Friday 29 January 2021

Bespoke Banning Round


I have given much thought over the years as to what cards I should ban and why. Power level and playability are the two most common factors considered in this process. Cube should be about fun and while cutting out the oppressive and random cards helps with this I wouldn't say it has optimized the cube for fun. There are a lot of cards that do not necessarily sit on the same bar as cards banned for pure power reasons that people really hate playing against. True-Name Nemesis is a fairly overrated cube card, good but not a bomb. The thing is it feels like such an uphill battle to play into and has minimal interaction. Regardless of the power of the card the fun had in cube is increased by it's absence. The same is true of many cards and it differs from person to person, cube to cube, and playgroup to playgroup. The simple solution? Have a round of bans before you start the draft. 

We typically have been allocating two bans per player chosen in a rotisserie style (first person picks a card, then each person picks another clockwise to the last person where upon it wheels back to the first person). Not only does this give agency to all players involved rather than just the cube's curator but it also gives a somewhat unique meta each time. While a lot of the cards banned each cube are the same (looking at you Oko) there is still plenty of differences too. One day someone gets mashed by a card and elect to ban it out next time. You also get some valuable information as to what people like and dislike as a cube curator. It even levels the playing field to some extent both in terms of colour pie and players. 

Much as I might think Force of Will is a fine and fair card it turns out all my friends hate it and especially hate it when I have it, which I used to a lot, and by a fairly significant margin over others. I just almost always pick it if I can and am in a position to do so more often than most. I have not had the option on drafting a Force of Will since the bannings have been implemented. The banned cards are almost always things people cannot do much about in one way or another be they oppressive cheap walkers like Oko, Ashiok and Teferi or resilient threats like The Scarab God, Emissary of Grudges, Recurring Nightmare, and of course the afore mentioned True-Name Nemesis. One of the most powerful cards in my cube - Skullclamp - has yet to be banned. This in itself is illuminating. I have found adding in a round of bans before a draft, regardless of what kind of draft it is, to really improve things. It makes the experience more unique, gives good information, increases the balance, and most importantly of all, enhances the play experience for all. I highly recommend allowing players per event bans. It is so good and natural it just feels like it should be the norm. 

Tuesday 26 January 2021

Kaldheim Additions and Conclusions


Kaldheim is a cool set. I do seem to like the planes which heavily draw on real historic mythology and culture for their theme. I am a big fan of the look and feel of this set more than anything else. I am interested to see how the god MDFCs work out and I am excited to play with foretell which is a really promising new mechanic. The set is curious in that it has a a very long review from me relative to others yet a fairly low instance of cards I rate highly. The power level is low compared to the sets of the past couple of years. Certainly the top end power, the bottom end power has to be good else my review would be rather shorter! Lots of cards with lots of text and lots of narrow but powerful stuff too. The best card is the foretell Wrath (and the rest of the Pathways of course), everything else is seemingly pretty fair as far as cube goes. No real bombs or format defining cards it would seem which is probably for the best. I just wish there were more one drops of interest and not so many top end things for which space is limited and the bar is higher. Kaldheim offers two one drops, both dorks and both which require mana investment to go above and beyond. At least the blue one is plugging a gap. The white one is just edging out similar cards. 

White seems to have done well out of this set which is good as white has been the least played, interesting, option rich and dynamic of the colours for some time now. Green also gained some things it was in the market for and should gain some decent flexibility as a result. Additions in the right places colour wise for sure. The gods also add a nice amount of flexibility which is what the weaker colours typically lack. Certainly blue has some cool and dynamic gods but blue is already cool and dynamic so doesn't gain quite as much from their addition as other colours will. I think Kaldheim looks like a great example of what a set should be in most repects. Low power isn't great in terms of impact and changing things but it is absolutely for the best for the health of the game overall. Kaldheim hits a hard mark of being interesting while not being all that powerful and that is what we need right now. Not just in light of recent over powered printings but also in the light of the sheer quantity of new cards coming to print. 

Cube Additions


The 4 Remaining Pathways

Kaya, the Inexorable 

Valki, God of Lies / Tibalt, Cosmic Imposter

Goldspan Dragon

Snakeskin Veil

Reidane, God of of the Worthy / Valkmira, Protector's Shield

Toralf, God of Fury / Toralf's Hammer

Usher of the Fallen 

Ascendant Spirit 

Cosima, God of the Voyage / The Omenkeel

Glorious Protector 

Cards to test with reasonable expectations

Bloodsky Berserker

Birgi, God of Storytelling / Harnfel, Horn of Bounty 

Magda, Brazen Outlaw

Old-Growth Troll

Blood on the Snow

Alrund, God of the Cosmos / Hakka, Whispering Raven

Saw it Coming

Esika's Chariot

Basalt Ravager 

In Search of Greatness 

Battle Mammoth 

Toskie, Bearer of Secrets 

Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider 

Crippling Fear

Cards to test with low expectations


Sarulf, Realm Eater

Havar, God of Battle / Sword of the Realms

Showdown of the Skalds 

Glimpse of the Cosmos

Behold the Multiverse 

Alrund's Epiphany 

Egon, God of Death / Throne of Death

Path to the World Tree


The World Tree

Tergrid, God of Fright / Tergrid's Lantern

Koma, Cosmos Serpent

Esika, God of the Tree / The Prismatic Bridge

Faceless Haven

Draugr Necromancer

Eradicator Valkyrie 

Run Ashore

Axgard Cavalry 

Roots of Wisdom

Divine Gambit

Clarion Spirit

Battle of Frost and Fire 

Cyclone Summoner 

Tundra Fumarole 

Sigrid, God-Favoured 

Resplendant Marshall

Dragonkn Berserker 

Immerstrum Predator 

The Raven's Wandering

Graven Lore

Dream Devourer 

Ruthless Winnower

Cards for the constructed reserves 

Waking the Trolls

Reckless Crew

Rally the Ranks

The Gold Utility Land Cycle of 10

Giants Amulet

Sculptor of Winter

Seize the Spoils 

Masked Vandal 

Elvish Warmaster

Ranar the Ever-Watchful

Pyre of Heroes 

Armed and Armored 

Starnheim Aspirant

Warchanter Skald

Youthful Valkyrie 

Rampage of the Valkyries

Koll, the Forgemaster 

Snow fetchable duals 

Invasion of the Giants 

Binding of the Old Gods 

Tyvar Kell

Spirit of Aldergard 


Search for Glory 

Guardian Gladewalker 

Harald, King of Skemfar

Jorn, God of Winter / Kaldring, the Rimestaff

Tibalt's Trickery 

Weathered Runestone 

Giant Ox

Elderfang Disciple 

Bound in Gold

Harald Unites the Elves 

Avalanche Caller 

Karfell Harbinger

Jasper Sentinel 

Smashing Success 

Pilfering Hawk 

Dwarven Reinforcements 

Skemfar Avenger 

Firja's Retribution 

Aegar, the Freezing Flame 

Narfi, the Betrayer King 

Calamity Bearer 

Runeforge Champion 

Righteous Valkyrie 

Vault Robber 

Fearless Liberator 

Fynn, the Fangbearer 

Colossal Plow

Battlefield Raptor

Frost Auger 

Shimmerdrift Veil 

Priest of the Haunted Edge 

Svella, Ice Shaper

Tyrite Sanctum

The Three Seasons

Icebind Pillar

Orvar, the All-Form

Brinebarrow Intruder 

Bind the Monster 

Starnheim Courser 

Icebreker Kraken

Serpent Soul-Jar

Spectral Deluge

Bounty of Skemfar

Monday 25 January 2021

Kaldheim Preliminary Review Part XVIII (commander deck cards)


Elderfang Venom 1

Expensive do nothing card with fairly low power. It does however open up both elf aristocrat builds and elf based Fynn, the Fangbearer decks as potential directions to play with some new cards. 

Crown of Skemfar 0

Expensive win condition for elves and likely just a lot worse than Overrun effects. If you have a bunch of elves you don't need value. If you don't then you don't need this. 

