Magic: The Gathering Arena multiplayer

While still in open beta, Magic: The Gathering Arena has received generally positive reception. It has some issues, including how players deal with unneeded cards and some lacking features. That said, the point of beta testing is to iron out the final details and add the polish. One major feature that Arena has been lacking is the ability to play the game with friends.  On Nov. 15, however, that will change. Magic: The Gathering Arena will be implementing a “direct challenge” system, allowing players to do battle with one another online. This mode will not have quests, however, so for the time being it’s just for fun.

Origins of Arena

Following the tremendous success of Hearthstone, it was only a matter of time that the original inspiration would follow suit. Developers Wizards of the Coast announced earlier this year that an online iteration of their groundbreaking Magic: The Gathering game was entering open beta. This incarnation, called Magic: The Gathering Arena, is a digital card game releasing free-to-play on PC. Considered a more “modern” way to play the classic card game, it will exist alongside the original game. This is not intended as a replacement for Magic: The Gathering Online, either. Instead of supporting the entirety of Magic‘s card base, Arena will only include standard set cards upon release and future expansions moving forward.

Magic Arena

The newest incarnation of Magic: The Gathering Arena goes multiplayer Nov. 15.

How Arena compares to Hearthstone

Unlike in Hearthstone, opponents can react during a player’s turn. This process is called “priority,” and it allows your opponents to respond to spells or abilities during your turn. This makes for a faster game and ensures that matches don’t take all night. An opponent gets priority at every step of the turn phase, from tapping/untapping to ending the turn itself. Instead of simply using a turn to do everything at once, there’s a specific combat phase where a player completes all of their aggressive plays.

Are you going to play Magic: The Gathering Arena? Are you in the beta? Let us know!

Brad Ballanger
Programmer. Writer. Digital media specialist. A competitive gamer in the sense that I'm competing with the constant urge to throw the controller across the room.

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