There’s a new version of Magic: The Gat…

There’s a new version of Magic: The Gathering available from the XBOX Live Arcade store (and therefore playable exclusively on the 360) that is simplified, streamlined form of Magic that is meant as an introductory experience (although it’s crack to some veterans too).

Good.

One of the things they got right, in my opinion, is that the card pool for the game is relatively constricted. This is something that continually irked me about Magic: it always felt like the constant addition of cards induced power creep on a huge scale.

I see something similar happening with D&D: the constant tide of new books are hard-pressed to be equally balanced with the core books. For example, around the time PBH2 was being written, WOTC just flat out said “the Wizard’s at-will powers are just underpowered compared to the controllers that will be in PHB2”. Essentially, there wasn’t enough power to redistribute in interesting ways. So, the PBH2 controllers were slightly better, and then in Arcane Power, wizards got buffed to the same level so that controllers are, overall, more potent now.

Here’s the thing: that’s not bad. If you want to use the more powerful Wizard, you can. But you’re not at a penalty if you decide to just play core, the way you would be in, say, Magic.

I’ve heard Dominion cited as being a Magic-like game, but with a limited set of cards to draw on, which seems a step in the right direction. But, honestly, I’d just be interested in some kind of boxed Magic set with, say, the 1000 greatest Magic cards of all time to play as its own standalone game.

Hey, I can dream.