Rant of Valakut: Enchant World (Planechase Variant) Ben Iverach-Brereton July 6, 2020 Rants of Valakut Core Set 2021 just came out, so naturally I’m going to completely ignore that fact and talk about Planechase instead. Because, reasons? In case you’re not familiar with it, Planechase is a variant way of playing Magic that changes the game based on your current location in the multiverse. Where you are is determined by a Plane card, with such exotic locations as Gavony on the plane of Innistrad, and the Isle of Vesuva on Dominaria. Each of these Plane cards has an ability that affects all players and a “chaos” effect that will trigger randomly. Throughout the game you’ll travel to a variety of different Planes, each one providing a unique bonus or drawback for the players. When the game begins you reveal the first plane, then at the beginning of each player’s upkeep they roll the six-sided Planar Die to see what happens. If they roll the Planeswalker symbol (a 1 in 6 chance), they planeswalk away and replace the current Plane card. If they roll a blank (a 4 in 6 chance), nothing happens. If they roll the Chaos symbol (a 1 in 6 chance), the Plane’s chaos effect triggers. Players can also spend X mana to roll the Planar Die again any time they could cast a sorcery, where X is the number of times they’ve rolled the die this turn. This way, if you’re trapped on a Plane that completely ruins your deck, you have more than one chance to escape each turn. There are a few different ways to play a Planechase game, but the most common setup I see is to use a single, central deck of Planes that players draw from. When you planeswalk to a new location, you discard the previous Plane and reveal the next one in the deck. It’s a simple variant, and can be added to any multiplayer game of Magic. Planechase Commander can be especially fun. But what if you don’t have any Planechase cards? A full set can be hard to track down, not to mention finding a Planar Die. If you have the opportunity to play with them, I highly recommend it, but if you can’t find a set, don’t worry! Allow me to present a new variant to Planechase that uses a regular d6 and spare cards from your collection: Enchant World. ENCHANT WORLD The basic gameplay of Enchant World is the same as Planechase, with the only major difference being how you construct the deck of Planes. Rather than using the oversized cards, you instead create two decks of regular Magic cards, one made up of artifacts and enchantments, and the other of instants and sorceries. At the beginning of the game, and whenever you planeswalk to a new Plane, discard any previously revealed Plane cards, then reveal one card from the artifact/enchantment deck and one from the instant/sorcery deck. Together these two cards form the new Plane. Feel free to invent a name and backstory for the location, if you like. Welcome to Serrathorn, on the plane of Lighelix. The Plane’s static ability is generated from the revealed artifact or enchantment. For example, if Manabarbs is revealed, whenever a player taps a land for mana, the Plane deals one damage to them. Note that the enchantment isn’t actually on the battlefield, so it can’t be targeted or destroyed. The Plane’s “chaos” ability is generated from the revealed instant or sorcery. For example, if Angel’s Mercy is revealed, whenever a player rolls Chaos, that player gains 7 life. Treat this as a triggered ability, not as casting a spell. The Planar Die If you have an official Planechase Planar Die, feel free to use it. Otherwise, any d6 will do: On a 1, trigger the Plane’s Chaos effect. On a 2-5, nothing happens. On a 6, planeswalk to a new Plane. “You” and Global Effects A plane’s static abilites should affect each player equally. For example, if War Horn is revealed, treat it as reading “Attacking creatures get +1/+0,” rather than “attacking creatures you control…” Generally speaking, this means that artifacts and enchantments that refer to “you” or “each opponent” instead refers to “each player.” Depending on what cards you include in your deck, it can be tricky to determine how certain cards should work, so make sure to discuss it with your play group before starting the game. When in doubt, use the simplest option. Abilities that trigger during “your upkeep” could be interpreted as affecting each player during each upkeep, but doing so is overly cumbersome. Instead, it makes more sense for these abilities to trigger during each upkeep, but to only affect the player whose turn it is. For example, if Awakening Zone is revealed, then on each player’s upkeep that player creates an Eldrazi Spawn, rather than each player creating one. Cataclysmic Events Some effects are really frustrating if they happen more than once per game. If a Plane’s instant or sorcery has a converted mana cost of 6 or more, it is considered to be Cataclysmic. When a Cataclysmic ability resolves, immediately planeswalk to a new Plane. For example, Scrambleverse has a converted mana cost of eight, so if Scrambleverse is revealed when Chaos is rolled, a new Plane will be revealed immediately after resolving the ability. If players agree, other instant and sorcery spells in the Plane deck could be considered Cataclysmic. For example, Shatter the Sky only costs 4 mana, but has a large enough impact on the game that it could be considered Cataclysmic. Entering and Leaving Planes A Plane’s “enters the battlefield” ability triggers when you planeswalk to that Plane, and abilities that trigger when they “leave the battlefield” will trigger when you planeswalk away. For example, if you planeswalk to Ichor Wellspring, each player will draw a card. Then, when you planeswalk again, each player will draw another card. Additional Costs If a Plane’s instant or sorcery has additional costs, such as sacrificing a creature, the player who rolled Chaos must pay that cost if able. If they can’t, they don’t resolve the rest of the ability. For example, if Altar’s Reap is revealed and a player rolls Chaos, they must sacrifice a creature if able. If they do, they draw two cards. If they don’t have a