Regular Cube update   3 comments

List is updated to reflect the current contents and pictures reflect its current content.  I’m running the cube equivalent of “the becker” by going up to 460 cards and one of the big things is that it now has all 10 signets.  Explanations about the changes are behind the cut.
(but part of it was inspired by my guesting on Matt Kranstuber’s podcast “The Joy of Cubing” for the episode artifacts, such as the talk about Tezzeret.  When it goes up, I’ll link it here.)

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+Rout, Journey to Nowhere, Eight-and-a-Half Tails, Glorious Anthem
-Precinct Captain, Nearheath Pilgrim, Knight of Meadowgrain

So I ended up cutting a lot of the 2 drops, which I honestly didn’t really notice since the cuts were gradual over time and the ones that got cut were generally the ones I considered weakest, which coincidentally, ended up all being 2-drops.  I ended up adding 8.5 tails as it does a good job at being an aggressive dude does – attacks for 2 on turn 2, provides late game reach and provides a “threat of activation” which makes instant speed removal awkward for the opponent.  I ended up liking it more than others like the Pilgrim/Meadowgrain/Captain as I think it does that job better than the others.  Rout was added because of liking how it worked from experiences in the MTGO cube, especially in control decks with planeswalkers to protect.  I’ve waffled between it and Parallax Wave, but I may just need to find room for both (as Parallax Wave is more of a “aggro wrath” and a blink card.)  Journey was added, again, from seeing the lack of cheap removal in the MTGO cube and not wanting to have the same happen in mine, especially since I added more ramp targets and things to cheat into play.  Glorious Anthem was another card added to help aggro decks (but again, may just be better as Parallax Wave as it’s arguably better for those archetypes anyway.)

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+Tezzeret, the Seeker, Impulse, Show and Tell, Riftwing Cloudskate, Time Spiral
-Willbender, Wake Thrasher, Delver of Secrets, Cyclonic Rift

As I’m pushing more artifacts in my cube like having all of the signets in my cube – I’ve decided to put Tezzeret back into to my cube.  With Tezzeret, blue gets tied with white for the most planeswalkers at 5, but I’ve never felt that the number of planeswalkers have had a negative effect on my cube.  I’m hoping that with the addition of the signets, it can act somewhat like a Garruk Wildspeaker that can threaten ultimate or can tap for a ton of mana or act as a toolbox with artifacts like.  I added Show and Tell since I’m adding more things to ramp into and adding Impulse because, even if it’s a generic blue card, it’s a good one that I’m happy to have come back after too long.  The only real controversial cut that I can think of is Willbender, but it frequently felt like it costed too much mana – but I could see it coming back but others like Delver ended up being way too inconsistent and Cyclonic Rift ended up being meh.

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+Tombstalker, Death Cloud
-Blood Artist, Nether Void, Desecration Demon

Mostly just shuffling things around, as cards like Makeshift Mannequin came out and then came back in.  I’m adding Death Cloud to complete the Pox/Smallpox/Death Cloud triad.  I probably will end up bringing Nether Void back in, but unfortunately, I’ve lately been disappointed by it; it usually didn’t end up like the “each player loses 3 lands” type of card that I wanted it to be, but then again, I could see it coming back as well.

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-Stonewright, Magus of the Scroll, Reckless Waif, Greater Gargadon, Squee, Goblin Nabob
+Devil’s Play, Keldon Champion, Sneak Attack, Ember Hauler, Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, Earthquake

So I didn’t notice until now that I cut so many 1-drops in red, but like the 2-drops in white, a lot just ended up being cut and they just happened to be the 1-drops.  Squee could come back, but generally felt pretty durdley, but I could definitely see Greater Gargadon coming back in as a way to get inevitability.  Keldon Champion was added to bolster red aggressive curve toppers, but I wonder how long it will last as it seems the weakest of my red 4-drops.  Sneak Attack, hopefully, will inspire some decks in the future.

