Magic: The Gathering’s Historic format, explained

Available only to MTG Arena players, this format features cards from various sets, not only of recent releases.

Ikoria Lair of the Behemoths MTG trailer
Screengrab via WotC

The Magic: The Gathering Historic format was introduced to MTG: Arena in November 2019 as a fun and casual way for players to experiment with their entire collection. The cards in this format come from various sets throughout the entire life of MTG, unlike other formats that feature only recent releases.

Historic allows you to play your entire collection even after certain cards are removed from the Standard format. You get a completely different experience by being able to create super decks from plenty of expansions.

The cards in this format are added in three ways:

  • By appearing in the Standard set, they’re automatically added to Historic as well.
  • By being added via Historic Anthologies.
  • By appearing in the supplemental set released on MTG: Arena.

At the same time, this format is balanced out and some cards are either banned or suspended for a period of time. This is done to ensure that no overpowered cards remain in this format to ruin it because due to the huge variety of cards available to players, there are certain combos that might become unstoppable.

This format allows you to create tribal decks that otherwise might not exist since you have a huge pool of cards to choose from to buff up your creatures. It’s a great experimentation tool if you have a huge collection, allowing you to give birth to new decks.