Bounty of Skemfar 4

This is very good indeed in certain kinds of elf deck. This is a Cultivate that can hit Gaea's Cradle and it finds action rather than lands as the value. This is a lot of dig in 40 cards and is a solid little development tool that has minimal inclusion costs and minimal risks. The only downside with this card is that you want to have a significant number of hits for both types. Fine in elves, not so much elsewhere. 

Serpent's Soul-Jar 2

Now this is a lot more what elves needs. It keeps things safe by only allowing one cast per tap. The life is no real issue, elves can generate that if they want and likely don't need to. This is sadly too slow for most conventional elf decks in cube style and shuts off aristrocrat builds due to the exile which is a bit awkward. I like this card a lot, it is powerful and desirable but it is hard to know exactly how to build an elf deck that wants this, and indeed so many of the newer elf cards.

Ruthless Winnower 5

A nice looking midrange tribal removal card. Sadly some of the best elves are not elves like Wirewood Symbiote. Also sadly, as I might have mentioned, elves don't really midrange currently. This is playable outside of tribal. If you have a low dork count this is just quite brutal. It is like the anti go big tool partner to Massacre Girl - the anti go wide tool. An Abyss or Call to the Grave on fairly big legs. They either need to remove it or it will eat their whole board and bash in their walkers and face. It should mostly still fire off an Edict before it is dealt with too giving it a decent enough floor. Might be worth testing with Shriekmaw looking a little tired these days. Due to building restrictions this is probably a little narrow for cube but the power is there. 

Pact of the Serpent 1

Interesting card but too unreliable. The floor is proper bad and that is when you need a big card draw spell to get you back in the game. It is also fairly weak at finding you lands. It even has the potential to have another floor past the ceiling where by you cannot play it as it is too much damage thanks to your great board. I guess then you can use it to dome the opponent, better than a dead card but not saying great things about it. I'll stick to Wretched Confluence thanks.

Ethereal Valkyrie 4

Azorius Titan! This is a very potent card but I fear the low toughness makes this a little dodgy. Especially when you can play nice safe all round cards like Dreamtrawler Sphinx. At 4/6 I would be all over this and potentially calling it better than Consecrated Sphinx. Of course it wouldn't be as it is gold but power wise it gets there. Still, worst case this is dying to removal but drawing you a card and reducing the cost by 2. Pretty hard to be behind in that situation. As soon as this is attacking and getting more cards it is great but loads of things do that, loads of things that are not fragile gold six drops with four toughness. I like it but I can't abide a six mana sorcery speed gold card with this low of an initial impact.

Tales of the Ancestors 0

I think this is just too much mana overall when you can guarantee draws for comparable costs.

Spectral Deluge 4

Powerful but narrow. You really need to be playing all or basically all islands for this to be viable in cube and that does for it in terms of playability. Certainly it is powerful and like Vedalken Shackles, is likely one of the foremost dork control cards the mono blue player in the market for such things goes. Nice that this is one sided and nice that you can deploy it cheaply thus mitigating the normal issues with sorceries. Also making it appeal to tempo decks.

Stoic Farmer 0

Too much mana for what you are trying to do with ramp or value cards really. 

Hero of Bretagard 0

Too pricey for a card that needs support and starts life as a 1/1. Also really narrow and not all that exciting. Good luck getting very far growing this. 

Cosmic Intervention 0

The slow return stops this being a combo card like Second Sunrise. It is also proactive so you can't stop things used in response to playing it nor can you get surprise factor on multiple things like a removal spell and a combat step. These kinds of cards don't get used much if at all for their permanent protection and saving potential and even with the somewhat cheap 2 and 2 foretell mode on this I can't see it being played. 


Sunday 24 January 2021

Kaldheim Preliminary Review Part XVII


Doomskar 8.5

This might be better than Wrath of God although it's fate is a little tied up with how many other foretell cards are in the cube that you might play alongside a Wrath like the card draw or counterspell options. If there is little to no chance a foretold card from a player isn't a Wrath you can play accordingly. If it can be anything then it is a whole lot harder to know how to act. So why is this Wrath so good? Well, it can Wrath on turn three. Or four. It is the first five mana Wrath that solves the issue of possibly being dead before you can use it and that makes it great. Not only can you use it early when needed, you can also split up the cost so that you can keep up counter magic or deploy something relevant on the same turn as the Wrath. All very juicy. It might be better than Wrath, not by much, and if it isn't better it will still be plenty good enough for cubes. Certainly preferable to Shatter the Sky!

