Thursday 27 April 2023

Blueprint Cube


I struggled with the title of this one because even I don't really know what this is. I certainly know I could use some help on the matter! I have made a collection of cards, a cube or a set if you will, on CubeCobra which had the aim of showcasing what I thought described the colour pie best. I was looking for clean, balanced, and clear examples of the sorts of things each colour should do and have in magic. I wanted well designed cards too in terms of promoting good gameplay. I think I was trying to recapture the magnificence of Alpha but with the added perks of 30 years hindsight. I wanted to take into account power readjustments in the game which is really the only thing Alpha didn't get right - quite understandably. Indeed it is quite the miracle how well the game played at the time! 

I wasn't really creating this set/cube/collection to ever build up nor to play with. Mostly it is just a thought experiment I got carried away with. Having spent as much time thinking about it as I have I would now be interested to play with it when it is somewhat more tuned and complete. It may get played, it may get used as a reference point for colour pie and the like, or perhaps the benefits of it have mostly been had already via the thinking about it, regardless of what it ends up being here is what I have presently;

The power level is certainly below that of most cubes but it is still higher over all than what you would expect from most standard sets. Draft and sealed decks coming out of this pool I would expect to beat even recent sets. It does however resemble a core set more than anything else due to the simplicity of the cards I have gravitated towards. I had a lot of wants that are quite hard to fulfil. I was trying to keep mechanics to a minimum but that is quite hard when so many of the best examples of cards have exotic keywords on them. At least it is pretty clear from the keywords that repeated frequently which mechanics would seem like a good idea to make evergreen along with scry (those being cycling, flashback, and kicker). Another desire I had was that every card should be playable but that did feel like a stretch, especially given I wanted to represent some of the draft common dorks you expect so see in every set, your Wind Drakes and Giant Spiders etc. Even giving some of the best, or even uncommon, iterations of such cards is going to be a tough sell.

I think I want the set to be 360 cards and contain two cycles of dual lands and two gold cards per colour pair. I also want some decent colour balance with the kind of low curve you find in constructed decks rather than sets. None of that is set in stone by any means and I am very open to suggestions of cards that should be included. Scry lands and pain lands are my two front runners at present but it sort of feels like shock lands should be in there. 

Not much more to say on this myself but I am really interested to see what people think should be added, what should be taken away, and most interestingly what should be done about any gaps. I have also been building a cube made up of cards I have made in parallel to this one with a similar goal in mind. It was also an exercise to see how much design space it felt like there was for playable clean cards. It is not impossible I make it at some stage although it is a much slower process than this one and a lot further behind, tangents aside! 

Ultimately I want to get a list of about 360 cards. I might then even experiment with "rarity" in cube and have an even split of common, uncommon, and rare/mythic designated cards. I would then have a 720 card sized cube with 360 unique cards with a 3:2:1 ratio of common to uncommon to rare. This would allow for an over saturation of supporting cards and provide some cool opportunities to probe into cube design when you are not limited by a deficiency of suitable cards in any given area. 

The list is just shy of 320 cards at present and I am yet to add the double dual land cycle and second gold cycle which would take it to 350ish. Further to that I want to Over populate it to perhaps 450, at least 400, so that I can then trim it down. As such I would be most appreciative of suggestions on cards to add and cards people would like to see in such a creation. Also interested in what people don't think should be on this list but less pressingly at the moment. 

Friday 21 April 2023

The Ascent of White


White has never been a bad colour so to speak. As the meta undulates it is often one of the most powerful colours in cubes, or at least un-powered ones. Having premium removal and top quality cheap dorks goes a long way to making you good in cube. What white has always been however is painfully dull. No card draw plus few choices on what to do and interactive plays beyond what on and when to use removal will make for a relatively dull play experience. That is changing, and rapidly, and white is now both very powerful and a lot of fun to play. It has far more identity and direction. Back in the day the thing one most associated with the colour is gaining life or giving protection. Dull and narrow things. These days we have more involved identities like flicker, returning from the bin, or equipment. Most importantly however we have now have lots of choices and lots of ways to draw cards. Generally pretty well designed cards that feel like they are well within the colour identity. A lot of these are to be found in the various commander products over the last few years but certainly not exclusively. Commander product does also seem to be a bit of a testing ground for things. Much that is tried out there comes to standard magic at some point in some form or other. 

