Home Editorial Dear Wizards: Here’s my Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 wishlist

Let’s face it: we all know it’s coming.

Whether Wizards of the Coast announces it or not, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014 (or whatever nomenclature they land on) is inevitable and will most likely arrive this summer, in keeping with prior releases.

Stainless and WOTC have now had their hand at three versions of this entry-level Magic title, with incremental improvements along the way. We’ve seen the correction of bugs, the introduction of manual mana tapping, and in general, a much more balanced game with Duels 2013.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement, and I just so happen to have a list of my personal requests right here. I know not everyone will agree, but I hope someone in charge gets a fresh whiff of these brilliant ideas.

1. Tick tock, tick tock… fix the damn clock!

There’s a good reason Duels of the Planeswalkers has timers, both for each player’s turn and for pause actions. Without it, games could threaten to ponder on eternally. Really good and really poor players alike might simply waste huge amounts of time, milling over decisions that really shouldn’t last 10 seconds. Hell, even FNM tournaments have time limits!

But the timer in Duels 2013 is broken, and it’s been that way since the beginning of the series. Here are just a few of the problems readers are most likely already familiar with:

  • The timer for blocking or searching is the same no matter how many choices there are
  • If the first main phase takes too long, the timer will sometimes skip directly past combat
  • Players can spitefully pause the game for any period of time, over and over

Outright removing the timer would be a disaster, as would greatly shortening or lengthening it. So here’s a better solution, Wizards/Stainless: give each player a time allocation per turn, let’s say 90 seconds. If it’s the active player’s turn, she has 90 seconds to do whatever she wants – she can spend eighteen seconds in the first main, a minute choosing attackers, and the last dozen playing post-combat permanents. If the opponent pauses the clock, the active player’s clock stops until time is resumed, so she can’t get cheated. The active player will no longer run out of time during a particularly difficult phase.

And to prevent abuse, the opponent would only have one half the normal time (in this example, 45 seconds) for total pausing. Once he had stopped the clock for 45 seconds, gameplay would go on uninterrupted. The inactive player could still cast instants, just not stall the game indefinitely. And, just like the active player, the opponent could choose how to use all of his pause time so he could, for instance, spend it all while picking blockers in a tricky scenario.

The end result: players get more control while griefers get punished for clock spam.

2. Game modes that aren’t completely terrible

I’m just gonna say it: nobody liked Archenemy or Planechase. These variant modes take forever to play, are largely reliant on luck (more so than Magic normally is), and are full of counterintuitive mechanics that confuse newbies and bore veterans. Sure, it was great when Stainless unlocked the Archenemy role for players, but by then the community had pretty much given up on getting its collective ass handed to it.

If Wizards is still trying to dream up alternative modes, here are a few options:

Simple Draft: Have players draft from a randomized pool of every card in Duels 2014. Keep things moving along with automatic land addition and no sideboarding. It’d be the perfect way to introduce new players to the format, and could possibly result in big bucks when Duels community members show up to draft cardboard Magic. Draft would also be great for Duels 2014 tournaments.

Commander: In the past, Magic designers told T3 they weren’t interested in EDH/Commander since it could alienate new players. But if there’s one thing new players love, it’s gigantic, face-melting legendary creatures. And with the not-so-competitive singleton format, newbies could stand a chance against pros due to luck alone. It’d be fun, educational, and different!

Custom Decks: I’m well aware that designed-from-scratch decks will never be a mainstay of the Duels series, but why not a side event? If custom play were relegated to a separate category of Magic (as well as unranked), it would protect unskilled players from being stomped whilst giving veterans a playground for testing Duels deck ideas. Please?

Nothing at all: There’s always the option of absolutely nothing. After all, what’s wrong with sticking to 1v1, FFA, 2HG, and the single player campaign? Why waste resources on boring side missions nobody will ever enjoy?

3. Top Tier Tournament Tools

While the Duels of the Planeswalkers community isn’t gigantic by any means, we sure love us some competition. And whether it’s the friendly, let’s-give-out-prizes kind or the let’s-pretend-we’re-giving-out-prizes-LOL kind, it’s not easy for players to face off in any serious manner.

How about a Match Mode, where players could square off in a best of 3/5/7 duel? The loser of each game would get to play first next time (currently, it’s random every game), and both players would get 60 seconds to sideboard between rounds. If a player conceded, they’d both get kicked back to the match lobby (concession currently boots to the home screen, even for player matches) so the next game could start faster. And perhaps the winner of the entire match could even get bonus unlocks for his or her trouble.

