Extended: The Extinct Format That Ended Over A Decade Ago

More than a decade ago, Wizards of the Coast ended one of its longest-running Magic: The Gathering formats.

New Magic formats pop up every once in a while. Take the Pioneer format, which came out in 2019 -- just in time for its introduction to be marred by COVID-19. Still, after in-person play resumed, players started going for it. It specifically aims for newer fans after all, allowing cards from any sets and expansions after 2012.

But there are those formats that (more or less) came and went.  Tiny Leaders, Kaleidoscope, etc...

Some were just a flash in the pan.  Others weren't all that popular overall.  Then there're those that absolutely were popular.  Quite popular, in fact, before its demise.

Take the Extended format as an example.

Started in 1997, Extended only allowed cards that came out in sets and expansions in the last three years (initially). Over time, Extended fluctuated on the year limit. By the 2000s, it changed from the past three years to seven to four. Deck construction, meanwhile, was regular 60-card constructed rules. Nothing too out of the ordinary there.

So, why don't we have Extended anymore? It was a pretty popular format early on after all.

Well, after awhile, all of Extended's cards were now under another format: Modern, which allows all cards since 2003. Beyond a few small differences here and there, it was more-or-less the same. Sure, there was the added challenge of having a more limited card base to draw from, but players liked making custom decks with favored cards of the past.

By the early 2010's, Extended was no longer doing what other formats could do. Extended was plain Vanilla. Modern was Neapolitan.

In 2013, so few people were actively playing Extended that WotC did something they never did before with a core Magic format: They ended it. By October 2013, Extended was no more.

Today, Extended is only seen in unofficial matches - literally just people playing together and following the rules of a game type long gone. It is still seen today in this capacity, but it is like when you get done watching a pro game but then walk out to see some enthusiasts playing old time baseball where they catch with their hands and wear boxy caps and white uniforms. It's familiar but also odd.

Extended isn't around today over a decade after it ended, but Modern still lives on as the expanded version of it.

Evan Symon

Evan Symon is a graduate of The University of Akron and has been a working journalist ever since with works published by Cracked, GeekNifty, the Pasadena Independent, California Globe, and, of course, Magic Untapped.