Monday 21 November 2022

The Brother's War: Conclusions and Additions


Much as Wizards and Hasbro seem to be somewhat imploding at present with shockingly bad marketing and business decisions that are alienating, fatiguing, and insulting the player/customer base the product remains good. Really good. Most of the traditional standard drafting sets have been on point since the madness of the "push the envelope" sets Eldrain, Theros (II) and Ikoria. The Brothers War looks like it is good to draft. The cards are interesting and playable without being just pushed to the point of being boring and oppressive. White has started to get interesting with lots of option rich cards and value generation added to the mix. Green is having some issues ironed out with viable fight cards. Blue is getting some tools to compete for board presence with. The mechanics of the set are interesting. The art is good. The flavour is great. I am loving this full circle on lore and the nostalgia that comes with it. I have started following the lore (since Dominaria United) which is a first for me. I have dabbled before but now I am following it. The blueprint cards are lovely. Even some more old bordered basics for the land perverts like me. The power level of the set is on point. Not too oppressive and creeping but equally not so weak that nothing new is making the cut. It must be disheartening for the many Wizards employees who work on design, testing, development, art, and all that jazz that do such a great job and get tarnished with the same brush as those making the non-game choices for the company. I am very much looking forward to seeing how they round out this epic series on the Phyrexians. 

To Add

(* commander cards)

Mechanized Warfare


Siege Veteran

Demolition Field

Mishra's Research Desk

Loran of the Third Path

Combat Thresher 

Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor 

Feldon, Ronom Excavator 

In the Trenches 

Recruitment Officer

Phyrexian Dragon Engine 

Scholar of New Horizons*

To Test (with high expectations)

Thopter Mechanic

Steel Seraph

Lay Down Arms

Third Path Iconoclast 

Obliterating Bolt

Misery's Shadow

Horned Stoneseeker

Kayla's Music Box*

To Test (with low expectations)

Simian Simulacrum

Platoon Dispenser 


Urza's Battlethopter

Arbalest Engingeers

Kayla's Reconstruction

Arcane Proxy

Transmogrant's Crown 

Overwhelming Remorse 

Skitterbloom Battalion 

Tocasia's Welcome 

Teferi, Temporal Pilgrim 

Gnawing Vermin

Awaken the Woods

Skystrike Officer

Cityscape Leveler

Rootwire Amalgam

Titania's Command

Combat Courier

Airlift Chaplain 

Legion to Ashes 

Dwarven Forge-Chanter 

Scatter Ray

Loran's Escape 

For Constructed Reserves

Machine Over Matter

Goblin Blast-Runner

Zephyr Sentinel

Gixian Infiltrator 

Fallaji Archeologist

Forging the Anchor

Fortified Beachhead

Hajar, Loyal Bodyguard

One with the Multiverse

Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist 

Fade from History 

Harbin, Vanguard Aviator 

Stern Lesson

Bitter Reunion 

Haywire Mite

Energy Refractor 


Urza, Chief Engineer*

Sanwell, Avenging Ace*

Sunday 20 November 2022

The Brother's War Commander Preliminary Review

Urza, Chief Engineer 3

This is very midrange for an artifact synergy card, pretty gold too. The power level however is mental. Three mana 4/5 that makes a construct at the end of each turn with a little menace kicker. That wins real fast. Little else needs doing. Build around only but amazingly actually worth doing! 

Sanwell, Avenging Ace 5

This dude is narrow but powerful and with an impressive floor. As such you do not need much support for this to jump into the realms of cube playable. I would be keen to play this in any white aggressive deck with enough support, any aggressive artifact deck with enough white mana, and likely any vehicle based decks. Sanwell works especially well with those being able to more reliably trigger the tap effect immediately. As far as my cube goes I am quite a long way off what I think is enough support. Sanwell is probably starting to get good when you have around five things that can be hit off the trigger and help attack with to protect her. When your deck is stacked with such things, say around a third, then she is pretty nuts. 

