A CCG, online or not, can’t exist with just one format. It was easy enough to predict that Hearthstone would eventually add a limited format to go with its “anything goes” format, but Magic: The Gathering Arena has gone in the other direction. The Standard format, which sees sets rotate every couple of years, has been announced as how MTGA will do business, but it looks like the game will be adding another format in the future.
In an interview with ScreenRant, Wizards of the Coat Vice President of Esports Elaine Chase said that a “Standard Plus” format will eventually make its way over to Magic: The Gathering Arena. Chase said that they “don’t have any details to share on exactly what that looks like,” but Wizards’ “intent for sure is to have Arena’s Standard Plus format.”
That’s a format that uses a larger pool of cards, which has the obvious benefit of letting players use cards that have rotated out of the main Standard format, similar to Hearthstone’s Wild format. While it’s not necessary now, with Arena’s limited card pool, it will be down the road as more card sets find their way into the game. At least it’s good to see that Wizards of the Coast — who pioneered the notion of multiple formats for Magic: The Gathering over 20 years ago — anticipates this issue and is communicating to its fans that it’s coming.