Magic: The Gathering Arena Is Getting Exclusive Digital-Only Cards & Mechanics
The online video game version of the Magic card game, Magic: The Gathering Arena, is getting some exclusive digital-only cards with a special new mechanic.
Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is the latest upcoming set, and with it will be a new step in the evolution of Magic: The Gathering Arena. According to CBR, this expansion will add 782 cards to the Historic format, pulled from the very popular Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons 2 sets. The Arena-specific news is that this set will introduce the game’s first digital-only cards.
CBR got an exclusive look at the new cards and “Perpetual” mechanic. The mechanic was highlighted in a new card called “Davriel’s Withering.”
“Dvriel’s Withering allows a player to weaker an opponent’s creature by -1/-2 for one black mana. Where things become interesting is the inclusion of the word “perpetually,” a new mechanic exclusive to Magic: The Gathering Arena. “Perpetually” allows players to permanently “change the characteristics of a card—no matter where it goes afterwards.” The effect of Davriel’s Withering will not leave a creature, even if it dies and returns to the board at a later stage.”
Along with perpetual, we also have “Conjure” and “Seek.”
“Conjure” is a keyword naming a specific card, plus you can pick the location. Magic publisher Wizards of the Coast says that you can conjure to your hand, your library, or even directly to the battlefield, and “once you do, the card is a full card for all rules purposes.” At the end of the game, they vanish back to the void that John Oliver records his show from.
“Seek” is a more streamlined way to get a card out of your library. “It describes some specific quality or qualities of a card, then one card that matches those qualities will be randomly selected from your library and placed into your hand. No searching, no shuffling.” Both of these make it easier for players to take advantage of the format.
They have also made updates on how to navigate mana bases (the colors of magic that allow you to play cards) in the game:
We’ve also made the mana bases smarter: lands generally don’t live in the packets but instead are added after MTG Arena can see your whole deck. So, a mono-white packet like Legion mixed with a mono-black packet like Davriel would get a couple Scoured Barrens to smooth the mana base, but mixing Legion with another mono-white deck like Cycling wouldn’t. Most of the combinations will also add some monocolor cycling lands into the mix for more flexibility.
Magic: The Gathering Arena has continued to grow in popularity, and this digital-only card exclusivity shows how much Wizards is investing in Arena being a significant part of the future of Magic play. Considering the digital format, it makes sense to create mechanics that will allow the online game flow to movie easier. Most cards are made with paper gameplay in mind, so this showing that digital will be having its own play zone, but also keeping it there, will allow those who stick to paper to not have to deal with any new play styles.
All the new updates and backend change will arrive on August 10, and all the new content unlocks on August 12.
(via CBR, image: Wizards of the Coast)
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