S tier (going in and staying in) Anax, Hardened in the Forge - Nuts value. I support red Aristocrats so this is defiantly going to be a roll player while still being good outside of that deck.
A tier - Strong cards, but I'm not married to them Chainweb Aracnir - I think people are a bit too high on this card. The 1/2 body can certainly deter certain cards, but it's invalidated by the vast majority of my cube. Obviously that doesn't matter as much when you get to recast it (and then it comes with +1/+1 counter synergy) but 5 for a 4/5 reach is too "fair" for me to get excited. The times you do get to trade using the 1/2 this card will be great but that's not guaranteed.
B - Good if you're in the market for it Alirios, Enraptured - I want to compair this to Wing Splicer (which I cut years ago) but I don't think it's actually simmilar enough to compare. The stats are certainly there though, as a 3/2 that leaves a 2/3 and has blink synergies sounds like it should be good on paper.
Careless Celebrant - Another Aristocrats card. One of the better options at 1R. Debatably stronger than Perilous Myr but obviously more restrictive. Mindwrack Harpy - Totally fine card if you're after more self-mill. Destiny Spinner - Great stats and lots of words for 1G. I expect that anybody pushing Enchantress decks in their cube would be remiss not to include it. Irreverent Revelers - The best version of this effect in red. I'm just not in the market and this isn't exciting enough for me to jump in. Acolyte of Affliction - Fine for people pushing GB graves, fine outside of those decks but less exciting. I'm happy with my GB cards as they are currently but I wouldn't raise an eyebrow if I saw this in somebody's list. Mogis's Favour - Could invalidate X/1's over a long game. Has aggressive potential I'd have to play with it to assess how often you can recast it as that will fundamental to its power level. Mire Triton - Very unexciting but could be a useful roll player in larger cubes. I bumped this up from C tier because while I don't like it, I think I have to respect it. Siona, Captain of the Pyleas - I forgot this one. I think you'd have to dedicate a lot of room to make "Auras" a thing ("Enchantments" seems much easier to accomodate) but this would definitely be an include if you did.
C - Decent cards if you're digging deep Dreamshaper Shaman - Ok hear me out. This effect is pretty much unique at Peasant. It plays with red Aristocrats, and it gives you a way to (hopefully) trade up redundant 1/2 cmc cards you draw int he late game on the same turn you cast them. I think there's potential there in larger cubes. Entrancing Lyre - This requires some breathing room as it's mana intensive (which makes it really a win-more card), but over multiple turns you could start to lock up a whole board. Very cool effect, if not practical. Nessian Hornbeetle - If you're in the counters deck this could do some work. Stinging Lionfish - Cool effect. I hope this is an archetype they come back to in future as it's got potential. I expect this will be an awesome foil. Callaphe, Beloved of the Sea - I treat these demigods as * = their own devotion, and anything better than that is gravy. This is a nice defensive effect that could find a home in larger cubes. Renata, Called to the Hunt - How many cards are entering the battlefield after you cast your 4drop? Like it's cool and all and maybe somebody is pushing GW tokens where this could be pretty strong. Anyone still on Sprout Swarm? Reverent Hoplite - How many tokens do you need to be happy with spending 5 on this. I'm thinking like at least 4? 3 would be dissapointing. If you're playing mono white this might get there semi-consistently but outside of that I don't buy it. Even at the best of times this seems like a lot of win-more. Non-bo in a tokens deck which ironically is the deck that would be most excited by the payoff. EDIT: With a heavy flicker package I could see this being stronger, so I've bumped it from D to C.
D tier - bad Pharika's Libation - Being edict based rather than targeted makes this much worse than Abrade. Omen of the Dead - I just want to point out that this is the first instant speed version of this effect for B, and it's got additional upside. Hopefully a sign of things to come. Elspeth's Nightmare - 1 - weak for 2B removal. 2 - easy to wiff. 3 - regularly irrelevant. Blood Aspirant - Unlike Careless Celebrant, this requires a lot more going right to be decent in the same deck.
Finally getting around to getting an overall feel. I will admit - while I enjoy some mechanics, the repeated pseudo-Heroic and emphasis on Constellation do limit the applicability of the set. If the payoff for the 'first spell on an opponent's turn' cards was better, I think they might be interesting but the resulting flash support is also a decent boon in principle.
