Mini-Guide: Magic Duels

LQ: 8.9


Brain grade: 9.0
Fun score: 8.7

Magic Duels
Game Type: ESRB Rating: Teen Platform/Console: , , , , LWK Recommended Age: 12+ Thinking Skills Used: , Academic Skills Used: ,

Magic Duels is the electronic version of Wizards of the Coast’s card dueling game Magic: The Gathering. It has a story mode, with still frame “cut scenes.” There is also a battle mode and quests and there are over 1,300 cards to collect, with over 60 campaigns to complete. There are expansion packs and other in-game purchases available in the app. Magic Duels contains violence and blood and received a T for Teen rating from the ESRB. LW4K does caution parents in regard to content, though players as young as 12 can benefit from the focus, time management, reading, and math practice offered by the game.

Magic Duels helps kids practice and improve the following skills:


Magic DuelsGetting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.

Magic Duels neatly blocks off each stage of each round of battle, providing the player a prime opportunity for practicing shifting attention between tasks. Focusing on each task in turn--selecting a card, placing a card, choosing who to attack, waiting for the opponent to block, etc--is important for the player to achieve a successful round. Each match takes several successful rounds in order to win. Messing up by missing a task through lack of focus can result in loosing the match and the rewards that the player would have otherwise won.

Time Management

Being efficient and aware of our use of time and effort.

Each step in a round of Magic Duels has a timer and the player must complete that step before the timer runs out. If the timer runs out, then play moves on to the next step in the round. This means that this game is an excellent opportunity for practicing the cognitive thinking skill of time management. If the player doesn't block the opponent quickly enough, for example, then they will take damage directly to their life points rather than one of their cards on the playing field. The quicker they loose their life points, the quicker they will loose the match.


As with most card battling games, Magic Duels requires some basic math skills in order to be optimally successful. Addition, subtraction, and even multiplication, all come into play when choosing which card can be played, which monster it can attack, and how strong any special attributes are. Being able to execute these basic math problems will allow the player to pick the best card to play and when it is best to play the card.


Magic Duels requires the player to use their reading skills. Like other card battlers, it is important for the player to be able to read the special abilities and attributes of the cards in their deck. If they can't, they will not be able to choose the most effective way to use a card. That, in turn, could cause them to loose the match. The tutorial is also very reading heavy, requiring the player to read the instructions rather than simply being shown or read them. If the player can't handle reading the instructions, they will miss some of the nuances and smaller details of Magic Duels and be unable to play to the best of their capabilities.

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