Explorer set for MTG Arena competitive debut in June qualifier events

Earn an invitation to the Arena Championship by playing Explorer.

Image via WotC

The June qualifier play-ins and qualifier weekend will be played in best-of-three Explorer, making this the first time Arena‘s new eternal format will be played in a premier competitive event, Wizards of the Coast announced today.

At the recent New Capenna Championship, the eternal format of choice for the event was Historic. Explorer hasn’t been featured in any competitive events since it was introduced. Starting in June, Explorer will be a part of the Magic premier play system.

The June qualifier play-ins are scheduled for June 11 and June 17 will lead directly into the June Qualifier Weekend. The June 11 play-in will be Best-of-One Explorer, while the June 17 event will be Best-of-Three Explorer.

A two-day qualifier weekend is set for June 18 to 19. Players will compete for invitations to the Arena Championship that will be held toward the end of 2022.

Explorer was introduced as the first step toward Arena fully supporting Pioneer, one of Magic‘s eternal formats that contain cards from Return to Ravnica forward. In reaction to Arena players wanting a true-to-paper format after the introduction of Alchemy, regular rebalancing in Historic, and digital-only cards.

Wizards of the Coast said that it would take some time to program the total card pool of Pioneer into Arena. This led to the creation of Explorer, a format that follows the Pioneer ban list and includes all cards on Arena that are legal in Pioneer.

The format has its own personality with the lack of several key decks like Lotus Field Combo, Naya Winota, Mono-Green Devotion, and Jeskai Ascendency. As the format is expanded it’ll begin to more closely resemble Pioneer until the full transition is made.