Guild Wars Sealed Deck

Last night, ArenaNet launched a pretty hefty update for Guild Wars.  The update prepared for the annual Halloween bash, my favorite annual MMO event, with Costume Brawl, Mad King Thorn and new Halloween-only quests in the Underworld (where it’s rumored players become actual candy servants of the Mad King).  The weightiest heft in the update was by far the removal of Hero Battles and Team Arenas counterbalanced by the addition of the Codex Arena.

The Codex Arena is a 4-player sealed deck arena with 3-simple rules.  First, each profession will only get to use 20 randomly chosen skills each day, 5 of which will be elite.  These random skills will be the same for all players.  Second, players can only use elite skills from their primary profession (a welcome addition, in my opinion).  Finally, the team of four has to have four different primary professions.  No four Warrior/Monk teams allowed.

The Codex Arena I think will be a great addition to Guild Wars PvP.  My one holdback is the “activation energy” to play.  If the skills change every day how much time is going to be spent creating a team versus actually playing?  My hope is that the elite PvP’ers will create some sort of quick and dirty template (likely they already have) where a team makes one melee, one healer, one harasser, and then something else so jobs can be given out to individual teammates.  I still think that new sealed skills every day might be too high of a turnaround, but I am guessing the Guild Wars Live Team is going to keep a close eye on their new baby.  Things like the amount of skills each day and the skill turnover rate should be easy to adjust.  Either way, it looks like it is going to be a great addition to the Guild Wars PvP gametypes.

imperiled in every single battle

11 thoughts on “Guild Wars Sealed Deck”

  1. agree. absolutely.
    i had to explain this to a million of people who could not comprehend what marvellous thing this is. Some people seem to be worried about anything new in the game, even those who are not playing for 3+ years, without any reason.

  2. As a can of MTG’s Sealed and Draft formats, and of GW in general, I heartily applaud this design. Here’s hoping they keep on top of it.

  3. Rolls 10 healer alts. Now which one has the killer skillset today?

    Seriously, hope it works. Sealed deck was my favourite mode for Magic: The Gathering even though I was a national constructed deck tournament winner.

  4. Reminds me of my Magic: the Gathering days….. ah, good times.

    It’s a good way of keeping things fresh.
    Just kind of wish there was more long term reward, tournaments or something. So it’s not just winning for winning sake.

    Still, nice addition. Makes me want to go back and play GW.


  5. Had a bit of a play around with this and it is quite fun putting together the “least gimped” skill bar that you can :)

    Maybe instead of changing the skills-change-every-day thing, they could make only some of the skills change each day. So for example, every day 5 of the 20 skills are removed and replaced with 5 new skills.

    @Stabs: It doesn’t quite work like that. Every healer would have access to the same skills as every other healer. It’s just that the skills that all healers have access to are chosen at random each day. This basically makes it a race to find the best individual/team build and dominate with it, until everybody else catches on, and then you log out for the day and try again tomorrow ;)

    So it’s a bit different from sealed deck in MtG, but still fun.

  6. It is better than Team Arena or Hero Battles. HB were never too popular, but I think that Sealed Deck or “Codex” how they call it will fare much better.


    I think the -arena-style combat- (I would like WORLD PVP, not separated into tiny minigames with same skills, different rules basically!) that is Guild Wars PvP simply does not keep too many people playing. I played Guild Wars for years, and it was for sure neither GvG nor TA, HB or Heroes Ascent. I personally like the Heroes Ascent Tournament idea the most of all these pvp modes. The more casual and mass battle oriented Jade Quarry / Fort Aspenwood and Alliance Battles especially are their most successful pvp formats, after all!

    But I loved the mission type gameplay in Guild Wars PvE. Yep, it is odd but I loved this supposed pvp game for its PvE.

  7. Please add a “don’t” above, small but important difference. Basically, I fear that Codex still is small arena pvp mode that won’t become too popular.

  8. Yeah, I basically agree. Random Arena is still going to be the Arena king. I do think Codex will be more popular than TA, and likely have a larger population sample than HB.

  9. For what it’s worth, the problems from the perspectives of high-level PvP players actually seem to be the opposite of what you’re suggesting. Normal GW sealed deck typically allowed players to select wildcard non-elites; the Codex Arena format does not, so build construction becomes relatively easy. Since there’s no intelligent matchmaking or automated tournaments (yet), actually playing gets a bit boring, and there isn’t even the amusement factor of taking something utterly degenerate into TA and just crushing people very quickly over and over.

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