So sayeth the poll, I’m keeping the blog name.
So I’m going deep into the tank to change my commons cube. It’s been the equivalent of a side project (one that’s taught me a lot of lessons and has been incredibly fun, even though it’s been drafted less than I’d like) and it’s time to get the band back together again.
One of the more interesting cards that I’m adding in this revision is Totem-Guide Hartebeest.
Like with Stoneforge Mystic, I had initial doubts about it. “Having a deck with just one target is awful. Stoneforge is great with a toolbox, but how often will that happen in cube?” As it turns out, pretty highly. I have 10 equipment in my regular cube and getting 2+ equipment isn’t too hard, especially if you get the mystic early. Tutoring is also really good in commons, there’s no demonic, vampiric, mystical or enlightened tutors here. We just get… Mystical Teachings. And Dimir Infiltrator. Cards, which in the context of commons, shine because of the limited options.
So what’s does Hartebeest has to work with?
- White: (the main color to worry about for the toolbox): Kirtar’s Desire (which is coming in), Cage of Hands, Temporal Isolation, Pacifism, Faith’s Fetters, Cho-Manno’s Blessing, Hyena Umbra and Curse of Chains.
- Blue: Wind Zendikon, Narcolepsy, Spreading Seas (and Curse of Chains.)
- Black: Corrupted Zendikon, Shade’s Form
- Red: Crusher Zendikon
- Green: Vastwood Zendikon, Rancor, Overgrowth, Utopia Sprawl, Fertile Ground
- Multi: Squee’s Embrace, Pillory of the Sleepless, Armadillo Cloak.
Pretty spiffy, eh? I think that it should do well. With 8 targets just in white (and at least 1 in the other colors) – it should have enough targets. Granted, getting something like Utopia Sprawl on turn 5 isn’t that great. But Rancor? Sure! 5 toughness is also HUGE in the commons format.
All of the colors get an additional card since the tri-color cards got trimmed.
Glint Hawk Idol gets replaced by the more consistent Golden Cricket (it loses the ability to become a 2/2 flying blocker, but that seems pretty insignificant.) Arrest pales in comparison to other removal cards (the moment that doomed the card was when I realized that it was essentially “the white Eyeblight“) especially since it’s sorcery-speed. Kirtar’s Desire is mostly “control-only” removal, since the decks that’ll want to play it will want to stave off attackers, like a worse Condemn. I explained Totem-Guide above and I’ve been less and less impressed by the one-shot pump cards. It (or another of the pump cards like Marshaling Cry or Fortify) may come back later. I’ve also been not very impressed with the Veteran, as Akrasan Squire‘s ability to bash for 2 is nice and not being able to with the veteran can be annoying. Riftwatcher and Liberator should give some evasive beats and may herald the coming of Assault Griffin and its ilk. But that’s something to see.
Fathom Seer gets cut due to being quite slow and Crookclaw’s low toughness does hurt since the card’s mostly going to be played in midrangey-control decks. It gets replaced by the 2UU 3/2 fliers. Their abilities aren’t as good as they were when damage stacked, but they’re still useful. Oona’s Grace replaces Undo, which is a good card, but I think that Oona’s Grace helps blue decks more – it essentially gives your lands cycling for 2U and it’s a nice card draw engine. Aven Fogbringer, Trinket Mage and Muddle the Mixture (mainly for transmute as it’s not very good as a spell) are other cards that I really wanted to put in, but I don’t think that I have room.
Well, that was quick. I found that Festercreep’s ability wasn’t that great, pretty overcosted and didn’t kill that much when activated. Forget that. Similarly, while Gravedigging is nice, I found that Cadaver Imp’s 1/1 flying body was mostly irrelevant. It was replaced by the dragger for curve reasons, since there aren’t many 4-drops (especially when compared to 3-drops) and its myriad of abilities look useful. Will it be? That’s to be seen. The other additions give some cheap fliers which should help sui-black types of decks.
Red seems like it’s pretty solid overall. I ended up cutting Pyrite Spellbomb for Seal of Fire as I figured that saving 1 mana by essentially cutting cycling is nice (and the ability to be used anytime once on the battlefield.) Right now, I’m seeing if Vithian Stinger is worth it as I found that it wasn’t that great before. But, ultimately, it’s between the pinger and the spellbomb.
With this update, I want to give more incentives for green players to go midrange/control. I added some 5 mana 4/4 creatures which are hard to beat (especially an active Spike Colony with recursion effects.) The GG 2/3s got cut, I’m going to see how the white soldier-pumping version and Acridian play out before deciding if their fate on the chopping block is permanent. Overgrowth seems like a commons Worn Powerstone (since there’s little LD and it seems like it’ll be played on T3 a lot, but if played on t4+, it’s essentially coming into play untapped) and should help to further support midrange and Sprawl is a nice manafixing option.
I decided to take out most of the tri-color cycle since almost all of them weren’t that good [and Resounding Thunder was never played in Jund, just as a red card] and as stated before, added 1 card each in WUBRG. Sewn-Eye Drake was good in RB, which is usually aggressive, but it wasn’t as good in UB. I’m considering changing the Grixis Panorama to the drake again, though.
I cut Somnomancer for Silkbind since ultimately, Somnomancer’s much stronger in white than blue. I’m going to see how Silkbind Faerie acts and if it becomes an efficient tapping machine or if it’s just overcosted. Hopefully I can get some drafts in to find out! But there’s always the option to draft it online (the link is in the beginning of my Commons Cube post.)