Brinebarrow Intruder 2

A side-grade on Zulaport Duelist. Will have some uses as a good supporting one drop with some nice redundancy but hardly a powerful or frequently sought after card. 

Orvar, the All-Form 4

What a funny Hill Giant this is. More of a Dodecapod all told. This is powerful anti discard but I am not sure how good the heroic style ability is. There are not many things you cast on your own stuff in cube, certainly not in blue. Sure, it is nice to be able to Shock dorks into existence but you need to have all those things. That is situational and only upgrading a card rather than generating extra value. You need combat tricks and that sort of thing to really get loads out of this. Still, reeks of combo potential. Eternal Witness and Mutagenic Growth is kind of a combo, a build your own Hatred affair with a load of free 2/1s into the mix. This seems rather too polar in performance to be a great cube card. Hill Giant floor is not a good look. Constructed seems to have a lot more interest in things this exotic dork. One to keep any eye firmly on.

Wolverine Riders 2

A mini Verdant Force but with much nicer tribes and a bit of life gain. Elves love to amass a lot of bodies and there are not loads of great ways to do that. This is quite powerful and quite useful but I fear it is just far too far up the curve for the effect. Elves can be winning on the spot with top end cards leaving good value supporting top end lacking in uses so I am not sure where you run this. It isn't exactly broken enough to be Skyshroud Poacher worthy. It isn't quite busted enough just to run outside of tribal. 

Starnheim Courser 2

This is a lot of card for a common. The double type cost reduction is an eye opener for sure. The issue here is that it is a body you are unlikely to want in whatever deck you want the cost reduction for. It is vulnerable and a little higher up the curve than ideal for a fragile cost reducer. Alela decks seem like the most likely to want something like this as the potential synergy overlap is decent.

Great Hall of Starnheim 3

If this could be used at instant speed it would be rather the impressive card. It is pretty strong as it is, compare it to Tomb of Urami for example! Still just a little narrow and fair for cube use but certainly notable for efficiency and power. Just a nice way to pad out a deck with a low curve or limited mana sinks. 

Valor of the Worthy 2

They are going to make some playable auras soon! They are getting closer and closer. There are only a couple of issues with this card as it compares pretty well to other one mana threats. This has scaling and tempo perks with some built in removal protection as upside. The issues here are being in need of a thing to play this on and thus not being as proactive as you might like for an aggressive one mana card. The other is simply power. Yes, this is better than most one drops but not by much and one drops are not exactly powerful. Stop them being turn one plays or potentially even plays at all and those inconveniences and risks more than outweigh the small perks. While I like this in theory for white weenie decks I don't much like it for existing aura archetypes, a 1/1 flier token later is not at all what they are looking for. All told that means this card probably never sees play despite looking interesting and decent. 

King Narfi's Betrayal 2

Somewhere between a Divination, a Gonti, and a Grapple with the Past. This is mostly just a value tool and a fairly slow one but it has bonus support and disruptive capabilities. It is also noteworthy that opponents cards are typically well suited to your needs for the matchup. This can't find you lands, forces your hand into playing things, and can even wiff. The small upsides don't make up for these somewhat disastrous failings. You can't even find your 4th land with this. Powerful but mostly ill suited.

"Rune of" cycle 1

I can't see much use for the black or white runes but the red, green and blue have some mild application being that they do rather help some of the more commonly used equipment. Trample really improves Swords and Jitte as does flying. Sadly there isn't really the tools to support the combination of your Runes and equipment in those colours. In a white deck I could see it but in others you will mostly just have equipment without runes or runes without equipment. Ill advised for such a small upside. The Rune of Speed is interesting as it lets you build your own Lightning Greaves (thanks Shuko). Sadly I can't see how that is useful when you can just play Lightning Greaves or one of the many other red ways to haste things up while jumping through less hoops. 

Depart the Realm 3

Strict upgrade to Disperse. Sadly I can't see this packing enough upside when we compare to Brazen Borrower, Cyclonic Rift, or even just Into the Roil/Blink of an Eye. The only small chance for this is due to how good foretell looks in Azorious control with counterspells and wraths on the table. Unlikely to be enough to push this past the bar but a cute and playable little spell none the less. 

Bind the Monster 4

Great answer to mana dorks. Not a great answer to much else. This hurts a little too much against threats, fails to stop EtB, passive, or activated abilities without tap costs. It can be removed too resulting in the return of the dork to active duty. Certainly this is a playable card that will have homes being so cheap and so well suited to some specific tasks. What it probably will not be is playable in draft cube where you need power and reliability on your cards. 

Elven Bow 1

Lovely flavour and feel but just not powerful enough. I don't want a 2/3 reach dork for 3. The left over piece of equipment isn't strong either. It goes a little way to protecting green in the air but it is just so expensive to use. Solving a weakness is all well and good but you need to not offer a massive power reduction to do so. Solving issues is a perk for already powerful cards not a thing that makes a card good by itself. 

Icebreaker Kraken 2

Cool card. Missing a few parts to be great such as trample and tapping down things as well as keeping them that way. Even with those you still need to be playing this in snow decks, You want this costing less than 8, ideally 6 and that is only really happening if all your lands are snow. For drafting cube that makes this a mono card and thus not good enough. I can see this locking out some late games and winning with repeat casts and lots of stuff that puts land back into play. Nice to have a bit of a late game payoff for snow decks too. A reasonable fair card but designed such that it feels like it has some uses.

Saturday 23 January 2021

Kaldheim Preliminary Review Part XVI


Svella, Ice Shaper 3

Lovely card with a powerful yet expensive ability and another ability rather less so on both accounts. Feels a bit too slow for ramp decks but this should see you doing well in the late game if you get there. A fine card but not doing enough right away for the costs.

Graven Lore 3

Scry five draw three at instant speed for five mana is pretty real. That is 8 cards deep if you want. It is super Dig Through Time. Even at scry 2 or 3 it is pretty decent. The only thing I have against this is that it is a pure draw spell. You need to eek out the time to use it else it is dead weight. Big draw spells in cube are either really cheap or have other functionality going on which this does neither of. I think I prefer safer draw cards that at the very least cycle or foretell. I want to play this all the time but I can't see myself expecting to have the option to do so very often. It just looks to me like a really win more card for cube these days. Snow decks don't really need value tools much either, that is what it is good at, and this is only a bit better in a snow deck than in normal decks.

Immersturm Skullcairn 4

Very Ramunap Ruins. Narrower in that it is two colours and weaker in that it is an aggressive card that is also an EtB tapped land. Aggro decks hate those more than other archetypes. Those issues aside this is very powerful and well suited to task. Having that little bit of extra reach on lands, or indeed just some relevant mana sink is a great thing and Skullcairn is great for that. The damage outlay is significant and not unreasonably costed given that it is a freebee on a land. The discard is just gravy, it will enable the card to be relevant before it is finishing people off and will force some awkward plays just by being an option as the game enters the lattar phase. This is easily the most playable of the cycle and should crop up in most suitable aggro decks. For cube it is still a bit narrow and marginal for inclusion in a draft even if it would be a solid card. 

Skull Raid 1

A neat little fix on the poor late game scaling of discard effects. Sadly the cost is too much to entertain playing this but hopefully we will see this on a cheaper Mind Rot soon.

Immersturm Raider 1

Nice cheap little support card. Too low power and outclassed to see any real play but this is a demon and a very cheap one so I can imagine some tribal uses here. 

Dream Devourer 5

Love it! Not at all sure how good it is but I'll be playing it some regardless. This is not cost reduction but it allows you to split up your costs and deploy expensive cards well ahead of curve at no extra cost overall and some greater convenience. It also helps protect those spells from hand disruption. Hard to say how exciting that is but at least it comes with a somewhat useful body. It does scale but it isn't good in the way that most pumping dorks are as you have to do so at sorcery speed making them known quantities in combat. It also cannot be used repeatedly without cards to foretell from hand. It is just a small wall on defence too and fairly useless on offence if you need to use your mana for things other than foretelling which will be pretty often as relatively few cards have two or more generic mana in their costs. Cool utility dork that does a lot of different stuff but probably doesn't do enough well or usefully to last in cube. 

