Now that the Duels of the Planeswalkers series has gone free-to-play, new sets are being released for the video games alongside their cardboard launches. That’s nice. Magic’s Eldritch Moon expansion will hit tabletops on July 22nd but Wizards of the Coast have announced we’ll actually see it early on desktops and laptops in Magic Duels [official site] on July 20th.
It’ll continue the Shadows over Innistrad block with a new story campaign, a new pre-built deck, and new cards with new mechanics. You can, for example, meld a town’s soldiers and its battlements to form a writhing, horror-spawning meat-town. Nice.
Eldritch Moon will bring 126 extra cards to Magic Duels and the set introduces three new card mechanics too.
‘Emerge’ is an ability on some frightful Eldrazi horrors which gives a discount on casting them if you pay the Emerge cost alongside sacrificing a creature. Your lovely little bears and merfolk and elves split open to reveal horrors within. Ace.
Similarly, ‘Meld’ is an ability to combine two specific cards into one honking great horror. Two angels tormented by a jellyfish Titan become a two-headed mess of wings and tendrils. A horde of rats and some scavenging rogues Meld into a one single shambling mound of meat and limbs. And a town’s soldiers can merge with the town’s battlements to become the aforementioned meat-town. Fantastic. In the tabletop game, the Melded version is printed across the backs of both cards so players flip and combine them when Melding.
Lastly, ‘Escalate’ cards have multiple distinct abilities, with more triggering as you pay costs beyond the spell’s casting cost. These extra costs can be anything from paying mana to discarding cards.
Eldritch Moon’s full card listing is over here. Reading up on all this has me hungry for Magic again. I am glad expansions are coming regularly for Duels now, frequent enough to keep me away from the cardboard. Duels isn’t great but it’s good enough.
The expansion will also have an accompanying update with bug fixes, stability improvements, and some cards being swapped out for others. This here video has some wizards to explain all the details: