7/19/2010 Feature: "The Eternities Map"

40 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this week's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Looking forward to giving this a try - seems more "realistic" than the individual-decks premise and more controllable than the single-pile variant.

My love to whomever at Wizards plays Amber, by the way.  :-)
I always preferred to play the single pile variant and with Planechase, chaos multiplayer is my favorite (I enjoy chaos MP more with planes that without them!). I like the variant and will probably try it. It is nice to set strategic planning with the planes arranged, so i guess could be quite fun as it adds known information to the table.
If Limited gets in the way of printing good Constructed cards... Screw limited
This is how Planechase should have been from the beginning!

"Even experienced planeswalkers cannot easily predict how the paths between planes will form and change. Some areas of Dominia remain in the same configuration for ages, and the paths that bind them shift only slightly. Others are in constant turmoil, making walking between worlds perilous. Some times a set of planes will crystallize, like sandstone on the beach; in these cases, travel between the united planes stabilizes, but the entire region may shift in relation to the rest of Dominia." — Richard Garfield, Magic: The Gathering Pocket Players' Guide


"Dominia is a multiverse of constant change and unorthodox challenges. Worlds spin, planes shift, and realities collide more often than you or I blink our eyes. In an infinite multiverse of unguessable possibility and unending change, what is the most precious commodity to those who understand the nature of Dominia?


Stability." — John Tynes

I always thought it was indicitive of a poor design choice that no one played Plane Chase in the way it was originally intended. I've seen several groups that play Planechase regularly, and they all use the single pile in the center.

This new method sounds like a lot of fun, my only concern being table space. I'll definitely give it a try, though. 
Great Designer Search 2 Finalist - If you're interested in getting involved, check out my Wiki Page.
Worth giving it a try, it looks like it can get a bit confusing though. I had to read the article a few times to make sure I understood it.

Seems fun, but yeah, table space is probably the biggest worry. That and trying to teach it to people who are relativley new to the game.
98% of people use statistics in their sigs, or have used them in the past. If you are one of the 2% that haven't or don't, place this into your signature. New Magic Forums, Im'a let you finish, but the old Magic Forums were one of the greatest boards of all time!
I really like this variant. I've been burned a couple times by randomness in planechase, and this seems like an excellent remedy for that.

Come join me at No Goblins Allowed


Because frankly, being here depresses me these days.

Looks fun, though, I have to say one thing:

Wizards. Please. Give. Planechase. ANOTHER. PRINT. RUN!!!
It's a very interesting variant and I'll certainly give it a try.

However, I'm puzzled by the example given on the website. After they move to Tolaria West only two planes are revealed. Why isn't a plane placed on the right of Tolaria at this point ? Can somebody help me with that ?
Belz... The Onmyouza Theatre, An unofficial international fanclub forum dedicated to the Japanese visual kei heavy metal band Onmyo-Za: http://www.onmyozatheatre.com
However, I'm puzzled by the example given on the website. After they move to Tolaria West only two planes are revealed. Why isn't a plane placed on the right of Tolaria at this point ? Can somebody help me with that ?

It's a mistake in the example.

I've looked through the gatherer list a bunch of times what is the plane he was talking about turtling on just before he went to sokenzan.
Great article!  I have been playing a lot of "planechase packwars" recently.  We took the regular packwars rules and added a common planechase pile in the center.  The random aspect of planechase makes it possible for anyone to win, regardless of how crappy their pack may be.  Can you think of a better way to open packs? 

The addition of the eternities map to "plaechase packwars" should be interesting.  I am looking forward to giving it a shot!
I've looked through the gatherer list a bunch of times what is the plane he was talking about turtling on just before he went to sokenzan.



the plane is Luvion.  the name of the card is Celestine Reef.  it's a promo planar card that, unfortunately, doesn't appear to be in Gatherer.
the article says:

"Before taking mulligans, shuffle one of each plane into a deck and deal out five as below. Place a counter on the middle plane, which is where the game will start."

and

"Counters remain on planes until they are removed from the map by moving more than three steps away."

however, i can't find where it ever states what these counters are for.
I want to see this format combined with Frontier Magic. It would be really awesome, but kind of confusing, as you have to traverse two maps at once.

