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Planechase: First Impressions September 9, 2009

Posted by James in : all, reviews, planechase , trackback

Planechase is the new informal way to play Magic. You get a free Plane card in play. It is supposed to be a location that the players are at, and it functions as an enchant wold. Players can roll dice to try to change the plane or get the triggered ability of the plane. It is a lot like Nightmare Magic, a way to play Magic I invented some time ago.

Planechase has a huge impact on the game. It is all too often a better idea to roll the planar die than to play a spell. The planechase abilities often do a lot. I personally think planechase does too much to the game, but I haven’t played much with it yet.

I went to the release event, but I was disappointed that there was no tournament structure or prizes. Basically every just got a four person multiplayer game. I won the multiplayer game because everyone died except one other player who didn’t have much on the board. I didn’t win because I had that most powerful board position.

My biggest complaint against Planechase is the price. For $20 you get a 60 card deck and 10 oversized Plane cards. You are basically forced to buy a bad Magic deck to play Planechase. This is probably a decision made by Wizards of the Coast to make more money, but it might turn people off. Especially right now that the economy isn’t doing so well. Instead of buying Planechase for $20, I would rather buy booster packs of 15 cards for $4 as usual. The oversized nature of the cards is meant to blind us from the fact that the game is over-priced.

I’m also not sure if I like that we are expected to make our own Planechase decks out of 10 Plane cards. There is a very small selection of cards to choose from, and you have to spend around $100 to get enough Plane cards to have an appropriate selection of cards to choose from. If I could buy booster packs of Plane cards, that would solve the problem.

If I can’t buy booster packs, then I would prefer just to use one community deck for the Plane cards. Everyone shares the plane cards. It would be an OK deal to get a 40 card Planechase deck for $20, but even that is stretching things. I think I can buy Monopoly for around that amount.

Wizards of the Coast wants to take advantage of the fact that we Magic players tend to spend way too much money for pieces of cardboard by selling Plane cards for too much money. They expect we will over value just about anything they have to sell. And perhaps they are right. I suppose Planechase will end up being a collector’s item if they stop printing it.


1. Recoculous.com: Magic the Gathering Articles » Wizards of the Coast and Profit - September 13, 2009

[…] From the Vault: Exiled, the foil Sliver Deck, Angels vs Demons, and Planechase also provide us with evidence that Wizards of the Coast is even more interested in making money now than ever. These collector’s items seem to be easy money, so you have to wonder why so many collector’s items are being offered all of a sudden. There were around 13 years with very few special collectors items of this sort, and now they seem to be released all the time. […]