MTG Arena State of the Game – September 2020 Discussion

by in Magic: The Gathering Arena | Sep, 18th 2020

280 cards arrived this week into MTG Arena, and with it, several sets also disappeared from the Standard meta! That’s right, it’s Rotation Time! MTG Arena released their monthly State of the Game for September, where the latest news and updates are discussed. However, no mention of an Uro, Titan of Nature’s Wrath ban. That is perhaps the biggest ban I’m predicting for this expansion, and I think it will happen within the next couple of weeks/months. 

In September’s State of the Game, we’ll discuss the expansion as a whole, new features and mechanics, the Event Schedule, Rotation/Renewal for 2020, and the 2021 content that is presently in development for MTG Arena. There’s a lot going on right now in Magic, so let’s get started!

Zendikar Rising, Event Schedule, Rotation

We’re also working on a blog post that should come out around a similar time to this article, by Jason Parker. Since it hasn’t been published yet, just keep an eye out on his articles to see when it goes live. Zendikar Rising is huge though! You can see the entire card list here, or our in-depth look at the spoiler season here.

With Zendikar Rising comes some new l little features too, such as the ability to customize your in-game emote options. There will be new emotes added in the latest Mastery Pass, as well as from other in-game events, so keep an eye on those, if that’s your cup of tea. Once you have new emotes, you can adjust them via your Profile Page, next to Avatar/Pet Selection. You don’t have to pick just a few though. You can use as many of them as you want in-game, to maximize your trolling. . . I mean, your friendliness! Yes.

With every new expansion to MTG Arena, new mechanics show up, and there’s always the potential for old mechanics to come back. What would Zendikar be without Landfall, for example? It’s new to MTG Arena, but not to Magic as a game. We’ll go over those mechanics briefly:


Modal Double-Faced Cards: We discussed this when it was first revealed, but these are dual-sided cards like you’ve never seen them before in MTG Arena. Unlike traditional dual-sided cards, you pick a side and stick with it. They have a traditional MTG card on one side (Sorcery, Creature, Artifact, et cetera) and a Land on the other. Mousing over them will let you see both sides of the card at once, which is something you can’t do in real life. This will help inform your mulligan choices, as well as in-game decisions.

Party: It’s dangerous to go alone: take a friend! Cards that reference a Party refer to one of each creature type: Cleric, Warrior, Wizard, Rogue. You can have up to one of each represent your party. The game will automatically calculate your largest possible party size also, to take some of the time out of it for you. Cards that need a Party Mechanic will have a count badge on them to see your current party size. You can also mouse over these to see additional information (what roles you’re missing, for example). These cards give additional bonuses when you have these types of creatures in play.

Landfall: Landfall is easy to explain. Whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control, cards with a Landfall ability have these triggers go off, and it’s always beneficial. There are plenty of amazing Landfall cards right now, like Lotus Cobra, for example.

Kicker: Kicker’s back again! Cards with a Kicker cost have an optional extra cost, that, if you should pay it, gives you another buff or effect to the card. It’s always more expensive, as an extra cost, but it’s nearly always worth doing. When kicked cards are on the stack, they have an additional VFX to show that they were kicked.

Zendikar Rising Event Schedule

There are always events going down in-game, and this expansion is no exception. We’ll just list these briefly, so you know when you need to log in if you want to do any of these:

  • Premier Draft: September 17th – Winter 2020
  • Traditional Draft: September 17th – Winter 2020
  • Sealed: September 17th – October 2nd
  • Standard Metagame Challenge: September 26th – September 29th
  • Quick Draft: October 2nd – 16th
  • Zendikar Rising Constructed: October 3rd – October 6th

Rotation 2020 and Renewal

If you’ve made a MTG Arena account on or before September 17th, you’re up for some Individual Card Rewards (ICRs) to ring in the new expansion/rotation. These cards will all be in the current Standard Rotation. It’s unfortunate, for those of us with most of the standard cards (outside of Zendikar) won’t get Historic cards, which is really what some of us want.

With 2020 comes a rotation of the meta though. We say goodbye to Guilds of Ravnica, Core Set 2020, Ravnica Allegiance, and War of the Spark. They will exist in Historic, so they aren’t going away. You still have Throne of Eldraine, Theros Beyond Death, Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths, and Core Set 2021 to use. But let’s talk about those rewards!


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