Magic: The Gathering Arena - Another MtG video game


It’s not meant to replace Magic: The Gathering Online, but it is in the style of the Duels series. According to the FAQ, this is built in Unity and will start with Ixalan and move forward. Developed by Wizards of the Coast’s new in-house Digital Games Studio.


As mentioned over in the MtG thread, Magic Arena aims to be a proper MtG experience on PC and mobile devices, rather than the cut-down experience of Magic Duels or the ancient and PC-locked experience of Magic Online. To that end:

-Full deckbuilding options within the sets available in the game, rather than a limited selection of cards and limitations within decks based on rarity.
-Unity-based, so they should have no problems with getting it to other platforms.
-Booster Draft and Sealed play options, a huge boon for the game. Getting a group together for Limited formats in paper Magic can often be an ordeal, due to the initial cost associated with buying boosters for a tournament, as well as the different skillsets tested (on-the-fly card analysis and speed deckbuilding) compared to Constructed formats.
-Developed by a new internal dev studio, with talent from studios like Dire Wolf Digital (Eternal and the Elder Scrolls digital CCG); this should, if nothing else, avoid some of the issues the Magic Duels games had over the years under an external studio’s care.
-No specifics yet, but WotC is looking at ways to tie the paper Magic experience with Magic Arena, such as giving in-game rewards for attending prerelease events at your local shop. The ultimate win here would be if they take a cue from the Pokémon TCG and include codes in physical boosters for a digital booster from the same set, but this seems unlikely.

And in-game details, now that I’ve got a moment again:

-Tapping cards look very weird - rather than turning sideways, tapped cards are greyed out and shown with a tap symbol on them. Obviously this is to conserve screen space on mobile devices, but it’ll still be very jarring - hopefully they add a toggle for a traditional tap indicator.
-Cards on the battlefield will show as little text as possible. You’ll be able to select a card to zoom in and see the full card properly, but by default, you’ll see only the most important details. In particular, keywords are represented with icons, as in Magic Duels.
-For the first time in a modern digital Magic game, you’ll be able to set your “stops,” meaning where the game pauses for instant-speed responses and other such decisions. It’ll default to an easy setting for casual players, but you can set it to “full control” to have it stop whenever you get priority.
-Also in concessions to experienced players, the game will default to an “easy” automatic tap setting for lands, but can be switched to let you tap your lands for mana manually.
-WotC stressed that this is a full traditional Magic experience translated to mobile. This should mean no weird limits on permanents in play or other similar concerns seen in other mobile card games, but we’ll see how that plays out.

Or just play XMage :)

Disregarding the part where it’s a huge pain to deal with most of the time anyway, XMage isn’t a very good alternative here because it doesn’t let me play Magic on my phone or tablet. :P

Phone/tablet, sure. What makes it a huge pain to deal with otherwise though? I found it a great way to play when I get that itch, and even coded up a few cards that were missing in a few of the pre-built decks.

Wizards is saying stress testing on Nov 3rd and then November 30th is the start of closed beta, so if you haven’t signed up yet you should probably get that done.

Open Beta starting 9/27 - anyone can just download and play!\

Existing accounts need to be moved over to a Wizards of the Coast account - I guess you use your existing closed beta credentials to get that started and then you have a new login with a new (if you want) username. Seems easy enough.

Existing accounts (closed beta) will be wiped, so everyone starts from scratch.

Guilds of Ravnica, the new set, will be available for play as well - which is wild, as the set isn’t launching in cardboard form until 10/5 (with a pre-release the weekend before, 9/30).

Yay! I’ve been tailing off playing because none of my collection is sticking around. Finally it’s here!

Awesome that we can play GRN so early. Now if they’d just add the social features so I can play with friends…

Anybody else playing this? Probably the best MtG play with a good variety of cards. Try it out, its pretty smooth. Matches are quick and easy. And tons of different strats!

Yes, I’ve been playing it a lot. Quite impressive. I still prefer Magic Online for drafting. But this is a fun way to play constructed.

Playing it a bit more at the moment than I expected. Even though I’m just playing with the pre-constructed decks, it is still quite fun. Unlikely I’ll ever have the cards to “compete” without sinking serious cash in, but there is enough game there even as a f2p/small buy-in player. I just get matched with other bad/casual players like myself which is fine.

Thats why I like it! I lose I don’t feel like I’ve been beaten up. It all feels so casual. which I like. I don’t get that with Hearthstone or that Gwent game. I guess it’s the random draw of cards I guess.

I’m playing a ton, just like in the closed beta. I’m saving up my wildcards to make a competitive deck once Standard shakes itself out in a week or two, so for now I’m mainly playing slightly tweaked New Player Experience (NPE)! two-colour decks. It’s been great, because the matchmaking is definitely working, I haven’t been matched up against any of the new meta heavy hitters.

I bought the Welcome bundle back in Closed, so i have that and I just ended up dropping $20 USD last week so I could practice more sealed Guilds of Ravnica prior to GP Montreal. I do all the daily quests and try to get at least 5 wins in a day. I figure I’m about a week away from crafting the Boros Angels deck I’m eyeing as my main deck for competitive constructed. And that’s what I really like about Arena. You can play it casually or seriously.

Also, here’s a link to some deck builds, I just had a match where I was plains/swamp vs green dino dude. I was up like 40 health to 5… and lost. he conjured up like 2 trample dinos with tons of 1/1 … the dino got up to like 15! Was like omg, i suck! pretty cool.

Played the WG newbie deck against a blue/black deck. He mauled me down to 1 life. I won with 26. Lifelink + trample is silly.

Had another game where I was playing the newbie Red/Black deck. Had crapall on the board because he was playing a deck with all those exile/entrap spells, and he was starting to set up flyers. I was one round from losing, and I played 4(!) ‘Acts of Treason’. Attacked him with pretty much his whole board, and he had to concede.

Two of the most hilarious games I can image, and with free newbie decks to boot. I’ll probably have to put money in just cause of the fun.

I’m playing way way more than I should, frankly. I’ve put in $50 for gems + $5 for the welcome bundle, and just having a lot of fun playing around with deck builds.

I’ve got a couple of pretty nice Izzet combo decks that are so much fun when they go off, and I built me one of those meme-y Dimir surveil decks that works pretty well until I hit one of those fucking merfolk decks or a straight-up Red Deck Wins aggro deck.

Currently working on another Dimir build with a lot more rares, but I still have some holes to fill, so it doesn’t win as much as I’d like.

I always thought Shandalar was the best Magic game.

I’m with you. This afternoon they’re bringing in the Best of 1 (Bo1) GRN Draft mode, and I may have to drop another $20 to get enough gems to play that. I really dig Bo1 because it works with my hectic lifestyle, I never know when family demands will pull me away from Arena, so 3 game matches are really tough for me. Plus, I suck at sideboarding.

I’ve been eyeing the current Red Deck Wins on and it’s tempting to just drop all my WC into it and use it to speedily grind out a bunch of wins to increase my collection more quickly. But my heart is really set on the Angels deck, because last standard I played a mono-white Angels to a modicum of success. Lyra and Shalai just feel like they belong in my library.

Until I make a decision, I keep grinding away with the NPE Merfolk deck. It’s been a consistent winner for me, completely unmodified, even against folks that have clearly beefed up their NPE decks a bit. I highly recommend it.