At the end of August, Wizards of the Coast announced that it planned to add a smattering of cards from "across Magic's history" to Magic: The Gathering Arena. It was indicated that these "new" cards were to be used in MTGA's Historic format, and at the time of the announcement it was said that the first batch would be available in November. Now, Wizards is looking to make good on its word, as the developer has just revealed the first 20 "new" cards headed to Arena.
This preliminary set of 20 cards, which is dubbed "Historic Anthology 1," will be available on Magic: The Gathering Arena beginning on November 21, and Wizards plans to add more "new" Historic cards every quarter. The cards contained within Historic Anthology 1 can be crafted using MTGA wildcards, at a 1:1 rate, or players can purchase full playsets of all 20 cards from the Arena store for 3,400 gems total.
For those interested in seeing the "new" Magic: The Gathering Arena Historic cards, they are as follows:
Players that peruse this list of new MTG Arena cards will notice that they cover a wide spectrum of sets, some of which are not even legal in Magic: The Gathering's Pioneer and Modern formats. Wizards addresses this head on, saying that it wants Historic to "stand on its own terms," and the developer further emphasizes that the goal is not to turn Historic into an "incomplete version" of an already established format.
Instead, Wizards is looking to add cards to Historic that will "drive decks that wouldn't otherwise exist in the format," and some of the deckbuilding opportunities that these "new" cards present are immediately apparently. For instance, the combination of Soul Warden and Serra Ascendant could easily form the foundation of a creature-centric deck focused on lifegain, while Captain Sisay could be a powerful engine at the center of a deck built around Legendary creatures and Magic: The Gathering Planeswalkers.
That said, the specific application of every card in Historic Anthology 1 is not immediately apparent, and it will take players some time to determine how big of an impact they all have on the format. Fortunately, it appears that there will be a myriad of opportunities to test out Historic decks featuring these "new" cards, as Wizards of the Coast has also confirmed that a Historic launch event, a Ranked Historic queue, and a Historic tournament are are all coming to Arena in the near future.
Magic: The Gathering Arena is available now on PC.
MORE: Magic Arena Review
Source: Wizards of the Coast