MTG Arena official promo art for the Baldur's Gate set

[Update #2]: MTG Arena's October 6th mini-expansion will bring with it the iconic Power 9 cards.

[Update]: MTG Arena's Dominaria United set has now arrived alongside the annual Standard rotation.

After mostly focusing their balancing efforts on the Historic and Alchemy constructed formats, Wizards of the Coast has now set their sights onto something a bit more ambitious. Instead of merely tweaking a couple of cards to shake up the meta, they have chosen to fix all of the major problems with the recently launched Alchemy Horizons: Baldur's Gate draft!

As such, a variety of blue cards have received buffs in order to give the color a better fighting change in the early game, while some of the more aggressive white and black cards have been toned down. Most excitingly, at least for those of us that love reanimator strategies, a whole suite of ramp and graveyard synergy cards have received a much-needed boost in power which should make getting to the late-game a lot more manageable than before!

You can check out the full list of changes, as well as the reasoning behind them, over at the MTG website.

MTG Arena artwork for the Reverent Hoplite card from Theros Beyond Death

As an additional little treat, the MTG Arena team has also launched the community-run Gladiator format as a limited time event. The rules for Gladiator are fairly simple: decks must contain no fewer than 100 cards and no sideboards, with a maximum of one copy of each card other than basic lands. Matches are then played in the best-of-three format, though without any sort of sideboarding between games.

Combine that with an extremely lax banlist that allows you to run powerhouse cards like Channel or Demonic Tutor, and you've got yourself a rather curious format. After playing a couple of games I'm still not sure whether it's my cup of tea, but it's certainly a nice little distraction and something I'd definitely recommend checking out.

That said, there is one bit of bad news. It turns out the pre-constructed decks advertised during the original announcement are not actually unlocked for use. In other words, the deck lists are there and you can play around with them, but only if you actually craft the cards yourself. Needless to say, this kind of defeats the point of having pre-constructed decks to explore the format with, so I can only hope future spotlight events will avoid making this kind of blunder again.

[Update]: As a small apology for all of the issues that came with the update, Wizards of the Coast has released the "StickTogether" code. Simply input the code without quotation marks into the store and you'll be granted 1000 gold and 3000 experience.

Whatever the case may be, you can learn more about Gladiator and all of the upcoming events over at the newest developer update.