Friday, 22 June 2018
M19 Preliminary Reviews Part VII
Diamond Mare 0
Oops, meant to do these all together! Beyond the name and horse type this doesn't feel like part of the Mare cycle in design at least. This is much more the evolution of the Throne of Bone come Prism Ring style of cards. Do you want a 1/3 body on your lifegain effect? Hard to say really because I don't think you want the lifegain effect to start with so adding things to it isn't sweetening the deal much! There are better ways to gain life and better defensive tools. This is so all in on that front that it is basically a sideboard card but it isn't powerful enough to carry weight there.
Chromium, the Mutable 0
I like a flash flier that is uncounterable. Such things beast control decks. Sadly it is seven mana and three colours making it really only a control on control tool. A glorified Pearl Lake Ancient! Gaining hexproof is nice but it isn't protection against mass removal and that is a mild problem. When all you do is be big and sticky you kind of need to be sticky against the things you expect to face. A control killer for a control card will absolutely face some mass removal. Chromium likely turns one of their dead cards into an answer. The flash helps you protect with countermagic better but not against Supreme Verdict! You also don't want to be countering cards you can usually leave as duds. I like the flavour of this although I am not sure it needed to be that complex. It doesn't feel like turning into a 1/1 human it adds much other than confusion. Anyway, this is powerful but unsuitable and overly narrow.
Bone Dragon 1
A five mana 5/4 flier is an OK baseline but it needs to do rather more than just that to have a shot at cube. Plenty of demons with upside on that have fallen by the wayside. The recursion on this is nice, it is a reasonable mana cost and can be done EoT which is pretty key. This would have much less hope if it was a sorcery speed recursion. Even so, exiling seven other cards is big, it is the cost of Treasure Cruise. You only have so many big delve style plays you can make in a 40 card deck and any kind of deck that is able to fill up the bin is going to be far more keen to play cost reduced threats and card draw rather than from the bin threats. Basically what I am saying is that while this is a fine card it requires a little bit too much support for which you will employ other, better cards, when using. That support is there but it is there for Tasigur and Ancestral Recall Cruise, not this thing. Even if you didn't have other delve cards or uses for your yard (but for some reason the capacity to fill it up reliably?) you are only going to get a couple of recursions out of this before you start to run out of deck. I think I prefer Geralf's Masterpiece to this. If feels more powerful and like it works better with that sort of theme. Suffice it to say that Masterpiece is yet to be run in my cube.
Isareth, the Awakener 5
Another one of these tempting three drops. It offers power and value but it is not an assured good play. It will eat Bolts, Spears, Sunlances and all manner of other cheap removal. That is bad but it isn't awful, you need to eat the removal eventually and you are only a mana or two down in most cases. That is a reasonable risk exposure given the potential upsides on this card. This is also better in many respects later in the game when you have a full bin and more excess mana so you will hold it on three mana for other better plays often enough that you will somewhat mitigate the tempo vulnerability of the card to removal . It will not take many recursions of Ravenous Chupacabra or Snapcaster Mage to put games out of reach. Deathtouch is nice, it makes this scale up well on defense and make blocking it that bit more awkward. One attack and Isareth should pay for herself, two should be a real swing. That all assumes you have good things in the bin. Just OK stuff is only worth doing if you don't have good things to spend your mana on otherwise. Isareth is a little bit clunky, mana consumptive, and dependent on the state of the graveyard. I like her but I fear she is just a little to fair for what she brings to the party. Strong, plenty of power but not as easily milked as she needs to be. Certainly worth a trial but not overly optimistic for her.
Open the Graves 1
Cute but a bit pricey for the grindy effect it has. Play a Spawning Pit over this if you really want this effect.
Remorseful Cleric 7
This is great. It isn't that it is powerful rather that it is very playable while being something that is in incredibly short supply. A 2/1 flier for 2 is good enough so that when you slap desirable upside on it you wind up with a great card. Now Tormod's Crypt is a long way from this being the next Selfless Spirit of utility. The cards are framed similarly but Spirit is on theme for your own plans while Cleric is conditional on your opponent caring about their bin in some way. Protecting your plan is better than potentially disrupting theirs. This is more in the realms of Scavenging Ooze because you are getting similar utility out of them and playing them in similar roles. I like white and green getting extra disruptive cards, they are either short on interaction or just a bit dull and could use the love. Graveyards are heavily used in cube and there is precious little against it so it is nice to have more scope for fighting over those resources. Contrite Cleric will be difficult to use well as you have to sac off the card to use the disruption making it a harder and weightier choice. Great addition for cubes however. A nice new way to interact with more niche areas of the game that you can still play maindeck.
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma 3
This is a whole lot of card for sure. I am not however the biggest fan. The cost reduction ability is going to be hard pressed to apply to that many cards in your build which in turn will make it unlikely to be useful, indeed it feels a lot like it just encourages over extension! That means we are just looking at an aggressive card. It feels like it is somewhere between Voltaic Brawler and Sublime Archangel, an odd pair I know! Goreclaw attacks as a 5/4 with trample which is pretty sturdy. He also buffs up any bigger dorks you might have which is probably under one on average. Giving trample to one big thing is pretty significant but there are not many big things in cube without some evasion themselves. What really hurts Goreclaw is that he is a mild 3 toughness while not attacking and does nothing really until then. Goreclaw fails super hard as a card in the face of removal. I can imagine some decks wanting him but not good decks. For a drafting cube he is narrow in where you would want him and is an overly risky card. I am not even going to bother trying this one out.
Amulet of Safekeeping 2
An odd little hose card. A little bit of token control and a little bit of respite from stuff aimed at your face. I like the design in that it stacks with itself so that if one is good against your opponent then a second will make it even worse for them. Obviously this is far too low impact and narrow for any sort of main deck or drafting cube. There are boards I would be OK with this in at least, although fairly rarely.
Cleansing Nova 1
The utility on this is nice but it is likely not enough to carry it in cube. It is not common to face decks with heavy artifacts or enchantments, you mostly just need to kill the relevant one they have. Doing so for five mana will hurt. Spot removal is generally the best way to cover yourself in a drafting cube against the Disenchantables. This means you just have another five mana wrath with a super minor upside and that is not what we want at all. This might be OK in a very specific meta but I suspect even then there will be better ways to counter what is going on than this lumpy card.