MTG Arena changes Theros: Beyond Death Ranked Draft availability

Ranked Draft moves to a rotating schedule.

Klothys Art Magic Theros Beyond Death
Image via Wizards of the Coast Magic: The Gathering

Theros: Beyond Death Ranked Draft tournaments will rotate every two weeks, Wizards of the Coast announced today.

Several new and returning events are arriving in MTG Arena within the month of February, along with a reduction of playtime available in THB Ranked Draft. The decision was based on gameplay statistics, possibly noting that two Draft queues saw less participation compared to when there was just one.

But the data mentioned may not have taken into account reduced participation in ELD Ranked Draft due to bot drafting that forced stale archetypes in the colors Blue and Red. 

“Starting with Core Set 2020, we made sure ranked drafts of the most current set were always available, alongside a second draft that would rotate every two weeks,” WotC said. “The data we’ve seen since then has been, counterintuitive. We started to see less overall Draft play when there were more events available. Variety is the spice of life, it seems.”

Beginning on Feb. 14, THB Ranked Draft will rotate out of Magic Arena for two weeks, returning on Feb. 28. It’ll rotate in and out every two weeks for the rest of the THB season. WotC also revealed that an eight-person live Draft is still in development and that Ranked Draft may return full-time to Arena once the mode is launched later this year. 

Despite a reduction in Ranked Draft gameplay, there are two positive changes also occurring with the Feb. 11 MTG Arena update. Players will now be able to add Sealed and Draft decks to their decklists and compete in a Direct Challenge Limited tournament match mode.

The Magic World Championship is incorporating Draft into MTG Arena, allowing all players to compete in the Direct Challenge mode with a Limited 40-card deck. While playing Sealed and Draft tournaments, players can save those decks and use them in the new Direct Challenge mode at any time.