Kaladesh is coming to Magic Online on October 5th and the digital release will bring significant change to the digital platform. There were three announcements today, one from Worth Wolpert and two from Lee Sharpe, about the changes coming to Magic Online.
First up, Worth Wolpert described changes to how set redemption will work. Starting with Kaladesh, sets will only be redeemable until the first set of the next block has its redemption cycle begin. For example, one can redeem both Kaladesh and Aether Revolt until redemption starts for Amonkhet. Earlier sets will not be affected by this change.
The first Lee Sharpe announcement identified changes in entry fees for Sealed and Draft leagues. Starting with the Kaladesh Prerelease, Sealed Leagues will have an entry fee of 24 Tickets or 240 Play Points. Draft Leagues will require 12 Tickets or 120 Play Points. This structure will apply to sets Kaladesh and forward and will not be the case for earlier releases. Additionally the Prerelease will start after downtime on October 5th. Previously Prereleases have started the Friday after downtime. This is an experiment and may continue in the future.
Lee Sharpe also announced that the Pack-Per-Win Draft League will be eliminated. With the goal of having a single elimination league in the future, the current Draft League offering will have a 6-2-2-2 prize structure.
The final announcement, also from Lee Sharpe, discussed Magic Online Treasure Chests. These prizes will be awarded to people who have strong finishes in Constructed Leagues and Vintage Daily Events. Treasure Chests can contain Play points, Standard and Modern Rares, as well as Kaladesh Inventions and other cards from a curated list. With Treasure Chests as prizes, Friendly Constructed Leagues will no longer award booster packs as prizes. Treasure Chests will be the only way to obtain cards from Conspiracy: Take the Crown and Commander (2016 Edition)
Update: A previous version of this post erroneously reported that all Constructed Leagues and Vintage Daily Events no longer have Booster Packs as prizes. This is incorrect- the change only applies to Friendly Leagues. This has been corrected.
Treasure Chests represent a dramatic shift in the structure of the Magic Online economy. With Boosters no longer available as prizes from Constructed Leagues, many see the implementation of these changes as a prize cut. Lee Sharpe posted the following shortly after the announcement was live:
Magic Online continues to attempt to adapt to the digital realm while also aiming to please a wide audience. Whether these changes work or not remains to be seen.