DRACO MAGI is a card game designed by Richard Launius and Robert Burke. To start, each player selects an apprentice dragon mage he wishes to play. Each mage receives a deck of dragon cards that includes multiple copies of four different chromatic dragons (Green, Red, Black & Purple), four different metallic dragons (Gold, Silver, Brass, & Bronze), and two special dragon cards (the Battle dragon and the Polar dragon). Each dragon has a different strength, weakness and special ability. Players will send their dragons, one at a time, to capture gems on different battlefields; each battlefield offers a different effect that may give an advantage or disadvantage to certain types of dragons.
Players alternate playing dragon cards on battlefields until they have played all eight of their Dragon cards. Each player can play a maximum of three dragons on a single battlefield. When a dragon is placed, it may make a ranged attack. Not all dragons have a ranged attack breath weapon, but those that do have a breath weapon icon with a number. The number indicates the number of battle cards the player may reveal when attempting to hit with a ranged attack. A defender may defend with the number of cards equal to the dragon’s shield value. A ranged attack can take place immediately only when the card is played against an opposing dragon. If a ranged attack is not used at this moment, the ranged attack is forfeited for the current round.
After all dragon cards have been played, the melee phase of the battle begins. Each dragon has a “melee attack” value printed on its card which represents the number of battle cards the player can draw for the battle. The melee battle mechanism is a unique attack and counter system that provides opportunity for deduction, subtlety, and deadly combos. Players will also earn advance battle cards that build up their decks over the course of the game. The player with the most dragons present on a battlefield wins that gem. In the case of a tie, the dragons and gem remain for the next round.
DRACO MAGI is a fast game heavily connected to its theme that incorporates area control, bluffing, hand management, deck building and deduction.