So here’s my update for my cube (some changes have been there for a while, but may as well make it all official because of New Phyrexia.) The cube at Ogres’ hasn’t been changed yet, but considering it gets drafted once every blue moon, I’m not in a hurry to get that changed. But yeah, changes below the cut.
Mostly aggro changes, Mr. Porcelain has been great in testing and definitely is a welcome addition (with 8.5 tails making another exit as like before, it was just too mana-intensive.) Another 2-mana beater’s always nice and Legionnaire is just so efficient. The other 3-power additions are very blink-friendly, it’s funny because I did an article on how Flickerwisp does a lot, but I didn’t want to run it, yet here I am using it because, well, it has a ton of uses (great with and against living weapons!) Should be really good. Blade Splicer gives a pretty solid body of a 3/3 first striker with another body for recursion. It feels like the weakest addition of the 3, but I’m hoping that I’m wrong. 🙂
Totally ❤ the new Clone/Sculpting Steel. I’m a bit spoiled from running Vesuvan Shapeshifter because of its ability to be ran out as a 2/2 morph if there’s nothing on board, but that’s a sacrifice I’m happy to make. With Metamorph, being a legendary creature is now a relevant (albeit small) drawback again! Yay for originally intended design! I would like to get more creatures in here per Kranny’s push for more tempo-based strategies in blue – if I get to pushing that more, Mr. Thrasher’s right back in. I’d also like to get Tezzeret and Tolarian Academy in here for artifact shananigans. Oh and a pony.
Taking out one “dis” card for another, easy change! I think that Dismember fits the role better as while the life loss isn’t insignificant, it’s pretty solid across all modes of cost (and that flexibility is really nice when it comes to leaving mana open while still being able to kill things.) I’ve been trying Abyssal Persecutor for a while and have been very happy with it. I dismissed it like many based on WCSM and thinking that the opponent will always just have counterspells to counter whatever can kill it, but that didn’t happen since that assumption assumes that the blue player has a superior board position and free counterspell mana (and multiple counterspells) to counter things that could kill the persecutor. To quote a movie that I can’t remember (I swear that it’s Pulp Fiction,) “that’s a whole lot of IFs” and that perfect storm didn’t happen that much.
Taking out Black Sun’s Zenith may seem odd but its counters thing ended up being a drawback more often than it was a boon as it typically was in the same deck with larger creatures that could survive a huge X-spell. Its cost was also pretty annoying and thus, Zenith got chopped. Drana was once in my cube and I’ve no idea why I took it out. Untapping with it is just great as it can generally kill most, if not anything, that could block it in combat while gaining power. Great creature.
I’d love to put Lashwrithe in here as I think it’s a solid card, but 4 mana is so packed in black as is. Le sigh.
Lots of changes for red as I emphasize more of red’s aggressive nature. Countryside was another creature that got cut a while ago but I added it back when talking to Anthony and remembering its past performance. I’ve been very happy with it since it returned, it and Searing Blaze have both helped red aggressive strategies a lot (as Searing Blaze has almost always had a target.) And Guilherme, you’ll be happy to see that Keldon Champion’s back. 🙂 I don’t know if this change is pushing red too far into the aggro realm and if I need to bring a card like Whipflare (which tends to play better with red-control strategies,) another X-spell or bring back the Hellkite.
As noted in the last post, I’m not super impressed with Beast Within for now, but I’m going to keep testing it to see how it performs vs a variety of decks. I took out Obstinate Baloth for Green Sun’s Zenith and took that out for Master of the Wild Hunt, and I don’t know if I’m just trading sand for skins, skins for gold and gold for life by replacing the Baloth for the Master, but Master’s been great so far. Taking care of a weakness doesn’t a cube card make, but typically the Master does a good job of shoring up green’s weakness in the inability to directly deal with creatures outside of combat. Brutalizer is another card to deal with planeswalkers and is an upgrade from Mold Shambler, as the ability to fetch dudes > the ability to be used as a 4 mana 3/3 in a pinch (as midrangey decks tend to run creatures that work well as silver bullets.) The question is whether the Brutalizer’s effect, overall, is worth it and that’ll have to be seen. All I want is a 6+ mana monster that isn’t just a Rootgrapple on a stick. Maybe Gaea’s Revenge? Who knows.
I’ve been running Phyrexian Processor for a while and while it’s certainly one of those “go big or go home” cards, I don’t necessarily feel that it’s worth it with processor – it frequently was too slow and it lived in sideboards a lot. I really wanted to like it, I really did. Guilherme, wish #2 is granted.
The other cuts are essentially cards that I felt weren’t making the grade vs what was coming in. Mass’ versatility in its size felt at the cost of being under-the-curve for efficiency and while Karn isn’t really that efficient, his overall effect has been good (although the “restart the game” mode is mostly a pipe dream, it almost never happened as by the time it got to high loyalty, winning through pressing a superior board position > winning through restarting the game.) The other equipments are pretty easy additions. Not much to say on those!