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Magic 2015 Duels of the Planeswalkers: I am not the target audience it seems

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Posted by: Jake Valentine

This past Thursday night when the clock hit midnight into Friday morning, the Magic: the Gathering 2015 Core Set was released. My local store celebrated with everyone cracking open boxes of packs (my box was utter garbage as everyone around me seemed to open a Nissa, Garruk, or both) and playing three rounds of the Standard format until 4:00 AM.

If that sentence made zero sense to you, allow me to paraphrase: I play a lot of Magic: the Gathering. I know the ins and outs of the game and play with tier 1 decks in one of the sanctioned tournament formats. Because of this, I am not the target audience for the 2015 version of Duels of the Planeswalkers.

The Duels franchise is Magic's annual video game counterpart to the physical card game. It is absolutely 100% aimed at non-veteran players due to the complete lack of complexity with its decks, its card pool, and interaction.

Let's take an example from a game I played last night:

I was stablizing at one life; anymore damage meant I would die. I had an out based on my hand, but it would have meant I'd need to catch a break due to the game's mechanic known as the stack. The stack works in the following way:

- Player A casts a spell.

- Player B casts a spell in response, placing it on top of spell one in the stack.

- Player A can then respond to that spell, which places it on top of the spell two in the stack.

- If no other spells are casts, everything resolves from most recent spell to least recent.

If my opponent had tried to destroy a creature of mine, I would have responded by casting a spell that let's me sacrifice it to gain life. He then could have, in response, tried to destroy it again, to which I would have no response and just end up dying.

There is no possible room for any of these types of complex interactions from my early experiences in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2015. Every game has been a simple affair of Magic: the Gathering. Sometimes it's nice to just sit back and play some cards, but the enthusiast in me wants more.

I fear that I won't get that in-depth complexity from Duels. But then again, I'm realizing that I shouldn't be looking for it here.

Tags: Magic 2015, Duels of the Planeswalkers, Magic: the Gathering

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