Magic: The Gathering might be the great granddaddy of card-battlers, but it’s still cool, dammit – you’ll be able to see for yourself when Magic: The Gathering Arena enters open beta next week. You kids may have your Hearthstones, your Eternals and even your Slay The Spires, but there’s still nothing quite like passively aggressing someone to death with an all-blue shutdown deck. The free-to-play CCG launches into open beta on September 27th. Below, a bizarre launch trailer featuring Danny Trejo, who apparently knows a thing or two about elves.
While the no-frills Magic The Gathering Online may still exist, Arena seems like a better modern starting point for new players. If you’re only familiar with the likes of Hearthstone, Magic can be daunting, with more complex resource management and a solid chance of matches playing well past the ten turn mark. Arena includes tutorials, single-player challenges and all the other mod cons you’d expect from a modern CCG, but doesn’t shy away from M:TG’s notoriously complex systems. As with Hearthstone, cards are earned or bought, but not traded or sold.
On launch day (1pm PDT 9pm BST, to be specific), they’ll be wiping the servers and all player accounts. Those beta players who have been in since day one, get ready to kiss those cards goodbye, but at least they’ll be refunding any purchased gems to your account. There is one small perk for existing closed beta players – on launch day, you’ll get a code (via email) for a trio of Masterpiece Planeswalker cards. At launch they’ll also be hosting a special free Singleton event. Without using any duplicates (aside from lands), build a deck and shake down some other players for prizes.
Update: As mentioned in the comments below, this will be the last wipe. The ‘open beta’ is effectively a soft launch. They’re not quite happy to say it’s 100% done and ready for the big leagues yet, but next Thursday, it will be effectively released in full.
The Magic: The Gathering Arena open beta begins next Thursday, September 27th. While the game isn’t an especially large download, you can pre-load it now if you want on the official site here. And if you want a Magic-adjacent giggle, check out this Twitter account that feeds cards through Google Translate until only hilarity remains.