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[XBLA]Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers. Now Available on Steam!!!

ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
edited February 2011 in Games and Technology
Welcome! You're about to be introduced to Duels of the Planeswalkers (Duels), an awesome new game that brings the game play of Magic: The Gathering to the Xbox starting June 17. You read that right, we have an official launch date and it's just two weeks away! Ready to see what you'll be able to get?

Duels' graphics and animation are simply better than you've ever seen for Magic or any other digital trading card game (TCG). One glance at Duels on a high definition (up to 1080i) screen, and the evidence is clear.

Now, graphics are great, but game play's the thing. In game play, Duels delivers! Duels of the Planeswalkers has over 40 hours of single-player game play against computer AI opponents that will challenge players of all skill levels. And there's an entire metagame of Planeswalker decks for you to wield, whether you're challenging your friends (or strangers) to a duel, three- or four-player multiplayer, or a Two-Headed Giant game, all on the Xbox LIVE Arcade (XBLA) network. Oh and then there's a collection of new Magic: The Puzzling–style challenges, and there's ....

In short, Duels of the Planeswalkers is the total package. It's got great graphics, great game play, and great formats, and it's coming to the Xbox LIVE Arcade system soon. Really soon—in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish versions.

Single-Player Game Play


Duels of the Planeswalkers game play starts with two of the core decks (Chandra and Garruk) at your disposal. If you're new to Magic: The Gathering or Xbox or just want a refresher, you might want to start with the tutorial. Otherwise, try the Campaign game. You'll find that as you successfully complete challenges you'll unlock additional cards, which you can use to customize your deck. Defeating Planeswalker challengers in the Campaign game is special—not only do you unlock additional cards for winning, but you'll have the opportunity to unlock all eight playable decks. Once you defeat the deck's owner, that is ....

If you'd like to play a match with a deck you haven't unlocked or against an opponent you haven't gotten to in the Campaign, you can set up Custom Duels against AI opponents. In Custom Duels you can make the games more or less difficult by adjusting the standard settings (life totals, starting hand size) for an extra (or reduced) challenge.

There's also a series of nine Magic: The Puzzling–style puzzles, where you have a difficult situation and need to win the game in a turn (or two). However, this is a digital puzzle—you don't just mentally figure out the puzzle, hope you're right, and wait for the solution to be published sometime in the future. In Duels, you attempt your solution in-game. If you're incorrect, the AI opponent can demonstrate the counterargument, but you can always attempt the puzzle anew.

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Player vs. Player and Multiplayer Game Play

Once you're ready to challenge your skills against human opponents, Duels provides several options to demonstrate your skills (with an Xbox LIVE Gold Membership). One-on-one play is available; on the Xbox this uses the TrueSkill matching and ranking system. Also, you can play free-for-all multiplayer with up to three other players on Xbox LIVE. You can either challenge your skills in ranked matches, or play unranked matches against your Xbox LIVE buddies.

Another exciting option is cooperative play. Cooperative play allows two players to play under the Two-Headed Giant rules, as a team, from a single console. As a matter of fact, Duels provides an entire cooperative Campaign game against AI opponents. If you'd prefer human challengers, you can play cooperative games on Xbox LIVE with your friends against other teams in ranked and unranked matches. However, you can only play with the cards and decks you've earned!

Duels of the Planeswalkers also provides free-for-all multiplayer play. Two-, three-, and four-player free-for-all matches are available, with opponents selected from your friends, matched via the Xbox LIVE matching system.

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Learn to Play

Duels of the Planeswalkers also delivers a full suite of fun learn to play options. Duels being a digital game allows us to teach the rules of Magic in a controlled, fun environment. This can easily be seen from the Duels tutorial. Instead of reading a wall of text in a rule book, you just start playing the tutorial. The AI guides you through your first game, but you're playing Magic from the very start.

But we don't stop there. Beginners will receive helpful hints in real time. These hints range from pointing out a creature with special abilities that you might not want to block, to reminders of things that newer players often forget (like playing a land). These hints, as with all new player features (like pausing spells your opponent plays so you can read them), can be permanently turned off once you're comfortable with Duels and with Magic.

The interface of Duels has been designed to make it easy for new Magic players while improving the experience for established players. The Duels interface uses the AI to identify cards that are eligible to be cast (which are then outlined in gold), and there are many subtle interface elements to improve the play experience of players of all skill levels. For example, you'll find that if you play a creature enhancement spell by default it will target the choice the AI believes is most appropriate.

