Finally, Gideon!

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.

Oh man, so excited. Archon has been fine, but I like Gideon much more.

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.

I think this choice is pretty clear when you put the two cards next to each other.

Shelldock Isle has been fine, but I like Baby Jace much more.

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 missed Diabolic Servitude, and despite trying really card to get Nether Void to work, it just hasn’t happened. Bummer.

I really dislike Crusher, and aside from being happy to see it go, Moltensteel Dragon has gotten really good reviews. I’ve only seen it once so far, but it pretty much did its job.

Wardriver may come back, but double red on turn two isn’t the easiest, and I think the Phoenix will be really good.

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.

Just moving things around here- since Maze is in colorless, City of Brass can come in.

I love a Selkie, but this change has been amazing. Edric draws more cards, and usually does it the turn you play him. U/G is one of my favorite decks to play and draft, and he is just perfect for it.

We also cut 1 card from each gold section:
Mistmeadow Witch
Inkfathom Infiltrator
Bituminous Blast
Kird Ape
Loam Lion
Angel of Despair
Spellbound Dragon
Orim’s Thunder

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!


8 responses to “Finally, Gideon!

  1. Cut Spiritmonger?!!!?!1111//!!/!/.!?>

    No! Never!


  2. I would miss some cards from a few sections, but you have to do what’s best based on what gets played. If the Dauthi and Mongrel don’t get played in aggro, or Razormane Masticore in anything, etc. then I see why they would get the boot.

    They’re not going anywhere in mine for a while though. 🙂

    • Well, Dauthi did get played in aggro, but not anywhere else, and black is pretty tight these days. None of those are cards I’m surprised to see played or anything like that, but just ones that didn’t work out as well here. We also get to draft quite a bit over the summer, so it’s pretty tempting to try out new stuff.

  3. I definately would have cut leech over spiritmonger, but that’s probably more of a preference than a logical choice. And Razormane Masticore is amazing. Most decks fold to that guy when he’s dropped early off of cube level colorless ramp.

    I have seen Avenger of Zendikar do some nuts things in the cube, but another option you have with top-end green ramp is Tooth and Nail. I find that it wins games either kicked or unkicked in most situations even with mid-range critters, plus it can be a tool to find creature based combos if you have any.

  4. Like all of the changes. Not sure how the planeswalker section will work out but seems like an upgrade to just limiting them to one/color. I wonder if it does give white an advantage as I’d be happy to have white cards cut for planeswalkers and they have the most. That said, I hate white in cube so it could probably use the boost.

  5. I’ve tried Avenger and just couldn’t get him to work. Here are the reasons that I felt explained why:

    1. He is unflexable and can only be played in a ramp deck
    2. The difficulty in setting him up and drafting around him does not outweigh how easy he is to stop
    3. Rampaging Baloths works similar to Avenger, but is more flexable, cheaper, and fatter

    Pelakka on the other hand is a midrange powerhouse who is not only flexable but abusable. As you know such qualities make for a great cube card, unlike one-trick-ponies like Avenger. Hence I’d vote for Pelakka over Avenger

  6. sexyindiancurry

    I wouldn’t lose Kird Ape at any size, and I’ve only lost Loam Lion going to 2 per pair.

  7. James stevenson

    Pelakka wurm has been great in my cube. I’ve played it against fast aggro, and if you can hold out just enough to drop him onto the field, you can completely put yourself back in control.

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