05/21/2012 Feature: "Inside Planechase"

30 posts / 0 new
Last post
This thread is for discussion of this weeks's Feature Article, which goes live Monday morning on magicthegathering.com.
Does it seem rather odd to anyone else to have only one copy of the "common" card, but multiple copies of other "rarities?"
yeah, that gave me pause for a bit too, although it's only the two uncommons that aren't singletons. So it wasn't that odd.

The thing that struck me is how subtle the difference is in set logos between the original Planechase and what I will now forever call P12, even if I'm the only one who does so.  At card size it will be almost indistinguishable from the original. it begs the question that if you are going to have two logos that look almost identical, why bother having them be different at all?  (My preference would have been something with more contrast, because set logos are there for a reason.)

The deck themes definitely sound fun.  my personal preference would probably be the Cascade deck, or the Devour-friendly deck. I loved me some Devour back in the day.
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
Does it seem rather odd to anyone else to have only one copy of the "common" card, but multiple copies of other "rarities?"

The way I read it, the Rares appear in one deck each. The Uncommons each appear "twice", meaning each appears in two different decks. The Common appears in all decks.

Same way they did rarity for the new cards in Commander.

Anyway, this is exactly the sort of preview article I like to read. Show me all the variations the card went through in design and the reason it changed each time. Brilliantly done!
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
I'm really not happy with Fractured Powerstone.  It's better than Command Tower in that it at least does something (tap for ) in normal Magic, but I still hold that variant-specific effects should stay on the oversized variant cards.
The thing that struck me is how subtle the difference is in set logos between the original Planechase and what I will now forever call P12, even if I'm the only one who does so.  At card size it will be almost indistinguishable from the original. it begs the question that if you are going to have two logos that look almost identical, why bother having them be different at all?  (My preference would have been something with more contrast, because set logos are there for a reason.)



The way I see it is P12 is a different set than the original Planchase, but it's still Planchase. Therefore Wizard's wanted to keep a similar logo to signifigy the continuation of Planchase, but change it just subtly enought to avoid confusion as to what set the cards are from because, it is indeed, a new set.
Does it seem rather odd to anyone else to have only one copy of the "common" card, but multiple copies of other "rarities?"



Say I buy all 4 decks. I now have:

5x the one common
2x each of the 8 uncommons
1x each of the 8 rares
1x each of the 4 mythics

(The uncommons each appear in only 1 deck. Thus, to make them less rare than rares, they appear twice. And there will be more of the common card in existence than the uncommon one, so it might seem a little odd at first but it does fit the rarities)
I love outawesome #2, revisiting keywords for casual is awesome. Less happy about #3 so far though, for 2 reasons:

A mythic rare multicolored legendary creature that serves as the deck's catalyst... and is also perfect for building a new Commander deck around.
Two rare cards that each appear once.
[...]
Does that mean there are brand-new Ninjas? YES.



So what you're saying is that Night of the Ninjas gets Vela and NOT a legendary multicolored ninja???? I hope one of the rares is. 

Okay, so there's a face-up planar card doing a thing. Beyond that, you're just playing 
Magic. Typically, it's a free-for-all multiplayer game. But you can layer planar cards onto any kind of game you want, one popular combination is adding them to games of Commander.


That's what I like about Magic, that it's so modular, so compatible. You can do many different things, different combinations. That's why I HATE Command Tower and the new Fractured Powerstone. Ugly cards. If I build a deck, I want to be able to play different formats with it, not just 1.

I have less problems with this artifact though =) It's not strictly better than anything, so I don't have to feel bad. Command Tower had the problem from a gameplay perspective that there was no reason not to run him in multicolored decks. And the second problem it did nothing outside of Commander. This powerstone fixes both, so that leaves only the big one of wanting every card to work the same across formats. 

 
Actually, that brings up another point.  The CompRules do discuss casual variants, but they explicitly state that a game can use only one variant.  The rules say Commander + Planechase is impossible.  If mixing the two is something they want to endorse, the rules should be changed to actually allow this.
The thing that struck me is how subtle the difference is in set logos between the original Planechase and what I will now forever call P12, even if I'm the only one who does so.  At card size it will be almost indistinguishable from the original. it begs the question that if you are going to have two logos that look almost identical, why bother having them be different at all?  (My preference would have been something with more contrast, because set logos are there for a reason.)



