MTG Standard Rotation 2019: Everything You Need to Know

Every MTG Standard Rotation causes some trouble for players. However there’s no need for that to be the case. We can help you avoid unpleasant worries with this guide. Just follow our advice and the whole process will surely be easy.

We’ll talk about which sets are in Standard, when exactly is rotation happening in real life and on MTG Arena. Finally there will also be some great transition events on MTGA. Let’s dive right in!

Which Sets are in Standard Now?

Currently there are eight editions legal in Standard. From Ixalan to Core Set 2020 – these sets are presented in the left column of the table bellow.

Current Standard SetsStatus in Future Standard
IxalanRotates out.
Rivals of IxalanRotates out.
DominariaRotates out.
Core Set 2019Rotates out.
Guilds of RavnicaRemains in Standard.
Ravnica AllegianceRemains in Standard.
War of the SparkRemains in Standard.
Core Set 2020Remains in Standard.

As you can see everything changes with the release of Throne of Eldraine.

Both Ixalan sets are out. Same goes for Dominaria and Core Set 2019. Three editions set on Ravnica will stay in Standard along with Core Set 2020 and freshly added Throne of Eldraine.

But What About the Second Rotation?

Let’s look even more into future. What happens after Eldraine Set? Well, we get one unknown set in early 2020, second one around May 2020. Followed by Core Set 2021 in summer 2020. So that means the second rotation after this one is happening in Fall 2020.

There’s always a year between rotations, which means there’s no need to worry. You should have plenty of time to play with your cards before they rotate.

When Does MTG Standard Rotation 2019 Happen?

It depends. The rotation dates are different for paper Magic and MTG Arena. We know that rotation in paper happens when Throne of Eldraine releases. This is on October 4th, 2019, one week after the prerelease.

On the other hand Eldraine comes on MTGA before in comes out in paper. That’s why we expect Standard rotation to happen on September 23rd, 2019. This is the most probable release date for Throne of Eldraine, although it’s unconfirmed.

Art by Magali Villenueve

What Happens to Old Cards in MTGA?

Absolutely nothing. You might remember the previous rotation there was a wipe of your entire collection. This will NOT happen this time. You will keep every card you own – they will be playable in Historic.

New MTG Format: Historic

Historic is an eternal MTG format, created especially for Arena. Eternal format means that it doesn’t have rotations. Think Modern in paper MTG or Wild in Hearthstone. With each new set, new cards are legal in Historic. However cards won’t leave the format, unless they are banned.

Therefore Historic will contain each set from Ixalan onward. There are rumors that Amonkhet and Kaladesh block might be added later. Sadly – or thankfully, depending on who you ask – this is still just a speculation.

Game modes where you’ll be able to play Historic include:

  • Best-of-One Historic Play Queue
  • Best-of-Three Historic Play Queue
  • Direct Challenge (play against a friend)
  • Practice Match
  • Pauper (not always available)
  • Singleton (not always available)
  • more special formats

As you certainly noticed there won’t be any Historic Ranked queues. Designers specifically said that they plan for Historic to be a fun and casual format.

MTG Arena Renewal Events

There is no “dusting” or similar ways to convert your rotating cards into new ones. Developers are well aware of that, so consequently we’ll be getting special generous events after rotation. These events will help you renew your collection for the new Standard.

Be sure to not miss out on these, since we can expect them to be very profitable. We’ll have more information to share in August.

Why Does MTG Standard Rotation Exist?

You might ask yourself – why does rotation even exist. Well, Standard is a very popular format for a reason. It drastically changes every year. To achieve this there are only two possible paths: power creep and rotation.

Nobody likes power creep. It might be exciting at first to see new and powerful card, but very disappointing once you realize your old cards are now worthless.

That’s why once a year 4 sets rotate out and new ones come. It keeps Standard fresh and exciting with plenty of different cards.

Time Reversal by Howard Lyon

What to Do Before MTG Standard Rotation?

As we said before, it really depends on which medium you’re talking about – digital or paper. Let’s take a look at each of those.

Paper MTG

Selling Before Rotation

You should probably sell most of your paper Standard cards before rotation. The best time to sell is probably 4-6 months before they rotate out. However if you plan on playing with them you should definitely keep them – that’s why you got them in the first place!

