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  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Arlinn, the Pack's Hope
    I waffle back and forth on arlinn, but I'm interested enough to test her. She's definitely good, but I'm not sure how well she stacks up to the other tier-2 gruul cards.
    As far as planeswalkers that can effect the board right away and get value through removal, she's up there with the best of them.
    Her -3 is very close to a 3 mana card worth of value, that is on game plan with the color combination. Makes a card like hero's downfall embarrassing.

    Her great fragility after she -3's, difficulty generating value repeatedly and lack of removal gives me pause... but the initial value , value spread throughout multiple permanents and the potential to finish the game fast is a strong enough combination for me to give her a whirl.

    If she goes -3 on curve and the opponent has no plays next turn it will be devastating.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Jadar, Ghoulcaller of Nephalia
    Probably?doesn't get there in a generic black agro section, but gets interesting if there's a lot of sacrifice or death trigger synergies.
    1 free sacrifice fodder a turn in cojunction with 3 total power is strong output for 2 mana card.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [CUBE][MID] Light up the Night


    Best fireball variant for cube? Devil's play has come in and out of my cube over the years, often as a mana sink with some 24th R/x playable.
    Been on the bench for a while, but I think this card is much better.

    Most excited that X can be 0 and you are able to hit a mana elf or a 1 drop on the draw. Lots of cheap 1 toughness creatures where that's relevant for tempo reasons.
    The flashback will come up occasionally, often as a way to hit the opponent for lethal, but it's marginal value.
    The X+1 part of the text is what makes this card so much better than the other variants.

    Definitely testing, with highish expectations.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID] [Cube] Brutal Cathar // Moonrage Brute
    Sweet card. A step above banishing priest/fairgrounds warden which aren't far away from playable.
    A big issue I have with these sort of creatures is that most cube creatures I run above 2 CMC have good ETB effects which punish you when they re-enter the battlefield.

    Still might be worth testing for medium-large cubes. Probably not gonna test it but may change my mind.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Sakura-Tribe Scout
    I think your head is in the right place, but the power level of the tribe scout is too low in any shell that isn't a dedicated lands strategy.
    As in, most of those decks would rather run an extra land than play this card. Borderline unplayable imo.

    It'll end up being effectively as parasitic as exploration, without the upside to compensate for it.
    Agreed with steve_man that arboreal grazer would be a much better card in any non-lands deck and comparable to it in a lands deck.

    Grazer might be more what you are looking for, as at least the grazer has anti-agro applications when it's effect is hard to leverage
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [AFR] [CUBE] Lolth, Spider Queen
    When I go back to including black sacrifice agro in my cube, I look forward to testing this card.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Consider
    Fwiw, the narrative of brainstorm requiring shuffle effects to be playable in cube was partially because of popular streamers like LSV valuing it low in early iterations of the vintage cube. I watched many of his streams on channel fireball and he cut it from his deck citing this as a reason. He thinks preordain is a stronger cube card @ 540, and I'm not sure he's wrong.

    In my opinion, in a deck with zero delve, zero combo elements, zero power and zero fetchlands, brainstorm is a mediocre card.
    However, that kind of deck is the exception, not the rule. It doesn't take many of the factors above I mentioned for it's power to change starkly.

    It was "too good" for historic, but there were some strong interactions with it that would make it better than most cube decks. 4x fabled passage, 1 mana cantrip triggering arc light pheonixes, putting velomachus on top of the library, hiding your hand from thoughtseize/duress, setting up good expressive iterations...

    Card is still great though and can't imagine a format it would be worse than consider, even if I could imagine some decks Smile
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Playing with Fire
    I'm a fan of shock + upside and recently started going as deep as galvanic blast to get my perceived density.
    I plan to test Playing with Fire over Galvanic Blast.

    That being said, galvanic blast is very high up on the chopping block and this shock is at most 1% better in my eyes.
    Not excited by any means.

