Sunday, September 6, 2009

Planeswalking with Planechase

I had fun playing Planechase. It's not much on the preconstructed decks that Wizards created but more on the Plane cards. The Plane cards are fun to play. It adds a new dimension to the game as well as in playing multiplayer games. There are additional things to do in every turn and anticipation is at a maximum in every planar die roll. It's like having an extra sorcery card in hand though sometimes it's a blank sorcery (blank die roll).

As of this post, there are 42 Plane cards. There are 10 cards in each Planar deck set for an initial total of 40. 2 different Plane cards have been give away so far (and there are rumors of 3 more Plane cards to be given away in future Prerelease events).

This post is a (delayed) evaluation of the original 40 cards. I have created my own categories to outline the best of the 40 Plane cards without any regard of what deck is being used:

This not a ranking. I don't have time to do an evaluation and a ranking:

I. Top planes that you want to planeswalk away from (Mostly because of nagging abilities):

Sea of Sand
Players reveal each card they draw.
Whenever a player draws a land card, that player gains 3 life.
Whenever a player draws a nonland card, that player loses 3 life.
C: Put target permanent on top of it's owner's library.

This plane hurts a lot considering that roughly around 2/3 of a normal deck consists of nonland cards. Since it has to be done every turn (and subsequent card draws), it's a 2/3 percent chance (and more) that a player would lose 3 life. There's no problem if the deck is a life gain deck. Considering also that there is no such life gain among the 4 preconstructed decks, it is imperative to planeswalk away from Sea of Sand simply because of its abilities.

Pools of Becoming
At the beginning of your end step, put the cards in your hand on the bottom of your library in any order, then draw that many cards.
C: Reveal the top three cards of your planar deck. Each of the revealed cards' C abilities trigger. Then you put the revealed cards on the bottom of your planar deck in any order.

Though I love the Chaos ability, there are times that I'd want to get away from this plane because I usually love to keep the current hand that I would have. Rolling a Chaos is just an added bonus in planeswalking away. It's a cool Chaos ability and I include it in the bottom category.

Lethe Lake
At the beginning of your upkeep, put the top ten cards of your library into your graveyard.
C: Target player puts the top ten cards of his or her library into his or her graveyard.

I've played Mill decks before and it's fun to win by decking out your opponent. It's no fun if it's the other way around. Lethe Lake turns each player into a Mill player and it's no fun to lose that way. 10 cards is roughly 17% of the total number of cards in the deck. If a player rolls a Chaos, that's an additional 10 cards placed into the graveyard.

The Zombie deck is the only happy preconstructed deck here with its Unearth cards that can hit from the graveyard.

Players play with the top card of their libraries revealed.
Spells that share a card type with the top card of a library can't be cast.
C: Target player loses life equal to the number of cards in his or her hand.

A control plane on a multiplayer game? That's got to be boring and frustrating. With 4 players playing, there's a huge chance that a player won't be able to cast a creature (the most important card to cast), a sorcery or an instant. Pretty huge odds of that happening considering decks are made up of those. All the more that a player would want to roll the planar die.

Naar Isle
At the beginning of your upkeep, put a flame counter on Naar Isle, then Naar Isle deals damage to you equal to the number of flame counters on it.
C: Naar Isle deals 3 damage to target player.

This is a fun plane to be in but also painful. If nobody planeswalks away from this plane, it'll be a good game by the time it makes one cycle. The first few damage doesn't hurt much but by the time the players realize that getting 5 damage during the upkeep is no big deal, it's already too late.

Sanctum of Serra
When you planeswalk away from Sanctum of Serra, destroy all nonland permanents.
C: You may have your life total become 20.

Sanctum of Serra is in the list simply because planeswalking away has one of the better abilities of all the planes in Planechase. It's like having your very own Wrath of God and Nev's Disk and whatever permanent-destroying spell there is in MTG.

The Eon Fog
Players skip their untap steps.
C: Untap all permanents you control.

I've always hated Stasis and this plane just spells Stasis all over. That's enough said.

The Maelstrom
When you planeswalk to The Maelstrom or at the beginning of your upkeep, you may reveal the top card of your library. If it's a permanent card, you may put it onto the battlefield. Otherwise, put that card on the bottom of your library.
C: Return target permanent card from your graveyard to the battlefield.

This is a fun plane to be. One game I played in had an opponent revealing Rorix Bladewing and it was during his first turn. Simply said, the player rolled the planar die and luckily planeswalked away. Good game.

I'll create a new post for a different category of evaluation. That way, this can already posted after such a delay.

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