Do people still run the Ravnica Karoo lands (Azorius Chancery etc)? I think the turn 2 play is important for a lot of decks so I've been tending to cut them. Their effect is still really strong, but I feel having all 10 in cube is a bit over kill.
They do give you the exact same tempo disadvantage as any other tapped land, except, that you and up with an additional card in your hand. Cutting fixing because of 2 drops is not a good reason. It's not like you usually play 10 tapped lands in a deck.
Were there really no new good U cards in these sets?
What do you think of the changes below?
1. You also have 2 Knights in White. I'm not entirely sure, but I think Humphrey is pretty high on it. I would simply give it a try. I would be interested to hear your results.
2. The worst case is still a 2 mana ramp spell, which is fine. I think there is no harm in testing it.
3. White creatures and bascially everything is getting pretty stacked. I personally have huge problems finding even a single cut. The Martyr is pretty weird as it requires 3 creatures already on board, which you aren't guaranteed to have early on, where it would be the most impressive. It also eats up an attack step. Apart from that it wants to be in a swarm deck with a lot of tokens, but these decks would rather spend cards to go wider instead of casting "big" creatures. It's definitely not bad, I'm only trying to find reasons why it's not making the cut for many people. Also there is of course the fact, that not everyone runs a swarm theme and without stuff like Raise the Alarm it's not actually that attractive.
4. -Wildfire Elemental: I run it, but I didn't had much opporutnity to play my pauper cube lately, so I don't have too much data on it. In theory it seems great. It is similar to Martyr's Soul bound to a swarm theme, which not everyone runs.
-Ruthless Invasion: These "Falter" effects are definitely decent and you can't really go wrong with them, but with a swarm theme, stuff like Trumpet Blast simply has more impact.
-Lifecraft Cavalry: Revolt isn't actually that reliable to trigger and we have got some great 5 drops lately, like Gorilla Shaman, which are simply more consistently better.
-Citanul Woodreaders: Ramp is still not really a thing and greens strength lie in 1 mana ramp, hexproof creatures and some efficient midrange creatures. Citanul Woodreaders is more of a late game value card, that doesn't go that well with the green archetypes and if you were to go for e.g. UG blue simply does card draw a lot better.
5. I'm not the biggest Festerhide Boar fan, because it can be really hard to actively trigger Morbid in green and once you need to play this in the same turn as a removal spell the great cost/stat ratio becomes less relevant. I still think it's the better version of Lifecraft Cavalry, but I would probably go for the other 2.
6. Not really. Since we don't get any new cmc 2 counter spells, especially not at common blue doesn't actually change that much. Cloudkin Seer was by far the most exciting thing we got lately.
7. They seem fine.
I get what the card wants to do, but its only +1 dmg while charge is +2 meaning you need double the amount of attackers. And red usually has enough reach already.
Your attackers wont survive for a second swing
There is a huge difference between combat damage and non combat damage. Also you can never have enough reach, because when red decks lose they mostly lose because they don't have enough reach.
While including the new evaluations into the project my eyes stuck for a bit on Raid Bombardment. I support the swarm theme pretty heavily. Sure it's not Cavalcade of Calamity, but that card is an uncommon for a good reason and I think the effect might be worth an additional mana. I also remember playing with Hellrider which was an extremely strong rare.
It doesn't scale as much as a Dynacharge, but that's a one trick pony. It also can't enable trades in any way, but it's a lasting effect, that allows you to swing in with your token army at multiple stages without putting a thought into the casualties you will suffer.
It really shows Al never played Empty the Warrens, while its in my cube since forever. First of all 4 tokens for cmc4 is already good enough and triggers for 2 spells after opponents removal. Just add a Manamorphose or Gut Shot and youre already in "magical christmas land" smh
Well all you need is to have all of them in your draft pool, your deck and your hand at the exact spot.
Opt: The power level of cantrips scales with the power level of the format, which is way they are the best in formats like legacy and modern and only ok in standard. I've actually reduced the amount of cantrips down to [/card]]Preordain[/card], which is by far the strongest without any setup like fetchlands, which is required for Brainstorm and Ponder to perform.
Emtpy the Warrens: I think it's magical christmas land to copy it 2 times at a point in game where it really matters. With only 1 additional spell it's not good enough and with 2 additional spells you need to have 6-8 mana when you cast it and usually hold back on spells you could have cast earlier, just to enable this.
Frantic Search: It's basically a combo only card. The card disadvantage really hurts in this format. Faithless Looting also leaves you with 1 card down, but at least you can flashback it.
Gush: It's by far not as good as it is in constructed, but still decent.
Snap: I highly dislike bounce spells without card draw attached, because it's card disadvantage. It might also read as a free spell, but in fact you have to have 2 mana open. I much prefer Repulse, Repeal or at least the ones, that can bounce 2 creatures aka Withdraw/Undo.
Pyroceratops: After the first spell it's a 3/4, which is slightly under curve and only after casting 2 spells it actually starts to grow above curve. Also if this gets killed before it actually started to become a threat 4 mana is a lot of mana spend on a undwerwhelming creature.
Spellgorger Weird: I like this one a lot more. The cheaper the creature, the more likely you are to have mana left over to cast another spell and if this get's killed by a 1-2 mana removal spell you are only down 1-2 mana and not 2-3 like with the ceratops. It also only needs 1 spell to be on curve and after the 2nd spell it's already a 4/4, which isn't that different from a 4/5 for 1 additional mana. Also the sooner you get the spell payoffs on the board the more spells you usually have after that.
