Hmm, Ixalli's Diviner is actually pretty unique for green in its 1/4 scry 1 mode. It's the only creature aside from Acridian that has four toughness combined with more than zero power. The one power is enough to block and kill a bunch of 2 drops rather than simply blocking them. I can definitely see it joining Wall of Roots as green's premier two drop ramp/defensive creature, although it only smooths rather than ramps. It seems a better option than Satyr Wayfinder most of the time unless you really value the graveyard filling aspect and potential body to sac or want a card that will almost definitely find you a land.
Cube inclusion aside, I think explore is a fantastic mechanic from a card design point of view. It has the potential to reduce mana screw and although it doesn't strictly stop you flooding your hand, it at least gets another land out of your library that you were destined to draw anyway. It obviously provides support for a whole bunch of archetypes as well. I hope to see it used in the future along with cycling, which is still my favourite mechanic as it helps reduce the two biggest annoyances with MTG. I think they need to find better ways of balancing it with each colour though, as aside from the green options in this set it seems runk when applied to the other colours.
edit: Satyr Wayfinder
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Sep 17, 2017My thoughts on some cards...Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
Bishop's Soldier - Cubeable. Some cubes will love this vampire and other cube designers will think him pretty sucky. Combine it with any flying aura and it will need to be dealt with immediately.
Looming Altisaur - Borderline. If you include a defensive white 4 drop in your cube with a toughness greater than four, then this has got to be your pick unless you prefer Salt Road Patrol. In the follow-up set there will likely be a Lurking Ctrlisaur in green.
Territorial Hammerskull - Staple. The extra toughness over Master of Diversion is huge. You need a good reason not to include this guy if white is aggressive in your cube, as you can really nail your opponent with him.
Dive Down - Borderline. An unexciting, but very versatile card which is primarily there to counter your opponent's removal for 1 mana along with the added bonus of adding toughness for combat shenanigans. Its value goes up in cubes with higher cost removal.
Headwater Sentries - Bad. Although an unexciting card, it is conditionless to cast unlike Makeshift Mauler and could leave an opponent scratching their head when looking at the five toughness.
One With the Wind - Borderline. Another great aura if you're into that kind of soap dodging stuff.
Opt - Cubeable. Another great option for cheap card quality and spells matter at instant speed.
Sailor of Means - Borderline. An option for cube designers trying to give blue the means for some defensive ramp. All of these sorts of cards offer artifact synergies for cubes that want them.
Shore Keeper - Borderline/Bad. This guy might just be the first trilobite I've seen, which is pretty awesome. Unexciting, but surely a functional defender early and it can be sacced in a slower ramping/control deck lategame.
Storm Sculptor - Borderline. This effect would be welcome in a lot of blue and white decks and you get an unblockable three damage for your trouble. This seems like a great card in a decent amount of decks and could end up shaping your later picks.
Watertrap Weaver - Borderline. It's no Man-o'-War, but I'm sure some cube designers could weave him in somewhere.
Deadeye Tormentor - Borderline. If you support aggro in black then you might have your eye on this guy as he turns into a tougher, more splashy; yet less flappy Liliana's Specter. Black has some totally acceptable aggro 1 drops which make this guy a lot more viable.
Fathom Fleet Cutthroat - Bad? This seems like a pretty tenuous ability that might best be combined with pingers or some red spells. I can only fathom this card being powerful in a few fleeting instances and I can see myself cutting it from my deck more often than not.
Skittering Heartstopper - Borderline. I'm not in love with this guy, but the extra toughness can definitely be relevant in a lot of cubes and the threat of activation will do its job most of the time.
Skulduggery - Borderline. An acceptable, cheap combat trick that can act as cheap removal for an opponent's 1 toughness creature or with the highest upside become a 2 for 1 combat trick. I kinda dig it.
Skymarch Bloodletter - Cubeable. A wind drake in black seems like a reasonable deal already, add in the lifedrain and the sky is the limit.
Fathom Fleet Firebrand - Borderline. This lass won't set the table on fire, but she seems happy in a slower red deck. She can trade or get in for some damage early and if drawn lategame can be used as deterrence when there is a lot of mana floating about or pumped for some serious damage. I generally like these sorts of two drops as I value the early and lategame relevance and I always enjoy being able to add more mana sinks to my cubes.
Frenzied Raptor - Borderline. A vanilla 4/2 three drop doesn't make you feel like a clever girl when you draft it, but in red it could easily find a home.
