Considering that MTG Arena first launched without its most popular format, Standard, it’s safe to say the game has come a long way since 2017. Despite all the good Wizards has done by adding new features and formats, however, there’s still work to be done. Explorer isn’t quite one-to-one with Pioneer just yet, for instance, and several quality-of-life features are still missing. Thankfully, after literal years of waiting, it seems that players’ prayers are being answered, as one of the most requested features is finally arriving in MTG Arena. Even better than just being in the pipeline, this long-awaited fix is just days away!
As an MTG game in the modern age, it should come as no surprise to learn that MTG Arena has countless cosmetics for players to enjoy and purchase. Similarly to the paper game, these cosmetics allow players to express themselves better and show off their favorite decks. Unfortunately, however, actually using these cosmetics on MTG Arena is often an unnecessarily frustrating ordeal. As rather than having all your card styles easily accessible when building your deck, each one must be selected individually. Considering decks have at least 60 cards, even blinging out a quick home brew can be annoyingly time-consuming.
Due to the difficulty in using this basic MTG Arena mechanic, players have long been requesting a major quality-of-life improvement. Proposing a way to favorite card styles so they’ll be automatically used during deck creation, players knew exactly what they wanted. Unfortunately for these players, however, their requests have seemingly fallen on deaf ears for literal years. Despite MTG Arena getting two new formats throughout its development, update after update, this highly requested feature was constantly neglected. At long last, however, that has finally changed, as Wizards has listened to their community’s near-constant requests.
During the latest Weekly MTG stream, which revealed a smorgasbord of new sets and information, Wizards confirmed a “preferred printing” feature was in the works. More than just being a vague plan for the future, however, this much-requested quality-of-life improvement was just days away. Being shown off by Weekly MTG host Blake Rasmussen, it was stated the feature would arrive alongside Alchemy: Phyrexia. This already controversial Alchemy set releases in just a few days, on the 28th of February.
“With the release of Alchemy: Phyrexia […] players will be able to select a Preferred Printing of any card that has multiple versions on Magic Arena and it will use this version by default.”
Considering a preferred printing feature had been one of the most requested additions throughout Arena’s existence, it’s safe to say that players were happy to hear this feature was finally arriving on MTG Arena. Subsequently, across social media, MTG players were quick to voice their shock, surprise, and jubilation at this feature’s arrival. On Reddit, for instance, players on the MagicArena subreddit did what they did best, relentlessly meme the situation. “Insert The Office ‘it’s happening’ gif here,” u/oldman_fingers commented. Similarly, u/joreyesl played into their surprise, saying to “[insert its been 84 years meme].”
Meanwhile, on Twitter, alongside plenty of memes, some users highlighted how this feature has been missing for far too long. Twitter user @phil__bert highlighted how they’ve been asking for relentlessly asking for this feature for three years. “I’ve been commenting on every Twitter post y’all made for 3 years about this. I….don’t know what I’m supposed to say now.” Taking things one step further, some Twitter users claimed Wizards doesn’t deserve the praise they’re getting for adding this feature. “Not going to thank you for a minor quality of life feature that could have been implemented years ago,” @Ted_Slone commented.
But Wait! There’s More!
Thankfully, throughout 2023, MTG Arena isn’t just getting one long-awaited feature to appease the game’s fans. Instead, 2023 actually appears to be MTG Arena’s year, as there’s a huge amount of new content in the works. Following Alchemy: Phyrexia’s launch next week, for instance, MTG Arena will be getting the Shadows over Innistrad Remastered set. Due to launch on March 21st, this set will introduce plenty of Pioneer staples to Arena, further improving Explorer.
As if one supplemental set wasn’t enough, later in June, Arena will also be getting the direct-to-Modern Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth set. Launching as an Alchemy set that’s one-to-one with paper, this release will have all the usual trimmings, including a Mastery Pass. As u/CatsAndPlanets hopes, this means MTG Arena players may soon be able to enjoy Frodo and Gandalf player avatars!
If all that wasn’t enough to get you excited about 2023 already, Wizards has even more up their sleeves. Namely, sometime during Q3 this year, MTG Arena will finally launch on Steam. Alongside introducing the game to a vast new potential audience, Wizards will also be implementing an overhauled unique player experience. For now, there are few details about exactly what this new introductory experience will look like. According to Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks, however, the goal is to provide “an easier onboarding and a more fun way to learn how to play.”
For those who still aren’t convinced that 2023 could be MTG Arena’s year, there are even some ruminations about Arena finally getting proper multiplayer formats. Admittedly this feature could still be years away, however, it is nevertheless on Wizards’ radar. Subsequently, it could only be a matter of time before we hear more.
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