So, Planechase 2 is out, and I have something to say about it. It has it's good and bad parts, but all in all, I am happy to have more planes for my planar deck and new cards in preconstructed products always make me happy.
I loved the Planechase format as soon as I played it. Old-school Chaos Magic was officially being supported, and more support for any of my babies (see variant formats, not actual children) makes me happy.
I still don't care for the constructed version of the format, where everyone has their own planar deck and what have you, but I love the idea of one planar deck with each plane in it. It feels like a wild ride though the multiverse where each planeswalker is much better off on planes that support his colors/preferred specialty. The Phenomenon cards were a spectacular addition, as cards like this existed in old Chaos Magic stacks from the days of yore. I haven't had much chance to play the cards, but I look forward to using them.
New cards in the decks are a nice touch. It was a big selling point for the Commander product, and was nice and helpful for promoting Planechase 2 as well. The down-side being that the new cards were a little lackluster.
You can look at it one of two ways, but the value of each of these decks, when broken down individually, is less than buying the cards within them online. You only gain value (over buying singles) on the ninja deck, and it is of course the chase deck much like its Betrayers predecessor, the Rat's Nest deck with [card]Jitte[/card] in it.
This has a flip side of course, it's unlikely that Planechase 2 decks will be as hard to find as the infamous Counterpunch deck from the commander decks. [card]Sakashima's Student[/card] is the only real money card, and obtaining these decks (and the planes) should be relatively cheap.
All in all, WOTC could have done more to sell these decks to more competative players to increase the decks' success, but since they didn't the product will be easier to get a hold of. Keep your fingers crossed that the lack of amazing tournament staples doesn't decrease sales too much or say goodbye to Planechase 3.
That's all for this time, but until next time...
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
Now, everyone here knows how much I like variant formats, the only way I like to play MTG more, is by mixing 2 formats that blend into an even wackier more interesting experience. Today I am going to talk a little bit about a mix that did NOT turn out as well as I had predicted. Planechase and Big Box.
So my wife, her little brother (age 14) and I all sat down to a game of Big Box the week before Christmas or so. We played with Celestine Reef, Horizion Boughs and 2 of the 4 box sets worth of planes that I had traded for online, not having the money to spend on the $20 boxes (and four of them at a total of $80). We used the whole stack as all players' planar decks because the Planechase rules seem a little silly and we cant get a hold of enough planes to customize anything...plus we don't customize the Box, so why should we the planar deck?
So here is my findings, Big Box is a random format. With tons and tons of random cards in your 300 card land deck and your 4000 card non-land deck, wacky stuff happens and the game is unpredictable. The strategy is more like a limited game, "figure out how to win", not "win this way" like constructed. Planechase disrupts and/or encourages specific strategies each time you flip up a new plane.
If there isnt a concrete strategy to help or disrupt, all Planechase brings to the table is MORE Randomness, which isnt alot of fun to try to overcome. I love randomness in my games and all, but not when it overwhelms the game to an extent that it feels like I have little control over who wins a match.
That's all I have time for, my li'l one wont get off to sleep and I am half-way through Anamorph (the movie) and my wife wants to finish it, so until next time...
Use YOUR shoes as counters!
Moderator of WOOBERG.net, the Encyclopedia of Magic Variant formats, Shoe has been playing MTG since mid to late 1994, He acquired the nickname ‘Shoe’ through a stupid joke made during a MTG game about the Chimpokomon episode of South Park. He loves MTG and gaming in general and hopes to work designing games one day. He plays mostly with his 6 year old daughter these days, but multi-player, and weird formats are his preference.