A look at Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 Expansion 1

It was inevitable that Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013 (Magic: The Gathering 2013) would receive some sort of downloadable expansion content in the future. The past titles in this yearly franchise received new decks and additional content, so it only made sense to keep the tradition going.

Dubbed Expansion 1 (I guess that means there are more in the pipeline?), this first DLC content for Magic the Gathering 2013 includes five new single player campaign opponents to beat. Additionally, you also get the harder versions of those same opponents in the revenge expansion section of the campaign, five new challenges, five new decks to use and new avatar pictures for profiles.

One of the best details about the expansion is that it tries to solve some of the problems I had with the base game – the limited amount of two-colour based decks. All of the new decks in this expansion are two-coloured and are based on the upcoming Return to Ravnica expansion for the physical game. The guild decks include Azorius (white and blue), Selesnya (green and white), Golgari (black and green) Rakdos (black and red) and Izzet (blue and red). You can find detailed information about these decks and their cards on the official website. These decks need to be unlocked by beating the Planeswalkers in the expansion campaign, exactly the same way you unlock the decks in the main game. Once you get to play with the decks ,you will notice new abilities that are only accessible in these new decks, keeping players of the original Magic The Gathering 2013 on high alert so not to succumb to the surprise of a nasty attack from one of the new cards.

While I do like these new decks because they offer a diversity in their build (Golgari is so powerful, due to his mixture of strong green and black card monsters), you are going to resort to using them mostly online as the five extra campaign missions – ten if you include the revenge versions of the same opponent – feels a little lacking. The price for the expansion is £3.99, yet the main game itself is only £6.99, and you get much more content per pound than you do in the expansion. I wish there was more to this content because I enjoy playing against the AI and seeing what decks are used, using it as a learning experience before jumping online with the deck.

You also have the five challenges to work through. I found these additional challenges required a person who knows how Magic the Gathering’s mechanics tick, as these will test your understanding of the game and the fresh cards with their new mechanics. In all honesty, I spent more time trying to beat this part of the game than the additional five campaign levels.

Expansion one adds more content to Magic the Gathering 2013, with the addition of the decks making notable differences to the gameplay. The developers should be applauded for including more two-coloured decks, as these add a new twist from the game’s original decks and can create difficulty if you don’t know what you are expecting in a game from the new cards. While I am not down on the price for this DLC, the decks are a much needed inclusion – and while we aren’t at the stage where you can build your own decks from scratch, this feels closer to making them your own. If you are a fan of the game, this first expansion is worth checking out for the harder challenges and the new cards.