Duel Scene Overview

Posted in Magic Online New Players on July 15, 2014

By Ryan Spain

Ryan Spain has been a digital designer in R&D since 2011. He is involved in all things Magic Online, from new card sets to the new client and everything in between. He likely has more lifetime hours played on Magic Online than anyone at Wizards.

The Layout

The battlefield itself is front and center in the duel scene. Note that you can quickly identify whose turn it is by who has the lighter battlefield (and it is also listed on the left side of the phase ladder along with the turn number).

The red stripe across the middle is the “Red Zone,” which is used to represent attacking and blocking. It can be “always open” or only open during combat, depending on your settings (we’ll get to those below).

The prompt box, graveyards, and player information are along the left side, and your hand is across the bottom. Any divider with the five white dots in the middle can be dragged to adjust the size of the adjacent areas, allowing you to shrink your hand, enlarge your graveyard, and expand or contract the prompt box.

You’ll find the phase ladder between your hand and the battlefield. Should you need to adjust your stops, just click on the top of a phase to toggle the stop for your opponent’s turn, or on the bottom of the phase to toggle the stop for your turn. The white triangle means you have a stop set for that phase.

Along the right side, there are several additional zones that can be collapsed until needed, one set for each player. Exiled cards, revealed cards, and effects like delayed triggers and damage-prevention shields are found here. When relevant, this is also where players’ "Command Zones" will be.

The gear icon in the lower-right corner shows you some gameplay commands and customization options for the display of the game. To maximize card size on the battlefield, uncheck “Keep the 'Red Zone' always open” and “Show Phase Ladder.”

Then drag the divider between your hand and battlefield down to adjust the balance between the size of cards in hand and the size of cards on the battlefield to your liking.

Hiding the phase ladder increases the space for cards, but how do you know what phase it is? You can always glance at the prompt box, which lists the current phase whenever it is on you to take an action.

The Settings menu also contains a “Show Preview Pane” checkbox, which will return the Preview Pane to the screen if you have previously closed it. The Preview Pane will display whatever card you are mousing over at whatever size you make the window. This is particularly useful for players who are using a second monitor, or for streamers to be able to display a large version of any card via mouseover.

The “Chat & Log” button underneath the Settings button will bring back the game log and game chat if you have closed them.

To dock the game log and chat to any edge of the Duel Scene, drag the game log to any of the four docking icons that appear as you drag it and release it. Your choice will be remembered for the start of your next game, and the chat and game log will be docked wherever you left them at the end of your last game.

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