MTG Arena: What is Alchemy?


With the unprecedented growth that MTG Arena is experiencing, it’s no surprise that it gains access to an exclusively digital format. You may, however, be wondering why Alchemy has caused such a stir within the Magic: The Gathering community and divided players to the extreme.

Surely anytime a new format is released, it’s a good thing, right? Well, let’s take a look at what Alchemy is and how it will work.

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What is Alchemy?

Alchemy is a brand new MTG Arena-exclusive format. Its overall goal is to be an ever-evolving and fairly balanced version of the standard format. How is this possible? Well, cards that become a nuisance or ‘overpowered’ within the mode, will see live changes made to their mechanics in order to balance their use.

For example, a card that is causing all sorts of problems in the standard format right now is Alrund’s Epiphany. To balance this, in Alchemy, the card’s ability has been altered. It will no longer produce the 1/1 crows unless it’s been cast from being foretold. Also, its foretell cost has been raised to match the standard cost of 5 + 2 blue mana.

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Is Alchemy a Good Idea?

Whether or not Alchemy is a ‘good idea’ comes down to personal belief and experience with Magic: The Gathering. Ultimately, a lot of purists are of the opinion that it ruins the game and takes away the fun aspect of building a deck around a broken or well-optimised mechanic.

Those in favour are typically players who found their way into Magic via Arena and probably don’t understand how overpowered mechanics can be fun to play with/against and just spoil the overall experience of the game. The bottom line is that if you don’t want to play Alchemy, no one is going to force you into it.

All other formats remain unchanged and this is just a way for players to experience a live and balanced version of the Magic: The Gathering.

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