Oath of Chandra
11, Aug, 22

The MTG Mobile Game You've Never Heard of Just Released

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Article at a Glance

Wizards of the Coast has launched a new MTG mobile game, Magic Spellslingers. After years spent as a closed and open beta, Magic Spellslingers is finally having its big v1.0 launch. The astute among you might have noticed, however, that Wizards doesn’t appear to have any bunting or balloons to celebrate the occasion. Instead, Wizards of the Coast has seemingly decided to shadow launch the latest Magic: the Gathering game. 

What is Magic Spellslingers?

Via: Google Play

Originally announced as Valor’s Reach in 2019, after the Kylem stadium of the same name, Magic Spellslingers is a new, more approachable Magic: the Gathering game. With simplified mechanics and a few iconic characters, Magic Spellslingers is designed to be the perfect introduction to Magic. As a free-to-play game, Wizards of the Coast will undoubtedly be hoping to capture the hearts and wallets of the massive mobile gaming market. 

Unlike the traditional Magic: the Gathering trading card game, Magic Spellslingers features paired back mechanics and a unique look. With a visual style reminiscent of Hearthstone and Legends of Runeterra, you may not even believe its Magic at first. Thankfully, the familiar tropes of mana, Planeswalkers, and counterspells should mean there’s no denying the game’s roots. 

For better or worse, however, beyond a few vaguely similar mechanics and the familiar faces, Magic Spellslingers feels like an entirely different game. The themes of Magic are present, but they’ve been distorted through new mechanical twists and features. Land barely exists in Magic Spellslingers, for instance, as mana merely ticks up each turn, just like Hearthstone. Magic Spellslingers also feature trap cards, and creatures don’t heal at the end of each turn. 

Major Marketing Malfunction

Magic: Spellslingers
Via: Google Play

Despite initially being touted as a way to “reinvent the genre for the mobile-first generation,” in a presentation from WotC CEO Chris Cocks, Magic Spellslingers has not been celebrated as such. Instead, Wizards of the Coast almost appears to be ashamed of their brand new game, as it’s not seen a lick of marketing. Even after receiving its major v1.0 patch on the 10th of October, nobody seemed to care. There was no announcement from Wizards of the Coast, nor anything from developers Pipework Studios and Seismic Games. 

While we’ve previously lamented Wizards’ lack of communication, this lack of marketing is a level beyond their past silence. Not only has Wizards of the Coast bafflingly chosen not to celebrate the official launch of their latest game, but they’ve also seemingly neglected its development. Outside of its own support page, Spellslingers appears to have been entirely forsaken, with no updates or features being praised. The official Twitter account, for instance, has remained utterly abandoned. Only 152 people follow this underused page, and it’s no surprise, as it only has one tweet from 2019. 

With no support from the game’s publisher, Magic Spellslingers may have stumbled right out of the gate. Thanks to the lack of any marketing campaign, the game has been set off on the wrong foot. After all, if nobody knows about Spellslingers, how can Wizards hope for the game to have players? We’d have hoped this would be a pitfall Wizards would have been able to avoid after learning valuable lessons from Magic: Legends and ManaStrike.

Should Magic Players Even Care About Spellslingers?

Magic: Spellslingers
Via: Google Play

While you’d expect Magic: the Gathering players to be excited about another Magic game, Spellslingers is very different. As a result, Magic Spellslingers probably isn’t actually for Magic: the Gathering players. Instead, Spellslingers is for mobile gamers first and foremost, especially those who’ve never heard of Magic. 

While MTG Arena has existed on mobile devices for some time now, the game is undeniably complex. This makes it incredibly difficult to learn for new players who don’t have a veteran friend coaching them through it. Magic Spellslingers, however, is meant to rectify this unapproachability. By refining Magic to some of its core strengths, Spellslingers offers a glimpse into the world of Magic that may convince some to play the real thing. 

Read More: Wizards Is Now Nerfing MTG Cards in Draft!

Currently, Magic Spellslingers is available on Android and iOS devices, as well as via Steam. We say currently because we don’t know how long it will be sticking around.

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