Ccg Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Ccg RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Dust Off Your Deck, Planeswalker: Magic Legends Comes to Beta This Spring Tue, 14 Jan 2020 13:37:07 -0500 Ty Arthur

Classic CCG Magic: The Gathering is about to get a major digital makeover with the top-down massively multiplayer online action RPG Magic: Legends. Due for an official launch on PC in 2020, Magic: Legends will see a beta test this coming spring. The game is set to release on PS4 and Xbox One in 2021. 

The shift from the direct card game conversions of recent years shouldn't be much of a surprise; the franchise has seen many iterations over the years. Longtime fans may remember the original isometric single-player game launched on PC in 1997, as well as the ill-fated real-time strategy console game BattleMage. So venturing into the world of MMOs isn't terribly off-brand for the series

So far Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have revealed two classes for Magic: Legends.

Players can take up the role of the earth-magic focused Geomancer or the psychic Mind Mage while exploring the worlds of Benalia and Shiv.

Three more planes and additional player class options are still due to be announced ahead of launch.

Those wanting to get into the action as early as possible can sign up for the Magic: Legends Beta over here.

CCG and tabletop fans will see many other major table to digital and digital to table conversions in the near future. League Of Legends developer Riot Games is currently working on a physical tabletop game titled Tellstones: King’s Gambit.

The star-studded Critical Role web series is also going from meta to canon with Wizards Of The Coast planning to launch the Explorers Guide To Wildemount campaign setting book for D&D 5e in March.

Looking for more games like Magic: Legends that are tabletop adjacent? Check out our list of the 12 Best Steam Games for Tabletop Fans! And be sure to check out our review of the upcoming mobile game, Magic: ManaStrike.

Magic: ManaStrike Review — MtG but Not as You Know It Mon, 13 Jan 2020 14:07:14 -0500 Jason Coles

Magic: The Gathering is a card game that's been around for decades. It's a titan of the industry, and it deserves to be, with a wealth of exciting mechanics, fascinating lore, and some beautiful artwork.

Well, the brains over at Wizards of the Coast, the creators of MtG, have decided it's time to branch out a bit. One of those branches is Magic: Legends, the upcoming Diablo-like. Another branch, though, is Magic: ManaStrikewhich is a real-time PvP strategy game that uses characters from the card game. 

It's Magic, Jim, but Not as We Know It

Not only does ManaStrike use MtG characters, but it also uses the cards. This is perhaps the most interesting thing about the mobile title, at least to anyone who's a fan of MtG. Seeing how the creatures and spells I love are translated into a different style is fascinating.

Take Giant Growth, for example, a card that gives a creature extra strength and defense in the card game. In ManaStrike, it provides a creature with additional health instead of strength. Every new card I unlocked gave me a new chance to see how the developers had implemented a classic card in a new way. That alone was enough to keep me playing, but thankfully, the gameplay is incredibly fun as well. 

Before you actually go into a match, you have to build your deck. Now, you only have to choose a handful of cards instead of 60, so you need to think really carefully about which cards to include. It's a hyper-focused version of deckbuilding that is simpler than its counterparts, but an error here is often more obvious when it comes to the battles themselves. You must balance mana costs more than anything else, but you can unlock some powerful synergies as you rank up. 

See, you gain new cards as you open packs, and you can get packs by winning battles, ranking up, and progressing through the battle pass. There is a free version and there is a paid version of the battle pass, so it's familiar territory in that sense.

30-50 Feral Boars (Overrun) 

In ManaStrike, the cards you open can only be from the ones you've unlocked, and you can only unlock new cards by ranking up. The further you go, the larger the pool of cards becomes. Often, these higher rank cards are more powerful, but it's just as likely that they are simply more complicated, rather than just being stronger. 

The system is a good way of keeping strategy in line with your experience with the game. It also gives you a reason to keep playing and rank up, because every new card presents you with a new potential game plan. 

That being said, the game plan, at least initially, isn't all that complicated. The map is set up with two lanes and split into two halves. One half for you, one for your opponent. Each lane has a guardian at either end with a boss protecting both of them. If you kill the boss, you win. Simple. 

However, you can win in other ways too, which is good, because sometimes the three-minute matches just aren't long enough to decide things decisively. You can earn a point by taking out a lane guardian; if you have taken out both guardians, but your foe has only taken out one, then you win because you've got more points. 

I Need a (Hero) Planeswalker

Each deck is headed up by a Planeswalker, and they decide what cards you can include in your deck. If you have a green Planeswalker, then you can use green cards. Simple enough. 

In battle, you can summon your Planeswalker to march forward, and you can even use their special ability. Plus, they act as a mobile summoning area. Normally, you can only summon on your side of the field, but a Planeswalker has a field around them that you can use to summon new units. 

You summon units using mana, which regenerates over time. Strong units cost more mana, but it's not that simple. You've also got air units, ground units, and buildings. Plus, spells of different sorts. It seems like a lot, but it's introduced slowly, so you'll have lots of time to adjust. 

It all comes together to make for some really interesting battles. Though the strategy element isn't overly intricate, there are plenty of little bits that add up to create something genuinely fun to play. Plus, while you can only fight standard battles initially, you eventually unlock different events to take part in, too. 

Magic: ManaStrike Review — The Bottom Line

  • Fun and easy-to-learn gameplay
  • A surprising amount of depth
  • Seeing cards come to life is joyful
  • Gameplay very much depends on the strength of your opponents
  • Early battles are a bit too simple 

Magic: ManaStrike is an interesting strategy game. There are enough little new things scattered around to make it stand out from the crowd, but the formula is definitely one you've seen before.

There is a constant stream of rewards for those who don't want to spend money, too, so you never feel hamstrung for not wanting to buy in-game items. It's fun and has enough depth to make for some interesting strategies, the more you play. Plus, seeing the MtG characters and cards brought to life is incredibly endearing. It's definitely worth a look, and almost definitely worth your time, too. 

[Note: Netmarble provided a copy of Magic: ManaStrike for the purpose of this review.]

Gwent iOS Review: The Witcher Card Game Overcomes Cluttered UI Thu, 07 Nov 2019 15:48:59 -0500 Ty Arthur

Forget about hot tub Geralt of Rivia cosplay or the weird nude card collections from the early titles. One of the most enduring legacies of The Witcher video game series will undoubtedly be Gwent.

First introduced in The Witcher 3 and since released as a heavily modified standalone CCG game, Gwent has undergone a number of major changes since 2015, including finally landing on iOS devices.

With the Netflix live-action rendition of the franchise starring Henry Cavill about to arrive, Gwent is likely to see a big boost in its player base. In other words, now is the time to jump in for some strategic battles in the grocery line  if you can handle the small screen layout.

Gwent iOS Review: What You Need To Know 

Gwent on iOS is very, very similar to its PC and console versions, so if you've already played a couple of hundred matches there, you can skip this part and go down to the next section. On the other hand, if this is your first foray into the game, stick around to find out why you should play Gwent over any other card game.

First up, besides pulling from The Witcher lore, the art is simply top-notch and the battlefield animations are extremely slick for a free-to-play CCG. On the gameplay front, Gwent is much more tactical than you'd expect. It requires you make a major paradigm shift if you're used to Hearthstone or Magic: The Gathering

The layout may look familiar, with the positioning of the library, graveyard, and so on, but nearly everything else is different. Rather than aiming to whittle away an opponent's health, you are instead trying to get the most points with a limited deck pool over a series of three matches.

Rounds of Gwent are significantly less random than other CCGs, and there's no waiting to generate resources to put out your biggest cards. As soon as a card is in your hand, you can immediately play it on the battlefield. However, only one card can be played a turn.

The twist is that you need to win two out of three rounds to take the whole match, but there's a limited pool of cards available between those three rounds.

Imitating the notion of "overextending your lines" in real-world mass combat, going all-in for an overwhelming win in a single match isn't a great idea. It's often more advantageous to lose the first round because that means you'll have more cards available in the later rounds. It also means you can get a sense of the opponent's deck build and overall strategy in the process.