If you're the type of person that would rather learn from another player, or if you're interested in teaching a friend (or even a stranger) to play Magic, Duels has a Mentoring system. In the Mentoring system you can pair up with a friend (or a volunteer) that will play a game of Duels with you, with the ability to observe your hand. This creates an experience similar to how many players have learned to play Magic—face-to-face—only this time it's mediated by a mouse and a headset.

For the person who does prefer to read game rules, Duels includes a digital Magic rulebook and glossary. If you want additional details while playing, all cards have a "more information" screen. This "more information" screen not only explains the nuances of the card in question but also provides information on temporary effects (e.g. summoning sickness) that are active on the card being reviewed.

So, if you're looking for a great way to learn Magic: The Gathering or teach Magic to a friend, Duels is a great choice!

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Duels and the Xbox LIVE Arcade Experience

Duels of the Planeswalkers is fully integrated into the Xbox LIVE system. As mentioned, Duels uses the TrueSkill ranking and matchmaking system. Duels is also part of the Xbox achievement system, with 12 achievements (200 points worth). These achievements range from defeating certain special opponents to accomplishing unusual game conditions.

Duels makes extensive use of the Xbox Leaderboards, providing Leaderboards for your friends and the public for ranked match play. There are additional Leaderboards for multiplayer play and even a Leaderboard for top-rated Mentors.

Duels is also part of the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, providing additional theme and picture packs so you can sport a Magic: The Gathering look on your Xbox while playing Duels or other Xbox games.

Duels and Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering is a trading card game and Duels of the Planeswalkers is a digital game. As such, certain interpretations had to be made. For example, new cards are earned by completing challenges. You can unlock cards through Campaign play vs. AI opponents, matches against other XBLA players or by playing cooperative/multiplayer games. The entire Duels card set (around 280 cards) can be unlocked by winning challenges.

Other changes involve pacing of the game. Duels is a faster-paced game than paper Magic or Magic Online. The heuristic of "tapped out means done" is built into the default game settings. Duels has a certain amount of twitchiness that isn't in paper Magic, with a short window of decision to play spells or abilities in response to game actions. Player vs. player matches have a turn timer that keeps the pace of the game going.

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When we made Duels of the Planeswalkers, we built it in Magic R&D as a paper format then we took those cards to digital. The Duels format is composed of balanced preconstructed Planeswalker decks, similar to Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra but with eight different decks to choose from. We extended this idea by providing a sideboard that allows deck customization but still keeps each deck's flavor and also keeps them balanced against the rest of the metagame. We know you'll enjoy playing Duels—hopefully as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Oh, one more thing.

41j_garruk.jpg

If you're up to the challenge of Duels, you might receive one of these. Redemption details are based on locality of purchase. More information is available at www.duelsoftheplaneswalkers.com, along with further information about Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Source - http://www.wizards.com/magic/magazine/article.aspx?x=mtg/daily/feature/41j



Oh god. I'm going to be putting so much time into this. I can't wait.

Cost - 800 microsoft funbucks or $10
Release - Wednesday June 17 2009

PM me your gamertag/Steam ID if you want to be added to the OP for some online matches.


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Zerokku on
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    Conan-sanConan-san Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm not entirely sold on the idea of it being preconstructed decks only. It threatens to turn into Megaman-esque Deck X will dick over Deck Y jobs and everyone will choose Deck Fox because it can do stuff that's clearly broken.

    Conan-san on
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    SandersSanders Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Conan-san wrote: »
    I'm not entirely sold on the idea of it being preconstructed decks only. It threatens to turn into Megaman-esque Deck X will dick over Deck Y jobs and everyone will choose Deck Fox because it can do stuff that's clearly broken.

    If anything this is what sells me on the game. All cards can be unlocked by doing challenges and the way I took it you can still do limited customization to the eight decks so it is not about who can spend the most money getting the best cards.

    Sanders on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Conan-san wrote: »
    I'm not entirely sold on the idea of it being preconstructed decks only. It threatens to turn into Megaman-esque Deck X will dick over Deck Y jobs and everyone will choose Deck Fox because it can do stuff that's clearly broken.

    Ok, from the official FAQ:
    Q: Can I create new decks or modify my deck?

    A: Duels of the Planeswalkers allows players to customize their deck with cards unlocked by defeating opponents. The core of the deck is constant but how you choose to modify your deck is up to you.

