Yeah, Ballista is so gross. I, like many others, slept on it at first, and now I regularly take it incredibly high in a variety of decks. There's almost no deck I wouldn't play it in, including combo builds since it's a literal win condition for when you're making infinite mana.
Walking Ballista is really good. If I'm ever able to cast it for 4 and shoot two x/1s, I'm usually pretty happy, and it scales up well. Even doing a Mogg Fanatic impression for 2 isn't bad in some cases.
My favorite card from last year is the flavorful version of Ineffable Blessing. Before that card, Mono Red had been a little too fast for my unpowered, so I took a cue from the MTGO Legacy cube and started supporting Purphoros, God of the Forge with cards like Beetleback Chief and Hordeling Outburst to slow the Red deck down a bit. After Ineffable Blessing, that really feels like it spawned a new archetype in RGx Tokens.
We've only ever cut one real Magic card from the cube for power level concerns at 450 unpowered (we've cut plenty of overpowered custom cards), and that was Symbol Status. You rarely lose the game after casting it. It crossed the line when my friend went 3-0 with his Oath of Druids deck on the back of that card. Card didn't really incentivize G/X tokens, although its great in that deck, it just went into every green deck. Was happy to swap it for Ineffable Blessing when I got the chance.
I love Walking Ballista for its flexibility. It can't be allowed to stick around for long before it gets out of control; it can't really be removed without doing some damage on the way out; it's playable starting on T4 but becomes better and better the more mana you have access to; it can enable really sneaky plays; it can take over a game by itself. It's not the most efficient card in the cube, but it's gonna be there a long time.
My favorite card in the past year is probably Kari Zev.
Walking Ballista is pretty good. It does work in the majority of matchups and is highly versatile. Being a late game instant speed mana sink and stopping your opponents safely resolving X toughness critters can be a strong lock. Sometimes being a 2 mana colourless Gut Shot is enough too, when you have to stop that critical one drop play - that's not an uncommon use of the card.
My favourite card of the year might be Chandra or Ramunap Excavator. Treasure Map is right up there too.
Ballista is an all star. I honestly can't imagine cutting him ever. One of my tops for the year
Part of me just loves the raw value and power of Chandra, but my favourite card has to be, Ramunap Excavator. It didn't just add redundancy to Crucible, it helped change how green functions. With cards like GSZ, Fauna Shaman, Survival and Worldy tutor you're very likely to get him when you need him. This adds such a powerful option for green decks to just shut down decks when it draws Waste/Strip/Dust, it gives great value with fetch and canopy and it allows green just jam an Armageddon and just keep rolling. Putting a strong effect on a creature opens up so many avenues, it's amazing. I'd play it in almost all Green decks because even if you don't have lands in the GY when you cast him, it can still attack/block/sword up. Unlike Crucible who does a poor impression of Darksteel Relic.
ojutai is pretty sweet and i would play him in larger cubes or ones that are multicoloured themed for sure. the competetiveness of the azorius guild is what keeps him out for most but depending on the achetypes you are trying to establish he is a fine fit and could be swapped for something like geist if you need more control finishers.
Ojutai is currently on the sidelines and it's not fair but that's the life of a multicolored card. With Clocknapper I have much less of a need for an actual blue-creature-5 (sometimes you want a 5 you can recur, not just a stolen one) and while Ojutai plays well when it hits the board I feel like I need/want the other azorius cards more.
The fact that a card as powerful and downright cool as Ojutai is riding most people's sidelines is a testament to just how deep Azorius is in cube. So many good options. We've come a long way from the days of Absorb debates.
Ojutai looks sweet and has a lot of flavor. Unfortunately, Fractured Identity is already taking up the 5 mana Azorius card for me and I think I have like 4 other cards I'd rather run than the dragon. Also, Walking Ballista played out better than expected. I expected it to be clunky, but it was usually able to pick off a card before it met its end. It's hilarious with +1 counter generators.