A Holiday Update
While I’ve been handling a lot more than normal, including things not related to Magic, I haven’t been leaving my cube behind. While my quest to “fix” red will have to wait a little bit longer, I did make some updates to my cube across the board.
- (A) Added Tumble Magnet to replace (WB) Unmake – I was originally considering Blind Hunter here, but the life draining effect and flying body is very valuable; Unmake is tougher to cast and difficult to put into a deck other than true white-black. Tumble Magnet has been feeling better and better with more play.
- (A) Added Sylvok Lifestaff to replace (BG) Elves of Deep Shadow – The mana bug never felt right and doesn’t feed into BG as much as I’d have liked it to. The Lifestaff seems epic for any deck planning to trade creatures; the cheap power pump is also very nice.
- (A) Added Paper Tiger to replace (UG) Gaea’s Skyfolk – Skyfolk was very underused and hard to cast for just a 2/2 flying. Paper Tiger is an easy-to-cast 4/3 for any deck; the “drawback” is largely marginal.
- (A) Added Rock Lobster to replace (UR) Razorfin Hunter – The value of “pingers” is fairly low, this one is the most difficult to cast. Rock Lobster is an easy-to-cast 4/3 for any deck; the “drawback” is largely marginal.
- (A) Added Scissors Lizard to replace (RW) Squee’s Embrace – The Embrace didn’t live up to the hype and led to awkward 2-for-1 situations. Scissors Lizards is an easy-to-cast 4/3 for any deck; the “drawback” is largely marginal.
- (L) Added Smoldering Crater to replace (UW) Azorius First-Wing – First-Wing was very underused and hard to cast for just a 2/2 flying. Crater is a cycling option for many decks.
- (L) Added Slippery Karst to replace (UW) Silver Drake – Drake’s “gating” was often too much of a drawback even as a 3/3 flying. Karst is a cycling option for many decks.
- (L) Added Remote Isle to replace (UB) Recoil – Recoil never felt great except when as a very situational Vindicate; Isle is a cycling option for many decks.
- (L) Added Polluted Mire to replace (UB) Mystical Teachings – the targets for Teachings aren’t as exciting or worth spending the mana and Teachings to go get; if it could hit sorcery cards (like Fireball) it would fit right. Mire is a cycling option for many decks.
- (L) Added Drifting Meadow to replace (RB) Riot Spikes – Spikes never did what you wanted it to do and was rarely a useful “pump” effect. Meadow is a cycling option for many decks.
- (TRI) Added Crystallization to replace (RB) Goblin Outlander – The Outlander was a lone holdout from a time long ago in cube development. Crystallization is a great removal piece in color pairs that can appreciate it.
- (TRI) Added Stormscape Apprentice to replace (RG) Colossal Might – Might makes right except that everything else is usually a two-for-one within red-green. The Apprentice is a tapper that comes down very early and can also damage without attacking.
- (TRI) Added Nightscape Familiar to replace (RG) Giantbaiting – The number of times Giantbaiting was a blow out on turn three I can recall on one hand; it just didn’t work as desired. The Familiar helps fuel the longer game of UB, and serves as a way to make lethal burn come down faster in BR; regeneration is nice, too.
- (TRI) Added Sangrite Backlash to replace Sigil Blessing – Blessing just never worked out, and very rarely served as anything other than an awkward Giant Growth. Backlash is everything Riot Spikes wanted to be.
- (TRI) Moved Wild Nacatl from GW to TRI.
As you can see here I added a section of tri-colored cards, one for each allied color arc: RGW (Wild Nacatl), GWU (Crystallization), WUB (Stormscape Apprentice), UBR (Nightscape Familiar), BRG (Sangrite Backlash). We’ll see how this section shakes out in supporting multicolor but being more flexible than true tri-color cards.
Some other updates to “color” artifacts were made as well. Four of the five spellbombs added last update were swapped to a more interesting and useful card:
- Added Glint Hawk Idol to replace Origin Spellbomb – The Idol should serve aggressive decks well, providing a creature that generally dodges most sorcery speed removal.
- (U) Added Neurok Stealthsuit to replace Æther Spellbomb – The Stealthsuit is a piece of protection that can also read as a Counterspell for removal in general.
- (B) Added Nim Replica to replace Necrogen Spellbomb – The Nim is three power for three mana and can serve as bad removal in a pinch.
- (G) Added Sylvok Replica to replace Horizon Spellbomb – The Sylvok is a Naturalize on a body, a great feature for any sideboard effect.
I’ll be picking up where I left off with the “The 360 Question” series sometime shortly. Until then I hope these changes are something you’ll enjoy reviewing and trying yourself!