Yesterday Wizards of the Coast announced, that they enter the mobile market with their first software already available at the App Store on iPhone : Magic: The Gathering Toolbox. For the first look, it seems they tried to include the functionality of many thing, including the Gatherer, a deck builder and the Magic homepage into a single mobile application.
The application is basically free, however If you would like to use the Deck Builder it’s cost an additional $0,99. Later, updating your Deck Builder with additional sets cost $0,99 regardless how many sets you purchase, or it’s free if there is a new Core Set.
To install the application you need 63 Mb of free space, which seems quite large. Depending on the announcement it has a lots of functionality, but based on initial reviews it’s really slow, and suffer some problems, which may be repaired with a future update.
But what is in the Toolbox ?
One of the basic functions is the Game Tools, including a Life Tracker with additional tracks to follow deck-size, poison counters, or even a timer. You may also create a log about the changes during the game, and it’s also include several randomizers to use. (coin, six-sided and twenty-sided die) I guess nothing suprising here, so we may move along.
It’s also include a filterable Card Database, which is quite nice. I would call it Gatherer-lite, but it’s functional and it’s definitely has it’s uses during a game. However based on the article I’m not sure if the application includes card rulings, because if not it’s greatly reduce it’s usefullness.
As I mentioned the Magic: The Gathering Toolbox App also include a Deck Builder, which knows the different game-modes (like Commander), and include basic features as well as tools to share your finished decks. You may also analyze your deck, auto-fill it with basic lands, and draw a sample hand which are all fine and useful functions to have around.
Additionally the application includes the Event Calendar, an Article Reader and a Store Locator, but I’m quite sure that you won’t download this application for these functions. These will be rarely used, but I see the reasons including them there.
Honestly, I’m not sure if Magic players need this iPhone App, as several 3rd party applications are already available. The rumored extreme slowness of the program is another problem. Also there are functions which are lacking, like to record your own Magic: The Gathering collection, and use that to create your decks.
Regardless, the application is still useful, and I particularly like it’s graphic appearance.
If you would like to download the Magic: The Gathering Toolbox application, it is available in the App Store here.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros