The Gathering Arena’s New Timeless Format Allows Every Single Card

Magic: The Gathering Arena is introducing a new nonrotating format called Timeless on December 12, in which all cards are playable, even the new fetch lands from Khans of Tarkir.


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Senior digital product manager Dave Finseth announced the news in a blog post on the official Magic website. He explained that, due to new and upcoming powerful expansions, such as Modern Horizons 3 in 2024, as well as the popularity of bonus sheets released alongside sets like Wilds of Eldraine and March of the Machine, the time was right for a new mode to let fans run wild and uninhibited.

Players proved there is demand for this format with their engagement and support during the Historic No Banned List and Historic Basically No Ban events we ran in September and November.

This doesn’t mean that the Historic format will be removed. Due to it being a balanced and curated experience, as opposed to Timeless’ more freeing nature, the team behind MTG Arena will continue to support it. However, to keep Historic fair, Khans of Tarkir’s fetch lands have been pre-emptively banned.

While Timeless will allow every card to be played in a nonrotating format, there is one restriction… literally. This new mode will be the first Arena format to have a restricted list, instead of bans. If a card is on that list, you can only have one copy of it in your deck and sideboard. However, there are only three cards included so far, and they are as follows:

  • Channel
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Tibalt’s Trickery

MTG Arena decided to restrict these cards based on the Historic No Banned List event, so Historic may continue to shape this list, and by extension the format, going forward.

If a card on the restricted list is no longer legal in other formats and you have duplicates, you will be given three wildcards in exchange for the excess copies. But this does not apply to the cards listed above.

To commemorate the new mode, Magic: The Gathering Arena is adding a card from Modern Horizons 2, Timeless Dragon.


MTG Arena Timeless Dragon card over the cards own key art
Art by Anastasia Ovchinnikova

Not only will its launch be commemorated by a new Arena-exclusive card, there will also be an event where “Players can test their decks and earn packs”. Dubbed the Timeless Metagame Challenge, it goes live on February 2 and ends two days later on the fourth.

Timeless will be played with 60-card decks in a Constructed format, including rebalanced versions of digital-only cards. It will launch with ranked Best-of-One and Best-of-Three queues, as well as an unranked version.

As for the future of the mode, Finseth says that the team “will keep an eye on how these new cards impact the format and restrict anything that proves to be too much”. They are also “evaluating whether doing something like a Timeless anthology set is interesting”.

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