Under Consideration: The Birth of Meletis: Much of the time, the decks that want Wall of Omens want steady access to lands. Omen of the Sun: Decent enough value for the cost when you want tokens. Alirios, Enraptured: Good value for the cost and blink synergies but not very interesting at any given time on the field. Callaphe, Beloved of the Sea: One extra mana on a removal spell can make or break a turn. Has the ability to grow big but does not synergise well with its own colour. Whirlwind Denial: Countering abilities is still very rare in this format despite there being many strong ones (mainly triggers) and that makes even a 3 mana counter worth considering, given how it also just often acts as a basic counterspell. Though, ETB effects are answered just the same by any counterspell at all so I would need to check what other options there are. Agonizing Remorse: Non-land targeted discard is already strong and often costed higher. GY hate as a bonus. Elspeth's Nightmare: Has the potential for good value but is slow with it and both abilities are highly conditional. Mire Triton: Role-player; deathtouch is very versatile on a small but passably high power creature. Mogis's Favor: Versatile, including option for repeated removal. Pharika's Spawn: Good Escape mode; passable vanilla base creature to act as a roadblock in particular. Underworld Rage-Hound: Really annoying drawback versus token decks but otherwise, a decent early attacker with mid- to late game value. Nyx Herald: By itself, probably still worse than Hungry Spriggan but working on itself helps and maybe there are enough alternative targets. Omen of the Hunt: I know Cultivate provides more direct value but Flash is nice and ramp decks want to filter out many plays once they have enough mana available.
Cards I like: Reverent Hoplite: Value through Devotion is always nice but it is a terrible top deck. Sentinel's Eyes: I like recyclable, decently costed auras. Omen of the Sea: The extra scry can come in a pinch later but I have enough cantrips and prefer them at 1 mana. Stinging Lionfish: Stats do not get there, given how occasional the effect is and how it requires extra synergies to be good. But a cool card. Dreamshaper Shaman: Slow and high mana cost. I do not think it would have been broken if its ability had no associated mana cost. Would have played it then. Irreverent Revelers: One of the better artifact destruction options for red. Destiny Spinner: Good baseline stats; supports an archetype I cannot say I can get behind enough to make it worthwhile. Acolyte of Affliction: Boring but solid. Devourer of Memory: Solid aggressive card and mana sink. Siona, Captain of the Pyleas: Looks satisfyingly deep and you can always play Pacifism effects to increase her hit rate.
I almost just show up for this one post every spoiler season, so let's make the most of it.
First off, I barely got to cube in 2019, so take this all with a grain of salt as I present my "too early top 20" of cards I am most excited about for my cube in Theros: Beyond Death. I have a larger CUbe that is designed to be powerful, so my card selections are different than most. I have quite a few cards no one has mentioned on their lists since the full spoiler was released (#18, #16, #15, #14, #12, #11, #9, #7, and #4).
20) Nyx Herald- Green 3-drops are perennially bad, so this is up for consideration, but being a 3/4 only on attacking does not really do it for me.
19) Whirlwind Denial- Peasant does not have big, splashy abilities to counter (like a Planeswalker ultimate), so this is mostly a curiosity as an underpowered 3-mana counter.
18) Medomai's Prophecy- This is eventually a scry 2 plus draw 2 for 1U, but it takes a long time and is not completely reliable. The first time you have to whiff on the draw 2 will be the worst feel-bad.
17) Omen of the Sea- 2 mana for instant-speed Preordain is not the worst deal and there is a scry 2 later. I think the raw power is underwhelming for the mana investment.
16) Threnody Singer- This is a fun, cheap trick for combat, but unless you are getting a card the turn you play it (or gaining a bunch of life), you end up with a 1/3 flier for 1U.
15) Alseid of Life's Bounty- I love interesting 1-drops, but I think this effect costing 1 mana to activate saps a lot of the value out of this card. Kind of a Siren Stormtamer but with a worse keyword.
14) Mischievous Chimera- My only top 20 gold card. I think this is a good card for aggressive Izzet sections, since the 1 extra damage on counters and instant-speed burn could add up.
13) Callaphe, Beloved of the Sea- I would have to be constantly getting 3 or 4 devotion to be truly happy, and I do not count that as being reliable in blue. I like the targeting tax a lot though.
