It borrows a lot of concepts from Magic but they've made it unique, too. There are four "dooms" and each "doom" is a different type of mana:
- Corruption (Gray)
- Deceit (Blue)
- Destruction (Red)
- Greed (Green)
Each player starts with 5 "souls" and the first to get to 20 souls wins. The three main card types are Minions, Fates, and Relics which are similar in game-play to Creatures, Sorceries, and Enchantments in Magic. There are also "Combat Fates" and "Combat Minions" which can be played as normal Fates or Minions but can also be played like "Instants" during combat.
One interesting game mechanic is that each card can either be played as the card as written or as a mana card. To play a card as a mana card you just put it in play backwards and it is a "land" that produces a mana of the "doom" it represents.
I've only played with a starter and a few boosters but, as far as I can tell, there isn't much of a counter-strategy mechanic like there is in Magic but there are lots of ways to make your opponent's life difficult. The mechanic is simpler than Magic but there is still a wide breadth of play options.
Check it out at www.hecatombtcg.com