I've been loving plaguecrafter.. at least in my cube (where sacrifice fodder is a plenty in black).
It's power level isn't very high, but it's a great utility option for both black agro and reanimator tool box decks that answers both tough to kill creatures like True-name nemesis, as well as powerful planeswalkers like Chandra, Ugin and Karn. The problem with fleshbag marauder is it's a dead card against planeswalker decks, whereas this is one of your best answers in that matchup. Plaguecrafter is a much better card. While a lot of good planeswalkers create tokens, a lot of them don't.. And you may have dead removal in those matchups anyway, so sequencing Kill token -> Edict planeswalker is a very real line.
It's easy to underestimate the power of an effect like this on a body instead of a spell... Clones, reanimate, Recruiter of the guard, collected company etc all add considerable additional value over a 2B spell that reads "target player sacrifices a creature or planeswalker".
I don't see me cutting it for a long time.. but it's not a "must include".
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Nov 3, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from oakcitylarry »Imperial Recruiter vs. Rampaging Ferocidon vs. Najeela the Blade Blossom
360 powered cube
Think that's an interesting question (between Najeela and Recruiter).
@ Larger sizes I think recruiter is more unique and I'd rather include it than Najeela... and if you support kiki-jiki combo is a critical tutor piece.
But @ 360, it depends a lot on how the cube is built.. If you don't support kiki, the decks that want a recruiter are generally underpowered in that environment and not sure if I'd support them.
Last cube I built a super sweet GRbw recurring nightmare deck and recruiter was the pure nuts in it... Getting multiple utility targets, game ending bombs and was blinkable/recurrable. @540
Oct 26, 2018Card is fine, but it’s WAY worse than in modern. (Counter spells are better in cube than in modern, but mana efficiency matters less in comparison to a 3 mana counter spell)Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
Most of the good delve spells are banned in modern, and a high density of fetch lands and cantrips fill up the graveyard very quickly... so it becomes much closer to counterspell.
Mana efficiency isn’t at the premium in large cubes that it is in eternal formats, so a 2 mana potential “hard” counter isn’t much better than a cancel.
I’m reasonably confident that all the cancel + upside counter spells are better than this... (I don't like deprive at all).
One potential reason I'm wrong is that, despite graveyards filling up slow and it competes for the graveyard with other great delve spells, "force spike" is a more powerful effect in a format where people are tapping out for 6+ drops.
Oct 24, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from emeticLunch »Victimize - The highest upside Reanimate effect beside Living Death. The real advantage is in drafting and deckbuilding, when this supports less all-or-nothing deckbuilding than Necromancy/Dance of the Dead etc. - you don't need a huge game-ending fatty to gain an insurmountable advantage; landing two 4-6-drops turn 3 will have about the same effect. Also just plain value in aggressive or midrange decks.
Sunder - A huge tempo deck blowout, and about the most prohibitive thing you can do on an opponent's end step once you have an evasive creature in play.
Catacomb Sifter - Beside maybe Meren, the best support card I've found for fair GB Junk decks. Just does everything I want in those decks, whether it's ramping to game-locking 5-drops, synergizing with Stax or Pox plans, or just gumming up the board against aggro.
Orcish Lumberjack - The most fair thing this card can do is a Turn 2 Kalonian Hydra. It's completely all-in, but in colors that want to hard-cast Ruric Thar, Titans and Tooth and Nails, Lumberjack just breaks the game.
Fire Covenant - In an aggressive deck that sets a fast clock, it's just a one-sided Plague Wind for 3, and in midrange/control decks that drag the game out, it's still often a 2- or 3-for-1. And it makes anything running mana elves just go home and cry.
+1 on the lumberjack. It's a fantastic enabler for GR combo decks and a serviceable playable in generic ramp. Basically, if your deck is looking to hardcast a spell in the 4-6 CMC region and that spell has a decent chance of winning the game, the lumberjack is nuts. Eureka/sneakattack/TTB + eldrazi. It's better in some decks GR ramp decks than others. Ideally you want to ramp into immediate game ending effects, not big card advantage plays.
