Introducing Hautli – Magic: Manastrike’s White/Red Planeswalker

The latest free-to-play mobile game instalment of the franchise that should need no introduction has received a new update and, with it, a new Planeswalker. 

Magic: Manastrike is mobile game developer Netmarble Corp’s first foray into the illustrious franchise Magic: The Gathering, taking its vast lore into a new direction as a fast-paced PvP strategy game. You can check out our full review of the new game here, but to summarise: so far, so good. 

The latest update for the game introduces White/Red Planeswalker Hautli, a new Planeswalker skin, the new Ikoria Battlefield dimension and a patch to balance out the stats of certain cards. 

 

 

New addition Hautli is a White/Red Planeswalker who, when summoned, offers sustained recovery to the player’s summoned unit with the highest HP with her passive skill, while her active skill inflicts damage and knockback in a circle with her flying blades. A brand new skin has also been introduced for White/Red Planeswalker Nahiri, an ancient Kor warrior with a special power over stone. 

Both are now available through this Ikoria-themed season of Magic Pass alongside the new Ikoria Battlefield dimension; a heap of themed content for this season including an Ikoria lobby background and map once you hit rank 6. If you’re wondering where all of this Ikoria content has sprung from, it may have something to do with the release of MTG’s 84th expansion Ikoria: Lair of the Behemoth.

The final part of the update includes some balancing patches to a select few cards by increasing or decreasing certain stats. Here the developers have paid close attention to the frequency in which cards were used, noting how some may be over or underpowered, then adjusted attack power and HP accordingly to level the playing field. It gets a big thumbs up from us. 

You can check out the full details of the changes via Netmarble’s announcement post here.

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Discover Slavic Folklore with Upcoming Card-Based RPG Black Book

A dark and grisly new card-based RPG from Russian game developers Morteshka is soon to arrive via Kickstarter and Steam on 5th May 2020. It is a story of Slavic folklore depicted in a hauntingly beautiful hand-drawn style by a team who grew up with such tales. This darkly mystical adventure challenges the player, lovelorn protagonist Vasilisa, to uncover the seven seals of the demonic Black Book. 

Through strategic deck-building and turn-based combat, specific card combinations will unleash unique and devastating spells in a world inhabited by demons, elementals, giant wolves and talking pets. Multiple layers will influence the outcomes of your battles: your own strategy, companion characters, and demon recruits, whose purported ‘assistance’ may belie more sinister intentions. Utilise your powers of persuasion to enlist them, but proceed with caution.

Fantasy fans familiar with such titles as The Witcher should find solace in Black Book’s evocative and immersive narrative complete with side-quests, riddles, and an in-game encyclopedia of Russian lore, written with the help of expert anthropologists. 

Should you wish to try your hand at this title before investing on Kickstarter, the free standalone Black Book: Prologue will also release on 5th May via Steam, gaining you access to the title’s first chapter. 

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Legends of Runeterra Preview – Overwhelming the Competition

Could Riot Games be too late to the party with its take on the digital card game? Legends of Runeterra by and large missed the peak of the genre, which hit its stride with the release of Blizzard’s Hearthstone in 2014. Being bolstered by the unwavering League of Legends star power may not be enough to achieve its lofty goal; is there time to make up for the delay and convince players that Legends of Runeterra is the TCG they have been waiting for?

The answer to this last question is a resounding yes. Riot Games’ mediocre timing may turn out to be Legends of Runeterra’s greatest strength, as they didn’t have to enter a colossal and potentially destructive clash with Hearthstone. This also served another purpose, which was to see where Magic: The Gathering Arena would fit as a potential big-name competitor. The jury is out on this as well, declaring that the latest MTG card game poses no massive threat.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Card Combat

The World in Your Deck | Legends of Runeterra Preview

Riot Games clearly took a long, hard look at the competition and settled for what makes a first-rate digital card game. Legends of Runeterra is a fun game to watch, with a crisp and clean starting board with exactly the right amount of bells and whistles to look good without encumbering the screen. This is the kind of game that is likely to appeal to those who have stayed away from CCGs until now, since everything about it seems poised for perfection. League of Legends fans are in for a treat, as the Champions that they know and love come to life in new and innovative ways, often with a little bit of clever showboating, and they are joined by several new characters. It may be far from original, but this is fan service at its best.

Sure, there are some balance issues that the betas will hopefully iron out, and the in-game menus look simple but are somewhat bland and overcomplicated, when they should go straight to the point – why do I have to go to Collections to delete a deck, instead of having that option in Play as well?