For comparison against what white has been getting recently  I was trying to think of the white cards that I like most in Magic that are at least somewhat cube playable that predate this recent swell of cool stuff getting printed. The list is not long and explains a lot about why I played less white than other colours and considered it dull. It is pretty embarrassing that this list of just over ten cards are what I consider to be the highlights of a colour for over two decades of releases. Those lucky few are as follows;


Land Tax

Mana Tithe

Thraben Inspector


Icatian Javelineer 

Sunscape Familiar (really not a white card)

Battle Screech 

Wing Shards

Cast Out

Kor Skyfisher

So then, let us start making some lists of some new white cards that are powerful or interesting, or ideally both. The first main gripe I, and many others, have about white is, or was, the lack of card advantage. It was very hard to directly draw cards in white and even pseudo value generating effects like making a token dork each turn or just mana sinks tended to be underpowered and under represented. Even as token production got better, mainly with planeswalkers arriving, it still is a bit dull. Just making small vanilla tokens wins games very slowly, if at all, and solves very few problems. It doesn't stop you losing to really anything or disrupt in anyway or buy you that much time. White now has plenty of more exciting pseudo value cards like escape stuff and ways to dig into the deck for dorks but it also just has direct means to draw cards. Here is a list of the best new value tools white has to play with. 

Staff of the Storyteller 

Whiteplume Adventurer

Bennie Bracks, Zoologist 

Glimmer Lens

Kayla's Music Box

Scolar of New Horizons

Esper Sentinel

Wedding Announcement 

Serra Paragon

Recruitment Officer 

Welcoming Vampire 

Elspeth, Sun's Nemesis

Brought Back

As you can see, a lot of very white feeling cards on this list. You get to draw cards but you need to do white things to do so, be that attacking with several guys, as a tax on the opponent, making small guys, making tokens, getting plains from your deck, or playing stuff back out of the bin. Kayla's Music Box is probably the closest to an unconditional non-white draw effect and it is one of the cards that isn't actually drawing! It is also the weakest cards on this list. It is effectively a white card yet seems to perform less well than Mazemind Tome and Reckoner Bankbuster. A lot of these cards are also quite interesting and give options beyond those obtained through the card drawing side of things. 

Next up is akin to card advantage and that is card selection. White has always had a bit of this with cards like Academy Rector, Steelshaper's Gift, Enlightened Tutor, Stoneforge Mystic and that sort of thing. Typically narrow cards and few of them. White is certainly bottom of the pile, even now, when it comes to card quality, selection, and tutoring. It has at least had a selection of new and interesting tutor and dig effects. While a bunch are narrow they do go a really long way to unlocking the potential of some other cards and strategies within the colour. Card draw and card selection combine well together to add a lot more consistency to any high synergy or combo like game plan. 

Recruiter of the Guard

Ranger-Captain of Eos

Thalia's Lancers

Oswald Fiddlebender 

Ingenious Smith

Board the Weatherlight

Choices are what make a game and lack of them was one of my main irks with the colour. Card draw and card quality effects increase your options but so do option rich cards. While this is not the biggest or most powerful pile of cards it is a list added to not very much at all and so there is higher demand and higher return than you might expect. Timeless Dragon is a great example of this. It is so simple looking and yet plays so dynamically. I spend a lot of time thinking about how best to use my Dragon whenever I draw it and that is testament to good card design. March of Otherworldly Light is another recent trump card that is simple in effect and easy to understand and yet yields an absolute wealth of choices about how you use it. It is so hard to hit the mark with a removal spell as they need to be direct and powerful which limits the space and leaves little room for things to make them interesting! It may not look like loads but there are plenty of cards not on lists here or on other lists in this article and they represent a general trend in more option dense cards. They all kind of stack up as well so that in any given deck you have that many new cards which have that much of a higher average option density that the games are typically choices galore!  

