Wednesday, 9 November 2022

The Brother's War Preliminary Review Part VI


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 

Portal to Phyrexia 2

I can't imagine people liking to play against this in EDH... In cube 9 mana rules this out for normal casting but as soon as we are cheating it out it is very potent. It stabilizes as well as threatens. Perhaps a bit slow when you are in an environment that can support 9 mana cards! Probably just play something that wins the game there and then like Bolas's Citadel or something. 

Visions of Pyrexia 3

Red has many options for things at 4 mana that provide a card a turn like this. The powerstone side is cute but it probably isn't very useful and it means you are not getting the proper intended value out of the card. It is a consolation rather than a bonus, and not one that merits the cost. As such, play one of the many better cards that do this sort of thing. 

Hajar, :Loyal Bodyguard 5

Powerful but a little narrow and linear for drafting cubes. Very much has a place in legendary and historic builds. Bard Class has a new best friend! 

The Stasis Coffin 1

The waste my mana to prolong my death Coffin you say? This is much better in EDH than in heads up play. It might event look like it can do some good things in heads up play but it gains no value or tempo and offers no threat. The best it is doing is being a Fog or a counterspell against a hand disruption effect, neither of which are worth 5 mana. 

Liberator, Urza's Battlethopter 6

This is a silly looking card but it isn't weak. The flash giving is narrow in most cubes but will have the odd perk . What makes this good is how easily and effortlessly this will grow. If played on curve or in the midgame I expect this to grow every turn until it is a 4/5. That on top of being a flash flier means it is decent. Perhaps just too much of a vanilla threat to be exciting in cube but worth a test. Perhaps I am underrating the flash giving. Mostly this just doesn't look like the kind of card I am looking to put in any deck I can think of. It is only if this winds up being really broken that it is going to start just getting jammed into decks and it really doesn't look like a broken card. 

Tocasia, Dig Site Mentor 1

A rubbish cube card. Many colours, poor value, low tempo, and high risk.

Loran of the Third Path 8

Mostly this is just a white Reclamation Sage but that alone is already better than a Rec Sage what with white having nothing quite like that already. Oh, and then with white having all the flicker effects and not enough of the value generators to pair with it. This would already be a cube staple if this were just a white Rec Sage. Vigilance is cute, it isn't doing loads on a 2/1 but equally it isn't doing nothing. Perhaps you scupper the plans of a haste dork, perhaps you get to convoke and attack, perhaps you get to apply some free pressure while holding off a fragile but high value dork on their side of the board. Perhaps you just get to attack and draw a card! How about the tap ability then? How much do we like it? It is quite exciting if you ask me, especially on a card like this. You have all the control over when and if you use it. There are a lot of situations where this effect stops being quite so symmetrical. When you are out of gas and they are not. When you are digging for a specific card to win the game or stave off a loss. When you have an affect that stops them drawing cards. When they are in danger of decking themselves. When you have tax effects out slowing up the opponents ability to deploy stuff. You do typically get first go on the extra cards so even on that side of things the card isn't as symmetrical as it appears. Not only is it surprisingly good it is also a really interesting ability with a high skill ceiling. When to use it and when to hold off. This is the perfect kind of card to make white a more interesting and appealing colour. The only thing I don't like about the card is that it makes Narset and the likes a little better.  

Combat Thresher 7.5

While you are never playing this with the intent to play it for 7 it is in the home of flicker effects and will wind up as a 3/3 more often than just those few occasions it pops up in a late game top deck war and you actualyl pay 7 mana for it. This is one of the best flicker targets going. The EtB card draw makes it a fairly low cost thing to flop out and the payoff of another +2/+2 on a doublestriker with a second card is delightful. It is low cost like Wall of Omens and Thraben Inspector but it is much higher threat and returns. Even without flicker effects I still quite like this. It is pretty threatening just with the various pump effects in white and cheap scaling threats that can replace their card cost in white sound pretty ideal to me. This isn't a bomb, it will do a reasonable amount of falling over dead to very little and putting you down in mana. It is just a good rank and file card that suits the meta well. It plays to whites strengths while easing their weakness and should be popular consequently. 

Teresian Mindbreaker 0

Yuk. Powerful enough to need considering but also kind of horrid in loads of other ways. Luckily this is a non-starter for basically all cubes as it scales the wrong way and so we don't need to worry about it too much. You could build somewhat around this and when you do you get a fairly free win condition. Plop this in the bin, perhaps mill it there? Then unearth it, mill the living shit out of them and then finish them off with time or a few mill cards that you were previously aiming at yourself. This is probably only milling like 15 cards in cube so don't bother but perhaps in 60 card decks this can be a thing. 

Arbalest Engineers 7

This is a very fine card indeed. The floor of being a 3/3 for three with trample and haste on that important first turn is impressive. Being able to ping something, trample up something else, haste up something else, or even just have a bit of ramp if that works for you, they are really impressive options. This card is not just versatile and broad in application, it is also just pretty powerful. The ping is the least powerful but when it is needed it will absolutely be worth it. It may be a bit too much of a boring support card to be worth a precious gold slot in cube but that is the only thing really holding it back. Power and suitability are all there. Absolutely will be testing this one, Gruul is performing really well at present and so this should get enough play. Gold cards have to do more than just be playable, lots of gold cards can ride on the coat tails of a particularly powerful colour pairing. The mark of a proper cube worthy gold card is one that can still get enough play even when their pairing is out of vogue. 

Yotian Frontliner 4

Cute! Not quite powerful enough but really not far off. Whenever you need cheap support and this has some synergy, be that of a card like Dreadhorde Arcanist, or perhaps simpler things like graveyard and artifact tie ins, then this will pop up. Unearth in white is also much better than it is in other colours as white typically has so little it can threaten to push through with. Against white if they can't kill you with the board state on your turn they still will not be able to by their turn. Unearth helps change that. This can often be that little extra Lava Spike from the bin you need to close out the game. 

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