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(Not sure if this is on topic)

I quit Magic: the Gathering some time ago, and am thinking of finding another digital card game to play.

Where can I find in depth reviews of the various card games on the market? I'm looking for something that goes well beyond the typical "here's how the game works" review to analyze the game's mechanics and draw conclusions about their strengths & weaknesses. For example, here are some things which I would consider are fundamental strengths and weaknesses of Magic: the Gathering:

Strengths

  • Lots of different strategies possible. Possible strategies aren't just attempting to do the same thing in different ways, but differ entirely in how they intend to win the game. Magic has aggro, combo, control as macro-archetypes, which is something many other card games don't have.
  • Complex (one could also argue this is a weakness, but for me it's a strength). Timing spells or abilities can win or lose a game (example). It's also the only digital card game I'm aware of which allows the player to interact with the opponent on their turn.
  • Deckbuilding space is big. There are few restrictions, you are given a bunch of cards and you are free to build whatever you want. Comparatively in many other CCGs, you have a "leader" which has its own class-specific cards, and you can never use another leader's class-specific cards in your deck. This naturally makes Magic harder to balance, but it also leads to the biggest possible design space for deck builders.

Weaknesses

  • It's fairly common for player choices to not matter. For example in recent Standard, being on the draw against a monored deck that goes 1-drop into 2-drop into 3-drop into Embercleave can mean one is deterministically dead, in which case there is no game to play. It's not just being on the receiving end of this kind of draw - executing it is also a simple matter of playing one's best threat every turn and attacking with them. One could say there is more game to play, but not by a lot.
  • Games snowball. Planeswalkers are the biggest culprits, but there are other cards that do this as well (e.g. The Great Henge, which is only stopped by a relatively narrow set of cards once it's in play). Many threats are "answer me at once or lose". Comparatively in many other CCGs, if you cannot answer a threat immediately, you are disadvantaged (e.g. you might be 2-for-1'ed) but do not instantly lose.
  • Mana screw and mana flood. These are integral to Magic's resource system, but they also lead to play sequences where the player doesn't get to make decisions.

I am looking for reviews that go into as much detail about the game as the above. Where can I find such reviews?

I'm tagging this question with mtg because I have no idea what to tag it with.

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  • "a monored deck that goes 1-drop into 2-drop into 3-drop into Embercleave" I am pretty certain that with up to 3 mana and three turns to work with, every single colour has something that can deal with that attack. It's not like you're just sitting there, passively watching it unfold. – Arthur Feb 5 at 7:53
  • You do know that Arena has a "matching pattern"? Playing one archetype, you will not meet Mono-R, while playing another, you almost exclusively run into them. Also, there's enough answers to all threats. Counter the Cleave, burn the creature it is being attached to, etc, pp. Basically the answer to all your complains is: Get to know the game, get to know the cards, build your own stuff and either out-control, out-ramp or out-burn your opponent. There's so many (janky) options, just leave the well-tread path and have fun. – Erik Feb 5 at 8:21
  • @Arthur only if you draw the relevant interaction. The monored deck has lots of redundancy, the same can't be said of interaction. – Allure Feb 5 at 8:21
  • @Erik I'm not complaining. I've already quit (I quit 3 months ago). Also, FYI - boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/52851/… Please don't claim I don't know how to do all the things you mention. – Allure Feb 5 at 8:22
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    For the record, if people don't like the analysis of Magic above, I can replace it with one for Mythgard, Gwent, or Hearthstone - these three because they're the only other CCGs I have experience with. I'm not interested in a debate over what Magic does well or what it doesn't; I consider that to be missing the point of the question. – Allure Feb 5 at 8:35
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I don't think you are likely to find a one-stop-shop for many different card games (can't say for certain, because proving a negative and all). Coming up with those analyses are usually things that take some depth and investment in a game to come up with, thus aren't likely to be common / easy to write for a quick blog post to make a few bucks on the internet.

To get the kinds of analyses you are looking for you are probably going to have to dig a bit and use Google extensively. Think about what kind of resources are more likely to give you in-depth analyses of Magic. There are dedicated blogs and YouTube channels that regularly analyze metagames, new cards, etc. but they all are catering (primarily it seems) to an audience that is already invested in the game. It saves them from having to explain the basics so they can focus on the meat of the topic at hand (ie. present the bits that are interesting to that primary audience, not the things they are likely to know and find boring to hear rehashed for the 753rd time). So those kinds of resources, the kind most likely to be able to present such an analysis, are also the least likely to do so because it isn't going to get eyeballs in front of content (and ads).

The other problem you are likely to run into is that there is going to be a lot of opinion involved. While the denizens of the internet have no problem or lack of desire to share their opinions on a topic, finding a group that will give you healthy debate to produce what you are looking for is likely to be rare. What one person considers a strength another might consider a weakness (as your own description of Magic above points out). But you aren't likely to see a ton of that without seeing both proponents and detractors of a game. And the way the internet tends to create groups of like-minded people (like sub-redits, Facebook groups, etc.) you aren't going to typically find both sets of people in the same place. So you are going to have to seek out both and make your own analysis of a game you presumably haven't played yet.

So all in all I don't think you are going to find much of this for any single card game, much less find a place that would have this for a broad range of games. There just isn't money to be made doing it and the current internet community model doesn't lend itself towards producing this naturally.

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I have faced a similar problem, and my solution has been to talk to as many game playing people as I can. I have run into many people who have played MTG and some other online CCG. Talking to them, I learn what they like/dislike about MTG, and then they can contrast/compare to whatever game they are currently obsessed with.

I just recalled you were recently ranked Mythic in limited on Arena. The level of discourse you desire is likely light years beyond what I find helpful. Leaving answer up for others who may have less skill than you.

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