Match Mode would be a great addition for serious play, as well as better facilitate grudge matches between planeswalkers of every stripe. Hell, even the campaign mode could benefit. Imagine how much more epic (and less luck prone) the final showdown vs Nicol Bolas would be if it were a hard-fought, three game battle?

4. The balance must be maintained

I gotta hand it to Wizards of the Coast… Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessors when it comes to deck balance. Sure, there are still options that have significantly more power than others (compare Peacekeepers to Act of War to see the disparity), but Duels 2013 isn’t dominated by single decks the way that Duels ’09 and Duels 2012 were. So, my request is simple: please keep things reasonable, Wizards!

I’ve seen all kinds of stupid suggestions in the forums and on YouTube:

  • Sliver decks
  • Affinity decks
  • Show and Tell decks
  • More goddamn elf decks

Ideas like this are terrible and would absolutely ruin Duels 2014. Instead, Wizards and Stainless should focus on what made the deck balance in DOTP 2013 so good:

  • Aggro decks with constant pressure and big card disadvantage
  • Control decks with middling stall and huge, game-winning bombs
  • Midrange decks that strike a good balance between aggro and control

Yes, some decks were disappointing, largely because of speed problems. Act of War was fast, but not fast enough to pressure control decks or outrace other aggro piles. Mindstorms had huge lategame potential, but almost no plays before turn three, leaving it DOA against goblins or even turbo-mill. Rogue’s Gallery had similar issues getting off the ground.

Regardless, these decks could still win, especially against each other. None of them were the unmitigated catastrophes that Dragon’s Roar or Claws of Vengeance were. And those decks were so bad just thinking about them jinxes your next hand in any Magic game.*

5. I need tech support… I NEED TECH SUPPORT!

If balance has been improving over time, support from Stainless hasn’t gotten a lick better. Sure, some of the most obvious bugs and exploits have been eradicated over time, but lots of issues remain. Players have been able to gain access to NPC-only decks, trolls can lock opponents out of their pause timers, and – oh yeah – the game’s entire save file can be deleted for no reason at all.

While I haven’t encountered most of these bugs myself, they’re at once obvious from visiting the official Duels of the Planeswalkers forum or by performing a casual search for bugs and exploits on YouTube. But the real problem isn’t just bugs… every game has’em. The issue is that there’s been very little response from Stainless or community representatives about if/when any of these issues will ever be addressed.

It’s one thing to let a few problems slip through the cracks, but when the player base is left in the dark, they start to panic. And thousands of panicking nerds is not a pretty sight. If Wizards hopes to convert these casuals into paper Magic players, it’s going to have to do a better job delivering working software and addressing customer concerns. Duels 2014 is the perfect opportunity to start over.

Ral_Zarek6. Mail me a signed copy of Ral Zarek, planeswalker from Dragon’s Maze

Wizards, I know this has nothing to do with Duels of the Planeswalkers 2014… but I know you’re making Ral Zarek into a Dragon’s Maze mythic rare card. He’s perfectly positioned in the lore to ignite his spark, and his inclusion in so much art and flavor text are overwhelming evidence.

If there’s any Izzet player who deserves a copy, it’s me! So if you’d consider sending me a freebie, I’d be glad to uh, keep playing your wonderful games? Oh yeah, and feel free to take any of my suggestions here, free of charge.**


* Now just watch. I fuckin’ guarantee you get mana flooded in your next duel.
** Read: in exchange for a free Ral Zarek card… pretty please?


70 replies to this post
  1. Hard not to agree with it all. The matchmaking when trying to play 3 player games has been terrible. Lucky for wizards I’m a dedicated paper magic player already, otherwise I’d have likely been put off by the sheer inability to effectively play with a couple of friends 90% of the time.

    When it works it is marvellous, when it doesn’t it makes me want to bury people alive.

    At least they get my Orzhov personality disorder.

  2. I liked Planechase…

    Anyhow. Here’s what I’d want.

    1. Artifact deck. No discussion. It doesn’t have to be affinity or even mono colorless, I could imagine a wonderful Esper-ish blend of U/Artifact, but just give me a damn artifact deck. Or hell, make it 5-colour, but with no actual colour identity. Just to mess with people.

    I have to admit, I love artifacts. Brothers ignited my spark around Mirrodin and I finally got to play Magic myself, so, pweese gimme, Stainless?