Scholar of New Horizons 8

This seems outstanding. It is value, utility, options, and all sorts of cool synergies. It can even be ramp and fixing in the right situations! All that for two mana is pretty tasty. Yes, it is pretty slow to be able to get you the land and you may get blown out with some efficient removal and not be able to get those "free" Plains. On a two drop with this much upside I am not losing any sleep over any small shortcomings Scholar might have. I'll consider Arc Trail more than usual when I cast it against red players and that is really all there is too it. Where Scholar goes from good to nuts is when you have something that works particularly well with it, say a saga or a persist dork. Then you able to get all sorts of abusive. Not only will you get free land each turn but also effective free steps on your saga. I expect a return to the ranks for at least History of Benalia, perhaps even Kitchen Finks! Lots of things this is especially good with. This isn't oppressive power but it is a lot of card. It is also interesting and that is big win for white.

Kayla's Music Box 7

White seemingly getting all the love out of this set of commander product. This is a pretty slow card but it is the cheapest ongoing source of near unconditional card advantage. This is three for that first extra card and just one mana each there after. That blows the likes of Mazemind Tome, Endless Atlas, and Reckoner Bankbuster out of the water, each at four then two mana respectively. All of which are either capped or have preconditions. And all of which are the current best in the game for colourless card advantage. It is most commonly white calling on these tools as it is, with white having the least access to card draw. This means that while this is narrower than those purely colourless options it is not nearly as narrow as it might seem. It is not the white in the cost then that sets this apart from those other options so dramatically in cost. It is the speed of return that allows this to be so efficiently costed. It effectively needs two taps per card drawing drawing as soon as able and at least one extra tap than cards gained if being the most turn efficient possible. If you play this on turn two (without ramp) you are not getting anything back from it until turn four. There is also that risk of having this blown up before you get to play cards with it, especially risky if you have some key cards exiled under it. You can also argue that this doesn't put cards in hand and thus doesn't work exactly like card draw but that is rather a semantic thing. If you need more gas in white this is great, likely your best option. If you need to fill your hand up with cards then white has things like Tithe and Land Tax it can use. Overall this seems too efficient not to see some play and be decent. Cards are good and if you can just keep them coming at such a cheap rate then great. I feel like this packs enough punch that I am pretty happy slapping into any heavy white deck I make from aggro through to control. 

Thopter Shop 1

Bit expensive to use and all rather capped, narrow, and low tempo to be using just for the value side. I like this but liking something is not enough to make it good. 

Blast-Furnace Hellkite 2

Too narrow for general use but easily cheated out with things like Myr Enforcer, prototype cards, perhaps even Oxxida Golem! Threatening if you do and game winning if managed with a pre-existing board presence. 

Smelting Vat 1

This looks like a lot of fun. A kind of non-creature artifact Birthing Pod. Fun, but slow, low powered, and really in need of some abuses. 

Urza's Workshop 2

Another fun one. This is one of those cards that makes me want to build around it which I always take as a win. Obviously too narrow for most uses but an intriguing deck design question. 

Wreck Hunter 2

This is quite a lot of stuff with some scaling but it is not very useful. A 2/2 is whatever and flash isn't helping improve that all that much. This is not really a 2 drop you can curve with either. It is a bit Caller of the Claw and those kinds of cards have proved too situational. This isn't even making dorks, just powerstones, which you then have to take an extra step to have be useful at all. You can power this up yourself by having your own things go in the bin but that is also work to setup and doesn't really help you with the payoff. All in all this card is going to be very hard to fit in anywhere and hard to make it translate into good value in 1v1 play.  

Saturday 19 November 2022

The Brother's War Preliminary Review Part XI


0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Mask of the Jadecrafter 0

Inefficient on mana for vanilla stats? This makes Call of the Herd look good again. This is sufficiently poor by current standards that I am surprised. 

Teething Wurmlet 2

Some life, some in game scaling up, and potentially at least deathtouch if turning up late in the day so as to retain some relevance. Sure, in an artifact deck or cube this is powerful. It is equally unplayable without that support so most cubes will pass this by. Green isn't really an artifact colour either. 

Haywire Mite 6

This is a cute little utility card. Being found by Urza's Saga will help this to do a lot of work in constructed formats of all flavours. Being a cheap answer to things, being proactive, having some nice incidental life all work in this cards favour. This is generally very easy to find from your deck and quite easy to splash. It is that splashability that gives this a chance in cube. Green just has more powerful options on value and utility Naturalize effects. Red and black and blue however do not and a non-dead card like this you can very easily splash is quite tempting. The power being sufficiently low means you probably need a reason to be playing one mana 1/1 artifacts beyond wanting the ability to Naturalize things. This probably doesn't last in cube but it is a good card with a lot of uses and homes. 

Sarinth Greatwurm 0

Fun but all sorts of wrong. Too late to be making powerstones. Too gold and generally narrow. Just being a six drop do nothing that dies to most removal is of course the biggest issue but they are all critical ones here. Yes, it is nice that is makes them from other peoples lands and so this is probably great in EDH but in cube that minor aspect does nothing to save this. 

Gwenna, Eyes of Gaea 3

This is a fairly standard looking 3 drop mana dork in green and as none of those have done much in the way of impressive work in cube I doubt this will either. The card is fine but it is just leaning a bit too far into something. It is the kind of card that trades a lot of consistency for a small increase to ones ceiling. Basically just play less fancy one and two mana ramp spells. If you must play ramp at three make sure it does other things like Llanowar Visionary and not this mild occasional untap and grow nonsense that takes up more space on the card than it ever will take in game time!  

Horned Stoneseeker 7

Pretty comfortably the best powerstone card as far as cube is concerned. It is cheap, reliable, and as up front as possible. You get a useful body and the use of a powerstone for your two mana. I think if this were just a 2/1 it wouldn't be good enough but that mild evasion and extra toughness add sufficient relevance to the body so as to make it worth it. Red does tend to enjoy more artifact synergies than most other colours so this has a good shot of being useful on the powerstone front. In artifact heavy cubes this will be great but in mine it is pretty on the line. I reckon it will be fine a lot and great every now and again, ultimately meaning it will only really see play now and again and thus get cut but I hope not! 

Defabricate 6

Annul or Stifle. A nice array of effects that should keep this from being too narrow. Sadly however leaning that hard on Stifle mode for your playability harms your overall power, in this case I think too much. Stifle can be broken when it hits things like a sac land however the average value it offers is less than the value of a card. Likely really good in an artifact and/or combo heavy cube but in more standard ones I think this is just shy of the mark. There is the new flavour achieve of Defabricating a card that has been found with Fabricate, not something I expect to accomplish sadly. 

Titania's Command 6

Six mana sorcery is a hard sell. This tries to look like a Primeval Titan but falls short on ongoing threat or board presence. You can skip lands and get a bit more of a Verdurous Gearhulk vibe. If you have enough dorks it is almost an Overrun vibe. You can also get a big hit of life and a scavenging Ooze vibe if you are in need of such things. This does a wide array of quite powerful and quite useful things. While I imagine it is good in most situations I feel like I am still going to gravitate to the cards that are just outright devastating when at the top of my curve. This one is absolutely worth a test. The breakdown of the stuff is reasonable and the high modality and range on top of that should be a significant multiplier. I just have a strong gut feel that tells me this is balls and isn't getting any play. It just isn't a card I am ever going to want to put in my deck despite sounding suitable, versatile, and not exactly shy of power either. 

Hostile Negotiations 4

Draw 3 mill 3 at instant speed for 4 mana and 3 life. Near Fact or Fiction in many ways but despite being more cards overall it is worse. They pick which pile you get and you lose three life and this is a black card. The last part is least relevant but the others are big. Four mana pure card draw is a lot of tempo loss so slapping on a life cost in a colour that likes to use life as a resource is a big ask. The problem here is really the opponent getting to chose. If you are digging for an out you are going to need to peel one in both piles else you are not getting that out. If you can't show something slightly scary in one pile you are probably getting it. This means you are on average getting 3 sub par cards. That often your opponent knows about. I like this card and find it interesting but it isn't powerful enough for cube. This is more of a standard tool. 

