I was so excited when I saw that Pox Nora had switched to a new owner! And then I found out that it was available on Steam! (I don't know if this is a new thing, or if PN has been on here a long time, but for me it was new.) I decided to give it a try, despite bad experiences previously, and I was overjoyed to see that the client had gotten major updates; it looks fantastic and is very easy to navigate. and Desert Owl includes various daily challenges to help people new to the game to catch up. There is also a set of activities that all new players must travel before they can jump into an actual multiplayer competition, each of which also adds to the player's bank and allows them to score new "runes" (cards.) There is a microtransaction mechanic in which a player can buy rune packs (thus the bank of game coins that I mentioned,) but players can also join a "training" match, in which players have balanced starter decks and only player skill counts.
The gameplay was just as fun as I remembered, too. Essentially, each player generates "nora" (mana) automatically each turn, and they can then play runes from their hand onto the board. Some runes are characters, others are equipment that is played directly onto said characters, and some are spells that have instant effects on the boardstate. The board also has nodes, locations that can be captured by characters that move into their sphere of influence. Nodes give extra nora each turn and act as secondary (or sometimes primary) summoning locations for the characters. Ultimately, each player is trying to destroy their opponent's primary summoning point, a shrine, and receive a revamped animation as the building is destroyed by magical explosions or stone spires that stab upward through the ground, or...
As the Curators' recommendation explains, this game "took a trip down the p2w slope under SOE." I was there, and I saw this happen. I played, and I payed. I have a collection of runes from that time, but when I began playing, I quickly found that, 1.) nobody plays the skill-only training matches, and 2.) everybody's decks are still broken at the bottom of the p2w slope. I thought I might just have been a poor strategist until I hung out in the chat forum and read people's posts; nope, I still believe that I am a poor strategist, but this does not account for the entirety of the current metagame. Pox Nora involves runes of various rarities, from common to rare. Wait, no, then there is Exotic. Oh, also legendary. You get the idea. Further, according to the players talking in the forum, two of whom were in the top 5 players in the current iteration of the game, a player must have no fewer than 5 exotics to be competitive.
The curators claim that the game was "reclaimed by the old devs and revamped." I believe this is true, but the p2w slope is slippery, and the game has not recovered. It is still crouched at the bottom of the p2w slope, and if you want to be competitive, you will have to descend to its level to do so.