Wednesday, 8 April 2020
Ikoria, Lair of Behemoths Preliminary Review Part III
Nethroi, Apex of Death 2
The floor is mediocre. I wouldn't play a 5/5 lifelink deathtouch in one colour, probably not even at 4 mana. It is just a dork. The mutate is very costly. Sure, it should win most games where you get to use it properly but then any seven mana card you setup should be doing that for you. Nethroi seems the least likely of the cycle to get any cube action. It will do better in both EDH and standard where higher mana costs and colours are less of a problem and setup can be focused on more reliably.
Dirge Bat 0
This really needs cheap things to mutate onto it to be good. The cost of six to get the mutate trigger with this itself is just too much. You could be playing a Gearhulk or Cavalier and killing things more reliably, cheaply, and likely with a better resultant body. Phantom Monster on the modal side of things isn't upping the value of this card by much at all. Seems really quite awful.
Yidaro, Wandering Monster 1
Cheating this into play actually costs more than just casting it! Sure, you get to break it up over four turns and draw a bonus card in the process but no thanks. That is not all that much upside on an otherwise pretty unplayable fatty. Perhaps some mild hope in a cycling themed deck. The option on an hasting trample fatty on a cheap enough cycling card is not the worst.
Giant Moth Cocoon 1
A worse supporting mutate card than Pollywog. This is just cheap and easily cast. It isn't all that for tempo or value. I would much rather a more durable body if I just want things to mutate onto. Doubt this will get any cube action even if mutate is great.
Everquill Phoenix 1
Decent enough but when compared to convenient cards like Rekindling Phoenix or abusive ones like Arclight this isn't getting a look in. Just a little clunky. Certainly the power is there but you need more than just power, especially this far up the curve.
Kogla, the Titan Ape 5
A lot going on here. Fight on EtB is nice, that is pretty much hard removal given the size of this Ape. It makes this a bit faster acting and useful for recovering which is what you need when playing six drops. The attack trigger is nice enough but no reason to play this. If you want a Disenchant effect a six drop that needs to attack is not the answer. This is just incidental removal you may get some degree of value from. The indestructible ability is funny, it is better as a means to abuse cards like Eternal Witness than it is as protection. It is costly and conditional as protection but still much better than nothing on that front. Being able to protect and use your big investment is nice. Trample might just be better outside of EtB effect abuses though... While this is potent it is a bit aimless and as such not something I expect to break into cube. Feasting Troll King seems like a better top end inclusion if you want something like that but no one really does...
Primal Empathy 1
Nice design and decent power but sadly a little slow, narrow, and frankly fair these days, to be a contender. Needing a creature heavy gold deck that is fine playing a low tempo value card makes it narrow. What it does makes it slow! Being blue ruins this, you can just draw in better ways in Simic colours. As a green card alone this would have been up at the top end of this kind of card. None of which have made any waves in cube as yet...
Labyrinth Raptor 4
Hmm, while this is a real issue to block it is also just a 2/2. It seems like a bad Edit effect mixed up with a very average two drop. The Raptor is a little better than that as it buffs other menace dorks you might have but there are not enough of those and this isn't enough of a buff. Lots of words but ultimately not as much power as you might imagine, certainly not making it in the cube although likely making it in themed decks or multiple flavours.
Well this is silly. Lack of trample makes this rather needy of the right dork (Soverigns of Lost Alara exactly it would seem). Tapping it makes it even more demanding. Fling is the best use I can see for this at present and that isn't really a great plan. Mostly this just seems like it is about big numbers and not about being useful.
Shredded Sails 6
Worse than Abrade despite the extra options. Shatter is obviously the same for both. This might do more damage but to sufficiently less targets that it is a substantially weaker creature control spell. Especially in direct comparison as most fliers don't have exactly 4 toughness. Most in fact have 1-3 maknig Abrade as good there too! Cycling is nice but it is low tempo and not really how you want to use any card. Despite all that this still feels playable. It is way more midrange than Abrade but I can see it getting play. Not a bomb but doing things you want to be able to do at a reasonable range of costs.
Back for More 1
Far to gold and expensive for my kind of cube. Still reasonably powerful what with being instant. Quite possibly getting a four for one in combat with a good EtB dork, a winning fight and a trading block. Ouch.
Voracious Greatshark 6.5
This is a funny one. It is not immediately clear to me how good it is. When it works the card is great, like pretty unfair levels of great. When it is just an overly costly counterspell you can't use early enough or a vanilla dork with flash then it is awful or mediocre respectively. The latter gives options at least and makes the card no worse but the former is quite the reverse. I feel like my cube is dork heavy enough and sufficiently planeswalker rich that this probably gets there on tempo grounds and walker control. Use this just to attack down a walker by surprise and the mediocre rating given for that mode out of context jumps to a pretty good deal. There is enough looting and card quality that you can afford some more polar top end cards as a blue mage. Certainly worth a test. It might be garbage, it might be a bomb. It is probably going to feel like a Torrential Gearhulk which is probably a win.
Auspicious Starrix 2
Six mana, set a dorks P/T to 6/6 and flip a permanent into play? Interesting. A bit random and costly to play without setup which basically rules it out for draft cube. Mostly you are just hitting a land. Still, that is closer to Primeval Titan than most cards! When you can manipulate your deck to flip out something really spicey then this is a lot better but still a bit slow to be worth it in a combo sense.
General's Enforcer 3
Exile and token generation is nice but not enough to carry a card. Legends getting indestructible is nice but much more of a constructed thing than a limited one. Beyond that this is a gold 2/3 bear which is far too low impact and power.