I'm excited to give this variation a try.

Don't be too smart to have fun
the article says:

"Before taking mulligans, shuffle one of each plane into a deck and deal out five as below. Place a counter on the middle plane, which is where the game will start."

and

"Counters remain on planes until they are removed from the map by moving more than three steps away."

however, i can't find where it ever states what these counters are for.



The two references to counters are different.
The first counter is a "you are here" marker, so you know which plane you are on (as in this variant several will be face up)
The second counter referred to is for cards such as Naar Isle which have their own counters, so this means the counters will stay while this plane is faceup (even though you may not be on that particular plane at the time)
The two references to counters are different.
The first counter is a "you are here" marker, so you know which plane you are on (as in this variant several will be face up)

The second counter referred to is for cards such as Naar Isle which have their own counters, so this means the counters will stay while this plane is faceup (even though you may not be on that particular plane at the time)



excellent, thanks for your help!
Planechase cards have an inherit inbalance: mana.
This means, that Planechase cards support the player with the biggest amount of mana. This can be a Thran Turbine, Braid of Fire or a more simple way (like Llanowar Elves).

Whereas mana acceleration is only slightly better than speed in 1:1 games, mana acceleration is one of the cornerstones for multiplayer games. A Noble Hierarch + 2nd turn 4/4 Knight of the Reliquary shouldn't be such a problem in duels, because a Condemn or Path to Exile would be a nice 1:1 trade. In multiplayer games however, any targeted destruction means that you have produced a card disadvantage for yourself.

Let's say, there are 5 players. You destroy a creature a player controls. This means you've lost a card and that player lost a card. But 3 other players can play a creature. Depending on their other creatures, you and the player with the destroyed creature are the better targets for an attack. Ergo, you've doomed yourself.

That's why multiplayer games either tend to be mass-suicidal or combo-based. An infinity combo on turn 3-4 could win you the game... and there are a lot of possible combos. If every player in a 5-person game uses a combo deck in 20% of his games, there is a statistical guarantee that every game tends to have an infinity combo... and this means either preferred targets or a short game.

Even if you forbid infinity combos, there still enough cards like Day of Judgment that can ruin the whole game. Let's assume that one player uses some sort of indestructable creatures and 20+ Wrath of God-like copies. Where is the fun?

So many multiplayer games tend to be unfunny.

The planes.... a bad copy of the chaos magic (with any type of cards) don't change anything.

The chaos cards weren't meant to be 'out of the stall' cards, but were used to generate some pinpointing chaotic events that can turn the table without the loss of cards of a specific player.

Let's take a Standstill. This card doesn't necessarily prevent a stall, but it can be hillarious for a mass destruction deck, if there are creatures in play and that deck HAS to answer.

Another example are cards that remove all lands or remove the graveyard from the game. If you put those cards in your deck, you usually become either the prime target or you lose cards in your deck. However, these cards can stall but balance the game, because a Jokulhaups could redefine the board, but stalls it, if noone draws enough lands for a nice restart.

So the planechase cards do it in the completely useless case.
  • -5/-0 for creatures stalls the game, but doesn't redefine it

  • there is no untap step... doesn't change the scene, but usually ends with a mass die-role until someone leaves the plane.

  • increasing the amount of mana usually ends in more dice rolls


and so on. Most of the cards don't take care of players. Chaos cards weren't designed to support the best player on the board, but the weakest. Spells like Natural Balance can help those who didn't draw enough lands. A Cataclysm or Balance helps to balance the game. Bather in Blood can help the weenie player, a Pyroclasm helps against token masses. A Keldon Twilight changes the game in a more active way, a Destructive Flow helps against players with more money in the deck.

We even tried creatures (mostly in form of tokens, but now even as pure creatures). A player can play that creature either by paying the casting cost or by bidding life. Starke of Rath has proven to be a very helpful and balancing creature, but I wouldn't waste a slot in my deck, because he helps you not you lose, but he doesn't help you to win.