Weigh Down 1

Not reliable early and a bit sorcery speed to scale too well. Ulcerate, Tragic Slip and Disfigure all appeal more than this fairly significantly. 

The Three Seasons 2

Lovely little value card. Self mill is very useful. Getting two things back is great and should be happening most of the time. It makes this a two mana draw two with upsides (and some downsides but generally more up) which is great. It is however only playable in snow decks, ideally ones with two thirds snow cards or more. It is a non-snow card too weakening some other aspects of the archetype or taking up valuable slots that could be going to disruption. The one thing snow decks do well is value so this, while good, isn't adding much. 


Birgi, God of Tales / Harnfel, Horn of Abundance 7

Fascinating card. Harnfel is simply a nice end game value card. It is quite like an Outpost Siege or really any of the expensive red permanents that offer one extra free card per turn. Harnfel is pricier than most but does have some upsides. It digs pretty deep, it can be used the turn you make it, it helps fuel your graveyard. You can even use it to find cards to play in the opponents turn. It loves it when you have stockpiled some dead cards in hand as you are otherwise a little locked into discarding what you draw regardless and hoping the two hits you get are more value overall. I wouldn't run Harnfel as a stand alone card as there are slightly better alternatives already doing good work in cube. Having it on the back of another card is a great place for it to be and will make the whole card better and more desirable. Harnfel will be played plenty and do good work when it is. It is one of those cards that is a very desirable effect some of the time and so being modal makes it scale rather well. 

Birgi is a funny one. Part Trained Armodon and part Runaway Steam-Kin. The double boast ability it cool but will barely ever be relevant. It is all about the body and the mana. The mana is powerful but comes late enough and on a sufficiently easy to remove card that it is hard to be playing this just as a ramp tool. Red based storm decks will likely play it but I am less convinced as to whether other kinds of storm deck will want it. Midrange and perhaps even control red decks might be interested in it but it doesn't seem like enough of a threat to fully tempt aggressive ones which is a shame as they are best positioned to make good use of the whole card. Body, mana, and backside Horn! Midrange seems like the most well suited overall. Bonus mana is amazing but on a vulnerable three mana durdle dork it is a slightly less appealing prospect. I feel like Birgi winds up not doing enough on its own too often to be a card that would last long in cube without the Horn on the back. The broadly useful Horn however really rounds out this package with a proactive mana card or a late game value card and makes me think this will last in cube. It will do interesting things and be situationally powerful fairly often if not directly powerful all the time. 

Icebind Pillar 2

Snow and blue makes this narrow. Not hitting lands makes it not the power house Icy Manipulator has been in the past. This card has some uses, mostly bolstering creature defences in snow decks otherwise lacking in that department. Far too fair and narrow for drafting cubes. Might have a couple of places that it gets constructed attention outside of snow builds but all told I think I prefer Tumble Magnet.

Friday 22 January 2021

Kaldheim Preliminary Review Part XV


Colossal Plow 1

Love the name. We also have our unsubtle best partner for our Giant Ox. I really like this card too, I just like the idea of getting mana in a white deck. I want to use it with Reconnaissance so that I can attack every turn regardless of blockers! Much as I want to play this card it isn't very easy to use effectively. Six to crew is loads. So much that some piddling life and mana isn't much extra help. For this to really perform you need to be attacking early or really abusing aspects of it. Certainly a fine Start your Engines candidate. I do like that this is a very cheap mana investment that allows a very focused attack without risking high value or high cost cards you have. Not that commonly useful but not an effect that is easily found. 

Maja, Bretagard Protector 1

Potent for an uncommon but no Trostani. I am sure there are several more Selesnya top end gold dorks I would run well before this, not to mention mono coloured cards. 

Battlefield Raptor 4

I am loving this daring power creep in one mana white fliers. I think Healer's Hawk is better than this but this is still a lot of card for one mana. It controls the sky impressively and scales very well with buffs. There is increasingly a case for running more buffs and more evasive dorks in place of 2/1 beaters in support of white aggro. If that happens this will be in for sure. For now it has to wait on the sidelines only getting a look in when a white skies deck is built and being thankful for support like Sephara and Rally the Wings making such things remotely common!

