Last week saw the release of the latest Duels of the Planeswalkers video game. Just like last year’s game, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, or D12, challenges your Magic skills against the planeswalkers of the multiverse. D12 gives you both regular 1-on-1 games against opponents as well as challenges that force you to try to win the game in one turn given a specific situation just like the last game. The newest addition to this game is a great one for us casual Magic players. D12 adds Archenemy to the mix, allowing you to play 3-on-1 games against the AI or with two human allies. This latest game also comes with a number of new decks to use as well as new improvements to make for a pretty cool game.
The most important part of any game of Magic is the deck, and this time around they are a lot more exciting. I played through most of the game with Gideon’s white deck, which focuses on equipment. Many of the decks include cards from Commander, or even M12, giving you the first chance to use cards such as Gideon’s Avenger
Gideon’s Avenger and Lord of the Unreal
Lord of the Unreal. Through the playing of these decks, it is also possible to unlock new cards for the deck and many of them are now very useful. These all feel like more competitive decks now with good synergy, rare cards, and mythic rare cards such as the Sword of War and Peace
Sword of War and Peace. If these decks are ever printed as pre-cons like the last Duels of the Planeswalkers they are sure to be very fun decks to play.
The new D12 is improved greatly in allowing greater customization of the decks you build, even though they are still limited to preconstructed decks. Each deck comes with 16 new cards that you unlock by using those decks in the D12 campaign. Unlike the first game, however, you are able to take cards out of the deck rather than just add in the bonus cards. Most Magic players would agree that it is best to have a deck only have around 60 cards in order to allow it to consistently play at its best and now this is possible in D12. Like any pre-con there are a couple cards that aren’t quite the best fit and now you don’t have to suffer through playing them against your opponents.
Opponents in D12 include all the newest planeswalkers such as Gideon and Jace all the way up to the baddest dudes including Karn and Nicol Bolas. They have also introduced a new planeswalker, Kiora Atua. She has a U/G deck that puts a focus on creatures which is new for a blue planeswalker. If she makes it to a card then I would expect some awesome merfolk or leviathan decks. All the planeswalkers, except for Nicol Bolas, are a part of the normal campaign made up of 1-on-1 games. You also face these planeswalkers in the Archenemy campaign with Nicol Bolas as the final opponent. The first few games of both campaigns shouldn’t be too difficult because they basically have preconstructed decks, but there are extra challenges for those that find them a little too easy.
A third campaign, called revenge, has you facing off against the planeswalkers again in rematches with their stronger cards unlocked. This campaign is the real test of your Magic skills and can be a bit tougher even if you are able to utilize your bonus cards. For those looking to further test their skills there are also the one-turn-win challenges. These challenges also serve as tutorials for newer Magic players testing your knowledge of trickier abilities such as trample, flying and reach, and first strike with deathtouch. For Magic veterans the more difficult challenges should still put your skills to the test. One even starts on your opponents turn with one of your creatures about to kill you once your turn starts!
D12 has a lot to offer and whether you like a casual game with friends in 1-on-1, Two-headed Giant, or Archenemy you’re sure to enjoy this game. If you prefer to test your Magic skills there are games against increasingly more powerful AI opponents as well as challenges against decks that use new cards that have only recently been revealed and some that haven’t even been released yet!
For those that also play the physical card game regularly there are special promo cards for purchasing the game as well! For $10 you can buy D12 online and receive a coupon for a Frost Titan if you bought it on Steam, an Inferno Titan if you buy it on Playstation 3, and a Grave Titan if you bought it on Xbox Live! All these promo cards are foil and look awesome so if you’re looking to get one of these titans you might as well get a cool promo card and a new game to try out other new cards and decks!