Of course, that strategy will change based on which of the factions you are using for your current deck, like Monsters or Nilfgaard. That's where some knowledge of Magic-style combos really helps out. If you know the basic idea of big red bruisers, black creatures that consume each other or get stronger based on what's in your graveyard, and so on, then you'll have a step on the newbies.

However, Gwent, especially in its mobile form, is all about quickly getting into multiplayer matches. Although you can endlessly play practice rounds against random AI opponents, there's no actual single-player story campaign replete with rewards for beating themed opponents. For that experience, you've got to buy the Thronebreaker game, which uses the Gwent cards but is otherwise its own standalone title.

Now that you know how it works, let's take a look at how the game changes when ported to a mobile setting.

How Gwent Differs On iOS

CD Projekt Red has touted this iOS port as "The Witcher card game in its best form," and while it is better in some ways, the GOG version is superior.

First and foremost, it's important to note that Gwent drains my iPhone battery noticeably faster than either Mario Kart Tour or Pocket Mortys. The ability to play on the go is the whole reason Gwent exists on mobile. That isn't a huge selling point if I have to be plugged in most of the time. And that's before getting into some of the issues of squishing the game down into an 8-inch screen.

Most of the redesigned areas are way, way too crowded, to the point CD Projekt literally includes a magnifying glass option. The deck builder is an extremely cluttered area, and the various reward skill trees are all a real pain to navigate on a small phone screen.

Being able to tap and hold to see what hero ability is currently equipped is difficult, a feeling worsened by how easy it is to do on the PC version. It will also likely take you a few taps to properly pull up your graveyard. In a fast-paced multiplayer game where the clock is ticking, that can be a problem.

That doesn't mean there aren't any positives. The tap and drag and double-tap mechanics work really well on iPhone, and they have are a smooth transition from clicking with a mouse.

Thankfully, you can also hook up to your GOG account and share progress with the PC version, which is really nice for existing players who have already spent money or sunk a lot of time into the game.

While the base gameplay is identical, some of the visuals and menus have changed with the condensed viewing area. Now you have to tap and hold to see card info during a match.

The iOS card view layout during a match is actually better than the PC version, with each keyword or game concept highlighted more effectively in the iOS version. Those red keywords above are much cleaner and easier to view, which is a big help to newbies. 

Gwent iOS Review — The Bottom Line

  • It's Gwent on the go!
  • Same great art, mechanics, music, and animations as the PC version
  • Card description layout is actually cleaner than the original
  • The cluttered UI makes some parts of the battlefield difficult to tap
  • The deck builder and reward trees are extremely cluttered and don't work as well on a small phone screen

The base version of Gwent is easily a solid 8/10 or 9/10 CCG. Because of some of the UI constraints found in the iOS version, as well as how fast the app drains your battery, the iOS version isn't quite as great. 

That being said, it's great to have the option to play a few rounds on your lunch break without having to boot up a computer or go home and turn on your Xbox. 

It seems like iOS is just the beginning of the mobile ports as well. While it's weird that Gwent hasn't hit the Switch or Android yet, the latter will get some love in early 2020.

Pokemon TCG: 11 Most Expensive Cosmic Eclipse Cards Wed, 06 Nov 2019 13:17:35 -0500 Sergey_3847


Solgaleo & Lunala GX (Hyper Rare)

  • Current price: $19.00
  • \n

If you can get a good Psychic acceleration, then you can easily use the attack ability for those devastating 230 points of damage. The GX ability makes all your Pokemon immune for a turn, which can help you set up some exciting win conditions.


You can also use Switch effects to nullify the Cosmic Burn restriction that doesn't let you attack every turn. So switch Solgaleo & Lunala GX from active to bench, and then bring it back for another devastating attack.


Lastly, the price doesn't bite too hard for such a fabulous rainbow rare, and may even go down a little bit in the next month or so.




These were the most expensive cards in the latest Pokemon TCG expansion Cosmic Eclipse, and be sure to check out other Pokemon articles right here.


Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX (Hyper Rare)

  • Current price: $20.05
  • \n

Here is the most exciting low key Tag Team card in Cosmic Eclipse. It could work in Archie's Blastoise deck, but that is not the only archetype, where it can show all of its potential.


With the help of Welder the attack ability of Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX is totally worth it. It also synergizes with Mewtwo decks and could be easily fetched with the help of Tag Call in Reshizard deck, which automatically keeps red decks on top tier shelf for another three months.


As you see, the flexibility is written all over this Tag Team card, which explains the great demand for it on the market.


Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX

  • Current price: $20.69
  • \n

This Tag Team card consists of three characters: Arceys, Dialga, and Palkia. This means that Water and Steel support is now a fully viable option and seems really strong.


If you can get any good acceleration for Water and Metal energy in your deck, then you could build your whole deck around this card.


Many attack abilities wane in comparison to Arceus & Dialga & Palkia GX's attack ability. Also, this card can be searched by Treasure, which is a huge plus.


Altered Creation GX ability means that you can potentially snipe Dedenne with Venom Shot and go on to win the game. So this looks really strong no matter how you look at it, which should definitely settle the price somewhat higher.


Silvally GX (Hyper Rare)

  • Current price: $21.22
  • \n

This GX card basically has the Octillery ability, which has always been very strong. Now it has a great enemy in the face of Power Plant, but that is a small price to pay for generally a very powerful card.


The main attack may seem a bit expensive, but when you're taking a one-hit knock out with Reshiram and Charizard GX, which scores you three Prizes, then it becomes clear why it's got such high price.


On top of that you got a rainbow polish, which looks dazzling, and hyper rarity that seems to be the coolest thing this season. So pick it up right now, as soon this card will definitely go up in price.


Cynthia & Caitlin (Full Art)

  • Current price: $23.49
  • \n

There is a deep lore connected to the story how Cynthia and Caitlin have come to be on one card. More than that, it's a Tag Team that draws you three more cards after you discard a card.


This is such a strong Supporter that many have been wondering if it isn't too strong. In any case the price hasn't gone up too much lately, but there is a big chance that pretty soon this will be one of the most expensive full art cards in Cosmic Eclipse.


Power Plant (Secret Rare)

  • Current price: $28.77
  • \n

GX and EX archetypes will have a wild run this season, which is why Power Plant is such a valuable card. It's basically an insurance policy against any abilities your opponent's Pokemon GX or EX might have.


Obviously, you can't use GX or EX cards in your own deck, if you want to run Power Plant, as it effects both sides of the table. Fortunately, there are plenty other great archetypes that don't require them.


Many players won't expect to see Power Plant on the table, so when it drops, watch them squirm. It's literally a dead end for them.


Rosa (Full Art)

  • Current price: $32.45
  • \n

The condition that your Pokemon needs to be knocked out before doing anything, which is the case with Rosa, is not the most popular option in Pokemon TCG among players.


But it also offers a complete recovery that goes from being knocked out to grabbing a Pokemon and energy for a counter attack, and then using Reset Stamp as the trainer card to punish your opponent immediately after.


Plus, this absolutely cute full art print deserves to be in the hall of fame of full art Pokemon cards. It alone can justify the current market price tag.


Giant Hearth (Secret Rare)

  • $32.98
  • \n

Giant Hearth is a great way to get rid of cards that you don't want to play right away by discarding them, and instead search your deck for Fire Energy 2. This is also a Stadium card, which may force your opponent to discard their own Stadium card if needed be.


It's a really strong Item card that will benefit players with a flexible game plan. Besides that it has a fantastic new art that has been designed specifically for this secret rare version.


Great Catcher (Secret Rare)

  • Current price: $35.09
  • \n

Here is one of the best cards in the Cosmic Eclipse set. Great Catcher will provide consistent wins in the new meta and become a great addition to many old and new top-tier decks.


This secret rare version has a slightly altered art and a golden finish, which may not look as fancy as rainbow rare cards, but still keeps those prices high.


Reshiram & Zekrom GX (Hyper Rare)

  • Current price: $55.54
  • \n

Reshiram & Zekrom GX card is illustrated by the one and only Naoki Saito. It also synergizes with Welder and has Tag Team, which could turn out to be a rather formidable new archetype.


Try to combine its attack power in combination with Naganadel or Blazikan, and you wil have a very serious threat against your opponents.


This is also the reason why the ordinary version of the card is so expensive, but this hyper rare version topples that due to the highly vibrant rainbow finish.