So your idea of jumping into a specific direction increases the effect of planes, but the pay mana for an activation still stays a problem.
I'm confused... what are the rule #4 and rule #5 that the article refers to? Is there a set of rules somewhere I'm missing?
mooch: Looks like the numbered list got lost along the way.  #5 is the rule which allows riding hellbent, and #4 is "planes get shuffled back in when you're more than 3 steps away."

Also, IrishIceHawk is correct that "counter" is used ambiguously ("marker" would be better for keeping track of "you are here"... the figures use a d6), and orcishartillery is correct that there's a plane missing to the right of Tolaria West, in figure 3.

Glad people are enjoying the concept... if you try it out, please report back with any good stories which come up

Gavin
Hi,

I had a hard time figuring out the rules of "The Eternities Map" when reading the article "The Eternities map" (www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine/Article.a...). The text was clearly written - no problem there Smile - but when reading the article, I kept staring at the 5th illustration (the one with the red crosses and the purple/pink arrow on it), and going back and forth between that illustration and the part where it reads "Whenever the game moves to a new plane, first collect and shuffle into the deck any planes more than 3 steps away from the new location. Leave the rest in place and deal out planes into any blanks around the new plane.". After multiple readings, for a brief moment, I even thought I was going insane… Tongue out


It was only after watching the video in the article, that I knew I was right: there is indeed a plane missing in that illustration. Based upon the video, that plane is called "Sanctum of Serra" and it should be placed right to "Academy of Tolaria West" and underneath "Otaria", where there is a blank now.  Only with that extra plane in place, the above rule text text would make perfect sense.


Note for the author (Gavin Duggan): can you please doublecheck this, and correct the illustration accordingly, If I'm right?


Thanks in advance.


PS: I first tried sending this repsonse with "Respond via email", but that feature does not seem to work correctly in your article. Cry After filling in the necessary fields, and clicking "Send email", instead of my message being sent, I get the message "Unknown Author.". Maybe, WotC's website development can check/correct this for you?

Cheers!
This works AWESOME!!! a lot of our group complained that the planechase was too random, now only the starting plane is random, it has a much better effect on our games, and we will deffinately be using this method from now on
Thanks for correcting the 5th illustration in the illustration by adding the "Sanctum of Serra". Wink
Here's a silly idea: shuffle up a pile of Schemes, then place [number] of them facedown under each new plane.  Pop one off whenever someone starts a turn "on" that plane.
Eternities Map rules ported to PDF:
catpages.nwmissouri.edu/m/lindsey/pdf/et...
Eternities Map rules ported to PDF:
catpages.nwmissouri.edu/m/lindsey/pdf/et...



Thanks!

... but

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
What do you mean, ""?
What do you mean, ""?



I don't know. I see things like Planechase and other such variants like erotic toys: If you really need them to make things interesting, then you're playing the wrong "game".

Orzhova Witness

Restarting Quotes Block
58086748 wrote:
58335208 wrote:
Disregard women acquire chase rares.
There are a lot of dudes for whom this is not optional.
97820278 wrote:
144532521 wrote:
How;s a 2 drop 1/2, Flying broken? What am I missing?
You're missing it because *turns Storm Crows sideways* all your base are belong to Chuck Norris and every other overused meme ever.
I've only played Planechase for this first time this week. (having already read the article beforehand) So far, I've only played standard Planechase with the packaged decks and planar decks as they are out of the box, but it was a lot of fun.

