It’s probably not a secret by now: I love artifacts. I think they are dandy little devices (or massive, mashing constructs) and are something that I have struggled to float into my cube correctly. It’s trickier than it appears.
Initially I had too much mana fixing. Mana Cylix? Springleaf Drum? These weren’t the trinkets I was looking for. Neither was the Blight Sickle or Arcane Spyglass “for the control decks”. Clearly my evaluation skills were not aligned with the direction my cube was moving. Fortunately, I’ve learned so much since throwing things together at the start, like how to look at guys like Ichorclaw Myr:
Ichorclaw Myr, at a glance, doesn’t look too shabby. While a 1/1 for any two mana won’t light too many fires of excitement the presence of infect adds some flashiness. More important is the rules text after infect: “Whenever Ichorclaw Myr becomes blocked, it gets +2/+2 until end of turn.”
In terms of Limited it makes Ichorclaw Myr a quasi-unblockable creature. Blocking is made difficult not by the pump effect but by infect which makes the damage much more challenging to handle. Something like Calcite Snapper isn’t enough to shrug away attacking.
But that’s it: blocking is slightly tricky. Ichorclaw Myr isn’t the feature of an all-star defense since the triggered ability is “becomes blocked” and not the more dynamic “blocks or becomes blocked” that I personally enjoy seeing. Infect, as discussed recently, has potential but will only make the cut if there is sufficient inertia and alternative usefulness with the creatures.
Ichorclaw Myr feels like a guy just missing the final cut on the team – potentially solid and useful in Scars of Mirrodin Limited but a bit narrow to bridge into a wider world of Cube Limited.