Conservation of Proxies Update

We’re getting a Nether Void in the mail today, so I figure that’s about the right time to proxy another Legends card.

Straight from suggestions on this very blog!

One control card for another. I errated Moat to be Tribal, though- wouldn’t want to nerf that Tarmogoyf.

This is win-win: I don’t have to see Skizzik in drafts, and Skizzik doesn’t have to listen to me complain.

We thought about this and Words of War. Opinions?


Don’t know why we didn’t do this earlier. Tumble Magnet is a great card, and Triskelion has gotten worse and has gotten a lot more competition.

I have been so happy with this change. Darksteel Axe can’t really be more than ok, but the Lifestaff is surprisingly strong. We’ve seen it be very good in the aggro mirror, and also in control decks. This is one of those cards that is weaker in its limited environment than it is in the cube, so I’m glad we gave it a try.

Precursor Golem goes in the second-to-last artifact spot we had yet to fill. The last one is earmarked for Sword of War and Peace, but Justin wanted to try out the Golem.


Swans is my favorite U/R card ever, but it was time to swap in something more playable in U/W. Mistmeadow Witch may not be the final choice, but it’s a card I’ve been interested in trying for a while, and it fits into a deck that’s very well-liked.


We didn’t used to run any off-color kicker cards, but these days I’m more interested in running good cards than being overly concerned about white maybe-kind-of having an extra card. Unsurprisingly, this has already been very good. Legionnaire was fine, but the cost is awkward and in even in R/W, it’s harder to play.


I like Void a lot, but Bit Blast is fun and I always miss it when I see it in other lists.


That’s been a long time coming, but is pretty obvious in terms of power level, and I think will be played much more often.

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14 responses to “Conservation of Proxies Update

  1. I like your changes overall. I’m definitely wanting to move Tumble Magnet into my own cube as it has more than proven to be good enough. Rishadan Port and the Sylvok Lifestaff are two other changes I really like. Orim’s Thunder seems a great choice over the Goblin Legionnaire also.

  2. Looks good – how have the previous changes worked out for you?

    • Good question! A bunch of cards from the previous update have been very, very good- I already wouldn’t want to cube without Time Spiral, Standstill, or Mirari’s Wake. Everything from that update has been at least ok- there’s nothing I’m actively looking to replace.

      From the previous one, it’s been a little harder to get Timetwister to work, maybe because we mostly Winston draft. Coralhelm has similarly been fine but hasn’t really had a chance to shine. Stronghold is a beating, but that card was never on the sidelines for power level reasons, just because we weren’t sure we wanted to run color-aligned lands.

  3. I have seen some people saying some really crazy cube related stuff (from removing Force of Will, library manipulation being bad, intentionally adding bad cards to make the drafting more interesting …), so I don’t really know 100% if the
    “One control card for another. I errated Moat to be Tribal, though- wouldn’t want to nerf that Tarmogoyf. ”
    thing is just a joke or not…

    I like Words of War a lot – on the one hand it gives you some reach + a hard to remove threat and on the other hand it is a brutal engine card that combos with a lot of cards.

    Swans are great in UR decks, but tend to harm UW decks more if you decide to play them in a control build. It might sound a bit weird, but how about putting them into the UR section of your cube instead of something like Spellblast Dragon?

    We had a proxy Tumble Magnet in for 2 drafts before the set was officially spoiled and it was actually really good, but that was primarily because the initial version that we were using was also able to tap down lands. As it is now, it only looks borderline playable for my 450 list, but iirc you have a few extra slots.

    • I am sad that Tribal is nearly gone from my cube- actually, I guess I’m just sad that Wizards invented a card type they didn’t plan to use. But no- I wouldn’t proxy or errata cards in the cube.

      I think we’ll try Words of War, either in addition to or instead of Dwarven Blastminer. It seems like a fun build-aroundish card as well.

      I can see someone running Swans in U/R, but I don’t think that solution is for us. Spellbound Dragon is the weakest card in that section, but actually does pretty well. It’ll get replaced by the inevitable U/R planeswalker, if not sooner.

      Obviously Tumble Magnet isn’t Icy, but I find that Icy is tapping down a creature a majority of the time, and often times just a few activations end the game. I really like the effect and I don’t mind having another permanent to bounce, either. I’m sure it doesn’t fit into a smaller cube, though.

      Thanks for commenting, eidolon! I always enjoy hearing your thoughts.

  4. great changes.

    i like words of war more than dwarven blastminer, myself.

    i haven’t tested the lifestaff or the magnet, but i wouldn’t cut triskelion for either. especially not when duplicant, pilgrim’s eye, steel hellkite, stuffy doll, brittle effigy, darksteel pendant, etc are available to be cut instead. precursor golem has been really good here and i’d cut one of these for the new sword instead of him.

    • The reason we cut Trike was that the six-mana spot was really crowded, and I found myself cutting it from decks that had enough other six-drops. I think Duplicant is much better, and Steel Hellkite is at least more interesting. It’ll likely get cut in the next update, though. I don’t think every change should be made from a purely utilitarian standpoint, but if a card just isn’t getting played there’s no reason to have it in. Also, Triskelion is a known quantity, so all other things being equal I’d cut it before a card that hadn’t been in as long.

      I think Stuffy Doll will get cut soon, and possibly Brittle Effigy as well, though it’s not really for blue and rarely plays out as a 5-mana spell. It’s been fine in Gx decks that don’t have much other removal and in Rx decks that can’t deal with big creatures. It’s not amazing, but I’m not dying to cut it either.

  5. Yeah, Trike was not really the best choice for a cut.
    If removal light colors like blue are in such a need of creature kill spells, that you would want to run Brittle Effigy, I would rather add Persuasion in blue, since this is not regular limited, where a 5 mana removal spell with no or only a small bonus is playable.

  6. either Nicki, or Kris

    We had an issue with color-aligned lands (Stronghold, Academy etc…) so our solution was to put then in their color’s section as one slot instead of taking up a land slot. So far its worked out well.

    • Yeah, I’m running them in the color’s section as well. I think that’s the way to do it if you don’t want to run one in each color.

  7. Huge fan of all the changes, all seem like big upgrades.

  8. If you are looking for a good UW gold/hybrid card i would suggest Gwafa Hazid, Profiteer. If they don’t have removal for it it is an absolute house as you can shut down their creatures permanently (can’t attack/block even if Gwafa leaves play) while getting in there with other stuff. It is the stone cold nuts against some decks and has been a fan favorite in my cube. Mistmeadow Witch had been frustrating as leaving up 4 mana to blink something every turn felt like a lot. That said, how has Grand Arbiter been in your cube? My playgroup was hesitant about adding him. Thanks!

    • The effect actually does end when Gwafa leaves play. For it to work the way you think it does, the pacifism effect would have to belong to the counter itself. For example, it could say:

      For as long as that creature has a bribery counter on it, it has “This creature can’t attack or block.”

      Grand Arbiter is really good. It feels really unfair, and interacts well with other taxing effects as well as the things U/W usually wants to do- getting to the long game and being able to counter any relevant threat. I’d definitely try it.

  9. good call, i was thinking of Aven Mimeomancer now that i look at it…we had this exact comparison in a recent draft and i confused the two in my head. Maybe I will take out Dovescape and put in the Grand Arbiter. My friend who helped me with the recent updates suggested Dovescape as the last WU card (720 cube) and I said OK just to see it in action…only time it got played he lost the game because of it and I honestly think its way too much work to get it to do anything in limited.

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