Scent of a Gamer

From the computer to the tabletop, this is all about games. Updated each week-end.

Magic: the Gathering Arena revealed

The logo for Magic: the Gathering Arena was revealed a while back. Other than the fact that is was electronic, nothing else was known about the product. From the demonstration this week-end it is clear that Arena is Magic’s answer to hearthstone.


Their emphasis has clearly been on creating a play experience that first and foremost looks good to watch online. With their existing digital products that is simply not the case. The screen is cluttered, baffling, and it’s not generally clear what is going on.

If you ever look for Magic: the Gathering on Twitch, it is often below older, seldom played games, while Hearthstone is rarely outside the top 5 for spectators. This in my opinion is what they are targeting with this product.


Not all details of the game have been released as yet, and the game itself is in Alpha stage, with a closed beta due to start later this year. With that in mind, while we see Ixalan cards involved in the demonstration, this won’t be the newest set when the game finally releases.

A few aspects I have picked up so far:

The game will focus on Standard (the most recent sets) and won’t look at adding older sets

Drafts will be available

Trading cards between players will not be possible

The game will be PC only at launch, but is programmed in Unity so other platforms are likely to follow


Wizards were quick to point out that this is not replacing Magic the Gathering Online. I think there is an unspoken ‘yet’ in that statement, but we’ll see.

3 comments on “Magic: the Gathering Arena revealed

  1. Bookstooge
    September 10, 2017

    MTGO has been stagnating for years with large amounts of the player base complaining incessantly.I just am not sure how WotC would handle the transfer of old card data to the new system. People wouldn’t play arena if they felt that WotC would change platforms under them with no regard for what the player has invested.

    I tried the Magic: Duels game on Steam but it was apparent the coders were under pressure, under-staffed and had to take some serious short cuts that pissed off everyone.
    I stopped playing it when the rules became different for Duels vs the paper version.

    Considering that I only play mtg once a week or so and only have one other friend who plays it [and I’m so introverted that going to our local gameshop and just sitting down with some strangers to play is out of the question!!!] an electronic version would be great. I’m casual, so playing for fun against the computer would work just fine for me 🙂


    • davekay
      September 11, 2017

      MtGO is going to stay (for now) so everyone will start from scratch when Arena comes out – no transfer of cards. In fact cards will not be tradeable in Arena at all.

      Like you, I plan to give this a try and see how it goes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge
        September 11, 2017

        As long as it isn’t as bad as Duels, I’ll probably at least keep it on my computer…

        Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on September 10, 2017 by in Computer Games, Magic the Gathering and tagged , , , .
%d bloggers like this: