So apart from me obviously being in favor of Worldknit, as it simply is my favorite cube card around and I have already stated a while ago, why I think this is a fine inclusion, that doesn't really break the rarity rule.
Conspiracies worth talking about IMO are:
-Emissary's Ploy and Unexpected Potential: These enable "free" splashes. Not super interesting, but they open up access to cards for specific colors they otherwise wouldn't have access to.
-Summoner's Bond: This could offer the possibility to enable certain synergies/combos more consistently.
-Weight Advantage: An effect we don't have access to in pauper. This could enable some interesting draft decisions, even though I'm not sure if there are actually enough T>P creatures for this to be worth it, unless you actively put them in your cube.
-Hymn of the Wilds: Probably the most interesting one beneath Worldknit as it incentives players do draft in a significant way, with a reasonable downside. I think this is especially interesting for pauper, since it's simply the format with the biggest discrepancy in powerlevel between creatures and instants/sorceries. It could be broken though. Can't say much more without testing.
-Worldknit: A small summary, why I think this card is awesome and perfectly fine to put in your pauper/peasant cube:
-I've tested this card extensively and can say for sure the decks this creates aren't broken. They can be very strong, but the downside is so significant, that it balances out in the end and the decks usually end up a little bit weaker than the average deck, while obviously be a lot more fun.
-Since this is only in your command zone your deck will still only consist of 100% commons/uncommmons.
-While certain cards like Flood, Crypt Rats and Pestilence are a lot stronger than in a 2 color deck, the increased deck size means, that you don't draw them every game and these are cards other drafters will also not pass on easily.
-The Worldnkit player acts as some kind of "trashbag" for all the guild cards no one else picks and the fixing that keeps floating around, because a tapped land is always better than a weak card you don't want.
-No matter how well you draft with this in mind you will always end up with some last picks, that are pretty terrible for your deck and pretty much just dead weight, you don't really want, which prevents this from creating absurdly strong decks.
-Drafting around this is a lot of fun and I've never gotten anything, but positive feedback about this card and even though the decks in the end usually don't turn out as powerful as some people hoped (The Worldknit deck rarely wins it all) people still do have a lot of fun drafting around this and playing with the deck, which is obviously a lot more diversified than a 40 card deck.
The only Conspiracy in my cube is Power Play. It's good and fun but not really amazing. I mean, it only helps you about 50% of the time. Given that it costs you a pick, it usually goes in the later half of a pack, when people are finding less actual cards that fit their colors. So far, everyone has been pretty cool with it. I have to say that if it added complexity, I'd probably pull it, but being able to skip rolling the die tends to streamline things.
For me - no. I try to build whatever deck I am building and just consider Power Play as icing on the cake. I'm also not much of an aggro player to begin with - I prefer control strategies with synergy/combo when possible.
For my other cube players - not sure. I guess it would be an interesting question to ask them next time we get together.
Are theoretically back breaking. But when you take them also has to be justified. The sooner you get the "mana of any color" ones, the better. As you can then just pick applicable cards; be it 1/2/3cmc creatures, all the gold cards, etc. But running a deck with 5 less cards is good. I will grant that. You get to run 2 less lands, don't need to work as hard to get to your better cards. However, did you pass a bomb to get this "bomb"? Backup Plan is so dirty it transcends time and space. Seeing what your mulligan +1 looks like ahead of time? awesome! I would definitely say it is a p1p1. Doesn't stop Fireball though. You still gotta play well, and get your land mix right for that matter.
*Also there have been many Limited Tech articles about how going first is not the back breaker it is in Constructed. So Power Play is fair enough.
**Sovereign's Realm has a challenge and balance. You need 40 cards in your deck WITHOUT basics, you get 2 less cards permanently, and you need to figure out when to stop burning cards as lands. Plus, what is right to pitch in the first 3-5 turns. It looks wildly unfair; but it is a Skill-Tester.
I am acquiring them as a test bed. But also figuring out how they should be counted? Do we draft them before we draft cards (yes, I was thinking of a format change so you know ahead of time), do I just add them to my 360, do I cut cards to fit them in?
Emmisary's Ploy and Unexpected Potential are really awesome, but not Top 5 picks in a pack. They do take a normal slot in pick order and obviously need paired properly to really help you.
Summoner's Bond, to me, is almost a perfectly designed skill-tester. You don't snatch it early, it mildly helps you by being a 2 card tutor, and which 2 Creatures being paired requires some understanding of what your deck needs to do. Do you pair 2x 5cmcs?, or a 2 + 5cmc? It doesn't just have to be for combo, it can just be value.
To me Conspiracies are more suited to powered cubes where you can do more with them and where they shake up what can be a pretty stale format in general.
In pauper they run against the grain of feeling like a turbo-charged traditional limited format.
And there are always players who don't like them on principle and/or consider them a gimmick so it's rare for an entire play group to be thrilled about using them.
In terms of how to draft them, since they never go in your deck you can put them in different color sleeves and deal out one per pack. That's basically how real Conspiracy drafts worked although to get enough Conspiracy cards for every pack you also need to include the "draft matters" cards such as Cogwork Librarian -- which is conveniently a common.
These can be acquired at almost any time and still be viable for use. As Al discussed, some of these have a perception of "broken" or "overpowered". They are also just "good", as they can just be slotted into your build with no detriment as they do not exclude and of your choices. Summoner's Bond is just a good-to-great value card that tutor-links 2 creatures you are going to play anyways. It just increases the reliability of those 2 bodies in your deck.
These are more towards "build around me". Seeing these in Pack 1 is about when I would feel confident having them. In later packs, they be too unproductive. Hymn basically says: No non-permanent. Weight Advantage specifically wants higher toughness bodies. And those are excluding some colors.
These have more specific, but not too restrictive, payoffs. E. Ploy wants you to have a better selection in the 2/3cmc (because 5-color 1cmc doesn't sound as viable). If you know this you can learn more towards crazier, off-color(s) bodies.
I. Analysis wants either Buyback, Flashback, Recover, Jump-Start, or Retrace-like mechanics. Even just Flashback gets you +2 cards for no extra investment than the draft slot. But if you do not already have one of these repeat use spells, taking this means you are on the lookout more so. But worst case, it can still be taken and name a card that makes your 40.
Ost of the Common level Hidden Agenda ones have such a middling payout that even enhancing a specific creature seldom offsets getting them. Giving extra counters, haste, or even U: Draw a card is only average. Sentinel Dispatch is a nice Turn 0 speed bump that is especially solid against the wave of X/1's Aggro tend to run. It is not a First 10 pick, but I am not against taking it over an off-color hate draft.
I would feel terrible going into a pauper cube draft and having these rare conspiracies used against me. They don't feel like pauper at all.
I take exception to Summoner's Bond being labeled "just" a value card. Free creature tutoring (as in, not even taking up space in your deck or mana to cast!) is not even close to common power level.
And I really shouldn't need to explain how powerful the rare/mythic conspiracies are. Like, I'm wondering if anyone has bothered to ask themselves why Wizards would want to increase the rarity of Backup Plan and decrease the rarity of Brago's Favor.
Finally, what you call middling, I call appropriate. Check these out:
I feel like you haven't really considered all the unique synergies that come up when you have all the best pauper cards to play around with. Or maybe you have, and y'all are bored with pauper, in which case I humbly recommend trying out powered or peasant cubes instead of trying to force pauper cubes to be something they're not. Those other cubes are a blast too.
Bored is closer to the accuracy of the discussion. But to discuss Conspiracy rarity, pauper cube rarity, as well as balancing:
Rarity in the Conspiracy is both on a power, complexity as well as restrictions of availability/scarcity. Many cite Hired Heist as a top pick Conspiracy in its format. But some of mt hat has to do with duplicates or fetch creatures from CNS (Conspiracy 1). When you only get 1 creature (arguably more if you get Sparkspitter), recursion is about the only way to really break it. The Uncommons and above do something not at a Pauper-level, but at a Draft/Limited level. Same as if I argued Planechase/Vanguards. They are an external modifier. And the ones that change how your deck can be constructed or function seem, to me, more akin to how Vanguards worked, just draftable.
I am not disagreeing that a Buyback spell discounted, or effect doubled cannot be the back breaker we fear. But yet, there has also been discussion of how they are losing their potency in the more recent year. I cannot argue results or percentages as that data is so conditional and rare, it is just up to an individual.
What I like most about the Splash/Gold-encouraging ones are that they allow the undrafted guild cards to get played. A single shot, "you can pay any color" enabler is still using the drafted order, but allowing the drafter to get to play that 1 strong gold card. It is still a 1-2 combo like the common Hidden Agendas that empower that 1 Creature.
I am very aware what I am suggesting, but the rarity of the Conspiracies feel like those first few magic packs where you did not understand Complexity Balancing between rarities. The common ones really want to have multiple repeated bodies, while the multicolor ones want to allow the drafter to play a different kind of magic, but with the same cards.
I have ordered all my Conspiracies to try and experiment both in terms of effect, but also in terms of how/when these effects should be known to the draft pod.
I know they are "outside" the rarity of the cards theirselves, however... as Al pointed out, they exist in the Command Zone and so the end product is still all Pauper decks playing mg Magic.
*I also am seeing about the multiplayer aspect of them too. That could be a balance as well.