Here are the 1.03 patch notes for MTG Arena’s December update

Gear up for the holidays via events, bundles, and cosmetics.

Throne of Eldraine spoilers Sept 12
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Another MTG Arena update has dropped and contained within it are a few reveals players weren’t expecting. 

The MTG Arena December update contained a surprise friends list in it today, along with a new pre-order bundle, a lengthy list of upcoming events, and a host of cosmetics. 

Friends list

Players can invite up to 200 friends and challenge them anytime in every format available in Arena. The previous scaling issues have mostly been resolved, but there is a frozen state problem WotC is asking players to work around. Ways to resolve the frozen issue and a breakdown of the friends list options can be found here

Deckbuilder changes

WotC is cleaning up some of the user interface problems that have plagued Arena, beginning with the sorting of decks. Players can now organize and sort their decks based on several criteria. 

  • Format (Standard, Historic, Pauper, Singleton, Brawl).
  • Last modified, or in alphabetical order.
  • Name of the deck.
  • Color Identity of the deck.


Four cards have been suspended in the Historic format. An explanation of suspended, as opposed to banned, can be found here

  • Field of the Dead.
  • Oko, Thief of Crowns.
  • Veil of Summer.
  • Once Upon a Time. 

Upcoming MTG Arena events

As with every monthly Arena update, there are several events taking place between Dec. 12 and Jan. 16.


The Brawlidays event is in the Brawl format. A full breakdown of the event can be found here

  • Dec. 12 to Jan. 16.
  • Entry fee of 10,000 gold or 2,000 gems.
  • No limit on the number of games played, or loss record. 
  • Reward: A single copy of Rhys the Redeemed with the first win. 

Historic Artisan

The battlefield for the event has a holiday Throne of Eldraine theme, and the format is Historic Artisan (Commons and Uncommons rarity only).

  • The event runs from Dec. 20 to 30.
  • Entry fee of 2,500 gold or 500 gems. 
  • No limit to the number of games played.

Here are the Historic Artisan rewards:

  • First win: Card style for Militia Bugler.
  • Second win: Card style for Curious Obsession.
  • Third win: Card style for Cast Down.
  • Fourth win: Card style for Guttersnipe.
  • Fifth win: Card style for Wildgrowth Walker.

Here are the cards banned from the Historic Artisan event:

  • Persistent Petitioners
  • Cauldron Familiar
  • Cavalcade of Calamity
  • Gates Ablaze

Standard Shakeup

The Standard Shakeup event bans top-played cards in the current meta. 

  • Event runs from Dec. 30 to Jan. 6.
  • Entry fee of 2,500 gold or 500 gems. 
  • No limit on the number of games played. 

Here are the rewards for the Standard Shakeup event:

  • First win: 1000 XP.
  • Second win: Card style for Flux Channeler.
  • Third win: 1000 XP.
  • Fourth win: Card style for Escape to the Wilds.
  • Fifth win: 1000 XP.

Here are the banned cards in the event. 

  • Brazen Borrower.
  • Brineborn Cutthroat.
  • Cauldron Familiar.
  • Murderous Rider.
  • Bonecrusher Giant.
  • Cavalcade of Calamity.
  • Embercleave.
  • Fires of Invention.
  • Gates Ablaze.
  • Light Up the Stage.
  • Runaway Steam-Kin.
  • Edgewall Innkeeper.
  • Gilded Goose.
  • Nightpack Ambusher.
  • Nissa, Who Shakes the World.
  • Questing Beast.
  • Wilderness Reclamation.
  • Teferi, Time Raveler.
  • Doom Foretold.
  • Thought Erasure.
  • Hydroid Krasis.
  • Risen Reef.

Planeswalker Momir

The format includes a Momir emblem with a deck of lands, along with selected planeswalkers. 

  • Event runs from Jan. 11 to 13.
  • Entry fee of 2,500 gold or 500 gems.
  • No limit on the number of games played.

Here are the rewards for the Planeswalker Momir event:

  • First win: 1,000 XP.
  • Second win: 1,000 XP.
  • Third win: 1,000 XP.

Historic Challenge

The Historic Challenge is an event fought in a best-of-three Traditional Historic format.

  • Event runs from Jan. 11 to 13.
  • Entry fee of 10,000 gold or 2,000 gems
  • Length of the event is determined by wins/losses: Eight match wins or three match losses.

Here are the rewards for the Historic Challenge event:

  • Zero wins: Four Rare/Mythic Rare Historic ICRs and a Treasure Hunt Sleeve.
  • One win: 1,000 gold, four Rare/Mythic Rare Historic ICRs, and a Treasure Hunt Sleeve.
  • Two wins: 2,000 gold, four Rare/Mythic Rare Historic ICRs , and a Treasure Hunt Sleeve.
  • Three wins: 3,000 gold, four Rare/Mythic Rare Historic ICRs, and a Treasure Hunt Sleeve.
  • Four wins: 4,000 gold, four Rare/Mythic Rare Historic ICRs, and a Treasure Hunt Sleeve.
  • Five wins: 6,000 gold, eight booster packs, a Treasure Hunt Sleeve, and Gaea’s Cradle Sleeve.
  • Six wins 6,000 gold, 12 booster packs, a Treasure Hunt Sleeve, and Gaea’s Cradle Sleeve.
  • Seven wins: 6,000 gold, 16 booster packs, a Treasure Hunt Sleeve, and Gaea’s Cradle Sleeve.
  • Eight wins: 6,000 gold, 40 booster packs, a Treasure Hunt Sleeve and, Gaea’s Cradle Sleeve.

