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  • posted a message on [KMH][CUBE] Esika's Chariot
    I'm a pretty big fan of Esika's Chariot in cube.
    It's not a high pick, but it's a good card.

    It plays good on defense and on offense, great value, snowballs if left unchecked... and plays well with green ramps theme of generating multiple permanents for craterhoof/cradle.
    I think it's better than any green 4 drop creature (though that doesn't say much)
    and second only to garruk wildspeaker as far as green 4 drop planeswalkers go.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Increasing the number of Black Discard
    You also run a 720+ cube, which means your discard density is lower than what I'm assuming...
    Premium 2 mana discard is better the slower the format too. I'd strongly consider playing agonizing remorse at 720.

    FWIW , combo decks in constructed have WAYYY higher density of cantrips and combo pieces than in cube, making them much more resilient to discard.

    Another thing to consider about cube balance is that, every play group plays sub-optimally. People have archetypes they over-value or they draft poorly, or they don't enjoy drafting etc. Draft is supposed to be a self correcting format where the best archetypes get overdrafted, which in turn help balance it out. In practice this doesn't really happen. My playgroup might like drafting cheaty decks, so those decks "fail" more than they should, because the competition for drafting them is higher than is optimal.

    My experiences might not carry over to yours
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Increasing the number of Black Discard
    It's not really about "cutting" generic interaction to prop up combo decks.
    What im about to say is a gross simplification, but for every slot you have to support generic interaction, you takes away from a slot you could have to support a linear pro-active deck.

    Counter spell variant #37 is less interesting to draft for me than a more narrow linear support card, even if it's average performance is more impressive.
    Same with artifact destruction spells in vintage cube.
    I like to support the best of these spells and have them be present in gameplay, but I don't want them to dominate either.

    Where that line exists is impossible to find exactly and it depends on the kind of experience you and your play group want. If you really enjoy that shred your hand type gameplay by supporting tier 3 discard, than go for it. As long as you are mindful of the cost to the environment of doing so.

    I recommend testing those cards for sure, they are decent interactive filler.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Increasing the number of Black Discard
    I ran 2x thought seize and 2x duress for a small while and ended up settling on 2x duress for the most of my cubes life. 2x thoughtseize felt oppressive.
    When grief got printed I went back to singleton of all the discard spells.

    I don't think they are "needed". Thoughtseize and duress is better in cube than in any other format.
    Many combo and ramp decks are glass cannon and lack redundancy relative to their constructed counter parts.
    The more counter and discard spells you have in your draft, the worse the combo decks are. Most combo's slightly under-perform in my cube.. Their best incarnate are very good, but that is offset by failed builds going 0-3.

    Tinkering how much disruption you want in your cube is an art, since there's no good way to quantify it. I think the current thresholds are close to fine.... If you want to add to discard density, the premium 2 mana discard is where i'd start.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Meathook Massacre
    Quote from Thundermare3 »
    So this card is on a tear in Standard. Price is through the roof in the last day. Any cubers tried this card yet?


    My black section is supporting storm and not creatures right now...

    With my snow cube, I have Toxic Deluge, Languish and dead of winter. Not sure if it unseats any of those in hard control?
    In standard, the games are much slower and grindier, so the lifegain AFTER wrath is quite a bit more important than it is a higher powered vintage cube.

    If anyone is running black agro, I can't imagine not testing it though.. It's rare for a wrath to be good and both agro and control.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Underplayed, underapreciated cards (sleepers)
    Forgot about this thread, but I guess we have some new cards I haven't seen others play since the last time I posted here. This is gonna be a long one...

    First and foremost, Angel of the Ruins is amazing. The card sees so much play in so many decks, it's honestly incredible. Reanimator, Control, Oath of Druids, Artifact Ramp, fair Recurring Nightmare decks, the card is everywhere. It even fixes mana off of dual lands! Can't recommend this card enough, it's everything I wanted Emeria's Call to be and so much more.

    Most cubes I see on here also don't play Plague Engineer which is baffling to me, because we've been playing it for well over 2 years now and that card is absolutely stellar, imo the second best black 3 drop after Rotting Regisaur. Whether it's in aggro, control, midrange, or even the slower reanimator decks, the card gets maindecked in everything. The same way an early Deranged Hermit can single-handedly win you a bunch of aggro matchups, Plague Engineer oftentimes does the same for 3 mana, except it is also one of the best cards available in aggro decks for wiping away your opponents' wide blocking token boards. It's great defensively and has a ton of applications aggressively too, and before anyone mentions that it's only goo din fair matchups, that hasn't been the case either. The card blocks everything well, and can trade with most fatties while cleaning up Myr Battlesphere and Hornet Queen tokens. I promise that card plays soooo much better than it looks, singleton format be damned. Should also mention that it just annihilates green decks of the Elf subtype and white off of Humans, and completely erases all the red 3cmc token producers from combat. The worst case scenario is a 2/2 with deathtoutch for 3 that "pings" something, a debuff that oftentimes lets one of your 2/2s or 3/3s trade up.

