Wizards of the Coast addressed and acknowledged that Standard, an organized play format for Magic: The Gathering, had been floundering on FLGS tabletops in the last few years, and announced the first step in an attempt to revitalize it.
Standard has more or less been a dying format on FLGS tabletops since the pandemic ended and players returned to organized play events. There are a few possible reasons for this, but the most obvious culprit is likely that players had shifted to playing Standard on MTG Arena over the course of the pandemic, and simply never went back to creating these decks IRL after investing heavily into the online format. The Standard format sees more play on MTG Arena than any other format, but at stores, Standard play is lagging whereas Pioneer, Modern, and Commander are doing just fine.
WotC Senior Design Director Aaron Forsythe and Director of Play Programs Billy “Huey” Jenson addressed these issues in a recent news article on the Magic: The Gathering site, and revealed the first step towards a solution. Their first step towards remedying Standard’s tabletop decline was to change the rotation of the sets in the Standard environment from every two years to every three years starting with the release of Wilds of Eldraine in Q3 2023 (see “Wizards of the Coast Compleats“). The goal of this change is to give cards more longevity in the format, allow mechanics and archetypes to develop over time, and increase the overall stability of the format.
There will be no Standard format rotation in 2023. That means Innistrad: Crimson Vow, Innistrad: Midnight Hunt, Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty, and Streets of New Capenna will stick around in Standard until 2024. This may help retailers offload a few of these products that might’ve been sitting in inventory since late 2021.
For more information on future releases of Magic: The Gathering products, check out ICv2’s 2023 calendar (see “‘Magic: The Gathering’ 2023 Release Calendar“).