Monday 7 November 2022

The Brother's War Preliminary Review Part V

 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 

Kayla's Reconstruction 6

A white take on Collected Company. Certainly this is powerful, just at X=2 you are getting a two for one, the chance to be up a mana, and some reasonable digging into your deck.  The card and mana gain somewhat increase as you go up in X although there is very much a limit, by around 4 you are going to start to wiff even with decks that are pretty full on targets. This can setup some very easy combo wins as well as being a powerful top end tool in an aggressive deck. Much as everything I have to say about this card is positive I am not really sure it is something I want in cube. If I am playing a 4-6 drop card in my white aggro deck (which is the only place this is suitably supported other than some combos if your cube runs them) then I want it to be a game winning threat  and not a good all round value card. A very very powerful card that is just a little off for cube suitability. Being that little clunkier than Collected Company as well does mean it will have a lesser impact in constructed formats. Mostly that translates to less potent in modern but still one to watch elsewhere. Markets seem to be undervaluing it at present so there is that.

Clay Champion 2

Scalable stats but all a bit gold and vanilla. At GGWW this is a 5/5 that pumps two of your dudes a little. Close in power level to Verdurous Gearhulk which is itself a decent card. The issue with Champion is that it is really a gold card, it also fails to be all that threatening. It has no evasion. The colour intensity of the card also ensures that even in a GW deck I am probably not able to chose that much about how I cast it. That in turn makes it narrow which concludes to make this a bad card. Sneaky design as on paper this card looks like it is mana efficient, high tempo, and versatile. But no, delve a little into how and where it plays and the cracks start to show. 

Ashnod, Flesh Mechanist 4

This is a whole lot of hoops to jump through to make powerstones but it is one of the quickest you can get them going. This isn't a terrible card but it is a bit aimless and flimsy to be playing without being rather built around and then you are probably leaning a bit too hard on an incredibly killable card that you need to not only keep in play but attack with as well. This reminds me of Forsworn Paladin which was fine but a little low powered and similarly aimless to Ashnod. I love a card like this and so I am inclined to rate them and play them more than I should. This is certainly no Deathrite Shaman... This isn't a terrible card and would do some fun stuff in cubes but it is probably just not direct or powerful enough to be competitive. Too cheap and fun not to give a good old test to however! 

Fade from History 3

Big powerful sweeper Naturalize. Too narrow for play in my cube and probably worse than Force of Vigor in most. Some cubes out there will relish this, it will likely be oppressively powerful in those! Cool sideboard card with vey wide coverage making it nice and space efficient. Also very much the devastating knock out blow you want from your sideboard cards. 

Thran Spider 2

Decent body for 3 but the other things needed to be better for this to do well in cube. The 7 mana thing is narrow and late and largely irrelevant. The powerstones is narrow and dangerous. It might look symmetrical but they get first go with the extra mana. You therefor have to ensure you are getting the better return out of the mana you get from your powerstone. As discussed, without a big shift in my cube that is too hard to do. 

Harbin, Vanguard Aviator 5

A 3/2 flyer for 2. Sounds good. Attack with 4 other soldiers and probably win there and then? Sure, why not. Probably not happening ever but certainly upside. This is a bit too gold and vanilla for my liking but it is certainly an efficient cheap threat. If you support an Azorius skies or other aggro build in your cube this is hard to turn down.

Hall of Tagsin 2

Wouldn't it just be lovely to have the time to go wild with this and make powerstones every turn. Obviously you are able to use them to power this which takes some of the mana hurt out of this card, just the slow once a turn hurt to contend with! I do love this card but even in a build around constructed deck this isn't super impactful. Lovely but sadly not. 

Arcane Proxy 7

A (generally) more mana efficient Snapcaster Mage, but without flash that isn't as exciting as you might hope. Big mode is quite fun and unlock a few more spells you can usefully recur while giving you that more relevant body if nothing else. In just blue this is a lot weaker than Snapcaster but with red burn or white/black removal and disruption in your blue deck Arcane Proxy looks like it is a lot closer to Snapcaster in power level. The double blue in the cost does hurt the fact that it wants to pair with other colours. Yes, for those still wondering, this is a blue card, you cannot put this in your non-blue decks and expect it to be good as a 7 drop.. I think there is too much competition for this kind of effect in blue and I think the two best remain Snapcaster and then probably Torrential Gearhulk. With cards like Ethereal Forager kicking around as well I see this as a card edged out more on over saturation grounds than on power level. This is a powerful enough card for sure but alongside stiff competition this card suffers a little from being inconvenient and that will hurt its chances. 

The Temporal Anchor 1

Overkill in most settings. This is a whole lot of card advantage but it is in a time and place we should be trying to win. 

Urza's Sylex 3

Certainly powerful but this is not mana efficient. You play this over a six drop clear all because you can fire it off on turn 4 or 5 not because it is mana efficient. The tutoring up a walker is cute flavour but it isn't too big of a deal, mostly you will not use it and mostly it will not be the difference when you do. I think this card looks more exciting than it is because it doesn't look white. If this were just 4 to activate and any colour could use it then I would be very much on board. As it is however the card is not much to my liking. These kinds of effects are not all that in cube as it is, I certainly don't want a mana inefficient one thanks... The land culling aspect is likely the most interesting part of this card but not many decks exceed six lands very often nor do many suffer when cut back to six.

Sahleeli, Filigree Master 2

This is poor walker. Low loyalty, gold, hard to defend well, not all that threatening, and unable to disrupt all that much. Best thing I can see you doing with this is cheekily sniping out a low loyalty walker of an opponents. The thing is, people do not tend to play walkers that that can easily get sniped out with 1 or 2 damage because they are unreliable investments. And that is a big part of why this is so weak. The other is how miserable it is to draw cards with this, really could have done with +2 on the first ability if you are going to make me tap an artifact down. And while we are about it how about 4 to start with so the card isn't just meh? At that point it is starting to have some Lingering Souls vibes and sounds rather more acceptable! This is one of those cards that isn't so low power that it can't win games and be OK so I don't feel like I can give it the 1/10 rating I technically should give it as it is just never sensibly seeing play, this will never be an optimal card nor desired redundancy in a 40 card singleton deck with a half decent sized card pool. 

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