Rather than spend the weekend with the rest of humanity…pressed within the hot, moist, claustrophobic spaces of the local gaming store…I fought my battle for New Phrexia in a decidedly old fashioned way.
On "Old" Phyexia.
Elder Dragon Highlander is always wacky, but when you add a deck of Planechase cards, hold on to your galoshes.
While I have previously spoke highly of the "Enternities Map" Planechase configuration, this was my first actual foray into its twisting backward paths.
While leaping into another branch of the Multiverse is very similar to the regular Planechase game, the first thing a player notices about The Map is how easy it is to leap back again.
While our feuding council of Planeswalkers started out in the gloomy, card-rich depths of the Panopticon…then moved to the equally gloomy and card-rich Undercity Reaches…then taking a quick detour through The Sactum of Serra to blow up everyone's creatures and artifacts. The final plane where we spent much of our time was the dreaded Fourth Sphere. And whose fault was that?
Who was my general? Malfegor. The synergy was pretty easy to see, and so I used all of my demonic resources to send me and my fellow feuding planeswalkers straight back into the slimy goo of Phyrexia every chance I got.
One particular card that seemed to combo well with the plane was Quest for the Gravelord.
While other players were making lots and lots of 2/2 Zombies, I was instead making 5/5 Giant Zombies by recurring the 1 mana-cost enchantment using Skull of Orm.
The constant sacrificing of creatures eventually proved my Multiplayer downfall. While I was slowly gaining zombie advantage I was losing much faster in the perception game. Instead of a innocent bystander, both of my opponents quickly grew to view me as the active progenitor of their slow demise.
The hate grew hot until it could be contained no longer.
Malfegor was soon locked down by one player's Puppet Strings. Then the other player, who's general was Sliver Overlord, finally managed to get both the Overlord and Sliver Legion onto the field. It must be noted (if you weren't aware of it) that both of these monstrosities are technically "black" creatures.
Playing brought two facts to the front for the next game session using this variant.
1. It is worth thinking about the "multiplayer" element when choosing which plane to move to. If your destination is beneficial only to you, your fellow players are certain to see this fact as well. Instead, I should have used the Fourth Sphere is a place of temporary sanctuary, to get ahead incrementally, before moving on to avoid the kinds of frown faces I was causing in this game.
2. It may be worth developing a way for planeswalkers to "seal" away a plane through some sort of appropriate sacrifice. Perhaps they could pay some life after rolling "planeswalk" to put a big Elder Sign over the door to that particular can of worms. It makes sense, and would probably be more fair.
Other than that, the game was a blast.