    2. Kick out goblins without replacement. See, I like weenie. I like combos. But a deck which can win literally before the opponent has cast his first permanent, often regardless of what she does? Not that way.

    3. Make a U/B deck that doesn’t suck balls. As previously mentioned (somewhere else), I love strategies that go against the usual flow of “Summon creature, stomp face” that’s dominant in almost every deck of DotP. If there’s a specialised discarding/control deck, I’m going to make it win. This game’s, however, struggles to get any kind of board position before turn 7 even in a goldfish match. This can also be fixed by not making every deck a “Sit back until you can play your 7 cmc stompy” strategy but those damn OP gobos and Peacekeepers. Those which everybody plays.

    3. Do something useful with the time that you’d spend on the challenges. The idea’s nice, but all too often, they’re figured out by simply looking at what you can afford, casting a scry, and seeing that your deck is literally the one card you need and land. Or looking it up on the internets. After that, you’re through in ten minutes and there’s no replay value whatsoever.

    Maybe allow different solutions to each, make some custom challenges depending on which deck you’re playing (like “Don’t counter or bounce anything” when using Crosswinds and then sending you against a removal/stompy opponent), or even allow player-made challenges.

    Or maybe some (player-set) restrictions Crazy Magic? In MP? Like, giving both people creature-heavy decks and everyone who skips an attack gets bolted to the face by a third, unparticipating player?

    5. Planeswalkers. Please? You could like give each deck a single 1-of and set tutors in a way that they couldn’t be fetched and/or include removal that hits ‘walkers like Dreadbore (What’s better than 2 cmc guaranteed cast (if you’re running those colours) which kills any creature dead? How about 2 cmc guaranteed cast which kills creatures or walkers dead? Yay for Terminate 5-8!)

    Yes, they’re complicated. Not so much, though. Lay this dude down and he casts you a free sorcery each turn. Especially if everybody has them, they wouldn’t be that complicated. Not to mention that there are no less than 4 mechanics in challenges and another on Swell of Courage (1-of promo in CL) which appear literally nowhere else in the game.

    6. Moar five colour! That and/or more things that highlight exactly why certain things are balanced as they are. In my opinion, Mana Mastery does a great job at teaching newbies that there is a certain reason why 1RWU is allowed to be stronger than 3R (Colour weight, in case you don’t see).

    7. Stop jumping to a freshly excluded card during deckbuilding. When I take out a card, don’t you think I’m likely looking at what’s soon going to replace it? Also, let me go below 60 cards while building. There’s no reason whatsoever why the restraint couldn’t be on exiting instead of on trying to remove the 60th card.

    8. A story, maybe? Why am I beating up all those guys? Who in the hell is Nicol Bolas? Why don’t I get more chances to look at Jace’s absolute badassness? Doesn’t have to be much, I just feel underwhelmed if the only thing I’m getting is the brief summary of the person whom I’m about to drive insane. Skippable texts, maybe. I just feel uncomfortable unless there’s an exact description of where I am and the decisions of my adversaries make perfect sense within their respective personalities all the time. It’s a bit of a twitch that you get from being a writer for too long.

    9. Smarter AI. Yes, DotP12’s AI is fairly clever, but you can still see its thought patterns. It always pauses for a second instead of passing into the next phase if it means to cast something, it doesn’t attack or block even if it’d be a favorable trade unless it’s necessary or something like a Doomed Traveller.

    10. I’m not sure, but I feel like the way DotP handles priority is wrong. Isn’t it that, unless your opponent casts something, you only get priority during Main phases when they announce going out of them? Don’t you first have to pass priority after they cast something before they get it again (and thus can cast something else?

      • It doesn’t work 100% correctly. In real priority as I understand it, the inactive player does not get priority to cast instants until it has been passed to him/her by the active player. So during the active player’s main phase, when he/she is just sitting there trying to decide to play a land or not, the inactive player cannot just say “RIGHT NOW I PLAY THIS INSTANT” knowing it might be beneficial to do so before the active player plays a land or puts a creature spell on the stack. It is only when the active player initiates a stack sequence or when he/she passes priority by ending a phase/step (for instance, passing to combat/second main etc) that the inactive player can place instant effects on the stack.

        In Duels, the inactive player can play instants at any time, regardless of having priority. For instance:

        Player A has a sorcery with an additional cost: sacrifice a creature.
        Player B has an instant that can kill the only creature Player A controls.

        In paper Magic, Player B cannot kill the creature during the middle of Player A’s main. He’d have to do it during Player A’s previous steps, when Player A passes priority. Once Player A decides to cast the sorcery and sac the creature, it’s too late for Player B to kill it.

