Category Archives: cube

GP Pittsburgh Cube Updates

So, it’s been such an embarrassingly long time since I’ve updated that I’m actually just going to throw out a list of what we’re currently running from New Phyrexia and Magic 2012, rather than a list of changes.

The big philosophical change since I’ve updated is that we aren’t supporting green aggro anymore, which I’ve been very happy with. The ramp cards we have instead are a bigger draw to draft green, in my opinion, and our green decks have been better and more frequent.

From NPH, Blade Splicer and Birthing Pod are on a trial basis, but everything else is pretty solid.

Beast Within
Birthing Pod
Blade Splicer
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Karn Liberated
Life’s Finale
Moltensteel Dragon
Phyrexian Metamorph
Porcelain Legionnaire
Sheoldred, Whispering One
Sword of War and Peace
Urabrask, the Hidden

From M12, the Mages are still kind of questionable, and I haven’t yet been really impressed with Chandra. Everything else is safe.

Azure Mage
Chandra’s Phoenix
Chandra, the Firebrand
Crimson Mage
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Jace, Memory Adept
Phantasmal Image
Stormblood Berserker

In the bragging sector, we came home with some sweet stuff from the GP:

I’m really excited about the Demonic Tutor in particular – so pretty!

We got to cube a bit at the GP as well, first with Alex Bertoncini’s combo cube (“no spot removal and no counters- whatever you do is going to happen”) and then with Tim Pskowski’s cube.

Finally, on the subject of Innistrad, Diregraf Ghoul is an easy include if you support aggro in black, and I think Spectral Rider (WW, 2/2 Intimidate) will make it as well.


Cards I Like in Constructed Update

I’ve been wanting to find a spot for Sea Gate Oracle for awhile. I imagine this isn’t too controversial.

Justin’s unconvinced but I’m playing the “I want to try it for myself” card. Poor Masticore, by the way.

Crap, how will I Reveillark combo now. I liked Body Double pretty well, but it’s clearly not a staple, and seemed like a reasonable cut while we try quite a few changes in blue. Also, I hear you should always put cards in your cube right after they get unbanned and then finally see a top 8. It’s just fiscal responsibility.

quitequieter recommended this. I can’t say no!

I really love Cunning Sparkmage, and can’t wait to play it in cube. It’s just one of those cards that, in my opinion, appears to have a very specific application, but is actually solid basically all of the time.

Justin pointed this out, and it seems like a great swap to me. The only bummer is losing that Jason Chan art, which is one of my favorites ever. I got absolutely destroyed by this card last night, by the way.

Spitting Image hasn’t seen much play lately- unsurprising as my cube has gotten faster. I love Cold-Eyed Selkie an undue amount, but I also think it’s a card that can be really powerful on occasion, enough to make up for its fragility on others. And even if it’s weak compared to the rest of the cube, there’s nothing wrong with swapping a strong but unplayed card for one that is really likely to be played.

Justin’s not a fan of Psychatog in limited, but there’s no question it is an interesting card, and I do love a discard outlet. Dimir Guildmage is a card I like to play, but underpowered.

A Trying-Things-Out Styled Update

Coralhelm Commander seems to be working out well for those who are trying him, and Echo Tracer has been teetering on the edge for a while.

Justin loves the crap out of Willbender and I’m a big fan too, but it literally hasn’t done anything in over a year. That’s just a poor record, so here we go. Actually, the last time I played it my opponent had ultimate Chandra Nalaar the next turn, so I played Willbender face down. My opponent read Chandra’s ability again and then killed Willbender before using the ability. Le sigh.

Mirri’s been perfectly fine, but Stronghold needed a spot.

With the addition of Go for the Throat I think we can stand to lose this, and Sinkhole probably should have been in already. For once, this isn’t about the Judge foil, either- I like the original art much better.

Really want to have combat tricks in the cube, but I just haven’t been excited about Vines. I still like Briarhorn a lot- flash is exciting, and having the effect strapped to a body means it’s never dead. I get that Vines can do a different thing, but it hasn’t worked out that way in practice. Maybe this will come back, but I’m fine with leaving it out for now.

I’m looking for a replacement for Miraculous Recovery. Any suggestions? I like the card, but I feel it’s become too slow these days.

Valentine’s Day Update

Well, not really. If this was truly a Valentine’s Day update, it would be because Justin had finally decided to give me the best gift ever, namely letting me put Hand of Cruelty into our cube. I have a foil and everything! But no such luck.

We wanted to find a spot for the little Zombie and I still like Mirri a little more. I feel like we are hitting a critical mass of reanimation and don’t really need this anymore.

Transcendent Master has been surprisingly good, but it was always in on a trial basis and I’ve really wanted to get Lone Missionary in, as it feels like a really good card for B/W aggro which is one of my favorite decks. I’ve been really happy with Lone Missionary in my online cube, though I’m sure it will be outclassed eventually. White isn’t exactly overflowing with two-drops that cost 1W, though, which is something to keep in mind.

