With this update, I’m implementing a tweaked version of what I talked about here. That means adding planeswalkers to the cube beyond one per color in some cases, but keeping them separate as far as constructing the draft pool.
For example, if I want to add Gideon Jura to the cube – and I do – another white card has to be removed to make the spot. Then when we make packs (or a stack for winston drafting) we add as many planeswalkers as we want to that pool. So far, one per person in the draft seems like about what I want.
Just to clarify, I don’t think that planeswalkers are inherently more broken than Sol Ring. And I like the card type- I like powerful cards in general. But I personally think that games with tons of planeswalkers start to feel like something a little different than Magic, and that even in the cube, there still aren’t enough answers. I’m not really trying to convince anyone who doesn’t see a problem, but rather trying to clarify that this is more about quality of games than it is “these cards are too good.”
Anyway, we’ve been doing this for about two weeks now, and I think it works well. I love seeing the new guys, and having cards like Chandra and Ajani Goldmane back.
I definitely wanted to cut a five- or six-mana wrath with this update, since both Elspeth Tirel and Gideon fill a similar role and cost. It came down to Rout and Austere, and though we’ve had good experiences with Austere, the flexibility of Rout won out.
Moat ended up being too narrow for us. Our control decks usually have plenty of creatures, and even decks with few finishers might still have non-flyers- Titans, Elesh Norn, Gideon…
We actually tried this as Sunblast for a little bit, but wanted Ajani in more. If Elesh Norn doesn’t work out, Sunblast may get another shot, but we didn’t need both of them.
I won’t miss Teferi much, although Justin probably will. I’ve been really impressed with Tezzeret in my online cube, and I already had a fun build-around deck with Moxes, Shackles, and equipment to fetch.
In my opinion, three-drops should optimally fit into either midrange or aggro, but Dauthi Marauder doesn’t do that very well. We were deciding between Fume Spitter and Disfigure for this spot, and so far the results have borne out this choice- in his first cube appearance, he carried a Sword of Light and Shadow like a champ.
I wanted to cut something high-endish, and Aftershock has been just ok. Chandra fills a similar role in the sense that Aftershock can kill big guys (and the other modes are nothing unusual for red). I really missed Chandra- definitely glad to have her back.
Wild Mongrel has been just ok, and we wanted another monster to alleviate the ramp-into-nowhere problem. I think Avenger is the best one we didn’t have in, although I’m guessing some people would run Pelakka instead. Thoughts?
Obviously the Masticores are still very good in some groups, but aside from Molten-Tail, they haven’t been for us. I’m moving Maze of Ith to colorless, since it doesn’t produce mana, in order to make room in lands.
We also cut 1 card from each gold section:
Angel of Despair
I think these are mostly obvious except the Ape/Lion cuts. The problem there is that our Gx decks tend to be more midrangey, while W/B, W/R, and R/B are more aggro, and both sections are competitive. In the case of Loam Lion, I like Loxodon Hierarch less, but Justin feels the opposite, so we compromised and I got to keep Putrid Leech. Jund!