Monday 20 January 2020

Theros: Beyond Death Preliminary Review Part XIII

Hateful Eidolon 3

I don't rate this as having much chance in cube of drawing all that many cards for you, well not until they print some Skullclamp like aura... Being a one drop with OK stats, keywords and an enchantment tag however I can absolutely see this being filler in some decks. Really nice for use with cards like Dead Weight.

Hydra's Growth 1

Slow and gimmicky but potential for abuse. You would need a lot of protection for your stuff if your plan involves this. Fun but a fairly long way from good.

Daybreak Chimera 6

Glad to see this costed this way, it makes it interesting without any chance of being oppressive or broken. The ceiling is easy to reach and good but not extreme. All told I think this is worse than Serra Avenger although it certainly can be better. I think this is likely a bit fair, narrow and boring for the cube although it would also be good in most white weenie builds. Force of Virtue does make playing this turn two incredibly likely. I didn't think it was possible to make "countering" a Shock on your Giver of Runes with Force of Virtue any more filthy but it turns out this Chimera does exactly that as a good follow up play to rub hart hitting salt in the wounds!

Nessian Hornbeetle 2

This can be a 3/3 on the turn you make it and attack the following turn as a 4/4. Now that won't happen on curve but still, this card gets quite big, quite quickly and quite easily in the right place. Sadly, the right place isn't a very good place at present in cube. Just making a lot of big dorks is vulnerable to most other plans. If it were just a touch better then Hornbeetle would be a potent two drop option. It needs no mana to grow it which is important for cheaper cards as you want to curve out. Not having to invest in your two drop so it doesn't suck is where you not to be. It is also relevant which is another important factor in a two drop. All told it probably outclasses Tarmogoyf in the zoo and stompy sort of decks as they are so poor at populating the graveyards. So despite all it's qualities the beetle just doesn't have a place presently because it has no homes worth supporting.

Underworld Fires 2

Dull and narrow but not without a use. Certainly not a drafting cube card but this has sideboard potential for dealing with aggro black decks and their recursive low end stuff. It has some OK synergy with things like Torbran, Flame of Keld, Soul-Scar Mage and so forth too so might get a little love with those things some place too.

Final Flare 1

This is only getting mention as a means of sacrificing enchantments in red. Even in that role it is expensive and situational. Despotic Scepter is likely just superior...

Soulreaper of Mogis 1

Both potentially useful types/subtype, plus a sac outlet! Shame this card is just hot garbage. Even 1/10 feels generous. I hope never to play this but it is unique and might just get there due to synergy overlap. Does my constellation aristocrat tribal minotaur deck sound good?!

Pharika's Libation 3

Bad card but enchantment removal in black. Mire in Misery has not gained traction but this is a better removal spell and specifically a much more reliable enchantment removal spell and so at the very least we will see this in some sideboards in mono black decks.

Mogis's Favour 6.5

Versatile little card. A buff, a removal spell, a Darkblast of sorts. Just as a removal spell this is too low powered but combined with the buff potential I think this has a small shot at making the cube. This will make it more of an aggressive tool but that sounds fine. It is very cheap to recur and supports things like delirium in addition to devotion. I expect a lot of Kitesail Freebooters hitting for 3 in the near future! Good news for Hateful Eidolon as well.

Grim Physician 2

Shambling Goblin without the goblin. This is fine. There are places you want these kinds of thing although we probably just have more than we need now. I can't see where this would ever be better than Festering Mummy for example? Against a Solemnity deck....

Lampad of Death's Vigil 5

I thought Gnawing Zombie would be good back when it was spoiled. I was bigly wrong. Despite that I hold out some hope for this. Half the cost and colour restrictions removed on the sac ability and we have a much more interesting card. This is both a Blood Artist effect and a sac outlet to trigger the other Blood Artists you have. This is probably a little low powered to be found outside an aristocrats deck but I do give this a decent chance still. The statline is pretty spot on for what you want to be doing early with those sorts of deck.

Stern Dismissal 5

Broader range Unsummon but that cannot save/reuse your own stuff. Mostly an upgrade but not always. Some reasonable and comparable power on the options on the few Unsummon slots you have in your cube (I have just the room for one in my cube, it was Vapor Snag for ages and String of Disappearances presently) or decks meaning this will have to share the limelight and likely see little action as a result.

Starlight Mantle 1

Dull protection spell. Probably a bit expensive for what it does but cheap generally and with aura synergy potential.

Sleep of the Dead 1

Would instant speed have been too much? I would have tested it had it had it. As it stands I doubt it will get any action. Lop a third off all the escape costs instead of instant speed and it might still have got there too.

Chain to Memory 2

This is a lot of card and a very nicely presented one at that. Power creep on Lost in a Labyrinth has done well recently. I still don't expect to see this in cube just yet, blue is just not so interested in combat. If that changes much or we continue to see power creep in this form of card then it may well one day be a thing.

Riptide Turtle 1

Fine card for the High Alert archetypes out there. Passable card in general but too low powered and narrow to bother testing. It is pretty clear how this will play! Complex is what it is not.

Sage of Mysteries 4

A new offering on Hedron Crab. Certainly both weaker and narrower but never the less a card with lots of potential. Self mill is great and the best kind is cheap. Scaling potential also helps this out. I can imagine this in some kind of Replenish deck and I am sure it will enable many other interesting and quirky things.

Transcendent Envoy 2.5

Much as I love a cost reducer this is a little bit unexciting. Auras are weak, narrow and not something you can over do. The best ones basically all miss out on this helping them as they all cost 1 already! This is too compact and useful not to see play somewhere but I can't see this coming out often in a singleton setting.

Sentinel's Eyes 3

Useful and cheap. I can almost see just running this in a white aggro deck. A lot of things make it appeal more than most cheap equipment like Leonin Scimitar. Probably this is a little low powered for general use and not abusable enough for aura decks. Probably the best place for this is where you want to sacrifice loads of things.

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