Pictoral Update to Usman’s Cube   2 comments

Behind the cut.

DROPS: Kor Skyfisher, Shrine of Loyal Legions, Decree of Justice, Temporal Isolation
ADDS: Honor of the Pure, Angel of Serenity, Nearheath Pilgrim, Precinct Captain

Overall, this feels like an aggressive upgrade. Kor Skyfisher, although it is good (and should definitely be in the MTGO cube) – it isn’t truly a 2-drop and I could use some more 2-drop support in the vein of Honor of the Pure, Nearheath Pilgrim (heavily recommended from Kenny Mayer) and Precinct Captain. Decree may be an odd cut, but generally, it just felt slow and inefficient and I honestly feel like I get more value out of Entreat the Angels (even without Miracle.) Still on the air on that change.


DROPS: Jace, Memory Adept, Time Spiral, Pestermite, Deep Analysis, Tolarian Academy (moved to colorless)
ADDS: Jace, Architect of Thought, Cyclonic Rift, Memory Lapse, Ponder, Frantic Search

I’m not necessarily cutting Jace, Memory Adept because it’s “too good” (a phrase that I tend to see overly used) but it’s a slot that feels expendable and something I have no qualms about bringing back. Deep Analysis was in from the beginning but it always just felt too slow and Jace4 has been a better source of card advantage. Cyclonic Rift is an experimental add (I’m a fan from testing, but admittedly, I could see dropping it) for control and aggressive decks. Pestermite was a card that was hardly played and I replaced it and Time Spiral (another card that feels not set in stone, but could easily return for control/midrange/tempo) with some “safe” cards in Ponder and Frantic Search (reanimation support.)

There are a LOT of cards that I want to fit into blue – return of Time Spiral, Jace3 and Pestermite, Spell Pierce, Merfolk Looter, Thought Courier, Into the Roil, Gifts Ungiven, Waterfront Bouncer… and probably many more that I’m forgetting.


DROPS: Ob Nixilis, the Fallen, Innocent Blood, Bloodgift Demon, Black Sun’s Zenith
ADDS: Smallpox, Pox, Desecration Demon, Pack Rat

Not much in the black changes, but I’m trying the Pox/Smallpox package as Kranny and Chris Pikula have had success with them in their cubes. I haven’t seen them in action, but the good press I’ve heard makes me excited about their inclusion. Ob Nixilis could probably return (although I feel Desecration Demon is quite underrated now) as a solid finisher, but generally was best in matches where he could live for a few turns. Again, not set in stone.


DROPS: Keldon Champion, Sneak Attack, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Ember Hauler, Zo-Zu, the Punisher
ADDS: Mizzium Mortars, Ash Zealot, Gore-House Chainwalker, Reckless Charge, Greater Gargadon

I feel these changes give red decks more efficiency. As much as I like Keldon Champion, the 4-drop slot felt crowded and the Champ seems like the worst out of the 4 drops (an opinion that I’m sure will be controversial.) That said, it could definitely come back; a card like Mortars may not cut the mustard. Sneak Attack and Kiki-Jiki were interesting experiments based on the MTGO cube experience and I don’t know if it’s because people here were too scared to branch out or if the cards themselves were too awkward (especially the 2RRR cost on Kiki-Jiki) but it seems that now is the right time to bench them. I would like to fit Zo-Zu, Guttersnipe and (original) Earthquake in here as well.


DROPS: Beast Within, Channel, Gaea’s Cradle (moved to colorless)
ADDS: Master of the Wild Hunt, Deadbridge Goliath, Cloudthresher

Cloudthresher will probably look odd as uncastable trash, but I’ve had (and seen) good experience casting it in the MTGO cube in non-mono decks (and that cube has anemic fixing.) It’s usually very solid when it resolves and it feels like these 3 additions will bolster green midrange more. I’ve considered cutting Wild Mongrel for Wall of Roots but I’m unsure on that – I’ll see how Mongrel is with the additional RG, GW and GB aggro support. Channel was usually way too inconsistent and Beast Within usually felt like its drawback was too big (but again, it’s a card that I could see coming back in if I need more answers to things.)


DROPS: Contagion Clasp, Pithing Needle, Gilded Lotus, Everflowing Chalice, Grand Coliseum
ADDS: Bazaar of Baghdad, Mishra’s Workshop, Chromatic Lantern, Tolarian Academy, Gaea’s Cradle

I feel like one of the mana rocks could definitely return, but I feel that the addition of the lands have been good (at least Workshop, which I’ve already seen enable things like T3 Wurmcoil Engines and T1 Chromatic Lanterns.) Gilded Lotus is the card that I “miss most” as Pithing Needle usually seemed like too little, too late, once drawn but again, these changes aren’t set in stone. I also want to try to fit in Precursor Golem, but the competition’s rough.


MULTICOLOR (total adds by 10) :
DROPS: Bituminous Blast, Grand Arbiter Augustin, Life/Death, Golgari Signet, Loam Lion
ADDS: Stillmoon Cavalier, Flinthoof Boar, Orim’s Thunder, Simic Sky Swallower, Dryad Militant, Psychatog, Izzet Charm, Knight of the Reliquary, Rakdos Cackler, Dreadbore, Llanowar Wastes, Lotleth Troll, Abrupt Decay, Detention Sphere, Supreme Verdict

Due to RTR, I’m increasing Multicolor by 10 to make my cube 460 cards. It “feels” odd but it’s overall fine and I think people tend to want to make change sizes in round numbers and I honestly don’t know why. Orim’s Thunder is an experiment to see if people play disenchant-type effects more if they have a kicker effect (they already do if they’re on a body.) BG got a ton of tools and I think Knight of the Reliquary will be really good in green midrange (not that I’m abandoning green/white aggro, see Dryad Militant.) I also feel like perhaps Rakdos-Shred Freak has a place, but it seems to be behind Redcap and its possible replacement of Falkenrath Aristocrat. I don’t think cutting Terminate for Dreadbore is right as both are efficient removal spells, so I’m keeping both.




Posted October 5, 2012 by Usman in Uncategorized, Usman's Cube

2 responses to “Pictoral Update to Usman’s Cube

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  1. Looks sweet. Now update the pauper cube! 😀

    • I actually kind of dig the current state of the pauper cube now that signets are back and can wait until Gatecrash comes out to make all the gold changes. Although I can’t wait to get the gates in there either.

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