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On Cycles

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of this “Usman” character. However I know from personal experience he’s a stand-up guys who does great things with cube recommendations. Since it’s very late for me and I’m not in the best state to handle content creation, I instead  direct you to Usman’s recent blog post about cycles in cubes and my response.

Did you read it yet? Good.

Usman makes a great point in that cycles, generally speaking, are not  comprised of equal members and, more importantly, need to be considered as individual cards and not as an entire cycle. Like most things Usman shares I generally agree. However I’m not following him completely.

He shared that even the lands with cycling from Urza’s Saga have been good for him. All of the Mirrodin spellbombs carry the same cycling capability but instead of serving as a enters-the-battlefield-tapped land it may provide a niche or narrow utility function… at the bare minimum. Instead off hoping to have the land early I give each color a “virtual” one-drop: another card that can be played meaningfully very early in the game.

Cycling slightly slower, and over turns if necessary, but opening up an effect seems slightly more interesting than a simple land. When given the choice between lands and something more I choose that something more if at all possible. It may not always be a main decked card, but for the right type of deck it’s pretty sweet.

  1. November 8, 2010 at 3:03 AM

    The thing is that including the Saga cycling lands doesn’t really affect deck composition that much as they just go into the land slots. While entering the battlefield tapped is really annoying, a deck can perform fine with something like 8x Mountain, 8x Island and a Smoldering Crater.

    While the spellbombs are dirt-cheap, they’re still included in your deck over something else that’ll likely do the job better. Sure, they can cycle cheaply as 1-drops, but they’re (especially ones like Necrogen) doing the job inefficiently and generally it doesn’t save them from being not that great.

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