MTG Arena Premier Play

Amidst the announcement of Explorer, Wizards announced a restructuring of Arena competitive play that includes a de-emphasis of the ladder system in favor of events and an Arena Championship tournament similar to the new paper Pro Tour, here's how to qualify!


Amidst the announcement of Explorer, the new Arena format that will one day become synonymous with Pioneer and, therefore, retired and renamed, Wizards announced a restructuring of Arena competitive play that includes a de-emphasis of the ladder system in favor of events and an Arena Championship tournament similar to the new paper Pro Tour.


The new Pro Tour-style Arena event features a top prize of $200,000 and will be structured as a 32-person tournament between players who qualified through one of four Qualifier Weekends. There will be three Arena Championships every year with chances to qualify via two different paths:


Twice each month, there will be a 4,000-gem entry single-day pre-qualifier event. One of those will feature a best-of-one format which will require hitting six wins before hitting two losses to advance to Qualifier Weekend; the other will feature a best-of-three format, which will require going 4-0 to advance to Qualifier Weekend. 

Rather than pay the 4,000 gems to play in the pre-qualifier, you can spend 20 of Arena’s brand new “Play-In” points, which you will receive if you trophy an Arena event in any non-rotating constructed format or a best-of-three (or “Traditional”) Draft event.

If you trophy either the best-of-one or best-of-three pre-qualifier events, you will advance to the next Qualifier Weekend.

You can also play in to the Qualifier Weekend by reaching at least six wins on Day 2 of an Anera Open. This begins with the May 14th Arena Open, through which you would qualify for the June Qualifier Weekend.


You can also grind your way into Qualifier Weekend by placing in the top 250 of either the ranked Constructed ladder or the Limited ladder. If you do so, you will automatically receive an entry token to a Qualifier Weekend. If you place in the top 1,200 of either ladder (but didn’t make the top 250), you will receive 20 Play-In points, which is just enough to enter a pre-qualifier event discussed above. 

Note: This ranked season, players who finish in the top 1,200 of either ladder will receive a Qualifier Weekend entry token instead of receiving 20 Play-In points. The May ranked ladders will be the first ones to follow the new structure.


So, you’ve made it to Qualifier Weekend by either playing in or grinding in. Now, you’re playing in an exclusively best-of-three, two day event in a single format chosen by Wizards. 

On Day One, you need to hit seven match wins before taking two losses to make it to Day Two. There are, of course, other rewards along the way to seven wins, with the top prize being 20,000 gems.

On Day Two, you’ll need to hit the same seven match wins to advance directly to the Arena Championship, the next one taking place on May 28. If there aren’t enough players to hit 32 for the Arena Championship, Wizards will invite players who had the most total match wins on Day Two of Qualifier Weekend to fill those slots. 

Beginning in September, players who qualify for the Arena Championship will also be invited to a paper Pro Tour.


I know this is kind of word soup, but hopefully as we get closer to implementation, it will be easier to digest both here on PlayingExplorer and on the Arena user interface. 

Good luck to all! And here’s hoping the first pre-qualifier and Qualifier Weekend event features Explorer.

  • rose-emoji

    Network Administrator/Publisher

    rose-emoji started playing Magic: The Gathering during Battle for Zendikar, then took a break from the game until Throne of Eldraine. Pioneer got him back into Magic full-force, and the launch of Arena on mobile hooked him in forever. Now that his favorite format is working its way onto Arena, he can be found grinding the format to death. Only ever Grixis colors, but sometimes he can have a little Jund as a treat.

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