Planechase comes to Magic the Gathering

8 min read


Looking for a way to liven up your multiplayer games? Maybe you want a new general for a commander deck? Planechase is a great way to spice up any casual format, and it’s available today.

Of the four decks, we were given two to duke it out to the death. Put on your planeswalking boots.

Wait, what is Planechase? Imagine playing a game with two libraries. Your planar library, all oversized cards, can only be revealed or changed if you roll the Planeswalker symbol on your planar die. This little d6 is blank on all but two sides: Planeswalker and Chaos. Chaos triggers an effect on the current plane, and Planeswalking allows players to move to the next card in the planar deck, or to the top card of their planar deck, depending on the variant you are playing. Planes affect all players, and can have far-reaching repercussions. Every turn, you have one free roll of the planar die. After that, it costs you mana in increments: 1 for roll 2, 2 for roll 3 ad infinitum. Sound confusing? They aren’t really. Think of planes as enchantments that affect all players. Use them to your advantage, or try planeswalk to somewhere that better suits your strategy.

Night of the Ninja

What is the worst thing about fighting a ninja? You never know where they are, until they strike. Ninjutsu, a mechanic introduced in Betrayers of Kamigawa, allows you to swap out an unblocked attacking creature with a ninja from your hand. Besides protecting them from harm and making sure they hit, many ninja have added bonuses when they draw blood from your opponent.

Ninja of the Deep Hours Mistblade Shinobi Skullsnatcher

Meet your ninja army. Ninja of the Deep Hours gives you card advantage every time he hits the player, filling your hand with more ninjas and unblockable threats. The Mistblade Shinobi allows you to bounce one of their creatures back into their hand (especially useful against large creatures, or Thromok the Insatiable.) slowing down your opponent. The Skullsnatcher allows you to empty your opponent’s graveyard, preventing any pests from returning. But despite the advantage these ninja bring, they cannot assure victory. Fear not, they are merely the heralds of  your heroes.

Higure, the Still Wind Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni

Higure, the Still Wind calls on his brethren, allowing you to find any ninja in your library. He can also make any ninja unblockable, making sure you keep your opponent crippled. Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni can raise the dead to fight for your cause, allowing you to turn your foe’s greatest creatures against him. If that isn’t treacherous enough for you, Silent-Blade Oni will fill your opponents with fear as you turn their resources against them.

Augury Owl Quietus Spike

The Augury Owl may seem unassuming and weak, but he is a great enabler of your ninja army. Arrange the top three cards of your library to suit your needs, then attack with flying and swap the owl out with a ninja. Then play the owl again and arrange the top three cards again. Even if you cant find any ninjas, this unassuming owl becomes deadly if you equip it with a Quietus Spike. Deathtouch and make your opponent lose half his life? Yes please!

Vela, the Night-Clad makes for a great way to kill your foes: either with the evasion she offers your creatures so that they can deliver the coup de grace, or the steady loss of life as your ninjas enter and exit the fray.

Here is the decklist for Night of the Ninja:

Main Deck

60 cards


Dimir Aqueduct
Jwar Isle Refuge
Tainted Isle
Terramorphic Expanse

24 lands
Augury Owl
Baleful Strix *
Cadaver Imp
Dark Hatchling
Dimir Infiltrator
Glen Elendra Liege
Higure, the Still Wind
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Inkfathom Witch
Liliana’s Specter
Mistblade Shinobi
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Okiba-Gang Shinobi
Sakashima’s Student *
Silent-Blade Oni *
Throat Slitter
Tormented Soul
Vela the Night-Clad *
Walker of Secret Ways
Wall of Frost

26 creatures
* New card.

Farsight Mask
Fractured Powerstone *
Quietus Spike
Sai of the Shinobi *
Whispersilk Cloak

10 other spells


But wait! That isn’t everything you get with Night of Ninjas. I mean, it is called planechase right? Here is your planar decklist:




Bloodhill Bastion




Glen Elendra


Kharasha Foothills

New Phyrexia

Norn’s Dominion


Quicksilver Sea




The Zephyr Maze


Interplanar Tunnel


Morphic Tide

On Takenuma, your ninjas really shine, netting you an extra card every time you switch a creature out for a ninja, or when your creatures die, if it comes to that.

