Tides of Magic is a digital trading card game that uses Ethereum assets. It recently went into open beta and is now fully playable.
This article will explain the basic gameplay mechanics and rules of Tides of Magic. We’ll go over colors, habitats, minions, factions and more. And we’ll briefly discuss our experience of trying to play the game for the first time.
A Browser-Based Digital CCG
Tides of Magic is a browser-based digital CCG. This means it is very simple to get started playing it.
Players do not need to download any special software to get matched up with opponents or to actually play. In fact, there is not even a registration process with Tides of Magic.
Players can log in simply by signing a Metamask transaction.
There are 6 sample decks players can use to test out the game. They are titled For the Horde, Axies, CryptoPunk, Mill Discard, Doom, and Ethermon.
Buying Tides of Magic cards
The sample decks provided are probably not very competitive. So serious players of Tides of Magic may want to purchase cards to build their own decks.
One way of buying cards is to purchase packs from the developer. However, the smart contract that controls these sales is programmed to increase the price of a pack each time it is sold. As a result, the price for an unopened pack has gotten higher than that of most other CCGs.
For example, a Red Magic Pack containing five Tides of Magic cards currently costs 0.06779 ETH (approx. $14.50). By contrast, most new packs of cardboard CCG cards cost around $4.
For this reason, players may want to consider purchasing single cards from other collectors instead of buying packs.
There are plenty of Tides of Magic cards available on OpenSea.
Playing Tides of Magic
Here are the steps to begin a game of Tides of Magic.
- Open a browser and navigate to https://tidesofmagic.com/
- Confirm the Metamask connection in the popup window.
- Click the Find Match button in the upper-right corner.
- Choose a deck
Once you’ve finished these four steps, you’ll be put into a queue while you wait for an opponent. When an opponent gets matched up with you, the game will begin.
Here are the basic gameplay mechanics and rules of Tides of Magic.
Colors of Magic
There are five colors of magic: red, green, blue, purple, and black. As with other CCGs, green is nature-based magic, red is fire-based, and black magic is associated with death and necromancy.
We were unable to determine what the theme of “purple” magic is.
Habitats are the “land cards” of Tides of Magic. They produce mana that can be used to cast spells.
However, Tides of Magic offers some interesting twists on the concept of land.
Habitat cards are not contained within a player’s deck. Instead, they are chosen and placed on the side of the board before play begins.
A player can add charges to his habitat by placing cards on top of it. For each card that is on top of a habitat, one mana is produced per turn. This usually means there is a tradeoff between gaining card advantage vs. mana advantage – since charging a habitat is essentially discarding a spell card.
Minion cards can be specially summoned from a habitat by paying their mana cost. But if they are, they will not return to the habitat upon death. So the player will still be down one mana permanently for each minion he summons in this way.
Spell cards cannot be specially summoned or played from a habitat.
In addition to providing mana, some habitat cards provide buffs to minions of a particular faction.
Minions are “creatures.” A player can use them to damage his opponent or his opponent’s minions.
In the lower-left corner of each minion card is the minion’s attack power. In the lower-right corner is the minion’s health.
Minion cards have a mana-cost just like spells do. However, minions do not have a color. They can be cast with mana of any color.
With few exceptions, each minion is a member of a faction. Cards from the same faction have synergy with each other. This allows the player to choose from multiple fantasy themes when building a deck.
Here is a list of the current factions available:
Building a deck
When building a deck, the player must have a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 50 cards. And no more than 3 copies of a single card can be in the deck.
When the game begins, each player draws 6 cards. On each subsequent turn, the current player draws an additional card. In our testing, we could not determine a maximum hand size.
Ending the game
Each player begins with 30 life. When a player’s life total goes to zero for the first time, he automatically regains life until he has 1 life point left. He then is allowed to special summon a minion from his habitat at no cost.
If a player’s life total drops to zero a second time, his opponent wins the match and ends the game.
Tides of Magic Beta Review
In order to best help readers determine whether to playtest Tides of Magic Beta, we attempted to try out the game.
We managed to get into a match within a few seconds. However, we could not determine how to play any cards or pass the turn.
After discussing this issue on the game’s official Discord, we found that it was caused by our misunderstanding of the habitat mechanic.
So the first advice we will offer is that players need to first click on a card, then click the habitat to transfer a card into it. Unless this first step is taken, virtually nothing in the game will work.
After solving this issue, we got stuck in a seemingly never-ending queue. No opponent was available, and there appeared to be no hope of ever finding one.
So the second piece of advice we can offer is to expect a long wait. Playtesters may want to find something else to do while they sit in queue.
Beyond these suggestions, we can’t offer much of a review of Tides of Magic. It’s too early in development to know what it will be like in a public release. And we would need to play at least a full match to determine what the game is like.
From our own research, however, it does look like Tides of Magic has some interesting mechanics. So players that enjoy digital CCGs may want to try it out.
If you would like to try out Tides of Magic, simply click the Find Match button in the upper-right corner of this page.
We’ll keep an eye on this game as it develops. And when new features are released, we’ll let you know right here.