Packs are divided equally among Ixalan, Rivals of Ixalan, Dominaria, and Core Set 2019 for players who achieve five to eight wins.

Pre-order bundles and new pet

With the Theros: Beyond Death set arriving on Jan. 16, there are two new pre-order bundles. And a new pet, Kunoros, has joined the Arena store. Full details regarding the bundles can be found here

Other cosmetics

Several card styles are on sale and there are two new card sleeves in the Arena store. 

Card Style Sales

  • Fabled Passage: 500 gems.
  • Questing Beast: 600 gems.
  • Chandra’s Spitfire: 300 gems.
  • Hydroid Krasis: 600 gems.
  • Cauldron Familiar: 300 gems.
  • Witch’s Oven: 300 gems.
  • Sinister Sabotage: 300 gems.


  • Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God: 3,000 gold or 500 gems.
  • Eternal Army: 3,000 gold or 500 gems.
  • Mu Yanling: 3,000 gold or 500 gems.


  • Lightning Bolt Exquisite Sleeve: 6,000 gold.
  • Cryptic Command Exquisite Sleeve: 6,000 gold.

Card Styles entering the Deckbuilder

  • Beanstalk Giant.
  • Fires of Invention.

Items leaving soon

  • Adventure Abound Bundle
  • Animated Armory Bundle
  • Court Knights Bundle
  • Familiar Faces Bundle
  • Aggressive Negotiations
  • Uncovered Artifacts Bundle
  • Standard 2020 Bundle
  • Throne of Eldraine Set Mastery Pass

Items no longer available

  • Feisty Food Bundle.
  • Lochmere Serpent.
  • Stolen by the Fae.
  • Robber of the Rich.
  • Outlaws’ Merriment.

Bug Fixes

A large number of individual cards and gameplay fixes were taken care of in the MTG Arena December update

  • “Having multiple types of near hand castables (cards in a zone other than your hand that you can still cast) now sorted correctly.”
  • “Adventure cards with showcase frames now display properly when ordering blockers.”
  • “Rankle, Master of Pranks’ SFX no longer loops indefinitely if no choice is selected.”
  • “Chandra, Awakened Inferno’s emblem created by Nicol Bolas, Dragon-God’s static ability now displays correctly if you are using the stained glass card style.”
  • “Dreamcaller Siren’s VFX textures now display properly when the card enters the battlefield.”
  • “Knight of the Ebon Legion’s VFX now properly scales depending when changing zones/states.”
  • “Ajani, Strength of the Pride’s 0 ability now displays VFX in the correct location.”
  • “Cavalier of Thorns’ SFX no longer persists on the battlefield.”
  • “Skarrgan’s Hellkite VFX should now display properly on all battlefields when entering play.”
  • “The Great Henge’s VFX should no longer appear on tokens created by cards entering the battlefield while The Great Henge is in play.”
  • “Auto-Tap now correctly recognizes mana that can be produced by Guild Globe or Golden Egg.”
  • “Mana cost of cards dragged from hand no longer visually clips through various objects on the battlefield.”
  • “Triggered ‘you may pay {X}’ abilities no longer show a value when returning from exile.”
  • “Resolve All is now properly paused if your opponent Casts an Adventure card.”
  • “Creatures that can’t block are no longer stacked with identical creatures.”
  • “Adjusted the Adamant VFX to make the mana cost easier to read while cards are in your hand.”
  • “Orzhov Exquisite Sleeve VFX no longer plays incorrectly in the purchase overlay.”

Known issues

WotC is aware of several issues within MTG Arena. The following problems are being worked on according to December patch notes in the MTG forums. Players who identify new issues are encouraged to contact WotC and file a “report a bug” ticket here.

  • “Unlimited FPS in the advanced graphics options may cause visual issues in deck builder. To workaround, temporarily set your FPS to 60 or lower while in deck builder.”
  • “Artisan Historic format name is missing in certain language options.”
  • “A search that fails to return cards may have missing translation depending on your language options.”
  • “Players may get stuck in the Mulligan browser if they choose to take a mulligan as their timer runs out.”
  • “Token copies of creatures that require a choice as it enters the battlefield do not appear until after the choice is made.”
  • “Some token copies of creatures are missing rules text.”
  • “Players are unable to scroll through their Friends List if the Challenge button is currently being moused over.”
  • “Accepting a Friend Request while its Block menu is open causes the menu to get stuck.”
  • “The Friend Online pip updates erroneously if scrolling the friends list while alternating the cursor between online and offline friends.”
  • “Players are able to Block/Unfriend other players when a Friend Challenge request is pending.”