The core game follows the standard rules of the collectible card game Magic: The Gathering; each player has a deck of cards consisting of lands and spells. Lands are used to generate "mana," the resource needed to cast spells.
Mana comes in five colors, and cards may require colored or colorless (mana of any color) to be cast. Spells come in many varieties, from sorceries which have a one-time effect, to summoned creatures which can attack and defend from opponents.
Players alternate turns playing land cards, casting spells, and attacking opponents until all but one player's life total is reduced to 0.
-All-new and redesigned: Bigger and better in every way, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 takes last year's massive hit game and adds new graphics and music, new cards and decks, new challenges, and new multiplayer game modes!
-Gather your allies to face new Archenemies: In the new Archenemy format, you and two allies (players or AI) must work together to take down a powerful Archenemy and survive the extra powers from the Archenemy's special scheme deck
-New decks using some of the newest cards: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 features ten new decks using cards from the latest Magic:The Gathering expansions, including your first chance to play with cards from the Magic 2012 Core Set. Each deck also offers 16 additional cards that can be unlocked as well.
-Modify your deck for your own play style: We listened to what the community asked for, and in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 players can now modify their decks to play the way they want. Players can add or remove cards from both starting cards and earned unlocked cards for each deck. Want more spells or creatures in your deck? The choice is yours!
-Fifteen puzzling challenge levels: Puzzles are back and better than ever with difficulties ranging from easy to (really) hard including new Archenemy challenges.
-Three- and Four-Player Enhanced Co-op Play: Co-op play is enhanced in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012. For the first time, players can invite their friends anywhere in the world to partner up with them to take on the Archenemy or play against live opponents in Two-Headed Giant competition.