Magic Duels Deals Out Shadows Over Innistrad Update

Wizards always have room for more tricks up their sleeves.

That joke’s better than me. It deserves better. It could’ve been told so much better. Could someone better than me pick it up and run with it? Thanks.

Point is, the free-to-play wizard ’em up Magic Duels [official site] has launched its ‘Shadows over Innistrad’ update with 304 new cards to collect and cast. It’s also added new story campaigns, new quests, bug fixes, and other patchy things.

Those new cards come from the cardboard version of Magic: The Gathering’s recent Oath of the Gatewatch expansion and the Shadows over Innistrad set which officially launches tomorrow. Shadows continues the story from the Innistrad block a few years back, revisiting a much-liked set and setting after things have gone a bit… wrong. Innistrad already had gothic horror up the wazoo and oh dear oh dear.

As with other Magic Duels cards, these can be unlocked by buying ‘packs’ with either a currency earned by playing or by coughing up real cash.

I’ve not had a play of the new set (or the new update yet), but I am seeing a few complaints that a few cards have been removed, that the game can skip phases when it incorrectly thinks players have no available moves, and other bugs. Check the patch notes for details on new things and broken things too. Me, I’m just hopeful that getting to play with some of the new cards while stave off that nagging urge to swing by a games shop for a draft tournament, just a casual one, no need to buy into it, just play a few rounds and slowly give yourself over to cardboard again.

There’s really something good to be done with that wizard sleeves joke idea, I tell you.


  1. malkav11 says:

    I’m still a little sad that they’ve apparently opted to replace the Duels of the Planeswalkers standalone games with this. The Duels games had the virtue of being inexpensive ways to play with a complete set of Magic cards and they even premade the decks for you (I know some people complained about this but I vastly prefer playing decks to building them). Duels Online, not so much. And it’s competing squarely with Hex: Shards of Fate, which as far as I’m concerned is a much better game on every front.

    • Tony M says:

      Magic Duels has the advantage of being free. Like free-free. Not “grind for a thousand years to get all the cards” Hearthstone-free. I own all the cards just from winning about 3 games a day against the AI (with decks that meet the daily quest requirements). That doesn’t make it a great game, but it does give the game a strong point of difference over other popular card games out there. Its my favourite duels game now I have a big collection.
      It would be much better if it had a draft mode though.
      The game is very buggy after this new release, so stay away until the next patch.

      • JamesTheNumberless says:

        I have to say this is possibly my favorite F2P game so far. I’ve bought cards a couple of times but really didn’t need to. I have all the cards from the previous expansions and have played so many (fun and not grindy) multiplayer battles since the last expansion that I was immediately able to buy more than half the new set with my stockpiled gold.

        Perhaps the most noteworthy thing they’ve done this week is address the balance by removing a lot of cards from the original set. Some bad cards are gone, No more Mwonvuli Acid-Moss (horrible cheesy card only used by people with no class.) But also some good cards are gone: No more Perilous Myr (adorable little thing that never did anybody any harm – except my enemies of course.)

      • Koozer says:

        I have played a lot of Hearthstone and Duels, and think Magic is the superior game, but had to give up on Duels because of the way cards are unlocked. It is more generous with its gold/packs, but you have absolutely zero choice in which cards you can use. Both games give random cards from packs, but at least Hearthstone lets you destroy unwanted cards in return for dust to craft cards you want with.

        With Duels I know I will never be able to build decks I want until I own every single card, whereas in Hearthstone I can focus on decks I want to build without needing a complete collection.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      After getting into Duels, I tried out the other titles and found them not only to be less fun, but way more expensive considering all the extras they want you to buy. Duels seems designed for people with just enough time to devote to the game to get to grips with the strategies on offer from the available cards, and not turn into something impenetrable for people like me who haven’t played the paper card game since 1998. Also Duels’ ranking system and matchmaker seems a lot better at actually matching you with somebody who’s going to be enjoyable to play against.