I'm kinda an easy target! I'm also a little glib with that sort of thing. I probably should have said I think it's a prime candidate for cycling.
I really like effects like this, that in many games might not equate to a card's worth of value, giving it cycling feels super right. +1/+1 counters on an attacking creature is kinda a thing that is only cuing on particular circumstances, but also not always too relevant. I like it, I've played with it, but I've definitely had times when I wish it was something that didn't feel like moldervine cloak sitting in my hand and I always wish more of these narrow green effects cycled. You know how nice it is that Akroma's Vengeance cycles right? How often you aren't in a place you want to cast it but there is something in your deck you'd want to do right now?
Seems like a fine card. I might include it in the rare section of my peasant cube when people want to put rares in each pack. It seems like a good green anthem and anthems are pretty good in some formats.
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Dec 17, 2013I just love designing cards, and I was kinda being sassy at first but then I decided that it wasn't as much fun to be sassy and talking about sweet abilities for green decks and attacking creature decks was more fun.Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
I really think I could convince my buddy to cube this guy, but he also plays necromancer, ranger of eos and 4x champion.
Dec 17, 2013I think it's important to establish definitive features of environments so we know that when we interact with each other, we understand the differences between environments. I noticed one area that seemed like it was a great place to start Grim Monolith and it's ilk, and I felt like that was a really sweet spot to give an impression of the unpowered cube in relation to a number of other kinds out there.Posted in: The Cube Forum
The abundance of high power acceleration spells with different names is a pretty definitive aspect of the unpowered cube. The sort of ones that jump you from 1 to 3 or from 2-3 to 4-6. We all know the sort of thing I'm talking about if you've been playing a typical cube for several years. It doesn't even have to be a mana accelerator necessarily as much as a big drop accelerator. Tinker and cards like recurring nightmare definitely feel right at home here too. These cards make it important to have hard and fast answers that can in themselves mimic this sort of sledgehammer tempo swing.
Yes many of these Classic unpowered cubes do tonnes of sweet things other than have high pick tempo boosters and ubiquitous cheap answers, but boy are those ever still definining traits of the environment. And let me tell you, those sorts of defining traits aren't in a lot of other cubes. Lots of other kinds of cubes have things like red aggro or sweet token strategies or black mana denial, but besides proper powered cubes, very few types of cubes I've seen or played have that sort of explosive ramp element, nor is so much of their card quality concentrated in things that zoom you up in mana. Like think about some of the other cards that really define the classic cube format Balance, Upheaval. These are cards that play exceptionally well with the high value ramp cards.
The high amount of power invested in those picks lend a lot of power to strategies that work well with them. Just like how mana elves are lent a lot of potency by the existence of the very powerful swords. It's just Swords + Elves is something that happens in a lot of formats, it's not really a defining feature.
You have to think about the definition of your cube or the feel of it looking from the outside in. You might not relate to the impact of all your high pick rampers being definitive but the peasant cube player probably does and the tribal cube guy probably immediately notices the different dynamic. Heck, with cubes consisting of more and more cards from the modern faceplate, you'd think modern cube and classic unpowered would be pretty close right? Man is it ever different, and it's cards like the wealth of super ramp that absolutely dominate the difference. Big creatures / splashy plays are a lot less important without those and the sweet cheater cards. reset buttons are a lot harder to manipulate the symmetry of. Modern cube has all your cubes sweet walkers, the best creatures printed, most of the great answers and spells and all the busted equipment but it plays and drafts with some big differences. And those settle around cards and strategies that benefit from the wealth of non-power awesome mana sources. It doesn't settle around the fact there is sulphuric vortex that's for sure. It's not about having Smoke Stacks.
Now I want to reiterate. I'm not jumping on anyone's back here. I'm not telling you what you should think of your cube. I'm saying a lot of the classic cubes I've seen and played in over the years are highly influenced by a reasonable amount of power level being concentrated in awesome ramping cards and cards that work well with those cards and against those cards have sorta developed around them. You might not be aware that your draft format is so heavily influenced by that kinda thing being possible, but it's grown organically and not a lot of people have looked at their format for it's moving parts before. I'm just saying it's probably more defined by it's grim monoliths than it is by any other element in it. Mean things happen fast. Sometimes mean big things. Either make one happen or know how to play against those things. That potential is pretty definitive here. You've decided as far as old scary cards are concerned you aren't going to let it go as far as Power, but I do want the sort of things those sort of decks enable, so I'm letting my players make use of their balances, their upheavals, their planeswalkers and their bombs with awesome cards like grim monolith, vaults, coalition relic and even some elves or a myr might make this list. But you gotta know, that's the angle. Without that the threat is so much less of zany stuff happening, and it's that promise that a lot of people think about when they think of classic cubing. It's not the stuff that can happen in all kinds of other formats or other cubes. Do you feel me at all? Classic unpowered cubes have similar hijinks to powered cubes just toned down. Those kinds of hijinks are kinda absent from most other cubes largely because of the availability of the fodder, but in tribal because grim monolith or worn powerstone is much better at making titans than it is at helping you play goblins.
