New to Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is a single player match type named “Encounters.”
No, they’re not the kind of casual
murders fun you’ll have with an anonymous Craigslist friend. Instead, they’re a series of bouts where your AI opponents uses a set deck in a set way every time.
Basically, they’re designed to pit your deck against a specific kind of threat. Consider these testing ground fights the TR_Walkway of Magic the Gathering.
While they start off non-threateningly enough (the first foe simply lobs endless 1/1 creatures at you), the challenge level quickly escalates. By the time I reached the end of our Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 preview, I was losing to a recursion deck and a stompy deck quite regularly. It was more frustrating to lose since I knew exactly what was coming, but more satisfying to win once I’d planned out just how I’d unravel each Encounter’s straightforward strategy.
Whether this sounds good or bad to you, you should know (at least in this demo) that each Encounter was optional, and that only defeating major bosses (Planeswalkers) was necessary to progressing in the campaign/story. That said, I encourage everyone to at least try them. If you can nail down a good plan of attack, they’re a quick and satisfying way of unlocking cards, too.