Weekly MTG Unveils Alchemy — New Digital First Format On Arena

Digital-first format to use Standard sets with regular balance changes and new cards specific to MTG Arena.

Weekly MTG announced that a new way to play MTG Arena is coming on Dec. 9 — Alchemy!

Alchemy is a new format with a focus on digital play, emphasizing rebalancing and digital-only cards and mechanics. Alchemy will join Standard and Historic as constructed formats on the client, but is not replacing anything. The format will include all Standard-legal sets and will rotate sets when Standard does, but it aims to use digital tools to solve digital problems. This means rebalancing of cards will happen early and often (estimated monthly rebalancing), new cards will be added to the format to help solve problematic cards or archetypes, and new mechanics will allow things that haven’t been possible to keep the game fun and balanced. Standard will continue to align with the paper version of the format while Alchemy will provide an alternative with regular rebalancing and additional cards.

Alchemy cards will be added to MTG Arena through packs that will accompany each premier set roughly four to six weeks after the set’s main release. The new cards can be crafted with wild cards of the appropriate rarity. New cards will use the same setting as the main set and will incorporate digital-only mechanics. The new cards will be designed to provide counterplay to existing powerful archetypes and to bolster strategies that are underpowered. Alchemy packs will have duplicate protection, but once a player has all the cards from the Alchemy expansion the packs will pull cards from the accompanying main set. Once you have all the Alchemy: Innistrad cards, the packs will use cards from Innistrad: Crimson Vow. Rebalanced Alchemy cards will not replace the original cards. If you own a card and it gets rebalanced, you will own all versions of the card. New cards from Alchemy expansions will have their own set symbol, while rebalanced cards will keep their original set symbol but will have an “A” appear before the card’s name in the top left corner.

Jumpstart: Historic Horizons already introduced digital-only cards and mechanics on MTG Arena back in August, but Alchemy looks to make more use of things like conjure, seek, and perpetually altering cards in game. On top of that, Alchemy is debuting “draft a card from spellbook” as a new form of conjuring/drawing and cards that can behave differently if you weren’t the starting player. The new cards will be legal in Alchemy and Historic while the rebalanced cards become the version legal in Historic. Alchemy: Innistrad will contain 63 new cards to catch up with Standard’s previous releases with a heavy bias toward Innistrad: Midnight Hunt and Innistrad: Crimson Vow flavored cards. Each following Alchemy drop will contain roughly 30 new cards.

Let’s take a look at ten new cards coming in the Alchemy: Innistrad set!

Forsaken Crossroads is a new land that will tap for one color of a chosen mana that you decide when it enters the battlefield. It will enter the battlefield tapped and allow you to scry 1. However, if you didn’t go first you may have it enter the battlefield untapped instead.

Ominous Traveler is one of the new cards that let you draft a card from its spellbook. The colorless two-mana 1/1 Human lets you draft a card from its spellbook when it enters the battlefield and the drafted card can be played with any color of mana. It will also bounce Ominous Traveler back to your hand when you play the drafted card, allowing you to draft another card later.

Ominous Traveler’s spellbook contains:

  • Dominating Vampire
  • Vampire Socialite
  • Stromkirk Bloodthief
  • Falkenrath Pit Fighter
  • Wolfkin Outcast
  • Howlpack Piper
  • Tovolar, Dire Overlord
  • Patrician Geist
  • Shipwreck Sifters
  • Steelclad Spirit
  • Heron-Blessed Geist
  • Archghoul of Thraben
  • Champion of the Perished
  • Headless Rider
  • Bladestitched Skaab

Drafting from a spellbook is a tweaked version of conjure, where it shows you three cards from the spellbook and creates the card to put into your hand. The selection will always be three random cards of the whole spellbook, so there’s no chipping away at the pool to find one exact card.

Ishkanah, Broodmother is another card with the draft from its spellbook mechanic. This green mythic rare is a four-mana 3/5 Spider with reach that gives your other Spiders +1+2. Ishkanah’s draft doesn’t happen on ETB, but instead can be activated for 1B/G and exiling two cards from your graveyard.

Ishkanah, Broodmother’s spellbook contains:

  • Twin-Silk Spider
  • Drider
  • Brood Weaver
  • Glowstone Recluse
  • Gnottvold Recluse
  • Hatchery Spider
  • Mammoth Spider
  • Netcaster Spider
  • Sentinel Spider
  • Snarespinner
  • Sporecap Spider
  • Spidery Grasp
  • Spider Spawning
  • Prey Upon
  • Arachnoform

Gitrog, Horror of Zhava is a four-mana 6/6 Frog Horror with trample but at the beginning of combat an opponent can sacrifice a creature to tap it, if they do you seek a land card and put in onto the battlefield tapped. It also has the ability for whenever a land enters the battlefield under your control it perpetually gains “BG, T: Sacrifice this land: Draw a card.”

Geistchanneler is a two-mana 1/3 Human Wizard that lets you perpetually make an instant or sorcery card in your hand two mana cheaper.

Patient Zero is a two-mana 2/2 Zombie with lifelink that keeps damage from being able to be removed from opponents’ creatures during cleanup steps.

Absorb Energy is one of two non-permanent cards previewed. The three-mana counterspell makes your cards in hand that share a type with the countered spell perpetually one mana cheaper.

Captain Eberhart is a two-mana 1/1 legendary Human Soldier with double strike that makes the cards you drew this turn one mana cheaper while making opponents’ cards they drew this turn one mana more expensive.

Toralf’s Disciple is a three-mana 3/3 Human Warrior with haste that allows you to conjure four Lightning Bolts into your deck whenever it attacks.

Begin Anew is the other new non-permanent and its a doozy. For GGWW you get a Wrath of God that perpetually grows the creatures in your hand +1+1.

Some of the upcoming nerfs were also shown off, including changes to some of Standard’s biggest players.

Alrund’s Epiphany will not make Birds unless it is played for its foretell cost and its foretell cost is one more mana.

Esika’s Chariot only makes one Cat and its crew cost is reduced to 2.

Goldspan Dragon loses the “or becomes the target of a spell,” clause.

Faceless Haven now becomes a 3/3 instead of a 4/3.

Omnath, Locus of Creation costs an additional generic mana and the ETB ability is scry 1 instead of draw a card.

Luminarch Aspirant adds the +1+1 counter at the end of turn instead of at the beginning of combat.

Digital balancing also allows cards to be improved, so check out some buffs Alchemy is implementing.

Phylath, World Sculptor gains trample and the tokens gain trample when they get the +1+1 counters

Demilich is now a 4/4 instead of a 4/3.

Cosmos Elixir’s second ability is gain 2 life and scry 1 instead of gain 2 life.

Druid Class’s activation to reach level 3 reduced from 4G to 2G.

Wizard Class’s activation to reach level 3 reduced from 4U to 2U.

Previews for Alchemy: Innistrad will run Friday, December 3, Monday, December 6, and Tuesday, December 7 on Daily MTG.

Read the original article from WotC