March of Otherworldly Light 

Skyclave Aspirant 

Paladin Class

Charming Prince 

Timeless Dragon


Light of Hope

Angelic Ascension 

Restoration of Eiganjo


As far as small lists go this one is the winner. It is a list of interactive and disruptive cards that are not removal spells. The fact that this list exists at all is fantastic. White non-removal disruption has typically been static prison style affairs such as Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, which are typically not all that fun to play. It just lowers choices and offers very little. These newer cards manage to feel white, disrupt in a novel way, and critically provide choices. 

Elite Spellbinder

Remand (Reprieve)


Ephemerate is a bit odd on a list of disruptive cards as it is just a counterspell to removal on a dork and a fair long way from the best white has to offer in that department. What makes Ephemerate soo good is that it is somewhat modal being able to protect and able to efficiently generate value. White has always been the home of flicker effects but not until recently has it been able to back that up with enough good things to flicker. You always had to play white for the effects and another colour for the targets but now you can do it all in house, and you can do it very well indeed. Here are a list of those new juicy mono white things that flicker oh so well. 

Spirited Companion

Inspiring Overseer 

Ambitious Farmhand

Samwise the Stouthearted 

Loran of the Third Path

Skyclave Apparition 

Combat Thresher

A couple of honourable mentions before we get to wrapping this up. Just a couple of new and novel cards for white that add to the possibilities and interest in the colour. These are the kinds of cards I will return to time and again as I build and tinker. 

Together Forever

Skrelv's Hive

(Brought Back falls into this group as well rather)

Last but very much not least we have the group of new flash cards. Combined with Settle the Wreckage, Restoration Angel, Archangel Avacyn, and Secure the Wastes which are all more mid era pre-existing cube cards, we get quite an impressive count. This gives white an awful lot of stuff white can be doing an instant speed. Scary tempo and interactive stuff. I would say that the flash stuff is the scariest and most powerful. It makes white a colour you fear in the way you used to fear blue. Four or more mana used to make me wary of walking into Cryptic Command and Mystic Confluence. Now it is those four and five mana white cards I fear most. 

Cathar Commando 

Wandering Emperor

Force of Virtue 

Resolute Reinforcements

Solitude (this dumb card can fit in almost all the lists in this article...)

White has gained far more new cards than any other colour since the acceleration of power creep around MH1 and Eldraine. Other colours left aspects of their broken past behind, red gets little good face burn, green doesn't get one mana ramp like it used to (or only in MH sets), blue gets worse countermagic and card quality than before etc. I never thought there could be a better removal spell than Swords to Plowshares and now we are in a spot where white has several contenders! Every aspect of white is being improved on or added to with whole areas of the colour pie being unlocked to it now as well. To those pre-existing good removal and good dorks we will add better removal and better dorks. Then we will give you good flicker effects and good EtB effects to go with them. Add to this some new disruption and extra flash juice to keep the opponent scared and off balance. Finally we will sprinkle in some card quality and card advantage to keep it all running smoothly and firing on all cylinders into the late game. Yea, white is pretty terrifying in cube these days. 

Sunday 16 April 2023

March of the Machines Conclusions and Additions


Well, I don't think I like this set on balance and that is pretty rare for me. I don't hate it but it isn't going I what I would consider to be the right direction. It might be down to my bias in that I am somewhat disenfranchised with Wizards/Hasbro and MtG at present. More likely than bias making me dislike this set is that  historic positive bias has let me overlook poorer sets in the past. There certainly is plenty I do like in March of the Machines but more that I don't. So what are my gripes? For such a cool multi-set story line I found the conclusion in this one unsatisfying. I find the flip cards to be tedious to play with and there are simply too many here. I don't love the extreme printing frequency and power push on certain legends. I can see myself curving Elesh into Elesh or Vorinclex into Vorinclex or Sheoldred into Sheoldred more and it isn't a flavour I like. I am fine with printing legends again in general and totally fine with it on walkers. It has just been too much all at once here. All the best top end in my cube seems to be the same couple of characters. I want variety in flavour. I fear battles will not improve the game and don't love the design on them. The basic land art is some of my least favourite and most discordant in recent years which is a particular turn off for me and my basic land fetish. Those are my various gripes, story line flops, power creep again and focused poorly, too many flip cards and too many of the same characters on cards, and a seemingly unnecessary and poor new card type. I do also have positive take aways. The set looks good for limited. There are plenty of cards I am excited to play with. It has some strong new mechanics too. We will return to the perks but for now the gripes seem more important. 