    Shocks primarily function as removal with burn being their backup mode. Pointing them at your opponents face should only be done to finish them off or empty your hand (Wheel of fortune, Experimental Frenzy, Runaway steamkin). This adds an additional mode of pointing it at opponents face to scry when desperate for a land. That value is very marginal because there's a cost to obtain it. (shock is inefficient as burn)
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [MID][CUBE] Infernal Grasp
    I'm of the belief that the two life is a bigger cost than most of the target restrictions of the other 37 doom blade variants out there.
    Black has so much other good cards that lose life and creature based matchups are where doom blade effects tend to shine... (where life total matters the most)

    Not interested Frown
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on [CUBE][MID] Wrenn and Seven


    Good card. Not sure how it competes with the other 5 mana green walkers, but it's at least comparable to the tier 2 ones.

    High loyalty, can protect herself.

    +1 - better effect than draw a card, GY synergies.
    0 - situationally powerful, need to hit critical mana threshold to cast a bomb, or if you accelerate out wrenn with a full grip. Landfall synergy.
    -3 - reach is great for planeswalker protection, in the late game can be a big threat.
    -8 - very powerful but not guaranteed game ending

    I think when examining each ability in a vacuum, she falls short, but each ability is complementary. This versatility and self synergy is hard for me to estimate without seeing it in practice.
    Posted in: Cube New Card Discussion
  • posted a message on Drafting on Rails
    I don't have a clean answer to your question, but it's an interesting topic.
    There's a lot of trade offs in archetype design and it ultimately comes down to the type of experience you and your play group value.

    From my personal experiences , the best limited formats have a lot of archetype overlap between cards and a lot of room for draft creativity. They strike a healthy balance of "on rails" drafting and creative flexibility. Most of the commons optimize in one archetype, but also have synergistic interactions with other archetypes. Dominaria and modern Horizons 2 were recent examples of that.

    If you are trying to create a 540 cube that feature the most powerful cards throughout magic history, you are much more constrained in archetype overlap than a traditional limited format. You are also constrained by the relative power level of these cards... Supporting a high risk, parasitic archetype where it's best incarnation has a 45% win %, might not be a good idea.

    My solution is simply to mix it up. I like to run a lot of experiments and switch in and out parasitic archetypes and see what wins and what my play group enjoys.

    One archetype I stumbled on that has stood the test of time has been the Fastbond/zuran orb/crucible lands combo archetype.
    The only duplicates I run to support it are Fastbond and Courser of Kruphix. The archetype takes up very little real estate. Zuran Orb is the only card that has minimal applications outside the archtype itself, every other card has overlap with other strategies. The deck has many different possible builds. It's optimal build is the best archetype in the cube. It's average build is merely competitive and a failed build is a disaster.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [STX][Cube] Expressive Iteration
    I under-estimated expressive iteration when I saw it spoiled.

    The "you must play one of these cards this turn" downside of the card is less than I thought. There's a high % chance you'll be able to hit a land off of 3 cards and if you are in the late game, you'll probably have enough mana to want to do something proactive with 2 non-land cards.

    In the majority of decks, I think it's better than a 2 mana divination, not worse. The ability to dig an extra card deeper more than offsets the requirement to play one of the two cards the turn you cast the spell.

    That being said, I love izzet charm. The counter non-creature spell mode is much better in cube than it is in constructed and every mode is often relevant.

    I haven't played enough with iteration in cube to be confident, but I'd guess it is better than izzet charm in cube.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [AFC][CUBE] Phantom Steed
    Pretty sweet card! I also like it in slower cubes.. or even in faster cubes that enjoy this kind of value gameplay (even if its underpowered).
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [AFC][CUBE] Extract Brain
    You probably need to do this for x = 3+ to consistently get something decent. Opponent showing lands, being hellbent or dead removal spells are all brick scenarios.
    With rakdos return, at least a quick x = 3 will always be good. With extract brain, an opponent has a full grip, x = 3 can STILL brick.
    You'll probabily need X = The number of cards in their hand (-1) to get reliable upside.

    Maybe if you like big swingy plays that lead to epic stories it'll be worth it to test out , but I'm not a fan of this card for fun AND power level reasons.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [AFC] [CUBE] Component Pouch
    Seems pretty solid to me.
    Making colored mana is a big deal over powerstone. Probably doesn't fully make up for it being usable inconsistently, but it's close depending on the cube.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
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