New Alchemy play mode announced for MTG Arena


Debuting on Dec. 9 is a new way to experience Magic: The Gathering - Arena.

Debuting on Dec. 9 is a new way to experience Wizards of the Coast's digital variant of the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering - Arena.

Known as "Alchemy," it becomes yet another format within Arena.  This time, however, WotC looks to be leveraging the flexibility afforded by a digital game.

The format will consist of all of Magic's Standard-format sets and those sets will rotate within Alchemy the same as they do in Standard.  The big difference, however, is that in Alchemy WotC will be regularly re-balancing cards.  Alchemy versions of rebalanced cards will contain the MTG Arena "A" next to the card name, as well as having the "A" at the bottom of the card, as seen in the examples above.

Alchemy will also allow WotC to introduce digital-only mechanics such as the "perpetual" mechanic introduced in the MTGA-only Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set, and will add MTGA-exclusive digital cards to each set.  And, should WotC rebalance a card you own, players will receive every version of that card.

The company does point out that Alchemy is not meant to replace the Standard format on MTGA, stating "Standard will continue to exist on Arena and be aligned with the paper format."

Once Alchemy launches, players will be able to log into MTG Arena and receive automatically (and for free):

  • 3 Alchemy boosters
  • 6 rare Alchemy individual card rewards (ICRs)
  • 1 Alchemy mythic rare ICR

The release includes eleven rebalanced cards, as well as the 63-card Alchemy: Innistrad supplemental set.  Be sure to check it all out in WotC's Alchemy: Innistrad card image gallery.  The company says players should expect the Alchemy set for Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty to become available sometime in March.

Alchemy boosters will run 1,000 gold each, or 15 for 3,000 gems, which is the same price as Standard set boosters.  Also, players can also acquire a special, one-time purchase Alchemy bundle that contains 20 Alchemy boosters for 3,000 gems, or 15,000 gold.

Magic: The Gathering - Arena is playable on Windows PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Barry White

Barry White is a longtime Magic: The Gathering player, having started in 1994 shortly before the release of 'Fallen Empires.' After graduating from the University of Nevada, Reno, he went on to a 15-year journalism career as a writer, reporter, and videographer for three different ABC affiliate newsrooms.