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+Channel, Experiment One, Skyshroud Claim, Wall of Roots
-Thornling, Yeva, Nature’s Herald, Deadbridge Goliath, Eureka, Ulvenwald Tracker

I added a few more ramp cards to bolster green’s role and cut some of the more meh midrange green guys – although I could see Thornling replacing something like Genesis, but that’s something I’ll consider for the future.  Skyshroud Claim has been quite solid since adding it, especially in decks with a few duals and I hope it catches on more.

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+Tin-Street Hooligan, Duskmantle Seer, Mirari’s Wake, Falkenrath Aristocrat, Obzedat, Ghost Council, Golgari Rot Farm, Boros Charm, Aurelia’s Fury
-Flinthoof Boar, Psychatog, Knight of the Reliquary, Murderous Redcap, Stillmoon Cavalier, Llanowar Wastes, Rugged Prairie, Horizon Canopy, Kessig Wolf Run, Sulfurous Springs

A lot of the changes were mostly just adds from Gatecrash like Obzedat (nearly impossible to kill, as I expected) – Lightning Helix was a HARD cut, but something that seems right – and Aurelia’s Fury could become Boros Reckoner, especially since red’s 3-mana guys are mostly meh.  Tin Street Hooligan was added because, as you’ll see below, all 10 signets are now in my cube.

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+Sphinx of the Steel Wind, Boros Signet, Selesnya Signet, Gruul Signet, Orzhov Signet, Golgari Signet, Rakdos Signet, Gilded Lotus, Precursor Golem, Mortarpod, Kozilek, Butcher of Truth, Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

And so, the biggest area of change.  I moved the signets to colorless and completed the 10-card cycle by having ALL 10 signets in my cube.  I mainly did so to help encourage decks like Wildfire, Pox/Death Cloud decks that can take advantage of the mana rocks and having 3 additional red mana rocks and 3 black mana rocks should help those archetypes.  I thought of when watching streams of the MTGO cube and people in midrange and control decks would happily take a mana rock, even if matched 1 color and felt that having those tools would be good for drafters here.  Granted, “signet decks” are a MUCH bigger part of the MTGO cube meta since aggro decks aren’t well-supported, but I’ve been happy with the change.

Now, I know what you may be thinking.  There was an argument where people like Tom LaPille said that signets made green decks and aggro decks bad – but I never found that to be the case; I worked on an article afterwards and found that it wasn’t the case.  Lately, I’ve been having better luck getting consistent cubing going and with 4 drafts immediately after adding all of the signets, 3 of them had B/X aggro smash face (B/R for 2, B/W for 1) and in the other, aggro decks worked well as well (but I have no idea exactly HOW well, since matches were red robinned.)  There was another draft where there were 2 highly successful RB aggro decks, and I drafted a very good mostly green deck, with white as a minor color and blue as a splash for Detention Sphere.  I ran a ton of green mana fixing and even 2 signets.

Other changes include things like 2 eldrazi to work as ramp targets as well as to be cheated out with Eureka and Show and Tell.  I recently saw a green deck that cheated Ulamog out with Channel, it was pretty sweet.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with these new changes to my cube and what they represent.  I’m hoping that I can draw some further conclusions from my newfound luck in being able to cube more often.

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Posted February 10, 2013 by Usman in List Updates, Usman's Cube

3 responses to “Regular Cube update

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  1. Hi Usman. May I ask what’s the card between Inquisition of Kozilek and Entomb? And the very last red card next to Devil’s Play? Thanks.

    About the signets, I cut them from my cube because they take up so many slots in the artifact section. Instead of the signets, I play more colorless mana rocks: Basalt Monolith, Worn Powerstone, Thran Dynamo and Everflowing Chalice. This way I gain 6 slots.

    I strongly disagree with cutting Squee because he fulfills so many roles (feeding Masticores, Survival, Liliana, sac for Braids/Smokestack, or even just as an eternal chump-blocker). I also found Cyclonic Rift awesome in my play group but that may be because we almost always play multiplayer.

  2. Looking at his list from up top, I think the black card is Thoughtseize (with Kanye West) and the red card is a Bonfire (BETA!).

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