Magic: Legends open beta will show Magic: The Gathering's take on Diablo starting March 23

Magic: Legends
(Image credit: Perfect World)

The first Magic: Legends open beta will begin on March 23, Perfect World Entertainment has announced, giving players their first taste of the free-to-play, deck-building action-RPG.

You can sign up for the beta via the official Magic: Legends website. All you have to do is make a free Arc account and click the button in the top-right corner. Ahead of the beta, you can also put in for a slot in the final closed alpha.

Alpha and beta testing is exclusive to PC, but PS4 and Xbox One players will get to join in the full release later this year. In a new deck-building deep-dive, Perfect World gave us a better idea of what to expect from Magic: Legends, and a clearer picture of how it adapts the rules of Magic: The Gathering. 

You play as a Planeswalker from one of Magic's five colors: red, black, blue, white, and green. Red specializes in elemental damage, green uses the wrath of nature to overpower enemies, white excels at healing and supporting allies, black leverages necromancy to revive enemies and drain their life force, and blue is a trickster adept at controlling the battlefield. Once you pick a Planeswalker and color, you build a 12-card deck around them, but your deck can use up to two colors and doesn't even have to include your base color. You could choose a blue Planeswalker and use white and black spells, for instance. 

Decks consist of three card types: creatures to summon (using your 12 creature points, with stronger creatures costing more points), enchantments for buffs or other dynamic effects, and sorceries for one-off attacks and heals. Like the real card game, Magic: Legends has common, uncommon, rare, and mythic rare cards. On top of that, you can upgrade individual cards up to rank 10 by collecting and earning resources. The goal is to balance these three card types while building around impactful, high-rarity cards so that you always have access to good moves in battle. Only four cards are available to you at one time, so you have to play them to draw through your deck and assemble your entire strategy. 

This deck-building trailer gives us a much better idea of how Magic: Legends actually plays, and it looks a mighty flavorful interpretation of the card game. Here's hoping the feedback from the open beta benefits the game in the long run as it inches towards its 2021 release date. 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.