        But in Duels Rules, Player B can wait for Player A to draw a card, then can SPAM THE CAST BUTTON on his removal card to put it on the stack during Player A’s main phase, before he can put the sorcery on the stack or possibly play the land needed to cast it. Since Player A only has that sorcery, he can’t respond to the instant either, and his creature dies.

        This is what Toraka was talking about, I assume. And it does show in that video that priority is different in real Magic (with a structured, turn-based “pausing” effect as it were) than it is in Duels. XD

      • That’s what I meant, Wing. Likewise, Duels allows you to instantly respond to your own spell.
        Naturally, that is not in any way relevant as your opponent can react the same way to the first spell as he could if you hadn’t played the second, but… it’s wrong!

        Hey, new idea. How about an Overpowered game mode where you run with preconstructed Alpha/Urza decks? Certainly, that could be fun… maybe.

        Or including a database which explains every mechanic, even if it’s not technically in the game, maybe even with a few examples. It is meant as a bridge towards paper afterall.

      • Also, while we’re already nitpicking, DotP doesn’t allow you to choose if who goes first. Granted, there are no decks in DotP which would benefit much from going second.

        But, y’know.

        Perhaps DotP could benefit from the inclusion of a mana pool. Its rules aren’t that bad and automatic tapping could still be included, but who wouldn’t want to give green all of its Turn 3 6xG goodness that would be possible with mana sources other than land?

        On the other hand, that would probably be a very, very bad idea. Ancient Wilds is OP as is.

    • 1) Ditto! They’re both fun to play and play against.
      2) Ditto! it’s pretty ridiculous
      3)Ditto x 3! Geez, was it wrong of me to expect good control and destruction from a u/b deck? Apparently so as Rogue’s Gallery lacks both.
      4) Not sure about this one, will think on it.
      5)also not sure
      6)That could get out of hand
      7) could be summed up as “better deck manager” and I highly agree. Magic: TG Tactics uses a very good one. You can sort by card type, color, casting cost, and rarity. This makes deck building a snap even for new players to the game
      8)Hmm..Hold contests for story ideas or the stories themselves? I’m not very good at something like this, yet I’ve come up with stories and new pw’s.
      9) Yeah, the AI still makes bonehead plays
      10)will think more on it.

  3. I couldn’t have said it better myself and have been screaming in the forums for those changes you suggested. Let’s hope that they listen and make DoP the game that it could really be if they used its full potential.

  4. Copy and Pasting from WotC forums with my request for organized tournies (sorry if wall o text or bad formatting…here goes nothing!):

    Why not make some sort of official tournaments within the games that offer some sort of real life reward, be it boosters, or invitations to real events or something (I dunno how all those real life tourny things work, though, so maybe not necessary) or even better, tournaments that offer MtGO rewards. Maybe unlock every card in a deck, you get some sort of card in MtGO, or win some DotP tournament, you get a ticket for a tournament in MtGO. This even fits with their business model of redirecting players towards paper/MtGO.

    As an example, I play a ton of NHL. Every month, they have tournaments in two of their modes.. You play against similarly ranked teams (wins get your team more points, higher points move you from Amateur, to Pro, to Elite.) Rounds are single elimination. When you choose to play, you are randomly matched with another person of the same rank trying to compete in their playoffs. If you lose, you’re out. If you manage to win three rounds, you’ve won the tournament. There is no real limit to the number of people that can win the tournament (outside of the fact that a certain number of people have to lose to allow the winners to win all their rounds.) Just basically do this….Every month, there is an official tournament mode. You match up with someone at random also competing in the tournament, best 2 of 3 advances. Loser is kicked out of the tourny. If you manage to win 3 or 4 rounds or whatever, you win and get a ticket to compete in MtGO tournament. Every MtGO account can be linked to one (and only one) DotP account to prevent people solely farming tickets in DotP (unless they want to buy multiple MtGO accounts, which is fine, because now they’re spending more money on WotC.)

    Wouldn’t have to be exactly like that, but how could that hurt WotC? They get more people to try MtGO and probably even bring some MtGO people over to DotP in the mean time.

  5. Only one I don’t agree with is the last one. Ral Zarek should be sent to ME instead.

    Also, it is very frustrating when the cards themselves don’t work. On the iPad, Mitotic Slime’s creature tokens, the 2/2s, wont create 1/1s. This cuts a huge part of the card down, making it unplayable in my opinion. More support for the things that actually NEED support (the way the game works) is very important.

