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  • posted a message on m20 Cube Review by Usman at Coolstuffinc
    https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/usmanjamil-07052019-core-set-2020-cube-review

    My cube review of m20 is here. Despite the shortened preview season, this article still draws from a good amount of cube data with (as usual) decks featuring m20 cards that were played in 3-0 cube decks and there's some great hidden gems in the set. Enjoy! Smile
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [CUBE][MH1] Includes and Testing Results
    I did a review when Modern Horizons came out here.

    (There seemed to be some assumptions I didn't test Urza, despite the article saying it at the top and in the Urza part that the findings are based on testing. Oh well. Opinions have been pretty much unchanged on the card discussed since the set dropped.)
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Modern Horizons Cube Review on CoolStuffInc.com by Usman
    https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/usmanjamil-06072019-modern-horizons-cube-review

    Lately I've been making an effort to make sure that my recent cube reviews are up before the prerelease and this one's up on CSI now. About 10 drafts' worth of data, and while the article isn't as long as War of the Spark, the set's still great for cube and (what seems to be the trend) a lot of underrated cube stuff. I put a table of contents with anchor tags to make it (slightly) easier to read, since while it's not as long as War of the Spark, it's still a hefty set for cube.

    Enjoy!
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Cultic Cube video series
    Every video that you've done is great - well researched, great aesthetics. More people should be watching these. Smile
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on War of the Spark - Cube Review
    Quote from BlackWaltz3 »
    I can tell you worked really hard on this and I love that this is based upon experience--even if a limited sample--and not speculation! LOL at "Stay Awhile and Listen!"

    Sad to hear Oketra was too slow...


    hahaha, thanks! I was a bit surprised that there wasn't a better clip of Deckard But ah well. Oketra, I think it made 2 zombos at most, but usually one (or just died.) I feel like the stress test point for Baneslayers for no immediate impact is probably 4-5 mana. I also probably didn't articulate it super well, but it seemed like the Titan cycle blurred the lines between Mulldrifters and Baneslayers, since they did something if they entered the battlefield, but had strong bodies if they lived. Unfortunately, this cycle is mostly Baneslayers, aside from Bontu (which, oddly, I think I liked most out of all of the gods, go figure.)

    I think I'll still take the flexibility (and instant speed) of Cyclonic Rift over Callous Dismissal, but neither one is seems bound for the long-term in cube.


    For what it's worth, I've liked Callous more than either of those and I've ran both for some time. Callous also is nice because it helps to cast it as a tempo effect (like bouncing a turn 3 mana rock) where casting Roil/Blink/Rift on a turn 3 mana rock is generally something not done that much unless you smell blood in the water and like Angel of Sanctions's ability, it kinda forces playing the cards correctly.

    Commence the Endgame is better Consecrated Sphinx? Surely he jests. If the token had flying or some notable ability than we "might" be talking. Since Endgame guarantees two cards (as opposed to making it very likely you get them), is uncounterable and generally presents a decent body. Though it is notable (as you noted) that the body could be as weak as a 2/2 and that's a bad floor for 4UU. In the situations where you're getting a huge body it's probably a "win more" type card as having that many cards so late often means things are already going well. I'll watch this card more closely though now that I've read your write up. [/card]

    Definitely isn't a win-more from what I've seen and the worst-case fears definitely don't match reality. I wouldn't say it's better than Consecrated Sphinx but it at least doesn't have the weakness of being awful against spot removal. It feels like people are starting to warm up to it, though.

    I agree that Kefnet's value is in the body paired with evasion. The ability is gravy. Sometimes a very delicious gravy.


    Mostly. Kefnet is definitely a Baneslayer first and miracle maker second, but didn't find it happened enough for my liking, although it could certainly turn a game around based on what it casts.

    What do you think on Liliana, Dreadhorde General vs. Liliana, Death's Majesty? I'd hate to cut reanimator support, but reanimator should be going off earlier than turn 5 anyway ideally....


    new Liliana by far, it's a much better general top-end card and better than the non-Grave Titan 6s.