Nest Robber - Cubeable. This seems totally playable in most cubes. Comparisons include Rakdos Shred-Freak and Spike Jester. You might end up stealing a few wins with the damage this can be putting out from turn two.
Sun-Crowned Hunters - Borderline? A really interesting card. The stats are overcosted by 1 mana. If you can abuse the enrage you can really make this work. However, it seems like it might be more useful in a defensive deck. I think this is a card and an ability that needs further science before being judged.
Ancient Brontodon - If you want more than one 8 drop in green then this lizard isn't terrible. A go-to combo would be something like Cobbled Wings, which also provides the visual amusement of a dinosaur hang-gliding.
Colossal Dreadmaw - Cubeable. The all important six toughness and trample gives green a third six drop worth putting in any cube supporting ramp, along with Rampaging Hippo and Brambleweft Behemoth. If you manage to play this and attack you will likely get your opponent's goat.
Deeproot Warrior - Borderline. Another perfectly acceptable green beater at two mana. The only problem is green has a deep pool of perfectly acceptable two drops.
Ixalli's Diviner - Borderline. This is a ramp only card and in both modes of explore I think you would be happy with the results on turn 2. I suspect it will take some play-testing before we can divine the true value of explore.
Ixalli's Keeper - Borderline. I like this a lot more than Wildheart Invoker as a bear is still a perfectly acceptable creature when cast on curve and there are more slots for two drops as opposed to the four drop slot; which has a bunch of extremely powerful green creatures such as Blastoderm and Imperiosaur. The eight mana cost is not out of the question in a green ramp deck.
Jade Guardian - Cubeable. If you're not jaded about running enchantments and hexproof then slide this card in, bonus points if you are planning to add the +1/+1 payoff cards in the coming months.
Pounce - Cubeable. Instant speed conditional removal for green is pretty rare and I could see myself jumping on this card pretty early if I was in green.
Tishana's Wayfinder - Cubeable. An acceptable way to find your way in a range of decks. It will either smooth your mana, improve your draw, fill your graveyard, or give you a solid creature with +1/+1 synergies. This card just seems happy in so many decks as long as you aren't taking it and assuming it will always function in the way you will want when you draw it.
In a more general sense I think anyone looking to build some form of artifact or sacrifice archetype, be it pauper or otherwise; can make use of a lot of cards from this set that produce artifact sacrifice ramp. Same goes for +1/+1 counters.
Sep 15, 2017The Hammerskull is the best card so far. I'm pretty excited all round though, as there are many cards for my other cube and I really like the look of this set from a limited perspective. Combat tricks keep getting cheaper and cheaper it seems.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
The big removal is really expensive in this set and it won't be effective against a lot of Dinosaurs.
Anyway, to bed. I've got drafting to look forward to tomorrow!
Sep 15, 2017Bishop's Soldier seem cubeable.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
Encampment Keeper likely won't find a home in too many cubes with its ability costing 8 mana. However, I think the design is sound. I love cards that are relevant early or late. In this set I suspect you might be getting to 8 mana more often than normal.
Sep 15, 2017Seems that the theme is most definitely go wide vs the dinosaurs. That Spike-Tailed Ceratops will be pretty useful for limited although its toughness leaves a bit to be desired for cube. It has uses getting a 2 for 1 against aggro decks I suppose...Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
I am a sucker for big numbers in the bottom right of magic cards. That Ancient Brontodon has to be comboed with something or you will cry as it gets chumped by Eldrazi Scions. My suggestion is to strap it into the saddle on an Aerial Guide.
Looming Altisaur will block absolutely everything except Eldrazi Devastators and green 7 drops. If you support white control in your cube it actually has a place. It comboes great with that dino that makes your creatures deal damage with their toughness.
edit: Headwater Sentries may be bland, but that is the biggest 4cmc ground defense creature blue has at common outside of Makeshift Mauler and Phantom Beast. The extra toughness allows it to block significantly more creatures in most cubes and the 2 power will see off most 2 drops.
Sep 14, 2017Polycotton posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)Yes, quite. Getting a little excited there.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
Sep 13, 2017Polycotton posted a message on [[Pauper]] The Pauper Cube Discussion Thread (Commons Only)I've managed to get 6 chums to come draft this weekend and I decided to shave off a few poorly supported archetypes from my cube and improve some of the curves of the different colours.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
I decided to give blue and black a few more top end finishers and put Kalastria Nightwatch back in my cube. It is currently rated borderline on the evaluate everything thread. Ambitious Aetherborn and Prowling Pangolin are the only other creatures that have comparable stats at the five mana slot.
