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In the list of things to do during the quarantine there are activities as disparate as learning to program or to give ten touches to a roll of toilet paper and as unfeasible as ordering the cabinets or finding out at once what is the blockchain . Halfway between entertainment and learning are forgotten novels and hobbies that - like illusions and over the years - were lost. Do you remember Magic cards? They are back, but not in sheet metal form. They are now more accessible and affordable than ever thanks to Magic Arena .

Many years ago and a lot of acne, like so many kids of my generation, I discovered Magic cards, a collectible card game that has something of the mus, something of the Catan, part of Warhammer and a tad of the Citadels. It is like adult life in the sense that the best way to learn is by playing and at first all games are lost, but it is fun, it makes you want to keep going and improve with friends and beer.

The dynamics of the games could be understood as resource management: you have to spend mana to cast spells with which to defeat the enemy . Both this and those are in a deck of 40 or 60 cards (depending on the game mode) that is built with the ones we have in our collection. Broadly speaking, because it is closer to Dragons and dungeons than Harry Potter.

I became fond of not fully understanding the rules and lost interest soon after: no matter how much it opened, I was never going to be able to compete without leaving me significant amounts of money that in those days I preferred to waste on pop punk records (because adolescence and criteria do not always They go hand in hand). Goodbye Magic; Hello, Blink 182.

Now the discs are Spotify - not to brag, but for a fee - and Joe Strummer is much more present in his lists than Tom DeLonge. I still have little money, but now I can compete -something- in the Magic world thanks to the fact that Arena is free and the cards are not purchased. Collecting has never been so easy.

The game has run its course - since its 1993 release there have been more than a hundred expansions and a Netflix series produced by the Russo brothers will soon premiere - and there is an online mode (Magic Online) that also has its aftermarket. Almost all the tens of thousands of cards from the game's 27-year history are available. Arena makes it easier and in a visually very attractive environment.

In this version only the latest editions appear and any card can be exchanged for a wild card of the same rarity (common, rare, rare or mythical). These are easy to get by simply playing free games, so you don't have to pay a single euro to enter. Of course, there are in-app purchases and a play money (gems) that gives access to various game modes or about, but all this can be ignored and replaced by the other play money (gold) that Arena gives as a reward for achieve daily or weekly goals.

Thus, with less acne, less hair (or more forehead, to see the positive side), the knees about to ask for a leave of absence and the walls with a gotelé that each day of quarantine brings closer to existentialism, Arena offers games of five and ten minutes with which to escape and finally learn the rules of the game.


What is it? Magic Arena, the simple and online version of Magic: the encounter, those letters that at the end of the nineties the kids did not understand and scared the parents, because there had to be some satanism. Because if my father is going to pay 500 pesetas for an envelope of cardboard, the minimum he asks is that they be satanic.

Why should I play now? There is time to learn simpler rules than might seem at first glance. The tutorial is fantastic and the games are short and quite hectic. And if you don't like it, it is uninstalled without regrets, which is free.

Where do I find it? At the moment it is only available for Windows, although Wizards assures that it will launch the Mac version this year and there may also be one for iOS and Android.

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