After the stonking success of Hearthstone and other free-to-play collectible card games, it was inevitable that Magic: The Gathering would follow suit (this pun was unintentional, but I’m leaving it in). Magic may be head honch of the cardboard scene, but its offerings on virtual tabletops have been relatively disappointing. The Duels of the Planeswalkers games only added proper deckbuilding – a huge draw of Magic, for me at least – in its fifth revision, for goodness’ sake.
Wizards of the Coast already have a F2P Magic game – Magic Online [official site] – but Duels is far more friendly and accessible. It’s more limited too, but not concerned about that. It’s not meant to replace MTGO.
We had Ben play Duels shortly before launch, so go read that if you want full impressions. Me, I’ve fired it up and jotted a few notes down of things I’d like to share. Such as: it still has the usual DotP story campaigns, with preset decks.
And: if you’re more into making your own decks, you start out with a ‘starter pack’ of 93 cards. It gives you enough to make a bad deck of any colour, along with a few artifacts and multilands. It’s not great, but it’s a start.
Also: You earn ‘Coins’ by completing campaign missions, beating opponents, and so on. Coins can be spent on booster packs of extra random cards in the microtransaction store, which also sells Coins (and therefore boosters) for real money. Coins are cheaper if you buy in bulk, but at the most expensive it’ll cost you £1.27 in real money for a single pack
Furthermore: Duels has far fewer obnoxious loading screens than DotP 2015.
But: you might find yourself disconnected a lot. Wizards say they’re working on it. It crashed on me once too.
That’s all. I haven’t had time to see much more. Game’s on Steam. Trailer’s here: