Scrambleverse may or may not be the most fun you’ll have all year. It all depends on which permanents you get. Explicit randomness has been
deprecated in Magic ever since Frenetic Efreet frustrated players the world over by stubbornly refusing to die and at other times stubbornly refusing
to live. As with most random effects, the benefits gained are assigned far from randomly. There are lots of good ways to bias the scales in your favor,
so long as you’re in an environment where you can survive long enough to pull this off.
One obvious approach is to not play non-land permanents. When looked at from one angle, there’s not that much difference between Scrambleverse
and a spell that destroys all non-land permanents, since those permanents get randomly assigned, so most of them on net provide their previous owners
no benefit. You can also combine this with permanents that have global effects that don’t depend on the player. Your Torpor Orb doesn’t
care who owns it, and neither does your Mana Flare or Howling Mine. They’re still doing their jobs from any corner of the battlefield. The flip
side of that would be cards that might not work for others but also don’t do anything if they fall into the wrong hands. Colored mana activations
are good protection, as no one without red mana will get much use out of your Grim Lavamancer.
Another approach with your permanents is to hide or get rid of them. Sacrificing your non-land permanents for mana to cast your Scrambleverse solves
two potential problems, and many red decks play red cards that don’t last long in any case. The best way to get rid of problematic permanents is
to have a method of sacrificing whatever you need to sacrifice, which can kill anything that opponents are playing that doesn’t shut off when
they hand it over. One excellent way to solve this problem is Greater Gargadon. Yet another approach is to reclaim your permanents. Bounce spells
return permanents to their owners’ hands, and Brand gets them all back at almost no cost.
This spell should also be excellent at sowing dissension in the ranks in multiplayer. If all cards change hands suddenly, lots of players become
vulnerable to attack, and those who are the beneficiaries of your admittedly haphazardly aimed largesse are unlikely to look in your direction if there
are other good choices. The ones who missed out aren’t a problem. Meanwhile each card goes away when its owner dies, so this is a good way of
killing a lot of those cards off permanently. It’s also an opportunity to play a mass removal spell without everyone casting you as a villain for
killing off all their stuff.
It’s hard to deny that eight mana is a lot to pay, but this effect is unique. There are lots of good times to be had in the Scrambleverse, so
even if the price of admission isn’t cheap it could still be a place worth visiting from time to time.