Planechase, the casual multiplayer mode for magic is finally seeing a much-needed expansion. The exciting news is that the expansion isn’t only seeing the release of new planes but also a small pool of brand new normal cards! While these cards will not be legal in Standard or Modern decks they do make up a part of the Vintage and Legacy card pool. At a quick glance at the cards spoiled so far though, none of them appear strong enough to find a place in either format but they all seem to be incredible additions to EDH/Commander due to the majority being exciting multicolored creatures, several being legendary.
As apparent in Thromok, we are seeing the rejuvenation of some older mechanics in Planechase 2012 such as cascade, ninjutsu and devour and clearly in new and exciting ways. I can see some pretty fun Thromok EDH decks showing up, something that spits out a crap tone of tiny dudes to provide fodder for this hellion. Devouring 5 creatures yields a 25/25, a creature big enough to kill any opponent in one blow or perhaps you eat a couple more and make a 47/47 which you than proceed to Fling in your opponents face for the win. While being an absolutely gargantuan commander that is sadly all he is once he has hit the field. I feel like this guy is missing some keyword because paying five mana and a bunch of your team for an undeniably big but nonetheless vanilla creature doesn’t seem worth it. You can swing away with this guy all you want and regardless of how gargantuan he is, if your opponent has a blocker he might as well be a 6/6. In addition to that, imagine paying absolutely everything for him to simply get Doom Bladed. That’s another problem, he dies to just about every kind of removal and this is not a guy you want killed with no problem. I feel like Wizards meant to give him trample but then just spaced on actually printing that part. With trample this guy would be an absolute beast but printed as is he is just a big ol’ vanilla creature who is not nearly good enough to make the cut.
Thromok isn’t the only new gentlemen with devour worth noting. Preyseizer Dragon serves as a situationally superior Inferno Titan. Sure it doesn’t shoot something upon entering the field and is unable to distribute the damage done but it trades that for flying and the potential be significantly bigger and deal significantly more damage. Sure if you were to eat only one creature it might be worth just running an Inferno Titan instead but when you are devouring two or three creatues this dragon gets mighty feisty. In the right deck Preyseizer Dragon could inevitably do some work.
Before moving completely away from red there is one more red card that I am perhaps the most excited about from the entire bunch: Maelstrom Wanderer.
Wow. This is my kind of general. While it is arguably a little spendy I feel like the pros definitely outweigh that con. RUG has always been one of my favorite tri-color combinations and this guy works absolutely perfectly with any faster paced RUG build. Right off the bat a 7/5 body isn’t too shabby and the fact that he gives every one of your creatures haste, including himself is pretty relevant especially in the often creature based/aggo decks that RUG tends to lean towards. And now on to my favorite part. Cascade, cascade. Cascade is an incredibly strong keyword ability and is perhaps my all-time favorite. So seeing a legendary creature with it is pretty fantastic, but here we see something twice as awesome. I read the fine print followed by the keyword explaining cascade and then just smiled at the last line: “then do it again“. While this card might be a little expensive every time you cast it, regardless of whether or not it is countered or immediately killed you are getting two other spells along with it. The eight mana you pay for it buys you three spells, not just one, and if he gets killed, within the next couple turns following you are probably going to be buying three more spells. And not just small spells, but just about every spell in your deck becomes something that is potentially going to get thrown onto the field for nothing. As long as you aren’t running too many counter spells this card is always going to yield ridiculous card advantage. This is also where his first ability really shines. You cast him and when you cascade into creatures they will be able to immediately head into the red-zone right next to the Wanderer. The more and more I think about this card the more and more I like him and want to make a new EDH deck with this guy up front. Hands down one of the most exciting cards for EDH in quite some time.
While it is kind of hard to follow Maelstrom Wanderer he isn’t the only incredible addition to the Commander format. Krond the Dawn-Clad is the first in a series of cards in the small block that revolves around auras and with Krond being a legendary creatures we are sure to be seeing some powerful GW aura builds showing up. This guy is just aching to hold a Shield of the Oversoul or something that gives him hexproof. While he might not have hexproof naturally like Uril or get bonus’ for each aura attached he sure as hell makes up for it with his attached ability. He trades hexproof for flying and vigilance and once he starts swinging there is going to be little your opponent can do to stop him. The GGGWWW casting cost might be a little tough but given the right suite of auras, Krond is unstoppable. Plus on top of it all he is an archon which is one of the coolest creature types ever.
Another creature that belongs right next to Krond is Elderwood Scion. Everyone knows Loxodon Warhammer is great and the same characteristics which make it great contribute to the awesomeness of this card. Heck a 4/4 with lifelink and trample for 5 aint to shabby but on top of that he works perfectly with the whole aura theme and the fact that targeting him cost more ultimately becomes a faux hexproof ability which provides him with enough evasion that he become a big problem quite quickly. My fingers are crossed that we see a Bant-aura type legendary creature either in this set or somewhere in the upcoming Ravnica block because these GW aura champs are just aching to work with Sovereigns of Lost Alara and Bruna, Light of Alabaster. These cards are going to lead to some awesome builds.
Vela the Night-Clad is at a first glance only a pretty card and not a lot more and her power as a general takes a little bit more time to really understand. Take note of her colors: blue and black. Dimir is a guild full of small creatures that when dealing unblocked damage yield incredible amounts of card advantage. While not very powerful by herself, she really shines when the field is full of Ophidians and Spectres drawing you new cards and eating away at your opponents hand. While maybe not as powerful as others she is definitely a fun card that’s just dying for some more Dimir. A card designed with Vela in mind is one I am excited about due to the fact that its the first demon ninja printed as well as bringing with it the return of ninjutsu.
This card is going to be ridiculously fun. The second he comes in for the sneak attack you get to steal something from your opponents hand similarly to Mind-Leech Mass. The Mass was an awesome and powerful card but he was a little spendy and didn’t affect the board upon entering the field. That’s where Silent-Blade Oni shines. Once he is ninjutsued into play there is little an opponent can do before you are stealing away things from his or her hand. If done correctly you could steal away there answer to the Oni and then just win the game from there.
All in all the cards revealed so far are definitely more on the casual side than competitive. All of the new creatures shown off so far are going to be great additions to EDH and the fact these great Commander cards are showing up in a Planechase expansion makes me happy to see wizards emphasizing the pairing of the two, which go fantastically well together. While I didn’t really mention it at all but some of the new planes revealed so far look like they are going to be a blast as well and they are also printing non-plane cards for your planar deck to mix things up a bit which looks pretty sweet too. With EDH being my all-time favorite MTG format I can definitely see myself picking up a deck or two once these hit the stores. My fingers are crossed we see some of these cards show up in the next block because they would be ridiculously fun to play in Type 2.
So what are some of your favorite cards revealed so far? Are you looking forward to this casual set or could you care less? Let us know in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To check out the other cards spoiled so far head over to MTGsalvation!