How do you use Planeswalkers?

  • #1
    I've been fooling around in Cockatrice - not my own decks, I'm playing other people's decks that include Planeswalkers. Every now and then I get one out an it does good work but there are plenty of times when it seems like a bad play. I'm wondering if I misunderstand something.

    So it seems like you need to have creatures on the board first or else they get killed right away. I've been playing them as a card that taps and has summoning sickness. The opponent can attack the planeswalker directly right? So then I can't remember about summoning sickness - the planeswalker can use his ability during the opponent's turn after the initial summoning right?

    I'm asking because they seem underwhelming. I can see how certain planeswalkers would be awesome in certain decks - particularly control-ish builds - but I can't help but think that some of these decks I've been playing have no business putting a planeswalker in.
  • #2
    i pay the mana, caste them and use their abilities ...

    just kidding, jaja.

    planeswalkers serve different purposes in every deck, some defend themselves right away (gideon jura) and you often want them to stall the game a little longer, but some of them are used for something more specific and are more fragile. since you dont give any example i assume you just cast them and use an ability and pass; i strongly reccomend casting them when you know theyre not gonna die the next turn (although sometimes this is not important) this means: or you have something to protect them or the opponent does not have a threat againt it.

    also, you seem kinda confused about planeswalker abilities, you can use their abilities the turn you cast them, they dont have "summoning sickness" cause they are not creatures; also, their abilities can be used once per turn and only as a sorcery, so not during your opponents turn.

    maybe the planeswalker is not right for the deck, but i suggest you give some info or be more specific.
    EDH

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    RUGAnimar, Soul of Elements GUR
    BWGDoran, the siege towerGWB
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    WRGRith, the awakenerGRW

    Developing: Skullbriar zombies, Nekuzar Draw&Die, Zedruu enchantment control, Nath BG elves & 5C Slivers.

  • #3
    Planeswalkers can only use their abilities at sorcery speed, this means on your turn (specifically during your main phase), when nothing is on the stack (no one has cast any spells or activated any abilities that have not yet resolved).

    you can activate a planeswalker ability the turn they are played.
    Quote from Ninja Caterpie
    I guess OP wants it to be 'keyworded' like "dies" was. What word would you replace ETB with though?

    When Aegis Angel is born?
    When Huntmaster of the Fells arrives?
    When Kitchen Sphinx lands?
    When Faerie Imposter busts in?
    When Dread Cacodemon pops in?
    When Malfegor shows up?
  • #4
    You can use a planeswalker's ability once on your turn at any time you could play a sorcery (first and second main phases).

    You can use a planeswalker's ability the turn you play the planeswalker.

    Your opponent can directly attack the planeswalker. They can also redirect targetted damage from you to the planeswalker (e.g. they can redirect lightning bolt, but not combat damage).

    When playing a planeswalker, you need to remember that they can choose to attack you directly, so if your opponent has a lot of creatures and you play Jace, Memory Adept, milling them for 10, they can just swing straight at you for lethal. Generally, you want to play a planeswalker at a time when:

    1) The planeswalker is the best damage control strategy (e.g. Tamiyo, the Moon Sage to tap down your opponent's Avacyn, Angel of Hope).

    2) The planeswalker will immediately help you win or put you ahead (e.g. Liliana of the Veil, making your opponent sacrifice their only creature and allow you to swing for lethal).

    3) The repeated benefits of the planeswalker activations outweigh the potential life lost in playing them that turn, assuming that you will survive and can protect the planeswalker (e.g. Garruk Relentless to start spitting out 2/2 Wolf tokens for multiple turns).

    Of course, each planeswalker has different uses, so you need to look at the ones you are considering and ask yourself when it would be worth casting and how often you will be in that position.
  • #5
    Well there's one mistake I was making. I guess I missed that. Okay so no summoning sickness and their ability is at sorcery speed. That is helpful.

    But it seems like it's right that you need to cast them in proper circumstance. I don't know about examples - I got this one Jund decklist off of the forum in the last week - I picked it because it had like 7 (i think) planeswalkers including Garruk, Liliana, Chandra...
    There seemed to be an awful lot of hands where the planeswalker had no way to protect itself. It is possible that the deck is simply a poor deck. I have no basis for understanding how to use planeswalkers so I can't judge if a deck that uses planeswalkers is good or not.
  • #6
    I have a quick question about planeswalkers since I've just gotten back into Magic after about 10 years away from the game. I played a game yesterday on Cockatrice in which my opponent used a Bonfire of the Damned on one of my planeswalkers, and he insisted that my creatures took damage from it as well even though I wasn't the target. I was under the impression that a Bonfire targeted at a planeswalker did not affect your creatures, but he insisted that this was the correct ruling and I haven't been playing with planeswalkers long enough to go against it. In this scenario, who was correct?
  • #7
    For the most part, you do not want to cast a planeswalker if you have no means to protect it. As some have said, some are incredibly well off at protecting themselves while others need a lot of help. Control decks generally use planeswalkers as win conditions. Since they can control the board, and opponents hands they will play planeswalkers when they dont even have creatures. I played Grixis control quite a bit, and in general was able to keep mine safe quite easily. If you are not playing control or midrange, then yes, you really do not want to cast a planeswalker if you have no creatures. Having no means to protect your planeswalkers, generally means that you should be saving them as in general they are very powerful. However if thats the only play you can make, you will probably end up making it.

