Exploring Time and Magic: A Comprehensive Review of the MTG Doctor Who Crossover Set

  • Christopher Evans
Exploring Time and Magic: A Comprehensive Review of the MTG Doctor Who Crossover Set

When two iconic universes collide, the outcome is often unpredictable, yet eagerly anticipated. This is certainly the case with the Magic: The Gathering (MTG) Doctor Who crossover, a venture that seems almost inevitable when considering the long-standing popularity and cultural impact of both franchises. The fusion of MTG's intricate gameplay with the expansive lore of Doctor Who invites players into a realm where strategic card play meets time-travel adventures. But does this ambitious crossover offer enough to satisfy fans from both camps, or does it fall short of its promising premise? This review delves deep into the heart of the MTG Doctor Who set to unveil whether it truly stands as a loving and creative tribute to the beloved TV series.

Unveiling the Magic: A Crossover Explored

From the get-go, the MTG Doctor Who experience promises a blend of familiarity and innovation. The set, designed as part of the Universes Beyond range, aims to step outside MTG's traditional lore to incorporate characters, themes, and narratives from the Doctor Who universe. Given the rich, monster-heavy lore of both properties, this crossover seeks to substitute MTG's typical dragons and Planeswalkers with the iconic aliens and Time Lords that have captivated audiences for decades.

A Closer Look at the Decks

MTG Doctor Who cards

Among the offerings are four distinct commander preconstructed decks, each themed around different eras and elements of the Doctor Who mythology. "Blast From the Past" caters to fans of the first eight Doctors, celebrating classic episodes and characters in a white-blue-green deck. "Timey-Wimey" encapsulates the adventures of the ninth to eleventh Doctors in a dynamic blue-red-white deck. For more recent fans, "Paradox Power" mirrors the latest escapades in a green-blue-red compilation, and "Masters of Evil" introduces a malevolent red-blue-black deck showcasing the Doctor's most formidable foes.

Special Features and Inclusions

The attention to detail extends beyond the thematic design to ensure high-quality production values synonymous with Wizards of the Coast. Buyers will find each deck accompanied by a themed cardboard deck box, a life counter, double-sided token cards, and the addition of a Collector Booster pack. A unique inclusion of 10 Plane Cards allows players to engage with the Planechase format, offering a thematic nod to the Doctor's time-traveling escapades, despite the practical challenges these oversized cards may present.

Gameplay Dynamics and Mechanics

MTG Doctor Who card

Diving into gameplay, the crossover does not shy away from complexity. Those new to Magic: The Gathering may find the learning curve steep, as the decks are loaded with a variety of established and innovative mechanics tailored to reflect the thematic essence of Doctor Who. For instance, "Timey-Wimey" capitalizes on time counter manipulations, while "Masters of Evil" introduces the intriguing "Villainous Choice" keyword, adding a layer of strategy and interaction that encapsulates the spirit of the series.

Artistic Nuances and Flavor Text

The set genuinely shines in its artistic endeavors and flavor text, densely packed with Easter eggs and references that will delight die-hard Whovians and casual fans alike. The use of Saga enchantments offers a narrative recount of iconic episodes, with the non-sequential "Blink" Saga standing out as a highlight for creatively capturing one of the series' most memorable stories.

Final Verdict: To Buy or Not to Buy?

MTG Doctor Who boxes

The MTG Doctor Who set represents a heartfelt tribute to the series, marrying the strategic gameplay of MTG with the adventurous spirit of Doctor Who. While the crossover heavily caters to fans, offering a treasure trove of references and thematic mechanics, its complexity and niche appeal may not suit everyone. For those deeply ingrained in the lore of either franchise or seeking a fresh gameplay experience, this set emerges as a compelling addition. However, those not as familiar with Doctor Who or prefer the traditional fantasy settings of MTG may wish to explore other options.

Testing the Waters

In pursuit of a thorough review, weeks were spent playtesting the decks against each other to gauge their balance, interaction, and overall enjoyment. The "Masters of Evil" deck, in particular, offered a robust insight into the set's potential for both casual play and more competitive environments. This hands-on approach underpins the review's conclusions and aims to provide potential buyers with a comprehensive understanding of what the MTG Doctor Who crossover has to offer. For aficionados of either franchise or those intrigued by the crossover concept, the MTG Doctor Who set stands as a testament to the creative potential of such collaborative efforts, albeit with the caveat that not every element may resonate with every player.