    Nice to see Bontu tested well. I'm more excited about that now.


    Yeah, I was surprised at how well it turned out; sometimes it just sacrificed 3 or 4 things and then essentially won the game. Pleasantly surprised.

    I expected Finale of Eternity would be more of an anti-aggro sweeper and I don't think I want to replace a slot in black to hose aggro.


    Yeah. Likely would play the small wraths (although unsure if I'd play Night Incarnate over it, but it played poorly when I tried it.)

    Dreadhorde Arcanist is a card I want to pick up and put immediately in my on-deck binder. It has potential, but isn't there for me yet.


    It likely needs a shock or two to really see more mainstream cube play. Decks that could utilize it did so *very* well and casting the spell for free was really nice, especially in an archetype that uses everything on the pig but the squeal, so to speak.

    Arcanist needs the same thing Krenko needs. A reliable boost in power. At least Krenko can generate that boost himself. I think Krenko is an all-star and decks that fail to remove him within a turn are going to get punished hard. Tying the number of tokens to his power with a floor of 2 tokens is incredibly good. The magical christmasland damage/turn calculations don't adequately tell the story of these kinds of cards. I think this may actually be the best of them, even more than Goblin Rabblemaster (you heard it here first!).


    Yes and no; equipment helps both of these cards but they're fine in decks without them. Relying on equipment to make either of these cards is a sketchy proposition and too fragile to make it worth it.

    Where would you say Paradise Druid fits in in terms of cube size?


    I have no idea but I find those kinds of comparisons to be so context-sensitive and assuming of an assumption of what a cube *should* look like that I find the whole "cube at X size" to be not really useful. Paradise Druid's pretty good, I'd say slightly under stuff like Wall of Roots, Fertile Ground, Utopia Sprawl and whatnot in ramp tier. A nice pickup for those decks.


    Ugin's Conjurant is notably worse than the phantoms (e.g Phantom Centaur). Conjurant removes "that many +1/+1 counters" not just a +1/+1 counter. If Conjurant had the Phantom ability I may test it as Endless One with the Phantom ability is actually really good I think, but this iteration is garbage.


    Ugh, wow. That's awful. Boooooooo.

    Lots of thoughts here...but there was a lot to respond to. Thanks again for the great writeup.


    Glad you liked it. Smile

    Quote from noshadowkick »
    Thanks for sharing this, it was a great read. You've given me a lot of food for thought as some of the cards you really seemed to like are cards I was initially interested in, but decided against (namely Commence the Endgame and Dreadhorde Invasion).
    Quote from skecr8r »
    Very nice article, thank you!
    Quote from JinxedIdol »
    Great review! I love the data you presented, both decklists, and some of the math. It was lengthy but worth reading.

    I’m (sort of) glad to hear my thoughts on Kefnet is correct. Miracles are too rare to be useful there.

    Your evaluation of the red cards are interesting. I was skeptical of Dreadhorde Anarchist, Mizzium Tank, but I may give them a try. (The Tank may end up in my artifact cube) Ilharg, however feels very slow in terms of its trigger and its recursion. I think it is correct not to see it as a Sneak Attack to cheat creatures. Perhaps the power of this card is repeatable ETB effects.

    Thanks for the good read.





    Thanks! Smile There's a *lot* of underrated stuff in this set as it seemed that way in general, especially with the lukewarm receptions to things like Commence the Endgame, Mizzium Tank and a lot of other things; I'm hoping this article gets people to turn around on thinking that this is a mediocre cube set and to see how good a lot of these cards are, since a lot aren't obviously good ones in the set.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on War of the Spark - Cube Review
    https://thethirdpowerpodcast.wordpress.com/2019/04/25/war-of-the-spark-cube-review-early-peek/

    An early peek of my cube War of the Spark review from several cube draft's worth of experience. It's pretty raw (no decklist compressions, pics that the editors do at CoolStuffInc to make my articles readable.) Article will be up next Friday if you want something in an easier-to-read format since it doesn't have much to break up the text.

