2019 Holiday Exchange!
 
A New and Exciting Beginning
 
The End of an Era
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Consider > Impulse.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    Arlinn looks quite solid. Hope she plays well for you guys!
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    For powered, Hole > Ending > Absence. For unpowered, I'd reverse that order.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    Yes. Hitting 'walkers is really good. If I'm paying more than 1 mana for my 1-for-1 removal, I need to be able to hit more than one card type with it. Not only does it increase the pool of targets by more than 10%, but it adds a ton of critical targets.

    But that's just my take on 2cc creature removal nowadays. I know a lot of other groups still enjoy using 2+mana spot creature removal, and if that's the case for your group, I'm sure Grasp will be fine.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Moonveil Regent
    Reminds me a bit of Avaricious Dragon. I think this card is better, but I'm hesitant to play 4cc red creatures that I need to untap with for value. It was on my radar, and just finished outside of my top 20 for this set. Keeping my eye on it though.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    hullbreacher >> poppet > svyleun

    advocate ≥ branchwalker

    tracker ≥ provisioner

    pyre > scorch
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    @BlackWaltz3: Glad you enjoyed the article! Infernal Grasp is okay, but I already don't play Power Word Kill, and I think that card is better. It only misses 9 creatures in my cube, and I don't think paying 2 life against the other ~190 is worth it by comparison. I just don't think 2+ mana 1-for-1 removal that only hits one type of card is worth it anymore. But that was just our experience. Lots of people still like these kinds of cards; I'm just not one of them. Augur looks good, and I'm excited to see it in action! And ya, Huntmaster looks okay but not amazing.

    @JinxedIdol: You're welcome! And Adeline is currently less than $1.00, so hopefully that's cheap enough to be worth picking one up. There are a lot of good spells that are card disadvantage, Fateful Absence is just another one in that list, IMO.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    @bnans_25: I would't call it a farcry from Brimaz. Even on a completely empty board, it only takes an attack or two to overtake him in terms of power. I still like and run Brimaz, but I do think Adeline is better, and by a pretty good margin. I don't think asking for a single creature to be on the board is an unreasonable ask, and in all those situations, the card's better than Rabblemaster. Hard to beat that...

    @Jibux: I'm not a fan of Terror variants in the cube anymore; I don't run any. And I think Power Word Kill is better than Grasp anyways. I think Grasp ended at card #22 or #23 when I was putting my list together.

    @rantipole: You're welcome once again! Thanks for commenting.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    Always some of the hardest choices, I agree.

    And you're most welcome. Smile
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    @Sliver Lord: The flash adds so much to the Cathar, it's crazy!

    @LucidVision: Ya, the red Adversary is really good, and I think it has the potential to play really well.

    @opterown: I think there's something for everybody in this set!

    Thanks for commenting guys!
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    Looks like a very solid Regrowth variant to me. In grindy matchups, it could be quite good!

    Thanks for commenting! Glad you enjoyed the article. Smile
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    Hello again fellow cube enthusiasts!

    This is my 39th installment of the "top 20" set (P)review articles! Just like the previous reviews, it will be in a spoiled top X countdown format, with each section having an image, a brief summary/description, and my verdict on what cubes I think it could potentially see some play in. I got a lot of positive feedback on the format from the last few articles, so I’m going to keep the “what I like” and “what I don’t like” sections.



    Keep in mind (just like the others) that this is a set preview. Similar to draft predictions in professional sports, this list is an educated guess at best. Some cards I value highly in here may turn out to not last long in the cube. Other cards that are lower down on the list (or even missed entirely!) could (well, very likely may) turn out to be great cards. Even Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round! Again, this is not intended to be gospel, set in stone or written as a review for posterity. This is simply written to be an enjoyable guess at cards I like for cubes, and hopefully it'll allow some cube managers to evaluate cards they may have otherwise overlooked and/or put some cards in perspective that may've been overhyped. Nothing more. Smile


    Innistrad: Midnight Hunt is a really good set for cubes. The set features fun transform mechanics using a cleaned-up Daytime/Nighttime ruleset, and a lot of lean creatures and efficient spells. This set will bring in more playables for my cube than most recent Standard-legal set releases have, and it does so without the FIRE philosophy of printing broken stuff to sell packs. The cards feel fun and powerful, but not overly broken or problematic. There are a ton of great cards for cubes in this set; so many in fact that just because a card doesn’t make my top 20 doesn’t mean it’s not a good card for cubes. I encourage everybody to review the full set spoiler and test lots of cards I might not even mention here, because there’s bound to be lots of hidden gems and efficient upgrades all over the place that aren’t discussed in this article.