When you and a challenger are facing each other over the board, the slightly warped perspective may take some getting used to, but a few minutes should do the trick. Furthermore, the way that the Legends of Runeterra decks are portrayed is beyond criticism, with crispy clean design and perfectly visible stats that never get into the way of your strategy. I would like to be able to instantly see the attack and health points for the cards that I’m holding, but this is a minor concern that can also be directed at Hearthstone.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Fast Spell

The cornerstone of Legends of Runeterra is the use of Champions, faces that you know and love from the MOBA. Prepare yourself to meet Jinx, Braum, Darius, Zed, Lux, Lucian, and others, coming from six regions of Runeterra: Shadow Isles, Ionia, Piltover & Zaun, Demacia, Noxus, and Freljord. You can have up to six Champion cards in your 40-card deck, with the rest being comprised of follower and spell cards. Champions should always be your focus in every match, as they come with valuable stats; furthermore, they can level up by fulfilling a special condition, turning them into devastating gamechangers – for Jinx, having a empty hand is the requirement, while Braum levels up by taking 10 damage. Never ignore Champion cards, as their damage dealing ability and resourcefulness is vital in the hands of a skilled player.

The catch is that Legends of Runeterra gives you a myriad of choices and tactical options, and them callously slaps you on the wrist for being greedy. All those beautiful units and spells are yours for the taking, but under one very succinct condition – you are limited to choosing cards from two regions, and no more than that. Experimenting with Champions and spells is going to take a long time, as every opponent that you face seems to take a different yet effective approach to decks. When you begin to feel comfortable with your selection, another rival comes by and obliterates the masterful strategy that you thought would be effective against every single player in the world. Matches are mostly about skill, but luck also plays a small role in the outcome as the right cards are drawn in the nick of time, especially the all-important fast spells that can turn the tide of a clash.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Decks

Elusive Is as Elusive Does | Legends of Runeterra Preview

Ignore the tutorials at your own peril. They may seem intimidating and a couple of them may even stump you, but this is where you’ll get useful info that is otherwise coming at the cost of many defeats. Besides, this is where you earn your first significant set of cards, getting closer to a proper deck. Legends of Runeterra seems fairly generous with its reward track, handing card after card during the tutorial, but also as you face other players. However, there’s a catch – you can only have one active region reward track. This means that the sooner you settle for a consistent and reliable deck, the better you’re going to be at earning new cards from your two preferred regions.

Your goal is to destroy the enemy Nexus using your cards to hit it, providing they aren’t blocked by rival cards. Such a simple approach develops into several layers of complexity, as you learn to deal with the intricacies of card effects such as Overwhelm and Elusive. The latter is particularly worrying, as these cards can only be blocked by another Elusive unit, paving the way for some unflinching Nexus takedowns in case you are not duly prepared.

Legends of Runeterra Preview Burst Spell

While it has a lot of catching up to do in terms of player base and content to properly rival Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra seems to be on the right path. This is a game that is both entertaining to play and to watch, sporting an ambitious competitive tone while remaining within reach for those who have never tried a digital card game before. Riot Games is determined to prove that there’s more to it than League of Legends, and Legends of Runeterra is just the first of many cards that it has up its sleeve.

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Development on Elder Scrolls: Legends Ends

It seems like just yesterday we were watching Elder Scrolls: Legends get announced at E3, and now we have to report that development on the game has ended. This was announced on Reddit and said the following:

We would like to provide an update on Legends in regard to new content. Our previous roadmap indicated we would be releasing one more set this year. We decided to put any new content development or releases on hold for the foreseeable future. This decision will not in any way affect the release and development of GAEA’s Asia-specific version of Legends, which is operated separately, but will inform our decisions on content and feature development going forward.

Until then, you can still download and play Legends on all existing platforms and compete online as well as in the single-player modes. We will also continue to support the game with monthly reward cards and regular in-game events. New expansions and other future content, however, are no longer under active development. We will continue to provide ongoing maintenance support.

To thank you all for supporting Legends these past few years, and for continuing to play with us, we are giving away The Tamriel Collection – an assortment of new, three-attribute cards and more – to all players for free upon their next login. We are immensely grateful to work on The Elder Scrolls: Legends, to have you as a community, and we sincerely appreciate the love and support you’ve given us.

 

So, while the card game isn’t being worked on anymore it isn’t being turned off either. But, most games that go into maintenance mode only last a few months to a year or two at best. The original Guild Wars is one of the most notable outliers. At this point Elder Scrolls: Legends days are sadly numbered. Nothing else has been said about the game going into maintenance mode but we will be keeping an eye out for any more news.

 

Source: Reddit

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Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics, the Smite Tactical Card Game is Shutting Down

Its been a while since we’ve heard any news from Hi-Rez and now that we have it’s only bad news. The Smite Tactical Card Game Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics is shutting down on January 1st 2020. This was announced via Twitter and fan reaction was sad, but not surprised. The game has undergone a number of changes throughout its development and many of the fans who enjoyed the game lost their love for it over time.

As a thank you for fan’s time spent, and to make the rest of the time the game is live more enjoyable Hi-Rez is giving everyone 100,000 runes.

Hand of the Gods launched February 20, 2018 which means that sadly the game won’t make it 2 years being live. It first appeared as an Early Access title in 2017.