Also works slightly as a mana fixer, for spells like mizzium mortars and kiki jiki in decks that only run like 8 red sources.
Can see the merit to all the cards you've posted, though haven't tested any. Fire covenant seems gross against green or white.
Oct 21, 2018Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
Testing this card due to it's performance in standard and my experiences with it in GRN limited. Noticed it didn't have a thread.
Think it has a chance to compete for #4-#8 izzet slot. Though, not sold yet.
-Expansion (not explosion) is a great sideboard card in any blue or red deck against counterspell decks (preferably with removal/draw spells that is worth copying). This increases the versatility of it.
-X spells in powered cubes are better than otherwise due to broken lands like tolarian academy, UR is the primary artifact ramp colors.
-An izzet deck with blue power will likely have plenty of use for a fork that can also alternate as a win condition in grindy matchups.
Think it's easy to underestimate a spell that has occasional efficient uses in the early game that can also win the game by itself in the late game.
Maybe too narrow/ doesn't enable decks that need enabling, but figured it was worth a test.
Oct 21, 2018Decided to test it, and the sample is small, but after playing with it a bit, my interest has been thoroughly piqued.Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
Both times I've seen it resolve it was bat***** insane, straight up busted. Once in a red agro deck and another in a 3 color mardu agro-midrange deck with a base of red.
In a previous post, I noted some of the factors that make the card worse than in standard, but I've now seen some factors that make the card better than in standard.
-Fetchlands. Saving one for when you resolve the frenzy has a large influence on sculpting your draws.
-Lower CMC decks. Depends a lot on how you design your cube, but I compared the average cmc of the decks that main decked frenzy in my cube vs standard decks that run multiple copies and they were quite a bit lower.
-More cards that can sculpt the top card of your library. JTMS, Sensei's top, treasure map, scroll rack.
-Artifact power. Moxen can break the 1 land per turn restriction, and further allow you to "go off".
-Fastbond/Oracle of mul daya, can break the 1 land per turn restriction (as mentioned by Wtwlf)
Also, going off with the card is very fun. Every time you look at the top of the deck is an exciting gamble. It truly feels like you are cheating when you run well. Excited to test it further.. Not recommending it yet cause its a small sample with a high variance card.
Oct 21, 2018Have a solid amount of mission briefing testing under my belt now...Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
Very good card in a heavy blue deck with blue power.
Solid playable in a heavy blue deck operating primarily at instant speed that has access to a variety of counter spells, removal spells and draw spells.
Playable in a deck with 8-9 blue sources and blue power.
Unplayable outside of that.
I've decided to cut mission briefing after the testing period due to it's narrowness. There's a lot of cards that are almost as good as it in heavy blue decks that will see play in more archetypes than mission briefing. IE A cancel with upside (Sinister sabotage/Disallow). There's enough cards in cube that supplement and further break blue power, that I dont need another. Already seeing plenty of time walk decks with 3+ ways to return it, tutor it or flash it back.
Oct 15, 2018Yeah underperformed here by a solid margin.. Generally the creatures I was exiling had value in the graveyard themselves, and the games weren't grindy enough that zombies mattered to the extent I hoped they would.Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
2B ended up being a pretty expensive cost to make the zombie and was only something I wanted to do when hellbent (which wasn't very often).
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from bmholle »I don't think this is true. Armageddon is strong because it is a powered environment. It allows aggro, with its otherwise under-powered creatures to compete by keeping the game in the early stages mana-wise where it has the advantage.
Similar, but opposite, for wrath of god. It allows control to bridge the gap between the early stage and mid/late stage by resetting the board in the stage where it has an advantage.