The Eternities Map is interesting but table space is an issue. I was inspired to make a space-conscious version of Eternities Map. In the end it came quite simply to me, it would be a communal plane deck, but when a player planeswalks, the top 3 planes are revealed and that player chooses one. (3, based on how planeswalking on The Eternities Map reveals 3 new adjacent planes) Beyond that I haven't decided whether the starting plane is revealed before mulligans, and whether there should be a "hellride" option. (which would be to planeswalk to whatever's on top of the plane deck without knowing what it is)

I haven't tried it just yet but it I'm happy with the idea. In fact the more I think about it the more it honestly seems even better than the other variants of Planechase. Considering that plane decks were meant to be 10 cards each, then mathematically speaking if you put all 40-45 together but let players choose from 4 when they planeswalk, then it has the same effect and it's basically like building your planar deck in the middle of the game! The more I think about the more this combines all the advantages of normal Planar magic with the stark practicality of a shared planar deck. And the idea is so simple compared to The Eternities Map.

update: We've played more Planechase, and decided that the ability to choose out of 3 planes feels too powerful. (The Eon Fog and such) We didn't try doing it where you choose out of 2 planes rather than 3. Instead what we decided on is: flip up only one plane, as normal, but with a "hellride" option.. So now hellride is the only element of choice. Very simple, and doesn't sound like much of a change from a communal deck with normal rules, but we are both happy with it.

I bought the four planechase decks a few weeks ago, and have now got 4 of the 5 promo planes too.  Was looking for a social variation of magic for some of our draft group which is generally tournament oriented.

I'm loving it!   I think the eternities variation is brilliant!!  I have no problems with the power of having 4 directions to choose from (the game is supposed to be swingy), and love hellride.

Is there a forum for customising decks to use with planechase.  Of the four precon decks the artifact deck seems very underpowered - too slow etc.  Has anyone done anything to spice this up?  The Zombies deck seems strongest so far.

Anyway, congrats to all at Wizards involved in desiging this format/decks and I look forward to further planes etc.

Has anyone tried using any other precon decks with planechase? 

I thought about using Worlds decks with Planechase! How cool would that be. (Then I found out they aren't made anymore. But I can always get the older ones.)

I had a bunch of Kamigawa cards lying around, we used them to enhance the Planechase decks. Lucky I had those cards, the decks are much more fun now.

Metallic Dreams - This was fun to enhance, I added all five Kamigawa duals (Lantern-Lit Graveyard and the other 4) to the mana base, and 1 Journeyer's Kite and 1 Sensei's Divining Top! Toward the end I realized it could double as a Honden deck, since I had one of each Honden. (Honden of Infinite Rage, Honden of Seeing Winds, etc) I added Floating-Dream Zubera, Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch, Kami of the Crescent Moon, and Rushing-Tide Zubera to hold the line with. The deck still seems like it might be too slow, so maybe someday we will add more bounce effects. Anyway, to make room for all that, I took out 1 of the Skeleton Shards, the 1WUB Insect, Keep Watch, Serum Tank and other things. Come to think of it, I could just post the full decklists.

Anyway, perhaps Planechase is meant to be swingy, but maybe the factor here is that we're playing 1-on-1 in which case a more balanced variant is in order. Whereas in a game with 3 or more players, swingy works a lot better, because it's much more difficult to win a multiplayer game otherwise, and because swingy doesn't affect the game as much as it does in a 2-player game. (in which one good planar draw can pretty much end the game)

Thanks for the suggestions Rockshard.  I've got the Kamigawa cards, so I'll definitely look at adding the kite and divining top... the hondens i'm not sure about... they're a lot of fun, but I think you'd need multiples and this probably turns the deck too much away from enchantments.

Would definitely be interested in seeing your decklists.  

I think I'll mostly play in 3-4 player variants... has anyone played with more?  If so, with multiples of the precon planechase decks or with others?

off hand, here's our current Metallic list. When making the deck, I took into account the number of artifacts in it compared to the out-of-the-box version. Indeed, this version has fewer artifacts than it originally did. 28 as opposed to 36, I think. I added the Hondens because it's just the thing to take advantage of the deck's five color output. (instead of just sunburst, now it's sunburst plus hondens) There is only one of each honden, true, but that's a good thing. Even if I had more hondens I would probably not put them in.

