What is Arena of the Planeswalkers?
A spin-off from a game we’ve already covered (Magic the Gathering) Arena of the Planeswalkers is a 2- 5 player board game based on the powerful allies you can call on within the card game to fight on your side. These allies have a wide range of different abilities (depending on the type of Planeswalker you pick and their variations) that can turn the tides of war in your favour. On the other hand if you think you can use them when you want, you’ll be sad to hear you can only use one ability per turn to avoid being too overpowered…shame, right? In this board game it’s an all-out battlefield where it’s every Planeswalker for itself…unless you’re lucky enough to strike an alliance before game.
What about the game?
Arena of the Planeswalkers is a miniatures-based tactical war game. Players must choose the battlefield by customising and designing the map, placing terrain and powerful glyphs to complete it and once ready then players must each choose a Planeswalker. The idea of the game is to use creatures and powerful spells at your disposal to defeat your opponents and be the last one standing. There are five Planeswalkers to choose from;
Nissa Revane, Animist – Like in the card game Nissa is a green classed Planeswalker that is agile and handy with long-range. She has additional movement at the end of her turn and high life. Unlike some ranged Planeswalkers, she is also very good in close combat.
Chandra Nalaar, Pyromancer – Red is a very offensive colour in magic and is focused more on the offensive that defensive. Chandra sticks to this very well as she has some useful explosive offensive potential and is extremely happy to deal double the damage from a distance.
Liliana Vess, Necromancer – Liliana is going to be a favourite for all you undead lovers out there. She toughens allies considerably while weakening foes…and her choice of monster? Zombies. Her ultimate ability literally snuffs out wounded creatures, destroying them entirely.
Jace Beleren, Mind Mage – If you’ve ever played the card game then you know how annoying Jace can be when properly played. It’s the same with the boardgame. He’s a telepathic blue Planeswalker with high power and a huge amount of range to threaten enemies. His ability, Mind Stealer, makes others very reluctant to get anywhere near him. Go Jace! Chase away those creeps!
Gideon Jura, Combat Mage – Gideon is a favourite for all those who like to play white decks. It offers not only protection, but life gain…however in the arena Gideon is the toughest of all Planeswalkers. In comparison to all the others his level of toughness soars above…so good luck hitting that wall, people!
Once everyone has their choice then it’s time to get to the last man standing! Each player will have control of their Planeswalker and their respective creature squads. The idea is to venture out across the battlefield and destroy any of those in your way…unless of course, like I said, you decide to make teams. There are tactical advantages to landing on glyphs as well as hiding behind the terrain, but be careful! You don’t want to get cornered by Liliana’s creatures or have loss of control thanks to Jace. Use the board wisely, out-manoeuvre enemies and complete objectives when you can. It’s a fun game to play and it’s never the same as the last one!
Contents of the box
· Six board pieces
· Four terrain pieces
· Four glyphs
· Two temple ruins
· Five painted Planeswalkers
· Five Planeswalkers cards
· Sixty spell cards
· Thirty squad figures
· Fifteen army cards
· One 20-sided die
· Ten combat dice
· Thirty damage counters
Pros & Cons
· Good for magic fans who want a change-up
· Enjoyable to play
· Good group activity
· Different gameplays
· Takes a while to play
· Need to grasp the rules properly before playing
· Figurines could be painted better, they look a bit splotchy
What made you want to play it?
We enjoy playing magic and wanted to see what the very first board game would be like. Of course you all know by now that we like playing a variety of table top games, so it was a nice addition to our collection and we could play it between ourselves or in our regular Magic group.
Why we recommend it.
It’s a nice group event that can played not just by 2 people but by a maximum of 5. The gameplay is enjoyable and ever-changing so each new game has players use different tactics to win the game. Unless of course you play with someone who is pretty easy to read…and you know they lose at everything. It’s a totally different experience than the card game and also has a nice fantasy element to it that gives it a little charm.