General (AFR) Dungeons and Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms Testing/Includes Thread

I’ve played a lot of drafts on arena, and I thought it would be useful to share some thoughts of experiences of some of the cards. Obviously retail limited isn’t the same as cube but I think there’s some learning there. One thing to note about the format is the importance of mulliganing due to there being very little early game smoothing, no real dual lands and few mana sinks. Dice rolling is fine in limited but it’s such a feel bad mechanic, I even feel bad when I roll a 20 against an opponent. It’s not cool. Onto the cards.

Cleric Class - Very enjoyable with a life theme. Level 2 and 3 are the real payoffs, though the level 2 cost is pretty prohibitive, but probably achievable if you’re busy gaining life. The level 3 return is so satisfying. I would say that it has graveyard synergy but it’s just a good card. Makes me want to have a lifegain theme.

Dawnbringer Cleric - Wondered if this would be too weak in cube, but it’s been generally really useful in limited, even when you very rarely want to use the exile a card from the graveyard effect. More impressed than I thought I would be.

Loyal Warhound - No surprises here, it’s just a good card, and always frustrating when they use it against you.

Moon-Blessed Cleric - nothing spectacular here but worth mentioning as a useful way to find a key enchantment for your deck or just some enchantment removal. I think this definitely has some uses.

Paladin Class - Expected this to be good, and was when I was on the backfoot against my opponent, but this felt like one of the more clunky classes for some reason. Would want to test this more if I was getting on board with this.

Priest of Ancient Lore - Just a pleasant card, useful for trading up from a defensive position, and not likely to break anything too much. Nice.

Teleportation Circle - Actually really fun build around. Did you realise it could hit artifacts too? Less indestructible than Thassa (lol). If you’re considering it I would certainly give it a shot.

You Hear Something on Watch - Actually pretty good removal and maybe worth more consideration than is being given. Some cubes might want this.

Dragon Turtle - This has been strong whenever I played or had it played against me. 5 toughness is a lot and the time it buys you is good. Again, pretty good card.

Grazilaxx, Illithid Scholar - As good as people expected without being overbearing. Creates some interesting scenarios and much easier to deal with in cube. If you’re into it I think you’ll be pleased.

Mind Flayer - Pretty annoying, but I do think this is still one of the best/ fairest control magics if you want one. Again, with more removal in cube should be more balanced.

True Polymorph - too expensive and not impactful enough for it’s cost. Won’t be taking this one forward now.

Deadly Dispute - Best village rites yet? The ability to sac an artifact as well as a creature, plus that it gives you a treasure is pretty good if you’re in the market for this type of effect.

Forsworn Paladin - Does an awful lot for a one drop, ramping you, making your creatures harder to block and to trade up. Actually strong.

Gelatinous Cube - This is a nice card if you’re worried about your flametongue kavu effects being too strong. Good power ratio, with the tension that it could be removed. Interesting and fair card.

Hoard Robber - Super powerful early game and pretty much a must kill/block. Fairly useful later unless you have ways to make unblockable. Might be worth considering in the right cube.

Warlock Class - This should be getting more consideration, particularly if you have any graveyard effects. The level 1 is actually pretty annoying/useful. Then you get your Ransack the Lab and the Level 3 can by scary and game winning. You can’t ask for much more than that.

Boots of Speed - Cheap and satisfying to equip up. Somehow feels better than mass haste effects.

Plundering Barbarian - Having the ability to make treasure does give this a step up and is more useful than I was expecting. And it’s always good to smash their key artifact.

Unexpected Windfall - Unexpectedly good? Didn’t realise it was an instant which helps it quite a bit. May be too slow for some formats, but for others, actually very useful.

Ranger Class - Fairly obnoxious actually. Good for high power cubes, gives you board presence, and level 2 is cheap. Then gives you a level 3 for when you run out of gas or they’ve killed all your giant creatures.

Xanathar, Guild Kingpin - Was worried this would be too strong, but actually still managed to lose with it a lot. Not sure it’s fun for the opponent though still.

Bag of Holding - probably a feature of the format being low on smoothing effects but this has shot up my pick order. I know some of us already play it but interesting to have a different spotlight on it.


Mordenkainen - Gross GRBS

Hall of the Storm Lord - I think probably the most powerful. I think we'll find that Ward 3 is still overpowered, and Ward 2 is the sweet spot.
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I'm going to get the following cards from Dungeons & Dragons: Adventures in the Forgotten Realms:

The only dice roll cards are the two super late game grinder artifacts. Almost no legendary characters. Lots of class enchantments though! My Ascension cube has no card amount restrictions and can have cards on every power level because cards are divided into different power levels and players only gain access to them when the time is right. Therefore cards are chosen depending on how fun they seem to play with and against. The Ascension cube is not yet on CubeCobra.
I've been playing a bunch of games on Arena, including a few drafts and a bunch of gold grinding in Standard 2022 (mostly goblins and GW life).

My champion:

The previous discussion underestimates this card. It gives me lots of agency, and I like the power level of its ability to make something from almost nothing. This is a dangerous card. Best card in my goblin deck. Many times I start the turn with two goblins on the board and end up attacking with four to put the opponent on their back foot. It also has a bit of an alternate mode in which you cast it and activate it on the same turn for a surprise push. This can work if you have two 1/1 goblins on the board leading into the turn. You end up attacking with two 2/1's, a 3/2, and a 1/1. Also, it's quite good in the late game (although I don't reach late game that often) since activating it 3 times gets dangerous. Thus, it's a good draw at any stage of the game. Also note that while it's a goblin lord, it doesn't really need any other goblins to function - it just needs 6 power worth of creatures, and then it can start pumping itself and its own tokens. Really, if you have a 3 power creature on the board to pair with it, you're ready to go.

