Wizards of the Coast has been extremely diligent in fixing bugs and updating Magic Arena, their online interface for Magic: The Gathering. On top of that, they've been fairly communicative about what they do for the client, and how it will affect players trying to get their dailies in, grind for Mythic, or prep for their next draft event. As such, this month they've made a fair few announcements that will change the state of Arena overall.
The first major update that Wizards of the Coast gives us is the backend update. According to the announcement, made yesterday, here are the details of what time this major update will occur on the day of August 10th, and what services will be ending and when for the duration of this backend tweaking:
- 5:30 a.m. PT — No more games can begin
- 6:30 a.m. PT — Real money purchases disabled in the store
- 7:00 a.m. PT — Players will be removed from the system and cannot log in
- Around 11:00 a.m. PT — System back online, players can log in again
This will affect the August 2021 Ranked Season, splitting it into two for this month, one before the update and a second after. Both seasons will grant rewards (rewards for the early one will be available following the downtime).
Another update for this State of Arena includes the release date for Jumpstart: Historic Horizons, the new online-only set for the interface. Releasing officially on August 12th, this set features effects that wouldn't be able to be utilized in physical, paper games of Magic: The Gathering (without a ton of format accommodation), but online, these effects are attainable in a digital form, so Wizards of the Coast decided to run with that.
Finally, many Magic: The Gathering players have asked for a 100-card Historic Brawl format, and Wizards of the Coast is finally deciding to deliver this. Furthermore, Historic Brawl will now always be 100-card, while Standard Brawl will remain a 60-card format. This is seen by many to be extremely positive as a change, will likely draw in many players, and might even be a proper precursor to Commander being included on Arena in the future.
What do you think about these changes to Magic Arena? Do you appreciate the new set, or the new changes to Historic Brawl? Do you lament not being about to play digital Magic: The Gathering between 5:30 and around 11:00 AM Pacific Time? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!