In the newsroom, such a small game corner Dungeons & Dragons has been created for us in recent days. While Jiří enjoys the American prototype of our Dragon’s Lair when reviewing the RPG Solast: Crown of the Magister, I enter it in a slightly more unconventional way – the card. Thanks to the new edition of Magic: The Gathering Arena called Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms.
As I wrote in the announcement, it is surprising that the collaboration of two ancient fantasy brands took place so late, when both fall under the same label, Wizards of the Coast. They were like two mages who had ostentatiously ignored each other for years, clumsily scratching at the scrolls in the neighboring towers, only to have a careful conversation over the fence one day about the properties of the golems and find that they were actually very well together.
The fact that they are well together is also good for us players. Thanks to this, a fresh, creative set of new cards has arrived at Magic, which is also not only thematically but also mechanically pointed out. To explain: Sure, it’s nice that it looks like the world of Forgotten Realms that you meet here Drizzta Do’Urdena or Minsca from Baldur’s Gate. But even more impressive is that it’s a bit like Dungeons & Dragons.
I don’t want you to grab my word, of course I’m not going to say that the new edition will allow you to create your own cooperative narrative. We are still talking about strictly competitive one-on-one card battles, where some story is not played at the moment. But you will hear for yourself what I mean. Sit by the fireplace and listen to my story.
There are certain constants in an adventurer’s life. No overnight stays, but an honest eight-hour sleep to complete the spells. When a task is needed, you go to a pub. And when it comes to the task, it is most likely a trip to the underground. And this is exactly the case in Magic.
The central new ability around which a number of new cards revolve is called “Venture into the dungeon”. Some creatures set out on an expedition with each attack, others just enter the battlefield, sometimes you have to meet a specific condition – but no matter how you do it, you choose one of the three available undergrounds represented by a special card on which such a smaller one is drawn. maze. And each launch of the ability means one step in the direction you choose.
Each step takes you to a new room and that room triggers a predetermined effect. Some will allow you to see which card you draw in the next round, others will hurt you and force you to sacrifice a creature, some of the later ones, to which you will make your way after a long time, will reward you with a very powerful monster. But you always have to choose carefully where you go and take into account the adjoining rooms, so that you do not unnecessarily trigger effects in the next rounds that you do not need.
This adds incredible variability to the game. A card with the ability to enter the underground does not actually do one specific thing, instead it offers you first three, but then together a quantum of different possibilities of what can happen. And the same is available to your opponent, which you also have to reckon with and include in your increasingly complicated plans.
In short, the new edition of Magic tries to ensure that you have as many paths as possible to take in every given moment. So that you have to make constant decisions. It is a design philosophy that is supported not only by dungeons, but also by a large number of modal cards.
These are the cards for which you can choose what effect they will have, usually from two options. Either you cast a spell on your opponent or you draw cards. Either you return the monster to his hand, or one of your beings becomes unblockable. There will always be a dilemma in your head – do I really need to push through this one extra attack? Shouldn’t I think of my own defense? This would not happen to you with a card that can only do one specific thing.
An ideal example is white magic You Hear Something on Watch or “You will hear something during the patrol.” Once you play it, you have two choices: “Wake up the party”, which will strengthen all your monsters until the end of the turn, or “Launch traps”, which effect allows you to fire 5 damage points into the enemy attacking creature. Wide team reinforcement, effective killing. Choose. And choose well.
The card I dug in the last paragraph perfectly demonstrates another successful component of the new edition: a mastered thematic setting. The effects on the cards, for which only their game impact would have been described in the past, are now accompanied by a story text. When it arrives white dragon and the alien taps, the card clearly states that it is due to his icy breath. And then it is easier to immerse yourself in the “story” of every match.
As I wrote, a bonus for all connoisseurs of the world of Forgotten Realms is a number of old famous heroes. I have nothing against the creative offspring of the creators of Magic, they also often come up with interesting concepts and characters, but it’s still a complete caress of the heart, when you see in front of you on the record in front of you the dwarf Bruenoras it massacres poor beholder or a mighty dragon Icingdeatha, or when you finish your opponent well-aimed magic bullet.