The way I see it is P12 is a different set than the original Planchase, but it's still Planchase. Therefore Wizard's wanted to keep a similar logo to signifigy the continuation of Planchase, but change it just subtly enought to avoid confusion as to what set the cards are from because, it is indeed, a new set.



But that's my point... IMHO, its too subtle. I had to look pretty closely to see that there *was* a difference.  At first, I thought it was the same logo. Although props for calling it P12.
~ Current Decks I'm Playing or Building ~ (Click a deck's name to see list) [] CorpseJunk Menace/Township Counters (Standard) [] Reanimation/Clerics Theme Deck - Commander: Ghost Dad [] Devouring Tokens (Planechase, Multiplayer) [] Krark-Clan Ironworks: 2012 Edition (Modern) [] Azorious Turbo Fog (Modern)
I'm not thrilled at the idea of another set of new cards printed in a product I otherwise might not have any interest in. I have trouble keeping up with the new cards I want for my casual decks as is Foot in Mouth.

Oh well, I suppose this is the new world order.
Actually, that brings up another point.  The CompRules do discuss casual variants, but they explicitly state that a game can use only one variant.  The rules say Commander + Planechase is impossible.  If mixing the two is something they want to endorse, the rules should be changed to actually allow this.



I'm not sure what rule you are talking about.  Section 900. General doesn't say anything about being only allowed to use one variant of casual game.   You might be trying to apply rule 800.2 which says

" 800.2. These rules consist of a series of options that can be added to a multiplayer game and a number of variant styles of multiplayer play. A single game may use multiple options but only one variant."

however, the casual styles aren't variants of multiplayer play.

The "variants" of multiplayer are:
Free-for-All
Grand Melee
Team vs. Team
Emperor
Two-Headed Giant
Alternating Teams 

The casuals default to a specific multiplayer variant but that doesn't mean a different one can't be used.

I have played several duels of EDH Planechase Archenemy and have not found any rules conflict issue.  I haven't tried multiplayer with it, but I don't see any issue since they can all be played as free-for-all.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Hmmm.  It might not be as explicit as I'd though.  However, the word "variant" is defined in the appendix as specifically meaning a multiplayer variant (with reference to 800.2), and both Planechase and Commander are called "variants" (indeed, all of chapter 9 in the rules is about "Casual Variants").

Some of those variants are mutually exclusive.  Vanguard, Archenemy, and Commander all have different rules for the starting life total, the interaction of which is undefined.  Planechase doesn't have such a rule, so there aren't any conflicts from just adding it to another variant (indeed, the interaction between 2HG and Planechase is specifically described).

So I'll retract my statement that that interaction is explictly forbidden.  However, I do think the rules for multiplayer and casual variants are rather fuzzy.
The only question I have: if we're getting new cards, any chance of seeing these on MTGO? We got Commander, eventually, so aside from a handful of pre-Mirage cards, virtually every card in Magic is available there now.
More like Painchase. As in, it causes me pain.
I have no issue with cards such as Fractured Powerstone or Command Tower.   I am just fine with a card having an additional effect in a casual format.  

I do agree that Command Tower should have had some effect within the normal game, but as it only goes in EDH decks there really wouldn't be an issue with suddenly having a blank card in the deck.

 Fractured Powerstone, on the other hand, is basically a Mind Stone without the card drawing effect and has additional use if the deck is used with planechase cards.  I see no issue with that.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
Some of those variants are mutually exclusive.  Vanguard, Archenemy, and Commander all have different rules for the starting life total, the interaction of which is undefined.  Planechase doesn't have such a rule, so there aren't any conflicts from just adding it to another variant (indeed, the interaction between 2HG and Planechase is specifically described)..



First off, Rule 900.1 says:
900.1. This section contains additional optional rules that can be used for certain casual game variants. It is by no means comprehensive.  So, shifts can be made to include other casual varients.

