Dueling Planeswalkers: Magic 2015 Improving Deck-Building

By Alice O'Connor on April 11th, 2014 at 11:00 am.

It's a kind of Magic

“Alice!” friends scream in my face. “You have to play Netrunner! Why don’t you play Netrunner? Let’s play Netrunner! Netrunnerrr!” I sneer dismissively but turn away to hide a single tear rolling down my cheek. I can’t play Netrunner, I just can’t. Having spent so much of my teenage years obsessing over Magic: The Gathering, I’m too afraid that I’d be held rapt by its cardboard wiles.

The annual Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers games from Stainless have always given me just enough to tide me over, reminding me of how wonderful a game Magic is but being limited enough to stop me sinking in. It’s a bit concerning, then, that the newly-announced Magic 2015 edition is said to expand deck-building.

At this point all we have is a press release’s word that Magic 2015 has “the ability to build customized decks” as a “new feature,” suggesting it’ll be more in-depth than before. The deck-building tools are said to be “even more robust” too, and do look less of a mess in the screenshot below. If Magic 2015 were letting players build decks completely from scratch, the marketing would probably shout a lot louder about that, so let’s assume it’s mostly an expansion of customisation. That may be frustrating for you, but is a huge relief to me.

Magic 2015 will launch this summer, seemingly ahead of the cardboard 2015 Core Set due in July.

Customisation's certainly looking better

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31 Comments »

  1. BinarySecond says:

    You SHOULD play Netrunner :) :P

    • mlaskus says:

      Quinns convinced me by constantly gushing about it on SU&SD and now my life is ruined.
      I’ve never played a collectible card game before. Now I own all of the expansion, I’ve put all of the cards in sleeves and I’ve just ordered a few binders to organize them.

      • Imbecile says:

        Netrunner *is* awesome, though really two player only. Shadowfist is also pretty great. Kinda like a slightly more complex , better multiplayer version of Magic – and its still going!

        • mlaskus says:

          Oh, yeah it is incredible. I play it whenever I have a bit of free time and can convince one of my friends to come.
          I’ve never heard of Shadowifist, I will have to try it out.

        • strangeloup says:

          Was Shadowfist the one that span off into the Feng Shui tabletop RPG? I had no idea it was still around, if so; remember seeing it when Netrunner was originally out, when I first got into MtG (around the time of Ice Age).

          I’m going to go sit in the corner and feel old for a bit.

          • Imbecile says:

            Tell me about it. Its been going a long time – pretty much the same time as the original MTG – and interestingly all the cards are legit to play afaik. Its an average duelling game (which is where Netrunner kicks arse), but three player and more – its still terrific.

      • Josh W says:

        One of the nice things about netrunnner is that you can actually say “I own all of the expansions”, rather than “I spent £500 on cards and then stopped”. You still get a metagame, all that interesting stuff, but it’s reasonable for people to participate in it without massive investments.

  2. staberas says:

    Ok. *Goes back to the much superior Magic Online game*

    • Sploitz says:

      Magic Online is only superior if you like spending money on cards. The thing that makes Duels of the Planeswalkers so great is that it doesn’t cost a lot of money. It has one price and a limited card pool. If I wanted to buy all of the individual cards for my decks I would go back to playing the physical game tbh. I would love for them to open up deck building completely in Duels and just keep the limited card pool. That way it would still be different enough from MTGO to warrant having both versions.

      • staberas says:

        Correction you buy 1 pool and DLC boosters.
        Limited cardpool, until the next year while my cards can be played even next year in Standard :P

      • Banyan says:

        @Sploitz Yeah, I’m two decades away from when I wanted to continuously pay to sort through stacks of Magic cards to figure out new builds. Planeswalkers has largely replaced TF2 as my ‘timewaster for when I can’t be bothered to concentrate on Dota 2.”

      • womp says:

        If this is the only issue, you can play on Cockatrice (http://www.woogerworks.com). It’s the new Magic Workstation.

        I still get the DotP each year for the challenges. Sealed mode from 2014 should have been my favorite new game obsession, but unfortunately a) there were only two deck slots, b) you couldn’t erase old decks to make space for new drafts, and c) if you DID erase your old decks outside the game, the draft pool was created via a seed which was tied to your account, so you’d just see the same cards again. Really fucking lame.