Selling After Rotation

So you kept your cards and now they’ve rotated out. You shouldn’t try to sell them immidiatelly. They are probably at their lowest price point now. In case you don’t need money now, you could wait some months to see if prices will rice. This can be especially true for cards bellowed at the kitchen table like Helm of the Host or Wayward Swordtooth.

MTG Arena

Since you can sell or disenchant your old cards in MTGA, the biggest thing you can do is not to craft those. Rotation is coming soon and if you’re running low on Wildcards, it might be a better idea to not craft that Vanquisher’s Banner for your tribal Rat deck.

On the other hand if you really want to play some deck and you need a key card for it, just craft it. Having fun is the most important part of Magic.

Top 5 Best Cards Rotating Out in 2019

The list could be pretty long so we decided to go with our Top 5 most remarkable cards going out with MTG Standard rotation. If you don’t agree, tell us which cards we missed in the comments!

Honourable Mention: Scapeshift


Scapeshift barely missed our list. The reason being that it only saw its time in the sun after Core Set 2020. But the printing of Field of the Dead really enabled one of the most interesting decks we’ve seen in a while Bant Scapeshift. It totally shook the metagame but only for around three months before rotating out.

5. Legion’s Landing


While seemingly not too powerful this one mana enchantment-vampire held together entire archetype of Mono White Aggro. Providing a body, ramp and a mana sink for just one mana proved to be very good. White aggro decks really need something special to stay competitive after rotation.

4. Nexus of Fate


It’s finally going away. The nightmare is over, you can now take your turn. You won’t be hearing: “I pass the turn… To myself.” anymore.

Similarly you won’t need to watch all seven seasons of Game of Thrones only to return to your match where your opponent is still looping Nexus turns. Goodbye Nexus and don’t return.

3. Goblin Chainwhirler


Even though the triple red goblin saw less play at the end of this Standard cycle, his impact was always present from his debut in Dominaria. A lot of decks with one-toughness creatures were pushed out of the metagame.

Besides dealing with small creatures, Chanwhirler was also known to take out a planeswalker. However mono red keeps most of its powerful cards and should still see play, nevertheless the goblin will be missed after rotation.

2. Teferi, Hero of Dominaria


He started as a Disruptive Student in 1998. He certainly took his time (pun intended) to become one of the most powerful planeswalkers ever printed. Teferi was either hated or loved, there was no in between.

At one point control decks didn’t even have to run win conditions, Dominaria’s hero was enough. You got to his emblem, exiled everything and keep putting Teferi on the top of your deck with his minus 3. Sooner or rather later the opponent got milled out.

Maybe you’ll miss Hero of Dominaria. But don’t be afraid – there’s probably a 4 mana OP Teferi just around the corner. This way you’ll be able to play 3-4-5 Teferi curve with Hero and Teferi, Time Raveler.

1. Llanowar Elves


They have been in MTG since the very beginning – Alpha set was the first they appeared in. Even after 25 years Elves are still very very good Magic card – they provide both mana and a body for only one mana. They defined this Standard environment as a staple in green decks of all sorts. As such they are number one on our list.

We don’t believe that there could be Llanowar Elves on Eldraine. There might be functional reprint, but don’t hold your breath. One drop mana dorks are probably on a time out for a while. But who knows really, there might be a Birds of Paradise flying around a certain throne.

Bonus: Rampaging Ferocidon


If you are a newer player you might wonder why is this card on the list. You didn’t even see it in Standard!

Well, that’s because it was banned. Along with a bunch of other cards which since then already rotated out in 2018. Ferocidon remained on the banlist all this time to the bitter end. Now he is rotating out as a lone banned card in Standard.

Don’t Miss Important Announcements!

If you want to make sure that you won’t miss any important news in the MTG world, be sure to follow us on Facebook or Instagram. Besides all the info you need, we create daily MTG memes. What’s not to like?

With the Standard rotation there will surely be one or more code to use on MTGA, so bookmark our list of all codes for free stuff. If you want to know more about Throne of Eldraine you can check it here.

Hopefully this guide has helped you prepare for MTG Standard Rotation 2019. Until next time, may you open all the mythics you want from Eldraine.

2 thoughts on “MTG Standard Rotation 2019: Everything You Need to Know”

    • Well, nothing was confirmed yet – but we this is very likely. Maybe it will only show Standard cards and you will have to click to see Historic ones.

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