For me, grim monolith has been a defining feature for classic cubing, in the tactics it enables and the threat it implies and it stands at a threshold where if someone think a little bit, they can get a lot of information. That's why I thought it was a good title. It's also totes absent from a lot of other types of cubes so it is a good place to spot check. (Sorry if this is too rambling my cat totally puked while I was writing it and I had to to get that crap off the carpet quick! lol)
Dec 17, 2013@FlutterguyPosted in: The Cube Forum
Yeah I think I felt like I needed to escape the normal naming conventions because of how much the word power was engrained in people's minds differently and how different the sorts of semi powered cubes you see can be.
Semi-Powered were totally my bread and butter forever, and for a long time I just assumed most cubes had a copy of sol ring in them. We've come a long way since those days eh? I wonder if your system would work. As I said I like the idea of leaving labels pretty distinct. Powered is obvs. Semi-powered demands the audience ask questions which is healthy. Grim Monolith doesn't even mention power, and if we go by the powered as the base of this naming convention, we are trying to keep it distinct and give our audience a lot of bits of information. I'm not settled on it yet, but people seem to like it. People who hate losing to those cards think its a funny name, people who love cubing those environments have a lot of memories and know I didn't just say lotus. Sol ring is another option but monolith makes it in under the radar way more often. I especially wanted a name that let people with classic cubes know how their cube was different from other peoples cubes, because it pays to be kinda self aware that way.
It's kinda the wild west over on riptide but I usually felt like I could get a handle on the feel and major design elements of the classic salvation cubes. Powered cubes come in many forms but you tend to expect certain things from them. The fact that a unpowered cube was sorta just a cube felt problematic to me given the breadth I was seeing and I wanted to look deeper so we could get an impression of what really gave a cube it's feel and defined it.
We have a lot we can get from the sizes, and we have a lot we can glean about a format from powered / unpowered and then there is the qualification "Dragon-Cube" as opposed to the style more popularized by wtwlf123's article that emphasized the importance of 1 and 2 drops in crafting an environment. I think it's been weird because very few of us are prepared to talk about environments that don't really resemble our own so sorta finding the bits that give an format it's feel and being understand to define and understand the differences between cubes is kinda a neat idea.
Quote from Petal Collector
Personally, I found the "Grim Monolith" moniker to be somewhat descriptive, but that may only be true for those who have established associations/connotations with the card.
1st, that's actually something I like the most about it. Some of the boys I've been playing with are newer to the game and have been broken to cubing on modern cube and Peasant and they have no idea what normal cubing was like. When you tell them what a grim monolith cube is, they are like wha? But then you get to explain what grim monolith does, and they kinda get it. It's kinda a funny learning experience. You make sure they know it isn't among power, but there are other cards like that and lots of free spells and old spells and mana elves and the best cards ever and I get the feeling they get it. I know they're in for a rough ride getting used to formats like that, but new cubers usually miss things, and let me tell you peasant and modern are a lot more obvious than formats where draw sevens and artifact removal are super relevant so I say let em make mistakes.
2nd,I think you totally get it -and let me tell you after all my ranting I'm glad anyone managed to read all that and get something meaningful out of it. Thanks for speaking up, I know I don't get these things through as effectively as other people can restate them the first time around. At the same time I think I know where he's coming from. I'm definitely a little too pushy with my excitement to see more weird ideas discussed here, my frustration with the atmosphere in a lot of salvation boards, my pseudo-role as an ambassador for the other board and my willingness to bring up things that seem only tangentially related to a topic because it crossed my mind. I'm not really sure how to stay on base more closely, but I'm always open to a helpful aside if someone thinks I've gone too far or I'm not conducting myself in a helpful way.
I was so worried coming back here with my new zest and immediately only talking about land drafts and 20 shock 20 fetch mana bases had irked everyone and this was my nail in the coffin here!
Dec 17, 2013Well it's not that the powered part was defined by that but the cube was defined by the power (and other HQ hijinks, but power was the easiest to rally behind). Grim Monolith and it's ilk are the "power" of many classic un-powered cube environments.Posted in: The Cube Forum
Thanks flutterguy I really am not trying to be denigrating or relegating, I just wanted to figure out what sorta made the classic unpowered what it is, and Grim Monolith seemed like the best poster boy to express the sorta feel without leading people down a weird path.
Dec 17, 2013I just don't really like cards that do something that I like and then stop doing the thing I like when they transform. It's ability to turn into a crappy attacking creature doesn't really make up for the fact that it is worse at doing the thing I like than most cards do.Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
Dec 17, 2013Well it's a card that you only ever see played in cube really. Well I'm no commander player and no one played that when I was playing constructed a lot so maybe I'm not in the know, but for everyone I know, their only memories of grim monolith are epic cube plays and really really old standard formats. Grim Monolith is a cube card these days. It's mainly seen there and it's one of those "OMG why did you pass this" kinda cards. It's an environment where it is sorta especially visible and involved in a lot of cool stuff and memories.Posted in: The Cube Forum
Do you see a lot of monoliths outside of cube? I've been cubing since scourge and I can tell you it was around then and it's around now and boy has it been basically just as good as it was and always sorta a thing I think of when I think of cube. Recently I started playing in more formats like peasant cube, pauper and some of the weirder environments people make that don't have it and booooy does the lower concentration of powerful acceleration have an impact on the formats! You might even say it's one of the definitive traits of your standard cube that one of the most redundant powerful effects in the singleton draft environment is high pick acceleration, it's just one of those things that is supported by the availability of powerful cards with different names. Things like Mana Vault and Coalition Relic are just super awesome cards with different names that have sorta similar impacts on an environment. It kinda reminds me of Rav/Gld/Diss draft actually. You mix that with other cards like reanimation spells or tinker and you can see what I mean about expect to play something strong or fight it.
