M11 Cube Update

Disclaimer: There are some 73 cards still unspoiled, so this could change a lot. Nonetheless, we were sitting down to a cube draft and I wanted to make some changes first, so here they are.

White:

We’re considering War Priest of Thune, but haven’t found a spot. Other than that, nothing in white seems like a possible include yet. I’m sure some cubes will run Sun Titan, but I think the effect is a bit too narrow and the high-end in white is already crazy strong.

Blue:

Preordain really breaks my heart. I want to run it, but can’t see including it over the two-costed instant speed stuff (Impulse and Telling Time). If it goes it, it has to be for Ponder, and I’m really torn about that. I think Preordain is probably more moderate than Ponder, ie, good when Ponder is great but also good when Ponder is bad. Nonetheless, I think we are looking for depth-of-digging here, so Ponder stays.

Conundrum Sphinx is an easy include. He or she is huge, and blue has the most ways to make the ability unsymmetrical. I’m a fan. It already showed up in our first draft with a Darksteel Pendant on the board. Success!

We’re also running Aether Adept over Echo Tracer now. Instant speed is nice, but the cost difference outweighs that, I think. Also, is that going to be a beautiful foil or what.

Black:

We’ve been giving Skeletal Vampire disdainful looks for a few months now, and Grave Titan seems like the awesomest of replacements. I’m super excited to try him out! He’s got zombies crawling out of him! It’s deeply creepy.

Red:

I really really want to include Cyclops Gladiator, but I think he would give red too many triple-costed cards. We’ll see- maybe one day we will find a spot. I love him, though, and think he would be awesome in the cube. I’d totally recommend him for cubes not running Akroma or Obsidian Fireheart.

We are making room for Ember Hauler, though. I love that guy. He’s like a beautiful mini-Siege Gang with no drawback. Adorable! He’s going in for Molten Disaster, as we felt there were just too many X spells in red. No one loves split second more than me, but Molten D just doesn’t stand up to Earthquake, Comet Storm, or Banefire.

Green:

We agonized about green forever, and I’m still not totally sure we got it right. I like to err on the side of trying things rather than not, though, and that philosophy has worked out well in the past (Fireheart, Sphinx of Lost Truths). We had Mitotic Slime, Obstinate Baloth, Cultivate, and Garruk’s Companion on the short list. The baloth was going in for sure, and we decided to take out Avenger of Zendikar, which had been underwhelming so far. We decided against Cultivate (Rampant and Harrow are unique, and we’d rather have a variety of effects) and Garruk’s Companion. Mitotic Slime was really hard to find room for. We narrowed down the list of candidates to Ant Queen, Great Sable Stag, and Kavu Titan. After a long debate we decided to try taking out the Titan, and although I’ll miss the little guy, I think that’s the right call. Ant Queen is a must answer card, and green needs all of those it can get. Besides, I just can’t turn down full-art cards, which Mitotic Slime will be after M11 Game Day.

Artifacts:

This was the fun part. We wanted to include Crystal Ball and Sword of Vengeance, and didn’t have to cut anything particularly loved. We ended up taking out Etched Oracle, who does a thing but is undoubtedly narrow, and Grafted Wargear, which seems awesome but has a less mindblowing set of effects. I’m really excited about these guys, too.

I’m guessing we will end up making at least one other change when the set is completely spoiled, but I think this is a good start. Now let’s open a foil Grave Titan at the prerelease…. go!

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