  3. JiminyJickers says:

    I just got 2014, I guess I will wait for a long time before considering this one.

  4. airtekh says:

    Interesting to see how they will flesh it out.

    The sealed mode in Magic 2014 was tremendous fun, and I enjoyed putting together a solid deck from a bunch of random cards in digital boosters.

  5. unitled says:

    Seriously, though, you should pay netrunner. It’s brilliant, fixes so many of the problems I had with magic when I used to play (though don’t get me wrong, magic is still a great game!).

    The LCG format means it’s not the money sink magic is… I found one card in my collection from fifteen years ago (grim tutor) that is worth what it costs to buy all the netrunner cards released so far.

    • PearlChoco says:

      Heh, I have also an old Grim Tutor card. Didn’t know it was worth anything?

      Edit: nope, it’s Demonic Tutor.

      • unitled says:

        Demonic tutor isn’t bad, especially the re print! All of the back tutors are good. Sure I’ve got a vampiric tutor somewhere but can’t find it at the moment…

  6. Amatyr says:

    You might want to keep an eye on Hex – http://www.hextcg.com – digital TCG, similar to magic but looking good.

  7. InternetBatman says:

    Is it better than magarena yet?

  8. DanMan says:

    It’s sad that you don’t have (officially) access to the cards from previous versions in the latest one, at least for deck building. Yu-Gi-Oh from 2005 did just that. And I still want to see the creatures on the cards come to life on the table. The way it is, it’s nothing but a cash-grab.

    • raegenhere says:

      are you saying there is an unofficial way of getting cards from previous versions? I’d be very interested in that…

  9. Gothnak says:

    I own Netrunner, I’m on the Alpha of Hex, i play hearthstone, i own a ton of MTG cards and i used to play MTGO. If Planeswalkers continues to add on the drafting of 2014 by allowing you to do it infinitely within that small subset of cards, i still think it’d be the most fun. Digital deckbuilders are just so much easier to sort out than actual cards, and an AI is easier to play at 11pm on a weeknight than a arranging a game with a human.

    Of course, they’ll actually limit the game massively in some way to ensure you have to go out and buy actual cards, but here is hoping.

  10. Balancer says:

    Try Infinity wars as well. Its from a small Austalian company now on steam .

    It has simultaneous turns resources like Hearhstone and all the cards are animated gifs. Its very innovative with alternate win conditions 3d graphics and not pay to win at all. It even has trading of all the Tcg’s i have played this one is the most advanced and fully utilizing the digital medium

    Give it a shot.

  11. Xyviel says:

    I really wish they’d go freemium and, more importantly, they improve the multiplayer matchmaking system. Not enough people play this for it to be interesting for more than a dozen hours.

  12. perroman says:

    Oh, if only there was a “Duels of the planeswalkers”-like game for Netrunner :(

  13. Fenix says:

    “If Magic 2015 were letting players build decks completely from scratch, the marketing would probably shout a lot louder about that, ..”

    I don’t know, considering how expensive playing on Magic Online is and how much money Wizards of the Coast makes on it, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were not so keen on shouting about how this cheap game now has one of the biggest reasons people preferred Magic Online to it.

  14. Stargazer86 says:

    The Planeswalkers series of games has always bugged me with just how limited their ‘customization’ is for decks. I would shell out 60 dollars for a game that just have me all the recently released cards of, say, the last 6 expansions + the latest core set and then let me build decks with them. I know they want people playing Magic Online to pay physical money for cards, but there couldn’t be any harm in producing a game that let people, y’know, play customized Magic without spending a gajillion dollars?

    • Aerothorn says:

      Yes – the harm would be that it would disincentivizes people from paying them a gajillion dollars. Magic Online is basically printing money and Wizards ain’t gonna rock the boat on that cash cow.

  15. Sidewinder says:

    I realize that, what with twenty plus years of expansions, there are probably more Magic cards than stars in the sky out there, so you can’t have them all. But when I think about the relative power levels of my PCs now and in 1997, it’s all the more absurd that levels of customization have gone DOWN.

  16. Mitchy.Fiasco says:

    Sign this petition to let WotC know we are not happy with their decision to sell us half of a game for full price. We need 2HG back! The game isnt fun with out our friends!

    https://www.change.org/petitions/wizards-of-the-coast-implement-two-headed-giant-back-into-multiplayer-in-dotp-2015

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