I don't like all the flip cards - too much. A few of them is fine but the density is silly now. For some reason loads of the best cards that wind up in cube are flippers. Perhaps because Wizards can do their favourite thing of putting all the text on them! It is just the fiddle with them rather than it being mechanically bad, much more a functionality thing, flip cards are great in online play. Just so much messing around in draft and in game when playing IRL. Flip cards are inaccessible to newer players.  They are a pain to double sleeve and damage quickly if not. They give away information. To be fair, the battles will do that without even flipping, we can all see you sideways reading! 

Yet more power creep is my biggest of the gripes. This time it is focused in the top end. Just a load of cards that really make sure the game is going to end. Probably some market research showing that their online Arena players want games to end in like 8 turns or something. Perhaps not unreasonable but it is going to stamp out some of the range. I like to have to find my means to win, I enjoy the challenge of getting enough reach in my decks and getting there in game before I run out of library or what have you. Now it seems like every card at five or more mana is just winning the game in short order through most stuff. I feel like this trend is killing of the long game, reducing the complexity in deck design, and wiping out large swathes of design space. Cube games seem to devolve into both players just swinging haymakers into each other for a couple of turns and finding out who's panned out better. 

The new mechanics are cool, both incubate and backup look like they will play well. Always impressive when some fresh and clean ideas are coming out 30 years down the line. My only gripe about incubate is the limiting flavour making it unlikely we will see it again on the regular.

In terms of additions we have a lot here. This is a lot even for a set in the age of extreme power creep. Doubly scary considering we have just had a good 3 or so years of such sets which you would expect over time to slow down on that front. Exponential power creep would be required to maintain an increasing influx of new potentials. One cool note here too is that there is a big shift away from cards that I only expect to perform in constructed and build around settings towards cards that have a shot at being playable regardless. 

I have now had a chance to play some games with the new cards, and notably the battles. I had judged them harshly and found they played better than I had expected. They are a bit more interesting, a bit more dynamic, rather less powerful, and not quite so win more as I had anticipated. I am not in love or anything but certainly not quite so averse. I still think making them an enchantment subtype was the way to go but whatever. Tis done now and is not a biggie really. 

To Add

Rona, Herald of the Invasion



Elesh Norn

Ancient Imperiosaur 

Invasion of Tarkir 

Slimefoot and Squee*

Seed of Hope 

To Test (high hopes)

Omen Hawker

Surge of Salvation

Guardian of Ghirapur 

Invasion of Ravnica 

Guardian Scalelord*

Rashimi and Ragavan

Bloodfeather Phoenix

Kolga and Yidaro 


Invasion of Gobakhan

Nahiri's Witchcraft

Captive Weird 

City on Fire 

Pile On

Ozolith, Shattered Spire

Doomskar Warrior 

Voldaren Thrillseeker

Chrome Host Seedshark 

Hoarding Broodlord 

Invasion of Fiora 

Elspeth's Smite 


Meeting of Minds 

To Test (low hopes)