Do you play with cubes that don't support aggro? If so I can see Armageddon and Wrath being 'not quite' as strong. But even then, they situationally will be very good. Just not so much in the scripted "aggro plays out their hand then 'geddons on turn 4 or control wraths on turn 4".
I think the idea is;
Armageddon is at it's worst in 360 powered cubes because it has the highest density of moxen and mana rocks out of any other cube size. Taking the opponent to 0 lands instead of 2, is a night and day difference for their chance to recover.. They are also going to have a higher density of broken cards to get out of the crippled situation.. AND a higher probability of doing something broken before you have the chance to cast a devastating armageddon.
Wrath of god is at it's worst in 360 powered cubes because the broken decks are so good that they make it very difficult for midrange creature decks to compete in the format, so there will be less creature decks in a competitive meta. Once you've supported the base "best 150 cards in magic" there isn't that much room for random creatures. This tends to make the format creature light compared to larger cubes. Many of the best red cards are burn spells, so red is less reliant on creatures to close out the game... Green decks tend to lean heavier on their natural order/channel effects than on creatures as well.
A card that is a 9/10 in 50% of matchups and a 3/10 in 50% of matchups is a mediocore card, despite it being a critical sideboard card.
Think they are still good cards, but they are much much worse than in a 720 unpowered.
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from Tjornan »Quote from djkensai »Hellkite has been awesome for us. I would cube it over Hazoret. It plays very much like a Fiery Confluence that makes them pay for a kill spell at some point over the next two turns instead of having the other modes.
I think for anyone looking to diversify red threats away from Hellriders, this is a good option (among many).
I like this way of thinking.. While I believe it's better than hazoret and hero of oxid ridge it's definitely close enough that it realllly doesn't matter. Even if power level is central to your cube design thesis.
My thought process at this point is basically "Wheee I like dragons, they go rawr, I include this dragon". Your play group like egyptian jackal gods? evil knights riding a metal horse? Go for it.
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from CommonerCoffee »Good call on the Filter land; I forgot about that one for WB. Horizon Canopy is really cool and if I had one I would use it but it is out of my price range for the moment so I'm sorta stuck with the Stirring Wildwood or the Razorverge Thicket.
In a 360 cube I expect your density of mana elves to pretty high, so id likely go with the razorverge thicket. Most GW decks tend to be mana elf centric, so having untapped turn 1 mana likely very important.
GW not going to be able to grind with the blue decks anyway, so i'd focus on giving them explosive power -> disruption.
Oct 15, 2018Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype DiscussionQuote from CommonerCoffee »Changing the Guilds format in my 360 a bit to have 3 non-land cards and 3 land cards. Two of the lands for each guild are going to be Shocks and Fetches, with the remaining one being a flex slot.
Struggling a bit with which one to play for Selesnya and Orzhov.
Given what I have, for Selesnya I'm considering between Razorverge Thicket and Stirring Wildwood
and for Orzhov Concealed Courtyard and Shambling Vent
Orzhov I'm particularly struggling with since WB tends to be quite hungry for 1BB or 1WW on turn 3 and would love to hear some input from others.
Horizon Canopy is a super sweet land, I would highly recommend that for 3rd place slot, especially if you have crucible of worlds or ramunap excavator.
Shambling vent is probably the best of the new man lands and I would play that over concealed courtyard (and over the WB filter land which would be my next choice after shambling vent).
Oct 12, 2018I’ve seen it’s power in standard , but I’m skeptical for cube. I’d be very surprised if it was good enough for a medium sized powered cube. Though less confident in larger lists or mid+ unpowered.Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
It’s much better in slower/grindier formats.
The card varies dramatically in power level depending on the deck and format, and needs a bit of a build around to be great. I’ve seen it be pretty bad in standard in decks not built to abuse it.
Imo it’s very narrow, but it’s upside power could be high enough to justify an include.
If it finds a home in tighter cubes , it’ll be because of how good it can be in random midrange brews...
but it will be an optional card for sure.
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