  6. I agree with most. I also like the idea of a larger battlefield so it makes blocking easier. Also, the timer should add 3-5 seconds per creature attacking. This will greatly improve the ability to block massive amounts of creatures. 2013 was better than 2012 no doubt, but I still feel the decks in 09 were the best. In 2014, I would love to see really interesting deck builds. Even aggro decks should be interesting. I support a duels version of commander as the new game mode. If duels 2014 had a pool of say 150 cards, commander would be possible. One of the fun things about duels 09 is that because there was no full customization, you would play opponents that had 80 + card decks. It made the game really interesting because you had to find a way to win with the cards you have. Duels commander could be like this. Finally, allow is to customize like duels 09.

  7. For the love of all that’s holy, give us a proper lobby system where we can see the number of people currently waiting in a room. Trying to find a 2v2 game in off-peak time is like winning a lottery.

    Also, allow for multiple iteration of the same deck. I sometimes run different theme on a deck but having to retool EVERYTHING in the deck manager is a pain – a simple option that allows custom deck sets under a particular deck would be a god-sent.

    Lastly, get rid of “Your Request is Pending” bug!

  8. How about getting rid of the lengthy animation for +1/+1 counters and other effects that repeat for a minute straight.

    • This is a hard one since in some rare occasions, you want the counters to reach a certain number before doing stuff. Unless they implement a ‘take-backsies’ system for interrupts, I don’t see how they can get around that.

  9. Good ideas from above that I’d like to second;

    – Fix the timer.
    – Let us have less than 60 cards in a deck, during deck building (not allowing us to save the deck is fine).
    – Multiple versions of saved decks. At the very least let us have a different build for 2HG than 1v1 without having to go in and redo the whole thing every time.

    I’d also like to see a random deck mode. And if they can do it without making it too clunky, have a separate ranked leaderboard for that mode.

    And speaking of leaderboards, the PC version needs the distinction between ranked and unranked.

    • Lately, I’ve had to scale up my decks as dream puppets is used a lot more now. Of course, the decks with red need to stay low. I’ve had to go with at least 70 cards and it’s only due to the mill deck. However, I’ve found synergy using this by carefully picking my extra cards.

      How about “no mill deck” for a suggestion,lol.

  10. 1) Why show all lands when searching a deck? Just show every card once and add the count.

    2) Cards with more than one target need to highlight targets differently e.g. Agony Warp

    3) Keep me in the first main phase even if I have only instants on hand.

    4) Let me play single sorceries I drew during combat after combat!

  11. 1. You should be able to offer a concession and then return to the lobby to play that person again. Right now, you either have to sit through a pummeling, or just drop out of the game and not play that person again. This would be so easy to program.

    2. I’d actually love a feature in the lobby where both players could agree to use random decks.

    3. Please speed up the Exalted mechanic?

    4. Fix bugs. Hate that Mitotic Slime will never work right.

    5. Please let Grim Procession carry over…

    • There is a land destruction deck in 2013 – Ancient Wilds.
      It’s a vicious mean deck that earns me more rage and hate than every goblins and Panoptic mirror win combined.

      It’s probably overpowered and not really that fun for opponents, no matter how much fun it is for you :)

      They probably don’t need to do this again.

      • Come on… Ancient wild is not real land destruction deck, yes you have there 3 or so slimes, but on turn 5 you should be already blasting opponent’s lands. And should have more cards like this in your deck. Moreover AW is far from overpowered, if you dont have perfect starting hand you’re most of the time defeated already. It’s mechanics is to slow and too fragile.
        Obedient dead kicks this deck big time.
        Mana mastery as well. Goblins I don’t know, bc almost nobody is playing this deck( for a good reason), so I don’t have exp.

        But anyway we can try it out. I’m ATØG on Duels too. So you can use you build. i will use my favourite deck. Let’s see how good you are :-)

      • Ancient Wilds also have multiple copies of Beat Within AND Terrastodon AND it can bounce Slimes to destroy land every turn AND it has Eternal Witness to get back copies of Beast Within, also bounce-able every turn.

        And no, MM doesn’t stop AW. AW can cut off entire colors for MM, making certain cards unplayable. AW also has Thragtusk which can make board sweeps worthless, and it can Beast Within every creature other than Progenitus and Empyrial Archangel.

      • Read: AW is totally OP. At least if you don’t get to the idea of countering their (probably only) Natural Order. God, I could kick past me for not coming to that idea.