Second, If you are doing a "Supervillain Rumble Option (see 904.12)" each player is the archenemy and archenemies start with 40 life, same as EDH.  Supervillain Rumble is much more fun anyway and is the format I use.

Third, while Vanguard on it's own defaults to 20 life, the cards themselves say Starting Life +# or -# so it can easily fit in other variants of differing life totals.
IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
So what you're saying is that Night of the Ninjas gets Vela and NOT a legendary multicolored ninja???? I hope one of the rares is. 


The reason the legendary isn't a ninja is that it would be useless as a Commander, because you can only Ninjutsu things out of your hand. That wasn't a design oversight, it was an intentional way to avoid having a card that looks cool but is useless as a Commander.

Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
So what you're saying is that Night of the Ninjas gets Vela and NOT a legendary multicolored ninja???? I hope one of the rares is. 


The reason the legendary isn't a ninja is that it would be useless as a Commander, because you can only Ninjutsu things out of your hand. That wasn't a design oversight, it was an intentional way to avoid having a card that looks cool but is useless as a Commander.




From a mechanical perspective, yeah this is better. From a flavor perspective, I want a Commander with Ninja on the type line for my Ninja-themed commander deck. I much rather had this be a Ninja without Ninjutsu. 

I have no issue with cards such as Fractured Powerstone or Command Tower.   I am just fine with a card having an additional effect in a casual format.  

I do agree that Command Tower should have had some effect within the normal game, but as it only goes in EDH decks there really wouldn't be an issue with suddenly having a blank card in the deck.

 Fractured Powerstone, on the other hand, is basically a Mind Stone without the card drawing effect and has additional use if the deck is used with planechase cards.  I see no issue with that.



Well it's a Mind Stone without the card drawing effect if I play a normal game of magic with my Planechase deck. Thus I much rather would be playing Mind Stone, and will be unhappy with this card in such a case.

The same with playing a non-commander game with a commander deck with Command Tower in it.  
So maybe I missed this somewhere, since I don't care much about Planechase, but what happens if I build a plane deck of 10 Phenomena and 0 planes?  This isn't possible yet, I guess, since there are only 8 phenomena being printed, but one would assume that wouldn't be the limiting factor forever.   Would you get stuck in an infinite loop?  Would the planar deck creation rules forbid it by limiting the number of phenomena in a deck?

As is, I could play one of each phenomenon and just the two planes that I want to play in combo with Spatial Merging, and I'd be guaranteed to always be on one plane or the other, or both, no?

Oh, and one more thing: Phenomena!  Doo-doo-de-doo-doo! 
I have no issue with cards such as Fractured Powerstone or Command Tower.   I am just fine with a card having an additional effect in a casual format.  

I do agree that Command Tower should have had some effect within the normal game, but as it only goes in EDH decks there really wouldn't be an issue with suddenly having a blank card in the deck.

 Fractured Powerstone, on the other hand, is basically a Mind Stone without the card drawing effect and has additional use if the deck is used with planechase cards.  I see no issue with that.



I view it as the difference between the normal Lego blocks (e.g. 2x4 yellow, 1x1 white) and the more specialized ones (e.g. Gringott's sign).  It's true that the Gringott's sign doesn't harm any Lego creations, since those that aren't Gringott's will just not include the Gringott's sign, but at the same time, those ultra-specialized pieces diminish the modularity of Lego, which is what makes it so great.  If it were taken to the extreme, with each piece special-made for one particular set, those sets could look incredibly detailed and accurate, but they'd be that much less useful for new creations.

As it stands, Magic cards are intercompatible, and the same cards can be used in every variant (though some will not have the same power level everywhere).  Command Tower, however, isn't a Magic card: it's a Commander Magic card.  It's not just that its ability isn't as powerful outside the Commander variant; it's that it's completely meaningless (and of literally no value) there.  Ditto for Fractured Powerstone's second ability and the Planechase variant.  They're the Gringott's sign of Magic.

