What is the Alchemy format in MTG Arena?

Explore a format within Magic that isn't tied to tabletop formats.

Image via WotC

A new Standard format called Alchemy is being added to MTG Arena, featuring digital-only and rebalanced cards alongside all Standard-legal Magic cards. 

Alchemy will launch via MTG Arena on Dec. 9, along with 63 digital-only cards and a number of nerfs and buffs to existing Standard-legal cards. Cards within the new Arena format will rotate out each year, just like Standard, remaining playable within the Historic format. With the release of each new Standard-legal set, WotC will add around 30 Arena digital-only cards to the Alchemy format.

Players can test out the new Magic Arena by logging into the game, receiving a total of three Alchemy booster packs, six Rare Alchemy individual card rewards, and one Alchemy Mythic Rare individual card reward.

What is a Live Magic format?

Alchemy is a Live format within Magic and is separate from tabletop formats. Similar to Historic, the Alchemy format will be offered as a playable format within future tournaments. Live formats contain digital-only cards and mechanics, allowing for additional design space that isn’t realistic within tabletop formats.

Additional Live formats in Magic are meant to offer players more gameplay options. WotC does not have plans to stop supporting tabletop formats.

The launch of Alchemy on MTG Arena will include a premier set, containing a total of 63 A22 digital-only cards. Around a dozen existing Standard-legal cards are also receiving nerfs and buffs at launch. Both the Alchemy and Historic formats will contain digital-only mechanics. 

How do Magic bans and balance changes work in Alchemy?

No bans will ever take place within the Alchemy format. And players who own either a rebalanced or original Standard-legal card will own all versions of that card. Cards will get balanced on a regular basis, around once a month, and new digital-only cards will be added via premier sets. 

Any cards banned from the Standard format will result in a reimbursement of Wildcards for the number of copies of that banned card, even if players own a rebalanced version of that banned card. Upon the release of a new Standard-legal set, WotC won’t apply any balance changes until around four to six weeks following the launch of the set.  

How do Alchemy booster packs work?

Digital-only cards are offered in Alchemy booster packs and can be unlocked using MTG Arena Wildcards. Cards within Alchemy booster packs will have duplicate protection. Upon receiving four copies of every card, Arena will pull Standard-legal cards into the Alchemy booster packs.  

Can I rank up the ladder via the Alchemy format?

Players will be able to climb the ranked ladder within the Alchemy format, similar to the Historic format.

How much do Alchemy booster packs cost?

Players can crack an Alchemy booster pack for 1,000 gold. There is also a bundle of 15 booster packs for 3,000 gems. A special bundle is also getting added to the MTG Arena store that contains 20 Alchemy booster packs for either 3,000 gems or $15,000 gold.

What are the MTG Arena Alchemy formats?

Both best-of-one and best-of-three formats are offered to players within the MTG Arena Alchemy format. In addition, players can play these formats as either Ranked or non-Ranked. The Alchemy format will also make MTG Arena event appearances via Midweek Magic and Festivals.

The new format will also get competitive representation. The December Ranked qualifier will use the Alchemy format and an Alchemy Arena Open will take place in January.

When does Alchemy get new digital-only cards?

Around a month after the release of a Standard-legal set in Magic, new digital-only cards will get added to MTG Arena for that release. Around 30 cards will get added with each new Standard-legal set release.


Alchemy launches via MTG Arena on Dec. 9. Any updates to the format will be added to this article when that information becomes available. 

Correction Dec. 9 4:30pm CT: It was originally reported that players earned Alchemy rewards via the code TRY ALCHEMY! But all rewards are given upon logging into MTG Arena and do not require a code.