        Still, totally OP.

  12. Also, please fix the algorythm, so player with 60card deck will have less possibility for manascreews etc.then player with 89 card deck.

    • I feel like what you’re experiencing is just luck (and bad mulliganing) since Duels actually does a good job at keeping the land probability as close as possible to the actual desired and you should be drawing a perfectly random card each time.

      • Problem is, that in real life shuffle 80+ decks is quite difficuilt and you experience usually land or mana screw. In Duels it’s just opposite. You have more lands probability with 80+ then with 60 decks. It doesn’t matter how you mulligan if in first three attempts you have still zero or one land- something is terribly wrong. Whith Grinning Malice, despite the fact I won 4/5 last matches, all five matches I was in mana screw most of the time and I didn’t get to 6 manas except one match of those.
        And it was 61card deck.

      • Actually the top deck card should not be random, as the game likely shuffles the only if the game states so. The shuffle should be better than any paper magic shuffle.

      • I’m not sure I understand, baadaa. If anything, random is exactly what your top card should be, barring manipulation.

        Maybe you mean that there is always a set order for the cards in your library, which I suppose is true, but from your standpoint, it’s entirely random as any card that’d let you see that order also requires a shuffle, thus creating a new one.

    • That wouldn’t be fair. The reality is that just having a 60 card deck doesn’t automagically make you better than your opponent. You should beat them with skill, not by praying for bad luck.

      • I don’t want to be unfair, only would like to have the closest experience, like with paper magic I used to play.

  13. WINGSPANTT: if you’re happy with AW, then ok, I just experienced huge difference between theory and real playing experience with AW. Mainly slimes, bouncing them up and down, and Beast within. Because only few removals, and whole mechanism is aborted. On the other hand, if you manage to survive long enough to play Wild pair, then your close to winning conditions. Just my oppinion.

    • Overall I find spot removal to suck vs AW. Let’s look at some main creatures. If you spot remove an Elf, you got 1-for-2’d either with a free land or a free card draw. If you spot remove a Thragtusk, AW still got 5 life and a 3/3 token. If you spot remove a Slime, you still lost a permanent. Basically the only things you can kill in AW and get ahead with are the cards that (in my opinion) stink. Plus Erratic Portal makes spot removal very hard.

      • People usually focus their removal on key parts of it’s mechanic, Erratic portal, it needs to be destroyed(Vindicate, maelstor pulse whatever) and Primadox as well, then all other parts are just one-timers. Slime in turn five(fourth turn with NO) is too slow, if you dont have MS.

        I play Duels on iPad, and tbh, don’t see many people playing it often. Everybody swings Mana Mastery, Grinding blue deck, and few of them also agro decks…
        Which deck do you use the most? In Duels.

      • Slime will almost always be turn 4 with so many Wood Elves. As for most common decks, I don’t have one. Maybe Mindstorms or Celestial Light, or Crosswinds.

      • “People usually focus their removal on key parts of it’s mechanic, Erratic portal, it needs to be destroyed(Vindicate, maelstor pulse whatever) and Primadox ”

        Eternal witness – and there is a lot of stuff in the deck to fetch her.

  14. I am surprises no one has suggested the inclusion of Planeswalkers. Can’t be that hard to implement and their presence can make for a real dilemma in reacting depending on the activating ability on the clock. I like idea of Commander but it would be tough to deliver sensible unlocks that would be worth spending analysis time on. I can understand why there is no build your own deck but pity as a sealed deck or cube draft would be very compelling. Normally a new DotP is also about show casing early sight of new blocks which is bound to continue. I think on iPad the next version may only be available on iPad 2 upwards. There are still some cards and modes that are already unplayable for iPad 1 e.g. Conflux as the game will freeze.

    • Second from top comment: “5. Planeswalkers. Please? You could like give each deck a single 1-of and set tutors in a way that they couldn’t be fetched and/or include removal that hits ‘walkers like Dreadbore”


      I think I understand why they don’t want Commander. Sure it can be a lot of fun, but it can also take endless amounts of time. People who play DotP without friends usually are just patient enough for duels. So you’d at best get a friends game, and at that point, you might as well actually play paper (using proxies if necessary).