Show

6 Island
1 Minamo, School at Water's Edge
1 Oboro, Palace in the Clouds
4 Plains, Swamp, Mountain, Forest
6 artifact lands
5 Kamigawa duals
-
1 Sensei's Divining Top
2 Pentad Prism
1 Vedalken Engineer
5 Copper/Gold/Iron/Leaden/Silver Myr
-
1 Floating-Dream Zubera
1 Kami of the Crescent Moon
1 Kaijin of the Vanishing Touch
1 Suntouched Myr
1 Master of Etherium
1 Rushing-Tide Zubera
2 Etched Oracle
2 Myr Enforcer
1 Arsenal Thresher
1 Lodestone Myr
1 Qumulox
1 Broodstar
1 Pentavus
-
1 Whiplash Trap
1 Fabricate
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Journeyer's Kite
1 Skeleton Shard
1 Nuisance Engine
1 Cranial Plating
1 Loxodon Warhammer
-
1 Honden of Infinite Rage
1 Honden of Cleansing Fire
1 Honden of Night's Reach
1 Honden of Life's Web
1 Honden of Seeing Winds


I always thought it was indicitive of a poor design choice that no one played Plane Chase in the way it was originally intended. I've seen several groups that play Planechase regularly, and they all use the single pile in the center.



I was thinking the same thing, but then I thought maybe it was done that way for sales reasons.

Asknig players to build their own planar decks is silly because that requires each planar player purchasing more than one Planechase deck. (unless that's what Wotc wants) Whereas if you simply had all of them, you can invite anyone to play with you and without requiring any added preparation.

Maybe for Wotc it was really about finding out how to get the most profit out of the planes, all while giving it the illusion of collectability/customization by separating it into four decks. For us players it's really about devising the best communal variant, Eternities being one.

I wonder if the idea was considered to sell Plane cards in booster packs. (maybe 4-5 planes for $5) Maybe the product is not strong enough to stand on its own without a deck bundled. (especially without tournament support. Plus how are you going put planes in your binders to trade with.)
The main reason for the "big pile" Planechase variant being the de facto default is because the product disappeared too quickly, and there simply hasn't been enough promo planes to assemble a legal Plane deck.  When the average casual group is about a dozen people (a number I Just made up), and the usual number of people who actually bought Planechase in that group is about two (another number I just made up), the ability to play it "right" is highly compromised.
I have a suspicion the guys at Wizards realized this right after release, which is why Archenemy is more of a standalone product that can be played when only one person has the 'extra' parts.

Had Eternities Map been the original play method, the odd hybrid CCG/Boardgame gimmick would probably have made the product somewhat more popular.
Thanks Rockshard.

Re: Metallic
I've added Journeyer's Kite, but I can't find my sensei's divining tops, so have put a crystal ball in until I find one.

I've also put in some other power:  Thirst for Knowledge, Lodestone Golem, Scuttlemutt, Memnarch, and Master Transmuter; 

to replace:  Serum Tank, Keep Watch, Myr Enforcer, Skeleton Shard, Sarcomite Myr, Darksteel Forge, & Arcbound Slith.

In the Elemental deck, I've put Gift of Gargantuan for Beast Hunt.

That's all for now, but I'm still open to suggestions. 

 
Recently I stumbled upon this article and it inspired me to pick up the planechase decks and play. My room mate and I had a blast as it provides a unique experience. We've paired it with Duel decks for some game variety and so far have not been disappointed.
Really liking that concept, it puts some strategy in a game that is otherwise all about luck.
Anybody know how to adress the Phenomenon that are coming out in june?
Anybody know how to adress the Phenomenon that are coming out in june?

Replace with the top card of the Planes deck, then shuffle it back in.
A neat side effect of doing so, is that the Phenomenons will take up a larger percentage of the Planes deck as the map expands, which increases the chance of phenomenon chains.
I started looking into a varient of the Eternities Map and came up with an interesting idea that better represents the player as a planeswalker. The general idea is the same, but instead of having the single marker, you get a marker to represent each player. This will allow for each player to move around the board seperately. When beginning the game, all Planes will be face-down, and instead of having five, you would start the game by adding an additional ring of Planes around the first five.
Show


X
X  S  X
X  S  X  S  X
X  S  X
X
 


The 'S' is where each player would start. This demonstrates what the starting board would look like. Players may choose where they each start, but as all the Planes are face-down, there is no advantage.


