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Hand of Emrakul

It isn’t easy being big, especially in the world of pauper cubes.  Big, as in creatures of substantial size, have to address a variety of issues to be relevant:

  • A swarm of efficient creatures overpowers many slower creature strategies
  • The benefit of playing it should outweigh the odds of an opposing Doom Blade waiting
  • It should win within a turn or two: it ends games

Yet it’s that tantalizing tease of “drop and win” that the biggest baddies that bring us to doing it.  As ArtosKincaid asked:

“Why for no Hand of Emrakul?” indeed.

Hand of Emrakul, Common from Rise of the Eldrazi

Hand of Emrakul is certainly one of the big stompers at common. I’ve certainly felt the pinch of it swinging across and totally derailing my game.

But those times were in Rise of the Eldrazi Limited. In a common cube there isn’t an effective way to exercise the alternate cost for the Hand: you’re pretty much stuck playing nine mana.

At eight mana is Ulamog’s Crusher.

The best baddies at common in Limited in it’s native environment may not translate well into the sometimes very different environment of pauper cubes. A bevy of instant speed removal, lack of Eldrazi Spawn support, and a completely different pace of game set big, but cool, guys like the Hand off to the side.

Or, as Usman put it:

Yeah. Pretty much this.

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