Common cube update – 1/2/2012   5 comments

Explanations to come later. But for now, updated pics (with Innistrad goodness) behind the cut!  [now updated the cube list on the ‘cube’ tab and explained changes behind the cut!]









I’ve also made some general changes, taking out some “safe” cards like Wrecking Ball (which was almost always an overcosted Terminate,) Wanderer’s Twig, Lightning Blast (which was quite inefficient) and some other things while adding the obvious Innistrad commons, Clay Statue (some tech from Adam Styborski’s common cube,) Wrench Mind (some tech from Thea Steele’s cube,) Ostracize, Withdraw, Drift of Phantasms (blocks almost every creature in the format and isn’t bad when transmuted) and some more ramp targets like Benalish Lancer and Daru Lancer.

Troubled Healer is a card that I considered back in the day and it may be time to give it a shot.


-Unmake, +Putrid Warrior
-Shambling Shell, +Golgari Signet
-Fire at Will, +Boros Signet
-Wrecking Ball, +Bump in the Night
-Recoil, +Forbidden Alchemy
-Steward of Valeron, +Travel Preparations
-Azorius First-Wing, +Feeling of Dread

All of the Innistrad “dual color” flashback cards came in (aside from Ancient Grudge, which was a reprint) – with all of which being solid additions, mainly for aggressive decks – especially with Bump. Wrecking Ball was always a really awkward removal spell that felt “safe,” but when I looked more at my options, it was just not very good, even if there was the potential for a blowout by killing a bounceland. I may end up bringing back Fire at Will by axing Cerodon Yearling; the latter is relatively efficient but may not be worth its “cost” of being a dual cost card. I don’t remember Fire at Will being anything other than an expensive Neck Snap, but I still wonder if that’s the right call. All of the other multi cuts were generally loose cards, especially ones like Unmake.

-Wanderer’s Twig, +Blazing Torch
-Manalith, +Clay Statue

I’ve no idea if Blazing Torch should end up in here, it’s better than Moonglove Extract (but that card is just awful) and off-color removal. I honestly don’t see it lasting long, especially if there are some solid artifacts in Dark Ascension. Clay Statue is some tech from Adam Styborski’s common cube and there are few 4+ toughness creatures in the format, so it should get through.

-Wall of Glare, +Daru Lancer
-Shu Cavalry, +Thraben Sentry
-Soltari Lancer, +Village Bell-Ringer
+Bonds of Faith (list was off by 1)

One of the things I did was carefully at the role of the evasive creatures and how they were in my common cube.

For example, I considered a lot of the 3 mana shadow/horsemanship creatures to be evergreen in my cube, but when I really thought about how they were in my cube, I began to question their role in my cube. Creatures with Shadow/Horsemanship were near unblockable and I think that because of it, some of the weaker ones stayed because they were essentially Phantom Warriors.  They were safe creatures but unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re good enough.

Ones like Wei Strike Force looked not too great compared to other cards at 3 mana, like Dauthi Marauder, Ravenous Skirge and Liliana’s Specter, as all of those have strong evasion with much more efficient bodies.  I don’t think this is necessarily looking at them in a “This card isn’t as good as X, so it’s bad” but they’ve always felt under the curve for me and that their evasion made them stay in my cube, but I always questioned exactly what the bar was for those creatures in my common cube and these changes made me put a careful eye to that – where evasive creatures at 3 mana either need to have 3 power (Rishadan Airship/Cloud Spirit/Skywinder Drake/Ravenous Skirge/Dauthi Marauder,) a very solid ability (Cadaver Imp, Liliana’s Specter, Kemba’s Skyguard, Blind Zealot, Soltari Visionary/Skyknight Legionnaire/Shrieking Grotesque.)  I’ll keep an eye out for how the change goes and how my cube goes without them.

-Impaler Shrike, +Stitched Drake
-Wayward Soul, +Aven Fogbringer
-Fencer Clique, +Silent Departure
-???, +Makeshift Mauler

I cut some of the not-so-good 4 mana fliers for some other options, I wonder how good Aven Fogbringer will be in the tempo-oriented blue decks, but it should be good. Makeshift Mauler also made it in (since its body is huge) but I forget what I took out for it.

-Foul Imp, +Vampire Interloper
-Tendrils of Corruption, +Ostracize
-Corrupt, +Dead Weight
-Grasp of Darkness, +Victim of Night
-Consume Spirit, +Wrench Mind

I cut the mono-black cards since they weren’t really worth it, for some generally solid removal spells and disruption. Since more than half of the cards in this cube are creatures, Ostracize promises to have a lot of targets, especially since there are a lot of “creatures with spells attached” like Mulldrifter/Aethersnipe/Wickerbough Elder. Wrench Mind was something that I considered back in the day but dismissed and Thea Steele/Justin Treadway considered it for their cube and have had success, so it may make the grade here.