Mirran Banesplitter 

Flywheel Racer 

Interdisciplinary Mascot 

Knight-Errant of Eos 

Rampaging Raptor

Invasion of Pyrulea

Zephyr Singer

Invasion of Innistrad 

Invasion of Kaldheim 

Invasion of Karsus

Deeproot Wayfinder 

Invasion of New Phyrexia 

Infernal Sovereign*

Tribute to the World Tree 

Death Greeter's Champion*

Ayara, Widow of the Realm 

Invasion of Mercadia 

Invasion of Segovia 

Hidetsugu and Kairi

Invasion of Azgol

Borborygmos and Fblthp

Polukranos Reborn 

Glissa, Herald of Predation 

Zurgo and Ojutai 

Archpriest of Shadows 

Boon-Bringer Valkyrie 

Moment of Truth 

Etali, Primal Conqueror 

Quintorius, Loremaster 

Omnath, Locus of All

Faerie Mastermind 

Archangal Elspeth 

Wrenn and Realmbreaker 

Halo Forager 

Thalia and the Gitrog Monster 

Chandra, Hope's Beacon 

Constructed Reserves

Temporal Cleansing 

Errant and Giada 

Elegant Denial 

Botanical Brawler 

Invasion of Ergamon 

Invasion of Ikoria 

Yargle and Multani 

Scorn-Blade Berserker 

Marshal of Zhalfir 

Sabia Cryptomancer 

Saturday 15 April 2023

March of the Machines Commander Preliminary Review


Death Greeter's Champion 6.5

A bit dull but rather versatile. A passable 3/2 doublestrike for 3 as a floor with some potential to output some serious burst damage with the backup and/or dash. Just some random 2 power dork already in play is getting a +4 damage boost from this backing it up. If this is dashed that is another 4 damage from the Champion himself. This can hit very hard and has synergy potential. It has an OK floor and a reasonable amount of flexibility in how you play it. I fear it is a bit win more as the best it can be is when you have other things with it that can attack but at least considering a the various other win more cards we have just seen this is all pretty calm and reasonable. This feels like a calmer and fairer Embercleave. No trample or instant speed should stop it just wrecking people out of nowhere. I am not super excited by this but it probably performs fine. Red isn't short of suitable three drops however so a meta suitability check is likely in order if you are considering this. 

Path of the Pyromancer 2

This can be a lot of stuff. Seven cards in hand and this is +1 mana and a whole new hand with a nice full bin to work with. That being said, keeping a full hand all the way to five mana is no easy feat and this quickly loses oomph as your hand size shrivels. 

Guardian Scalelord 7

Non-land is a shame but not really that big of a deal given that this is a five drop. The floor of this is rough against removal but it is still super powerful. A 4/5 flier that gets card and mana value on attacking is all good and will win games quite happily when not killed. The ceiling here is rather more impressive however. Get in a free hit with some random dork immediately and get something of value back. A 3/4 flier, a bit of bonus damage, a slightly buffed dork, and a thing back from the bin. A very welcome package of goodies. While it is quite a rounded value play rather than a finisher it is flying and immediate and will do decent enough work in helping to close the game. All told this seems pretty good for my midrange cube as it stands. It is just a lot for not very much. 

Chivalric Alliance 5

Unbelievably this is white card draw I don't think white needs! Glimmer Lens basically is this card but more contained. It gives you that 2/2 there and then ready to be half the attack force needed to draw. Making 2/2 dorks for 2 mana and a card is rubbish and so I would just rather get the one off dude that Lens affords. It might be OK late game if you milked a Land Tax but before that and you are falling behind, even if it is enabling you to trigger the draw from Chivalric Alliance. In a knight deck or perhaps even a white deck wanting discard outlets for some reason I might want this. Just in a cube generally I think white has enough more reliable and powerful options to draw cards than this now. 

Conjurer's Mantle 2

Expensive, zero tempo, and doubly conditional card draw. No thanks. White really has better options on card advantage than this. 

Exsanguinator Cavalry 3

Decent in tribal knights but might struggle to get in to a 40 card list as a relatively generic three drop payoff card. 

Moira and Teshar 2

Well, you can flop this out, drop a couple of Baubles or Mox for zero mana a piece and one shot an opponent. Probably a sneaky one shot kill combo in commander this can enable. No real use for cube being so costly and narrow. 


Excise the Imperfect 2

Big Fateful Absence. Much as I quite like this it seems dodgy. Against small things it is just a very expensive removal spell you are losing tempo with. Against big things the incubate is an issue. Clues don't scale, these do. I kill your Glorybringer and you get a 5/5 for 2 mana? I might as well just be playing Generous Gift. And I am most certainly not playing Gift. 

Bitterhorn, Nissa's Animus 2

I like it but it is shockingly slow. A 3 drop 1/1 that has to attack to get value? Nope. A crap bit of equipment left behind? Still no. 

Kasla, the Broken Halo 3

Good fun build around card. A little too gold for cube considering the amount of convoke there isn't. Potent but all a bit build around.

Wildfire Awakener 3

A great convoke building tool being both an enabler and a payoff. Even so, it takes a bunch of dorks and mana to really get this going and opens you up to mass removal really hard. Even soft mass removal is going to hurt. 

