Welcome to The Forward Look, your new monthly preview of all things MTG Arena! August is going to be a very exciting month for Magic players. The month just kicked off with a bang with the first Historic Arena Open and there’s plenty more jam packed into the next four weeks.


Let’s start with my favorite format, Premier Draft. As of the last day of July, our rotating format is Dominaria! It’s been a few years since this Historic set was available for limited play on MTG Arena and it was never around for the relatively new Premier Draft format. If you want a refresher on the format check out these guides.

Dominaria will stick around for two weeks, heading off into the sunset again in two weeks on August 14th. It’s a great set to draft and will give newer players an opportunity to collect some awesome Historic staples like Teshar, Ancestor’s Apostle, Tempest Djinn, Goblin Chainwhirler, Llanowar Elves, and Teferi, Hero of Dominaria.

If Dominaria isn’t your thing there’s still plenty of time to draft Core Set 2021 and complete your collection if you haven’t already done so. It’s not the deepest limited format of all time, but it has some really diverse archetypes. My personal favorite strategy is to force Simic and pray for Teferi’s Tutelage and maybe for a few Lorescale Coatls.

Last but not least, while Wizards hasn’t officially announced a Premier Draft format to replace Dominaria in the back half of the month, it seems safe to assume that it will be dedicated to Amonkhet Remastered. The draft-focused return of Amonkhet to Arena is designed for limited play and being used to introduce Amonkhet cards into Historic (more on that below). Amonkhet Remastered releases on August 13th, right before Dominaria goes away, so it feels like a safe bet.


If you’re a Standard grinder on Arena then you’re likely spending August competing for a slot in the Mythic Qualifier later this year. Wilderness Reclamation decks were the top archetype in the format, winning the Players Tour Finals over the weekend. And sure enough, Wizards went back to the Ban Hammer yesterday, knocking out Reclamation, Teferi, Time Raveler, Growth Spiral, and Cauldron Familiar. Reclamation had been a dominating part of the metagame, and Teferi was arguably more oppressive, so expect big shifts to follow this week’s bans. Perhaps a playset of Lucky Clover is in order?

Regardless, Standard players have only weeks left to enjoy their format as we get closer and closer to rotation with Zendikar Rising, which comes out in late September. We don’t have a clear picture of what rotation events Wizards has planned for us, but I wouldn’t expect any of them until September.

Last year’s main event was a Standard queue where you could only use cards that were in the sets that were not rotating, in case you want to prepare anything in the meantime.


August is going to be a big month for Arena’s non-rotating format. As mentioned above, this past weekend featured the first ever Historic Arena Open, helping to solidify the format’s standing as a premier offering for competitive players. The addition of Jumpstart helped bring some new life to the format’s metagame, but the next four weeks could really shake things up.

Amonkhet Remastered is just around the corner, releasing on August 13th with more information coming on August 6th, likely during this week’s Magic show on Twitch Thursday evening. Amonkhet was part of the closed beta for MTG Arena, and it’s finally returning, bringing 340 of the cards from Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation to Historic.

I know I’m excited to brew some new decks and see how the metagame shakes out by the end of the month. Here’s a quick list of the top ten cards I’m looking forward to (and hoping made the cut to the final 340):

Do you remember how much fun it was when The Scarab God was Standard legal? Will you be trying to build a Cycling deck around Drake Haven and Sharknados? Are you pretty sure you’re still just going to jam Goblins until Wizards bans Muxus, Goblin Grandee, because why not?

Wrapping Up

So there you have it. August is indeed the month of Historic. Limited players will be reveling in Dominaria and Amonkhet. Historic players will be looking to shake up the format with a new pool of cards from Amonkhet Remastered. Everyone will be getting ready for the next Standard Rotation. It’s going to be fun.

It’s important to find some joy in things during these troublesome times and August is going to be a time to bring many happy moments to Magic players. This is the time to hopefully stay safe, enjoy the rest of the summer, and mentally gird yourself for what is looming on the horizon.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at what’s coming for Magic Arena. We’ll be back to kick off September with a look at Rotation 2020, Zendikar Rising, and maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll be talking about Arena coming to Mobile devices as well!

For now, stay safe and may all your opening hands contain Skirk Prospector and Muxus!

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