    I remember bringing up Bomat Courier in the Cube-Card-of-the-Day thread a few years back encouraging others to test it, and I think a bunch of people did but then proceeded to cut it. I'm sure there's good reason for that, but in my playgroup's experience Bomat has been arguably red's second or third best 1 drop prior to Ragavan's printing. It constantly accounts for 2-4 dmage and 3-5 cards for 1-2 measly mana, and is even castable on turn one off of off-color moxen/mana crypt/sol ring which is not a menial upside. I have less to say for this card since its extensive standard dominance and occasional legacy showings already display the play patterns for the card, but just know that the little guy definitely finds it's way into all sorts of aggro and midrange decks, even off of splashes.

    Beast Within and Song of the Dryads have been great too. I think people used to play them but cut them for space over the years, but tbh they've only gotten better as PWs and fatties have gotten more and more pushed over the years. Beast Within especially is certainly the better of the two, and makes its way into almost all our green decks, even in aggro and ramp. I'd put it in Council's Judgement territory without batting an eye, with Song a step below all the Oblivion Ring variants but still more than playable, especially in green.

    For multicolor, we play all the obvious stuff, but Klothys, God of Destiny has been absurd. It goes in everything, gets splashed constantly, takes over games when it hits the board, and fills every niche you could want in draft and deckbuilding. Gruul is a solid color combination, and I'd vouch for Klothys as the easy #2 behind only Atarka.

    Nahiri, the Harbinger isn't actually that great, but she's certainly playable and gets about as much millage as Figure of Destiny in our cube by nature of uniqueness alone. If you don't play her, no harm no foul, but I'd definitely give her a shot because people love to splash for her in all kinds of decks. Control, renaimator, Sneak Attack, Oath, etc can all get fatties off the top-end to win the game, and shes the kind of card that just gets the gears turning for people. If you have a Boros flex slot available that you're just using to test new cards, I'd highly recommend her.

    I've mentioned Glare of Subdual before, and I'm not going to go into a whole spiel again, but it's been bar none the best Selesnya card in our cube for like 5 years straight now and it hasn't been particularly close either. It's just as dominant as Opposition vs everything except exactly control, and turns out like 80% of opposition is still ridiculous. Card just shuts down like 80% of other cube decks.

    Ugin, the Ineffable has been a colorless Elspeth, Sun's Champion, and isn't going anywhere any time soon. Goes in Control, all the ramp decks, Channel decks, and even some midrange decks. The static ability is super relevant in ramp decks, especially if you play Eldrazi titans, and the card advantage it creates gets out of control insanely fast. It's been leagues better than Karn Liberated for us by comparison, and is without a doubt a premier 6 drop in our cube.

    Sawtusk Demolisher has been some pretty stellar agressive/midrange top end for us so far. Has received substantially less extensive testing (just 2 or 3 months now since mutate wasn't on XMage) than every other non-Angel card I've listed so far, but a splashable pseudo-Demon of Catastrophes with haste and a Terrastodon proc has been really good for us so far. Again, by far the least testing of anything I've mentioned so far as most of the cards I'm bringing up have been in our cube for several years, but looks like it's gonna stick around for a while.

    Component Pouch has only been in for 5 (I think?) drafts so far over Worn Powerstone, and has already blown away expectations. The card sees play in control and midrange decks all the time a-la pseudo-Coalition Relic, and the fixing has been invaluable. If you aren't comfortable with that swap, I'd at least recommend trying the Pouch in a different slot, as I am confidant that it has got to be better than something. Card deserves a fair shot, goofy die-rolling and counters aside.

    And finally I know I've been mentioned her a million times before, but Arcane Artisan is amazing, and it amazes me that there are still cubes that support reanimator/show and tell/sneak attack/Oath of Druids (aka most cubes on here) that don't play it. It's a one-card combo enabler that gets around removal off the EOT activation, and can even loot for value in the late game.

    And I think that's everything, whew now I need to go get dinner


    Great post, thanks for writing this. Reminded me of a few cards I'd meant to get around to testing but never did (component pounch and sawtusk demolisher) and pointed out a card I never knew existed that interests me (angel of the ruins).

    At first glance, Angel of the ruins seems like a well rounded roleplayer for vintage cube. Tinker/Workshop, Reanimation, fixing + threat for fair slower W decks... Exceptional in nothing, but solid in many slower archetypes.