That's the point I was making. Grim Monolith is a card easily associated with cube because it's kinda it's home now. Many a cube that doesn't break singleton will make use of the high variety of incredibly powerful acceleration effects to fill it's "Best cards equally distributed highlander" quota and it's a big part of the environment. People are excited to play old powerful cards like monolith. Monolith does a good job at representing a defining aspect of the format. People are making crazy plays early on and fighting it with undercosted counters and removal in these environments.
Grim Monolith also makes a great defining line when it comes to the other kinds of cubes that have limitations on rares, limitations on modern faceplate, limitations on power level. Tribal cubes even find that card is often an ill suit. Come to think of it, to think Grim Monolith isn't kinda iconic in the "classic cube" is to sorta have no understanding of the other types of cubes out there and how it is defined against those.
Like when you win with a turn 3 frost titan do you remember the frost titan or what got you there?
Anyway I just think it's a super good place to spot check. Like I said, it's one of the more powerful cards in the colourless section of the (unpowered) cube, it's old boarder, it's not power, it's pretty much only played in cube and it's got a lot of flashy appeal. Does that sound like a bad posterboy to you? I think it gives you a lot of information contextually.
I always saw "Powered" Cube as being defined by the cards that defined the metagame and the height of their power level (POWER). I think Grim Monolith is one of the best meta game, power level and card variety defining cards in the non-powered classic cubes.
If you don't have any Monoliths in your cube but it resembles most other cubes in other ways I'm not really sure what I'd call it. My understanding of most people's classic cube environment has a lot to do with the defining nature of that powerful acceleration. I guess other things like balance and recurring nightmare might become the next most iconic options but I don't like using coloured cards or ones that only fit in certain strategies when defining an environment.
Dec 17, 2013No I love those cubes, and I can get down with some sweet monolith action (I think half my post in the post deck section are from powered cubes). It's just what I like to call them. He wanted to know a word for types of cubes as the world has been diversifying them that other people have told me that they dig. I thought it might require some explanation because not everyone would see why Grim Monolith is sorta iconic.Posted in: The Cube Forum
Do I seem upset when I'm posting this stuff? I'm like totes not. I know I seem supes insincere in real life but I always imagined all my silly internet language has been making me seem lighthearted!
EDIT: Re the linkNever played a cube that successfully had welder work but I've talked to people who tried and listened to casts about it and it always became evident that the people who wanted to support welder would have to do so verrrrrrry deliberately
Dec 17, 2013Yeah I never "got" players, I would always explain to them these things and let them take it back. I just like how it changed some cards and made some effects more powerful. The odd time I get to make a sweet not obvious decision between a trick and damage now doesn't feel worth those cards losing their sweetness.Posted in: The Cube Forum
Dec 17, 2013I've started calling unpowered salvation standard kinda lists as "Grim Monolith Cubes". Some people seem to like the term. Then again I just referred to a style as salvation standard and I'm sure quite a few people got an impression from that that is pretty accurate. Salvation Standard (Unpowered 360) for example.Posted in: The Cube Forum
You might also say you run a fairly conservative or traditional cube list. I've heard the term Highlander Cube recently to describe lists fundamentally against running multiples of things.
Some explanation on Grim Monolith Cube
I decided on Grim Monolith as the figurehead for describing this style of cube because it covers a lot of bases. It's old, so you have an impression of the variety of cards available, it's colourless so you aren't giving an impression of some weird flavor or favor, it's generally a card people cannot imagine in a modern format because of it's power level, it's a "cube staple" in a very appropriate sorta way to describing this, it's also sorta one of the heights of colourless power level in unpowered environments giving a good impression of what you can expect. It also describes the sort, "do something unfair" atmosphere in a lot of these types of cubes and the natural favor having a lot of access to redundant high power level acceleration does to a format.
Do something powerful early or be prepared for it! We are playing a grim monolith cube!
Dec 17, 2013Man imagine this guy? Would you guys like it then or would it still be too bad compared to lotus cobra and snapcaster and balance?Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
Survivalist Outcast 1G
Creature - Human Rogue
1G, Sacrifice a creature: Draw a card.
1G, Sacrifice a creature: Put 2 +1/+1 counters on target creature.
Dec 17, 2013If it were any creature, or more mana elves were humans it would be great. A big problem with cube modern ideas about green is that it draws a lot of lands, and by lands I mean things that suck when you have enough mana sources. It also ends up with an awful lot of crappy doorknobs in play sitting around.Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
A guy that turns your doorknobs into big guys by eating late mana sources sounds great!
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