4th time’s the charm, right? As long as it’s not something bad like Rakdos charm.
Holy shit, these guys still make articles? Yeah, we do. We’ve been on hiatus, busy in the cayman islands with our swiss banks accounts, riding on yachts with models and such. OR we’ve both had crazy busy schedules and don’t want this to ever not feel like it’s fun, so sometimes a break is needed. Either way, we’re glad to be back, even if being back ends up being sporadic. ANYWHO…
It seems like the “worst” packs in cube tend to be the hardest to figure out a p1p1 for. Sure, what does a “bad” pick in cube really mean when all the cards were top-tier performers in their respective and current times, but there is always a ranking to be made and a pick to choose. Today’s pack, for a powered cube, is rather underwhelming, but it is by no means barren of powerful cards.
|This pack generated from TappedOut.net, the MTG Deck Builder|
Huntmaster of the Fells
Journey to Nowhere
There is no card that absolutely jumps out at me, but there are a lot of strong starts here. Deranged Hermit, Simic Signet, Vedalken Shackles, and Thundermaw Hellkite are what I’m considering, with a passing glance made towards all the lands and the Journey to Nowhere. The lands are all cool, but the color-committing cards are all strong enough that I don’t feel like staying that open is an actual option here. You can never go too wrong with a U/X dual, since blue should be where you want to be most of the time anyways, but the cards I’m considering are strong enough that I don’t want to send too loud of a signal that I don’t want to be in those colors. The Journey to Nowhere is a premier piece of removal, but at sorcery speed, slight vulnerability in being an enchantment, and only hitting creatures you can do better for removal at p1p1 and overall do better for a choice.
Vedalken Shackles is the strongest of the serious contenders, but is actually the one I’m considering the least. This is by no means an actual knock on Vedalken Shackles in the right deck. Taking creature after creature and either slowly winning by attrition or quickly winning by an open board will crush most strategies, even in cube where the creature-light decks do occur. However, you are heavily committing yourself to blue, which even I find to be an issue at p1p1. Yes, being in blue is where you want to be in a powered cube, but if you’re drafting with people who know what they’re doing they probably realize that too. It’s not out of the question for a couple players to be in blue and a couple-few more trying to splash or force their way in there because there are so many no-question first picks in blue. Other than the mana sources you really aren’t passing any blue, which is nice, so there is the possibility that you’re cutting blue completely off for pack two, but that’s still a lot for me to jump so hard into the color right off the back.
Simic Signet is by far the most “boring” of the picks, but the card is super strong while fitting in a variety of decks. Other than hard aggro, there isn’t a cube deck that wouldn’t want a signet, especially one on-color. An off-color signet is most likely going to be a 23rd card at best, but when you’re on color with one of the colors and hitting with both as mains or a splash, then Signet can be one of the best cards in your deck in a silent way. While making extra mana seems a bit underwhelming when one of the colors is green, which can ramp away no problem, just the idea of having hard-to-remove mana ramp in just about any color or any deck is a pretty strong way to start the draft. Now there is just about any deck available for your first pick, and you can play off your passed packs much easier without risking being attached to a stupidly good card in a color that might not be available. I can understand not picking the signet, since there are multiple colorless rampers and there are stronger cards when placed into a vacuum, but when drafting you need to consider more than pure power, and Simic Signet has a lot going for it.
Thundermaw Hellkite could be one of the things you cast off a signet, but Thundermaw is great because you are probably playing it in any red deck. Thundermaw is obviously good in the slower, Wildfire/red control style decks. He’s a big dude that ruins the air and lives through the Wildfire effects, all at a pretty low cost of 5 mana considering you’re getting a 5/5 flier with haste. Thundermaw is also a stellar top-end in the red aggro decks that exist. Reaching 5 mana can be really tough there, and if you’re playing a hard aggro deck with ~15 lands he is probably not the best choice since in only the worst games with the unluckiest draws will you reach the 5 mana. If you’re running 16-17 lands in your aggro deck though, he’s perfectly fine as your 1 or 2 of 4+ CMC cards. Knowing our playgroup, who are all colorblind to red, Thundermaw would go last pick or something dumb, but I refuse to believe that’s right and should give red more respect.