    Without further ado, here’s the countdown!





    Arlinn, the Pack's Hope // Arlinn, the Moon's Fury

    A transforming Gruul planeswalker.

    What I Like: Arlinn enters the battlefield and often uses the {-3} ability to make 4 power worth of bodies and leaves a ‘walker body behind to use later on. The {+1} ability works until your next turn, which allows you to pass with the ability live, spend your mana on the opponent’s turn because of the flash, and she’ll be transformed on the back side after you flash your creature in on the opponent’s turn. Once transformed, she can either function as a ramp card to cast huge threats, or can turn into a beastly 5/5 beater. But I think Arlinn’s greatest potential lies in the +1/+1 counters that she provides to your other creatures. This allows her to function as both a persist combo enabler (since the +1/+1 counter-granting effect lasts until your next turn once activated and triggers on all creatures) or as a solid value card.

    What I Don't Like: There are a lot of good options in Gruul, and if Arlinn isn’t supporting a combo deck, I think she falls a little short of getting there just on her own merits. With enough other daybound/nightbound cards in the cube, she might be able to enter transformed and that adds a bit of extra value, but I’m not sure a multicolor Esika's Chariot variant is really where I want to be at a lot of the time.

    Verdict: If you support the persist combo in your cube, I think this card is a slam dunk. It adds just enough playability on its own that it will see play in other decks too, while also increasing your density of combo enablers. If you don’t support that deck, I think Arlinn’s a slight miss.






    The Meathook Massacre

    A Black Sun's Zenith + aristocrats support hybrid card.

    What I Like: This is a scaleable mass removal spell that adds lifegain to the effect for each creature you kill, and provides a last-ditch bit of damage from your own casualties. And after the effect occurs, you’re left with a pseudo-Blood Artist kind of effect on the board. As an aristocrats support card, this card is spectacular. So decks that are planning on sacrificing tokens and recursive creatures a bunch of times throughout the course of the game might be happy with just the static 2-mana enchantment, since it provides a supporting effect that’s hard for the opponent to interact with. It also shoehorns in an extra win condition for creature-based combo decks that can provide an infinite loop of creatures entering and leaving the battlefield but might be missing the effect that makes the loop lethal. If your cube supports aristocrats creature decks in black and creature-based combo decks that loop creatures, this card looks really special.

    What I Don't Like: At face value, this card might not do enough for traditional decks that want sweepers. It won’t be killing larger threats in the early game, and your creature count will likely be too low to get much value out of the additional damage. It will do a decent Fumigate impression against decks with small creatures, but will likely feel a bit narrow and overcosted, which was the fate of BSZ in a lot of cubes.

    Verdict: If your cube group enjoyed Black Sun's Zenith and you’re looking for another one, this card is made for you. If you play aristocrats decks and creature-based combo loops, this card’s a slam dunk. If neither of those things are true of your cube, my guess is that this card will likely be a miss.






    Outland Liberator // Frenzied Trapbreaker

    A mono-green Qasali Pridemage variant.

    What I Like: This card is comparable to the long-beloved Pridemage. Except this exchanges the exalted for the benefit of only being one color and the upside of transforming into a 3/3 Trygon Predator variant. The biggest issue I had with Pridemage over the years was the multicolor cost; it was always a fine include in any deck that could play it. And this card should be playable in more decks. And the nightbound side of this card is no joke. The Predator side loses flying, but attacks for 3, and Naturalizes stuff on attack rather than upon damaging the player. If this card transforms early, it can present a pretty significant problem for the opponent. Cards like Goblin Cratermaker have shown that even a 2/2 for 2 that can be sacrificed to Shatter stuff can be good. Cratermaker can Shock creatures, of course, which adds a lot of value to it …but Liberator can flip into a 3/3, can destroy cards repeatedly, and can blast enchantments too.

    What I Don't Like: If the card struggles to transform in testing, it has a pretty mediocre floor. Paying 3 total mana for a sorcery-speed Naturalize isn’t great, and the Grizzly Bear body isn’t much to write home about.

