By Cody Perez
May 24, 2019
Though Magic: The Gathering Arena continues to grow as the latest and greatest digital version of the beloved card game, it wasn’t the first to offer the card game digitally. The first was Magic Online, an outdated digital version that is different than Arena.
Unfortunately, Magic Online used to feature an old design that was hard to get around and certainly wasn’t appealing to look at. Today, however, that has finally changed. It seems that Wizards of the Coast hasn’t abandoned the digital game just yet.
An update was released today that changed the visuals of the game entirely, making it much more interesting to look at while making it easier to navigate as well. This is especially important since the recent championships for the digital game featured awful Twitch viewership.
This led fans to believe that the game was all but abandoned by Wizards of the Coast in favor of Arena, but it doesn’t look like that’s actually the case. Instead, it seems to be a different option for players to check out in addition to the newer and better-looking alternative.
After all, there are different match formats and styles that are only available in Magic Online and the latest update has helped make it easier to find them. The lobby, while still pretty cluttered, at least makes sense of what you are looking at.
You will find the various match formats that are available in the home lobby on the left side, allowing you to quickly select which match type you want to play from Modern to Legacy to Commander and more. It is also much easier to see your decklist and edit them.
There are a couple more options for selecting which match you are looking for, which is a start towards offering more options to players. There are some customization options for your matches as well, including the much-needed ability to not have other players view your match.
That last feature is really important for professional players who need to practice for tournaments and other pro events since it keeps their matches private. It would be a major problem if other pro players could see what tactics they are trying out as they would have a significant advantage then.
Last but not least, another major change that is coming soon is that Magic Online will be free to play in the near future. Currently and pretty much ever since its release, the game has cost $9.99 in order to play it.
It will help make the game more accessible to new players or veteran physical card players who wish to test their skills online. This also helps level the playing field with its fellow card game Arena that is also free to play on PC. We don’t have a date for this change just yet but it’s expected to happen later this year.
This is all good news for the game since the latest set Modern Horizons is coming out very soon on June 6 digitally. These changes ensure that players looking to return to the game to check out the new set of cards will be able to do so in a cleaner and more streamlined way.
There are also several Magic Online esports competitions in the near future, too, centered around the new Modern Horizons set of cards. The Championship Series Open is happening next month, in addition to the Preliminaries, with the winner having the opportunity to participate in the Championship.
If you are interested in trying out your skills with the hope of making it to the Championship, it costs 50 event tickets, 25 Modern Horizons tokens, or 500 play points to enter the open tournament.