Stitched Drake: Blue decks can actually struggle to get creatures into the yard early. This dude is still fine later in the game, but can be very hard to play on curve.
Stormbound Geist: A very annoying threat. It sure isn't very good in a very defensive deck, but against a removal heavy deck it can perform really well.
Ahn-Crop Invader: Well Bogardan Dragonheart exists. If you really want to push the red sac theme it's ok, but not to impressive. As much as I like the offensive design of first strike from a game design perspective, First Strike is still at it's best when blocking.
Grim Initiate: Meh. Sac fodder, but not much else. First Strike in combination with 1 power doesn't do much as soon as your opponent has a simple 2/2.
Fencing Ace: It really depends how many way to pump it you have. In a vacuum it's not worth it.
Manamorphose: It seems like you really want to push the spells matter theme. I personally think it's a trap and never performs as well as it reads on paper, but if you really want to force it, you need to play a bunch of cheap cantrips, this one included. Apart from the the card is kind of meh. For fixing purposes it doesn't really do the job very well, because you don't want to keep this card in hand and wait until you draw your splash card.
You don't need to have BB on turn 2 for Hymn to be good. It's devastating in several situations and since it conly costs 2 mana not much development is lost. The Shinobi requires some conditions and I've rarely seen it connect more than once. Even the first connect isn't guaranteed against instant speed removal and it doesn't matter how much removal you have if the Shinobi simply gets killed. There is not much anyone can do against Hymn, except not having a hand.
Well green is pretty weak. It's creatures aren't that much better than other colors and the only thing it really has, that others colors don't have access to is cc1 ramp. Hexproof is a way to give green something unique and something worth ramping into, since simply casting a big fatty ahead of curve won't really cut it in this format, which is basically dominated by cheap, efficient removal.
I still decided to cut it a while ago, since it's pretty much the most boring archetype imagineable. It simply limits interaction and even though it's definitely possible to outtempo the hexproof/aura decks, most control decks simply don't have good answers and end up not really playing magic. I decided instead to simply put in all the mana elves and all the reasonably sized midrange creatures I could find in addition to some combat tricks.
Combat tricks aren't really that amazing against removal, but there is a bunch of decent ones, which can really make up for the risk. This means that green remains the weakest color, but as long as it's open you can still draft good decks. Also green has some of the best commons in form of Rancor, Blastoderm and probabldy the most busted limited common of all Sprout Swarm.
For dicard spells I think I like Unburden the most. The fact that Aspect of Lamprey can fizzle is a huge bummer. Also these kinds of effects are highly situational, so Cycling is great here. Memory Leak is also decent.
Modern Horizons, a set I have never played [...] and which was probably the worst designed set in recent history
I don't want to troll or anything, but the first part seems to contradict with the judgement in the 2nd part. I've played some Modern Horizons and it wasn't badly designed. It wasn't as interesting as Ultimate Masters, but definitely better than Master 25 and Ironic Masters.
It's totally your decision to set any time frame you want for your cube and when foiling I can definitely see not wanting to update constantly. I can also understand, that you are happy with the cube as it is and see no reason to make major changes, which include the risk of making anything worse, but I think if you just want the powerlevel to be on a lower average the new sets won't really hurt, unless you decide to cut all the older powerful cards as well.
War of the Sparks was definitely a turning point, but it's not the peak of power level in sets. The Spike back than from Lorwyn to it's peak in the first Zendikar got way more out of hand and it wasn't after Innistrad that they became more or less consistent on a lower power level, until War of the Spark of course.
I didn't have the impression that Modern Horizons was actually that powerful. Masters Sets traditionally brought some decent cards (Vintage Masters had Battle Screech). I actually have to look at my list, to see which cards I actually included from the set, because none of them were outstandingly powerful enough for me to remember it from the top of my head. I guess the best cards were Rhox Veteran, First-Sphere Gargantua and Trumpeting Herd, which were all decent staples, but if the "Evaluate Everything Project" still had a "Bomb" section, none of these cards would be close to reaching that. There still are a lot older cards, which are much more powerful than the new ones.
I think the big difference with the pumped up powerlevel from War of the Sparks on was that I went from 0-1 new inclusions each set to like 1-3, but again nothing outstanding, that comes close to the most powerful old cards in my cube. The only one that I actually remember of the top of my head, that felt really pushed was probably Cloudkin Seer.
As I was just evaluating Throne of Eldraine I stumbled over Wildwood Tracker and checked how many humans I have in green. The answer is 2 out of 42. This means that in the context of a green deck this is pretty consistently a 2/2 for G. It's obviously still weak to 1 damage burn, but so is Elite Vanguard. Except for white my other colors aren't particuallry flooded with humans, so outside of GW this is actually a decent onedrop for aggro decks, I've personally overlooked, since it was pretty bad in ELD limited.
While revisting my old ratings in the evalute everything project I stumbled over Curse of the Pierced Heart. I think this can be a very strong effect for aggressive red decks to push through the final points of damage, when you run out of gas right in front of the finish line. This card is a staple in constructed pauper burn and considering the strength of cards like Pillory of the Sleepless and Ill-Gotten Inheritance, these
hard to deal with pesky enchantments with repeating effects can be a real nuisance. I think this might be an overlooked gem. What do you think?
Another thing is the question of Cycle lands and maybe more utility lands over all. I've found that my cube has way way to many playables, which was made awfully clear to me during the last draft where we simply stopped after the 2nd pack and everyone had a decent deck. Decreasing the amount of playables by replacing them with utility lands like Haunted Fengraf are some more the the mono colored etb-lands could be interesting.