MTG – Is it worth it to buy Archenemy: Nicol Bolas for Magic: The Gathering?

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“Vintage Education” Kevin MacLeod (
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Many Magic The Gathering Players ask the question…is it worth it to buy Archenemy: Nicol Bolas

Much like the original Archenemy release, Archenemy: Nicol Bolas is a many versus one format, where multiple players team up against a single opponent. This opponent is given the advantage of Scheme cards to grant them powered up benefits throughout the game, and thus the team must work together to defeat the archenemy!

But has Arch Enemy: Nicol Bolas finally cracked the problem of overpowered arch enemies whose schemes are near impossible to overcome, or is another in the line of “good in theory” but disappointing in practice alternative formats for a game not made to handle such extreme variations? Let’s take a look!

Please note:

This video is a review of the product: Arch Enemy: Nicol Bolas and assumes that you as viewer is familiar with the format. If you would like to learn how to play Archenemy, please see my instructional video here, which is linked in the description.

Archenemy: Nicol Bolas is essentially a Magic: The Gathering board game. It is self-contained, able to be played right out of the box with 3-4 friends, and is not just a reskin of a different game, but rather is real Magic the Gathering gameplay with real Magic: The Gathering decks.

While there may be some balance issues in regards to the Archenemy vs. The Gatewatch decks, they are minor, and the biggest problem with gameplay is the likely lack of replayability, with games getting stale fast and no easy way to play this with other decks.

Despite there being reasonable financial value of individual cards, the cards themselves have little to no relevance for players and collectors. There are no chase rares or mythics or other needed reprints here, no original cards other than the schemes, and only the planeswalker cards themselves have new art…and they are not even foil.

Nonetheless this is a very good product and possibly a great deal of interest to casual players, players who love flavor, or just players who like to break up more intense gameplay for a fun magic evening with friends.