Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Monday, September 9, 2013

Duels of the Planeswalkers Is Weird A.K.A. The Cost of Cards Is Too Damn High

Okay so thanks to Xbox Live's Games With Gold I just got my first Duel With the Planeswalkers experience and it was wierd. Okay a little disclaimer to to me misreading the promotion everything I am about to say is about the 2013 version not the 2014 version. Got that. Okay.

Let's play catch up about my quasi-magic hiatus. I love magic the gathering. Mostly I love building decks but it frustrates me that a lot of the cards I want to build decks around cost a lot more money than I'm willing to pay. Yeah I remember when we were complaining about $5 original recipe Jace rather than $45 Lilliana of the Veil. Damn secondary market. And yes near everything about economics I didn't learn from the financial collapse or a class I learned from the Magic the Gathering's secondary market. Such as the financial shock in who wins in tournaments and with what cards.

Or to the layman never buy immediately before or after a tournaments because the prices will be inflated by players who are willing to spend more for specific cards as a result there being actual prize money at stake. At the same time prices will be unpredictable because demand will be unpredictable because who wins with what will be unpredictable.

Anyway, this has lead to a reluctance to play a game I really like because I don't want to get drawn down the rabbit hole and I'm trying to save money in general so one of the first things to get trimmed down was Magic. While I occasionally play the game I haven't played it the way I want to in about a year and a half or since about Avacyn Restored hell if we want to get real New Phyrexia. God damn Phyrexian Obliterator which over the course of it's life span averaged about $11 for a card you needed in playsets to be most useful. Meaning if I really wanted to build a kick ass Phyrexian deck with the Oblitorator as a headliner that's $44. By the way go team evil.

Well I thought Duel of the Planeswalkers is free so let's give that a shot.

And it is weird.

Mostly because of deck building. And that is kind of interesting. I mostly play Magic Online and I got in on that pretty early. Back at the start one of the big criticisms of MODO was that the digital business model was more or less the same as the paper business model. Packs with cards. And Duels of the Planeswalkers offers an interesting what if, made all the more blatant that in the game a lot of ads come up for other Magic products highlighting how the game is really designed as a teaser for Magic in general. There are a couple weird interfacy things but the deck building is the big defining difference.

In Magic Online you can use any card in your collection and since that collection is based on what you buy and while I know you can make all sorts of contrary arguments the deck building seems less limited. For instance in my experience which was admittedly brief I had to stick to mono colored decks and I generally hate mono colored decks. Explaining why is a whole other post about the color wheel.

Also it'f frustrating because of what I call deck problem solving. So in any game of magic certain things are going to happen and most players build their decks around these consistent problems including card drawing or spot destruction, but since I have a more limited pool of cards and am restricted in colors balancing that stuff is rough. God I miss Concentrate. Hell I'll even take a Divination. Or hell if I want to stick to my first choice color anybody remember Browbeat.

All of this is a roundabout way of saying Duels isn't MODO, but damn it, it's free. Then again technically so is MODO as long as I don't start thinking of crazy ways to abuse new mechanics that require new cards. Long story short I am still jonesing.

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