  15. Toraka, sorry missed your Planeswalker reference on first read. The curse of reading quickly on iPhone. I guess I will be just happy the do another, especially for iPad. I have followed since the original via Xbox 360 and earlier computer versions including Shandalar and Spells of Ancients. Great thing back then was build your own deck and sealed for and tournament but no online. Magic the Gathering Battlegrounds was also interesting and had some great matchups but common ploys e.g. Spiritualise on Rushwood elemental and insane mana gen via Priestess of Titania with elf deck. But there needs to be a significant new feature I think to attract a repurchase for the casual player who picked up Magic 2013 for first time.

  16. I would like to second the motions for a.)multiple deck builds (so that I could have one set up for single player and one set up for multi or 2HG without changing all the cards out) and b.)being able to change the decks under NPC control, to make custom 2HG games more interesting.

  17. What about a save function to save different builds of the same deck? That way you could have a 1 v 1 deck. A 2HG deck, etc w/o having to go in and make constant changes.

  18. I agree with all except need to add another problem to tech support. There’s a downloadable hack that can 1) give you any card you need 2)subtly give you more hp(one was not so subtle as they went from 4 to 24 with no spells being cast at all)and 3) cancel out time warp turns(sometimes you won’t get that extra.turn)

    Perhaps you could add another article about what we’d like to see in decks, with the warning to only post suggestions that are not overpowered or just plain imbalanced and therefore impractical.

  19. the only thing i really wish is a draft mode instead of this rubbish ,,fun” modes. there is a planeswalker format @ mtgo and the card pool of DotP is based mostly on that. i would wish a draft mode where you draft just cards from that planeswalker pool without the ,,promo” cards from the current base-set. its just a really nice idea to let people do it right in DotP and not mtgo. draft is the most popular limited format and to get introduced to it in DotP seems like the idea thats behind DotP in general: get in touch with magic. besides: some cards would just see more play, because you never get that super cards youhave in you constructed decks.

    but this move would just surprise me. we will end up with just another dumb fun mode and a new circle of decks. so much overseen potential.

  20. I’d say the biggest thing, that absolutely NEEDS to change, is the display when searching your library. Finding a card in that mess is nigh impossible. You shouldn’t lose a game because you couldn’t find that late game-saver before the timer drops.

    Show each card face up, side by side, allowing the player to quickly and concisely browse please.

    Oh and yeah nuke Goblins. They just don’t fit.

  21. being one who tends to micro-manage deckbuilding, i would love to see the ability to control mana color ratios in multicolor decks. duels 2012 veterans will recall the disaster that was “dragon’s roar,” where players could summarize their exact build by numbering the total swamps in their deck…

    while i realize duels caters to newer players, and the automatic land pool generation is intended to prevent new players from completely messing up their mana, i feel there is a simple to program, simple to use solution:

    slider bars.

    for a two-color with 60 cards, 20 of those being basic lands (assuming terramorphic expanses), each end of a slider bar would have a land type. then a slider could be moved to adjust quantities. a 3-color deck would use a triangle, etc.

    i dislike having to alter my build just to get the proper mana ratios (AS and SS for me are problematic). and how some cards with 3+ colored mana in their cost, when added to a deck under certain circumstances, increases the wrong color mana ratio…


    Give us a Lobby system with chat channels and the ability to host games (something akin to blizzards battle.net would be GREAT!) and like everyone said, fix matchmaking. its TERRIBLE.

    as far as new game modes
    GIVE ME EMPEROR! funnest 3v3 format in magic by far.

    You should be able to vote down a few decks you don’t want to play against. or maybe just one. it really gets old playing the same 2-3 decks over and over and over. Or maybe a mode where each player has to take a random deck?

    Main thing for me is improving the online experience.
    also as far as priority goes, im fairly certain duels does it wrong. correct me if im wrong, but for instance, if someone wants to sac a creature for an effect, but i respond by destroying it with an instant, in duels.. the effect goes off anyway. that should only work if THEY respond to my destroying it by saccing it. in duels it works either way. i might have stated this confusingly but theres been many instances where my instant went off but the card they were using resolved anyways.

    ALSO FIX THE FRICKIN BUGS! ZERO SUPPORT FROM STAINLESS WHATSOEVER! this is the most damning i think. They can keep pumping out new dlc’s but not fix gamebreaking bugs. Like the stalled forever turn bug that happens once in awhile. (almost daily for me)

    Also I second the draft idea! thats an awesome suggestion!
    As far as deckbuilding goes, you should be able to fully customize your decks as your card pool is limited, so it doesn’t make it better than paper or mtgo in that sense. There should be like a ‘new player’ mode that keeps deckbuilding the way it is, and you only queue against other ‘new player mode’ players. If you turn it off you build how you want and play against other players who also did.

