Frontier: Started from the bottom now we’re here.

With the Frontier format on the rise, I’d like to examine where we are how we got here. I’m not here to bring controversial opinions like the ones that have dominated magic content and social media. Instead, this will read as a chronology of the format from the beginning. I’ve been following and playing the format since the beginning and this is my account of what’s transpired.

September 26th

After what was arguably Wizard of the Coast’s busiest year for set releases, Hareruya and Big magic announce the Frontier format. Frontier is a new non-rotating format featuring cards from the new era of design, starting with M15 and up. Their reasoning is simple: modern has supply issues, which makes cards tok expensive. Also, the standard rotation is too fast, which makes cards from recent standard rotations cheap.


Within a week, Matt Mealing and Tony Cameron from Face to Face Games launch, and their excellent podcast. They start breaking down what they expected from the format. They also announce that Face to Face games would be supporting Frontier with a Sunday showdown event at the end of November. 

October 30th

Hareruya and Big Magic hosts a 300 player capacity Frontier event with free entry and huge payouts. The tournament filled to full capacity.

The payouts were as follows:

  • 1st Place: 10 booster boxes, 1 for each frontier legal set
  • 2nd Place: ¥25000 ($215 USD)
  • 3rd-4th Place: ¥15000 ($130 USD)
  • 5th-8th Place: ¥8000 ($70 USD)
  • 9th-64th: 9, 6, or 3 boosters.

Here are the top 8 decklists:

November 16th

Due to growing interest in the format adds a Frontier tab to their metagame analysis page, and starts allowing user deck submissions for the format. Articles also start appearing on Channel Fireball and Star City Games.

November 25th

A motivated redditor by the name of /u/Nande decides to make an xmage based online Frontier league event, which I participate in. The league operates off of the MTG Frontier subreddit and the Frontier discord channel. The league now consists of 24 players. 

December 6th

Craig Wescoe becomes one of the earliest pros to voice his support for the format. Taking to Twitter he exclaims: “I just read @Chosler88‘s article on Frontier. That format looks soooooooo fun!!! Can we please make it a supported format on mtgo and irl?”

Mid December announces they will be backing the next iteration of the reddit Frontier league with prize support. Session 2 of Frontier league will be starting on the 2nd of February. Be sure to sign up!

January 6th

Mark Rosewater (Maro) acknowledges the format on his Tumblr saying WOTC is keeping an eye on it. He also says he doesn’t like fetchlands and I agree but that’s a discussion for another day.

January 8th

Channel Fireball announces on Twitter that it will hold Frontier side events at it’s GPs this year. 

January 9th

Hareruya hosts its “God of Frontier” event which draws 236 players. The top 8 decklists can be found here.

And now we’re here! But where is here? Well, Frontier has continued to grow as a format and more people are making content for it. We have a somewhat established metagame with defined archetypes. As someone who’s played a lot of Frontier, I can promise you that it’s not SiegeRhino.format, fetch manabases aren’t mandatory, Dig Through Time isn’t broken, and Bant Company or 4 Color Rally aren’t the best decks. 

Frontier provides fun interactive games featuring decks with a power level that may surprise you. The cards are cheap, except Jace- we don’t like to talk about him. I expect Frontier to be an officially supported format within the next year.

If you’re curious to try the format out, I’m always open to playing games and so are the other 200 or so people on the official Frontier discord channelYou can pm me at DylanDaInfidel or post in the find-a-game channel

Until next time,


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