    Zerokku on
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    SEFinnitSEFinnit Registered User new member
    edited June 2009
    This will be fantastic until they eventually start selling cards. At that point Magic again becomes he who spends the most money wins.

    SEFinnit on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    SEFinnit wrote: »
    This will be fantastic until they eventually start selling cards. At that point Magic again becomes he who spends the most money wins.

    On the other hand, until this point this is why I'm excited for this. The only reason I quit playing the real game is that it just costed way too much money to keep up with standard play.

    Zerokku on
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    toolberttoolbert Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    This sounds like another time sync for me ><;; I haven't finished my current deck ideas and I'm already thinking about this >.>;;

    toolbert on
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    Tiger BurningTiger Burning Dig if you will, the pictureRegistered User, SolidSaints Tube regular
    edited June 2009
    Wow. Magic is on the Xbox? I guess I'm getting an Xbox.
    The Duels format is composed of balanced preconstructed Planeswalker decks, similar to Duel Decks: Jace vs. Chandra but with eight different decks to choose from. We extended this idea by providing a sideboard that allows deck customization but still keeps each deck's flavor and also keeps them balanced against the rest of the metagame.

    Oh. Magic isn't on the Xbox. I guess I'm not getting an Xbox.

    Tiger Burning on
    Ain't no particular sign I'm more compatible with
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm interested in this but I haven't played MtG in about 10 years, so the cards look confusing. Also this deck unlock shit, well, it sounds terrible.

    Edit: Well it's just that Garruk card that looks confusing really.

    Taranis on
    EH28YFo.jpg
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    MinionOfCthulhuMinionOfCthulhu Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Man, I haven't played Magic in like...10 years? I don't know. Weatherlight, maybe. I don't count that time I got Magic Online, bought like 40 dollars worth of cards, and then uninstalled, no idea what I was thinking.
    Long story short, I look forward to the idea of being able to play online without being charged real money for fake cards.

    MinionOfCthulhu on
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    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I hate you so much for bringing this to my attention.

    yhst-34640480252896_2052_1984365

    I'm one of the idiots who played a fair amount of Magic Online before realizing spending money on imaginary cards was dumb.

    ...see you online.

    chamberlain on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I hate you so much for bringing this to my attention.

    [img]http://ep.yimg.com/ip/I/yhst-34640480252896_2052_1984365[/im I'm one of the idiots who played a fair amount of Magic Online before realizing spending money on imaginary cards was dumb. ...see you online.[/img]

    Bahahahahaha.

    We'll definitely need to get some online matches going on here.
    Taranis wrote: »
    Edit: Well it's just that Garruk card that looks confusing really.

    That's called a Planeswalker, it was a new card type introduced in the Lorwyn Block.

    This'll probably help explain them a bit better - http://www.wizards.com/Magic/TCG/Article.aspx?x=magic/planeswalkers/week4

    Zerokku on
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    eelektrikeelektrik Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Depending on how much customizability the decks have, I may have to get this. Being able to play Magic again for only 10 bucks sounds like a win to me, I always enjoyed the game but stopped playing because it cost too much money and all my friends stopped playing. High school was the last time I played regularly, around the time of Mercadian Masques, Invasion, and Odyssey blocks.

    eelektrik on
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    PeenPeen Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm with chamberlain, I was wandering along happy to have forgotten that MTG existed, and then this happens. I'm screwed.

    Peen on
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    BloodsheedBloodsheed Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I will add my hatred for pointing this out.

    God, I still have a dresser FULL of the damn cards. I think I stopped around the time of Odyssey, though I might be misremembering the order of release (so... so very many releases...) .

    Bloodsheed on
    Xbox Live, Steam, PSN: Eclibull
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    And I'm mad at neoGAF for bringing it to my attention. I just thought I'd share :lol:

    By the way, here are the achievements for the game -

    http://www.xbox360achievements.org/game/magic-the-gathering-duels-of-the-planeswalkers/achievements/

    Zerokku on
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    projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    GOOD BYE LIFE.

    projectmayhem on
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    RainbowDespairRainbowDespair Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    There's no way on earth that my wife will let me buy this.

    I'll probably buy it anyway. ;)

    RainbowDespair on
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    JeffHJeffH Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'll buy this as a sort of time waster, and for the free garruk. This isn't going to compare to actually playing given the restrictions, but it's cheap and looks kind of fun.

    JeffH on
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    solsovlysolsovly Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm looking forward to this. I'm not looking forward to the barrage of DLC cards.

    solsovly on
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    JeffHJeffH Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I doubt they'll release DLC as individual cards. Probably release expansion packs with more cards/opponents/core decks.