Mentioned many times already, but I'll add that it's fun to make tokens at end of turn and then make a surprisingly deadly attack during your turn. The flexibility of this card really helps in a deck that needs both tokens and buffs to create the necessary critical mass, even though the tokens half is weak for the mana. Instant speed tokens are cool, though. I like an environment where a lot of things are instant speed with the exception of Doom Blades and such.

My nemesis:

Very flexible and cheap. I hate attacking into this thing when I'm the aggro player. The treasure option makes this a whole different card from Festering Goblin.

Surprisingly good:

What I love is that I get a mana ramp that can't be bolted. I guess this somewhat similar to Sakura-Tribe Elder since you get a 1/1 chump blocker in addition to the mana ramp. But Innkeeper also adds artifact, blink, and life synergy.

This card seems to fit Japahn's idea of encouraging blocking. This is going to help the aggressor want to attack, and since the opponent can't see the buff yet, it makes them more likely to block. Most times you'll end up trading creatures instead of simply losing a creature, but then you have an equipment on board as a mana sink for later. This isn't all that powerful, yet it's still a 1 mana instant speed effect that's also a mana sink and an artifact that you can sacrifice, and every once in a while it's the last 2 points of damage for the win. I like useful one mana effects.

Also, my answer to "how to include auras" is: don't, and use equipment instead, especially equipment that doubles as a combat trick or makes a token.

It's a fixed Manic Vandal that can make treasure. This is a nice Simplicity Cube style card, assuming I start including treasure stuff. I think I will. It's a pity it doesn't have better creature types.

I like You Find a Cursed Idol from a flexibility standpoint, but I wish it said "Create a Treasure Token and Scry 1" instead of using the venture mechanic. As it is, this is too clunky for my tastes. But consider this in a ramp deck. Early game, you have scry smoothing and another bolt-proof mana token. Later in the game, this is more likely to be useful removal. That's not so bad.

I don't have to tell you that Birthing Pod effects are fun. I'll just mention that this guy lets you sacrifice artifact tokens to find trinkets. You Trinket Mage enthusiasts can now add this as a way to spruce up the 1 cost artifact theme a bit. Also, this is an artifact effect that doesn't force you to add 100 artifacts to your cube. Effects like Ingenious Smith's "top four cards" ability are hard to support effectively, but Oswald can work with just a handful of artifacts in your deck. Maybe I'm too optimistic, but I can really see him working consistently in the range of 1 to 3 mana value, provided the cube is built to include incidental artifacts.

For my beginner cube, I sort of liked Syr Alin, the Lion's Claw, but the legendary junk bothered me. Well, here's my generically flavored replacement guy.

This just milled me for 23 cards. That's as close as you get to "win the game" for {1}{U}{U} I guess. And it hurts worse than losing to Ruin Crab, since you feel like you couldn't even do anything against it without a counterspell. Aaaand you didn't see it coming.


Ecstatic Orb

This just milled me for 23 cards. That's as close as you get to "win the game" for {1}{U}{U} I guess. And it hurts worse than losing to Ruin Crab, since you feel like you couldn't even do anything against it without a counterspell. Aaaand you didn't see it coming.
If you had embraced your inner Timmy, this would never have happened! :p
I feel so guilty. I opened Tasha's Hideous laughter twice in one booster of my prerelease pack. One is foil. Must ... resist ... the Blue side...


Ecstatic Orb
i think it’s aight, i just deliberately avoid card swap effects. if you don’t, it’s a pretty deece modal draw/shatter
I never thought about that, but that's actually a pretty sensible design constraint, considering that both players will have the same sleeves.

I haven't tried it because I don't think it beats out the modes offered by abrade
I thought about that one too, but I wasn't so sure about that. Obviously it depends on the top of your opponent's library, but this could be a removal spell or a threat, which Abrade is never going to be. On the flip side, You Find Some Prisoners is never ever going to be as efficient as Abrade.

I'm going to mull on blacksmithy's observation for a bit. Extending that philosophy to the rest of my cube would also mean I'ld have to axe:

You Find Some Prisoners isn't really a Shatter / Draw, it's more like a Shatter with cycling 2. The cycling part is weird, because it can range from close to actual cycling in cubes that are less about synergy to cycling with lots of fail cases in cubes where cards have more different values for different decks.

I think Abrade is stronger pretty much everywhere.

In terms of fostering more decisions, it's alright, slightly worse than cycling would be since you can't hold on to the card, so it forces you on your next play.

Synergy-wise, I see little difference between them - both are generic cards that don't particularly help any archetypes.

In terms of flavor, You Find Some Prisoners is more resonant to me, though Abrade makes a lot of sense too.

In terms of elegance, Abrade is clearly simpler.

All in all, You Find Some Prisoners seems like it would cause a lot of confusion with the card swapping for not much gain. For digital play, and for cubes that are less about synergy, it's an interesting option.
Has any one any experience in terms of mixing Classes with Sagas? I worry a bit about the confusion that these two, appearing in the same draft pool, might cause. Most of my players aren't very enfranchised if they are at all.
Has any one any experience in terms of mixing Classes with Sagas? I worry a bit about the confusion that these two, appearing in the same draft pool, might cause. Most of my players aren't very enfranchised if they are at all.
i don’t run either card type for this exact reason