MTG Arena Khans of Tarkir savage punch card artwork

[Update #2]: It took a while, but MTG Arena has finally added the ability to favorite card styles!

[Update]: MTG Arena's mini-expansion Alchemy: Eldraine is launching on October 10 with 30 brand new cards.

With the Wilds of Eldraine expansion now live and the end of the year quickly approaching, the MTG Arena team has decided to do a short rundown of everything they've achieved over the past few years, as well as what waits ahead. As a part of this, they have also revealed the overall popularity of the 'main' formats: Standard, Historic, Explorer, Alchemy and Brawl.

Given that Standard is... well, standard it should come as little surprise to hear that it's at the top of the pile, though it does seem to be losing a bit of its lead as Historic is slowly gaining more and more ground. Brawl and Alchemy are next in line as both seem to hover around the 15% mark, which makes sense given that they're both mostly casual-focused formats, meanwhile the hyper-competitive and thus more niche Explorer is slowly making its way towards 7-8%. Long story short, things are looking quite good for all of them!

MTG Arena chart showing the format popularity in percentage, 2023

If you're curious about that random dip in the Brawl numbers, that would be because of the recent Midweek Magic event that was literally just Historic Brawl. So considering that one queue gave you prizes and the other didn't, most people went ahead and played in the event which wasn't counted in the overall stats.

As for the future, the most important thing to note is that MTG Arena will not be getting Modern any time soon. That said, the MTG Arena team is aware of how well received the recent 'no bans Historic' event was, so they're currently talking about what to do with Arena's ever-growing assortment of absurdly overpowered cards. While no details have been shared just yet, I wouldn't be too surprised if the 'no bans' event becomes a much more common occurrence in the future.

Additionally, due to Brawl and Historic Brawl's slowly growing popularity, MTG Arena is also looking to offer more support to that portion of the playerbase. This likely means we'll be getting more Commander cards in future sets, perhaps as little bonus treats in the Mastery Pass like they've done back during Dominaria United.

The final thing worth mentioning is Explorer and its eventual transformation into Pioneer. According to the developer update, competitive parity will likely be achieved in late 2024 or early 2025 with the release of Pioneer Masters, though there will also be a sizable influx of new cards coming with Khans of Tarkir later this year. Naturally, the exact details behind Pioneer Masters are still few and far between, but I'm happy to say that this will not only be a fully draftable set, but that it will mostly be comprised of new-to-Arena cards rather than simple reprints of stuff we already have!

Once more information becomes available, or some of the aforementioned sets go live, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a little bit more about MTG Arena's past, future and format popularity over at the MTG website. Enjoy!