Oh- I should mention the excellent Cube Card A Day, which recently had a nice post about Transcendent Master (along with a less-than-glowing review of Missionary, but oh well).

These two are going in with no replacement – I’m still filling spots that were available after we cut back multicolor.

This is not a good card in Cube MoJhoSto. Otherwise, probably pretty solid. I expect it to be a little worse than in most cubes, however, since we do run some dedicated graveyard hate.

I just keep forgetting to put this in.

Miniature Cube Update

I don’t feel strongly either way, but I think Revoke Existence does something cooler, and I don’t run any ways to fetch enchantments.

As I’ve talked about in like three other places now, I’ve tried Consuming Vapors before, but I’m trying it again. I used to like Ashes to Ashes- it’s flexible and does a thing. But in another way it’s extremely inflexible, since it does nothing once you can’t cast it and requires two targets. I’m not sad about this at all, and as I’ve said elsewhere- pretty sure my poor opinion of Consuming Vapors was due to evaluating it in the wrong deck/board position.

Accorder Paladin!

The new Blade of the Sixth Pride is also going to make it in, probably for Serra Avenger or Guardian of the Guildpact (Guardian if I have my way, still holding out for that full art Serra Avenger. Only a little bit joking).

Not that anyone is unaware, but it is just nuts how good the spoiled white cards from Mirrodin Besieged have been. I guess when Phyrexians show up, you step up your game.

Cube Update, with MBS

Poor Brigid. I genuinely love the card and I like unique effects. Nonetheless, something has to make room, and there’s no question of finding a spot for the Crusader.

I think Justin will miss Pristine more than I will. She is a solid creature, but cuts are tough and the white-six spot is tougher. And Mana Tithe won my heart.

A cut that feels weird, but man has it been a while since Akroma was played. The Hero showed up once already, and totally rocked faces. Not that there was any question.

As I said in my Guild article on SCG, I felt that we had a surplus of Wrath effects. Martial Coup is the weakest, so it’s the one. Parallax Wave is a card I’ve been wanting to try forever, and this seemed like the time.

Probably should have done this sooner.

Planeswalker removal seems about right, and the Cutthroat was more-or-less placeholder anyway.

I wanted to try adding more discard, which is what this swap and the next one is about.

I guess the Scudder is where you start to think about the difference between “efficient” and “aggressive”.

After the Guild decks, I felt that red needed more straight-up burn, and Spikeshot has been ok but not outstanding.

Adding burn and things that work with burn. We had Wheel of Fortune in a while ago, but red was so bad at the time that I’m not sure it got a fair chance.

As I thought, we overshot a bit on the artifact destruction.

Also from the guild thing- I felt green had a surplus of land fetch that doesn’t ramp.

Fine, every one of these changes is from the guild experiment. I wanted more Wrath-proof guys in green, and I don’t want a whole color-aligned land cycle, so this seems fine here.

I enjoyed Mindslaver, but it doesn’t break my heart to see it go.

One of those cards I’ve been wanting to try. Do wish I hadn’t sold my FTV one, though.

MTGO Cube Draft, New Years Edition

I’m planning on doing a cube draft tomorrow (1/1/11!) around 6pm EST. Who’s in? Let me know here/twitter/facebook/etc. and I will save you a spot. If you haven’t done this before, you need an MTGO account, and to sign up at to draft. After we draft, I give you the cards you need on MTGO, and then we play three rounds.

The cube is here.


For those of you in the draft- I’m going to be posting pairings here, but we can also have a group chat
in MTGO. Just type “/join Cube” in a chat window to join.

For those of you drafting for the first time- the general process is that we will draft on, then you will save your decklists in MTGO format and use those to get the cards that you need from me. I believe there is a quick link to export your list now, but there’s chat in as well if you have any trouble.

Once you are done deckbuilding, just coordinate with the person you are paired with and play to best of three (or more if you are waiting!). You can start a game by challenging your opponent to a constructed freeform match.

Just so you know- I’m going to be recording the draft and games, possibly to use on SCG or here. metaknightmare is recording as well.

Everyone’s MTGO username:

Twitter MTGO Username
@norbert88 norbert88
@dayee13999 dayee418
@wmap (me!) DarkSteeleCube
@Kengy5 Kengy
@metaknightmare meta_knightmare
@Pistaf pistaf
crooked_rain crooked_rain
@thefringthing thefringthing

Pairings for Round 1:
1. Kengy5 vs. metaknightmare
2. DarkSteeleCube vs. crooked_rain
3. norbert88 vs. thefringthing
4. dayee418 vs. Pistaf

Pairings for Round 2:
1. norbert88 vs. crooked_rain
2. pistaf vs. meta_knightmare
3. DarkSteeleCube vs. thefringthing
4. dayee418 vs. Kengy

Pairings for Round 2:
1. norbert88 vs. pistaf
2. crooked_rain vs. meta_knightmare
3. DarkSteeleCube vs. Kengy
4. dayee418 vs. thefringthing