Charizard & Braixen GX (Hyper Rare)

  • Current price: $95.98
  • \n

Nobody expects to find this hyper rare card, or as they are known "rainbow" rare, in a booster box, because it is definitely extremely rare. That's why if you want to own this either for collectible purposes or for further trading, then you just ought to buy this card separately from a vendor you trust.


Charizard is undoubtedly one of the most popular Pokemon in the world, and this new GX version with Braixen is so much fun to play. It's got the Tag Team, which can be easily exploited with the Tag Call card from Cosmic Eclipse, so keep an eye out on this little monster.


The Pokemon Sun & Moon cycle had 11 successful expansions in Pokemon TCG. Now it's the time to conclude the series with the brand-new Cosmic Eclipse set, which was released on November 1.


The series has introduced lots of new card types to the game, such as GX and Tag Team. Cosmic Eclipse includes 236 base cards and another 50 specialty rare cards with altered artwork. 


Some combinations of the latest Tag Team cards include such famous characters as Charizard & Braixen and Reshiram & Zekrom. These are already considered the strongest combinations among all the new designs.


This means only one thing: the market will get a healthy dose of supply and demand this season, which is an integral part of the Pokemon TCG. So take a look at these 11 most expensive cards from Cosmic Eclipse, and make sure that you invest with a reason.

Pokemon TCG: 11 Best Cosmic Eclipse Cards Tue, 29 Oct 2019 11:24:31 -0400 Sergey_3847


Oricorio GX


Lastly, a very effective draw engine from Cosmic Eclipse. Oricorio GX has the Dance of Tribute ability. Although this new Oricorio has a pretty low health pool only 170 for a GX card, which can be easily KO'd by Naganadel  it's still something you may want to include in your GX-based deck.


It also has a weakness to Darkness, but that card draw ability is so good that you may want to just overlook all the little drawbacks.


There has never been a basic Pokemon with such an over-the-top draw ability before  unless you consider Persian GX. But even it could only draw two cards with a similar condition. Considering that, Oricorio is simply head and shoulders above the competition. 




These are the best Cosmic Eclipse cards for Pokemon TCG, but be sure to check back soon for more related guides.


Volcarona GX


This Pokemon is arguably one of the most important characters in the entire lore of the franchise. However, it took The Pokemon Company eight years to release this card in a high rarity slot, which is really surprising.


Anyway, here it is. It can really wreak some havoc in the upcoming meta. It will be really good in Reshizard decks, helping to bring Tag Teams within range of Flare Strike. But it may not work that well in the Greens version.


It can also work in the Chandelure deck as a way to take the load off of Spirit Burner, which is a huge improvement over Delphox. So there are definitely some amazing combo strategies happening in this meta, and all because of Volcarona GX.




Dark Box players can now try a new Guzzlord. It's one that has a fun attack, Red Banquet, that deals 120 points of damage. If that attack knocks out another Pokemon, you take a Pirze card, which is easy to achieve by accelerating energy on Guzzlord with the help of Beast Ring.


The new Guzzlord will feel great gainst such decks as Keldeo and Blacephalon, especially when it starts running out those Island Challenge Amulets.




Bellelba & Brycen-Man


This is another supporter card that will wreak havoc in certain decks. In this case, it looks like Mill archetypes will find some free slots for Bellelba.


If you're not playing Mill, it will find its place in decks that focus on disrupting opponent's benches, such as Malamar or Naganadel. Even though the cost may be a bit high, this can be a very strong card in good hands.


But, of course, if you discard some of your own best cards, you may want to use something like Magcargo to control the top of your deck.


Mega Lopunny & Jigglypuff GX


This is a card that can hold off other GX and EX Pokemon. Jumping Balloon does 60 extra damage against them. Since it's a colorless card, it can accelerate a lot of energy and work well in a Malamar deck.


You will see this card in many decks to come. It will be a single unit that fights Pikaroms and other similar decks. However, it will most likely end up in Mewtew decks because they can make extra copies of it.


Cynthia & Caitlin


This is one of the best supporter Tag Team cards in the game. It can be easily fetched by Tag Call, and that just feels good. As you play it, you can discard a card and draw another three.


This card will most likely find its way into the Green Exploration decks that also run Welder. That's where the best synergies can be achieved.


Green's engine archetypes are incredibly strong, and Cynthia & Caitlin will only prove this fact in the new meta.


Silvally GX


Everything Silvally does looks like a better version of Zoroark or Octiller. Of course, it will be primarily played because of its draw potential; it can refill your hand with five new cards if you have a way to quickly discard the old batch.


But such a card advantage doesn't come so easily. You will have to meet the condition of getting Type: Null out in play. This can be achieved with the help of Red & Blue Tag Team and Cherish Ball.


If you can make it happen, all you need is two colorless energy. You can attack with it, and you're basically set to win from there on.


Reshiram & Zekrom


A new Tag Team card unites two dragons: Reshiram & Zekrom. It is definitely the top-tier choice for any competitive deck in the Cosmic Eclipse meta.


First of all, it can accelerate energy by discarding energies, using such cards as Naganadel and Tapu Koko Prism Star. Secondly, it deals 270 damage for only three points of energy, which is extremely cheap. Also, it can easily KO almost any other Pokemon in a single hit.


Lastly, Reshiram can help you search for Naganadel with the help of treasure, and another Reshiram with the help of Cherish Ball and Tag Whistle. So be sure to pay close attention to this card in your match-ups.


Chaotic Swell


Chaotic Swell basically negates the first Stadium card your opponent tries to play, and disrupting other Stadium cards can be great. 


For example, a card like Power Plant from the Aquapolis expansion can be easily postponed for a turn, which gives you more time to set up your own gameplan.


The only drawback is that you can't disrupt your opponent's own Chaotic Swell, so it stays on board until you play another Stadium card.


Though, in that case, you can always use Marshadow from Unbroken Bonds to remove your opponent's Chaotic Swell from the board.


Tag Call


Tag Team players will love this card for its sheer simplicity and power. Being able to quickly snatch two of your Tag Team cards is exactly the kind of consistency one looks for in a Pokemon card game.


You can search for Gardevoir & Sylveon and Mewtwo & Mew, put them into your hand, and shuffle your library. It's as easy as that!


There have been similar cards in the past, but they've always been either limited to one card or one type, which of course, makes Tag Call the best item card in the set.


Great Catcher


This card is similar in effect and impact to Custom Catcher from the Lost Thunder set. Great Catcher will surely be played in many decks this season, regardless of the archetype.


This card works only with benched GX and EX Pokemon, but it will buff many non-GX decks, which will force many GX players to adapt to a new style of play.


At this point, you may try and play both Custom Catcher and Great Catcher in the same deck. They synergize really well, and they give players so many options to control the board that it's worth spending six card slots on them.


Cosmic Eclipse, a brand new Pokemon TCG expansion set in the Sun & Moon universe, is a monumental card set. It has over 270 new cards in print. This is the first English set of such massive size in the history of Pokemon TCG, which includes cards from such Japanese expansions like Remix Bout, Dream League, Alter Genesis, and TAG All Star.


This means that all English-speaking players now have a full access to all cards in the game. Besides the normal versions of cards, Cosmic Eclipse offers Hyper Rare, Secret Rare, and Full Art versions of cards that have slightly different artworks and general design of the cards.


But regardless of the art, this set looks to also be one of the most powerful sets in recent years. It includes a hefty number of Tag Team, GX, and EX cards with new versions of some old favorites that will definitely boggle your mind.


Here, you will find some of the most promising new additions to the game, which will create a lot of new archetypes in the upcoming season.

Outfox Your Foes with Gray Fox in Elder Scrolls: Legends Jaws of Oblivion Expansion Thu, 03 Oct 2019 12:08:46 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is getting another substantial content update with Jaws of Oblivion. The update will bring new mechanics, new effects, and one very special new card to the fold: the Gray Fox. You can see the new card below. 

The Gray Fox is a five-magicka 4/4 card that lets you take both information and cards from your foe.

