Tuesday, June 12, 2018

CCDD 061218 - Planeswalk

Given the emphasis the past several years on PWs as main characters, it's still a little surprising that there isn't a card that just tries to capture the act of planeswalking. Let's address that.






Because the chances of a PW showing up in draft are minuscule, cards that care about them are rare by default. Unfortunately, that's not really an exciting rare. We can add some utility that would maybe open it up at lower rarities, or at least make it feel better as a rare.


I still don't think that's an uncommon, and it's far less elegant, and less mechanically Planeswalking, but I wouldn't feel bad opening that up as my rare.

I'm not in love with tying it to White, as it's a defining ability among planeswalker's of all colors. It could just be a colorless X instant, although that would be vaguely color-pie problematic, and it would look pretty odd. It would be a fun promo to have a colorless one with different art for every Planeswalker though...



24 comments:

  1. I think this could flicker any PW for {2}.

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    1. Agreed, the X cost seems like a weird restriction and not something necessary for the first card specifically flickering planeswalkers.

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    2. Flickering a planeswalker lets you freeroll a minus ability or two, as well fogging creature combat against it for a turn. This card is highly restrictive to cast, but often eqivalent to replaying the same walker again except with additional upside. There are a lot of walkers where replaying them again for 2 mana can be very, very good, and I'm not sure the restriction of making a walker heavy deck is enough to not have that be worrisome.

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  2. Planeswalk
    0
    Sorcery - Mythic Rare
    Leave the game. You may return to the game at any time. (Your board state leaves with you but remains the same. If only one player remains in the game, they win the game unless you return to the game.)

    Supplemental or (probably) un-set.

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    Replies
    1. Or we could lean into the Un-ness of it

      Planeswalk
      0
      Sorcery - Rare
      Change tables.

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  3. I'd have it be one of more of these things:
    1) Exile a planeswalker.
    2) Bounce a planeswalker.
    3) Tutor for a planeswalker.

    Unless they panic and hit the GTFO button (which even then doesn't always work), planeswalking isn't quick. The flicker mechanic doesn't seem like a natural fit for showing that. Based upon the instant speed that you set it at, I figure that you're going for that "emergency GTFO" feel. Perhaps something like this?

    Retreat Through the Eternities
    2
    Instant
    Exile target planeswalker you own. You may play it from exile. It comes into play with the same number of loyalty counters that it had when it left the battlefield.

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    1. Retreat Through the Eternities is super cool! Its flavor concept is almost identical to its mechanical effect. Though I would change "through" to "into" in the name.

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    2. That's very cool. I did like the strategic layer of resetting loyalty counters, as it makes it much more playable for Jennies like myself, but from a flavor standpoint having them return at the same loyalty does make sense.

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    3. I don't know, my Vorthos quite liked the flicker, I agree it's not a perfect fit, but resetting the counters really felt like the planeswalker had *gone* somewhere, and I got the flavour of "going" even if it wasn't how a planeswalker would actually go.

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  4. Planeswalk {2}
    Instant
    Choose one:
    • Shuffle a PW you own into your library. If you do, draw two cards.
    • Discard a card. If you do, search your library for a PW with CMC <= the discarded card's, reveal it and put it into your hand, then shuffle.

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    1. Needs development, but I like where this is going.

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  5. I want to decide who gets to be a planeswalker!

    Spark of Insight UUU2 (Mythic)
    Enchantment -- Aura
    Enchant blue legend you control.
    Put three loyalty counters on enchanted creature. It becomes a planeswalker with the following abilities:
    +1: Untap up to two target permanents you control.
    -1: Draw two cards, then discard a card.
    -5: Draw three cards.

    Totally unprintable for marketing/branding/rules reasons (among others).

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  6. Isn't that what the Planechase supplemental set was trying to capture?

    Planeswalking isn't about the journey, it's the destination:

    Journey to a New Realm 4RR

    Sorcery

    Each player puts all lands they own onto the bottom of their library in a random order, then reveals cards from the top of their library until they reveal that many land cards. Each player puts land cards revealed this way onto the battlefield tapped and shuffles the rest into their library.

    -------------------------------------------

    Planeswalking isn't about the destination, it's about the quest:

    Takeout Order BB

    Enchantment

    When ~ enters the battlefield, scry 1.

    When a planeswalker enters the battlefield under your control, sacrifice ~. If you do, choose a card you own from outside the game and put it into your hand.