Once all players have picked a Plane, and mulligans are handled, the 13 Planes are flipped face up. If there are any Phenomenon Planes, trade them in for a new Plane until each player is on a non-Phenomenon Plane. If the Plane a player starts on has a "When you planeswalk to..." ability, ignore it this time (This is the Planeswalker's home, so he or she has not Planeswalked to it).

Movement and removal of Planes are handled the same, with the exception of shuffling Planes back into the Planar deck. Instead all used Planes will land in a discard pile until the planar deck runs out of Planes (this is to save time on shuffle often as there will be many Planeswalkings occuring).

If a player happens to be on a Plane that is being removed, that player removes his or her token from the map and becomes Lost in the Blind Eternities skipping his or her next turn. Once that player can play again, at the beginning of his or her upkeep, that player's token is placed on the Plane that is in the center of the current map. The center of the map can be found by looking for the 3x3 shape. Here are some examples of how a board may look, where C represents the center, and S represents the side of the 3x3 patter to look for. If a defined center cannot be found easily, players will need to agree upon an entry point for the player that was Lost.
Show


X
_  _  S
_  _  C  S  X
S  S  S
X

_
_  S  S
_  _  C  S  X
S  S  S
X
 

Should you decide to play with a persistent map (no removing of distant Planes) you could have the entry Plane be your home Plane (the Plane you started the game on).


A fundumental change to what happens when you arrive in a Plane is that all of your creatures gain summoning sickness. This represents the fact that when you Planeswalk, in order to have your permanents follow you, they must be resummoned (causing them to have summoning sickness. This is mostly to represent the same reasoning for why creatures have summoning sickness in the first place, as they are pulled from their Plane to another and are a little worse for wear from the journey). This can be represented with the following statement:
"Whenever you Planeswalk, exile all nonland permanents you own. All permanents you control return to
their owners' control. Return any number cards exiled this way to the battlefield under your control. All
other
cards not returned to the battlefield this way are put into their owner's graveyard."

In the event of Planeswalking to a Phenomenon, the action is performed across the entire multiverse, then after resolution, the Plane is exiled (each Phenomenon will only occur once per game), then a new Plane is placed in your current location as if you used a Hellride. This will count as Planeswalking again.

The biggest change to the original Eternities Map is that you can only target something within the Plane you are currently in, and can only attack other Planeswalkers in your Plane. Likewise, cards can only see other cards within the Plane (so a [C]Clone[/C] can only select another card in play within that Plane). In other words, there can be multiple battlefields, but cards can only see the battlefield you are in; also, an opponent that is not in your Plane does not exist.


Games tend to be a little slow in the beginning, but once a player has built up his or her forces, the hunt begins. If a player has had bad luck and/or desperately needs to move to another Plane, the following statement is available to all players:
"At the beginning of your upkeep, you may Planeswalk to any face-up Plane adjacent to the current
Plane you are in. End the turn. Skip your next turn. (Exile all spells and abilities on the stack. Discard
down to your maximum hand size. Damage wears off, and 'this turn' and 'until end of turn' effects
end.)
"

Also, this statement is added to ensure that there are always adjacent Planes available:
"At the beginning of your upkeep, replace any empty locations directly adjacent to the Plane you
are currently in with a new Plane from the Planar deck. If the Planar deck runs out of Planes,
shuffle the Planes from the discard pile, and continue replacing Planes."


This will have the effect of one player Planeswalking, causing a Plane next to another player to be removed. Then, at that player's next upkeep, a new Plane is placed and remains there until the next player Planeswalks and checks for legal Planes from that player's new location. Planes are only removed from the perspective of the active player, and only when that player Planeswalks. In the event that there are no more Planes available (persistent map), then you have reached the edge of the known multiverse.

Thank you for taking the time to read this rather lengthy post. I hope you enjoy this new variation of the Eternities map, and let me know if there are any holes, or if you have any questions about how I've worded something.

As always, feel free to add or remove any rules as you see fit. Go ahead and post any changes also, I would love to see them.
Sign In to post comments