    Verdict: I plan on testing this card in my cube. I need to see how reliable the transform mechanic can be with this kind of card, and how well it plays out in practice. It has a high enough ceiling and a solid enough floor that the card should feel decent in most decks. I’m giving it a trial run in my 540, but it may end up being a card that’s relegated to larger cubes, or one that can be passed on altogether.






    Poppet Stitcher // Poppet Factory

    A decayed token Sedgemoor Witch variant.

    What I Like: I’m happy to see blue get a Pyromancer/Mentor/Witch variant that’s less than 4 mana. It can create a lot of power with each subsequent spell, so if your deck is casting spells and applying pressure, hopefully the Stitcher will contribute to that strategy decently. Decayed tokens are bad …but luckily the Stitcher has a built-in mechanic to help mitigate their drawbacks! If you can transform Stitcher into the Factory, you can turn those underwhelming Decayed tokens into legitimate 3/3 monsters! It’s important to note that this applies to all of your tokens, so if you have another token engine on the board, you can transform into the Factory immediately on the next upkeep and give yourself a pretty massive boost to your token army. I also enjoy the base play pattern that Stitcher presents. Make tokens, transform into factory, if the opponent Wraths your army away, Factory lives, flips back into the Stitcher, and rebuilds your army. A slow and grindy way to play the game out, but the pattern exists nonetheless.

    What I Don't Like: Decayed tokens are really bad. So unless you can keep a barrage of spells and pressure going, you’ll need to transform into the factory to make the tokens worthwhile. Which can be time-consuming. A lot of the value from other cards of this ilk is the defensive value from the free tokens, and Decayed tokens can’t block… The 2/3 base body is better on defense than some of its kin, but the tokens themselves are useless in that role.

    Verdict: This card looks like it has the potential to be really good, but a lot of things need to go right. In decks that have lots of other token makers, I think it could be a house. In decks that have other things for your Decayed tokens to do, like crewing vehicles, being sacrificed, or being engine cards for Opposition, Stitcher could be great too. But I need to see how this plays out as a Pyromancer/Mentor variant. My gut says it’s going to fall short in that role, but I want to test it to find out for sure. Currently testing in my 540, but could be relegated to larger cubes or may not be worth cubing with at all. Only time will tell.






    Augur of Autumn

    A new Courser of Kruphix variant.

    What I Like: In comparison to Courser, this card doesn’t have to reveal your draws, it can’t be targeted by Disenchant effects, and it has a Coven ability that will randomly allow you to cast creatures from the top of your library in the mid-late game.

    What I Don't Like: It loses Courser’s lifegain and the critical 4 toughness that makes it such a monster against lot-to-the-ground decks, and safe from Bolts.

    Verdict: I like Courser a lot, and even though I expect this to be slightly worse on average, the 2/3 body is still a roadblock against lions, pikers and bears, and it still generates card advantage every time you play cards from your library. The long term playability will boil down to the reliability of the Coven trigger. If that ability is reasonably consistent, Augur might have some staying power. If not, it won’t. But in the interim, I plan on testing this in my 540 while I find out.






    Memory Deluge

    A hybrid between Fact or Fiction and Dig Through Time.

    What I Like: In traditional draw-go control decks, this is a pretty beastly draw spell. Taking any 2 of your top 4 is a powerful effect, and probably slightly better on average than the options presented to you with FoF. This card also has flashback, so in long, grindy games, you can get a full strength DTT from your ‘yard, choosing 2 from your top 7.

    What I Don't Like: This isn’t as splashable as FoF is, and it doesn’t feed your graveyard. It is also missing the ceiling that DTT has, where you can take 2 of your top 7 for 2 mana. Outside of reactive draw-go control decks and maybe ramp decks, I don’t think this will see a ton of play because 7 mana on the flashback is so expensive. This card also does nothing when you cast it for free with something like Torrential Gearhulk

    Verdict: I think this will be better than Fact or Fiction on average, so if that’s a card you still enjoy, this could be run as a replacement to that or even alongside it. I think this is better enough that even if you’ve been off FoF for a bit, but the decks that want that kind of effect are still supported, I would give this a shot. I plan on testing this at 540 and seeing how it does. It might prove to be a little overcosted or limited for extended play, but I want to give it a chance to prove itself. The ceiling of drawing 4 cards with that kind of card selection built in is too enticing to pass up.






    Tovolar's Huntmaster // Tovolar's Packleader

    A green… Grave Titan variant?

