A Magic: The Gathering fan has made a planeswalker card that can stand in as a player when you can’t get enough people together for your MTG Commander game. The idea is that this NPC card will help “round out” three-person pods.
Made by Twitter user dusty cupboards, the MTG planeswalker ‘Ramaz the Reckless and Free’ has rules that make it run automatically, essentially functioning as a fourth person at the EDH table. It doesn’t use a Commander deck, instead creating 3/1 ‘Carnivore’ creatures whenever it would normally draw, and sending them charging at the player with the most life.
Ramaz is a character from the 2014 Duels of Planeswalkers video game, who’s never appeared on a real MTG card. Here, he’s pretty fearsome, with an expanding litany of powers. Not only does he deal damage to each player in his upkeep, equal to the number of Carnivores he controls, he can buff his army with counters, tap creatures down, goad, force sacrifices – all sorts!
The way this works with the Commander bot is you roll a die before each combat, then activate the power that’s rolled for. Ramaz’s power level increases the closer he gets to death. He unlocks new abilities, and at under 10 life his carnivores all get lifelink, keeping him in the game.
In all honesty, this Ramaz design is probably a little too strong. Creating a 3/1 and then likely buffing it to a 4/2 on turn one is rather scary – and you probably want an AI to be slightly weaker than your average player, unless you want to turn the game mode into Archenemy.
We’re enamored with the idea, however, and can see the potential for lots more NPC player cards like this. Let’s say this is the aggressive horde variant, but could there be other versions representing different MTG strategies.
Perhaps there could be a Tron bot that wins through equipment tokens and Commander damage, a control variant that has access to counterspells and board wipes. Just don’t give the AI extra turn spells or insanely complex combos, or I’m scooping.