    And others have explained it but I will go over it again. Planeswalkers do not have summoning sickness. If a player does not Counter a planeswalker they will have priority. This means they cannot lightning bolt the planeswalker as soon as it comes into play or anything like that. As long as nothing is on the stack when a Planeswalker comes into play you will be able to use a Loyalty ability. If you have a card in play that triggers an effect when a planeswalker comes into play, I believe that they can respond to it and then target your planeswalker. As long as that is not the case though, you will be able to use a planeswalker ability before your opponent has a chance to target it at all. It is all a bit confusing until you have some more experience witht them.

    And to answere another question you had about attacking. At an opponents declare attackers they have to designate which creatures are attacking either you, or a planeswalker you control. You can then assign blockers, or cast instants to attempt to protect your planeswalker. For example if they had 2 creatures in play, and declare attacks, swinging one at you, and one at a planeswalker you control, you could then Go for the Throat the one attacking the planeswalker to protect it. The creature will still be declared attacking so any abilities it may have for doing so will take effect. But the creature will not deal combat damage to your planeswalker.
  • #8
    get thee to a rulebook. you don't know how the game works. time for some reading

    http://media.wizards.com/images/magic/resources/rules/EN_MTGM13_Rulebook.pdf

    specifically, page 7 which has a basic explanation of Planeswalkers.
  • #9
    If a rulebook could answer all of my questions i wouldve gone straight to it. If it bothers you that i asked for rules help in addition to usage advice then get thee to where-ever rude people go.

    I would be greatful if anyone would be willing to give an example or two of common plays that involve planeswalkers. I'm trying to get a handle on their role. I'm starting to get ideas of my own but i'd like to hear advice about how others have used them.
  • #10
    we have a rules forum

    http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/forumdisplay.php?f=28

    please use it
  • #11
    The rules forum is not the place to get my question answered.

    After further consideration I'm gonna straighten this out for you. i did not come in here with a rules question. I was misinformed (by a source that i had no reason to doubt) about the way they work. If i wanted to ask what speed the ability works at i couldve googled it. Thats not at all why i came here. I'm grateful to the other forum members who identified my misconception and corrected me. I do not appreciate what you posted at all. You added nothing.

    What do you think you're doing here anyways? You're not helping. You're just bringing your crap attitude in here and not even bothering to answer my question. Re-read the title. I didnt ask how they work. I asked how they're applied.
    Last edited by Illinest: 9/27/2012 2:42:07 PM
  • #12
    Quote from Teence
    I have a quick question about planeswalkers since I've just gotten back into Magic after about 10 years away from the game. I played a game yesterday on Cockatrice in which my opponent used a Bonfire of the Damned on one of my planeswalkers, and he insisted that my creatures took damage from it as well even though I wasn't the target. I was under the impression that a Bonfire targeted at a planeswalker did not affect your creatures, but he insisted that this was the correct ruling and I haven't been playing with planeswalkers long enough to go against it. In this scenario, who was correct?


    You can redirect direct damage spells such as bonfire at planeswalkers that was directed at the player, which means that the player is the initial target, and the player is choosing to redirect the damage to the planeswalker instead, thus bonfire still kills your creatures. Your opponent was 100% correct.
  • #13
    you said:

    Quote from Illinest
    I've been playing them as a card that taps and has summoning sickness. The opponent can attack the planeswalker directly right? So then I can't remember about summoning sickness - the planeswalker can use his ability during the opponent's turn after the initial summoning right?


    you were uncertain as to the rules for using planeswalkers in magic: the gathering. I directed you to a source for rules information. i also pointed out that you do not know the rules and this is a source of your confusion. that is a factual statement, not an insult. in what other way would you like to be assisted? my opinion is that you should gain a fundamental understanding of the rules of the game before you begin to ask about strategy.
  • #14
    Rules question. Thread archived.

    Wizard Certified Rules Adviser
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