    What I Like: 10 power for 6 mana across 3 bodies is good. And if this transforms or enters nightbound, it’s an even scarier monster. Losing Deathtouch is not a big deal, but losing the attack trigger on the front side of the card is. So this is likely worse than Grave Titan. But, that’s not necessarily a hurdle this has to leap. It’s green, so ramping into this card early and/or snagging it with a Natural Order will be relatively common. And if this transforms, it’s quite good. It adds the +1/+1, provides the attack trigger, and adds the ability to make your wolves fight. Since you can use the ability as an instant, passing on playing spells to transform this doesn’t hurt as bad, and you can immediately activate the abilities and use your wolves to kill off problematic utility creatures and stuff.

    What I Don't Like: Losing the attack trigger on the front hurts a lot in comparison to the Titan, and if the transformation plan is rarer than I hope, this card might not make it in the long run. If the main body is dealt with or chump-blocked, not creating an army of 2/2 creatures over time is a significant drawback.

    Verdict: I think this card looks promising and worth testing. I think it’s certainly worse than Grave Titan, but it may be in a color that can get the most out of it. I plan on testing this at 540 for a while to see how it does, and it may be worth it in smaller sizes if you’re looking for a green ramp target and token-maker, or play more nightbound cards that could allow this card to enter transformed on occasion.






    Light Up the Night

    A new red Blaze effect.

    What I Like: Historically, the two biggest issues with Fireball effects in cube have been that they’re inefficient answers in the early game (because you have to pay 2 mana to deal 1 damage, or 3 mana to deal 2 damage) and that if you are priced into using them early, it feels like a “waste” of a spell that had big potential. This card solves both of those problems. You can use it on T1 to kill a Birds or Mother of Runes before it becomes a problem, and it can be used for 2-3 mana to kill X/2 and X/3 targets that are “must kill” threats without letting them live too long. Additionally, it can be combined with some planeswalker loyalty in the late game to provide some game-ending reach or a critical removal spell. I think the flashback effect could be particularly nasty in a superfriends deck with a lot of dead loyalty floating around; you could reach lethal pretty quickly with a few ‘walkers in play!

    What I Don't Like: I wish the flashback had at least one way to be used without a ‘walker on the board, even if was allowed to have X = 0 so that you could deal +1 damage to a creature or ‘walker for 4 mana.

    Verdict: This is likely one of the best Fireball effects we’ve seen for cubes, because of the value of the early interaction. I plan on testing this at 540, but if the superfriends deck is something your cube supports, this could certainly be viable even at smaller cube sizes. If the flashback proves too inconsistent, this card could wind up being relagated to large lists or removed altogether. But I think it’s worth testing.






    Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute

    A new Banisher Priest effect.

    What I Like: Outside of Skyclave Apparition (which can hit all nonland permanent types) and sometimes Fiend Hunter (which is used in some creature-based combo shells) I think Brutal Cathar is the best iteration of these kinds of effects we’ve seen. The problem with Priest is that the 2/2 body feels anemic as the game progresses, there’s no mechanic that punishes the opponent for getting their card back, and it can’t ever exile a bigger threat as the game goes on. Cathar solves all three of those issues. It can transform into a 3/3 creature with first strike, which is a very relevant body, it has a Ward trigger that punishes the opponent for getting their exiled card back, and as it flips back and forth throughout the game, you can exile multiple threats with it!

    What I Don't Like: The floor is still a Banisher Priest. If I exile a creature with it, and the opponent immediately Shocks it and gets their card back, I get no benefit that I wouldn’t have from currently available versions of this effect.

    Verdict: I think this card has potential to be really nasty against decks that happen to be light on removal. I want to test this out and see if it’s better enough than the competition to justify a slot when others have fallen short. I’m testing this in my 540, and I have a hard time seeing this being a long-term addition for cubes that are any smaller than that, but it does seem like a card that could have reasonable staying power if the nightbound trigger is even remotely reliable.






    Primal Adversary

    A monster with big power.

