In November Wizards of the Coast announced that on this June they will continue their Magic the Gathering : Planechase product line with a new release. On this week they released some additional info and insight regarding the release.
Thankfully the new addition is not just another couple of planar cards with the same design approach as the original – which was an excellent MtG supplement anyway – but provides a few twists and additions.
The original announcement in November already hinted on some of these things, like phenomenom cards and new eternal legal cards for the Planechase release, but now they provided much more detail than before.
What is Planechase anyway ?
In short it’s a casual multiplayer format for Magic the Gathering, where the players battle each others while travelling between different planes, represented by planar cards. These planar cards always have a passive or triggered ability which is active while you are on the plane, and another ability which could be activated with the six sided planar dice.
The planar dice itself is the way to travel between the planes (1/6 chance) or to activate the planar card‘s ability (another 1/6 chance). On your turn you may get one roll for free, while additional rolls could be made for an increasing amount of mana cost. ppart from the planar cards and dice, there is no more differences between Planechase and regular MtG gameplay.
As a game release, a pack of Planechase contains 10 planar cards and a 60 card ready to play deck.
New design approach and additions
As I said before, Planechase 2012 is more than just the same as before, and the article on Wizards.com tells us why. They added a new game element, and made some interesting new twist and decisions with both the planar cards, and with the 60 card decks.
The new game element is phenomenon cards, taking the place of two regular planar cards compared to the older release. These cards are representing one-time instant effects happening while travelling between the planes like Time Disortion or an Interplanar Tunnel, spicing up the game-play.
For the planar cards themselves they experienced upon new keywords (like devour), and they included new and interesting mechanics. For example in the original Planescape you could only travel between planes with the planar dice (as described before), while now some planes enable other methods.
The 60 card decks themselves have changed too, and I think this is good news. While in the earlier edition all cards were reprints, for now we receive six brand new eternal legal cards in every deck!
This means a single mythic rare multicolored legendary creature – with a great emphasis on the deck’s focus, and which also great for the Commander format – and two rare cards (each appear once), two uncommon cards (each appear twice) and a single common card which appears in every Planechase deck (Fractured Powerstone, see above). I have to mention that Fractured Powerstone is the only card currently in the game which features a Planechase-only ability.
And what’s even better, all four decks revisits and focus on an interesting game mechanic, which also means that the new cards bring support for these great themes. The themes include ninjas (ninjutsu keyword), tokens and devour, aura enchantments, and a chaotic five-color cascade deck (cascade keyword, of course).
All in all, this seems an interesting new release, and personally I hope I could try out the new cards soon.
The Planechase 2012 Edition release is on June 1, 2012, so get ready if you are interested in this great casual format.
Zoltán “Cain” Mészáros