I can’t forget the profession either, which are actually classic enchantments that you put into the game for one, two mana and they have a miniature effect. When, for example you become a wizard, the limit on the number of cards in your hand ceases to apply to you.
“It’s pretty useless,” you say, rightly so. But he’s a first-level wizard. During the game, you can pay a fixed fee to advance to a new level, which brings with it additional benefits – for the first time, an improved wizard immediately draws two cards. And when you get to the very last level at the end of the match, for each drawn card you place a + 1 / + 1 counter on some creature, which is already a bonus like thunder.
But there is another crucial factor to Dungeons & Dragons, and that is, of course, a coincidence. In the table “dragon”, you need to constantly roll the dice to determine if the barbarian succeeded in chopping it or if he accidentally stabbed his sword in his thigh. And Magic: The Gathering is counting on it.
“Coincidence” has always been a bit of a bad word for this card game, if we omit the inherent one, caused by pulling things out of a shuffled deck. Yes, once in a few editions, some cards were tossed with coins, but if a Hearthston player sat down to Magic, he would see that he couldn’t win or lose an entire match because of one randomly generated number.
That’s why I was a little shocked to find out that in the new edition, a twenty-walled dice is thrown at the fairway. However, as soon as I tried out exactly how this geometric shape is implemented into the game, the shock passed and was replaced by almost my father’s pride at how elegantly the developers did it.
You can always be sure type of effectwhich launches your card. Maybe your newly unloaded half thief he rolls the dice with each attack. With a 1-9 roll, he gains a deathtouch, the ability to kill anything he touches in one shot. With a roll of 10-19, he gains +1 to attack. And only a critical success, twenty, is really impressive, as it adds +3 to the attack and first strike.
So yes, coincidence can definitely help you and it makes a lot of sense to add cards to your deck that allow you to roll twice and choose a better result, but it’s never like throwing wrong and nothing happens or even comes something negative. Your thief In any case he gets a deathtouch, it’s just a matter of adding a few more damage points and whether blocking it, in the case of the first strike ability, will be a bit more complicated for the opponent. This is a very clever way to submit to the topic without violating one’s own principles.
In addition, this time the authors probably managed to set up something correctly, which they had big problems with in previous editions – the balance of new cards. It doesn’t look like there should be any bans and bans on too strong news, no one has yet figured out a trick that would cause you to meet exactly the same blue-and-black pack of thieves nine times out of ten matches. Yes, a pure green aggressive song seems more effective than other strategies at the moment, but it’s nothing that would automatically prompt you to throw a terry cloth in the ring.
Even the Limited format, ie drafting and building an improvised deck from a random set of cards, is extremely fun, more than the last “Harry Potter” edition of Strixhaven. It pushed you into specific color combinations assigned to individual tracks, which Adventures in the Forgotten Realms do not do at all. For example, with a black base, you can play dungeons, sacrifice monsters or treasures and add any other color, which results in a much wider, more creative ability to fold.
So it is true that some of the rarest cards are far too strong and that there are not many of them. It may happen that the draft match is decided by a single “bomb” to which the opponent simply cannot find the answer. I would prefer if the most powerful horrors were a limited number and if there were more averages among the rare gold cards.
I’m sending you to play one of the best editions of Magic: The Gathering I’ve ever experienced.
When, in the past, excited fortune tellers were quarrying into chests with the words NEW EDITION in anticipation of a magical treasure, they were often eaten instead by an unbalanced, broken facial expression that only pretended to be the chest. This time, however, you lift the lid and find a +3 two-handed sword with a sapphire in the elm. The new edition is complex, complex, but also fun and hugely varied.
Adventures in the Forgotten Realms may be a special crossover of two different fantasy brands, but they can’t be denied that they do damn well. Yes, there are some oddities, such as the fact that local cards with the designation “Planeswalker” are actually, in the story, no orb walkers and cannot teleport across the multiverse. But, frankly, this is a complete mess, which I categorically refuse to end this article.
That’s why I choose different closing words: “Go for the eyes, Boo, go for the eyes !!!” And with that I send you to play one of the best editions of Magic: The Gathering I have ever experienced.
Source: Games by games.tiscali.cz.
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