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Magic: Legends is now in open beta

Dad’s fantasy world of Magic: The Gathering has become the basis for the free-to-play action RPG Magic: Legends, now available in open beta for everyone to try. I say “open beta” because it’s the official status, but it’s basically out now. Magic: Legends looks like Diablo with deckbuilding. I like Diablo, I like deck building, and I like Magic too much for my own damn good, so sure, I give it a try.

The action-RPG foundations seem pretty fair, and do it ARPG monster-mashing, so let’s check out a trailer from January on deck building in Legends:

So, cards represent the spells that our wizard can give, and the chalk they can summon. We have a deck of 1

2 cards and get access to a hand of four at a time, with new ones drawn at random to replace the ones we discard. And while we start with a pre-constructed deck representing one of the five schools of Magic of Magic, we can pick up cards from other colors to build multicolored decks and directly change colors. That sounds interesting. Somewhere between Magic: The Gathering and Guild Wars.

The open beta is available now through Perfect World’s Arc and Epic Games Store.

Magic: Legends is made by Cryptic Studios, the gang behind City Of Heroes and Star Trek Online, and released by Perfect World. Full launch is scheduled for later this year (on PS4 and Xbone as well), although devs say “this is considered a” soft launch “” and they do not plan to wipe the servers. Basically out, just potentially not completely polished.

I love Magic: The Gathering. I have played so much magic in my life, tournaments and everything until I had to stop because it was out of hand. I still admire enormously how Wizards Of The Coast has updated and fine-tuned it with new maps and stories over 28 years. A dizzying achievement. However, my adoration of the board game makes me less interested in this. To me, a magic deck tells a story about a wizard’s master plan, and establishes everything from the landscape to plot twists while trying to foil a rival wizard with his own arcane master plan. The magic I know and love cannot be boiled down to an action RPG. But it’s okay, this is okay, it’s a licensed game with famous places and people and beings and a broad concept of cards, it’s okay. If I want my tires with wizard stories, I can just play Magic. I mean, if I do not mind kissing goodbye another decade of my life.

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