Mirran Crusader should be an amazing creature in cube, even if it never gets a power boost, the fact that it’s essentially 4 power for 3 mana. Wait, didn’t I go over this already? Oh yeah. Nevermind. In a post from a few days ago, I talked about how many of white’s archetypes are very aggro-based. I felt that, therefore, there was a glut of Wrath effects already and that Martial Coup was the weakest of them and thus, could be cut. Cloudgoat Ranger should improve the white aggressive-based strategies, it was solid when I used to run it (I don’t know where my foil one went…) so I’m glad to have it back.
I’m trying some blue tempo-based cards to see how they work out. I’d like to try Standstill, Wake Thrasher and Coralhelm Commander as well, but I don’t feel that I have the room for them right now. Coralhelm looks a lot better than it appears at first, I initially thought “a terrible Merfolk lord? Who cares?” It’s more similar to Kargan Dragonlord (it loses the ability to turn into a dragon by being able to become a Phantom Monster) than a rather worthless Merfolk lord. When doing some testing with Palinchron vs Frost Titan, I asked myself, whenever I saw Palinchron, if I’d rather have Frost Titan. This was almost always a resounding “yes.” I’ve been happy with Frosty in its time that I’ve been running it in my cube.
Similar to the white changes, doing an overall analysis of red’s archetypes found that it felt like it didn’t need another mass-removal effect like Pyroclasm since it has a lot of mass removal effects already (and even Arc Trail and Staggershock as pseudo-mass removal.) Neither of these can kill 3+ aggro creatures, but I feel that this is a fine tradeoff. Welder seems like it’s a weird version of Recurring Nightmare for artifacts on a dude. Artifacts aren’t as prevalent as creatures, but it should still be solid. The Champ also returns for a similar reason, to give aggressive decks more of an aggressive feel and that I feel that there was a glut of X-spells and that Fireball could go because it was the weakest of them.
I initially dismissed Venser because it can’t do much without something else. I found that in decks that can draft around it or incidentally have a lot of permanents with ETB trigger, Venser’s very good. I’ve been impressed thus far.
Portal will probably get replaced by something in Mirrodin Besieged or whatever the set after is, but it’s something that should be decent – something that lets decks abuse ETB triggers. I’ve been less and less impressed by Triskelion over time, especially with the printing of other 6-mana creatures (the Titans, Wurmcoil Engine, etc.) Note that this change has nothing to do with the loss of “damage on the stack” back in m10, since Triskelion’s main functionality wasn’t really lost, it’s that other 6 mana options outclass Triskelion now.