It’s one of the biggest card games in the world, consistently churning out new card games for almost 30 years – and no, it’s not. Pokemon.
Magic: The Gathering has been a trading card and tabletop icon since 1993, with a recent resurgence in new players thanks to a new video game.
9News caught up with Max McCall, lead product designer for Wizards of the Coastto talk about how Magic: The Gathering has grown over the past three decades and to learn all about the latest set – Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty.
“From a lore perspective, we think there are a few things that longer-term fans will enjoy, as well as a lot of fun things for newer players who aren’t as familiar,” McCall said. .
“There are some great characters coming back and some new ones too, who have set up some cool things for what’s to come.
“I encourage anyone interested in Magic history to read Kamigawa’s five-part series on our website. It’s a great read.”
the neon dynasty is set 1200 years in the future from the original Kamigawa series, first seen in 2004 with Kamigawa Champions.
Mr McCall said designing a new card game is a long process, with the Wizard of the Coast team creating games years in advance.
“It involves a multitude of talented people. There were so many things we wanted to do well to Kamigawa: The Neon Dynasty; from the world design to the mechanics of the cards, and then making sure everything is done in a way that respects Japanese culture,” he said.
Inspired by traditional Japanese iconography, neon dynasty features 10 Ukiyo-e lands, a type of Japanese art first seen in the 17th century.
These cards are remarkable to me; in fact, the artwork on all new Kamigawa cards is a sight to behold.
There’s something quite nostalgic about buying a new deck of trading cards and opening them up to see what’s inside.
These days it’s more than a hobby, collectors make a lot of money with the right cards.
The record amount for a Magic: The Gathering card was established last year, with the sale of the Black Lotus from the original 1993 set.
This card, in particular, was signed by the artist and fetched around $700,000.
Wizards of the Coast is now behind an increasingly popular video game version of Magic: The Gathering called magic arena.
magic arena played a big part in the resurgence of Magic the Gathering players and collectors, McCall told 9News.
“When we released MTG Arena on mobile last year, it gave players the ability to play Magic anywhere, anytime.
“We certainly think it also sparked interest in the tabletop version.
“As for the game itself, I think we’re improving to appeal to a wider variety of player types with all of our different product offerings.
“I think especially with people coming out of local COVID shutdowns and quarantines, people are craving more social time with their friends when they can, and Commander really makes it easier for a group of people to come together to spend some quality time together.”
For me, Arena was a great way to learn how to play.
There are no additional costs if you just want to try, the game is free.
As a new player to the game, completing the Arena color challenges was a great way to figure out which cards are best for your playstyle.
I recently took part in a mini-tournament to test out the new card sets, it’s safe to say that I need a lot more practice before committing to the real thing.
magic arena first launched on PC in 2018, for iPhone and Android users in March last year.
The last Magic: The Gathering together, Kamigawa: the neon dynasty, is out now.
Another new set titled Streets of New Capenna is scheduled for the end of April.
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