What is traditionally classified in the MTG Arena

Magic Arena put to the test: King of card games

Magic: The Gathering Arena proves to be the best Hearthstone competitor in the test.

The release of Magic Arena just shows again how absurd it is that Magic: The Gathering left the online card game to Hearthstone for so long. Because the trading card forefather always had what it takes to stand up to Blizzard with the enormously complex set of rules and the ingenious card designs of the paper template. It just needed a really good digital implementation, not a half-baked compromise like Magic Duels. Arena is this implementation. At last.

The first and best trading card game

Magic: The Gathering invented the whole trading card principle in the first place and has since refined it into an art form. Basically, two players compete against each other and hit creatures and spells on the table in rounds in order to burn the other's life points to zero. But you have so much more options than most of the competition! Magic dares to have significantly more complex cards, more synergies and more card types than many other games. For example the planeswalkers, powerful magicians whom we call on our side as a kind of second player and who can use one of several skills every round.

Planeswalkers like Sarkhan Vol all score points with a unique set of skills, of which we are only allowed to trigger one each move.

Above all, however, many cards allow us to react directly to the opponent's moves - such as countering his decisive spell or weakening his most important creature after he has already decided to attack. This gives the game a completely different strategic tension than, for example, Hearthstone, where we only watch on the opposing turn. We must always weigh up how our enemy might still drive us into the parade, predict his next steps and have the right answers ready. Or at least bluff that we have them ready!

And because there are significantly fewer random effects, our strategic skills only become all the more important. The other side of the coin: Arena never feels as fast as Hearthstone, because the opponent can always take a moment to react. But thanks to the clever interface design, the complex gameplay is still much more fluid on the screen than fans would have thought possible a few years ago. Magic Arena is both entertaining and challenging - an impressive feat!

No, not every game of Arena escalates this way - but it can happen at any time!

Paradise for deck builders

The deck building is also a pure pleasure, because the complex set of rules allows a lot of completely individual strategies and paths to victory. Magic cards come in five suits, each with their own strengths. Red deals massive damage, blue defends itself with counter-spells. But every color has surprising alternative strategies up its sleeve. Blue can also play aggressively and poke at the opponent with small unblockable or flying creatures, while it counteracts all of its larger threats or whirls them back into the hand.

On top of that, the colors can be freely combined. This opens up an enormous variety of decks. And the developers still manage to balance them amazingly well: Since the start of the beta, Arena has offered a diverse metagame almost across the board, in which a very clear top deck never emerged and a whole range of very different top strategies were always possible. And if you don't feel like a tough ranked list competition, you can let off steam in the normal game and experiment with unusual decks around your favorite cards.

Magic Nights: Commander live on Twitch
By the way: We also have regular Magic events! Maurice, Jochen and Marco from Nerdkultur hit each other every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on our Twitch channel Monsters and Explosions live the cards in epic Commander multiplayer games. Nasty intrigues and bloody feuds inevitable! We also regularly raffle cards and decks - take a look! You can watch all previous episodes in the Magic Nights collection.


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