    I agree both bomat courier and plague engineer are under-rated around these parts. Ended up cutting plague engineer because it felt too opressive against decks that weren't at the top of the food chain, but it can always come back in. Nutty anti W/G card that has a surprisingly decent floor against other decks.
    I rank bomat courier slightly higher than most red savannah lion cards.

    Hard disagree about beast within and song of the dryads, but everything else is reasonable and/or interesting, thanks =D
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    The three non-replaceable pillars of a strong green creature based ramp deck are Gaea's cradle, Natural order and Craterhoof behemoth.
    Cube green decks are creature based because mana elfs are so much more powerful relative to non-creature ramp, so you want payoffs that synergize and leverage them.

    In an unpowered legacy cube, green ramp might be the best archetype (depending on how hard you support parasitic reanimator cards).. so it missing this peice is not a nail in the coffin for it by any stretch.

    It's obviously up to you... It's not "too powerful" for the format, but it's among the most powerful things to be doing. Treetop is nowhere close to as good.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Inclusions and Testing Results
    Quote from steve_man »
    Quote from LucidVision »
    [b]Preliminary draft impressions:[/b]

    - [b]Bloodthirsty adversary[/b] is worse than I was estimating (it was my #1 pick for the set). I miss understood that you can kill the creature in response to the counters being put on it, then the spells don't get flashed back. That being said, it wound up in a Grixis deck with recall and kologhan's command and [b]did an excellent premium dark dwellers impression. Still hyped on it[/b]. Always cast for 5 mana in that deck.

    [/b]


    You still "flashback" the spell even if Bloodthirsty Adversary dies in response to the trigger. All that matters is that you paid the cost X times, not how many counters you put on it. Not getting the counters doesn't fizzle the trigger.


    That’s what I assumed too! A L1 judge in my playgroup told me otherwise. He told me a second trigger gets created that fizzles if the counters don’t get placed. Now I don’t know what to believe haha.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Inclusions and Testing Results
    Quote from Breathe1234 »
    Thanks for the write up. This is actually bad news not good news because I'll have to try to make room for - Suspicious Stowaway, Brutal cathar in addition to the 5-6 cards on bench right now.

    I'm not surprised about Brutal cathar - The part I dislike about it is how Fiend Hunter can setup flicker shenanigans, but does Brutal Cathar work with Sun Titan/ Reveliark with a sacrifice outlet for infinite sacrifice/ ETB?

    Suspicious Stowaway/ Consider both seem really good, but blue cards are too difficult for me right now.

    I am happy angur of autumn worked out - I love this type of effect. It helps to prevent flood, helps with a lands archetype etc.


    You really find those flicker shenanigan's with fiend hunter come up often? While it's very powerful when it does, I believe it's so rare that it doesn't affect it's average case performance much. And without that rare scenario, fiend hunter and brutal cathar aren't in the same league. 1WW vs 2W matters a lot too.
    It's a totally reasonable splash card in Bw agro , Rw agro or Gw creature ramp. That adds a lot of playability.

    If you're only gonna test one, I recommend testing suspicious stowaway though. Card might be the card of the set for cube when the dust settles. Cathar just another card among a sea of great white 3 drops.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Inclusions and Testing Results
    Preliminary draft impressions:
    Ran two 8 mans last night with the full gauntlet of test cards in. My decks were Gw ramp and UW control.

    -Werewolf's were easier to flip than I estimated and thus overperformed. I tilted the margins of my cube to be more instant speed focused prior to this set, but it shouldn't have made much of a difference.

    - Suspicious Stowaway is way better than looter il-kor. Blue is the best color for werewolfs (instants). I played it in a deck with a lot of instant speed interaction, which made me able to threaten the flip every single turn. I was able to draw many many cards with it across multiple matche. I think this play pattern will be common. This makes the card WAY better than looter in generic fair blue decks. Moving it from 25%+ to 75%+.

    - Brutal cathar overperformed. 2W allowed me to play it in a Gw ramp deck that 1WW wouldn't have. It gave the deck much needed interaction while still using the body for gaea's cradle/craterhoof. The biggest upside it has over banishing priest is you can run the card out on curve and it be a reasonable threat. Flipping it was not hard. If you run it out on curve, and they play a must answer creature later in the game, you can try to set up two spells in one turn. Mox's and such make it easier for a vintage cube deck to sculpt double spelling. While I still need to test it more, it's clear to me that it's a BIG upgrade over priest/fiend hunter not a small one. It can become a relevant body AND potentially flip multiple times. Moving it from 10%- to 75+. If you were on the fence, trust me. Test it out.

