Monday 29 August 2022

Preliminary Review: Dominaria United Part IV


Micromancer 3

Very close to the mark given quite how potent tutors are in singleton and how good one mana spells are in eternal formats! Sadly this is one of those value dorks you want at three mana but sits at the four mark where you want impact more than this can offer. Spellseeker shouldn't be worried by this newcomer. 

Astor, Bearer of Blades 2

Sure, this is fun in those build around decks. Might have been relevant outside of commander if it were cheaper to deploy. 

Defiler of Vigor 4

I read this and all I could think about was Uktabi Drakes! Perhaps a Glimpse of Nature and some Essence Warden. That sounds like all of the fun! Might legitimately find a copy in legacy elves, of Defiler of Vigor, not the Drakes or Wardens... As for cube I think this is a bit too much work. I feel like I am just getting more out of an Elder Gargaroth. And savagely both are just asking to get corned by any half respectable removal effect on the market. Yes, technically with Defiler of Vigor you can drop it down and blow your load to pump up your team but how much impact is that having? How much stuff can you deploy or do you have in play? Where did all these nice-to-imagine cards come from? How likely are you to fold to any sort of anything from a Fog to a Wrath? Defiler is very fun and interesting looking but he is not a good fit for the brutality that is modern day cubing. 

Najal, the Storm Runner 1

Oh look, exact same issue Vigor has, but this time also gold and with 2 less toughness to get through. 

Tolarian Geyser 2

Sorcery speed Repulse with a tasty little option on life gain. Repulse is a very rounded and playable little card. This is similar but the occasional life is not coming close to making up for sorcery speed. That kills so much of the utility and trickery and option density. There is no way cubes are hungry enough for Repulse effects that this comes into the discussion. I like Repeal more than this and that is not an easy card to gain tempo with!

Tolarian Terror 3

A better Cryptic Serpent, which didn't see play in 40 card versions of the deck. This might but probably not, you tend to be better off with the delve spells when you support this kind of thing and so these more fringe payoff cards that need things to stay in the bin don't appeal too much. 

Vineshaper Prodigy 1

Either too weak or too expensive. If only this were the Anticipate with a 2/2 body as the kicker... well, I guess it would be better but it still probably wouldn't quite make my cube. 

Writhing Necromass 3

A different take on the likes of Gurmag Angler. Harder to setup but doesn't consume resources when you have. I can see this padding out a creature heavy self mill deck. The kind where the things helping reduce its cost are Anger and Wonder! Even Brawn does a lot of work with this big boy thanks to the deathtouch. 

Cut Down 6

This hits about 75% of the dorks in my cube which is very good going for an instant speed one drop. That compares well to Fatal Push and Blood Chiefs Thirst at base level which both only hit about 50% of dorks. Cut down however does not have the ability to scale up in target range as those two do. Cut Down also has issues in the face of pump and buffs. An awful lot of dorks get bigger by themselves or are found in decks with lots of things that make them bigger. Having your Cut Down not work because something grew out of range is going to be gutting but getting your Cut Down fizzled by something sneakily growing is going to spell disaster. In a world where tempo is so extreme the cost of removal is paramount this is a solid spell I can see running over Disfigure. As it stands black is presently OK for one mana answers.  

Golden Argosy 6

This is a very cool ongoing flicker effect. Although I am not sold on the power level of this card the flicker archetype is really taking hold with the various new EtB draw and removal dorks white has gained recently. As such I cannot see this failing to get play in cube. There just isn't as much playable flicker enablers as you want and this fits the bill. It is fairly robust, offers ongoing flicker for no additional mana cost, and actually does something beyond just flickering unlike Teleportation Circle and arguably Thassa! Needing to attack might cut into the reliability of this card but a 3/6 is pretty hefty and safe in combat.

Shana, Purifying Blade 2

Decent fun card in a lifegain deck but if you are relying on the lifelink from this card to trigger it don't bother. The returns will be far too infrequent to make this good.

Threats Undetected 2

My inclination is that this is poo, almost certianly for cube but probably constructed as well. As a draw spell it doesn't get you lands so doesn't capitalize on being cheap. It also gets you the worst half of four cards. If there are combos this can setup then great, it might get some action. In singleton that is going to be near impossible and constructed isn't going to be all that much harder. Lets say you have a two card combo with dorks, you need sensible redundancy with three different cards that are all playable and that have different powers. Sounds pretty unlikely, Meliria and Vizier both have two power and likely ruin that party as easily as that. You can get three Blood Artists with different powers or three dorks that are sac outlets with different powers. The third strongest of each of those however is pretty poor not much helping the argument for this as a tutor. So yeah, this is a bad divination and a really unlikely Tutor effect. 

Yavimaya Steelscrusher 2

The kind of card I love but this is outclassed these days by dorks or spells like Abrade and You Find Some Prisoners, all of which pack more utility and power than this. I like that this is versatile, reasonably scaling, all while being quite a proactive threat. I do not like that it is often just a Grizzly Bears. 

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