Game Name:Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers
Platforms:Xbox 360
Publisher(s):Wizards of the Coast
Developer(s):Stainless Games
Genre(s):Strategy and Sims
Release Date:10/21/2009
ESRB Rating:T (Teen)
Price:400 MSP
Demo:Add DLC to download queue

The best part of playing Magic the Gathering as a kid was burning my hard earned cash on booster packs. Well, that and the scores of ladies that always lined up to date us Magic kids. Mainly the booster packs, you know, since they were real. But hey, don’t let anyone tell you that an active imagination is a bad thing. Also, imaginary girls never care if you win or lose.

A few months ago, I reviewed Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers, Xbox 360’s first iteration of the Magic: The Gathering. Now, Stainless Games has released their first set of planned DLC to augment the game and provides new challenges for anyone interested in stepping back up to the table.

Titled “Duel the Dragon”, the DLC does more than simply offer new opponents to face. Included is a new six level campaign (with a final boss that is definitely hinted at in the title, though I won’t spoil it), new challenges (some of which are multi-turn and definitely more difficult to complete), as well as three new decks to add to your collection. On top of all that, new cards have been added to each of the original decks, though they must be unlocked by winning matches.

The new decks include Tezzeret’s “Relics of Doom” (which you might hate to remember from the previous campaign), “Cries of Rage” a new red/green deck, and “Mind of Void”, a new counter/control blue/white deck with an interesting play style.

While the new decks are fun, its easy to see that care was put into making sure none vastly over powered any decks already available. That being said, it was a lot of fun to finally play with “Relics of Doom” and the new decks have the potential to be very powerful in the right hands, but do require a bit more skill to play well. As far as the new unlockables for the old decks are concerned, Elves still dominate, but at least there’s a little more variety now for everyone else.

The amount of content in this cheap DLC is very impressive. Three new decks and an entire new campaign alone warrant a purchase for me, toss in the additional cards to the old decks (even if they aren’t incredible game-changing additions) and new challenges, and it becomes a phenomenal deal at 400 MSP. You’re going to get a lot of play time out of this DLC if you intend to unlock everything, and even more if you enjoy playing online.

There’s still no genuine deck editing, but I think it’s probably unfair to count that as a negative. I’m not sure Stainless Games ever intended complete deck editing to be a part of the game, so we probably shouldn’t spend too much time wishing for a feature that isn’t likely to ever be supported.

If you’re a MtG fan and enjoyed Duels of the Planeswalkers, you should definitely give this DLC a shot. For only $5, there’s really no reason to miss it. I look forward to the next set of DLC, especially if it continues the trend presented here (first unlock is the deck of the previous campaign’s “boss”), because Nicol Bolas’ deck looks like a lot of fun to play.

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