-Mogg Flunkies, +Crossway Vampire
-Seal of Fire, +Faithless Looting
-Blisterstick Shaman, +Brimstone Volley
-Bladetusk Boar, +Lava Dart
-Lightning Blast, +Bladetusk Boar
-Pyrite Spellbomb, +Pitchburn Devils
-Chandra’s Outrage, +Slash Panther

It seems like when I update my cubes, I generally tend to make more changes to red than to other colors. This one is no exception. With this change, I did a lot of the same with “cutting safe cards,” like Lightning Blast (which was really inefficient, especially with so many good red burn spells) and Bladetusk Boar, bringing in some other red beef (Pitchburn Devils, Crossway Vampire) and some other burn spells. I think red should be getting an upgrade with this, which is nice. I don’t know how Lava Dart will be, it promises some nice card advantage, but I’ve no idea if it’ll live up to the dream. Worth a shot!

-Arbor Elf, +Prey Upon
-Juvenile Gloomwidow, +Darkthicket Wolf
-Wildheart Invoker, +Festerhide Boar
-Barkhide Mauler, +Thundering Tanadon
-Vastwood Zendikon, +Ambush Viper

The changes in green have green shedding some of its looser high-end cards like Barkhide Mauler, Vastwood Zendikon (no evasion on that is just sad – that and it was rather clunky) and Wildheart Invoker (which was almost always just a 4 mana 4/3) for some more aggressive guys. I actually liked the mini-Gloomwidow, but there are already a TON of 2-mana creatures in green and something had to go to get the really good ones from Innistrad in my common cube. The other cards coming in are, in theory, upgrades with Festerhide Boar and Thundering Tanadon being more efficient beef and Prey Upon combining with said beef to kill annoying creatures.

You can also simulate drafts of it on tappedout – I hadn’t updated my common cube on there in about a year, so check it out to see how the format compares to “regular” cubing.


Posted January 2, 2012 by Usman in Commons Cube, List Updates, Uncategorized

5 responses to “Common cube update – 1/2/2012

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  1. Hey Usman, I like the fact that you are all into Pauper Cubing, but I couldn’t help but to notice that you have waaaaay to many cards in the multi-coloured sections. Maybe you might want to trim down those sections a bit because they tend to load up the pack with too many restrictive gold cards, where they could be some additional mono-coloured cards. That would free up some of the packs.

    I know that you run a guild system so this might not translate as smoothly, but I like to have 3 multi-colours in each section. I also run all the Karoos and boarderposts, which I count under land. In a 360 card pauper cube I cut down the multi-coloured sections yet again to just 2 in each. This reduces redundancy, with only the best multicolours in to reward drafting those colour combinations. You could change those numbers up slightly to fit wit your guild system if you insist on using it.

    This is just an outside observation from me. Also I own a Pauper cube too, so I’m not just blowing wind too about something I don’t understand. (Despite not fully, because it would be nonsense to fully understand cube constructions.)

    From a fellow Pauper Cuber,


  2. Wholeheartedly agree with Chris here. Multicolor is cool, but Goblin Deathraiders? Knight of the Skyward Eye? Darklit Gargoyle? Cerodon Yearling? It’s a lesson that all cubists learn when they start and to be honest, I’m surprised; because you have learned it from your regular cube, but you didn’t translate it to Pauper.

    Your list looks very reasonnable overall. I don’t like the proxies, though. It makes the whole affair feel shabby instead of awesome, more so because we’re talking commons here. They are a little underwhelming to most people anyway and proxing a Steppe Lynx feels poor (latin: pauper, but that’s not my point).

  3. Usman, I think that Aven Fogbringer was already in your list; that’s why you don’t remember what you cut for the Mauler.
    I am sad to see Wayward Soul/Fencer Clique gone, although the loss of combat damage on the stack greatly hurt them. I still think that a 3/2 flyer that just doesn’t die deserves a slot.

    Speaking of Innistrad Blue, did you consider Claustrophobia? I thought it was an obvious inclusion. For one more mana than Narcolepsy, it stops pingers, Bouncer, Undertaker, etc.

    What about Delver of Secrets? Seems pretty good for Blue aggro.

    Grasp of Darkness vs Last Gasp: is the additional black mana not worth the additional -1/-1 in your opinion?

    • Actually, Grasp v. Gasp is B for an extra -2/-2 and instant speed. The real question there is do you need to kill a 3/3 or 4/4 versus a 1/1 or 2/2? I like having more removal, personally, so I may run both.

      Agree on Delver of Secrets. I STILL think Porcelain Legionnaire deserves a slot as well.

      -Bladetusk Boar, +Lava Dart
      -Lightning Blast, +Bladetusk Boar

      Really means
      -Lightning Blast, +Lava Dart

      I really like the rest of the changes, keep it up.

  4. Usman updated his full cube list (link on top of the page) and it reflects most of these changes. The Makeshift Mauler change is not reflectedd but Porcelain Legionnaire is in there (under white 2-drops).

    I am re-baselining my own cube off of that list although there’s always a few extra favorites we run. There are a lot more mutlicolor cards than I used to run though, but I think the bigger issue is that some color combinations (like U/B and G/R) are just a lot deeper than others.

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