Bethesda Community Manager Christian Van Hoose offers some advice for how to use those powers effectively:

As far as The Gray Fox’s effect goes, it’s sure to give your opponent problems by letting you take a card right from their discard pile when it’s summoned ... [and] if The Gray Fox is able to Pilfer (damage your opponent), you’ll also be able to reveal a random card in their hand.

The Grey Fox is just part of the new Jaws of Oblivion expansion, which launches October 8 and focuses on Mehrunes Dagon’s Daedric plane of Oblivion. Here's some of what it'll introduce to the game:

  • Over 75 new cards set around the events of the Oblivion Crisis, including tumultuous new Daedra cards
  • A fiery new playmat
  • Two new premade Theme Decks – Mankar’s Paradise and Martin Septim’s Ascendance
  • Four new card backs
  • New music and visual effects
  • New Invade mechanic that summons otherworldly Oblivion Gates, giving your Daedric creatures more power the more you Invade

Those who pre-order the $49.99 expansion before its October 8 launch date will receive 50 Jaws of Oblivion card packs, a special card back, and "The Herald."

The Elder Scrolls: Legends is currently available on PC, iOS, and Android. 

Mythgard Impressions — A Plucky Challenger to the CCG Throne Wed, 18 Sep 2019 09:00:01 -0400 Jonny Foster

Being a free-to-play card game, Mythgard faces a handful of hurdles from the get-go. The already established might of Hearthstone, the power of Magic: the Gathering Arena, and the popularity of other free-to-play genre titles makes for a flooded market, causing lower-budget competitors to like flies.

Valve’s Artifact (though not actually free) is a notable victim, with its rapidly dwindling playerbase.

Thankfully, Mythgard, a plucky young offering from developers Rhino Games Inc., has a few aces up its sleeves that might give it an edge, particularly its monetization aspect. Like all free CCGs, Mythgard gives you the option to pay real money for card packs, but its approach is commendably user-friendly.

Not only can individual cards be crafted using an essence system similar to Hearthstone’s Dust, but the card packs can also be purchased with an in-game currency that you steadily collect across all modes of play.

This means that you never need to spend any money if you don’t want to, and though this is technically true of other titles, Mythgard’s pacing feels more organic than any other CCG I’ve played. All too often, CCGs make earning packs feel like a horrific grind, leading players to pay their way to a better deck out of frustration — or stop playing entirely.

Mythgard, on the other hand, feels like the Warframe of CCGs; an ethically paced experience, where a devoted community will likely spend money out of a desire to support the developer, rather than feeling that they have no choice but to pay their way to success.

The comparisons don’t end there, though; Mythgard also has systems that could do with better explanations.

The gameplay itself feels like a cross between Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, with monster cards having single-digit numbers for attack and defense, and an associated mana cost, as well. There are no land cards, though, and cards must be discarded to earn additional mana or gems — a secondary resource that functions almost identically to mana.

Though reasonably simple to pick up, it isn’t aimed at a casual market, especially considering the additional rules that take more than a single match to master. What will keep players of all abilities coming back, however, is the great selection of modes to play, which range from a basic single-player story that leads you through various tutorials to multiple casual and ranked PvP options.

Once you’ve spent some time with the game and leveled up your profile, you’ll even find constructed and draft modes, with PvE versions that ease newcomers into Mythgard’s ins and outs, letting them get acclimated to the game before taking their decks and drafting talents to the game's PvP arenas.

There are also a number of puzzles in Mythgard, which give you a predetermined playing field and one turn to finish off your opponent. Though these offer a decent level of challenge and fun, the completion rewards are relatively low, leaving the mode feeling more like a minor distraction than a robust attraction.

The primary draw here, though, is the story mode, which blends gorgeous, comic-book-style narration with tutorials and duels. While the rest of Mythgard’s art might not maintain the lofty quality found here — the character portraits can look a little rough, in particular — the storyboards are wonderfully drawn.

The animations, on the other hand, become more of an encumbrance than they should be, often taking far longer than they need to. This slows turns — and, ultimately, matches — down to the point where my interest eventually began to wane. And it was this, along with the over-complication of some of its systems, that ultimately led me to put Mythgard down in favor of something else.

  • Variety of solo and multiplayer modes means there's always something new to try
  • Already a diverse selection of builds available, with good synergy between multiple colors 
  • Pacing is ethical and microtransactions are less egregious than other card games
  • Not the simplest set of rules
  • Tutorials still lacking in some areas
  • Some animations take much longer than they should

Despite putting up a good fight against the established might of CCGs like MtG, Mythgard ultimately lacks the finer polish to feel like a true competitor.

Hopefully, the Early Access will allow it the time it needs to work out the kinks and elevate itself to a higher standard, but it’s on the right track; having already played an earlier alpha build of Mythgard, it's plain to see that steady progress is being made towards improving the game as a whole.

[Note: A copy of Mythgard was provided by Rhino Games Inc for the purpose of this review.]

The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game Review — Dangerous Business Fri, 06 Sep 2019 14:57:16 -0400 Sergey_3847

The Lord of the Rings is undeniably the most influential fantasy franchise of the last century. It has been adapted into so many different forms of media that it's sometimes hard to find your way through all of them, including the many video game adaptations.

Now, the story of men, elves, and dwarves has been transformed into a CCG, which, unsurpisingly, looks a lot like Hearthstone.

However, there is one big difference: The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game is a pure PvE game, which means that there are no ladders to climb and no players to compete against. This CCG plays out like a typical PvE adventure with different campaigns that culminate in a final battle against Sauron, the infamous antagonist of the LotR franchise.

Additionally, The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game isn't a free-to-play game, which means that it is targeted primarily at the fans of the LotR franchise, those who are most ready to spend money for each new expansion. 

Traipsing Across a Beautiful Land

Something sinister is happening in Middle Earth that may change the fates of all its inhabitants. It's an opening very similar to the original LotR story, where we learn that the evil mastermind Sauron has awoken and is looking for his most precious possession: the one ring to rule them all. 

From here, players travel across the map either alone in single-player mode, or they team up with a friend in co-op mode. As is expected from a game in the Tolkien universe, the design of each board is gorgeous, and each changes according to your location on the map. Accordingly, each card has its own unique art as well, and all of them are accompanied by distinct sounds and voiceovers. 

Unfortunately, as you progress through the game, it becomes evident that there isn't much variety in any of the objectives, and the only way to raise the stakes is to play on the highest difficulty. 

Taking the Fight to Sauron

As you progress through questlines, you unlock new cards, which, of course, can be added to your deck. You can also choose to engage with optional encounters and get new cards. The game allows you to change decks and even the difficulty settings before each quest or encounter, so this makes the gameplay a bit easier to handle than it otherwise might be.

Each deck consists of three hero cards and three other card types, which include allies, equipment, and events. The latter of which are basically spells. Each card has a mana cost, which is called Resource. Players have access to three points of Resource every turn, and if you skip your turn, these points continue to stack.

Sauron's decks have tricks of their own, too, such as Treacheries that serve as traps during match-ups. The funny thing is that you don't really know what kind of Teachery will trigger next, which brings a strong element of RNG into the game.

There are also two types of meters on the main screen: the Fate meter and the Threat meter. The Fate meter is filled using the Willpower values attached to your cards; additional abilities can be triggered using Fate points. 

When building a deck, players have access to five sphere types as well: Leadership, Lore, Spirit, Tactics, and Neutral. Different spheres are indicated by the color of the card and their main focus. For example, Leadership is represented by purple, and the sphere focuses on defensive abilities; Lore spheres are green, and they focus on healing.

You can combine different spheres into synergies and create some really powerful decks. Since there are three heroes available for each deck, you can combine up to three different spheres in one deck.

There are also 12 factions (or races) that determine what kinds of equipment and events can be used alongside them. This creates certain limitations when it comes to deck building, but it also helps you choose cards with better synergies, which in the end, wins you games.

Besides all of that, each card has its own mechanics that can be used in specific situations, such as Guard, which protects your heroes, Exhaust, which renders enemy minions useless, Ranged, which allows you to bypass minions with Guard, and many others.

If you've played CCGs before, then most of these mechanics will be very much familiar to you. In this regard The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game is easy to learn, and you can quickly come up with a decent deck without too much experience playing the game.