Rashmi and Ragavan 6

All a bit wordy for my liking and a little gimped by an inability to trigger it on the turn you make it. Also very gold! Even so, this effect is very potent in cube and this is super easy to trigger. It is making mana and value most turns, possibly both theirs and yours. It is winning for you even if you never hit anything you want to play just because mill is so relevant in cube when games go long. This has a real shot in cubes. 

Infernal Sovereign 5

Recycle on legs. Big legs. This very much reminds me of Consecrated Sphinx. This is a bit more powerful and a bit lower risk. With time you can drop this and ensure you get at least a card back, perhaps a couple. Getting locked out of playing stuff isn't the worst as you can just slap people for 6 with your big demon and win that way instead. Much as this seems impressive I think insane value six drops are a relic of the past. We want game ending things and devastating plays, not quite big dorks with some cards to back them up. This probably wins most games but slowly, and less effectively than too many other viable six drops. 

Firemane Commando 4

Another trip to this new means of card draw for white. This is OK but I fear too win more. If you drop this and get a card back right away the card is great but you were already winning. Fail to do that and your card is poor, likely never to draw you that card freely. Four mana is a bit much for that range on performance.

Friday 14 April 2023

March of the Machines Preliminary Review: Part 11


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 

Urabrask // The Great Work 4

Certainly a powerful card with some nice scaling. A very big Electrostatic Field come Birgi. The issue is that the spells matter archetype really isn't about synergy cards that far up the curve. Even three mana is a push for stuff that is triggered like this. Just a 4/4 first strike is not close to playable and a lot of the time that is what this will be, not awful but not great. The mana will not be too useful and you will not stand to get too many ping triggers. Even if you were assured one a turn that would look pretty poor. Sometimes you will flip this and get a bunch of value and others the flip will be a detriment as you will lose a 4/4 first striking body on the board! 3 damage to all their dorks will thin the ranks but it will not handle much that is actually a problem. Urubrask will be fine if you put him in cube but there are plenty of better options. There are better cards in this set alone that I would play before him and that I still don't think quite make the cut.

Scorn-Blade Berserker 2

Love it but not really sure what I am doing with it or where I am playing it. It isn't a good use of mana and the synergy isn't great. There are not all that many cards I want to put a counter on then sac. Perhaps modular stuff and Hangarback Walker. Mild potential then in a black Hardened Scales list? Nothing for most conventional cubes though.

Invasion of Amonkhet 2

Not terrible value but not the kind of card you can play in cubes and expect to win that much. Three mana is so much for a non-tempo play. Such things need very high power and suitability and this has neither. Just playing this pretty much ensures you are not flipping this! Or at least, if you can, you had already won. 

Marshal of Zhalfir 3

Very solid Knight lord. That being said I feel like Mardu is the traditional home of the Knight and so this may get a little less action than it otherwise might if the colours were more aligned. 

Meeting of Minds 7

Convoke is a real cost, it is not a cost reduction. It is perhaps more akin to delve than other cost reduction mechanics, such as affinity. Even so, I am reminded of Thoughtcast here. I want to build a deck that chucks out dorks and then I want to tap those dorks to draw cards and carry on the cycle. A couple of Iconoclasts, Sai, Young Pyro etc and this can become self sustaining to a degree. Sounds like an incredibly fun way to go about going off. Instant is a nice perk here, you can block and then play this making it a much wider application card. It still has all that cool proactive and combo potential but can also be slung into a midrange deck and used to good effect while on the back foot. That makes it viable for cube play. Even though it is unlikely to ever reach its ceiling in cube it likely has enough of a floor to make this solid. 

Seed of Hope 7

Another banger. I do always get hot for the premium card quality stuff and this seems pretty premium. It is Sleight of Hand with multiple upsides and one downside. Overall I would say the perks, at least in cube and in green, outweigh the downside. That downside is simply that you can only find cards that are neither instant or sorcery. For this restriction you get two life, instant speed, and the milling of a bonus card into the bin. I think that all puts this around the level of Oath of Nissa at base but with more scaling potential in my current cube meta with yard stuff being more relevant than the synergies Oath offers. Seed of Hope is not quite so assuredly playable as Abundant Harvest but it probably performs better when you can play it. Seed of Hope is the best card quality spell on offer when you have strong things keying off the bin and no other instant or sorcery cards in the deck. With minimal yard based things and from around 10 of the 40 cards or so in deck being misses Seed of Hope stops being playable. That is a pretty decent range and should leave this being both suitably playable and suitably powerful most of the time. Green is the place most needing of card quality as you need a good ordering and ratio of things when you are ramping into cards. Seed of Hope should combine really well with the handful of other premium green card quality spells in cube in bringing consistent consistency where it is most needed! 