    What I Like: There’s a lot of flexibility added into this threat. On T2 after an Elf, you can get a 4-power trampling threat that can attack into 2-power blockers. And on every available amount of mana 5 or above, you get more power, or the flexibility of giving some of that available power “haste” (by making an untapped land the 3/3). So at 5 mana, you get 8 total power (5 w/ trample, and 3 tapped). At 6 mana, you get 8 total power still (5 with trample, and 3 untapped with haste). At 7 mana, you get 12 power (6 trample, 6 tapped). At 8 mana, You get 12 power (6 trample, 3 tapped, 3 haste). At 9 mana, you get 16 power (7 trample, 9 tapped) …and so on and so forth (you get the picture). There’s a lot of flexibility, a lot of options, and a lot of power. It’s important to note that the whole adversary cycle is built around enters the battlefield triggers, not cast triggers …so if you flicker this card in and out of play, you can pay the ability again and make more 3/3 land monsters. I think it was Zolthux over on Twitter that first pointed out the “haste” power for all the “tweener” casting costs, and it really helped shape my evaluation of the card.

    What I Don't Like: As a 3-drop, it’s vulnerable to Bolts and beasts. And when this card is “kicked” it makes your lands into creatures, opening you up to added vulnerabilities if your opponent plays a Wrath effect that sweeps your board.

    Verdict: I’m happy to experiment with this card at 540 because I think there’s a lot of flexibility built into it, and it drops a boatload of power to the board when it hits. If you play the 1cc ramp -> 3cc beater style of green, this card’s a slam dunk and it could be worth playing even in the smallest of cubes. If your green plays more value cards and more super-ramp strategies, this card might be a miss for you. So I could see its playability ranging all over the place. I plan to test it out and see how it does for my group.






    Borrowed Time

    Another Banishing Light.

    What I Like: I like Banishing Light, so I like this card.

    What I Don't Like: If you’ve moved away from Banishing Light effects, this card’s not for you.

    Verdict: Medium-sized cubes are about the bubble for these kinds of effects. I play and like O-Rings still, so I’m happy enough to add this in. If your cube is smaller, or you’ve moved away from O-Ring style removal, you can easily pass on this card. I think they’re still solid inclusions at 540, so I’m happy to add this in for the moment.






    Cathartic Pyre

    Another flexible red utility spell.

    What I Like: This card reminds me of Izzet Charm which is a card I really like. It loses the ability to Spell Pierce stuff and downgrades the looting to rummaging, but Pyre is obviously only one color, and the burn is upgraded to 3 damage (and it can hit walkers)! There are more and more red decks that can contribute to the success of graveyard-based decks, and this card being a hybrid between a removal spell and a card selection/discard outlet bodes well for its universal playability.

    What I Don't Like: It would be nice if it could loot instead of rummage, and it would be amazing if it could go face …but I think either of those changes would’ve very likely made this card too good.

    Verdict: If your cube allows red to contribute to the success of graveyard-interacting shells (Loam decks, Reanimator, artifact.dec, etc.) I think you can get a lot of mileage out of Pyre, even at smaller sizes. I’m happy to add it in for extended testing at 540, and I expect it to play well!






    Cathar Commando

    A mono-white Qasali Pridemage variant.

    What I Like: Similar to Outland Liberator discussed above, this is another take on Pridemage in this set. But this time, it has flash! Flash adds so much utility to this kind of card/effect that it really pushes it over the top for me. It can be used to flash in during combat to kill off an attacking creature. It can be used as a 3cc Disenchant, all at instant speed. It can add 3 power to the board and simply beat down after passing with countermagic up in an Azorius tempo deck. It does so many little things, and the flash adds so much utility to how it can be used. Surprisingly good, especially for a common. It also has nice interactions with Sun Titan and Sevinne's Reclamation if you play them, and it can be grabbed by Recruiter of the Guard.

    What I Don't Like: The 1-toughness has always been a liability on these kinds of creatures, so if the opponent doesn’t present any good targets for the Disenchant effect, it might not be able to hang around much in combat, forcing an early trade (and a waste of your “Seal of Cleansing”) or it’ll have to hang back.

    Verdict: I like this card. I’m pretty happily jamming this into my 540, and I could see cubes of smaller sizes playing it to success as well.






    Bloodthirsty Adversary

    A Nest Robber + Goblin Dark-Dwellers split card.

