When you download a mobile trading card game these days, you're generally signing up for a range of impressive artwork and a pronounced reliance on in-app purchases.
Happily, Might & Magic: Duel of Champions delivers plenty of the former without relying too heavily on the latter. Plus, it delivers generous amounts of strategy for you to sink your teeth into.
If you long for the days of old skool tabletop card battlers played in the backrooms of comic shops, Might & Magic: Duel of Champions will not disappoint.High card wins
In many ways, Duel of Champions plays out like the short-lived Dungeons & Dragons card game Spellfire.
So, you're given a hero to defend, and presented with a battlefield that allows for rigid - but strategic - placement of your creature cards in two orderly ranks of four slots.
This opens up the field (literally) to strategic positioning of your creatures, for an unopposed critter can stomp over to a hero and start chipping away at his life.
Incidentally, each battle is a fight to the death (of your hero), so it's in your best interests to use your creatures to block every row that you can.
You should also factor spell cards and various effect cards into your winning strategy. These two elements bring the Duel of Champions gameplay more in line with, say, Magic: The Gathering than Rage of Bahamut, and open up plenty of options for your deck building.Lost in the shuffle
The ordinarily simple task of killing your opponent in these types of games is given an intriguing twist here via Duel of Champions's resource limitations.
Each turn, you receive a finite amount of resources that determines what actions you can take. This number slowly rises from '1' at the beginning of the match, so there's no chance of your playing an overpowered card in the first round.
Furthermore, you can increase either your hero's Might, Magic, or Fate during each turn. These three statistics are reset after each battle, but they influence the sort of creatures and spells you can summon on subsequent turns.
If you build heavily towards Might, for example, you'll be able to summon rock-solid creatures in a few turns. Build towards Magic, meanwhile, and you'll be able to flatten your opponent's army with devastating spells.Know when to fold 'em
Duel of Champions is a gem of a card battler, in which the game designer puts a firm emphasis on strategy, deck building, and the development of an individual play style.
Many of the makers of this game's freemium competitors would be wise to take heed of these emphases, in fact. And pronto.
Though Duel of Champions's artwork might not be quite as flashy as some of the visuals in other trading card games on the mobile market, that's a small price to pay for the immersive and competitive experience that Ubisoft's card battler delivers.