Arena Review: Planechase 2 Primordial Hunger

Planechase 2 (2012) Reviews
Chaos Reigns | Night of the Ninja | Primordial Hunger | Savage Auras

The third Planechase 2 set doesn’t really go for subtlety. Like many red-green decks, Primordial Hunger really has a single goal: make the biggest creatures and then smash people repeatedly with them until they die. That’s about it.

Using tokens and smaller creatures as fodder for dragons and other devouring beasts, you don’t want to get attached to any creatures in your deck (or on your battlefield) because a bigger one will probably eat them in a turn or two.

Like the other sets, six new cards are included in Primordial Hunger. But unlike the others, some of these cards don’t really make sense to me as a Planechase multiplayer release. They’re good cards, but kind of boring. But I guess this means we aren’t going back to devour as a mechanic any time soon.

Beetleback Chief

Of all the cards to make that could exist in a crazy multiplayer environment, this is the one they come up with? A slightly smaller version of Siege-Gang Commander, the Beetleback Chief isn’t bad at all – he’s a Mogg War Marshal you pay for up front. But he could have easily fit in any core set or expansion with goblins in it! But as a card, this guy is excellent. Getting three bodies for the price of one is amazing and in Boros decks, he’s going to be a blast with flickering. This card is begging to be abused.

Brindle Shoat

Much like Beetleback Chief, this is another creature that doesn’t scream multiplayer exclusive. Another card that isn’t bad by any stretch, but Brindle Shoat isn’t amazing. When you’re in a set with illusion angels, getting Young Wolf with super undying just doesn’t wow me. If you’re building a deck with Birthing Pod, this can work wonders, but the rest of the time I don’t think I’ll be running this.

Dragonlair Spider

Now we’re getting somewhere! This is a crazy fun rare for red-green players. First off, the simple fact that the spider is a 5/6 with reach means it is going to eat most angels and trade with many dragons. But what I really like is the token generation half. While the flavor is odd (unless the dragons this spider is eating attracts bugs…) the simple fact is this is a big creature that makes you an army if your opponents try to do anything.

Preyseizer Dragon

Now this is an interesting dragon. While it initially reminds me of Flameblast Dragon, Preyseizer Dragon is just begging to be friends with proliferate. My biggest concern is this being a removal lightning rod, but toss on Lightning Greaves should solve most issues. Late game though, you can just toss this out as a last ditch effort to kill two people at once.

Thromok the Insatiable

I love exponents in Magic. Doubling and tripling are always a blast, but how often do we get to square things? As a Commander, Thromok is just begging to be built around. Being able to get a 25/25 commander on turn 5 or 6 will force people to scramble. Just be sure to give him trample so nothing stands in his way.

Fractured Powerstone

The lone reprint in all four decks, Fractured Powerstone only really makes sense in Planechase.

Other notable cards in this deck include Mitotic Slime (excellent with devour), Wall of Blossoms (which needs to be reprinted more if you ask me), Awakening Zone, Fires of Yavimaya (not nearly as good as it used to be), Hellion Eruption to end games and Warstorm Surge to ensure everyone stays dead. There isn’t any new art in this set. Now to the planes!

Furnace Layer

The second New Phyrexia plane, the Furnace Layer feels odd to me. I understand the vibe is this card is supposed to be red and black, but the art screams mono-red. Then you get to fact that this results in random selecting of players to discard and possibly punishing them further. The chaos is nice, but this card feels a touch too random for my liking.


Devour 5 is terrifying. It turns a Llanowar Elf into a 6/6! Early game, this forces everyone to use their removal or suffer the consequences, especially if you are playing blue and white. I mean, Bant at least gives Exalted to all creatures, while Jund just says “screw you” to its enemies. Adding the goblin fodder as a chaos is a beautiful touch since it basically reads as “roll chaos, your next creature is going to be massive.”

Kilnspire District

With mana burn gone, this card is all upside and works better than Braid of Fire for most people. Adding extra mana is always handy but the constant increasing of counters means people will try to run to prevent the next person from really using it. The chaos is great since it gives any color a way to use the excess mana.

Lair of the Ashen Idol

I love the cards that can force a planeswalk since it prevents the dice from having all the control. But forcing people to sacrifice a creature or walk makes for a very interesting dynamic. But the chaos is what I really like. Being able to essentially force people not to be able to trigger the auto-walk while clearly marking your enemies makes for an interesting political plane. Well, until someone is able to just roll and walk.

Orochi Colony

I’m still debating if this card is hilarious or not. In my playgroup, basics are becoming terrifyingly rare (to the point where just the other night, Bruce only had two basics in his entire deck!). My biggest gripe about this is that the card is based off Centaur Rootcaster… which isn’t from Kamigawa. Still, the card encourages attacking which is fine by me.


Yeah, because everyone loved Angelic Arbiter. And then a Chaos of lifegain? I will be walking away from here as soon as I arrive because I want to speed up the game, not stop it in its tracks.

Selesnya Loft Gardens

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! It’s Doubling Season! This is awesome. Oh and the Chaos is Mana Flare, but just for you. This is an amazing plane I never want to leave!


The vampire home, Stensia encourages attacking and damaging players which gets two thumbs up from me. Making your creatures bigger is great, especially since this triggers off any damage not just combat. Toss in the Chaos turning everyone in Tim makes me very interested since it is a use it or lose it ability.

Reality Shaping

I love Eureka and Hypergenesis in casual and this just makes me happy. A free card that happens to be the best in your hand can rapidly escalate the game. A great phenomenon until you realize that you go first and your opponents get to adjust their plans accordingly.

Spatial Merging

This is downright weird and I love it. We finally figured out how to make it work with the Eternities Map too! Being on two planes at once can cause some rules headaches or turn the battle into a hilarious slaughter fest. I still don’t know how a Blood Elf got in Magic though.

As a deck, Primordial Hunger is really begging for focus. The creature ramp into devouring monsters is fine, but some little additions like Volt Charge and Mogg War Marshal would really allow for this deck to accelerate into giant dragons and a terrifying Thoromok. And for the record, Doubling Season is mean with Living Weapon.

Primordial Hunger

11 Forest
Gruul Turf
Kazandu Refuge
Khalni Garden
Skarrg, the Rage Pits
Terramorphic Expanse
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
Awakening Zone
Fiery Conclusion
Fires of Yavimaya
Flayer Husk
Fractured Powerstone
Hellion Eruption
Mark of Mutiny
Warstorm Surge

Planar Deck

New Phyrexia – Furnace Layer
Alara – Jund
Ravnica – Kilnspire District
Azgol – Lair of the Ashen Idol
Kamigawa – Orochi Colony
Ravnica – Prahv
Ravnica – Selesnya Loft Gardens
Innistrad – Stensia
PHENOMENON – Reality Shaping
PHENOMENON – Spatial Merging