Magic the Gathering Online vs. Magic the Gathering Tactics

4 mins read

Magic the Gathering has been around for many years now, so it’s no surprise that by now there a number of ways to play it in videogame form. There’s been some that have failed (Magic the Gathering: Battlegrounds wasn’t much fun), and others that have succeeded (Magic the Gathering: Duals of the Planeswalkers).

One digital form of the game has survived for years, though – an exact replica of the original collectible card game, Magic the Gathering Online. With a massive community and all the excitement and OCD collectability of the card game, it has persisted where other games have risen and fallen. It now faces its greatest threat in Magic the Gathering: Tactics, an attempt to take all that made the original game great, and fuse it with some modern videogame conventions. So, which is the better investment?

Both games feature plenty of stuff to collect (and pay for). Magic the Gathering Online allows you to purchase booster packs of cards that, just like the physical product, give you new spells and monsters to play with. Magic the Gathering Tactics does the same thing, only instead of getting cards, you get miniatures to summon, and spells to use on the battlefield.

Tactics does feature one significant addition over the original Magic the Gathering game – your avatar gains experience and abilities in a very MMO fashion as you play. That in itself is a huge reward for playing the game, though it does also lead to an unbalanced battle when a max level character comes up against a new player.

Or this?

Thanks to the miniatures, Magic the Gathering Tactics is also a far, far superior looking game. Nice backgrounds and nice animation easily outdo the poor recreations of the card game’s art on the eight-year-old game. Tactics also features a full-featured single player game for people who aren’t feeling particularly social.
On the other hand, the greater aesthetics comes at a cost – you need a far better PC or laptop to run Tactics. It’s also worth noting that the single player game isn’t that much fun, so you’ll tire of that quickly.
Meanwhile, in terms of multiplayer, both games allow social competition as well as competition play. Tactics has the nicer interface, as you’d expect, but Magic the Gathering Online has more ways to play, a larger community to draw on, and seems to be better supported by Wizards of the Coast.

Getting the real cards = massive plus for Magic the Gathering Online

There’s also way, way, way more cards in Magic the Gathering Online. The game’s been around for years, and seen many new editions of the card game released – each new edition of the card game that has been released has seen a digital edition become available on Online. Because people keep lapping the game up, it’s remained popular. It’s also worth noting that completing a set of cards in Magic the Gathering Online means you get sent a deck of real cards as a reward.
Which means for the collectors, Magic the Gathering Online is still the better choice. Though Tactics is the more advanced game and looks great, Online is still the real deal. For more casual fans of the game though, or people new to the world of Magic, then Tactics will probably feel more relevant, given its MMO trappings.
Or of course, you could just play both and lose your social life entirely. That’s Magic. 

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