Wednesday, 14 March 2018
Dominaria Initial Review Part VII
Shanna, Sisay's Legacy 3
I like the design of the half hexproof and hope to see more of it. Combined with the variable power Shanna is a nightmare for planewalkers to handle. Power level wise this is pretty good but being gold rules it out. It is not powerful enough all of the time and that is really what you need from your gold cards in cube. Slots are so precious now that a gold card needs to be needed and this is a long way off that. It is certainly the sort of card you might pick for a Selesnya or humans deck in a rotisserie like format. Cards like this in booster draft formats however just make it worse for everyone.
Jodah, Archmage Eternal 2
I'm not a huge fan of this card, it feels kind of a gimmick. That being said I can imagine some pretty impressive plays with this. Turn two Signet, turn three Jodah, turn four the Eons Torn! Being a three toughness four drop means you can't reliably build around Jodah but providing redundancy for First of Suns might help make that a potential combo deck.
Muldrotha, the Gravetide 1
I'm not sure entirely what to make of this. It has no real hope of being a good inclusion in a drafting cube purely based on the many colours and manas needed to play the thing. In more tailored decks however Muldrotha can put in some serious work. A lot of cards work very well with this and you wouldn't need many for this to shine. While it may provide the utility and reach you want from a top end spell Muldrotha is too vulnerable of a play on turn six. You need a land or two and at least a couple of action cards reused before Muldrotha is worthwhile.
Arvad the Cursed 1
For the tribal legend deck! Might actually be cube playable one day but we are still a long way from that day. Power creep being what it is the cube is so tight on new entries that the extra little bit of power you can slap on a legendary dork (due to how that plays out in constructed) means that the cube legend count has been steadily rising for some time.
Grand Warlord Radha 1
The body on this is decent enough and the effect is pretty powerful. The issue is that the two don't marry up that well. Oddly this reminds me of Xenagos, the Reveler who is another very powerful 4 drop in Gruul. Basically the ramp on a four drop is typically overkill and shouldn't be the main focus of power allocation on a card. Another way to look at this (and rule it out) is that decks wanting 3/4 haste dorks really don't need mana much beyond four and the decks that do want to continue to ramp after the four mana mark have marginal interest in a 3/4 body with haste. However you use Radha you are paying for something you don't want. Neither half of the card is powerful enough to carry the four mana price tag on its own. I do very much like how you can stockpile mana with this card. It is something that would go really well with Fireball or any other RX direct damage spell and not that many cards can say that. Sadly a certain recently unbanned Elf makes Fireball and such the nut low and is a rather better Gruul 4 drop so that is another kick in the teeth for Radha.
Johira, Weathlight Captain 1
As a stand alone draft cube card this is super weak. Limp body for the cost and slow and conditional returns. Where Johira has potential is in a custom built deck where you can flop her down and pretty much instantly draw your whole deck. Johira turns Urza's and Mishra's Baubles into draw 2 for 0 mana! She turns Mox Opal and Mox Amber into something really quite special! I am not sure how you kill people most efficiently with this deck but it sounds like that doesn't really matter that much. Perhaps it is storm, it usually is... Bonus points for using Jace's Erasure, old Niv-Mizzet, Phychosis Crawler, Grinding Station etc. Johira smacks of a card that could bring out the ban hammer in modern but perhaps it is just a weak version of the Puresteel Paladin builds. It is not like Vedalken Archmage has made a deck like this yet either.
Oath of Teferi 1
Seems pretty bad but that is not going to stop me playing with this loads! I love activating planeswalkers. Some of the most fun that can be had is playing magic with the old Teferi emblem! You need some pretty special tempo and value out of the flicker effect for this to really cut it. If you already have an active walker when you play this then it is decent but that is so win more. You would be better of playing a card that would protect said walker rather than empower it. This card will be lots of fun but it is a five mana conditional do nothing mostly.
Garna, the Bloodflame 0
Potent effects but miles off a cube thing, draft or otherwise. Far too narrow, slow, vulnerable and situational for draft and just not close to worth it in a build around sense.
Adeliz, the Cinder Wind 3.5
I don't much rate this but I can see it being good. Bloodwater Entity was pretty good and this is broadly better. While it lacks actual prowess it does buff all wizards and many of the dorks Izzet tempo decks run are just that. Prowess decks typically run most if not all of their prowess triggers as instants and sorceries, partly because they are the best but also for cards like Thing in the Ice and Young Pyromancer so Adeliz will not miss out much. I think Adeliz will be a bit like Jori-En, a card people build with but something that is too infrequently useful in a draft to be an improvement to the cube.
Darigaaz, Reincarnated 1
Very punchy dragon that will bring the hurt. A classic and lovely trio of keywords to stick on a big fat body. The thing with Darigaaz is that his second ability is very odd on a card like this. Three turns is an eternity, Darigaaz takes less time to kill someone! Slow recursive grindy abilities are better suited to more middle costed dorks such as Rekindling Phoenix. Darigaaz is so big, black and gold that a lot of the ways to destroy dorks are not applicable to him. Most of the removal used to handle Darigaaz will bypass the ability anyway. This is not top end powerful enough to be something you play to cheat in and it is too expensive, gold and cross purposes to be something you put in a deck and cast conventionally. Plenty of power but not well allocated.
Rona, Disciple of Gix 0
Too slow as ongoing card draw and too situational on the EtB trigger. A lot more playable if you have a Black Lotus.... Mostly this is just a gold Grey Ogre and has no place in cube.
Slimefoot, the Stowaway 2
This probably has enough going on to at least make it in a tribal Thallid deck! It is potentially a suitable win card for an infinite mana combo deck but I think Walking Ballista will be the prime choice for most decks in that position.