In addition to our 2021 Major Game Awards, every member of the PC Gamer team has focused on the games they love this year. For the rest of this month, we will release the new employee draft and our main awards.
Magic: The Gathering Arena, referred to as MTG Arena, can easily become my favorite collection card game. Supporters of Magic: The Gathering Online (MTGO) may scoff at this idea, but I will surpass MTGO’s spreadsheet aesthetics with the visual talent of this new client any day. MTG Arena will not affect my bank balance too much.
It may be because I haven’t played thoroughly enough, but I never seem to have encountered a problem with building decks. This is no problem for MTGO or Magic cards. After starting the initial investment, I did not invest any money in MTG Arena, nor did I feel the need to thank the daily rewards to keep things going. This is the most flexible, affordable and attractive version of the game, and I don’t have to sacrifice the space of the attic for the cardboard god to continue enjoying it.
The latest series of MTG Arena is Innistrad: Crimson Oath, its 90th expansion pack. You would think that reaching this high number means Wizards of the Coast has no new ideas now, and to some extent it is gone, but somehow, this is still one of the most interesting series I have ever played in MTG Arena. period of time. The Magic Arena successfully attracted my attention from New Worlds, Aura Infinity, Apex Legends and Hearthstone, which definitely shows that it is doing the right thing.
It feels great to draft a vampire-themed series, with some real decisions about which cards to choose. There is a lot of room for different types of decks, although it is definitely more aggressive than some recent expansions.It also doesn’t have its predecessor, Innistrad with the Werewolf theme: Midnight Hunt Burn down the house And the tough Adversary cycle dominates the draft environment-I’m watching you, especially, Fearless opponent. Being invaded by wolves is no longer a threat.
Although the Crimson Oath still has some moments in which I search in vain for the answer to the bomb, such as Turn Three Halana and Alena, partners, This is an interesting draft set. Even planeswalkers don’t find it as ridiculous as other series. Ruthless Thorin Beside. Kaya, ghost hunter, Ranked lower in the selection order list of Draftsim, the Magic draft assistant, and some uncommon creatures (Bloodtithe Harvester and Packsong Pup) are better than sprints Chandra, dressed as a slaughter.
The series does have some new mechanisms that can be solved, but none of them are particularly challenging. The introduction of Blood tokens is simple because they allow you to search your deck for answers while filling your graveyard. Cleave allows you to cast spells at a higher cost for more powerful effects. Exploit allows you to sacrifice creatures for profit, and the return of Disturb makes the creatures in your graveyard useful again. The diurnal effect of midnight hunting has also returned, and although the werewolves have been reduced, it is not as erratic as before.
Crimson Vow is a solid series, and it doesn’t seem to break the standard. In recent years, Magic has suffered power spread due to overly powerful cards, resulting in a number of dominant decks that you can either build yourself or use specific meta-constructions to fight against. This is great when the deck is fun to play and requires a lot of decisions and some clever interactions, but when the venue is reduced to only two red/blue decks (and one red/blue/white deck), As we were in the top 8 of the Strixhaven Championship, you know something is wrong.
However, Wizards of the Coast may solve this problem in the form of Alchemy, a new digital format that supports more dynamic meta-games. This means that cards that are too dominant can be rebalanced (usually recalculated, but the effect may be reduced), and for the first time a purely digital mechanism can be used-cards that generate other cards, similar to the discovery of Hearthstone mechanism.
This is a format that starts its own path from the paper version-not long ago, it was considered profanity, but in these times of social alienation, it makes a lot of sense. Well, except for alchemy being imposed on historical players, it does, and it feels like a typical Wizards mistake. There is also a simple solution-let those players continue to use the original version.
take, Aishka’s ChariotIt is a powerful card that has appeared in many decks. It has been changed from creating two cat tokens to only one, and its crew cost has been reduced from 4 to 2. Orende’s Epiphany It has been seen that its Foretell cost has been increased from 6 mana to 7 mana, and it only generates bird tokens at Foretold. Although these are subtle changes, they are also necessary to prevent the card from becoming too strong.
Alchemy is an important new stage in the Magic Arena, and has seen some interesting meta game choices and constructions. It will be interesting to see if it gains enough traction to really take off, but it feels like this is the only future that makes sense for the digital version of the aging card game. Given that I started playing MtG 24 years ago and I still turn sideways most of the time, I will most likely be there to see where I will go next.