Planechase Returns w/Fblthp

Realmbreaker has reconnected all the planes and we’re reconnecting with a format from the early 2010s: Planechase! This multiplayer-focused format switches rules early and often. What makes a good Plane card? Are the bad cards fun or just part of the vibe? What even is Belenon?

The episode opens with a random plane from, which landed us on Glimmervoid Basin:

A plane is a combination of a static or triggered ability and a chaos ability. The first player in the game flips the first plane.

On your turn, you can roll the planar die for 0 mana, and again for 1, 2, 3, etc mana. If you hit the planeswalker “fork”, you flip a new plane. If you hit the oval Chaos symbol, you trigger the plane’s chaos ability but stay on the plane.

“Good” Planes

Tim’s Planechase-playing friend Christopher Lundgren gave us a list of good and bad planes to go through and discuss. First up is Goldmeadow:

We also introduced three deck “personalities” to help us evaluate the planes:

  • MWB: Monowhite weenies
  • Fblthp: Red Green Big Creatures
  • Tim: Blue-based artifact engine/combo

MWB’s weenies had the chance of boosting the goats from Goldmeadow with anthems. Fbl appreciated the early chump blockers and figured they could trample over other players’ goats easily. Tim couldn’t figure out an easy use for the goats. Next up is Academy at Tolaria West:

A fun challenge for any of the decks, though MWB’s chances of handdumping with white weenie seemed higher than the other two. The chaos effect here initially seems bad, but so long as you don’t planeswalk away, you get a fresh seven at EOT. The last of Christopher’s “Good” planes is Pools of Becoming

The plane ability here might hamper Tim’s ability to hold up countermagic but otherwise is just a bit of variety. The chaos ability stood out as a super fun effect in the “bring ten of your own cards” classic Planechase and a bit less fun in “big pile” Planechase. Fbl also pointed out that the art on these planes do a great job of highlighting the flavor of a brand new place.

“Bad” Planes

Next we reviewed four planes that get in the way of gameplay. Over time we discovered they often weren’t flat out bad designs, and were even fun in the “make your friends miserable” way. First up is Mirrored Depths:

This plane seems to favor opponents playing at instant speed. Pass your turn and stick your opponent with the chore of rolling to go off-world. Particularly mean of this plane to potentially cancel the chaos’d card. Another cruel plane is The Eon Fog:

Bring on that vigilance! The Fog seemed especially rough on whoever came after the planeswalk. Harder to play with and leverage. Fbl brought up untapping everything is a huge boost, so at least the rolling player has something to pray for.

Equilor is apparently one of the oldest planes, and it left an impression on Urza.

Next up is Kessig:

Slowing down combat is appealing to Tim’s engine-y deck, and Fbl says their Ulrich of the Krallenhorde // Ulrich, Uncontested Alpha deck especially loves this. Like the Fog there’s a hail mary option with the chaos result. Another card that fits better in the “ten card constructed” format over big pile. Last up on the naughty list is Edge of Malacol:

Despite being another plane that slows down combat, MDub picked this as his favorite design so far. Builds up tension on the board until someone planeswalks. The planar die is pretty variable; sometimes it’ll release right away and sometimes it will last 8+ rolls. Unlike Fog, this compensates the creature decks in a way that ramps up the fun. Fbl’s big creature deck perhaps doesn’t care so much about two counters on an 8/8, but the hail mary chaos option is once again appealing with mana dorks.

“Straight Up Obnoxious”

CL nominated Cliffside Market:

The crew tried to dive into what made this obnoxious. Perhaps moreso than other planes, the effect of this plane is both swingy and permanent. If you flip it on your turn and can set someone to 10, they might die before they have a chance to react to it. The “bad” planes temporarily stun a player, this one can kill.

Phenomenons and More

Planechase also has sorcery-like Phenomenons, like Time Distortion:

These effects tend to be “each player does a thing” or meta effects like turn order. The crew didn’t have a ton to say about Phenomena, but it did make them think about what a third or fourth planechase type could be. A big neutral creature? Challenges with a reward (a bit like how Battles ended up)?

March of Machines Planes

The new MOM Commander set brought a bunch of new Planes, including Towashi:

Also new to MOC is the “chaos ensues” terminology.

Fbl’s Designs

This was a jumping off point for Fbl, who has been designing “cares about planechase” cards:

The include “Chaos ensues”, “roll the planar die”, and a flavorful Wandering One planeswalk each turn. Fbl also has been designing some new planes:

Fbl’s designs lean more towards “all upside” planes. They also show more deck-specific Plane ideas to help juice specific mechanics from a block.

MDub’s Movie Rec Signoff

“The goofiest name but so much better than its name”:

“70 Minutes you’re in and out. Done.”