    JeffH on
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    ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    The main thing that has me interested in this is that I hope it shows visably things like "the stack", in which case I could use it as a teaching aid to bring my girlfriend up to speed on how we play when my circle of friends gets together for some crazy multiplayer action.

    I suppose MTGO could fill this role as well, but the single player mode could be really helpful, as opposed to trying to get a friend into an online game and then trying to teach from there, one sidedly.

    Also, this would make TWO sets of cards that I don't physically own. :whistle:

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
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    TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I am so down for this, MtG with out spending 100 bucks at a time to play it is a very wonderful thing. I assume the dlc will be like blocks of new decks that you can play against the others, so long as the number of decks is consistant to the initial release I'll drop the same price every time for more, it's still way better a deal then doing drafts or sealed decks at prereleases like I normally would do for a magic fix.

    TheUnsane1 on
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh shit. I'm glad there's no cards to purchase for this, or I'd lose all my savings.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Oh shit. I'm glad there's no cards to purchase for this, or I'd lose all my savings.

    There's about zero chance that if this game does even remotely well that there won't be more cards available to buy.

    TheUnsane1 on
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    IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    This XBLA version has been in development for a while.

    I bet the team working on it was pissed when Wizards of the Coast decided to change the combat rules effective a few weeks after launch.

    Iolo on
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    ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    That's something else I was wondering.

    Any word on whether or not the rules are up to date for that? Not much good as a teaching aid if it's teaching the wrong stuff.

    Forar on
    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    Oh shit. I'm glad there's no cards to purchase for this, or I'd lose all my savings.

    There's about zero chance that if this game does even remotely well that there won't be more cards available to buy.

    I'd actually be okay with it if they were available as new decks. If they started adding random packs, that'd be a problem.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I don't like the title.

    It just doesn't sound right when you say it out loud. Ends with too many "s" sounds.

    Duels of the Planeswalkers.

    UnbreakableVow on
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    ZerokkuZerokku Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Iolo wrote: »
    This XBLA version has been in development for a while.

    I bet the team working on it was pissed when Wizards of the Coast decided to change the combat rules effective a few weeks after launch.

    From Neogaf -
    Keywords and templating changes are not updated in Duels. Mana burn is not a factor in Duels (because the computer taps your lands for you). The *biggest* rules change for 2010 is the damage on the stack, and that *is* updated for Duels. In other words, damage doesn’t use the stack in Duels, and that’s in line with the rules changes announced on Wednesday.

    Zerokku on
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    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Iolo wrote: »
    This XBLA version has been in development for a while.

    I bet the team working on it was pissed when Wizards of the Coast decided to change the combat rules effective a few weeks after launch.

    I haven't played for years. That being said, some of these rule changes are total bullshit. Especially:
    The Fix: Mana pools now empty at the end of each step and phase, which means mana can no longer be floated from the upkeep to the draw step, nor from the declare attackers step to the declare blockers step of combat.

    Fuck that.

    chamberlain on
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    TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Iolo wrote: »
    This XBLA version has been in development for a while.

    I bet the team working on it was pissed when Wizards of the Coast decided to change the combat rules effective a few weeks after launch.

    Wow. I don't like those new rules. They're dumbing down the game. I don't know how mainstream they expect Magic to get. I'm sure that most people that actually want to play magic won't be turned off by the complex rules.

    Taranis on
    EH28YFo.jpg
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    InquisitorInquisitor Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Iolo wrote: »
    This XBLA version has been in development for a while.

    I bet the team working on it was pissed when Wizards of the Coast decided to change the combat rules effective a few weeks after launch.

    That combat rule change is terrible.

    Just fucking terrible.

    Inquisitor on
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    TheUnsane1TheUnsane1 PhiladelphiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    TheUnsane1 on
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    SeruleSerule Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    Combat damage doesn't use the stack anymore. As soon as it is assigned it takes effect.

    Which means:
    1. You can't block one X/1 dude with a Mogg Fanatic, stack the damage and sac him to kill another dude killing both
    2. You can't block a dude, stack lethal damage, then bounce your own guy
    3. You can't play power/toughness games with cards like Crag Puca (switch to 4/2, block a 3/3, stack damage, switch to a 2/4)

    In general, this weakens bounce, instant-speed sac effects, and power/toughness switching significantly.


    I'm OK with all the other changes but the combat rules change bugs me.

