Scars of Mirrodin is coming and I’ve already touched on proliferate, and infect will follow here soon. There is another mechanic that appears at common, and it’s the one that took the place of affinity: metalcraft.
Metalcraft is an interesting take on affinity, which at its core is all about having lots of artifacts and getting rewarded for it. Like threshold and hellbent before it, metalcraft isn’t an ability keyword: it is merely an indicator that once the condition of controlling three artifacts are met the ability “turns on” and you get the benefit. Mark Rosewater shared that this was their solution for “artifacts matter” for the set and, in comparing this to affinity, is clearly both a safer choice and a natural fit. It feels right.
It’s obvious that in a set loaded with artifacts that the opportunity to have this guy turn on is pretty solid. The question today is whether this is translates into a pauper cube. As my cube stands now, the answer is “No.” but that’s not the whole story.
One of my new goals is to tweak the color distribution, reducing multicolored cards by a shave or two and increasing the artifact count where reasonable and possible. This change would provide a twofold benefit:
- Tighten the color archetypes supported through multicolor cards
- Provide easier access to creature diversity for all decks, especially control decks
Sylvok Replica is a great example of an artifact creature that any control deck with a touch of green would run. If the artifact count rises to a significant threshold, probably in the neighborhood of 20% of the cube, revisiting these commons with metalcraft may become a realistic test.
Remember, your cube may feel and support cards in very different ways from my cube; considering the implications of cards within your unique environment is always the key goal for evaluation.