Magic: The Gathering Arena first arrived on PC in 2017 as a beta that was downloadable from the Wizards of the Coast website. It left beta two years later, was added to the Epic Games Store in 2020, and got a mobile port in 2021, but only now have the Serra Angels descended in a shining chorus to announce that unto us is come a savior: a version of Arena on Steam.
The original collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering remains one of the best in the genre. (Though I still stan for Faeria as well.) While more complex than the aggressively streamlined Hearthstone, that complexity is what makes its wild combos and surprising mid-match turnarounds possible. It’s well-supported too, and unlikely to go into stasis as some of our other favorite digital CCGs have in the past.
If you’re coming to Magic fresh, Arena’s new player experience was updated earlier this year, with a “Spark Rank” to match new players against each other, and a “codex of the multiverse” menu that explains various concepts and formats. There’s also an option to play Starter Deck Duels using one of 10 two-color decks that you get to keep. I’m all about the red-green deck that’s full of transforming werewolf cards, myself.
The Steam page doesn’t list any additional features in this version, but finally being able to play against our Steam friends will be a plus, and it seems rather likely Arena will be playable on Steam Deck for those lucky enough to have one (it’s already one of the best laptop games). The Steam launch is set for May 23.
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