    This is the longest thing I've *ever* written in the near-decade that I've been writing (it's about 42 pages, about 16.8k words) and while there are few obvious 360 no scope staples or whatever, the set has a lot of good stuff, and is certainly one of the all-time greats for cube sets.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on Ravnica Allegiance Cube Review @CoolStuffInc by Usman
    I finally got done with my Ravnica Allegiance review for cube. Took a while but it's finally here!

    https://www.coolstuffinc.com/a/usmanjamil-02282019-ravnica-allegiance-cube-review

    (I think it's my 2nd longest review, at about 9400 words, which was less than the 13k that the Guilds of Ravnica one weighed in at.)

    Enjoy!
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Quote from FuneralofGod »
    Why assume that the Canopy cycle, if ever finished, would result in each color pair drawing a card when sacrificed? What if the cycle had different functions when sacrificed?


    The issue with that is the cycle would almost assuredly have to include Horizon Canopy. If they did, GW wouldn't make sense as the "card draw" pair.

    They could just throw that out and make a new cycle inspired by it, ala Death Rattle, but said cycle would likely be marquee duals, unless they were significantly created so that they're not absurd (at least for Standard.)
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [FUT]Logic Knot
    For what it's worth, I've liked it in pauper cube but mainly because the format has so few good hard counters.

    I've never considered it for rares with cubes... and it's probably outside of the range of cubes with uncommons. There's someone I know who thinks it's great in cubes with rares, but the existing options are just so much better.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [GRN] Divine Visitation
    Quote from Merlin4343 »
    I would think with the guys that make tokens on attack this is just the nuts. I mean it plays so well on curve with Hero and Leonin and any of the Red generators (Garrison etc..). It is also good with hangerback. I looked at my cube to see how many token generators I had and it was pretty nuts. I mean this and attack with baldehold is 10 in the air right?


    Likely is pretty absurd if it combines wit h a token generator that makes multiple tokens, but the question is what would a deck look like that would be able to take advantage of it? A hypothetical deck with this, Brimaz, Spectral Procession and Angel of Invention result in a great payoff if making Serra Angels instead of tokens, but would it be worth it if nothing else in the deck created tokens?

    And if not, what would the required support in a deck need to be?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [GRN] Divine Visitation
    What would be the critical mass of token generators needed to have this make the final 40 of a cube deck?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [GRN][CUBE] Assassin’s Trophy
    Quote from allred123 »
    Call me crazy, but I think I might want to leave in Abrupt decay and take out maelstrom pulse? Pulse is good, but in all honesty the remove all creatures with the same name just doesn't come up very often in cube for us. Plus hitting lands where as pulse can't is also an upside.


    I never really tried Abrupt Decay in cube but that's a legit talking point for it.

    I'm guessing this is the new best Golgari card in cube? (Deed?)
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [KLD][CUBE] Bomat Courier
    I've been quite impressed with it since introducing it as a part of an overhaul to make artifacts more of a thing, although I've found it's just fine in any old red deck.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [C18][CUBE] Ancient Stone Idol
    Quote from dschumm »
    I assume he vies it as being a 4-7 mana 12/12 that you would cast during your combat phase as a token deck. I don't think it is that attractive but Ido like the sneak attack/tinker options


    Totally missed that, I assumed it was just triggering on opponent attacking! OMG

    You know, that may be solid, something like a 7-8 mana 12/12 with wrath insurance ain't bad and it can be cast after damage is dealt (ala Maze of Ith) to help gauge things better/possibly taking advantage of an opponent tapping low on mid-combat removal. Probably more a mode B but... it's something! Smile
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [C18][CUBE] Ancient Stone Idol
    I like it.

    I wonder if some token decks would want to play it themselves?


    Why would they do that?
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
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