Scrapwork Mutt 2

A delightful little support card that is now just lacking too much in raw power to really see any play. As soon as the synergies start to appeal there are just more powerful tool available. Why am I using this to loot when I have Cathartic Reunion and Faithless Looting? The same sort of logic can be used to counter other angles of uses this card might have. There isn't really a point where you just want exactly all of this card in even amounts. Or certainly not at this power level. A decade ago this would have been an all round staple. Now it just looks like an all rounder that fails to clear any bar.

Excavation Explosion 3

One of the better powerstone generators and seemingly in the best colour for both generation and use there of! With the whole set out now and the full range of powerstone options is visible we can be fairly happy that this sort of thing is sufficiently narrow to prevent it getting much action or any higher of a rating. 

Blanchwood Prowler 1

This is just a bad Satyr Wayfinder. One less mill makes you a lot worse as a support card and a lot less reliable at hitting land. A 2/2 is not at all compensation for losing that value and so this is just a pretty bad card. I feel like there are probably enough better options than I am not even using this as redundancy for Wayfinder in those really powerful full synergy builds. 

Combat Courier 4

Rather too much mana to be used purely as card advantage however this is cheap and convenient. I can imagine decks where I want the various things this offers. It is absolutely deck padding but it is delightfully economical padding. 

Airlift Chaplain 6

I like the effort of card quality in white. I like the EtB value trigger and I don't even dislike the mill despite not that much keying off the bin in white. In a white aggro deck this shouldn't miss and at least with the flying and the general aim of aggro white, a +1/+1 counter is relevant. This is a fine card but it is very narrow and just kindof filler. It isn't good unless you are both white aggro with a high hit rate and also flicker and typically you are one or ther other. Also I am not into support cards that really only support one archetype, or certainly support cards like this. I want it to work out but I am pretty confident this is not getting enough action to keep around. 

Recomission 3

A white Unearth style card. This is good tempo being able to generate a mana and +1/+1 of value but it is a little narrow and easily disrupted making it a card you only play in specific places. This could help setup a Heliod Ballista combo if there was a lot good self mill that worked in that setting. It is not going to be a card you play in your draft cubes however. Certainly not in your white weenie decks as it currently stands. You never want a "threat" card to be dead in hand. 

Legion to Ashes 5

Fixed Vindicate. Basically just Maelstrom Pulse with exile slapped on. Im not all that excited about this card with how good just white removal is these days. Sorcery speed is pretty awkward too on such a clunky card. I do not see this taking the place of Vindicate nor do I see many cubes happily supporting both making it look bad for this. Card is fine but just not worth a gold spot. This really had to be instant to stand any chance of competing with Vindicate. Anguished Unmaking was cut ages ago, before we had things like Prismatic Ending and the white March. 

Meticulous Evacuation 1

A lot of utility here from saving chump attackers to reusing EtB effects. Much as I like this a recast of the returned thing on top of three mana to use assure this is way too expensive for cube. If cards like Castle Ardenvale offer too little returns for the mana and it doesn't cost you a card what chance does this thing have?! There are loads of cool things I want to do with this but in any deck where I have the mana to properly do them I will have been able to win a different way quicker and more reliably not using this card. 

Slagstone Refinery 1

I do love this despite it being critically slow and narrow. For this to even trigger you need loads of non-token artifacts, ideally ones that are good to sac, and a sac outlet. For it to do anything after triggering you need a pretty strong payoff for powerstones. This feels like a non-combo Krark-Clan Ironworks. You get slow narrow ongoing mana for sacs rather than 2 useful mana right away! You can use this to double up on your Ironworks at least! (don't do that) This might be a seemingly potent effect but trying to build a deck in which it usefully operates is going to be near impossible. Even in EDH it is a challenge. 

Spectrum Sentinel 1

Cute but no thanks. The poor stats do not make this appeal in any aggressive settings and the abilities are all a bit random, opponent dependant, and lacking in power or dedicated use. There is a lot of card here for one mana but not in any sort of desirable form. 