Leaving the Shire Behind

  • Lots of great mechanics
  • Excellent design and card art
  • Quests feel grindy and "samey"
  • No PvP mode

The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game has a lot of great ideas, but because it's exclusively a PvE game, it gets boring pretty quickly. All of its quests are scripted, and there's little value in replaying them on the same difficulty. The only choice is to increase the difficulty, which, at times feels like a chore.

While PvP  would not change that fact, it would make the game incredibly interesting, especially if it was offered in a free-to-play format. In many ways, it's conceivable that many Hearthstone players regard it as a serious competition to the Blizzard favorite.

Since The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game is a digital adaptation of the physical board game, it was a natural choice to make the video game in a similar fashion. But physical games and video games are two different types of experiences, and if PvE works great in the physical world, it, unfortunately, doesn't work in the same way here, especially in a world oversaturated with free-to-play CCGs.

[Note: A copy of The Lord of the Rings: Adventure Card Game was provided by Asmodee Games for the purpose of this review.]

Griftlands Alpha Impressions — A Hand Full of Aces Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:13:20 -0400 Jonny Foster

Griftlands, despite launching in an incomplete Alpha state, is the most complete deck-building rogue-like I've ever played. Hyperbole aside, it has so much promise and quality that it's difficult to know where to start. 

As an avid slinger of cardboard, deck-building games are my forte. The genre's bar has already been set incredibly high by the class of Slay the Spire and Steamworld Quest, but Griftlands has more than a few Aces up its sleeves.

Most notable and defining is the duality of negotiation and combat present here. You have two decks to build: one that's used to persuade, threaten, and cajole your way through sticky situations, and a classic battle deck for when words won't work.  

You're generally given good opportunity to choose whether to be a wordsmith or a warrior, which gives you the freedom to build an experience unique to you. The main exceptions to this are the 'boss battles'; the story is currently split into 5 days, each ending with a particularly tough battle. Some training is required to survive them, so avoiding combat entirely isn't advisable. 

Improving your deck is unique and gratifying, though; both your negotiation cards and battle cards can be upgraded after repeated use. For instance, playing a basic Stab card six times will let you choose from two upgraded versions of that card. They won’t always be the same upgrades either, with some randomization thrown in for good measure.

The other significant difference between Griftlands and other deck-builders is that its gameplay loop is largely narrative-driven, with already rich lore to delve into if you desire. It’s very easy to assimilate, too, with various names, species, and jargon providing special links that bring up detailed tooltips when hovered over, much like Wikipedia articles.

It meets a nice balance between not forcing you to sit through needless exposition while being interesting enough that you don't want to skip past everything. Many quests also require more than cursory attention to follow their throughlines, and consequences in Griftlands can be severely punishing. This makes it thoroughly engaging on its own, whereas other rogue-likes almost function better as a ‘second screen’ game.

It’s also thoroughly gorgeous to look at, too, with a stylized art style that’s clean, crisp, and captivating. I especially love the summaries, which condense a large amount of information into one easy-to-peruse screen. The cards also have simplistic visuals but show real depth with rarity and upgrade status subtly sewn in. 

Despite the strong narrative, Griftlands stays loyal to many of the usual idiosyncrasies that make a rogue-like. Randomization is woven throughout the game's quests, and even when moving between them on the over-world map, there's a number of random triggers that can help or hinder you.

As a direct result, it presents a good challenge throughout; even when everything goes your way, it won’t be a cakewalk! The easy way out always has repercussions, and siding with the wrong person can scupper your entire run. 

The story itself doesn't dictate a linear campaign, either. You can replay runs with entirely different results and decks if you fail, and a successful run doesn't mean you’re done. Regardless of how the run ends, you're given a summary screen of your actions, which awards you with XP. 

This, in turn, unlocks new packs of cards that can be found in future runs, providing some meaningful progression. Permanent progression systems like this make it feel like your time has greater intrinsic value in roguelikes, so it's great to see it here. 

It’s far from perfect, of course; as it is only an Alpha release, there are areas lacking typical polish such as bugs, spelling mistakes, and the like. There’s also a large quantity of content still in development; the final game will include three playable stories, while the alpha release only features 80% of one character’s story. 

It’s also missing difficulty options and other customization options that are planned for the future, but with a fortnightly release schedule, we can expect updates to bring new content thick and fast.

The feedback system is also built straight into the game, which I love. Pressing "F8" at any time will let you send feedback to the developers, positive or negative, along with a screenshot and your save data for them to debug. 

We won't put a final score on our impressions just yet, as it is only an alpha, and there's an estimated year of Early Access patches to come before the title gets a 1.0 release. But it's on sale now for $15 on the Epic Store, and it's easily worth that in its current state, alone.

Hopefully, Klei will takes this bold start and snowballs it into the best, most robust deck-builder of all time. Griftlands certainly has the potential for it.

For more on Griftlands, check out our detailed guide breaking down the Negotiation system that makes it so special.

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game Coming to Mobile Later This Year Wed, 27 Mar 2019 11:51:45 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

CD Projekt Red announced today that GWENT: The Witcher Card Game, the developer's hit spin-off in The Witcher franchise, will be released on mobile devices later this year.

GWENT is a free-to-play card-based RPG experience with single-player and multiplayer content. It includes a variety of characters, creatures, and items from The Witcher games as well as from the books that spawned the games.

No specific time frame was provided for GWENT's mobile release. However, Jason Slama, CD Projekt Red's game director for GWENT, said the team is working hard to make sure the mobile experience is a high-quality one on par with console versions.

Slama provided some details about the project and the development team's goals for it, saying:

We’ve been preparing long and hard to adapt GWENT to smartphones. Beautiful visuals aside, we’ve tailored much of our technology, including GOG Galaxy which powers GWENT’s multiplayer, to support mobile devices.

I think our vision for bringing GWENT to smartphones combines the best we have to offer both in terms of graphics and gameplay. I can’t wait to share more details on the subject with you later this year

Based on Slama's details, it sounds like mobile players will be able to enjoy cross-platform play with others who play the console version of the game. Whether that experience will include Xbox One and PlayStation 4 together is uncertain, since cross-platform play between XB1 and PS4 is currently not supported.

GWENT is pitched as a game that doesn't require any knowledge of The Witcher franchise to enjoy or understand. However, fans of the series would appreciate some of the more detailed inclusions in the game, such as the upcoming Crimson Curse expansion. 

You can find more details about the expansion here. CD Projekt Red also announced its release date, which will be March 28. When the mobile version launches, it will include all existing content, including Crimson Curse.

The League Of E.V.I.L Is Coming For Dalaran In Hearthstone's Next Update Fri, 15 Mar 2019 14:25:53 -0400 QuintLyn

Blizzard's World of Warcraft-based card game, Hearthstone, is due for another update.

On April 9, E.V.I.L. is coming to the city of Dalaran in the Rise of Shadows update. This update is the first of three that will tell the story of the League of E.V.I.L., an organization made up of Azeroth's baddest baddies and led by none other than Rafaam.

The new expansion will feature 135 new cards, including the new Lackey cards and Schemes cards. Lackeys are 1/1 minions, but don't let the stats fool you. Each features a useful Battlecry.

Schemes, on the other hand, are spell cards. The longer a player manages to keep them in their hand, the more powerful they become. 

Rise of Shadows also pulls from some old Hearthstone favorites, including borrowing forbidden magics from the Whispers of the Old Gods era.

Of course, the League of E.V.I.L won't be able to just waltz into Dalaran unopposed. There are those who will defend the city. And they are armed.

As part of their resistance, defenders now have Twinspell cards. When the cards are cast, a duplicate appears in the player's hand to be used again at a later point. Defenders also have special artisan cards available to them. These cards feature a different craft specialty.

Finally, the update also marks the rise of the Year of the Dragon in Hearthstone. This means a whole new set of tavern activities will be coming, complete with card rotations, random card backs, and even a new single-player experience.

The devs promise a "more robust level of customization, including the ability to unlock multiple starting decks and Hero Powers per class."

Of course there's more, and the full rundown on the Year of the Dragon can be found in a post on the Hearthstone site.