12) Escape Velocity- Certainly worse than Reckless Charge, but there is a little upside here as a permanent (but smaller) boost.
11) Eidolon of Inspiration- This is a planeswalker deck card that is a 3-mana Battle-Rattle Shaman. It adds 2 damage right away in a color that has a lot of attacking 1- and 2-drops, plus a ton of evasive creatures all over the curve.
10) Renata, Called to the Hunt- I agree with the thoughts of n00b1n8r about this hitting after most of your creatures have already been cast. Ramp decks do cast plenty of more expensive creatures, but Renata does not sync with that plan either. I also think it is a little worse than Druid's Familiar.
9) Underworld Rage-Hound- There have been so many interesting red 2-drops with weird drawbacks and I have no idea how to judge them at first glance. The "must attack" drawback is pretty bad, but the escape upside is pretty good. Color me confused on this one.
Cards I Am Excited to Test
8) Alirios, Enraptured- On its own, the card would be a fringe Cube card. Then add the sacrifice and blink synergies and you have a fun (and super interesting) blue 3-drop.
7) Daybreak Chimera- A very volatile card with high upside for white aggro decks. I think a lot of the decks playing Chimera will either get a 3/3 flier for 1WW or a great double spell turn on turns 4-6. It helps that white has a ton of removal that add devotion.
6) Mire Triton- I think it is real easy to get a card-and-a-half of value off of this Triton between possibly trading up, milling relevant cards and gaining 2 life. It should have a home in lots of decks because of all the small upsides it offers.
5) Careless Celebrant- Here is another card that should generate a lot of extra value. The 2-for-1 can be blanked, but the upside and fit in red are both excellent.
4) Thirst for Meaning- This was my #1 card until I saw no one talking about it and realizing Thirst for Knowledge is not even in the CubeTutor Peasant 720 Average Cube. I like filtering a lot more than most and think the generic "Draw 3, discard 2" as a 2U Instant is still better than Think Twice, Forbidden Alchemy, and even Deep Analysis. I am willing to be wrong and cut this after a couple of drafts.
3) Chainweb Aracnir- I am not convinced a 3GG 4/5 spider with reach that deals 4 to a flier would be a CUbe card at all. Then this card has additional upsides and downsides. The upside is affecting the board as a 1-drop and being a multi-recurring 4/5 late-game. The upside is affecting the board as a 1-drop and being a multi-recurring 4/5 late-game. The downsides are needing to have 4 cards in graveyard to escape and having to get this to the graveyard first. I think the upsides are much larger, especially if your CUbe can get cards to the graveyard.
2) Irreverent Revelers- This is a function of my CUbe playing a lot of strong artifacts and mana rocks. I think red and green have each recently got enough good creature-based artifact removal to combat the crazy strong artifacts.
1) Anax, Hardened in the Forge- As everyone has said, potentially huge power for cheap and has a relevant ability that helps red keep attacking (or sacrificing) into the mid-game. Also, the alternate version looks AWESOME.
Somehow, I managed to gloss over Eidolon of Inspiration despite having been vaguely interested in it when I first saw it.
Interesting how no one else is interested in Ilysian Caryatid. Is a 1/1 mana dork for 2 still too steep, even if it is for rainbow mana which gets doubled once a relatively easy condition is fulfilled?
In my opinion, Lampad of Death's Vigil is pretty terrible, yes. Unlike Goblin Bombardment, it both has a mana cost and only hits players. You could certainly play it in an Aristocrat's deck to double up on the drain per death. Had it been even a 2/1, I think it would have been worth considering but as a 1/3, it just does too little without you having a full board already and/or leaving mana open to sac in response to combat damage or removal.
Siona, Captain of the Pyleas needs a substantial amount of support unless if you already support an enchantress style archetype. The chance of hitting on the etb only passes 80% with 8 auras, which is hard to hit in an average cube. It's definitely more viable now with Nyx Herald and Destiny Spinner, but it's still probably 10+ changes in most cubes to make Siona reasonable.
What's the best case scenario with Ilysian Caryatid? Play it on 2, curve into a 4 with 4+ power, then curve into a 6 while being colour screwed? Most of the 4+ power 4 drops are green, and most of the 6 drops that you want to drop early are also green, so it's a worse Devoted Druid. In terms of colour fixing, Paradise Druid and Servant of the Conduit lose the early 6-7 drop which is a rare occurrence anyways, but actually have an alright floor, whereas The floor on Ilysian Caryatid is abysmal, as it can't enter combat and dies to everything.