In the least surprising choice for people who know my cube style, I’d probably pick Deranged Hermit. First of all, Deranged Hermit is green, a color I love. Being able to put out giant things while splashing all the other tools to make that strategy work is some of the most fun I can have playing magic. If every deck I ever made could just play 8 drops, I’d be OK with it, since I’m a huge fan of battlecruiser magic, at least when I’m the one piloting that ship. Deranged Hermit is a huge thing that is small itself but when he’s abused is an actual terror. Sure, there’s an echo cost attached, but in some decks that’s actually a bonus when you plan to bring that Deranged Hermit back. This is not the easiest Deranged Hermit pick ever, but it’s one I’m happy to make here.
What would you choose? Why am I so stupid? Let us know, and thanks for reading!
Another pick! This time we come in at the 4th pick of the first pack of a recent draft I had on cockatrice. (The list is below, along with my final deck from the draft.) The first three picks of this draft were easy. Sol Ring was the obvious choice, Worn Powerstone is a card I’m liking more and more and there wasn’t anything else that stood out in that pack, and I felt that with two artifacts Search for Knowledge seemed good, especially in a powered 360 cube where I not only want to be blue but will be guaranteed of at least having all the power in the pool. When I arrived at this pack, my options to stay open continue, but this was also a good opportunity to commit further if I chose to do so. The pack is as follows:
The cards I’m seriously considering are Coalition Relic, Phyrexian Metamorph, Mystical Tutor, Trinket Mage, and Simic Signet, with the latter three much further down the list. The rest of this pack has goodies as well and I’ll probably wheel something. UW is a great color combination for Moat decks, but I’m not married to blue and wouldn’t take a new, double-colored spell here. Ulamog is great but he is one of a million fatties, and the same goes for Bloodgift Demon with the added benefit of being another color. I’d rather not commit to either of the red strategies here, and Lotus Cobra is not the ramp I’ll be picking in this pack. Marsh Flats is cool but again I’m not necessarily either color, and it’d be a treat if I ended up in either and the Flats tabled. These cards are not serious considerations compared to the previous 5 of Relic, Metamorph, Tutor, Mage, and Signet.
Simic Signet is good but can never be the pick here. If I’m trying to stay open, there are two much better cards in Metamorph and Coalition Relic that more that make up for costing 1 more. If I want to take a blue card, I think Mystical Tutor and Trinket Mage are better options as they more firmly commit and cut the color, as they are the only actual blue cards in the pack. There are also a multitude of other amazing cards, so maybe Signet wheels and I take it there.
Mystical Tutor would be cool and I’m sure there are plenty of spells I’d want to grab, but right now I only have the Thirst for Knowledge. While it’s super likely that if I stay in blue I’ll have plenty of spells to grab, it’s power level is still undetermined and the other cards have a higher presented ceiling. If Sol Ring and Worn Powerstone were something silly like Ancestral Recall and Mind Twist, Mystical Tutor is potentially a much easier pick because I have a 2nd copy of two high-impact spells. That’s not the case though, so Mystical Tutor is further down the list.
I rate Trinket Mage higher than most, but in a powered cube he’s like a blue Wood Elves that is larger and potentially grabbing a better ramper or utility spell. With Sol Ring as a pick, I know Trinket Mage will be grabbing a pretty sick card a lot of the time, and this early in the draft I can prioritize picks like Sensei’s Divining Top, Skullclamp, or even Relic of Progenitus from out of the sideboard to turn Trinket Mage into a much more versatile card. Trinket Mage could wheel out of this pack depending on what I pick though, as this pack is pretty stacked for all types of decks, and Trinket Mage needs a target to be good.
The pick is really between Phyrexian Metamorph and Coalition Relic. At the time, I chose the Coalition Relic, and I’m 50-50 on whether that was the right call. There were certainly games where having the Coalition Relic was much better as being the actual sick ramp card instead of a semi-dead card in my hand waiting for action to build instead of building it. But there were times where copying one of my giant things or other creatures on the field would’ve been better. With my fixing lacking with two lands being replaced by moxen, something I’m pretty comfortable with doing, the Coalition Relic allowed me to cast all my double-color-costed planeswalkers pretty early. Two moxen afforded me many opportunity to blow opponents out with early bigger ramp into way earlier planeswalkers and giant creatures.
