This is it! Our final Planechase 2012 game, with me piloting Night of the Ninja. I’ll be looking to sneak my Ninja saboteurs through enemy lines to give my deck the best chance of victory. Lining up against me are Sam to my life, who is playing the cascade-centric Chaos Reigns. Jimi, on the right, has shuffled up Savage Auras. Who will be the last planeswalker standing?
Having reached this, the final of the four Planechase 2012 reviews, we thought we’d begin with a revelation so staggering that it requires a bit of a preamble. For the faint of heart, you may wish to ensure that you are seated before reading it. If you’re reading this on your smartphone, you might wish to put the device on a flat surface first. This shocking revelation flies in the face of conventional wisdom for some, but it’s important to note before we get stuck into Night of the Ninja.
Once again we’re back in the arena, ready to do battle with the Planechase 2012 decks. I’m piloting Primordial Hunger, a Jund-themed deck that stakes its flag on the devour mechanic. Jimi, seated to my left, is rocking the Savage Auras deck, while Sam’s taking a turn behind Night of the Ninja. Here’s how the evening unfolded…
It’s hard to deny that the plane of Alara is experiencing something of a renaissance in Magic at the moment. Although the set is some ways out from the Standard environment now, having been released in 2009-2010, its circled around for a second pass through some of the game’s other outlets. For one thing, Bant’s signature mechanic of exalted has been confirmed to be the ‘returning mechanic’ of Magic 2013. Since Magic 2011, Wizards has dusted off a previously-used mechanic and given it new lease on life, such as M11′s scry (originally from 2004′s Fifth Dawn) and M12′s bloodthirst (an update from Guildpact, released in early 2006).
The three-way format we chose for our reviews has been a hit, and we’ve really enjoyed the novelty of the Planechase games. For today’s bout, I’m at the helm of the cascade-filled five-colour Chaos Reigns deck, while continuing clockwise we find Jimi (with Night of the Ninja) and Sam (back again with Primordial Hunger). As before, we’ve implemented an attack-left/defend-right rule, to give the game enough room to develop that we get a good look at the decks.
The older we get, the more the years as simple numbers can become difficult to distinguish. “1992″ recedes into the mists of memory, though “the summer of my senior year” may burn brightly for all the rest of one’s days. So too it is in Magic when we talk about Standard environments. What were you playing in 2004? might provoke a momentary look of puzzlement and head-scratching, but the words “Ravager Affinity” are sure to bring the memories flooding back for any competitive player who was active then.
Between our on-site poll and feedback from Twitter, the results were overwhelming- playtest the decks with their Planes! This was something we didn’t do in our reviews of the initial release, choosing instead to focus on the 60-card decks that came in the box rather than the Planechase experience itself. Inspired by your feedback, we decided to go one step further and take a page from the Commander playbook, playing a three-way game!
Prior to last November, once could be forgiven for feeling that Planechase had died a death unfulfilled. When the product released in 2009- the first of the new line of annual multiplayer-themed releases- it had tremendous potential, though it seemed to sputter and fizzle shortly after leaving the gate.