Energy Refractor 3

Sidegrade on Prophetic Prism, generally worse but given the combo nature of these kinds of cards it may be the more suitable of the two in some builds. Quite playable filler in decks wanting to have cantrip artifacts on the cheap. Mostly just a bad Ichor Wellspring. 

Tomakul Honor Guard 2

This is pretty solid I think. It wouldn't take a whole lot more for this to be cube worthy as ward is just such a strong ability. This is however a vanilla beater and as such ensures this is basically never seeing any play. I am just playing a proper hexproof dork in a deck that is after such things. Ward doesn't pair up nicely with loss toughness on a dork that wants to attack very well either. This would have done more as a 2/2 but still probably isn't seeing play even at 2/3.

Citanul Stalwart 2

One of those cards I like that they keep pushing, and I keep trying, and they keep not quite being good enough. This is not enough of an upgrade on the last Springleaf Drum dork for me to be at all tempting. It took fight cards a lot of iterations to become playable, I am not sure what we need to add to this but certainly still more! 

Blitz Automaton 1

Comically this is nearly good enough and would have been perhaps five years ago or more. It is not even out of the question in a red based artifact aggro deck. Filler beater but the right sort of beater with some potentially scalable traits. 

Tomakul Scrapsmith 1

Bit pricy for a support card and red doesn't really need the mill with a decent array of looting and rummaging stuff. Not a bad card but damned by being a supporting card at three mana.

Dwarven Forge-Chanter 4

Between Nible-Blade Khenra and Stormchaser Mage we find this mediocre dork. This is somewhat robust as far as cheap prowess threats go but robust is only part of what we are looking for in our threats. Power, utility, value, and these sorts of things turn out to be useful as well and Forge-Chanter misses the mark rather on those. I cannot see people playing this over or on top of the various prowess tools already in existence and it doesn't feel like we desperately needed more. 

Gixian Infiltrator 5

Bad Ravenous Squirrel or Body Dropper but still potentially quite brutal and playable in a deck built around such things. This can grow quickly and easily and represents quite a scary little card. In a cube with a heavy aristocrats theme this has a chance. 

Emergency Weld 6

Cool take on a 1/1 value dork. Much as this seems like it compares well with the likes of Elvish Visionary it is likely you cannot play this on turn two and have targets nor use it to help you curve. It doesn't even have synergy with flicker or security against bounce as a creature card would. I think the lack of convenience on this card more than overshadows the reasonable power level and so I do not see this lasting in cube. Deceptively good card though. Certainly very strong in a deck that can properly make use of it. 

Scatter Ray 7

Mostly an Essence Scatter and a bit of Annul chucked in for good measure. This hits a lot of things in cube and is enough of a cost that it is a pretty reliable counter. I don't want to call this good but it is at least playable. It will do a lot of what you want from your countermagic and perform a role. Bigger cubes are thus more likely to want this as it is just padding out the ranks of role fillers. 

Prison Sentence 0

Pacifism needs to cost 1, Arrest needs to cost 2. Removal has moved on. Oblivion Ring costs three and it is barely playable. Slapping on some scry to my Arrest doesn't make it good just makes me lament that it still isn't playable and that white yearns for more scry. 

Loran's Escape 6

Solid creature protection. Situational but fairly brutal high tempo card. This is the sort of tool that works well in my meta and wins games but it is also the kind of card that is very hard to squeeze into decks, especially white ones with all their removal and creature buffs. To be fair, equipment does make this a little better but really only a little. This is a good card, probably less good than Blossoming Defence, and likely to see less play as well. Fringe is the best way to describe these sorts of cards. I want this to make it but it is going to struggle. 