GWENT: The Witcher Card Game's First Expansion Emerges Soon Mon, 04 Mar 2019 18:43:55 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

The Witcher franchise stands as a prime example of Hollywood-style transmedia done right. It takes multiple storylines set in a compelling world and breaks them up across a variety of platforms — books, mainline RPGs, spinoffs, and more recently, a card game: GWENT: The Witcher Card Game.

GWENT was in beta for some time before it finally released late last year with a host of improvements based on feedback received during its testing period.

Now, not long after that launch, GWENT is getting its first expansion, dubbed Crimson Curse. The premise behind the newest step forward in GWENT is based on Dettlaff van der Eretein from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Blood and Wine DLC.

With a mysterious blood-red moon rising over the land, and its sinister light calling van der Eretain's kin to life, a new hero is needed to come forward and banish the darkness.

Crimson Curse introduces a wide variety of weapons players can use to engage in combat, along with over 100 new cards that span all of GWENT's playable factions, many of which will likely be familiar to those who've played The Witcher games.

Like all of GWENT's cards, each new card will come with two presentations, standard and animated variants.

Some of the new mechanics appearing in the game via these cards are Poison, Bleed, Vitality, and Shield. Poison and Bleed are status afflictions that sap the enemy's health, while Vitality and Shield give players a chance to block incoming attacks.

The update will also introduce Deathblow and Berserker as two features that could potentially turn the tide of battle when players need it most.

The official GWENT website gives a preview of some of the upcoming cards, with a promise of updating prior to the expansion's release. This week's set includes Harmony, Bloodthirst, and Plumard, along with short descriptions of their abilities.

GWENT requires strategy to play effectively, though, and if you're new to the game, you can check out our beginner's guides here.

Crimson Curse will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on March 28.

Surefire Drafting and Deck Editing Tips for Artifact Fri, 07 Dec 2018 11:39:28 -0500 Sergey_3847

Drafting mode is an essential part of almost every card game in existence. You can find it in Magic: The Gathering and you can find it in Hearthstone Arena. Artifact also has a Draft mode, which is quite similar to Magic booster drafting.

However, drafting in Artifact is still unique and requires a different approach than what you might be used to considering you are allowed to draft two cards from one pack.

If you want to know how to draft properly in Artifact, then follow our tips below.

How to Draft in Artifact

There are two types of drafts in Artifact: Phantom and Keeper.

Phantom Draft allows you to play the complete draft game, but in the end, you can't keep all the cards you've drafted.

The Keeper Draft, on the other hand, allows you to keep the cards in your collection.

When the draft starts, you will be given a chance to select two cards from each pack. You will have five full packs opened for a total of 60 cards. If you haven't chosen any heroes during your draft, the game will automatically add random heroes to your deck.

Taking this into account, let's now assess which cards to choose during drafting.

Hero Cards

Hero cards are the most important cards in Artifact, which means that you need to pick them up first. But how do you know what heroes are the best? Well, you need to know the cards well, or you could refer to our best Artifact heroes guide.

Heroes should also help you define the colors of your deck. But don't eliminate the most powerful cards if they don't fit your heroes. You never know how your draft will end up, as you could easily change your strategy during the deck editing process.

Main Cards

Always look at the rarity of the card before drafting.

Every pack will offer your one rare card, three uncommon cards, and the rest will be common cards. Rare and uncommon cards are usually the best, so you should pick them up in the early stages of a draft.

In the second half of drafting, you can start choosing proactive common cards that fit your deck archetype and colors. We'll talk more about archetypes and colors in the deck editing part of this guide (which you can find in the next section).

Here are some of the best spells and creeps you can currently draft in Artifact:

  • Mist of Avernus
  • Unearthed Secrets
  • Time of Triumph
  • Annihilation
  • Emissary of the Quorum
  • Spring the Trap
  • Tyler Estate Censor
  • Conflagration
Item Cards

The shopping phase at the end of each turn allows you to buy item cards that can significantly improve your chances of winning if you know which cards to buy. During the draft, you can pick your own item cards, which is strongly advisable.

These items can be used for buffing your heroes, so it is recommended to buy a complete set for one of your heroes, including, a weapon, an armor, and an accessory.

If you decide not to draft any item cards, then the game will offer the three basic types of items for your item deck.

In any case, here is a short list of the best item cards in Artifact:

  • Stonehall Cloak
  • Blink Dagger
  • Revtel Signet Ring
  • Traveler's Cloak

You can also train your drafting skills in Artifact using Howling Mind's draft simulator, which allows you to master the art of drafting in a safe environment.

How to Edit a Drafted Deck in Artifact

After you're done drafting your 60 cards, you can edit your deck by removing any unwanted cards. Just like in Constructed, the optimal size for a drafted deck is 40 cards. This means that you can remove 20 cards that don't fit your desired colors or are generally weak cards you don't wish to play.

Before removing any cards from your deck, you need to consider a few key points:

  • Which colors you wish play
  • Which archetype you wish to construct
  • How your mana curve should look like

It is almost impossible to draft a solid mono-color deck in draft, so the best and most optimal option is to go for two-color deck. If you really see the potential in splashing a powerful hero that doesn't fit your chosen two colors, then you can sometimes opt for three colors.

There is no one strongest color or pair of colors in the game as everything mainly depends on the chosen archetype of your deck. But if you need to choose a specific color, then go for Red, as it is the best supplementary color.


You can figure out the deck archetype in your draft by looking at the colors you have chosen:

  • Black has a lot of cheap creeps and removal spells
  • Blue has the best spells in the game, but it has understatted creeps
  • Green focuses on health and buffing with some really large creeps
  • Red has the best statted creeps in the game and some decent spells

Taking all this into account, if you want to be aggressive and win quickly, then opt for Black and Red as your two main colors for an Aggro archetype.

But in case you have Blue and Green colors, then you should definitely aim at a Control archetype.

Mana Curve

When drafting a deck in Artifact, mana curve doesn't play such an important role as in other card games, since you already start with three mana in your pool.

This allows you to play some really expensive cards without getting worried that you will lose.

With all that said, the game in Draft mode rarely goes up to ten mana, so try to keep your cards in the range between 3 and 8 mana with most of your cards somewhere in the middle. This will allow you to play everything you want and have a great chance of winning.


With these tips, you should be able to quickly draft a powerful deck in Artifact. Do you have any strategies that you've found to work well? Let us know in the comments. 

GWENT Trailer Gives Players The Lowdown On How To Play Ahead of Launch Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:21:07 -0400 QuintLyn

October 23 is a big day for CD Projekt Red's Witcher-based card game GWENT, as that's when the game will exit open beta on PC. And since release is, well, tomorrow, CDPR decided to drop a short video introducing new players to the mechanics of the game.

You can see the video in the header above. 

In GWENT, players choose between five different factions taking on the role of "commanders", leading their armies in battles that are divided into rounds. Rounds are won by obtaining more points than the opponent. Battles are won by taking two out of the three rounds.

Each faction offers players a different, unique playstyle and features very different leaders. Once a faction is chosen, players will then assemble their deck. But they'll need to be careful when doing it; the more power a card has, the higher its recruitment cost will be.

Players will need to balance power and cost in order to create a solid deck that fits within the recruitment cap. It's also important to note that decks must have at least 25 cards in them.

GWENT: The Witcher Card Game boasts several mechanic elements, taking advantage of card placement on the field as well as giving players a way to become even more powerful through play and resource collection.

As expected, cards are still the most important thing here and players can acquire them either through crafting or via card kegs.

Players looking for a little more info on GWENT's mechanics than what are detailed in the video above should feel free to check out some of our GWENT for Newbies guides, including

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news on GWENT and every CDPR as it develops. 


Gameplay Trailer Gives Closer Look At Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales Thu, 18 Oct 2018 16:21:56 -0400 QuintLyn

The next installment in CD Projekt Red's The Witcher franchise, Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, arrives on PC in just under a week on October 23.

Thronebreaker is a bit different than your average Witcher experience; the game lets you experience a whole new RPG adventure centered not on Geralt of Rivia -- although he does appear -- but on Queene Meve of Lyria and Rivia as she faces off against the empire of Nilfgaard following its invasion of her country.

