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Usman’s Shadows Over Innistrad review on GatheringMagic.


Posted April 24, 2016 by Usman in Uncategorized

A non-set release update?!   1 comment

Yep, I did a (small) change to my list.  🙂

I got to thinking of colorless sources to integrate {C} cards more easily and in my article review of OGW, I talked about some of the colorless mana fixers.  Some of the more frequently cited sources are painlands and filters, etc.

I hesitated on including another land fixing cycle to my list since it seemed like it wasn’t, for lack of better terms, necessary.

However, this wasn’t really based on anything quantitative, just a general “feeling” and realized that data trumps “feeling” handily and thought to include another cycle of {C}-friendly lands to accommodate for cards like Thought-Knot Seer.  A few days later, I remembered Andy Cooperfauss’ article for cube land fixers (it seemed he misread my article on signets as he thought my POV on signets was the opposite view that I had and still hold – tl;dr are not “too good” nor detrimental to a cube environment.)

I ran the numbers on the 3-0 decks since recording them and found that the average amount of non-basics was 4.63 in those decks.  Adding another cycle (cutting some non-basics to do so, but the overall # will increase) will almost assuredly increase this, but I’m interested in what this is going to do to my cube environment as a whole.

As noted in the last blog post (and I’m guessing I should put a FAQ or something like it) – cutting a card isn’t a decree that a card is awful/jank/strictly bad not close but a card needs to be cut to include others.  I only cut 5 colorless/land cards since they’re all pretty tight right now and the ones that were cut felt the most expendable/redundant.  I did a similar approach to cut 1 of each from WUBRG and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see those come back (since they’re all good cards that have performed well), but all of these were similar where they were in slots with high competition and their roles were covered by other things in their mana range.

-Ajani, Caller of the Pride
-Into the Roil
-Ob Nixilis of the Black Oath
-Goblin Bombardment
-Greenwarden of Murasa
-Blinkmoth Nexus
-Mimic Vat
-Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
-Sword of the Animist
-Tectonic Edge
+Mystic Gate
+Horizon Canopy
+Kessig Wolf Run
+Sulfurous Springs
+Sunken Ruins
+Cascade Bluffs
+Battlefield Forge
+Fetid Heath
+Llanowar Wastes
+Yavimaya Coast

The general idea for what lands to choose were as follows in this hierarchy:
RG and GW: Kessig Wolf Run and Horizon Canopy/Gavony Township were mainly included because of their raw power level and that they help {C}. Out of all of these lands that I put in, Wolf Run intrigues me the most (I ran it before and am interested to see how it works now.)
Other Green lands: Generally opting for painlands so that green decks can get access to t1 fixing for mana elves.
Other Blue lands: Generally opting for Hybrids for UU costs that are seen in this CMC slot.
Other Red lands: Generally opting for painlands so aggressive decks can hit 1-drops easier.
Other White lands: Generally opting for hybrids due to high WW costs in the color.

Posted February 2, 2016 by Usman in Uncategorized

I actually updated my cube!   Leave a comment

In case all… 3 of you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty awful about actually updating my blog list and cube.  I guess there’s a theme there, eh?  🙂

On the podcast, it’s been a running joke that I never seem to update this blog aside from crack-a-packs.  I’m going to be changing this, utilizing it more for list changes and content that I’ve created, like my 2-part review (colorless and non-colorless) on OGW, the podcast review and my guest appearance on the “What’s In The Box” podcast.

I host weekly cube drafts and frequently make changes to the list (usually on the Tuesday before the draft, if not several times) but my Cube Tutor list stayed unchanged.  I saw somewhere that my list on CT hadn’t been updated since April 2015 and that’s just abysmal.

So I did a complete reset on my list since I figured it’d get me to finally get it up to date.  Well, it worked.  It’s up to date now.

Before BFZ, I did a reboot of my pauper cube (which I’m looking to get updated on CT as well) inspired by the recent Modern Masters 2015 set, where things like affinity/Metalcrafts are things and while my regular cube list didn’t go as far on that, it got me to doing some changes in sections.  As discussed on the podcast, one thing I did was cutting multicolor to 2 per pair (I have hybrid separately because they play different roles than multicolor as being a boon rather than a drawback, which I posted about last year.  Unfortunately, CT doesn’t really account for this, so it looks like some multicolor sections are wonky) to account for new colorless cards.

I’ve always talked about how cube design isn’t so much a compilation of the best cards and how it’s about crafting a draft environment featuring powerful cards.  People sometimes see a card being removed from a cube as being “not good enough,” and while sometimes cards do get cut because they aren’t, this ignores things like crafting an environment (because after all, wouldn’t an on-deck binder just be pointless, then, if not to re-visit cards that were cut for reasons other than solely for power reasons and for environment crafting?)  Because of that, sometimes list updates will be trying things out, rather than it being a decree of a card being bad, but I’ll likely put that in updates.

Thanks.  🙂

Posted January 29, 2016 by Usman in Uncategorized

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Posted January 20, 2016 by Usman in Crack-A-Pack, The Third Power

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Posted November 12, 2015 by Usman in Uncategorized

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Posted September 25, 2015 by Usman in Uncategorized

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Posted July 15, 2015 by Usman in Crack-A-Pack, The Third Power