Thursday 17 November 2022

The Brother's War Preliminary Review Part X


0 - unplayable in 40 card singleton

1 - effectively unplayable

2 - has low tier constructed decks it might go in

3 - has mid tier constructed decks it does go in

4 - pretty powerful stuff with several potential homes, able to perform well in lower powered cubes

5 - powerful stuff that is either just too narrow or has too many superior alternatives

6 - fringe cube worthy

7 - cube worthy

8 - cube staple

9 - unpowered cube bomb

10 - powered cube bomb 

Static Net 2

Cute but this is removal with added fluff. You don't want fluff on your removal, you want function. This therefor falls short of Oblivion Ring which in turn means it falls well short of most cubes. 

Skystrike Officer 6

I like this a lot but there are some things I have concern for regarding this. Firstly, it is very 2015 in power level. It smacks of Hanwier Garrison which has been out of the cube for a long old time now. Secondly this card isn't very blue, it is not a colour that wants to go wide or pressure attacks particularly which is obviously what this card is all about. Even if it is potent enough it might just not have anywhere that wants it. The only aggressive blue shell at present is Izzet tempo and they have far better options on fliers and tools to generate tokens. This is not at all the kind of threat they are after. Lastly I am concerned in the classic way that this is just a card that does nothing if it dies before you untap with it. It is only three mana but still, you are falling behind if this gets answered before it makes a token. Is the upside this offers worth that risk? Perhaps. Tokens are nice, they give you board control and may even power up your constructs etc. Blue certainly likes an artifact! I don't imagine you will draw many cards with Skystrike Officer but you don't need to for him to be good. Two tokens made and the card is outstanding, one and it is fine. More than that probably means you are going to, or already have won! The more aggressive and/or artifact based cubes are the better this is going to look. I suspect in mine it doesn't wind up getting enough play. One of the more solid reasons I have seen thus far for making your tribal soldiers blue I guess...

Myrel, Shield of Argive 2

The floor of making 1 token on attack isn't enough, really just being a 4 drop that drops down do-nothing-dead to most removal is the death knell here. I'll play this in soldier decks for the insane high end payoff but I'll play Brimaz and cards like that if I want bodies and I'll play other two and three drop dorks if I want to restrict/disrupt my opponent.

Bladecoil Serpent 4

Grixis also gets one of this faux flexible big artifact creature cards. I like this one a little more but it still isn't there. A 6 mana 6/4 trample haste that draws me a card is fine but not only is that a reasonable floor, it is also not all that far off the ceiling and so we can move on. 

Cityscape Leveler 5

Good effects but a little costly to be hard cast and a lot less effective as something you cheat out. In a slow cube or in a really slow midrangy meta this has some hope. It is just very clean and direct, it is big and tramply and thus quite the threat, and it answers most problems, right away ensuring it does something. The unearth is a bonus bit of push, value, removal, and utility. Where Leveler falls down, beyond the massive price tag, is that it is fairly easily answered. Most colours have tools to deal with this very efficiently and they are played. A simple Kolaghan's Command can undo all of the work of Leveler and likely still remain mana up on the exchange after recasting the destroyed dork. This isn't high enough immediate impact or resilient enough to be something you bother cheating into play very often. This is a card you want to play fair with. In that setting it is decent, it is just unlikely many cubes will find themselves supporting that setting! Even Ugin the Spirit Dragon is looking a bit tired in my cube now. Even though the meta is slowing down the curve is still shrinking. Five is a where most decks are stopping these days. An although we all know that 8 is more than 5, when it comes to magic these numbers no longer share a simple linear relationship. The three that 8 is above 5 is significantly greater than the three than 5 is above 2. I am sure the good Mr Karsten has an article somewhere telling us by exactly how much!  

Powerstone Engineer 2

Not enough upfront to make this enticing. The baseline for a powerstone isn't great and even if it were you would then want some profitable ways to sac this off before it was looking interesting. I like this card but I struggle to make a case for it being good. 

