Now for my second review of the new Planeswalker Packs…Chandra Pyrogenius.
If you read my review of Nissa, Nature’s Artisan Planeswalker Pack, then you know exactly what I am about to unbox! Only this time flavored with Chandra, the reddest of the planeswalkers.
You get a different blurb on the back of this one. It accomplishes the goal of letting you know what the deck is all about. And it mentions the uniqueness of the cards in this deck.
Things were packaged exactly the same. In fact my pictures look eerily similar. Almost like it wasn’t worth wasting WordPress memory…
Here is the Decklist.
So here’s Chandra herself. Take in this Jank! You get a “Shock” as a +2 ability. Or “Flamelash” as a -3 ability. For six mana. The -10 ability is a sweeper, which is of some interest.
The Wizards purposely “nerfed” this card. It isn’t supposed to be big in Standard and Modern, though it is legal in those formats. In other words. They made a janky card on purpose. BUT WHY?
True story. The second time I visited a comic book store to shop for MTG cards, I asked the store owner about planeswalker cards. Not only did he not have any, he said they were expensive to obtain. And he was right. Five or six years ago, when I started playing this game, planeswalkers were relatively new, and there weren’t that many even printed yet. (I started playing in tournaments during Dark Ascension, though I wasn’t really that aware of sets and blocks.) The Wizards are doing a smart thing by printing Dual Decks that contain Planeswalkers, and it is also smart to make Intro Packs that include planeswalkers. It helps new players feel that they have something nice. And she is nice and splashy, and foil. All of the things that the premium cards that were included in the now defunct intro packs generally failed to be. (other than being foil.)
Being a “burn” planeswalker, you would think that Chandra’s deck would be loaded up with Lightning Bolts and similar. Not so much. Instead, she has lots of creatures. Chandra has vehicles, while Nissa didn’t. Some of these cratures are really good. Fleetwheel Cruiser is awesome right away, and might be the most valuable card in this deck as far as tournament play is concerned. Speedway Fanatic has Haste, and Gearshift Ace has First Strike…these guys pretty much force players to learn the rules of combat. Chandra has flyers, something else that Nissa’s deck didn’t have.
Here are the rest of the spells (and lands.)
Flame Lash, Stone Quarry, Liberating Combustion, and Renegade Firebrand can all only be found here in this deck. Liberating Combustion lets you tutor out your Chandra, and as I said in Nissa’s review, it serves an important role. I don’t think Renegade Firebrand is going to matter that much. But what might matter is Flame Lash, a four-drop instant burn spell that does four damage to a creature or player. No, it’s not as good as Lightning Bolt. But this could be an important card in Standard. Recently Stoke the Flames was very relevant, and it had a similar effect.
HOW DOES THE CHANDRA PLANESWALKER PACK PLAY?
Like Nissa, I have tried this against several decks, and it generally wins. A good bit actually. It isn’t anywhere near as good as the Chandra Nalaar Duel Deck that was balanced against Jace. But against other duel decks, intro decks, and challenge decks, this deck usually wins. I think MTG has powered down since the Dual Deck anthology decks were printed. But this deck does fine against anything printed since Return to Ravnica.
I have the opportunity to tell you now that Chandra, Pyromancer has beaten Nissa, Natures Artisan” soundly every time. The two decks feel like they were meant to be a duel deck balanced against each other. Maybe I’m just better with Chandra’s deck. Not sure. But I haven’t seen Nissa get a win yet when playing against Chandra. Partly because there is sufficient creature removal in four copies of Flame Lash and in rolling Chandra down. The first striking and vigilance (and flying) creatures in Chandra’s deck are just better than the tramplers in Nissa’s deck.
So I am going to give Chandra a 75/100 as far as this is a playable deck.
I RATE THIS DECK A 5/5!
The Wizards are doing a good thing by printing this as an entry level product. Planeswalkers have lots of appeal to new players. Especially in foil. The deck works well against most pre-constructed decks. The after-market value of this deck is better than $15 with the inclusion of Fleetwheel Cruiser and Flame Lash.
The SpartanNerd gives Chandra, Pyromaster’s Planeswalker Pack a 5/5.
So do you agree or disagree? Let me know in the comments!