I’ve had to keep this secret under wraps for ages. Finally I can say something about it!
Kelly Reid’s Quietspeculation.com is mainly known for financially related-MTG content. Stuff like what to buy, expected value of packs, things like that. Nothing that matters too much for cube designers. (Then why am I talking about it here?)
Starting today, they’re going into different areas of content covering general areas of content, like “spikey” content like Standard and Limited strategy and “Timmy” content like EDH and even Cube, through a bunch of new writers for their site.
One of those aforementioned writers is me as I’ll be providing weekly cube content for their site. 🙂 The content will be pretty similar to my articles and posts on my blog, as I’ll go deeper into how to construct a cube and the underlying theory of cube design, archetype strategy and overall balance. Stuff like that.
I’m also going to provide content to Evan Erwin’s cube site, cubedrafting.com. 🙂 I have an article about “letting go” of cards and it should be on the site on Thursday.
Both links will be posted here when they’re live!
But for now, some commons cube changes.
Inspiration -> Wormfang Drake.
Out of all of the draw spells that I’m running in blue, I feel that Inspiration‘s the weakest. Its being an instant was good, but I think that the sorcery speed ones at4 mana – Foresee and Deep Analysis are much better and with cards like Think Twice, I think that it’s safe to cut Inspiration.
So what’s up with Wormfang Drake?
The idea for running the card came from Adam Styborski’s common cube and it got me thinking. I asked on twitter on what people would think of a 2U creature totem armor aura that turned a creature into a 3/4 flier (but made it lose all of its previous abilities.) If you think about it in a way, that’s essentially what Wormfang Drake is. All of the cards in the Changeling Champion trio are essentially auras with totem armor, turning whatever got championed into a 7/7, a 5/3 haster or a 4/4 lifelinker. Sure, they attack and all, but they’re essentially auras with Totem Armor, since the creature returns (and it’s even better with creatures that trigger when they enter the battlefield.)
An unfortunate thing about blue is that its smaller creatures aren’t the greatest for combat – there’s nothing like Wretched Anurid in blue. But it can certainly leech off of other colors to use their smaller creatures for a U/X tempo deck. Turn my Goblin Patrol into a Wormfang Drake? Sure!
One term that I learned about when following the Great Designer Search 2 was the term “virtual vanilla.” These are creatures that have abilities, but once they do their thing, they’re essentially vanilla creatures. Creatures like Aether Adept and Civic Wayfinder are examples of these types of creatures. As it turns out, blue has a decent amount of these types of creatures, so the Drake actually works pretty well in those decks, since the Drake makes those triggers happen again if the drake dies. Also, in the commons format, 4 toughness is quite nice and getting 4 toughness on an evasive creature doesn’t happen much in the format – a fully-leveled Knight of Cliffhaven, Shoreline Ranger, Illusionary Forces and Castle Raptors are the only ones in the format (and I’m not running the ranger.)
Agony Warp -> Recoil
It’s a slight upgrade, but an upgrade nonetheless. Recoil’s a very powerful card that gets around the natural card disadvantage of bounce spells with its discard. Agony Warp is a very good card and can be a 2-for-1, but I found that it was usually a Last Gasp. Still solid, but I feel that Recoil’s better.
I’m considering Accorder’s Shield as I’ve been more and more impressed with the card and not just because it enables metalcraft cheaply. Vigilance doesn’t happen much in the format and the toughness boost isn’t too bad either. The equip cost and not increasing power is quite annoying and that’s ultimately what’s keeping it out. Maybe I’ll put it in… but I doubt it.
Also, I don’t know why I had Wall of Roots in my powered cube as card #62. Error on my part that’s now fixed.