Ah, right - Paradise Druid. I actually forgot it existed since it is such a recent addition and since I have not been actively working on my CU/be since. Agreed, it is plain better. I had Servant of the Conduit in mind as the main competition where its stats are relevant but the main ability is less suited for dedicated ramp and such.
I’ve seen a lot of people mention this card, and while most seem excited about her (how could you not be with that Wonder Woman art), I sense some amount of hesitancy over what would be needed to support her. As mentioned above, an “enchantments matter” theme is way easier to pull off than an “aura’s matter” one. Because of this I started brainstorming what auras in the Selesyna colors are actually cubeable and to what degree. Additionally, I noted which are capable of and that you might want to use to enchant your own creatures, since Siona’s second ability only provides value under these circumstances. Obviously, you can build enough support into any archetype you want, but at some point it definitely becomes pretty parasitic, with certain cards only really being playable in one specific deck. Anyway, here’s what I’ve come up with:
S-Tier (Auras that every Peasant cube everywhere is playing even with no support whatsoever) Rancor (enchants your creature)
Help me out if I missed some obvious ones, but I think most everything else would fall into a Tier 4 or below category. In making this short list I was amazed at how few really good, stand-alone auras there are – especially ones that you actually want to attach to your own creatures. For instance, most of the stuff that would trigger Siona’s second ability is in the lower tiers.
My conclusion is that if I’m going to try to cube Siona, then her second ability is basically never going to trigger (not without making space for a ton of “lower tier” archetype support stuff at least). So the question is, am I fine with her just being a 2/2 for 3cmc that PROBABLY (this isn’t for sure either without a bit of extraordinary support) grabs a Pacifism effect when she etbs. Let me know what you think.
Elephant Guide a whole tier above Griffin Guide? I've always seen Griffin as the better of the two. I also have Boar Umbra over Elephant Guide in my cube, but I'm willing to admit that one is very close, and I could be wrong there.
I have a hard time believing Ancestral Mask or All that Glitters are ever playable.
Hyena Umbra and Gryff's Boon are also perfectly playable without special support. They have such low costs for allowing smaller creatures to remain relevant, including in-built mechanisms against card disadvantage.
Yeah, another vote of support for Gryff's Boon here. It's pump and evasion for only one Mana, and it has a recursion ability that gets around the whole 2-for-1 issue that auras have. I run it without special support and love it.
Gryff's Boon is basically a fixed Rancor, so I agree with the others that it's one of the best auras we have.
Curse of Predation is a completely broken card in Peasant (so broken that many people, including me, don't run it), if the tiers are about powerlevel alone it should easily be in the same tier as Rancor.
Fertile Ground? I don't think I've seen anyone play that card. It's certainly not terrible, but the difference between one and two mana for such a card is pretty huge. Utopia Sprawl is a million times better and there are lots of other one mana ramp options in CU/be. Paradise Druid at least gives you board presence.
Same is true for Wolfwillow Haven. The 2/2 you get in the late game doesn't even remotely make up for the 2 mana you spend for a Wild Growth.
The problem with all those Pacifism effects is that while they're not terrible you can't have that many of them, especially if you want a balanced cube that also has instants and sorceries. Most people already play Oblivion Ring and/or Banishing Light because they're versatile (plus there is Conclave Tribunal and Cast Out, which are also very playable), how many Pacifisms do you want on top of that? I run two in my 405 cube, and that's more than enough.
The same is true for 'traditional' auras like Hyena Umbra, Elephant Guide or Armadillo Cloak. They're decent, but how many can be in a deck? I often have a hard time finding a place for Gryff's Boon, and that's one of the very few auras of this kind I run. An aura needs a creature, so you can't have that many unless you have the boring bogles archetype in your cube. And I haven't seen that in any cube yet, because it's the most boring way to play Magic.
There is a good amount of decent auras you can theoretically play with, but that doesn't mean you can add a lot of those auras to your cube unless you only add them to support the parasitic enchantment archetype. Sure, I could maybe replace two or three cards in my cube with auras without completely destroying the balance, but anything more than that wouldn't work for me.