Magic Of The Gathering Video Game: Few Things To Know

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The Magic depends significantly on what you want from your game.

Magic Online certainly covers you if you want to play actual MtG against actual people. But it does have a little bit of a problem if you’re going to perform digital and paper because you might find yourself buying everything twice; and a massive problem with code reliability. If you find yourself going this route, best become very familiar with their customer service forms to get reimbursed for drafts, you lose to shoddy programming.

The Duels series is excellent if you get that itch to play occasionally. Still, until recently, it lacked in deck building (my favorite part of the game) with pre-constructed decks that had limited customization. In one of the more recent ones, they added a sealed deck format, which was nice, but still has a pretty limited card pool (though the cards almost always do what they’re supposed to, unlike on MtGO).

Magic Of The Gathering Video Game: Few Things To Know
Magic Of The Gathering Video Game: Few Things To Know

The Battlegrounds

 Magic Battlegrounds did something different with the franchise and made it a more active experience while maintaining some similar elements. Unfortunately, this massively simplifies the game and removes the deckbuilding aspects of the game.

And now we’ve crawled back to the start, to my personal favorite, the old Microprose Shandalar game. You pick a color, and they hand you a pile of cards biased toward that color, then you wander an overworld, dueling monsters you run across and collecting more cards until you can craft a deck strong enough to face off against the lords of each color of magic. This is an old DOS game, so you can track down the ISO and run it in DOSBox, but it’s pretty dated. Many cards are terrible like they were in the old days, and many more don’t work quite right, but getting to play with antes and Power Nine is always a blast. It’s important to remember that there have been a few overhauls of the rules since this game came out, and those do not implement, so getting the hang of things is a bit tricky if you know the modern standards, but I enjoyed it much when I picked it up again recently.

Magic Of The Gathering Video Game: Few Things To Know
Magic Of The Gathering Video Game: Few Things To Know

What Is A Magic Card?

 Planeswalkers are like magicians, but they have an extraordinary power called a “spark.” This allows them to travel the multiverse, which is a multitude of dimensions containing planets, people, and new conflicts.

As your planeswalker travels the multiverse, you collect spells from your travels hence the collectible part of the card game. To cast your spells, you typically need mana. During the game, you acquire mana primarily through a connection with the land. Mana comes in 5 colors and colorless and limits what spells you can cast. For example, red mana is the color of chaos, emotion, and the elements, so if you want to throw a lightning bolt or fireball, you almost certainly need red mana.