What would you choose? Leave a comment to let us know, and thanks for reading!
1 Sol Ring
1 Thirst for Knowledge
1 Worn Powerstone
1 Coalition Relic
1 Frost Titan
1 Path to Exile
1 Simic Signet
1 Jace, the Mind Sculptor
1 Consecrated Sphinx
1 Mox Jet
1 Mox Ruby
1 Sundering Titan
1 Ravages of War
1 Wrath of God
1 Grim Monolith
1 Karn Liberated
1 Elspeth, Sun’s Champion
1 Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
1 Tezzeret the Seeker
1 Faith’s Fetters
SB: 1 Soldier of the Pantheon
SB: 1 Ajani Vengeant
SB: 1 Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
SB: 1 Imperial Recruiter
SB: 1 Stormblood Berserker
SB: 1 Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
SB: 1 Student of Warfare
SB: 1 Inkwell Leviathan
SB: 1 Hero of Bladehold
SB: 1 Looter il-Kor
SB: 1 Underground Sea
SB: 1 Unexpectedly Absent
SB: 1 Unburial Rites
SB: 1 Man-o’-War
SB: 1 Inquisition of Kozilek
SB: 1 Searing Spear
SB: 1 Sword of War and Peace
SB: 1 Metalworker
SB: 1 Mishra’s Workshop
SB: 2 Swamp
SB: 2 Island
SB: 2 Plains
This is the cube list used
Doing something a little bit different today! After some comments suggesting we do something a little different than a pack 1 pick 1, I came across a forum-wide draft being led by CprlBeefpants on the reddit cube subforum. (Not sure of his name, frankly I wish I was named CprlBeefpants.) What is happening is that he is posting the packs one by one and whichever card has the most votes is the pick, and then the next pack, and etc. For this pick, these are the cards we have so far:[mtg_card]Lotus Cobra[/mtg_card] [mtg_card]Batterskull[/mtg_card] [mtg_card]Balance[/mtg_card] [mtg_card]Flooded Strand[/mtg_card]
We’re pretty much open with a stronger lean towards white in my opinion.
This is his cube: http://cubetutor.com/viewcube/990
This is the thread where the original post was from: http://www.reddit.com/r/mtgcube/comments/227hiz/beefdraft_pick_six/
And now, this is our current pack:
[mtg_card]Meloku, the Clouded Mirror[/mtg_card]
[mtg_card]Sensei’s Divining Top[/mtg_card]
[mtg_card]Temple Garden[/mtg_card] [yop_poll id=”6″]
We don’t really know what we’re doing so far; we have a bunch of good cards, but there are conflicting strategies and there’s a chance we won’t play at least one of these cards. (The only way I see us not playing two is if we go GB after taking deed, but I don’t think jumping into a potential 3rd/4th color is smart.)
I’m really tempted to take one of the mana stones, but they’re pretty underwhelming. Fellwar Stone taps for colorless mostly, though there will be a fair share of games where it taps for one of your colors. Stone is actually really good in 3-5 color decks, since there is rarely a match up where it doesn’t at least produce mana in your deck. Prismatic Lens is fine but paying to fix your mana is asking quite a bit.
I don’t think Temple Garden is actually good here since there’s barely any other green or white in the pack other than the dual which is still pretty color specific and Pernicious Deed which suffers the same issues. Meloku is nice but not a reason for me to jump into blue compared to the other blue cards. I like Daze and kirk put up a convincing argument today about why it should be the pick regarding a UW balance type deck, but I’d rather take Meloku here. Polluted Delta is cool, for sure, but we could be devoid of blue from here on out. (I don’t think it’s a bad pick, but it’s a bit more speculative than what I’m comfortable with.)
Here I like Sensei’s Divining Top. Balance decks are great with Top because there are many times where Balance hurts you as well and you need to dig your way out of the mess. Top does a great job because it survives the Balance and lets us manipulate our deck to find cards. If we were heavier into blue I’d be less inclined to take top since blue pretty naturally does a good job of filtering as is, but a Flooded Strand isn’t enough of a commitment for me to say I’m definitely there. Top is also good if we get shipped green cards from here on out, since Cultivates and such shuffle our deck along with the fetches. After top I like any of the blue cards, and don’t think they’re bad picks at all.
tl;dr Sensei’s Divining Top. What would you choose? Leave a comment and let us know!
Who doesn’t love p1p1s? Tons of people, sure, but they can go somewhere else, because now it’s time to pick!
|This pack generated from TappedOut.net, the MTG Deck Builder|
This is a pretty solid pack; not outstanding, but there are a lot of good cards. Fyndhorn Elves, Woodfall Primus, Restoration Angel, Entomb, Dance of the Dead, and Lingering Souls are all in contention for me. Plateau is fine but if I’m going to take a dual first it needs to be blue.
Fyndhorn Elf is the only 100% green card while Woodfall Primus can be placed in any deck that tries to cheat things like Woodfall Primus in. Fyndhorn is not exciting but what your green decks want. Like with Llanowar Elves in the last pack, Fyndhorn Elves is kind of a lame duck first pick here and an effect that, while we do want multiples of, can also be found in multiples later. Woodfall Primus is something I’m eying up and down much closer. Primus is awesome in any deck that can land him on the board because he is one of the few creatures that size that reliably leaves another body lying around after you deal with him the first time. Other than white removal–the bane of almost all creatures that come back for another of those rock-jocking beats–you return a 5/5 which can be reset AND kills a second non-creature permanent. Even though Woodfall Primus is the best, there are a ton of fatties in the cube and taking one first that isn’t Griselbrand might be greedy, since most of the time just putting the creature onto the board the is enough because you’re doing it at a point where your opponent is ill-equipped to deal with the creature. Woodfall Primus is one of the best, though, and is therefore under serious consideration.
Restoration Angel and Lingering Souls are solid and if I was going for a safer pick I think either of these are fine. Restoration Angel isn’t always going to have a blink target but as a 3/4 flier with flash for 3W, she is still a pretty amazing creature who can fight through control on the end of their turn, acting as a solid threat on her own, or using that fat ass to block a lot of stuff. When you do start hitting other creatures, she turns good plays into blow outs. Removing a creature from combat or underneath a kill spell is a free 1-for-0, and then the ETB creatures you bounce get insane value. I don’t think there’s a white deck I’d run that wouldn’t play Restoration Angel, unless I was solely splashing for the Angel or just one other card like Balance. Lingering Souls is safe, but for the reason that it’s good in an black or white deck that is either both colors or can splash one or the other. Lingering Souls is less of a must-pick card than it was in DKA ISD ISD where you took it over anything if you’re doing a back draft or you don’t care about the cards you keep and you just want to win, but it’s still great in any deck that can at least cast one side consistently and the other frequently enough. Four 1/1s from a card that only costs 5 if you need it to and can be put into the air with only 3 mana on your table across 2 turns is insane value for just about any format, cube not excluded. I’m less likely to take Lingering Souls over Restoration because I really hate picking two color cards early on, but I understand why many other people would.
Entomb and Dance of the Dead are both considerable if you think you want to draft reanimator, but I’m pretty uncomfortable picking either. Dance of the Dead is good and something I want if I’m already in reanimator, but it’s definitely the worst of the reanimation spells and one I’m less likely to stay committed to black for. Entomb is much better and can lead to some broken plays, but I’m willing to let it slide by. If I take the Woodfall Primus, there’s a good chance I get one or the other back if there’s only one other player in the draft going reanimator. If they take Entomb, there’s a chance that Dance will still to me past other black players for the reasons I said above. If they take Dance, it’s way less likely that another player will take it unless there are multiple dedicated reanimator players this early, at which point it’s a pretty clear signal that Woodfall Primus will not be snuck onto the battlefield from my graveyard. I think that means Woodfall is my pick here. Even though I can get other fatties, it’s worth taking and maybe think about jumping on the first chance of reanimator that gets passed to me; if not, I enjoy drafting green a lot as is and it’s not like Fyndhorn Elves this early is some massive signal.
What would you choose? Am I the biggest moron in the entire world? Leave a comment and let us know why, and thanks for reading!
#20–hell yeah. Time to get crackin’! This pack generated from TappedOut.net, the MTG Deck Builder [yop_poll id=”3″] The three cards I’m looking at are Armageddon, Sword of Light and Shadow, and Glen Elendra Archmage, though there are arguments for other … Continue reading
Welcome to another Pack 1 Pick 1! Today’s is a nice one! (I also kinda wanted to play with the poll maker a bit, and this seems like a good excuse to do that.)
|This pack generated from TappedOut.net, the MTG Deck Builder|
There are a few blue cards that catch my eye: Flooded Strand, Jace Beleren, Mulldrifter, Phyrexian Metamorph, and Control Magic. Other than Channel–which for me is definitely not the pick, as it’s a little too all-in for my tastes compared to amazing blue cards–these are the only cards Im seriously considering. This is a deep pack, and it could send bad signals if 3-4 players see one of these first pickable blue cards that will inevitably make their way down the line and see it as a sign, but I tend to find my way in blue a lot of the time as is. Also, these cards are all ones I’d seriously consider first picking against many different non-power cards, so they’re worth the considering.
Jace Beleren, Control Magic, and Flooded Strands are probably my last choices. Jace has the highest chance to wheel out of the bunch since he is undervalued (for that matter, Phyrexian Arena is underrated too) so I’m happy letting him go. I don’t expect to see Control Magic return, but it commits me the heaviest to blue out of the remaining choices and it doesn’t matter how stacked these cards are, if there is no blue being passed then I must either jump ship or look to find ways to splash it. Both Mulldrifter and Metamorph are super splashable, much more so than the UU in control magic. Flooded Strand technically keeps me the most open, something which I am a fan of, but when a card that I seriously rate high ends up in a first pack then staying open becomes a back seat priority. There are certain cards which are both stellar AND colorless, which I almost always choose over the colored options, but I value both Mulldrifter and Metamorph extremely high, way more so than Flooded Strand. Basically this: 99% of the decks that want Flooded Strand want Mulldrifter and Metamorph more.
Mulldrifter is an insane card that was certainly a mistake at common. 2/2 fliers for 5 are at the absolute outskirts of playability, but adding “ETB: Draw 2 Cards” to that creature is insane. Giving him an evoke cost of Divination makes Mulldrifter one of the best limited cards ever printed, and certainly one of the best blue cube creatures printed. Mulldrifter has an easy color commitment, and there are neat tricks you can do with Crystal Shard or other blink/recursion effects that want you to evoke him way more than cast. Like an active Skullclamp, once you draw 4-6 cards off the ‘Drifter you should be back on top of your games.
Phyrexian Metamorph is quite a bit different than Mulldrifter, but one of the most underrated cards in cube, which is saying something for a card people rate highly. Clones are great in cube; there are so many creatures whose ETB you want to replicate or general girth and size you’d like to pair with a buddy. Metamorph is the best clone because 1) he’s essentially 3 colorless mana and 2 life, fitting him in any deck that can cast 3 drops, and 2) he copies artifacts. For the small-sometimes-not-even-a-cost of being an artifact, Metamorph gives you a copy of so many high-powered spells that you will have a target in just about every match up you can conceive. Metamorph copies weapons, utility cards like Icy Manipulator or Crystal Ball, he can even ramp up your mana–it’s an awesome card.
Because of the insane versatility, I would take Metamorph over Mulldrifter. There are certainly times where I’d rather have a Mulldrifter, but Metamorph keeps me open and can be so much in so many different decks that I think it’s the ideal pick for me. I wouldn’t fault for anyone taking Mulldrifter here, or some of the other cards either.
That being said, what would you pick? Make a vote in the poll and if you have more to say, leave a comment!
Time to crack a pack! This pack generated from TappedOut.net, the MTG Deck Builder (Broken link is Edric, Spymaster of Trest) For a powered cube, this pack is not winning the “pack of the year” award, but there are … Continue reading
Sam goes through another mock draft using Pete/Cuttups’ cube.
Sam goes through a mock draft using kingneb’s cube. CMC 1 1x Birds of Paradise 1x Fyndhorn Elves CMC 2 1x Grim Monolith 1x Memory Lapse 1x Wall of Roots 1x Rofellos 1x Mana Drain 1x Spellskite 1x Regrowth 1x … Continue reading