Today, CDPR offered players a peek at what that experience will be like by releasing a gameplay trailer that provides insight into the game's story, a look at its mechanics, and an overview of the game world.

To defeat the Nilfgaard empire, players will have to travel far across the kingdom, building alliances and an army. But they must be careful; not everyone is what they seem and mistaking enemies as allies could end in disaster. 

Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales is a choice-based RPG where choices will have an impact. The game also features a base-building mechanic that is important to constructing and maintaining an army that can defeat Nilfgaard.

Since the game is tied to the GWENT card game, Thronebreaker's combat is card based. But the rest of the game is not.

Players will have plenty of opportunities to explore the world and discover different characters and stories, getting a full Witcher experience.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Thronebreaker in the coming days. 

More Changes Come to Eternal Card Game Ranked Play Fri, 12 Oct 2018 11:47:29 -0400 William R. Parks

Only a week following the release of Into Shadow, Eternal's latest campaign, new balance changes have been implemented that promise to further alter ranked play.

"The ranked metagame is currently in a pretty good place," the release notes state, "but we are making a few changes to improve balance and to diversify some of the play patterns and card choices among top decks."

This time around, "changes" means nerfs, and they are as follows:

Auralian Merchant: Now 0/4 (previously 1/4)

Channel the Tempest: Now 9PPPP (previously 8PPPP)

Icaria, the Liberator: Now 8FFFJJJ (previously 7FFFJJJJ)

Predatory Carnosaur: Now 7TTT, 7/7 (previously 6TTT, 6/6)

Additionally, 24 other cards have been adjusted. While these changes almost exclusively affect Eternal's draft format, there is an additional nerf here that impacts current ranked play:

Vital Arcana: Now gains 2 health (previously gained 4)

The single deck most impacted by yesterday's nerfs is Temporal Control, a true control deck that plans to draw cards and stall the game until the opponent's soul has been sufficiently crushed and they concede.

This type of play-style can be extremely frustrating to play against, as it often leads to very long, grindy games, and I would not be surprised if Dire Wolf Digital is specifically targeting Temporal Control following complaints from the community.

Full playsets of Auralian Merchant, Channel the Tempest, and Vital Arcana are staples in Temporal Control, and these nerfs will definitely have an impact on the deck. However, I certainly believe that it will remain a viable, if not strong, choice for the foreseeable future.

The changes have splash damage outside of Temporal Control as well.

Since its release, Auralian Merchant has been considered the best of the Merchant-cycle, and the full four copies are featured in almost all Time decks. Channel the Tempest has also been ubiquitous, acting as the finisher-of-choice for many Primal-based control and midrange decks.

Both cards still seem playable, but a reduction in their power level will definitely open up some space for other cards as players begin assembling new decks.

The nerf to Icaria, the Liberator has a broad impact as well. Since her printing, Icaria has been one of the most powerful finishers in the game, and an Icaria on seven-power (or five with a Bulletshaper in play) is often unbeatable.

This has lead to a slew of midrange decks with casting Icaria as their game-plan, and it will be interesting to see just how much the one additional power will matter to these decks.

With this change and Into Shadows' printing of Azindel, Revealed, it looks like Dire Wolf feels that eight-power is the right spot for game-ending creatures to sit.

With so many new cards and changes in flux, aggressively-slanted Combrei decks seem like the clear choice for ranked play. Perhaps the strongest deck immediately preceding the release of Into Shadow, none of yesterday's nerfs directly affect it, and it is perfect for punishing new decks that have not been finely tuned.

Full patch notes, including all draft changes, are included in this post.

Information on the new promo card and avatar included with this patch are available on Dire Wolf's website.

Best Limited Archetypes for Guilds of Ravnica in MtG Thu, 04 Oct 2018 12:48:46 -0400 Sergey_3847

Wizards of the Coast goes back to the plane of Ravnica in the latest Magic: The Gathering card expansion -- Guilds of Ravnica. It offers 259 cards that include a large number of bi-color cards belonging to five different guilds: Selesnya (green-white), Boros (red-white), Golgari (black-green), Izzet (blue-red), and Dimir (blue-black).

Among all the guilds, the House Dimir is undoubtedly the strongest with its Surveil mechanic, but depending on your proclivities and play style, you may want to go a different route. 

So when it comes to drafting a deck for your limited event, whether it be Draft or Sealed, you can obviously choose to go with one of the five established color pairs.

However, if you really want to be effective in this meta, then it's advisable to go for three colors instead of the usual two. In this guide, you will find several of the most effective triple-color archetypes that will have a huge impact on the Limited events throughout the Guilds of Ravnica season.

Grixis Control


The Grixis archetype can mostly rely on the blue-black color pair for control and include red cards for offensive purposes. The Dimir Surveil mechanic will help you re-arrange and optimize your draws, while a healthy dose of counterspells, such as Sinister Sabotage and Devious Cover-Up, should help your Crackling Drake and Fire Urchin grow in size.


If your draft contains at least 7-8 cards with Surveil, you can start considering putting in Enhanced Surveillance, and a 2-mana enchantment that will double the number of cards you Surveil. This will make your deck even more effective.

Another great enchantment to have in addition to Enhanced Surveillance is Disinformation Campaign. It'll keep your card draw engine going, and at the same time, it'll make your opponent discard cards from hand.


Lastly, don't forget to include as many relative dual lands into your deck as you can -- including the Locket artifacts -- since it'll be quite challenging to manage mana for all three colors of the Grixis archetype.

Abzan Midrange


Abzan colors in Guilds of Ravnica have a lot of exciting mechanics, including Convoke, Undergrowth, and Mentor to a certain extent. Together they make up some powerful combos.

For example, creatures like Conclave Cavalier and Emmara, Soul of the Accord can help cast bigger Convoke creatures and removals (e.g. Conclave Tribunal) using tokens.


Some of the white creatures with Mentor ability (e.g. Parhelion Patrol) can help buff your 1/1 tokens, and thus increase the overall power level of your deck.

Finally, Golgari creatures with Undergrowth can come onto the battlefield with increased power due to the number of creatures in your graveyard.


Together these mechanics can turn your Abzan deck into an endless stream of threats that not that many other decks will be able to deal with easily.

Jeskai Aggro


The Boros guild can do wonders on its own, using only white and red cards, but if you add blue to the party, then you can really start pushing some damage.

Utilize white-red creatures with Haste and Mentor and burn your opponent with blue-red spells. Together these two color pairs can deal excruciating amounts of damage.


Use a reasonable amount of combat tricks to activate such cards -- like Electrostatic Field -- that can deal passive damage and at the same time protect you from opponent's attackers.

Also, the Izzet guild offers a few spells, such as Hypothesizzle and Ionize, that in addition to countering or drawing, also deal damage at the same time.


In this case, it doesn't really matter which of the color pairs will prevail in your deck. But if you have more Boros spells, then opt for a more aggressive approach, and in case of a larger Izzet group, go for a slightly more controlish game plan.

Temur Ramp


One of the most interesting and definitely very powerful archetypes you can try out throughout Guilds of Ravnica limited events is Temur Ramp. With the help of cards like District Guide and Circuitous Route, you can quickly double up the amount of your mana on board and start churning out expensive green, blue, or red spells.


Most of the Draft and Sealed games will be rather slow, so you will have enough time to ramp up properly.

In red, you can find a lot of really expensive but super strong damage spells, such as Inescapable Blaze and Command the Storm, that can be used to either remove opponent's creatures or just straight up go face to face.


Here, all you have to do is to get the right amount of mana, and you can be almost sure that the outcome will be in your favor.


Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the type of deck that corresponds to your playstyle, whether you like to be aggressive or in control of your opponent's actions.

In any case, if you're looking for more Magic: The Gathering guides at GameSkinny, then check out the related content below:

Magic: the Gathering's Theme Boosters Are Perfect for Casual Players Wed, 03 Oct 2018 15:25:36 -0400 ActionJ4ck

I've been a casual Magic: the Gathering player for almost a decade now. I've tapped many lands, drawn a ton of cards, and said the words, "I Counterspell your Lava Axe" more than any human being reasonably should.