I don't think one or two (or four, if you count the multiplayer-specific abilities on [c]such cards are the end of the world, but I don't want them to start a trend.
So maybe I missed this somewhere, since I don't care much about Planechase, but what happens if I build a plane deck of 10 Phenomena and 0 planes?  This isn't possible yet, I guess, since there are only 8 phenomena being printed, but one would assume that wouldn't be the limiting factor forever.   Would you get stuck in an infinite loop?  Would the planar deck creation rules forbid it by limiting the number of phenomena in a deck?

As is, I could play one of each phenomenon and just the two planes that I want to play in combo with Spatial Merging, and I'd be guaranteed to always be on one plane or the other, or both, no?

Oh, and one more thing: Phenomena!  Doo-doo-de-doo-doo! 



"901.3. In addition to the normal game materials, each player needs a planar deck of at least ten plane cards and the game needs one planar die. Each card in a planar deck must have a different English name."


IMAGE(http://pwp.wizards.com/1205820039/Scorecards/Landscape.png)
"901.3. In addition to the normal game materials, each player needs a planar deck of at least ten plane cards and the game needs one planar die. Each card in a planar deck must have a different English name."



That quote is from the current rules, and we know it'll be different when the rules are updated for Planechase 2012.  We just don't know exactly how yet.

The old planar decks didn't have phenomena, so for backwards compatibility, 10:0 will almost certainly still be legal, and the new planar decks have two phenomena, so 8:2 will also be legal.  If those are both legal, 9:1 will probably also be legal.  And the infinite loop means that 0:10 will almost certainly not be legal.  Aside from that, though, it's guesswork.  It could well be that there need to be at least 10 distinct cards, of which at least 8 are planes, but I don't think we should jump to conclusions either way yet.
I feel obliged to point out that since this is in not a format you're going to be seeing at tournaments anywhere, the answer to "What can your Plane deck look like?" is "Whatever you want." If 2:8 Planes:Phenomenon is decided to be against the rules, but your playgroup decides that it's the most fun way to play, there's nothing stopping you from doing that.
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Call me crazy here, but "at least ten plane cards" could very well remain "at least ten plane cards".
Call me crazy here, but "at least ten plane cards" could very well remain "at least ten plane cards".

Not if the products are shipping with 8 plane cards and 2 phenomena each. They're not going to ship a product that is marketed as "all you need to play this format" and make it illegal in that format...
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c6f9e416e5e0e1f0a1e5c42b0c7b3e88.jpg?v=90000)
Call me crazy here, but "at least ten plane cards" could very well remain "at least ten plane cards".

Not if the products are shipping with 8 plane cards and 2 phenomena each. They're not going to ship a product that is marketed as "all you need to play this format" and make it illegal in that format...

There's a difference between playing straight out of the box, and 'rolling your own'. 
More than likely, a variant on the War of Attrition Exception will be invoked again.

Call me crazy here, but "at least ten plane cards" could very well remain "at least ten plane cards".

Not if the products are shipping with 8 plane cards and 2 phenomena each. They're not going to ship a product that is marketed as "all you need to play this format" and make it illegal in that format...

There's a difference between playing straight out of the box, and 'rolling your own'. 
More than likely, a variant on the War of Attrition Exception will be invoked again.



It's still unlikely they'll do that. Planechase is a casual format like Commander. There's a reason the Commander banned list is so short: It's expected that each playgroup will play at a level they're all comfortable with. Since there are no official Planechase tournaments, the concern of having a product that's 'officially legal' even once you've mixed and matched with other out-of-the-box products trumps the concern of possibly unfun situations.

After all, if one player in a playgroup builds a Plane deck that the rest of the players consider unfun, the rest of the players aren't going to keep playing Planechase with him unless he changes it. Self-regulation works when the only goal is 'fun'. 
Immature College Student (Also a Rules Advisor)
Anyone hoped we'd get our tribal Werewolf commander? guess not...
Only one other person had the same question off the bat as me?  When are we getting this on MTGO?  I have limited funds, and Im going with the option thats best for me, and thats online.  I cant split my collection.  (I wish I could though.)  Anyway, We want this on Magic Online. 
Sign In to post comments