Friday, May 18, 2012

Planechase 2: Electric Boogaloo

It has begun.

What feels like mere moments after the hype and anticipation of Avacyn Restored finally subsided with that set's release, we move right along into the next spoiler season. This time, it's for Planechase 2, this year's Summer Multiplayer/Casual product.

Here's a bit of basic info, first, in case a few of you haven't been paying close attention.

  • As usual there are four decks. Each deck has 8 new Planes and 2 new Phenomena.
  • Phenomena are cards similar to Planes, that go into the Planar deck, but when you planeswalk to one of them, it has an immediate and drastic effect that tips the game state on it's head.
  • Like last summer's Commander product, Planechase 2 has brand-new cards.
  • There are 21 new cards in all, including a number of multicolor Legendary Creatures.
  • The names of the 4 decks are: Chaos Reigns, Night of the Ninja, Primordial Hunger, and Savage Auras
Okay, now you're up to speed on what is going on with Planechase 2: Electric Boogaloo. With that out of the way, we can move on to the real show: Spoilers!

We'll start with the original spoilers that WotC gave us back when they announced the product.

This is an example of one of the new Phenomenon cards for the Planar Deck. I'm guessing when  you 'walk to one of these Phenomena, you enact whatever effect is printed on the card, then put the Phenomenon on bottom of the Planar Deck and 'walk to the next Plane right away.

Time Distortion is a pretty good example of how to NOT enable rewarding, sociable play. Why? Because it's probably going to ruin one player's day whenever it hits. The person to the left of whoever walks to Time Distortion, assuming it's a standard 4-player free-for-all game, will have already sat through three opponent's turns, and is expecting their turn to go next. Suddenly, Time Distortion! Now that player has to sit through two more turns as the turn order goes back the way it came before finally returning to that player.

Worst case, this could outright cause that player to lose the game without being able to do shit about it. Best case, it just causes that player to have to sit and twiddle his thumbs for 20 to 30 minutes longer, if Time Distortion crops up later in the game, when the board is complicated and every play desicion matters gravely. I just simply don't ever see any scenario where someone flips this card off the top of the Planar deck and the whole table errupts in riotous laughter, something these products are usually meant to evoke.

Another disappointing aspect of this card is that it literally does NOTHING for the person who actually 'walks to the Phenomenon. That person takes their turn as normal, then gets their next turn 3 turns later as they always would have. It doesn't hurt that player either, but it's lame that the person who actually triggers this effect winds up being utterly unaffected by it either way.

So, to sum up, 'walking to Time Distortion has zero impact for the player that 'walks to it.
It will likely have a devestating and ruinous effect on the game for the person to that player's left, while the two players to that player's right will get all of the benefit from 'walking here.

That fucking sucks. I will NOT be including this Phenomenon in any planar decks I build. Terribly unfun design. Let's hope they can do better than this with the other Phenomena.

Well, now, THIS is more like it. This is a Legendary Creature I can really get behind. "Cascade, cascade" is downright absurdly broken, and the mass-Haste is just a really nice bonus for added value. It ensures that all your hard work stacking the top of your deck with Avenger of Zendikar and Primeval Titan won't go unrewarded, as you'll get to attack with your army-in-a-can immediately, rather than giving someone time to Wrath it all away!

Okay, so the Prime Time/Avenger thing is already played out utterly, and most people are already groaning and eye-rolling at the tought of this guy ending games on the spot. Fortunately, the Wanderer is really a lot more flexible than people give him credit for. You get to cast two spells for free, just for casting him. There are just so many amazing ways you can make that Cascade x2 do something powerful-yet-awesome, it's hard not to love this guy, despite his extremely high potential for douchebaggery.

I will be building a deck for this guy, since my Animar deck wound up being a little to combo-ish and non-interactive. Hopefully I can still get the overwhelming power of that deck, but make it more interactive too.

Ha ha oh wow. This guy is a nice compliment to Bruna in the other good Enchantment-loving color pair. Much like Bruna, though, I prefer this guy as one of my 99 in a Bant-colored deck. Krond is definitely going straight into my Jenara's Auras deck as another finisher along side the wonderful Bruna. It should be noted, though, that this guy has about the most color-intensive mana cost ever, so playing him in a three-color deck might backfire a little bit, as I may find myself unable to cast him reliably off of six lands. Then again, he is partly green, so mana fixing is always available. The art is badass, too. Love this card, at least in theory.

The art on this chick is utterly gorgeous. Love it. As for her abilities? Meh. She's got a lot of potential, I'll give her that much. As a general, well, ha ha, she doesn't even TRY to compete with Wrexial. But Wrexial is pretty much the best two-color general around, so that's not fair. This chick reminds me a lot of an old U/B bounce/tempo/control deck I used to run (in my old 60-card days!). That deck featured Cavern Harpy as a way to repeatedly bounce and abuse my many ETBF creatures like Man-O-War and Nekretaal. It was an awesome deck, and if I could translate that deck into a successful EDH archetype, this chick would be a GREAT general for that deck. I don't see it working out though.

I really have no idea what to do with this chick at the moment. The only deck she even seems possibly good in is my Sedris deck, but since she's not a Zombie, and there's already two other Zombies in the deck that do roughly the same thing she does... I don't see her making the cut.

However, she's impressive enough that I'm sure she'll see plently of play in decks where she is relevant and makes sense. I just don't see here being a very popular general. Too potentially combo-y for most players' tastes.

That's it for the officially spoiled goodies. There are a handful of unofficial spoilers floating around out there, but I'm reluctant to post those - don't want to piss of the WotC legal types. More importantly, to me, is that I don't have pretty pictures of those other cards to post! I hate wall-of-text spoiler lists, so I prefer to only post spoilers that I have good, clean artwork for.


1 comment:

  1. You've totally sold me on hating time distortion (at least in theory). Reverse in Uno was annoying, in EDH where it takes 20 min to play through turns 1 and 2 this will really annoy someone.

    I also love seeing that your opinions on the two newer generals differ from my opinions on them (even down to the artwork). It goes to show that they aren't missing completely, and that these ones are just not for me.