MTG Arena artwork for the planeswalker Vraska

After quite a few previews, MTG Arena has now finally received its long-awaited ranked play update! As you might imagine from the name alone, you can now queue up for competitive best-of-one matches, face off against increasingly better players as you progress through the ranks, and naturally, snatch some rewards at the very end of the month-long season. It's not exactly the most exciting mode around, and the rewards themselves aren't anything special, but it's a pretty solid starting point for a game that's still in beta.

More importantly, the recent and absolutely massive reductions to event rewards have thankfully now been reversed. The events are still going to get nerfed in the future since the developers are planning to remove the chance to get duplicate cards, which is fair enough, but they have wisely decided to postpone the nerfs for the time being. So if you're looking to build up your collection, do make sure to use this time to play some Constructed Events. They're both fun and highly rewarding!

MTG Arena has also undergone a couple of visual updates, mostly centered around the in-game tracker that lets you know what phase you're currently in. The icons are now significantly smaller and more tightly packed, while the transition between each phase has been made a fair bit clearer. Personally, I'm not a fan of the new visuals as it's all just too small and ill-fitting for my tastes, but I do think the general idea behind the changes is a solid one. With a couple of tweaks, and maybe a bit of a redesign, I can definitely see this being an overall improvement. Right now, however, it's unfortunately a bit of a mess.

As for the future, you might be interested to hear that players have datamined custom card backs and alternate card artwork! How exactly we'll be able to obtain these little cosmetic treats, MTG Arena developers haven't yet announced, but they do appear to be related to the upcoming Christmas events. I can only hope that this will be the first of many such updates because MTG Arena really could use more cosmetic customization.

Once more information becomes available I'll make sure to let you know, but until then you can read more about this update over at the official website. Have fun, and good luck with your ranked matches!