    - Intrepid adversary sat in the sideboard of my GW ramp deck. It was a playable, but I had more than enough playables. If it were to make the main deck of a green ramp deck the deck would have to be REALLY token heavy. Little bit lower on it than when it was first spoiled, but still looking forward to see it in action.

    - Bloodthirsty adversary is worse than I was estimating (it was my #1 pick for the set). I miss understood that you can kill the creature in response to the counters being put on it, then the spells don't get flashed back. That being said, it wound up in a Grixis deck with recall and kologhan's command and did an excellent premium dark dwellers impression. Still hyped on it. Always cast for 5 mana in that deck.

    - Primal adversary sat in the sideboard of my GW ramp deck that had a slight beat down element, but was more ramp focused. The way the deck was structured, it didn't make too much sense to play it. Paying attention to how games played out, I was confident in that decision. If it didn't make the final 24 in this deck, I realized there weren't that many shells that it will. Probably not gonna stick around too much longer. But needs more testing.

    - Augur of autumn saw play in my GW ramp deck.. It felt very similar to courser of kruphix. The ability is slightly better , but the body is much worse. Assembling coven didn't feel hard, but it didn't feel easy either. I get the sense that augur is 5% better vs most archetypes but MUCH worse against agro. 95% of courser of kruphix still a good card. Performed as I expected and I'll continue to test.

    - Outland liberator saw play in my Gw ramp deck. I only drew it a couple times but it felt great. I drew it in matchups where there weren't relevant artifacts on the board, but I ended up flipping it easily... so I extrapolated from that, among other things. Still not sure if it's better than a viridian shaman variant though. Increasing prediction from 10% -> 25%.

    - I only drew Memory deluge a couple times but it felt realllly good. I was playing a draw/go control deck which was the perfect deck for it. I even got to flash it back once. Really cool spot happened where my opponent was swinging for alpha with a thalia in play and I got to dig 5 cards deep because of thalia's tax and the wording on deluge. It was a spot where the extra card was worth the tax. When I saw it spoiled I thought there was a 65% it was better than FoF. Now I think it's 90%+. Needs more testing. Increasing prediction from 50%+ to 90%+.

    - Moonveil Reagent circulated during both drafts and ended up in sideboards, no obvious home for it =/.

    - Falkenrath pit fighter ended up in both drafts. It was a red savannah lions. Nothing surprising.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][Cube] Smoldering Egg
    Seems decent.. pretty narrow though.
    Thing in the ice can be played as an 0/4 wall without too many instants/sorceries to act as an anti agro card.
    Red is primarily an offensive color that is used as supplement in other strategies (combo/ramp first ->)

    It's sideboard value is very limited and it's only good in one shell (UR with a bunch of sorceries/instants).
    If it was busted in that strategy, i'd be interested in something that narrow, but I don't think it is.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Moonveil Regent


    My pick for "sleeper" of the set.
    A draw engine stapled onto a solid body with a damage based death trigger.
    A bit of a build around, but I believe it could fit naturally into multi color good stuff decks, mono red agro decks (24th playable) and maybe even some storm decks.
    It's power will vary wildly based on the cards it's surrounded with, so it should impact draft decisions an interesting way.

    Decided to test it. Confident in it's upside, not confident in it's average performance.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Set (P)review - My top 20 Innistrad: Midnight Hunt (MID) cards for the cube!
    I'm tempted to back through all your articles and count how many of your #1's have been savanah lion upgrades hahaha. Just teasing. Amazing article as always man.

    A quick argument on why I'm high on bloodthirsty adversary.
    Of the entire cycle, it's the card who's value scales the best. As long as you have spells to flashback, you are guaranteed to get an additional card of value each kicker. Same with if you blink it. Every other card in the cycle can be answered up it's mana chain entirely by a single wrath or a removal spell.
    It's a big upgrade to goblin dark-dwellers a card I already have decent experience with. In the perfect dark-dwellers deck, it was a really powerful card. But it's floor was quite bad and it's ceiling was rare. This card has more upside of dark-dwellers and a much higher floor as a curve filler in red agro.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [MID][Cube] Outland Liberator
    I like this card.
    Exchanges the exalted from qasali pridemage to have the upside of the night side.
    The night side can single handedly ravage multiple artifacts if it flips.

    Gonna test it.. It's power depends on how easy it is to flip it, and my intuition for that isn't tuned.
    Because it has an activated ability to hold up to pass the turn, it has a self complimentary play pattern.

    All of these flip cards play well together. Gonna re-include nightpack ambusher for some extra support while I test them all.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Cathar Commando
    Good find, impressive for a common. Love me some Qasali pridemage and this is close in power.
    Not gonna test, but it's not far away.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
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