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Magic’s Planechase Releases this weekend with Tazeem Promo September 1, 2009

Posted by webofwebhead in CCG, Magic the Gathering, Previews.
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Magic_LogoIt was just a couple of weeks ago that we were scavenging for scraps of info about the forthcoming Planechase set at GenCon.  And this week it will be here already, with release events scheduled through the weekend.  (I will be skipping these this week, but for good reason, it’s my 10th wedding anniversary and our travel plans don’t include much time for tournament play.)  This handy LINK provides all of the official information about the set, if you need a refresher on the rules or what cards are in the sealed decks, this is the place to go.  WotC released one more official bit of information just today, witness Tazeem, Plane of Zendikar:

Tazeem_Plane_Card

This Plane card will be given away at the release events, though I see it’s already for sale on ebay, so your mileage may vary.  It’s a nice lede into the next block, which I understand may have another Plane card available at the pre-release.

As a largely casual player, the whole Planechaseconcept really appeals to me…it has a very top-down design feel to it in general, really tying into the "you are an all powerful planeswalker" backstory.  I expect that we will get a lot of use out of the Plane cards in the coming years.  If for no other reason, this seems like a great way to balance casual play amongst decks that might not have similar “power”; levels, because some of the random effects are VERY powerful…to the tune of destroying all non-lands and/or resetting life totals to 20, or even getting a personal "Wheel of Fortune" each turn.

I’ve been playing long enough to remember the old Vanguard cards, which was really WotC’s first attempt at targeting  the casual crowd.  The Vanguard cards were give-aways if I recall correctly, over-sized cards with good art (I still have the Mirri with art by Richard Kane Ferguson).   Vanguard cards were often crafted into competitive decks, the descendants of which can still be seen on Magic Online, reaching their ultimate form in having their own format in Momir Basic.

So whilst the old Vanguard cards seemed to lend themselves just as easily to cutthroat play as they did casual, the Planechase format goes another direction…forcing a more casual game experience by virtue of more wild and random swings amongst the effects of the cards.  I hope to have a more formal review in the next week or so, after I get back from vacation and have a chance to really play some games with the new cards.

As a final note, I really the Tazeem card…there is a joke in there somewhere about Pro-Players not understanding the static ability “Creatures can’t block.” because they always play that way already.

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