The Quicksilver Sea allows you to scry 4, and rolling chaos will net you a free spell. Your opponents will be hard pressed to deal with your planar deck, as it is definitely built to offer you maximum benefit.

Primordial Hunger

Some of us are always hungry, to the point that our allies appear to be appetisers before the main event. Primordial Hunger taps into these diabolical cravings, giving you access to spells that create fodder for the nourishment of your larger beasts.

Awakening Zone Mitotic Slime Mycoloth

Meet your new friends. The Awakening Zone allows you to create a steady stream of unassuming creatures. Most players will assume you are stockpiling mana for some of other nefarious purpose. You are stockpiling, in a sense, but not mana, you are stockpiling food.

The Mitotic Slime has a way of sticking around. Killing it makes two smaller creatures, each of which will split into two even smaller critters upon death. Five creatures with one card? What madness. Especially if you used them to fuel something like the Mycoloth. This fungus has devour 2, meaning he gets two +1/+1 counters on him for each creature you sacrifice when he enters the battlefield. Besides becoming a really large behemoth, Mycoloth makes minions for you based on the number of +1/+1 counters on him.

Fires of Yavimaya

Fires of Yavimaya makes sure that your late game creatures can strike as soon as they enter the battlefield.

The Dragonlair Spider punishes your opponent every time they cast a spell, while offering great defence against airborne assault.

Now that you have this massive sprawling army of creatures, what do you do with them? You release Hell. Thromok the Insatiable has devour X, which might not sound that deadly, until you look at the explanation. The Mycoloth has devour 2, giving him two counters per creature he eats. Thromok gets X counters, where X is the number of eaten critters. Meaning his power and toughness is equal to the number of creatures sacrificed, squared. Things just got really, really nasty: eating the critters of Mitotic Slime and the Awakening Zone, all six of them, for example, makes Thromok the Insatiable a 36/36 creature. Watch your opponent quiver!

Main Deck

60 cards


11  Forest
Gruul Turf
Kazandu Refuge
Khalni Garden
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Terramorphic Expanse

24 lands
Beetleback Chief *
Brindle Shoat *
Dragonlair Spider *
Gluttonous Slime
Hellkite Hatchling
Hissing Iguanar
Mitotic Slime
Mudbutton Torchrunner
Nest Invader
Nullmage Advocate
Penumbra Spider
Preyseizer Dragon *
Thorn-Thrash Viashino
Thromok the Insatiable *
Thunder-Thrash Elder
Tukatongue Thallid
Viridian Emissary
Wall of Blossoms

25 creatures
* New cards

Awakening Zone
Fiery Conclusion
Fires of Yavimaya
Flayer Husk
Fractured Powerstone *
Hellion Eruption
Mark of Mutiny
Warstorm Surge

11 other spells





New Phyrexia

Furnace Layer






Kilnspire District



Lair of the Ashen Idol



Orochi Colony






Selesnya Loft Gardens






Reality Shaping



Spatial Merging


Phenomenon is a new type of card. When you planeswalk to a phenomenon, do what the card instructs you to do, then planeswalk away to another plane. For example, when Reality Shaping comes into play, each player puts a permanent into play from their hand for free before travelling to another plane. Phenomenons can change the course of the game drastically, adding some chaos to your multiplayer gaming.

While you are in Jund, all of your creatures have devour 5, meaning even your smallest creatures can come become large threats.

Planechase 2012 goes on sale today. Each box contains a 60-card deck a 10-card planar deck, info booklet and a planar die. Remember that player one starts by revealing a plane!  Keep tuned for when we pit these decks against each other and see what other tricks they have up their sleeves.

Last Updated: June 1, 2012

Check Also

How to Prerelease: A comprehensive guide to the Magic the Gathering’s Guilds of Ravnica Prerelease

  Magic the Gathering is difficult, and frankly terrifying, to get into. I am sure th…