    • dustin,

      you are correct in that dotp manages priority incorrectly, or rather, does not manage it at all. in paper magic, the turn player (player A) has priority until they pass it to the non-turn player (B), which occurs EVERY time the turn phase changes: untap -> upkeep -> draw -> etc. priority is also passed whenever player A puts a spell or ability on the stack (paying all costs and choosing all targets occurs BEFORE priority is passed).

      player B is not allowed to do ANYTHING until priority has been passed. but in dotp, player B is allowed to interrupt player A’s priority…

      regarding the sacrifice of creatures, it is usually done as an additional cost for a spell or ability, like goblin grenade. fe: i am at 5 iife and my opponent is playing goblin gangland. i have an instant kill spell in hand, and the only creature on the board is a raging goblin. i pass my turn, saving my removal for the clickslither i fear may kill me, but my opponent draws goblin grenade. i guessed wrong and, correctly, die. gg

    • Sorry to be that guy, but you are both wrong.

      Obligatory YouTube link: /watch?v=k-9k5pf9Uc8

      Okay. It is true that Duels disregards the Active-Nonactive rule for priority, and that saccing a goblin for Grenade is a cost, thus doesn’t use the stack and happens instantly, without a chance to respond.

      If I understand correctly however, it is impossible to counter effects through destroying its source. Once an ability is activated, its cost is paid (surprisingly often saccing the permanent) and it moves to the stack. There, it behaves like a spell, except that it doesn’t exist as a card. Thus, it doesn’t give a damn about what happens to its source, if it’s not countered one way or another, it’ll resolve.

      Unless, of course, you mean an effect which involves saccing a creature as part of its resolution, rather than a cost. If it’d be the latter, it’d be gone before you could respond. If part of the resolution, you could in fact destroy it in response.

      That point is kind of moot though since there are no recent cards coming to my mind which involve saccing things on resolution and which would be thwarted by a certain thing not being there.

      On a side note, yes, Stainless, get rid of the bloody “pending” bug!

      Also, what do you mean by full customization? Building a deck freely out of all the cards available in the game?

      Honestly, I can’t see that happening. Duels’ decks are fairly well balanced in between their cards (There are only few which have absolutely no purpose in a given deck at any time), unlocking restrictions between the lists would create abominations and you’d only run a certain well-doing decklist anyhow. I’ve run into a few wallet warriors in my experiments with MTGO, it’s not a pleasure.

  23. I think a replay feature would be awesome. Something like what Starcraft has. You can watch replays of your or any other persons games. For those moments you just want to saviour (panoptic mirror with 1hp left or your one time swing with colossal might and x2 bezerks which send 40 trample dmg for the win)

  24. What a load of crap. Timer, really? Look at your option and you can change it, nothing wrong with it. No Planechase? I happen to like Planechase, it adds a twist to the game and multiplayer Planechase it my main format. Commander is terrible and broken. All commander is about is to see who can get a combo out first.

  25. I agree with… nothing you said.
    Why the crap would you think everyone wants to remove gameplay variations? You can’t really be that stupid.
    Archenemy and Planechase made for fun variation. That you think nobody likes them just cause you don’t have the patience for 4 players and you don’t like it when things get mixed up and different, kinda pegs you as a whiny man-brat. Which is only encouraged by the rest of your list.
    “Wah wah. I also want a fully fleshed out complete MTG experience with every option and card. It’s what we deserve for $10.” followed by “Also, give me a free mythic rare.”

    As my first visit to this site, I appreciate you revealing their standards.

  26. After playing DoTP 2014, one thing I reeeeeeeeeally want to see is the friggin’ separation of the beginning phases (untap->upkeep->draw). It irritated me sooooo much when I almost lost a game because I couldn’t Vampiric Tutor for a Doom Blade on my upkeep. I could’ve done this if I had a triggered ability on the stack, yes, but I shouldn’t have to have Endless Ranks of the Dead out just to tutor for some removal.

    • Vamp Tutor’s an instant if I remember right so do it at the end of your opponent’s turn and draw that doom blade during your next upkeep.

      • However, if he was tapped out, he couldn’t have done that EOT, but during his upkeep as untapping happens before the upkeep. It’s part of why Stasis was supposed to be balanced.

        Overall, I can see why they did it, but there are a few occasions where being able to do things on upkeep (such as casting a spell before the opponent can get a sorcery off, which is a race for time with Duels’ Slapjack approach to priority) is relevant.

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