Wake Thrashing Mad   5 comments

I’ve been not updating this for some time.  That’s gotta change!

I have a new “Six Degrees” article up on Quiet Speculation as of today, as my articles will be posted on Wednesdays.  🙂  It’s part of a self-proclaimed trilogy of introductory articles for how to build a cube from the ground up, before going into the really juicy and complex parts of designing and maintaining a cube (in other words, like stuff that’s been on here.)  I also did an article on Evan Erwin’s cubedrafting.com on “letting go” of cards.

Someone on MTGSalvation discussed enabling blue non-control strategies in cube and said that it’s going well.  I’m not a fan of the blue 2-drops like Spellstutter Sprite, Voidmage Prodigy and other cards like Mistblade Shinobi, but it got me to trying some blue tempo cards in my cube.  I’ve learned some lessons about “toolbox” cards and their viability from my commons cube and I figured that those lessons could be used for my 450-card cube.

For now, this is what I’m trying:

Desertion, Tolarian Academy -> Wake Thrasher, Opposition

This is a test to see how these cards end up.  Wake Thrasher seems like a card that should be a litmus test for how those types of strategies work – when I used to run it, it was SCARY huge, with him nearly outclassing anything on offense.  Opposition‘s the same way, a card that should give blue tempo decks a way to lock down lands and annoying blockers.  Both of these may end up being “virtual” GU cards since that’s the best strategy for them, but I’m going to see how they turn out.  One of my earliest cube memories with my cube was someone drafting a BU tempo-ish deck with Cloud of Faeries, Grinning Demon and… I think Ninja of the Deep Hours was in there too – all cards which are now gone.  I’ve no intention of bringing any of these cards back (Cloud of Faeries isn’t even in my common cube) but it shows that the idea at least can work.  Neither of the cuts are ones that I’m happy to cut, but I believe that the redundancy that Desertion provides isn’t necessary right now (or at least, makes it safe enough to cut.)  Tolarian Academy‘s a harder cut, but one that I feel is right for now due to its inconsistency.

Palinchron -> Frost Titan

Whenever I was testing Palinchron vs Frost Titan, I had Palinchron in and asked myself “would you rather this be Frost Titan?”  I can’t think of a time when I said “no” to that question when I was testing the titan.  Frosty’s been in a draft since then and has been very good, as even with the bounty of cheap removal in cube, its ability is still pretty relevant.  I never was all that impressed with Palinchron, so I think that this change will be permanent.

Talisman of Progress -> Venser, the Sojourner

Discussion on MTGSalvation’s cube forums has gotten me to give Venser another shot.  My initial conclusion was “great if you have something to combo with it, meh at any other time” but I’ve warmed up to the idea that he’s more a “build around me” card like Wildfire, Stoneforge Mystic or Tinker.  Today’s draft featured him in a deck with minimal interactions (Frost Titan, Sower of Temptation, Jace 2.0) but even then, I was impressed, but then again, I was running a nearly mono-blue (splashing for Gelectrode and Grim Lavamancer) deck, so I had few ways to attack Mr. Sideburns.  On Friday, there was a deck that would have been VERY good with him.   I’m still keeping an eye on him, but so far, my impression is much better than it was before.

Ghitu Encampment -> Goblin Welder

At first, I thought “Well, how are artifacts going to get into the grave in the first place?  That’s just awful.”  I failed to realize that even though artifacts don’t die as often as creatures, Goblin Welder essentially acts like an artifact version of Recurring Nightmare.  Artifacts typically do end up in the grave because of cards like Manic Vandal and being able to bring back a Myr Battlesphere (which, btw, is a really good finisher) by sacrificing a Mind Stone is a powerful effect.  I felt that Ghitu Encampment was the weaker of the two “red lands” because it entered the battlefield tapped, which is pretty big a deal for red decks (which are typically aggressive.)  I haven’t seen him in play (I’d have used him in my Ur deck if I was more red-heavy) but thinking of him as a weird Fauna Shaman-meets-Recurring Nightmare for artifacts has given me new appreciation for him.

These changes may become permanent, they likely will, but I’d like to give them some more time before committing.  I’d like to fit Rout, Cloudgoat Ranger and Flickerwisp into my cube (the only new card out of those would be Rout, as the latter two white cards have been in my cube in the past), but I don’t know if I have room for them.

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Posted December 8, 2010 by Usman in List Updates, Uncategorized, Usman's Cube

5 responses to “Wake Thrashing Mad

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  1. “would you rather this(=Palinchron) be Frost Titan?”
    The problem with this logic is, that you are assuming that only because they were not able to kill Pallinchron, the same thing would have applied to the Titan.

    Unless you want to go the aggro route, you are usually playing Wake Thrasher turn 5+ with some counter mana up. Wouldn’t Scute Mob be just as scary for less mana, but the potential to get even bigger and the ability to block profitably.

    • The logic used was that whether Frost Titan or Palinchron would be the better card in the situation, not if it was able to be saved from Palinchron’s bounce ability. Almost every time, Frost Titan’s overall strength trumped Palinchron’s by a pretty significant margin.

      Scute Mob is awful, there’s no way that I’d play it. I wouldn’t wait to play Thrasher until T5 unless it was a do-or-die situation since as I said, it’s more a tempo card than a control one anyway.

  2. I like these changes. I think it’s important to remember that Frost Titan is not just a finisher- he also plays a strong supporting role in blue decks when you are facing creatures you don’t want attacking (other Titans, Chameleon, lifelinkers, off the top of my head) and to let your Ophidians get through. There are also positions where his evasion is much more relevant than flying.

    For us, he’s really been much more interesting than Palinchron.

  3. How would you rank Titan against some of the other common blue finishers.

    Sphinx of Jwar Ilse, Morphling, Kega, Meloku

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