    What I Like: In the early game, if a 2-power haste creature is what you’re in the market for, play this and turn it sideways. As the game progresses, this becomes a good mid-game threat and a great topdeck. The baseline of paying 5 mana for a 3/3 haste and a free Incinerate or whatever is a good one. In comparison to GDD, this card has haste instead of the extra P/T, which is actually preferable in some builds. But this card can snag more than just vanilla burn spells, and when you start replaying cards like Hymn to Tourach, either of the 3mv multicolor Commands or god forbid …power spells… the card can get super spicy. Not to mention the fancy 8 mana mode where it’s a 4/4 that cast multiple free spells from the yard.

    What I Don't Like: The gulf between how this plays at 2 and how it plays at 5 or 8 is pretty wide, and in some decks, they can be completely different roles. It has a lot of versatility in a red aggro deck, but in a spells-matters shell, it’s going to be relegated to being cast for 5 in order to have it fit the gameplan.

    Verdict: This is assuredly a good card. Some folks are higher on it than I am, but I still think it has real potential. 2/2 haste for 2 is a solid baseline in aggro. The upside this has as a 5-mana creature is what has me excited. I like Goblin Dark-Dwellers, but having its cost frozen at 5 has always been an issue. This gives me everything I really wanted from that card, with the added flexibility of the 2cc mode, the flood protection of the 8cc mode …all wrapped up in a package that’s tutorable by Imperial Recruiter. Looking forward to seeing this in action in my 540, and very likely worth a test even in smaller sizes.






    Fateful Absence

    A new Declaration in Stone variant.

    What I Like: This card reminds me of a white Baleful Mastery; a card that has played really well for us. Mastery can be “kicked” to negate the drawback, and it exiles instead of destroying …but giving up a clue is a much smaller drawback than giving the opponent a free full immediate draw. The problem with Declaration in Stone wasn’t the clue …it was the fact that it didn’t hit anything other than creatures, and it was a sorcery! A 2cc answer to any creature or any planeswalker, all at instant speed is something I can get behind.

    What I Don't Like: It would be nice if this card exiled the target or had Mastery’s “kicker” option to prevent coughing up the clue, but that’s getting pretty nitpicky I think. I’m perfectly happy with the design as it turned out.

    Verdict: There seems to be quite a wide gulf in the cube community between those folks that like this card and those that don’t. I’ve heard claims that it’s a 360 staple, and I’ve heard that it’s unplayable garbage. I’m going to split the difference and say that it’s just right for my medium-sized cube. Smile






    Suspicious Stowaway // Seafaring Werewolf

    A new Looter il-Kor variant!

    What I Like: This card has everything added to it that was starting to show its age on Looter il-Kor. I removed Looter not that long ago because it was losing some of its luster as a tempo roleplayer. It was great in reanimation decks as a discard outlet, but it lacked the little extra push to make it shine in other shells. Stowaway fixes all of those issues! It’s still a great discard outlet in the early game, and it still provides good card selection in the form of its repeatable loot trigger. But it also has the ability to transform into a 2-power unblockable creature that straight up draws cards when it connects! Plus, unlike Looter, this card can block when it needs to, which is always nice.

    What I Don't Like: There’s always the off chance that this could transform earlier then you want it to, and won’t be able to discard cards to it because it won’t be in looter mode anymore. But something tells me I’ll be able to forgive those instances while I’m bashing for 2 and drawing cards.

    Verdict: This can be a replacement for Looter if it was on the edge for you, run in addition to Looter if you still love the original effect, or ignored altogether if you don’t play blue tempo decks and/or use blue in your graveyard decks. I think this is a pretty easy inclusion in a 450+ card cube though, and I expect it to stick for a while.






    Intrepid Adversary

    A lifelinking anthem beater!

    What I Like: This card presents play patterns that naturally fit in to white creature decks really well. The floor of being a 3-power lifelinker for 2 mana is pretty nice. But this card will spend most of its time as a 4-drop anthem-on-a-stick or a 6-mana, game-ending double-anthem that allows your token heavy board to swing for lethal. But a 4-power anthem with lifelink is a good deal for 4 mana, and it’ll boost all your existing tokens and attacking creatures straight away.

    What I Don't Like: The 1-toughess is a liability. It’ll trade down a lot, even as a 2-drop, and it can’t attack effectively into tokens. Even in 4-drop mode, it still dies to all the lions, pikers and bears on the board because it’ll be a 4/2 in that mode. If anything proves to be the Achille’s Heel of this card, it’s going to be that 1 base toughness.

    Verdict: If you use white to play aggro creatures and token makers and turn them sideways, you’ll probably have success with this Adversary in your cube. This is a safe inclusion for me, and I could see it being played to good effect in most 450+ card cubes.






