sideboard. Three cards have already been added to the Timeless restricted list ahead of its release – Channel, Demonic Tutor, and Tibalt’s Trickery. Timeless will also use the rebalanced versions of all digital-only Magic cards and the original printings of non-digital cards.

Wizards of the Coast graphic explaining the Timeless MTG Arena format

Wizards of the Coast says Timeless has been created “as a home for MTG Arena’s most powerful cards”. With increasingly powerful MTG sets coming to the digital trading card game platform, Wizards wanted to find a way to make its most broken cards playable without disrupting Arena’s existing ecosystems.

Monday’s blog post also says the move was driven by “engagement and support during the Historic No Banned List and Historic Basically No Bans events we ran in September and November”.

Speaking of Historic, Wizards acknowledges that Timeless has a very similar mission statement to that of the existing MTG format. “The Historic format began as ‘the place to play with all of your cards on MTG Arena’” Wizards says, “but over time has shifted into a more curated format”.

“We are happy with the state of Historic. It is balanced, made up of a diverse metagame of different decks, and offers a unique digital play experience.” “We want the power level of Historic to continue to grow but don’t want it to happen too quickly, as we believe it’s in an enjoyable place right now”, Wizards adds.

Timeless Dragon, a card from Wizards of the Coast to promote its new MTG Arena format

Timeless will release at the same time as Khans of Tarkir on MTG Arena. Fetch lands from Khans of Tarkir will be pre-banned in Historic, but they’ll be playable in Timeless. Ranked and play queues for Timeless will be available upon release, and Wizards promises promotions and events to celebrate the new format.

This includes a new-to-Arena card (see above). Players will see Timeless Dragon pop up in their in-game inboxes on launch day, and an additional Khans of Tarkir pack reward will apparently follow. Then, from February 2, 2024, a Timeless Metagame Challenge will be introduced.

You can find more Arena goodies in our guides to MTG Arena decks and MTG Arena codes. And, for more upcoming Magic cards, here’s what to expect from the MTG release schedule in 2024.