Saturday 23 September 2017

Card Spotlight: Solemn Simulacrum

Solemn Simulacrum
This spotlight is more of an obituary. I have just cut Solemn Simulacrum from my cube after 14 years of uninterrupted service. Crum went in when I first build my cube shortly after the release of Mirrodin and has managed to hold his own for far longer than most cards. I looked at the other cards that have been in it since the very beginning and they are few in number. Not only that but they are typically some of the best cards in the game. Things like Swords to Plowshares and Force of Will. Crum held very good company. A number of the fairer old cards are things I have added more recently as I have refined it. The cards with nearly a decade a half of cube service for me are pretty much all legacy and vintage staples. As a generic dork Crum has been looking tired for a while. It was mostly artifact synergies, things like Goblin Welder, that really kept him alive in cube for the past few years. Before that however this four mana sorcery speed 2/2 value card was good. Back in the day he was very good, he was a 3 for 1! He was even considered decent tempo back then too. He was like a control and midrange version of Bloodbraid Elf. Four is just such a hard entry point for cube these days. The only value cards you see in the four slot are ones that can also win the game, namely planeswalkers. If it isn't a value card then four drops need to be massive game changers. Either Wrath of God sweepers or Sublime Archangel threats. Crum is just a nice speed bump, he is good value and a nice thing to fill in the gap between now and what plan to do. Crum doesn't win the game over a period of time if it sticks like a planeswalker nor does it  win the game very rapidly if it sticks like a good threat. Nice speedbumps now are things like Baleful Strix - the bar has significantly risen. I suspect some element of historical bais and nostalgia have lead me to keep in Crum longer than I should. I have many vivid memories of Crum simply being too much to get through and turning the tide. If I were to use time in cubes as a measure of cards potency Crum would have to be regarded as one of the top in mine! Obviously that is a fairly silly measure of power given how it would value things like Smuggler's Copter, for the older cards it works pretty well and with Crum being an older card it does make him look rather impressive. I don't suspect he will be coming back ever to my drafting cube but I am sure I will get to see a bit more of Crum courtesy of some constructed cube decks.

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