    Consider

    An upgraded Opt!

    What I Like: Card selection cantrips are powerful, and this is one of the better ones. In fact, outside of the “Mount Rushmore” of blue cantrips (Ponder, Brainstorm, Preordain & Gitaxian Probe) Consider is probably the best one. Being an instant makes it better than Sleight of Hand in a lot of cases, and “upgrading” the scry to surveil makes this card better than Opt in most cases.

    What I Don't Like: Like most cantrips, the hardest part about cubing them is finding room in the list for them. But once they’re in there, they’ll see a ton of play.

    Verdict: If your cube uses any cantrips outside of the absolute S-Tier cantrips, make room for Consider. If you don’t play any cantrips, I would encourage you to consider more. I think this could be playable at 360 depending on composition. And it should comfortably fit into most 450+ lists without much of a problem.






    Adeline, Resplendent Cathar

    An upgraded Brimaz, King of Oreskos?

    What I Like: I really owe it to our very own Sliver Lord here on MTGS for selling this card hard when it was first spoiled. I was honestly a little lukewarm on first glance …but this card is really good. The power grows with each attack since it creates its own body, which essentially adds 2 power per attack instead of 1 like Brimaz. But this card doesn’t make bodies when it attacks, it makes bodies when YOU attack. So if this resolves on T3 and you have even 1 other attacker on the board already, it’ll make an extra attacker immediately. In those situations, Adeline keeps pace with Goblin Rabblemaster as the fastest clock in Magic. If you have 2+ other creatures out, this card is god-tier. With 1 other creature out, it’s a Rabblemaster (with 4 toughness and vigilance). With 0 other creatures out, it starts off as a slightly worse Brimaz until it gets to attack a couple of times and build the board up a bit. Brimaz is better on defense and is better for a turn or two on an empty board …but Adeline is far better overall and has a significantly higher ceiling. It’s also a human that makes humans, so if that’s a thing for you, this card gets a lot of extra value. Additionally, it gains even more value in multiplayer, if that’s something your playgroup does with your cube.

    What I Don't Like: A 2W cost would’ve been killer. I wish it wasn’t legendary, so it would be better with clones? But those are nitpicks on an otherwise stellar cube card.

    Verdict: If you play white aggro decks and/or white decks that like cards that make tokens, this card will play well for you, plain and simple. I think this is a 450+ staple, and it very likely worth jamming into 360 card cubes too.






    Falkenrath Pit Fighter

    An 2-power 1-drop in red with an upside!

    What I Like: If you didn’t know this was coming, you might be new to my articles. But it’s probably worth explaining why these kinds of cards always float to the top for me. I base my rankings not on what the “best” card is in a particular set (the “best” card in this set is probably Consider) but rather my ranking is based on: A) the average size of cube the card could realistically see play in, and B) the card’s likely tenure in the cube. When a stellar 2-power 1-drop comes out (one that’s one of the best ones available to it in its respective color) it’s going to bump out the worst card in slot, and it will likely have a relatively long stent in the cube. For example, if this is the #3 or #4 best red 2-power 1-drop, for example, and you want to play ~7 or more of them in your cube, that means a card like this Pit Fighter will be in the cube until they print 3 or 4 more 2-power 1-drops …in red …with upsides …that are better than this card, before it gets booted. And that’s simply going to take a long time to happen. Why? Because this card is good. R/X aggro decks and mono-red aggro like to apply consistent pressure with their early creatures. And once they can’t, Pit Fighter can cash itself in to draw more relevant spells. You can aim burn at their face, and then dump FPF and an extra mountain from your hand or whatever to try and draw more reach. Plus, this can function as a pseudo discard outlet of sorts if the need were to arise in your red aggro deck for some reason.

    What I Don't Like: I wish the activated ability wasn’t limited to turns the opponent took damage, or wasn’t limited to Vampires. But ya, those aren’t really valid requests.

    Verdict: If you play aggro decks with your red cards, I would add this card to your cube. 2-power 1-drops with no drawbacks are rare, and this one comes with a very relevant upside stapled to it as well. I think this belongs at 360, and probably for a good long while.


    Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed it. Please feel free to comment here or comment over on Twitter, and we can discuss cube!

    Cheers, and happy cubing. Smile
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • To post a comment, please or register a new account.