Frost Augur 3

This is a very spicy addition to a snow deck. It is pretty easy to get to 2/3rds of your deck as snow and so this is a very efficient little card draw body. Snow does very well for value, it is more interactive stuff that is missing. Regardless, this has to make every singleton snow deck in blue just for being good and cheap and facing minimal competition. In a normal cube just play Simbad if you want a card like this. A mana to activate on a card that is really only drawing you basics is too low powered. 

Haunting Voyage 1

Powerful one sided Patriarch's Bidding or a double tribal Zombify. Expensive and narrow but certainly powerful. It is pretty easy to setup an instant win with cards like this for multiple tribes. A couple of those are even OK at getting to seven mana. I like how foretell protects your big win card against hand disruption here. Mostly this is just too costly for tribal dork decks. It will rarely be played in stead of or alongside Patriarch's Bidding and so EDH is the only place I can see this getting much action.


Rootless Yew 1

The kind of thing that sometimes winds up in combo lists like Birthing Pod. Not enough card or consistency for much else. Not bad by any means just not at all needed or well suited. We like value in slots one to three. In slots four and above we want threat.

Shimmerdrift Vale 3

Nice little snow dual. Largely less good than Evolving Wilds but if you are a many coloured snow deck or can't run basics then this might be for you.

Priest of the Haunted Edge 1

I know I said snow was short on interaction but this isn't quite what I had in mind! This is like a Seal on a wall. It is slow removal but it is versatile and has some scaling. It also has the ability to be killed before it is removal making it dodgy as well as slow. It is pretty deep on the snow plan if your packing this.


Immersturm Pradator 3

Very comparable to Falkenrath Aristocrat which has been an impressive cube threat for a very long time and is still holding onto its' slot where more other older beaters have long since been power crept out of contention. So will this edge out Aristocrat? Lack of haste says no fairly emphatically. A bit of yard disruption, some toughness, and an easier time of growing bigger are all perks over Aristocrat but they don't add up to haste in a world of planeswalkers. This is a good card but it isn't quite good enough. 

Cosmos Elixir 1

Cute card but a little clunky and unreliable. If it is cards your getting then the cost is OK, if it is two life you are getting ripped off. It is not enough to hold back aggression. This is probably an OK control on control sideboard card but main seems hopeful. Even life decks should have better stuff to be getting on with.

The Raven's Warning 6

What a cool little card. The value here is decent assuming you trigger the second age. Even if you fail to do so age three can still be game breaking, although much less often in limited settings. Failing age two also probably means your opponent took some poor lines to kill a 1/1 bird. What I like about this is that it fires on every front while being useful. It is a bit of tempo with a touch of life and the birdy then it is the information and card draw followed by the tutor effect once you have your information. Tempo, value, information, card quality/options. Probably due to the third age being so underwhelming in draft and still fairly fair in sealed deck I think this might well not last in cube which is a shame as I am a big fan. I am certainly going to play the arse off it until I can't defend it having a slot any more.  

Fearless Pup 1

Nearly there but not. Three is just too much mana to have this be relevant. Mostly it will be ignored and it will ping away a bit for one and do nothing. Sometimes you will pay to kill something and you will lose thanks to the tempo setback of having done that. If this was two mana on the boast that would make all the difference. Then we would have a cube card of Firedrinker Satyr levels. Things that pump and things with first strike are a real pain to block and this has both. Being able to react to how blockers are declared just provides such a boost. Three for that pump is just that bit too much, and a little bit off when it comes to marginal one drops is huge. 

Tyrite Sanctum 2

Cool card. Lots of legends in cube but this is a little narrow I think for now. It is just quite a medium buff and thus won't do much late and won't be enough tempo early. Indestructible is a less medium buff but it is very late and needs a lot of time, and a legend, and for it to be relevant, which often in cube, indestructible is not. At least it is instant and as such can protect some gods from some removal. Too small upside to include in cubes where there is a near endless list of good and playable colourless utility lands.