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As others have pointed out, Elements is in the same genre as MtG (note, that is a genre which was created/became popular by/through MtG), but not a rip off. I’m not talking about the artwork here, but mostly about the game mechanics. There are definitely enough differences for Elements to be called an original game.
[Here](http://penny-arcade.com/2012/02/22/the-flashpoint) is a nice article by David Sirlin on what are rip-offs and what not, and on why we should be careful not to mix those. The main point is: If people call games, which are similar, but add original ideas leading to a different gameplay, that stiffles innovation and prevents better games from developing or becoming popular.
For some reason I always was thinking that Zanzarino created Elements as a homage to Magic? Is that just my imagination, or has someone heard somthing similar? That might explain the similarities.
> For some reason I always was thinking that Zanzarino created Elements as a homage to Magic? Is that just my imagination, or has someone heard somthing similar? That might explain the similarities.
Nope, Here’s what Zanzarino said in a interview,
vrt: How did you first come up with the idea of Elements?
zanz: I was working on a final project for a class I was taking at college (Interactive media design) and I decided to create a small CCG based on an idea I had in my mind for a while.
I thought about the 12 elements while browsing [http://na.aiononline.com/](http://na.aiononline.com/). Aion is a MMO with great graphic design and amazing music, yet, it was still using the same old warrior/ranger/mage/priest format. I was disappointed and tired of MMO’s having the usual 4 classes and I really wished I could create something refreshingly new so I drew this on a piece of paper.