Like many of my fellow casuals, I have alternated between pouring my money into MtG's booster packs and purchasing carefully-selected singles at a premium. Ultimately, though, I have been left unsatisfied by both options. But with the recent Dominaria and Guilds of Ravnica expansions, Wizards of the Coast has begun offering a product in the healthy middle of those two choices, and it's perfect for casual Magic players like myself.

I'm talking about Magic's new theme boosters. 

Magic: the Gathering's regular booster packs are great ways to build up your card collection, but they've never been the best ways to get specific cards. Regular boosters contain 15 pseudo-randomized cards that can be from any of the game's five colors.

The problem is that since most Magic decks can only contain two colors at a time (and sometimes a small amount of a third) and still function properly, the majority of the cards in booster packs are irrelevant to a single deck. For more involved players -- ones that want to build and play with multiple decks per set and can utilize most of these cards -- this is fine. It's great for collectors too.

But for casual players like myself who only plan on making about one deck per set, this leaves us with a big collection of unusable cards that just take up space in our drawers. 

The flip side of that coin is purchasing Magic cards as singles, usually from a local game store or online. This allows you to pick and choose exactly which cards (and how many of them) you want for building your deck.

For competitive players, this is usually the best option and is almost essential in order to meet the demands of the current meta. But it also requires a ton of pre-planning with deck-building tools and a willingness to empty your wallet, as single copies of good cards can sometimes reach upwards of $20 per card.

In terms of both planning time and cost, that's a pretty discouraging barrier for casual players. 

But theme boosters bridge that gap.

Unlike regular booster packs, MtG theme boosters contain 35 cards in the color(s) specified on the pack. So if you open one of the Dominaria set's red theme boosters, you will only get cards that can be played in a red deck (red, colorless, lands, etc.). If you open a Guilds of Ravnica Golgari theme booster, you will only find cards that can be played in a green-black deck. 

This means that for casual players like myself, theme boosters are the ideal way to gather the cards you need. Every card in that 35-card pack has a shot at getting in your deck. It's more efficient than buying regular booster packs and much cheaper than purchasing all singles.

I'm not here to deride booster packs or singles, of course. They're great for their respective audiences and I know they're an integral part of the CCG business model. But offering card packs that are weighted toward a specific deck type is a fantastic option that greatly benefits casual players, and it's one that I'd like to see more card games embrace in some form or another.

I'm looking at you, Hearthstone


For more Magic: The Gathering guides and articles, check out the list below:


Hearthstone: Boomsday Project Coming in August Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:29:43 -0400 Edgar Wulf

Blizzard has finally announced details on the Boomsday Project, its upcoming expansion for Hearthstone. Dave Kosak from the Hearthstone team presented the expansion in a colorful and totally ridiculous announcement trailer -- featuring Dr. Boom -- which is available above for your viewing pleasure.

As is usually the case, the new expansion will introduce a set of 135 new cards and also build upon The Witchwood expansion. In addition, each class will receive something never seen before -- a Legendary spell.

Each class will also receive a Project card which grants a beneficial effect to both players when played; such cards have existed in Hearthstone before, but have been mostly limited to the Druid class.

A new Magnetic mechanic will be introduced which allows the merging of two Mech minions on board with this keyword, combining their stats and abilities in the process.

Lastly, the new set will include special Omega cards whose full potential will be triggered once a player has 10 mana crystals at their disposal.

During an undisclosed launch period, players who log in will receive three card packs and a random Class Legendary Minion (or a fancy hero card) from the new expansion completely free.

Full details are available on the official blog post, where you can also pre-purchase the expansion

Hearthstone's Boomsday Project launches August 7, with additional single player content in The Puzzle Lab coming August 21.


Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and information on the Boomsday Project, related guides, card reviews, and more.

MTG Arena Dominaria Drafting Guide: Best Limited Archetypes Thu, 10 May 2018 10:47:08 -0400 Sergey_3847

MTG Arena, a new digital product based on Magic: The Gathering, has recently launched Dominaria as its latest set of cards, and players will be able to test it out in Drafting Leagues starting on May 11. You will get the chance to draft a deck of 40 cards and win various rewards depending on your win rate.

Dominaria includes 269 new cards that offer a lot of maneuverability in terms of archetypes that you choose to play. This guide will cover the most effective color pairs that you should be looking for when drafting in Dominaria limited events.

Blue-Red Wizards


The most exciting color pairing in the current set is blue-red. The synergy that Wizards create together can easily dominate almost any kind of match-up. The power of counter spells, such as Wizard's Retort, and burn spells, such as Wizard's Lightning, will leave no chance for your opponents.

Here are the main blue and red Wizards you need to draft for this pairing to work:

  • Naban, Dean of Iteration
  • Naru Meha, Master Wizard
  • Adeliz, the Cinder Wind
  • Academy Journeymage
  • Merfolk Trickster
  • Firefist Adept
  • Ghitu Journeymage

Combine your non-creature spells with Naban to deal twice as much damage, and then push Naru Meha and Adeliz to buff up your other Wizards. Also, don't neglect simpler cards like Tolarian Scholar. Although it may not do much on its own, in this type of deck, it will work like a charm.

White-Black Knights


White-black is another pair that has a huge potential. History of Benalia, a new Saga card, is especially interesting in this type of deck. If you can draft it, then you will surely win, especially if you have Call the Cavalry, which summons two more knights. As a result, you will have 16 points of damage just from these two cards.

The rest of your deck should contain the following knight creatures:

  • Aryel, Knight of Windgrace
  • Danitha Capashen, Paragon
  • Benalish Marshal
  • Knight of Grace
  • Knight of Malice

The last two white and black knights work especially well together. They give each other +1 attack and First Strike. If you can add Kwende, Pride of Femeref to the combination, then they will also have Double Strike, and that's a sure win.

Red-Green Elves


Since the return of Llanovar Elves and the introduction of Song of Freyalise, you can start churning out big creatures with great ease. For example, such beasts as Steel Leaf Champion or Thorn Elemental can be pushed a couple of turns earlier. But there's a lot more when it comes to ramp archetypes in Dominaria drafts, which synergize with the old Kicker mechanic pretty well.

Here are the main spells you need to have in order to push your big threats early on:

  • Elfhame Druid
  • Llanowar Elves
  • Llanowar Scout
  • Marwyn, the Nurturer
  • Hallar, the Firefletcher
  • Song of Freyalise

When you have your ramp ready, you can start churning out your kicked red and green creatures, such as:

  • Baloth Gorger
  • Grunn, the Lonely King
  • Untamed Kavu
  • Keldon Overseer
  • Skizzik
  • Verix Bladewing

White-Blue Flash


Currently, white-blue pair is probably the strongest archetype, considering all the neat things you can do with it. However, if you have very few historic spells in your deck, it may be a bit hard to accomplish anything.

So here is a list of white and blue historic spells you ought to have in your white-blue deck:

  • Raff Capashen, Ship's Mage
  • Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
  • Lyra Dawnbringer
  • On Serra's Wings
  • Shalai, Voice of Plenty
  • In Bolas's Clutches
  • Karn's Temporal Sundering
  • Time of Ice
  • Zahid, Djinn of the Lamp

On the other hand, it can be hard to draft so many rare cards, so you can focus on drawing artifacts instead, and combine them with more common white and blue spells, such as these:

  • D'Avenant Trapper
  • Serra Disciple
  • Artificer's Assistant
  • Relic Runner
  • Sage of Lat-Nam

Black-Green Tokens


Saprolings are everywhere! These little green tokens can take over any game in the blink of an eye. The best way to spawn these little creatures is to draft black and green Fungus creatures that create and buff Saproling tokens.

Here are the cards that will provide you with the best synergies for black-green token decks:

  • Slimefoot, the Stowaway
  • Sporecrown Thallid
  • Deathbloom Thallid
  • Thallid Omnivore
  • Yavimaya Sapherd
  • Thallid Soothsayer

But this list is not limited by Fungus creatures only. There are also a few really good spells that will fit the bill just right:

  • Fungal Infection
  • Vicious Offering
  • Fungal Plots
  • Saproling Migration
  • Spore Swarm


With the help of these five deck archetypes, you will be able to consistently win one game after another and earn high rewards. For other Magic: The Gathering guides at GameSkinny, visit the links below: