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  • posted a message on Exploring potential themes and archetypes in red
    Quote from Braid of Fire
    Do you have a sample list? Red's the primary aggro color in my cube, and I'm concerned that without it dedicating a lot of spots to aggro, the whole archtype will be weakened. How many cards do you dedicate to diversity in red?

    Hey Braid, I'm not the author of this article, so I'm not sure I'm qualified to answer your question. However, if you want to compare notes, I believe Dom has a list of his red cards here, if you click open the Spoiler tag about halfway down the page.

    Jim -

    I think the reasons you state are exactly why most people find drafting and building mono-red aggro a bit dull. Oftentimes, there's only a couple of ways to optimize an aggro build, which doesn't leave a whole lot of room for creativity and personality. Speaking personally, there's little I love more than jamming Goblin Guide, Rakdos Cackler, and Intimidator Initiate into a sleek, low-curve red deck. But I think that for others, once they've played that deck once, they've played it a million times. Draft the smallest red guy in the pack, or take the burn spell, pass the pack, and repeat.

    I don't really have answers to this problem myself, and I still struggle with red's identity in cube outside of aggression and burn. This is why I thought Dom's article might be a fun read.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [Guide] Wildfire Primer
    Really good Wildfire primer, written by Chris aka [TJS]Dandy_Lions on these forums.
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Blood Artist
    I think you want both a) reusable bodies and b) sacrifice outlets before you consider this guy. As just a random dork in an aggro or midrange deck, he probably won't do anything of note. But if you set him up alongside the likes of Gravecrawler, Bloodghast, or Reassembling Skeleton, and then pair that with the likes of Blasting Station or Greater Gargadon, then he starts to sizzle. For us, we found the key to making him relevant was being able to trigger the life drain at will.

    So that makes him more of an archetype card rather than a two-drop beater. Though, even left to his own devices, he's a pretty good anti-Wrath measure with any half decent board presence.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Squadron Hawk
    I actually play with this card by breaking the singleton rule in my cube. There's 4 Squadron Hawk in my 450ish card cube, and after a couple of weeks in the field, I'd say it's a reasonably powered card at best. I figured, it's certainly better than the cards I removed for it (Nearheath Pilgrim, Cloistered Youth, and two other bears I can't recall), which had a habit of tabling every time they were in the mix. What did I have to lose?

    As you might expect, with this setup, the Hawks get a lot better the more players there are at the table. With a full house of 10, all the Hawks are guaranteed to be in play, and an enterprising player can scoop them up with mid and late picks. On the other hand, with smaller drafts of 4, people sometimes move in early, but find out later there were only two Hawks available to be had. I'm not perfectly happy with a card that scales up in power the more players there are, but again, it wasn't like Cloistered Youth was bringing down the house. So I've come to accept the trade-off.

    There was one odd draft where two players on opposite ends, after seeing multiple Hawks table, went in at the same time, and ended up with two apiece. Even more interesting was that one player benched them (rightfully so?), while the other player started them and ended up winning the whole thing. That probably doesn't say anything about the power level of fetching up only one Hawk, but it did tell me that my players are willing to play along with the experiment.

    And, for what it's worth, successfully drafting all four copies is immensely gratifying. It's a mix of luck, obviously (in this 8-man, are the cards even here to take?), but there's a significant element of signal reading there, as well. Putting your finger on the pulse of the table, and gambling on whether to take your first Hawk with that sixth pick, makes for a fun and rewarding mini-game when you're putting together an otherwise unremarkable white critter deck.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[Archetype]] Land Denial Black (Braids, Smokestack, Pox)
    Quote from Usman
    Is Spawning Pit going too deep into the theme? I'm guessing so, but throwing the idea out there since we have more recursive duders like Gravecrawler, undying guys, Nether Traitor and other such things.

    I was watching Kojiro's stream of Andy Cooperfauss' cube this week, and he uses Blasting Station. Sacrifice outlets seem really good for this kind of deck, and not needing mana to activate feels important. This "tech" was run by Raphael Levy in his Modern Zombies deck as well, for the same reason.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Primal Command
    I've had this in since the beginning, and only just cut it last week, and reluctantly at that.

    In a midrange or ramp deck, it's always fine, if not spectacular. Gaining 7 and tutoring up some fat are the most commonly used modes, and there the card does its job ably. The problem I have is that it's the prototypical "durdly" card - it typically has no impact on board state, puts you behind on tempo by costing you a turn, and is in that weird middle-of-the-curve spot of ramp decks that often blow right by 5 mana and go straight to 6 or 7. In other words, if I had a fatty sitting on the sidelines, I'd usually rather run it in place of this in my big green decks.

    Really, though, I think the main reason I'm removing it is that it's been edged out recently by Garruk, Primal Hunter. In our drafts, midrange decks usually prefer the board presence that planeswalkers provide, to a flexible but ultimately less powerful sorcery.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on Podcast - Joy of Cubing
    Quote from Power Conduit
    Hey Kojiro,

    Just watched http://www.twitch.tv/joyofcubing/b/332675734
    I wanted to say that I thought your rant at the very end, (@2:32 for reference) was as good or better than your regular podcasts. I think part of it was that you were getting quite passionate about your subject matter, and partly that you had the leeway to just rant for a while without having your flow interrupted or stopping to ask guests for feedback. Maybe it's just my preference for this "Rant" style of discussion rather than the "interview the guest" type that the podcast tries to accomplish. Perhaps split the difference and do a "Kranny's rant" in the first half of the show and then have the guest react (w/ host interaction) in the second half? Or 15/15/15/15, whatever.

    I'm gonna second this opinion. At the risk of sounding like a creepy stalker, I will say that I'm a huge - no, HUGE - fan of yours, and follow everything that you do. I actively seek out every scrap and morsel of cube information that you drop - here on the forums, on your Twitter feed, and now on your podcasts. Every time I make a change to my own cube, I double check your list as a reference first. "What would Kranny do?"

    With all due respect to your excellent cast of guests, at the end of the day, I really just want to hear your opinions on all matters cube-related. I appreciate that you're a great podcast host, but it feels to me like someone else should be asking the questions and driving the flow, while letting you do what you do best - talk about Cube design (and telling people what sacred cows to chop!). I mean, you don't really post on here anymore, and it's hard to piece together a cohesive design vision from out-of-context Twitter posts. How are we loyal subjects supposed to obtain the Kranny design manifesto?
    Posted in: Articles, Podcasts, and Guides
  • posted a message on [SCD] Oust
    Oust was performing very subpar for us, as it really is only effective against your Birds of Paradise / Noble Hierarch / Lotus Cobra type ramp creatures. Setting the green deck back a couple of turns hoses them real nice, but aside from that application, Oust was middle-of-the-road at best.

    In looking for another cheap white removal spell to run, I came across Sunlance. Yes, people see this card and laugh at it. "Well, his cube clearly isn't powerful enough that he needs to run effects like this." But a funny thing happened. People maindeck this one all the time, and use it to good effect in both aggro and control. It's never going to be a Swords or a Path, but when you need to slow down the Plated Geopede coming for your head, or get rid of an annoying blocker like Sea Gate Oracle, Sunlance does the trick. We've been much happier since replacing Oust with it.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Enclave Cryptologist
    This card has never really done anything for us in my cube, so I cut her. I should qualify my statement by saying that my cube doesn't support reanimator, or really any kind of graveyard shenanigans. I think repeatable looting effects get way more powerful when the discard "cost" can be worked into a benefit. For us, though, aggro decks had no use for her, and control decks had far more powerful card filtering options.

    Looter il-Kor is the nutters butters, though.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [[SCD]] Thornling
    I've never really liked this card, and I haven't seen it perform well in our cube. It's possible that I'm biased, because Chameleon Colossus plays largely the same role that Thornling does - mid-sized beater with ridiculous upside - except typically he arrives two turns sooner, and actually threatens to become gigantic before long. His pump effect is also much stronger with any equipment.

    I know they don't compete for the same spots in cube, but when a four drop by and large outclasses a pseudo-six drop, I find it hard to justify the six drop.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Moorland Haunt
    I've had this card in my cube for a couple months now. To be frank, it's done nothing. The mythical ideal U/W tempo deck comes up once in a blue moon for us, and even then, it's hard to justify taking this over a good blue instant or efficient white threat. Geist of Saint Traft seems like it would fall in the general vicinity of this card, but would be stronger overall, as it kills very quickly, and is good in any archetype (aggro, tempo, control) as long as your opponent is playing control.

    I haven't acquired a Geist of my own yet, but as soon as I do, I'm booting the land for the dude.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Count me as a fan of Kozilek's Predator. He's been on the bubble for a long time in my cube, but every time I want to cut him, I see my players happily dropping three bodies, and using them to carry Swords, chump block protection creatures, power up Overrun-type effects, or ramp to their next big fattie. It's never the most powerful card, and I'm sure the day will come when I finally axe it. But for us, it's been surprisingly versatile, and tends to make the cut in all kinds of green decks.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on [SCD] Searing Blaze
    This card is an absolute house in red aggro. Just about one of the highest picks you can take, at least in my cube, when you're on the beatdown plan and heavy red.

    It's not so hot in red midrange or control, where you'd prefer something more reliable and easier on the manabase. But we find that the upside in aggro is so high, it more than outweighs the drawback.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
  • posted a message on This or That discussion.
    Would it be blasphemous to suggest cutting Terminate for Falkenrath Aristocrat? They're totally different cards that serve different roles, I know, but I've come to wit's end. Olivia has been so incredible for us that I can't even bear the thought of axing her. I might cut the vanilla removal spell instead, if only because the effect isn't as "special" - only super efficient.
    Posted in: Cube Card and Archetype Discussion
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