Misery's Shadow 7

Nantuka Shade got quite the facelift with this offering. This is less colour intense to cast and pump with an extra toughness and a reasonably potent disruption effect. In cube that last part is really powerful. It turns off a lot of things and reduces the value of recursion tools an anything else that is powered up by the bin. It is this subtle ability that has me most interested in this card. The rest isn't even in line with power creep. Shade was grade back in the day but dorks were total shit then. This is more playable than shade but all it gained in direct power is the toughness. Nantuko Shade hasn't been in the cube for over a decade now and a single toughness wouldn't have changed the duration of  absence all that notably. While I do rate this card one of the most potent parts of it is really dependent on your opponents deck. Sometimes the ability will wreck them and other times it will not affect them. Sometimes it will even affect your stuff by turning off Blood Artist or what have you. This is a lot less powerful than it looks but it is still the right kind of power for cube. The broad options this brings as well as decent scaling and utility throughout the game are exactly what you want from your cheaper beaters. This offeres utility and threat and isn't lacking in power either, as such I expect this to last.   

Gurgling Anointer 1

Not something you really want anymore. Sure, some potential scaling up of threat with some potential value on death. Thing is, these are all ifs and buts and they are all down the line. Just play a card that is good now and always. 

Rootwire Amalgam 5

This card has me really stumped. The stats side of it isn't getting me going. You just don't want to be paying for vanilla stats even if you get modality on them. This just isn't a good rate or cube card at 2 or 5 mana. It is the ability that has me thrown. A 15/15 is big. And it can come out very fast. That could be coming at you on turn 4 and look all sorts of lethal. It seems like it makes this threatening, you need to kill it or play against it cautiously. You can even fold to it made as a 2/3 if they have some sneaky pump effect to dump on it. Cards that demand to be killed or force lines of play are generally good. That is the sort of thin you need to add onto a vanilla beater to make it appealing in cube. When it is a mana efficient modal vanilla beater it starts to sound good. Intuition says this is just a bad card but I still can't shake the fact that this sounds like it should be good. I am going to need to test this to properly rule it out. 

Bushwhack 8

Perfect fight utility for green. I love Lay of the land and while I don't love fight it is something green really needs and is the most flavour and colour appropriate way to afford them access to removal. I don't love fight because of how it plays (high risk, can be dead etc) but good design like this really help it to be playable. This will do a lot of work in cube and good work at that. It will stop mana and colour screws, it will make decks more reliable, and it will safely allow green to dispatch some problem critters it is otherwise just folding to. The Brothers War has showcased a good number of these "improve the quality of games" cards which is very positive to see. This is absolutely a better cube card than Traverse the Ulvenwald, which is itself perfectly playable. The issue with Traverse is that it spends a little bit too much time as just Lay of the Land (unless you put effort into building around it). That means you have to account for it in your build as effectively adding Lay of the Land while with Bushwhack you adding a much more true modal card and as such it will add wiggle room to your build.

I think this card is sufficiently good that it will give a boost to the power level of usefully statted dorks. Kappa-Tech Wrecker seems like a card that is going to benefit from more cheap fight in green. It can take out a lot of small dorks while being cheap enough to happen early, and importantly surviving to tell the tale. A card you can compare Bushwhack (favourably) to is Khalni Ambush / Territory. Lay of the Land is generally better than a tapped green source, both cost you a mana effectively but one fixes for any colour you might need and does those nice things like shuffling, thinning, and filling up the bin. You do need to have that green up front for your Lay of the Land but in what one must assume is a green based deck, that shouldn't be much of an issue. Would I rather a sorcery speed fight at one mana or instant at three? Not at all tough. Fight scales very poorly with cost, worse than most other types of card, to the point that it is barely playable beyond one mana. Instant is lovely but it isn't even worth one mana more so a full two is pretty laughable. All in all, Bushwhack is a great card that I look forward to playing with a lot. I think I will play it in basically all my base green decks. There is a bunch of nice new playable looking fight cards out there at present to the point that if all of them stick green might be able to play some more enrage and good on death trigger dorks so as to capitalize on the new found abundance. That in turn might even make some of the quirkier fight tools in green playable as well in a nice feed back loop. Cards like Ulvenwald Tracker and Inscription of Abundance. As you can see, cards like this get me excited because of the far reaching implications they have on the meta as well as the positive effects they have on construction and play.