    Serule on
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    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Serule wrote: »
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    Combat damage doesn't use the stack anymore. As soon as it is assigned it takes effect.

    Which means:
    1. You can't block one X/1 dude with a Mogg Fanatic, stack the damage and sac him to kill another dude killing both
    2. You can't block a dude, stack lethal damage, then bounce your own guy
    3. You can't play power/toughness games with cards like Crag Puca (switch to 4/2, block a 3/3, stack damage, switch to a 2/4)

    In general, this weakens bounce, instant-speed sac effects, and power/toughness switching significantly.


    I'm OK with all the other changes but the combat rules change bugs me.

    You're ok with the mana pool emptying after every phase?

    chamberlain on
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    DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Serule wrote: »
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    Combat damage doesn't use the stack anymore. As soon as it is assigned it takes effect.

    Which means:
    1. You can't block one X/1 dude with a Mogg Fanatic, stack the damage and sac him to kill another dude killing both
    2. You can't block a dude, stack lethal damage, then bounce your own guy
    3. You can't play power/toughness games with cards like Crag Puca (switch to 4/2, block a 3/3, stack damage, switch to a 2/4)

    In general, this weakens bounce, instant-speed sac effects, and power/toughness switching significantly.


    I'm OK with all the other changes but the combat rules change bugs me.

    You're ok with the mana pool emptying after every phase?

    ....errr.....it's done that for quite a while now...I think since Alpha. The change is to every step.

    DevoutlyApathetic on
    Nod. Get treat. PSN: Quippish
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    Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Serule wrote: »
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    Combat damage doesn't use the stack anymore. As soon as it is assigned it takes effect.

    Which means:
    1. You can't block one X/1 dude with a Mogg Fanatic, stack the damage and sac him to kill another dude killing both
    2. You can't block a dude, stack lethal damage, then bounce your own guy
    3. You can't play power/toughness games with cards like Crag Puca (switch to 4/2, block a 3/3, stack damage, switch to a 2/4)

    In general, this weakens bounce, instant-speed sac effects, and power/toughness switching significantly.


    I'm OK with all the other changes but the combat rules change bugs me.

    You're ok with the mana pool emptying after every phase?

    ....errr.....it's done that for quite a while now...I think since Alpha. The change is to every step.

    Yeah, you haven't been able to float mana from upkeep to draw to main or anything like that for the entire time I've been playing, and I've been playing since revised.

    Vincent Grayson on
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    DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I was really disappointed when I found out this wasn't a remake of Duels of the Planeswalkers

    The new combat rules piss me off (seriously?!), but I'm still gonna play the fuck out of this.

    DeathPrawn on
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    chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Serule wrote: »
    TheUnsane1 wrote: »
    I want to see said combat rules changes.... stupid work filters.

    Combat damage doesn't use the stack anymore. As soon as it is assigned it takes effect.

    Which means:
    1. You can't block one X/1 dude with a Mogg Fanatic, stack the damage and sac him to kill another dude killing both
    2. You can't block a dude, stack lethal damage, then bounce your own guy
    3. You can't play power/toughness games with cards like Crag Puca (switch to 4/2, block a 3/3, stack damage, switch to a 2/4)

    In general, this weakens bounce, instant-speed sac effects, and power/toughness switching significantly.


    I'm OK with all the other changes but the combat rules change bugs me.

    You're ok with the mana pool emptying after every phase?

    ....errr.....it's done that for quite a while now...I think since Alpha. The change is to every step.

    Yeah, you haven't been able to float mana from upkeep to draw to main or anything like that for the entire time I've been playing, and I've been playing since revised.

    What?

    Read the bold part:
    The Fix: Mana pools now empty at the end of each step and phase, which means mana can no longer be floated from the upkeep to the draw step, nor from the declare attackers step to the declare blockers step of combat.

    Meant to stay step in my first post, so my bad, but it is still a dumb rule change.

    chamberlain on
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    SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Getting rid of mana burn is a good thing. Preventing floating mana from step to step has only marginal applications (one of which is Mistbind Clique), and removing the otherwise arbitrary distinction between steps and phases is in itself a good thing.

    The new combat rules eliminate a bunch of old strategies. They also remove a lot of old no-brainer decisions, forcing strategic decisions to be made in their stead (eg, do you sac Fanatic before damage or not?). It looks like dumbing down at first, but I bet once you've played with it a bit, you'll find it's got a similar level of strategic depth whilst being more grokkable for newbies.

    Seol on
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