Tap that wiz: Magic Duels adds Aether Revolt expansion

Magic: The Gathering launches today its latest expansion, Aether Revolt (the 73rd, if you’re counting), and it’s already out in Magic Duels [official site]. Continuing to lark about with artifacts, energy counters, and vehicles on the pretty plane of Kaladesh, the expansion adds 124 cards to Magic Duels. The streamlined free-to-play take on the wonderful collectible card game has largely kept up with its cardboard daddy, which I’ve found mighty helpful as someone who likes keeping up with Magic goings-on but is not allowed to buy cards ever again ever. This latest cardblast keeps me safe a little longer.

The Aether Revolt update launched yesterday, bringing a wodge of new cards and another wee story campaign. As ever, the story has five battles telling stories from the expansion with themed pre-built decks and boss battles and all that. Yeah, I enjoyed an hour going through those battles.

Magic Duels expansions are still only some of the cards from the full cardboard expansion, mind, missing many. Duels tries to curate a different sort of meta, which is sort of interesting but I imagine frustrating if you want Real Proper Magic. I understand Duels is still a little wonky with some intricacies of Magic rules too. I’m happy poking at it, but more serious wizards might prefer Magic Online or one of the many bootlegs.

The master Magicians at Wizards of the Coast have been muttering about “reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games” at their new Digital Games Studio. They also say they “bring our characters and worlds to other games and experiences”, casually throwing out ideas of Magic MMOs and augmented reality Dungeons & Dragons. I think this is all dreams and concepts rather than the announcement of specific plans, mind.


  1. Captain Narol says:

    There is a new product in the work, codename “Magic Digital Next” but they didn’t release any public info yet (it was mentionned in an Hasbro investor conference)

    link to toucharcade.com

    It’s supposed to fill the gap between Magic Duels and Magic Online, and could be a serious concurrent to Hearthstone if done right.

    I agree that Magic Duels is quite “Magic Lite”, but it’s free, fun and still quite deep tactically even with a reduced pool of cards.

    The new expansion “Aether Revolt” introduce an interesting new concept “revolt”, which give your spells additional effects if one of your permanent left the battlefield in the current turn.

    On the bad side, the update that went with its release removed the right-click menu that allowed to zoom on cards, reducing confort of play hugely for unexplained reasons…

    • jon_hill987 says:

      “Revolt” sounds very similar to “Morbid” (Additional effect if a creature died this turn) which was introduced in Innistrad.

      • Seeeeeth says:

        It’s similar to ‘Morbid’ but works for exile and flicker effects as well, and also it is any permanent rather than creature – this means fetchlands/Evolving Wilds can also trigger it

  2. BlueTemplar says:

    Meanwhile the latest Duels is still not available on mobile, and the Windows version doesn’t have proper touchsceen support (though I admit that proper support for all 3 interfaces of keyboard+mouse, gamepad and touchscreen is a hard problem to solve).

    Meanwhile, Plants vs Zombies : Heroes seems to be deeper than Hearthstone (4 phase turns, hero shield…), better tailored to digital than Duels (no countless priority timers), and of higher production values than both (animations and sounds for _all_ “cards”). I’m sold, thanks to Total Biscuit :

    Otherwise, I’m very sad that the work on the fan-modification of Shandalar; the adventure mode of Sid Meier’s Magic the Gathering (1997), that added an incredible amount of newer cards to it AND reworked the opponent decks to take advantage of those cards; has been stopped (and all patches removed!) due to the behavior of a certain project member towards the lead programmer (thanks to whom that project was even possible).

    P.S.: EDIT is back! Yay!

    • Cosmos (Yuzhou) Gu says:

      Thank you BlueTemplar for bringing Plants vs Zombies Heroes and this wonderful video up. When I first googled it I thought it was just another money grab. Even after watching 10 minutes of gameplay video I was still half-conviced. But watching the video you posted completely changed my opinion and I am now eager to check it out. Also, this is the first time I realize that TotalBiscuit is actually a mature and quality video game commentator. I was rather put-off by his use of “W**” in his video titles so I never never watched any of his videos. Again, my gratitude to you for making this comment.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        Thanks, it’s nice to see that taking time to write these posts is useful to someone!

        Make no mistake, PvZ:H is still a “money grab” in the sense that it uses the despicable “pay not to grind” mechanics (which in the case of collectible “card” games indirectly translate into “pay to win”).
        But it’s quality “money grab”. I had quite a bit of fun with that game until its money-making strategy annoyed me to the point that I put it away : it’s the way that these kinds of games require you to plan your life around them (due to timed quests) if you want to be effective in generating their in-game currencies.
        (Duels has the same issue, but it’s not as bad as there you can pretty much play a couple of games every 24 hours to get the quest and first-day-win rewards, whereas in PvZ:H where quests cycle every 3 hours, and ticket boosts every 4 hours, and cannot afford to miss the ticket boosts if you want to get all the 4 weekly special cards.)