MTG Arena artwork for the combo-centric Goblin Trapfinder card

[Update]: All of MTG Arena's Phyrexia: All Will be One expansion cards have now been revealed.

After a fair few months without any sort of balance updates, the MTG Arena team has now snuck in a whole bunch of new changes with the latest shop update. These include a massive to the Goblin Trapfinder combo, a variety of nifty buffs for the Samurai archetype, and even more buffs for blue/white Spirits.

What exactly these changes look like in action, that you can check out through the patch notes below. Have a gander:

General

Like Grinning Ignus and Racketeer Boss, Goblin Trapfinder was enabling combo decks using Ominious Traveler in Alchemy and Historic. Since perpetual mana cost reduction is more likely to enable problematic combos in the future, we are making the combo harder to assemble by rebalancing Goblin Trapfinder.

Goblin Trapfinder

"This spell costs 2 less to cast" -> "This spell costs 1 less to cast"

Spirits

Decks built around Brine Comber, Shipwreck Sifters, Patrician Geist, and other Midnight Hunt and Crimson Vow Spirit cards often don’t have enough mana to support casting cards for their disturb costs. These changes aim to reduce the diminishing returns of playing multiple Disturb cards and make decks built around cards like Brine Comber more competitive.

  Binding Geist // Spectral Binding

2U -> 1U; 3/1 -> 2/1; Disturb 1U -> U; -2/-0 until end of turn -> -2/-0 until your next turn

 Brine Comber // Brinebound Gift

1/1 -> 2/2

 Devoted Grafkeeper // Departed Soulkeeper

2/1 -> 2/2; ETB mill 2 -> ETB mill 4; remove “Departed Soulkeeper can block only creatures with flying.” from back

 Dorothea, Vengeful Victim // Dorothea’s Retribution

Disturb 1WU -> WU

 Dreamshackle Geist

3/1 -> 3/2

 Obsessive Collector

4/3 -> 4/4

 Gutter Skulker // Gutter Shortcut

3U -> 2U; Disturb 3U -> 2U; back now grants +3/+0

 Lantern Bearer // Lanterns’ Lift

Disturb 2U -> 1U

 Mischievous Catgeist // Catlike Curiosity

Disturb 2U -> 1U; Catlike Curiosity now grants +1/+1

 Patrician Geist

Spells you cast from your graveyard cost 1 less to cast -> cost U less to cast

 Phantom Carriage

4UU -> 2UU

 Shipwreck Sifters

“Whenever you discard a Spirit card or card with disturb...” -> “Whenever a Spirit or card with disturb is put into your graveyard from anywhere..."

Samurai

Decks built around Neon Dynasty’s Samurai cards have a hard time being keeping pace with other aggressive decks in the format since the Samurai themselves have higher mana values. We are lowering the mana values of Samurai creature spells across the board make Samurai-themed decks more competitive against other aggressive decks in Alchemy

 Asari Captain

3RW -> 1RW; 4/3 -> 2/1; gains Trample

 Ancestral Katana

Now grants First Strike while attacking; +2/+1 -> +2/+2; Equip 3 -> Equip 2

 Akki Ronin

1R -> R; 1/3 -> 1/2; change from discarding to putting a card on the bottom of library

 Eiganjo Exemplar

1W -> W; 2/1 -> 1/1

 Imperial Blademaster

2/2 -> 2/3

 Imperial Subduer

2W -> 1W; 3/2 -> 3/1

 Peerless Samurai

2R -> 1R; 2/3 -> 2/1

 Raiyuu, Storm’s Edge

3/3 -> 4/4

Out of all of these changes, the Goblin Trapfinder nerf is by far the most impactful as it's almost certainly going to remove a powerful combo deck from Historic's metagame. A good thing too, because watching someone fiddle with Goblin Trapfinder and Ominious Traveler wasn't all that entertaining.

As for the Samurai and Spirits, I highly doubt this will give them the edge they need to become truly competitive, but I can definitely see them becoming a lot more fun to make jank decks with. Doubly so if we're talking about Historic Brawl since the format's relatively slow pace will help many of these cards 'do the thing'.

Once the next big update arrives I'll make sure to let you know. Chances are that's going to be when the Phyrexia: All Will be One expansion launches on February 7th. Until then, have fun exploring the new changes!