Which means Magic Arena is mostly successful!
In the past, I’ve never played enough games of Standard to have gotten sick of a particular deck. So the fact that I’m already burnt out on sitting through multiple Wilderness Reclamation untaps, watching 20 mana being fed into a March of the Multitudes, and clicking the Done button for Nexus of Fate reveals means Arena is doing its job.
I am playing a lot more Magic each week, and Arena is the reason why. I now play enough Standard that I’m even thinking of changing the blog’s tagline from “Casual, competitive, anything but Standard” to … something else? If you’ve got ideas, send ’em my way.
But There’s So. Much. Clicking.
Of course, that’s not to say everything is a bed of roses. I am already sick of sitting through (note I did not use the verb “playing”) games against Bant Nexus. And that’s because Nexus, in particular, heightens a couple issues that have always affected digital Magic, but which Arena has largely dodged up to this point.
The first is repeating chains of manual actions that require either you or your opponent to CLICK A WHOLE BUNCH. I honestly don’t mind my opponent making 20 tokens off a single March of the Multitudes. That means they’re going to kill me soon, and I can play a game that’s hopefully not against Bant Nexus.
But I do mind them having to:
- Wait for their Teferi and Wilderness Reclamation triggers to go on the stack.
- Manually tap each of their lands once.
- Resolve the Teferi trigger, and then tap those untapped lands.
- Resolve the Wilderness Reclamation trigger, and then tap each of those untapped lands again.
In paper Magic, most of the above process can be shortcut by saying “March of the Multitudes for 20.” In Arena, Bant Nexus players have to click through the entirety, as the auto-tapper has no idea what the player intends to do until step 4, when they actually have access to the mana they need for their spell.
The solution here (besides me just getting over it, because the process doesn’t take that long, and I am still playing Magic for free) is likely to create some sort of shortcut that immediately taps all your lands for mana (possibly with a spindown interface to set the colors you want to produce). That way, Bant Nexus players wouldn’t have to click each of their lands two or three times on their End Step. This would save them, and me, a whole bunch of time.
The other issue is one that Magic Online has already resolved, and that’s being able to ignore repeats of the same inconsequential game effect. I don’t mind having to click Done the first time an opponent plays a Nexus of Fate, and its “reveal and shuffle” effect goes on the stack. But by the fifth time, it gets slightly tedious. If I could just click “Done and Ignore,” and not have to care about the shuffle effect after acknowledging it once, I’d be a lot less fed up with Nexus.
There is, however, one process that’s working exactly correctly against Bant Nexus.
Don’t Be Afraid to Concede to Nexus!
Nexus of Fate is a pretty silly Magic card, and I both love and hate that it is somehow competitive. But thankfully, when I know I’m losing to Bant Nexus (usually when they have multiple Azcanta activations going per turn or a Teferi emblem at the ready), I can just concede that game. And within a few seconds, I get to play a new game of Magic!
Magic Arena is still a great platform to play Magic, and Bant Nexus isn’t actually that egregious a deck. With a couple tweaks to Arena‘s UI, I might not even completely hate playing against it.