Developer Arc Games has revealed the deckbuilding system and an open beta date for Magic: Legends. This upcoming action MMORPG is inspired by Magic: The Gathering, the originator of the trading card game as the world knows it today. The team at Wizards of the Coast has been creating new sets and cards since 1993, weaving a multiverse of possibilities in the process. From the familiar wilds of Dominaria to the howling canyons of New Phyrexia, the world of Magic is a vast fantasy playground, and Magic: Legends hopes to bring it all to life in the world of video games.
Of course, that’s not to say that Magic has never dealt in virtual releases before. The formally annual Duels of the Planeswalkers series brought the game to consoles and PC in a limited format, eventually expanding into the all-encompassing Magic: Duels and its current free to play successor Magic: The Gathering Arena. Outside of that, there is the odd case of Magic: The Gathering – Battlegrounds, a strategy game released on the original Xbox and PC that plays more like modern-day mobile games like Clash Royale than anything printed on cardboard. Magic: Legends will be the first non-card game based release since then, and the first game to focus on Magic‘s modern plane-spanning narrative.
In the new deckbuilding trailer released earlier today via IGN, Magic: Legends design lead Adam Hetenyi went into detail about the game’s deckbuilding system and how it mirrors Magic‘s tabletop card game roots. Once players choose from one of five colors of mana for their planeswalker avatar, they gain a starter deck of spells that match that color. Playing the game will unlock new spell options ranging from creatures to summon to enchantments that affect the battlefield. Players can also unlock the ability to build in a two-color pair, and they aren’t restricted to only using the color that their character aligns with.
Many Magic: The Gathering players will recognize the spell names that flash by in the trailer, from the lowly Drudge Skeletons to legendary beatstick Flametonge Kavu. A good chunk of the spells are inspired directly by counterparts in the real game and Magic: The Gathering Arena, but there are also new spells introduced here to facilitate the unique strategy of an action RPG. The trailer ends with the announcement that players will be able to sample the game at home for the first time when Magic: Legends launches into open beta in March 2021.
The history of Magic: The Gathering in video games has been rather rough, but things are looking up with the ongoing expansion of Arena and the impending launch of Magic: Legends. Things are looking up in general for fans of the card game looking to expand beyond cardboard, as the game is also being adapted to TV by Netflix at some point in the near future. That show will no doubt feature epic clashes between established characters like Chandra, Liliana, Gideon, Tibalt, and more, making the nickname “superfriends” into a literal translation on the small screen.
Next: Magic: Legends Previews The Sanctifier, A Playable White Planeswalker
Magic: Legends will release in open beta on PC in March 2021.
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