Might & Magic Duel of Champions
This week we had the chance to jump into the new Ubisoft's free-to-play online CCG(collectible card game) called Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, and try it out. The game's lore is based on the Might & Magic franchise, so fans of games such as Heroes of Might & Magic and the other chapters of the saga, will find some familiar heroes, creatures, spells and so on.
One very interesting aspect of the game is its cross-platform connectivity. The game is available for both PC and iPad, and the two version will share servers and matches to create one big community. We find this being a touch of class and a nice move from Ubisoft, and will allow you to play with your cards literally everywhere.
Entering the game we found a clean and clear interface. You have your usual menu with the "play" button, and the other tabs like the shop, cards collection screen, where you can see your cards and manage and build your decks), your profile, which shows your progress and your ELO, the ladder screen and the social section where you can see news about the game, notifications and your friends list.
Clicking on "Play" you will be send to another screen where you can select your game mode: Duel (against real players), Tournament, Training (against real or AI challenger, won't influence your ELO) and Campaign. Starting the game you have the chance to play a little tutorial campaign that will explain you the rules step by step in a series of short and simple battle. We highly suggest you to play and follow the tutorial campaign as it's extremely clear and exhaustive without being boring at all. One of the best designed tutorial we've ever seen.
The game's combat system is extremely deep but still simple. For the ones of you familiar with traditional TCG like Magic: The Gathering, understanding the gameplay and learning to play will be a piece of cake. For the others, don't worry, follow the tutorial and you will remember everything in less than a couple of games. It's really intuitive.
Basically, you and your opponent have your cards arranged on the table in a specular way: The hero in the rear (which represent yourself), two lines of four row for the creatures in front of it, and the space for spells and event cards. The aim of the game is to reduce the opponent hero's health down to 0. In order to do this, you can count on a vast range of cards: different kind of creatures, enchantment, luck cards, event and so on. All these cards have a cost in resources (that you receive each turn), and stats requirements that have to be meet in order to play it. Stats are Might, Magic, and another one we don't remember the name, represented by a purple flag. Each hero starts with some base stats and every turn you can choose use one of your hero's skill. This usually include adding 1 point of a base stats or consume a resource and draw a card. When you have enough resources to spend and the stats requirement are met, you can play a card from your hand. Creatures attack their front row, inflicting damage to the opponent's creatures or directly to the hero if the row is empty. Spells and luck cards have some interesting effect that open a lot of different strategies. The event cards are available and visible 2 at time, but be careful because their effect is valid for both the player so think twice before playing one event. There would be a lot more to say about the gameplay and the combat, but you have to play it in order to understand its beautiful complexity and the strategic possibilities it offers. One thing that we really liked about the game is that the cards' effects - exactly like in Magic - are written in a clear and simple way on the card. When you read the description you almost instantly understand what that card does. We think that in a card game this is one of the most important thing, and M&M: Duel of Champions is doing it right. Good job Ubisoft.
The graphic is simple, clean and nice. There aren't heavy and chaotic effects, just some essential animation that let you remain focused on what's happening on the field. The cards illustrations are colorful and really gorgeous and reminded us some beautiful illustrations we've seen on Magic cards.
FREE-TO-PLAY AND SHOP
Playing the game you will gain gold and sigils. Spending them in the shop you can buy booster packs, decks and consumables (that will boost your XP or gold gaining rate). You can buy both gold and sigils with real money, but we have to say that for what we've seen, you gain them at a fair rate so spending real money for now it's just a time-saver.
Might & Magic: Duel of Champions is an excellent game. Ubisoft did a great job bringing the spirit of the traditional card games right in your PC and iPad. The graphic style is perfect: Beautifully illustrated cards on a simple background with minimal animations. The gameplay is simple and fun but, at the same time, the several card types with their different and interesting effects and the possibility to completely customize your deck from zero, open the game to almost endless strategic possibilities. We are sure that a lot of players will spend hours just planning and building their perfect deck. In conclusion, if you are a fan of TCG like Magic: The Gathering, you should run to try the game. If you are not a fan of this kind of games but want something interesting that will make you use your brain, we suggest you to give it a shot anyway, you could be surprised.