 

There was also news about Smite, good news though. Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld has been added to the Smite pantheon. She’s the first God to be added to the game since April. From the sound of it she’s a pretty complex character. She’s a mage with powerful long-distance attacks, the ability to summon plants, and she can plant seeds that can revive her if enough are collected. As always to help you get an idea of how Persephone plays Hi-Rez has released a God Reveal video. It’s nearly 5 minutes long and has a lot of information to take in.

 

This Persephone is nothing like the one from Punderworld. She’s a dark and vicious fighter. So really, she fits right in with the Smite pantheon.

 

Source: Twitter, Press Release

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E3 2019: Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game Launches August 8th

We mentioned it in our roundup of multiplayer games at the Xbox Press Conference, a brief glimpse of a Lord of the Rings card game that got only a few seconds of attention. Now we finally have more information about the game. As it turns out Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game is the first adventure card game based in the world of J.R.R. Tolkien and it has been around a while. It was first introduced on Steam back in 2017. Then in late 2018, it started Early Access where it has been and will continue to be until August 8th when the game officially launches. But, this isn’t a Steam exclusive. You’ll be able to play it on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam.

The game right now has 3 different campaign modes with more than 35 hours of gameplay. There are more than 150 cards to play with and more is already in the works. There are 2 free encounters available and there are more planned post-launch. They’re already working on more campaign modes as well. The game can be played solo or co-op.

The Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game will also be featured in the ever-growing library of games with the Xbox Game Pass. The game officially launches on August 8th, but if you want to play on PC you can head over to Steam and pick it up right now. Be sure to check out the E3 trailer which you can find below.

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends Alliance War Exclusive Card Reveal

We’re just a few days away from the release of The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Alliance War, the upcoming expansion to the successful Elder Scrolls card game based on the endless war of the alliances as seen in Elder Scrolls Online. Bethesda has reached out to us with an exclusive opportunity to reveal a card from the Alliance War expansion pack. Alliance War is going to have more than 100 new cards when it releases on April 15th. It is available on PC, iOS, and Android.

So, without any further delay here is a short message from Community Manager for The Elder Scrolls: Legends Christian Van Hoose to explain the Daedric Titan card.

Daedric Titan is a powerful five-cost creature that can hold its own against both Aggro decks and Control decks. Usually, a four-health creature for five magicka would be a bit problematic, as commonly-played removal actions like Lightning Bolt would be able to easily dispatch of it – not the case with Daedric Titan! As long as you have another creature in each lane, the Titan can’t be targeted by your opponent’s actions, so your opponent is going to have to deal with it the hard way: with their creatures. If you can keep it protected, they’ll have to clear out your other creatures before being able to target it. Additionally, the Drain keyword will allow you to gain valuable health against aggressive decks, so even your Aggro opponents will have to find a way to deal with the Titan.

 

We would like to thank Christian Van Hoose and everyone working on The Elder Scrolls: Legends for giving us the opportunity to reveal this badass looking card. If you haven’t played The Elder Scrolls: Legends yet what are you waiting for? The base game is entirely free to play. If you preorder Alliance War ($49.99) you will receive 50 card packs, an Alliance War Legendary card, plus the exclusive Warmonger title and premium card back which will be available once the expansion goes live.

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The Elder Scrolls: Legends – Return to Clockwork City Launches

Return to Clockwork City launches in Elder Scrolls: Legends today! This latest story expansion is inspired by classic adventure tales and is set hundreds of years after the death of Sotha Sil. Players will venture into the Clockwork City, which Elder Scrolls Online players recently gained access to, where they’ll be met with a number of monsters, traps, and betrayals on their way to the shiny loot at the end.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends - Return to Clockwork City Launches

This new expansion to Elder Scrolls: Legends introduces 35 story missions spread across 3 acts, more than 50 new cards, as well as the Fabricants, a new creature that rewards players for playing with neutral cards such as the Dwemer Contructs. It also sees two new mechanics:

  • ‘Assemble’ – When players play an Assemble creature, they will choose one of two bonuses. That bonus will be bestowed upon both that creature and every Factotum in the player’s hand and deck.
  • ‘Treasure Hunt’ – While in play, these creatures will watch each card the player draws to see if it’s the treasure they’re looking for. Once the player draws everything the hunters want, a reward awaits.

Return to Clockwork City is available to download right now for PC, iOS, and Android. You can grab all 3 new acts along with alternate Laaneth card art as a bundle for $19.99. Alternatively, you can purchase the acts individually for $7.99 or 1,000 gold. Don’t forget to check our preview before you go!

Our Thoughts

Return to Clockwork City is a neat tie-in with the recent Elder Scrolls Online expansion, something I’ve often wondered if Blizzard would ever do with Hearthstone. While they don’t directly mention a correlation between the two, it can’t be a coincidence that they released so close together. We can’t wait to check it out for ourselves, new mechanics and ways to play card games are always exciting.

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