Epic Card Game is not Magic, but it is similar enough that it can be very confusing for someone who is familiar with Magic.
First of all, let us address the prominent pachyderm: why would you play Epic if you have Magic?
- a complete game
- balanced play
- it’s like a primer in cube
One of the biggest differences between Epic and Magic is that Epic is a card game, but it is not a collectible or trading card game. Magic has a thrilling (and frustrating) element of luck around which cards you pull from a pack, and which cards you can subsequently afford to purchase to make your deck competitive. I try very hard to control my spending on Magic cards, but I still run a constant expenditure on cards for new sets, packs for draft events, and occasional singles as I try to make my deck effective.
Epic has none of that: you buy a complete game, and there are optional expansions and promos to buy but they are not necessary to enjoy the game. The colour decks within the base game are well-balanced, and this base game supports many of the most interesting formats in card games of this type: drafting, constructed decks, multiplayer, even (with the addition of more decks) cube.
By contrast, Magic requires a $10 per person cost for each booster draft – twice that for a sealed draft. If I want to draft with my two boys that’s $30 a pop.
A similar drafting experience with Epic is $15 for the base deck, and that’s it for as many drafts as we want to do.
In later parts, I will talk about terminology differences and the specifics of gameplay.