It doesn't seem too difficult to turn a vanilla 4/5 into a major flying threat. Most pauper cubes have some extort creatures and this makes Kalastria Nightwatch perfectly acceptable in black and it becomes a staple in a deck with some life-leeching abilities or extort. There are also incidental lifegain creatures like Vampire Envoy (which is about black's best defensive creature at the 3 mana slot), Gray Merchant of Asphodel, Rotfeaster Maggot, Falkenrath Noble, Cartouche of Ambition, virtually every Orzhov gold card and a whole bunch of white lifegain cards.
Sep 11, 2017Cast Rile on your Bellowing Aegisaur and your Rile then reads:Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
"Deal 1 damage to target creature you control then put a +1/+1 counter on each creature you control, draw a card and target creature has trample".
I still think it's a bit hokey and when viewed from a cube perspective, these narrow set-specific cards always leave me feeling a bit underwhelmed. I understand the need for narrow cards to really make certain archetypes shine while also guaranteeing such cards are not always drafted early. However, I like the vast bulk of my cube cards to have relevance in a range of decks.
Some other combos:
Sun-Crowned Hunters - Rile becomes a Lava Spike that replaces itself and gives your creature trample and a damage.
Ranging Raptors - Rile becomes a ramp version of a cycled Krosan Tusker.
Ripjaw Raptor - Rile becomes a draw two spell.
Snapping Sailback - Rile gives you a +1/+1 counter on your creature which cancels out the damage, draws you a card, and gives it trample
Rile will be a strong card in enrage decks and a playable in a lot of GR decks. This is especially the case considering the removal spoiled so far. The game designers want you sorting out your differences in combat. Dealing with big beasties will require more than a common kill spell so I don't think you will get blown out too often when playing rile on a decent sized Dinosaur.
Sep 10, 2017Wow, these changes are great for my pauper cube and my masters cube which I have almost finished. I won't be ordering any cards until Ixalan is released as there are loads of cards in there for my masters cube.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
I'm probably most excited about the +1+1 lords being downshifted to common.
Aug 31, 2017The being a bad draw late is applicable to the vast majority of 2 and 3 drops. On curve it comes out as a great beater with +1+1 and graveyard filling synergy with the scry or it smooths your mana (without the guaranteed fixing) like a borderland ranger. I would be perfectly happy with both modes in an aggressive beat-down deck as well as a ramp deck. If you have other filtering or scry cards you can set this guy up for whatever mode you need.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
There are situations where you will definitely be wanting one mode over the other, however; that is the price you pay for having such an all round card that can do two things. It will never be as good as a Borderland Ranger for the fixing, but it is better than a Centaur Courser in the other mode by a big margin due to the graveyard scry and +1+1 synergies.
It's another card that helps nudge the graveyard and +1 +1 synergies into greater relevance for archetype cubes.
Aug 28, 2017Tishana's Wayfinder interests me. What a versatile card. It supports +1/+1 matters. It scries and fills the graveyard. It draws land. It seems like it will fit into a lot of different draft decks although it might not necessarily always do what you want.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
This is the kind of versatile card I like to include in cubes. It could find a home in so many decks.
Sun-Crowned Hunters could potentially be more than it seems. Unless it gets pacified or exiled it comes with a free Lava Spike for the extra mana cost. In some cases it might even lava spike your opponent multiple times.
You could upgrade any pinger that can target creatures into a lava spiker instead.
Aug 16, 2017Simplifying Gust Walker to 1.5 damage per turn doesn't really add up as it is never that simple and having a 3/3 flapper attacking has a lot of utility compared to a 2/1. There are often a lot of 1 or 2 power reach defenders floating about in a lot of cubes.Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
I don't run the Soltari Trooper as I have shadow in the un-interactive category of cards that aren't super fun to play against.
Jul 31, 2017I had a Guardian of the Guildpact enchanted with a Gift of Orzhova on the weekend. It was pretty nasty. My first three picks were all white enchantment removal followed up by Celestial Flare. Combined with two enchantment fetch creatures I didn't drop a single game. Elephant Guide really put in some work as well, except my creatures kept getting bounced so I never got my free elephant. Where's my elephant! Where's my elephant!Posted in: Pauper & Peasant Discussion
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