Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers Coming to PC via Steam

By Brian Leahy, May 24, 2010 7:00pm PDT Wizards of the Coast is gearing up to release (via Kotaku) Stainless Games' Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers for the PC via Valve's Steam digital distribution platform. The game, currently available for the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Arcade, includes pre-set decks of cards for the popular collectible card game.

The game will sell for $9.99 and include the first expansion pack. It will become available for pre-loading on June 1, but no release date has been given at this time. This should be a nice alternative to Wizards' microtransaction-based Magic: The Gathering Online, which allows players to purchase digital cards and build an online collection.

The PC version will utilize Steamworks for achievements, leaderboards, and, according to Kotaku, multiplayer matchmaking, which would bring online play to the series for the first time. A PlayStation 3 version is planned for release this year.

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  • For those of you who are sick of the current state of Magic, Dominion gives you a similar "deck building" experience, except way more fun. Instead of each player having their own deck ahead of time, you pick any 10 sets of action cards from the base game (or any expansions) and they get put in the middle of the playing field. You draw from this field as you play, gradually building your deck from seven copper and three victory points to something you can dominate your opponent with.

    It's easy to learn and tons of fun to play, plus the unique way you build your deck means that you can play with anybody, not just other Magic players. Plus there's no bullshit card collecting money sinkhole to deal with unless you want to introduce even more variety than the base game gives you (25 sets of action cards, of which you pick any 10 you want to play with).

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      • This is something you really kinda have to play the game to truly get. I'll explain how the game works:

        In the middle of the table, there are 10 stacks of 10 action cards. The stacks all consist of the same card, so if you decided to play this game with...say...Village...there is a stack of 10 Villages in the center. In addition, in every game there's a couple of stacks for currency cards (copper, silver, gold) and victory point modifier cards (Estate, Duchy, Province, Curse), as well as a card that marks the trash pile.

        At the very start of the game, you start with seven copper cards (1 gold each) and three estates (1 victory point each) in your deck, and you shuffle this deck and draw five for your first turn. On a given turn you do these things in order:

        1. Play one action card from your hand (if you can and want to)
        This means that if you have an action card in your hand (like Village) you play it at this point. Now, the funny thing about actions is what they do...for example the Village allows you to draw one card from your deck and put it in your hand, and also play up to two more action cards from your hand this turn. On the other hand, the Witch lets you draw two cards in your hand, but forces your opponent(s) to put a curse card in his discard pile (why this is bad will come later).

        2. Buy one card from the board (if you can and want to)
        Each card on the board has an associated cost. A Cellar is worth two copper, a Militia is worth four, etc. You take a look at your hand and see how much money you have, and if you have enough money in your hand, you place the money and the card you "buy" with it in the discard pile. Actions that you took in step 1 can affect this stage too, for example if you had played the Woodcutter you can buy two things as opposed to one, and get two "free" copper that turn to do with as you please. You can also buy currency and victory points.

        3. Discard and draw five cards.
        Put everything in your hand, and all the actions you've taken into the discard pile and draw five more cards from your deck. If you have no more cards, you shuffle your discard pile and then place the deck facedown to become your new draw pile. This is how you build your deck, by buying things, putting them in your discard, and then 'coming around' to the cards again. It is vital that you take care of this at the end of your turn, because some cards your opponent can play can affect your hand, for example if he plays a Militia you have to discard down to three cards.

        The game ends when three of the stacks of action cards on the table run out. When this happens, take your entire deck/discard pile/whatever and count how many victory points you have in it. The player with the most victory points wins. The funny thing is that victory points in your hand are useless, but without them you can't win the game...combine that with the fact that you draw five cards at a time and your deck construction becomes a delicate balancing act...flood your deck with actions and you'll never have any copper to buy anything with, flood it with victory points and you watch helplessly as your opponent gets a deck full of gold and actions and pummels you into oblivion.

        Hope this helped. Here is a database of Dominion cards that you can take a gander at.