Stormclaw Rager 5

A fairly rounded little sac outlet. If you want to support Blood Artist synergies in black you need some rounded sac outlets and you need a few more than the ones that are already cube worthy by themselves. This is an OK card that is just what that kind of archetype wants. A bit boring but it gets the job done and it is at least drawing you cards! I prefer the utility of my sac outlets being instant, ideally no cost either and so I'll shy away from this one and stick to things like Spawning Pit instead to make up the numbers! 

Progenitor Exarch 3

As a three drop the power is pretty shoddy, I almost think it is better as a one drop! It compared very poorly to Blade Splicer both for synergy and for tempo. At five mana we get a bit more enticing on the power and seven mana starts to look rather muscular. Even so, those are pretty late game, really I want power earlier than that, or at least game winning power late. This looks weak compared to Emeria's Call or Ultramarine's Honour Guard, or Student of Warfare. These are all just more utility and more power options that share a scaling aspect with Progenitor Exarch. I want to like this card but I don't really feel I even need to test this one, it just seems lacking. 

Shatter the Source 2

Lots of kick and lots of utility but the cost is just too high here. 

Ichor Drinker 1

Not enough specific synergy or power to really seem like it is getting play anywhere. 

Enduring Bondwarden 2

I want to like this but it just seems kind of bad. The 1/2 body with a counter seems a lot better than the backup and it is hardly something to write home about. It doesn't do enough on it's own, the power nor synergy are that high. If you can stick it on something that they have to block, turn that into a trade, then get that counter on this guy then you have some reasonable value, but that is situational to say the least! A cute combo with the black one drop backup dork but that is a booster draft thing not a cube thing.

Hangar Scrounger 1

Pretty poo but some potential for combo here, likely one for pauper or something! 

Flywheel Racer 5

Cute Springleaf Drum come vehicle. This might be low cost enough to represent useful ramp therefor also having enough action as a card overall to be worth playing. Power is low but this does desirable things on the cheap.

Mirran Banesplitter 6

Bonesplitter come combat trick. To get this into action is half the price of a Bonesplitter however one re-equip and you are a fair way less mana efficient. As this has no toughness component you have to land it on a dork with firststrike or something before it is turning a chump into a survivor and representing a likely profitable combat trick. If you are just turning a chump into a trade then you will have to re-equip to gain any further value. Red does have a nice bunch of double-strike dorks for which this is especially scary. Menace pairs reasonably nicely with this too. Kari Zev is going to utterly end some peoples day with a Banesplitter! Although I think the combat trick element of this is some mix of too situational or too expensive overall I think that the +2/+0 for a single red with very little risk is very possibly worth it just as a source of damage output. Works super nicely with prowess dorks too. I think it will be very easy to average over 4 damage with this when it is in opening hand. Lots of utility, lots of very cheap damage potential. Mostly just worried this is a little bit of a non-threat, non-answer card. You can't run many of those and this is certainly not a very flashy one. This is the kind of card that shines when the cube has a polar meta with aggro decks going as all in as possible. My meta is presently the opposite of that with a very midrange feel to it. I want this to work out but I fear it isn't the time for it.


Akki Scrapchomper 2

I want to love this but it costs too much to use, is really only useful late, and does too little early. Great thing to do with old food and blood and treasure but again, not till late, and then not with a one mana 1/1 once per turn thanks. 

Sabia Crytomancer 3

I like this but 2 mana is too much to hold up as protection. Perhaps you can play this in a deck that also quite happily wants a 1/2 flash hexproof dork, but those are not things you find in draft. 

Ephara's Dispersal 4

Very close to good enough but I think pipped at either end of considerations by Repulse or by Fading Hope. 

Realmbreaker's Grasp 3

How far Arrest and Pacifism have come, and to remain as yet unplayable!