Along with a slew of other announcements today, Wizards of the Coast revealed that eight-player draft pods are coming to Magic: the Gathering Arena on Thursday, April 16 with the release of Ikoria: Lair of Behemoths.

Don’t miss our coverage of MTG Arena’s planned releases on MacOS and mobile.

Two New 8-Player Draft Modes

MTG Arena’s new eight-player draft will be available in both Best-of-One and Best-of-Three play modes. Players will then take their draft deck and compete in events with league-style (rather than in-pod) pairings.

Best-of-One player drafts will be ranked events called “Premier Draft” and will have have a similar structure to existing draft events, allowing players to play until they reach seven wins or three losses for an entry fee of 1,500 Gems or 10,000 Gold. Best-of-Three player drafts, on the other hand, will be unranked events called “Traditional Draft” that consist of three rounds (like a tabletop draft), also for 1,500 Gems or 10,000 Gold.

Up until now, MTG Arena has only supported automated bot drafting, which provided players the opportunity to draft against seven pre-programmed bot drafters whose picks were determined by algorithms trained by real Magic Online draft data. Those bot drafts will continue to be available for Best-of-One ranked play with the new name of “Quick Draft” but will not be available for Best-of-Three play.

To celebrate the new draft feature, Wizards is giving all players a free Ikoria eight-player draft—your choice of Best-of-One or Best-of-Three. You must log in before April 30 to claim the free draft so don’t forget!

Cube Draft is Coming…Eventually

Wizards added a new Cube Sealed event to MTG Arena in March to much fanfare. Now, with the addition of eight-player draft pods, they are planning to add a new Cube Draft event to the game that will use the same MTG Arena card list as the Sealed event.

“Cube has no concept of rarity,” Wizards said, “so packs will contain plenty of exciting rares and mythic rares in your pool. The diversity of cards and the strategies and synergies make each run an exciting new experience every time, and as we continue to add cards to MTG Arena you can expect us to continue updating and iterating on the cubes we offer.”

They didn’t give a specific time table for when the Cube Draft events would come to MTG Arena other than saying that it was “in development.”

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