It's almost here: Arena Championship 4 runs this weekend, October 7–8! In this prestigious tournament, which will be streamed live starting at 9 a.m. PT each day on twitch.tv/magic, 32 top MTG Arena players have brought their best Historic decks and will battle it out for $200,000 in prizes and two Magic World Championship 30 invitations. All Historic decklists will become available on MTG Melee after the event gets underway.
What is the Arena Championship?
The Arena Championship, a thrice-yearly event, is the pinnacle of competition on MTG Arena. In the previous season, Arena Championship 1 was won by Sam Rolph, Arena Championship 2 was won by Hiroshi Onizuka, and Arena Championship 3 was won by Benjamin Broadstone. The upcoming fourth edition invites players who earned the most wins across Qualifier Weekend Day Twos held in May, June, July, and August of this year.
To earn a spot in these monthly Qualifier Weekends, as described in more detail on the MTG Arena Premier Play page, a player first needs to prove their skills. They can do so by finishing in the Top 250 of the Constructed or Limited ladder at the end of the preceding month, by reaching enough wins in Day 2 of an Arena Open, or via a Qualifier Play-In event. To subsequently qualify for the Arena Championship, they need to reach seven wins on Day One of a Qualifier Weekend, followed by a good performance on Day Two. An invitation to the Arena Championship is a big achievement, and it offers an opportunity to compete for a huge prize pool.
The majority of Arena Championship 4 competitors have at least one Pro Tour-level event under their belt, so the field is largely comprised of experienced veterans. In other words, this will be high-level Magic featuring some of the best players in the world, including:
- Magic World Championship XXIX competitor André Santos
- Players Tour Online Top 8 competitor Joonas Eloranta
- Pro Tour Top 8 competitor and Grand Prix champion Pascal Vieren
- 7-time Pro Tour Day 2 competitor Tamás Glied
- 19-time Pro Tour-equivalent competitor and streamer Thierry Ramboa
Historic Metagame Breakdown
Day 1 of Arena Championship 4 leads off with Wilds of Eldraine Draft followed by three rounds of Historic Constructed. Day 2 features three more rounds of Historic Constructed with a cut to a Top 8 Historic Constructed playoff to determine the champion.
Historic is MTG Arena's largest Constructed format, filled with both old and new Magic cards. Historic never rotates, and digital-only cards are legal, including rebalanced versions of existing cards. With over 9,000 cards to choose from, many unique strategies and wild synergies are possible. The metagame at Arena Championship 4 breaks down as follows.
|Number of Players
|Percentage of Field
|Samwise Gamgee Combo
All decklists will become available on MTG Melee after the event gets underway.
The last major Historic tournament was Arena Championship 2, where the metagame in the Swiss rounds was dominated by Jund Midrange, Kethis Combo, and Mardu Reanimator. Hiroshi Onizuka ultimately won that event with Izzet Wizards. Since then, several new sets have been released, and Crucias, Titan of the Waves was rebalanced into a 3/1, shaking up the metagame.
The most important new additions to Historic over the past few months stem from The Lord of The Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™:
More recently, Explorer Anthology 3 introduced
Due to all of these key new additions, Mono-Green Devotion, Dimir Control, and Golgari Yawgmoth surged in popularity. Combined, these three decks, whose strategies will be familiar to Pioneer and Modern players, comprise over half of the metagame at Arena Championship 4. Since these decks were nowhere to be seen at Arena Championship 2, Historic has clearly changed a lot since March, and it'll be exciting to see the matches play out this weekend.
The newest set, Wilds of Eldraine, has added several impactful cards to the Historic format even beyond its bonus sheet.