creature to sacrifice, then nothing happens. Optional and alternative costs, such as Kicker or Overload, may be paid (or not) and will affect the Plane’s ability accordingly. Mana may be spent as if it were mana of any colour to pay for these costs. For example, if Saproling Migration is revealed and a player rolls Chaos, that player may pay 4. If they do, they create four Saprolings, Otherwise they only create two. Activated Abilities If a Plane’s artifact or enchantment has an activated ability, any player may activate it by paying its cost. Mana may be paid as though it were mana of any type to activate these abilities. If a Plane’s ability requires tapping the card, each player may only use it once between each of their untap steps. Mark that the player has used the ability with a suitable counter. A player removes their counter during their untap step, or when a new Plane is revealed. If a Plane’s ability requires sacrificing the card, each player can only use that ability once per game. Mark that the player has used this ability with a suitable counter, as above, but these counters are only removed when a new plane is revealed. Depleted Resources Once each player has used a Plane’s sacrifice ability, immediately planeswalk to a new Plane. Sample Deck Artifact/Enchantment1 x Ajani’s Welcome1 x Aligned Hedron Network1 x Altar of the Brood1 x Ashes of the Abhorrent1 x Blood Sun1 x Brave the Sands1 x Burning Earth1 x Colossal Majesty1 x Crawling Sensation1 x Demonic Rising1 x Desecrated Tomb1 x Dictate of the Twin Gods1 x Elemental Bond1 x Fortifying Provisions1 x Genesis Chamber1 x Ghirapur Orrery1 x God-Pharaoh’s Statue1 x Grand Melee1 x Hazoret’s Favor1 x Horn of Greed1 x Illness in the Ranks1 x Isolation Cell1 x Ivory Crane Netsuke1 x Knowledge Pool1 x Lightmine Field1 x Manabarbs1 x March of the Machines1 x Martial Law1 x Mighty Emergence1 x Navigator’s Ruin1 x Omen Machine1 x Open the Graves1 x Pillar Tombs of Aku1 x Prison Realm1 x Protection of the Hekma1 x Pyromancer’s Assault1 x Raiders’ Wake1 x Rite of Passage1 x Rule of Law1 x Sulfuric Vortex1 x Sunbird’s Invocation1 x Sunken Hope1 x Telepathy1 x Throne of the God-Pharaoh1 x Triskaidekaphobia1 x Underworld Dreams1 x Viridian Revel1 x War Horn1 x War’s Toll1 x Wilderness Reclamation Instant/Sorcery1 x Act of Treason1 x Act on Impulse1 x Adventurous Impulse1 x Angel’s Mercy1 x Anticipate1 x Assassinate1 x Beseech the Queen1 x Blazing Hope1 x Blazing Volley1 x Bramblecrush1 x Clip Wings1 x Cloudshift1 x Cower in Fear1 x Culling Mark1 x Dangerous Wager1 x Disenchant1 x Disentomb1 x Disperse1 x Doublecast1 x Duress1 x Electrify1 x Elemental Uprising1 x Formless Nurturing1 x Giant Growth1 x Gird for Battle1 x Glorious Charge1 x Illicit Auction1 x Jump1 x Misguided Rage1 x Natural Connection1 x Nature’s Spiral1 x Prey Upon1 x Price of Betrayal1 x Reach Through Mists1 x Reave Soul1 x Relentless Advance1 x Rousing of Souls1 x Scrambleverse1 x Seek the Horizon1 x Send to Sleep1 x Servo Exhibition1 x Shock1 x Sword-Point Diplomacy1 x Thieves’ Auction1 x Turn to Frog1 x Vicious Rumors1 x Vile Rebirth1 x Wake the Reflections1 x Warp World1 x Withstand Death Buy This List This was my proof of concept set for Enchant World. I probably didn’t need to include nearly so many cards, but this gave me plenty of variety. Sticking with the Planechase rules, you should have at least fourty different Planes, but because each Plane in Enchant World is generated by combining two cards, you could probably make do with far fewer than fourty in each deck. Just keep in mind that the more cards you have in each deck, the less likely it will be that you’ll run into a specific card from game to game. Depending on how consistent you want your Planes to be, you should build your set accordingly. Suggestions Because it’s difficult to control when a player will roll Chaos, avoid including conditional instants, like counterspells. Avoid artifacts and enchantments with cumulative effects, like Assemble the Legion and Descent into Madness. While potentially interesting, by adding a counter each upkeep these effects will grow much faster than usual and will quickly take over the game. Include a mixture of positive and negative effects, as well as cards that will benefit a variety of play styles, such as big creatures, life gain, and mill. Try to think about how each card could affect the game. Something like Lich’s Mastery or Possessed Portal might be neat in theory, but they could result in long, stalled games where no one is able to do anything. Feel free to experiment. Is there a legendary creature with a really interesting ability you’d like to see as a Plane? Toss it in. Is there a sweet enters-the-battlefield ability on a card that you think would work well as a Chaos effect? Put it in with your instant and sorcery cards. As long as everyone at the table agrees on how these cards should work, it’s fine. Use What You Have If you’ve never played Planechase before (or even if you have), you should consider making a custom planar deck like mine. It’ll give you something different to try, and can result in some really memorable games. It’a a good way to use some of your old draft chaff, too: you probably have a spare copy of Fortifying Provisions that you’ll realistically never put in a deck, but by adding it to your planar deck it can add an interesting twist to your games. Other random enchantments, like Season of Growth and Brave the Sands are cheap and easy to come by, and can have a noticeable impact on how games plays out as part of a Plane. I’m sure you already have a pile of old artifacts and enchantments in a box somewhere, as well as a bunch of instant and sorcery cards that are never quite good enough for your decks. Since you don’t need that many cards to build one, there’s really no excuse not to assemble an Enchant World deck and give it a try. So pull out a few out cards, build a deck of Planes and shuffle it up for your next Commander night (whenever that eventually is). I think your play group will really enjoy it! 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