    --------------------------------------------

    Sometimes you just need to get away for a while

    Escape to the Blind Eternities WG

    Sorcery

    Until the start of your next turn, you gain hexproof, can't be attacked by creatures, and can't cast spells.

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    1. I like your approach. Good point about Planechase.

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  7. I like the idea of Planeswalk being a buy-the-box promo, since it is a weird effect that I am not sure we would care to open.

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  8. Flickering planeswalkers doesn't read as planeswalking. It kind of reads as time travel or maybe re-negotiating whatever deal you have with the planeswalker in question. Attaching effects to the flicker helps a little, for example:

    Get Help!
    XUG
    Instant
    Exile target planeswalker you control and return it to the battlefield under your control. If you do, put target creature with CMC X from your hand into play.

    I don't know why that card justifies using a planewalker's loyalty abilities twice in a turn, though.

    Planechase is kludgy and often uncomfortable, but I love the premise. Every time you planeswalk in Planechase I get a clear "WHOOSH" sound effect in my head. Flickering planeswalkers doesn't have the same oomph.

    I think if you made the walker come back at the beginning of the next end step that it would feel like more of a journey; that the walker is actually going somewhere and coming back and not just popping back and forth. It would also stop the player from using that walker's abilities twice in a turn. (I don't understand why planeswalking SHOULD let a player activate a planeswalker's abilities twice in a turn. The way I see it, it shouldn't. It's not speeding them up or manipulating time or something of that nature. In fact, maybe they shouldn't even be able to planeswalk if they've already activated an ability this turn!) Having planeswalking be an instant is rad, though: both evocative and useful.

    So the basic, building-block card of planeswalking as I see it would be more like:

    Planeswalk
    1
    Instant
    Exile target planeswalker you control. Return it to the battlefield under your control at the beginning of the next end step.

    Or basically "counter target ability that targets a planeswalker you control" for one colorless mana. (The Blind Eternities are colorless, so I believe planeswalking itself should be powered by generic mana.) But that card is stupid and sucks.

    You can sex up the mechanic by making it a condition for a greater effect, like legendary sorceries' requirements. And you should! Planeswalking is awesome and awesome people do it and so it should be awesome in my game.

    Gather For Me An Army!
    XGGG
    Instant
    Exile target planeswalker you control and return it to the battlefield at the beginning of the next end step. If you do, reveal the top X cards of your library. You may put any number of creature cards with converted mana cost X or less from among them onto the battlefield. Then put all cards revealed this way that weren't put onto the battlefield on the bottom of your library in random order.

    Although maybe that's over-dramatic. But with planeswalking, that's where I'd want to start. Planeswalking is a tool, and a big, magical one. It belongs with big, magical effects. If you just want to flicker planewalkers, it seems like that better belongs on a card called Chrono Hop or Pocket Dimension or something. Planeswalking should be SPECIAL, all caps.

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  9. I agree with others here, that your initial statement (that capturing the act of planeswalking hasn't been attempted in game) isn't true. If you're trying to capture the feeling of the player changing planes, Planechase really captures that in probably the best way. If you're talking about cards you own Pwalking, even that has been explored using exile effects.

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    1. In terms of a card, I think I'd use Pwalking as a new Wish flavour:

      Retrieve from Vault
      4uu
      Sorcery
      Choose an artifact card you own from outside the game and put that card on to the battlefield.
      Exile CARDNAME.

      Retrieve from Menagerie
      4gg
      Sorcery
      Choose a creature card you own from outside the game and put that card on to the battlefield.
      Exile CARDNAME.

      Retrieve from Crucible
      4rr
      Sorcery
      Choose an instant or sorcery card you own from outside the game and cast that card without paying its mana cost.
      Exile CARDNAME.

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    2. Love planechase, but rolling a die is not going to capture the act of Planeswalking the way I want it to. If Planar map variant ever becomes official, they could make a Planeswalk card that directly impacts where you go in the game, which would be fun.

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  10. At one point, I toyed with a mechanic like contraptions, where you have a separate plane deck, with cards a bit like global enchantments, and some cards that include "play a plane card" as an effect, which overrides the previous plane.

    So you can always use a plane you don't care about as an answer to a plane bad for you, or seek out ones that matter to you.

    Or maybe, it's an effect that auto-triggers on creature attack-not-blocked or something, to represent "exploring".

    Basically, bringing some of the idea of planechase to regular magic. I loved the flavour of exploring the planes, but I wished there was more geography, going from this one, to that specific one, etc, and I wished it felt more active and less random.

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