General CBS

Tron wasn’t very strong last time it was in Standard. It really depends on the rewards for playing Tron. Are there any good payoff cards? If yes, then Wizards should be careful. If not, then it probably won’t be an issue.
 
I just had a horrible realization.

It's entirely possible that we'll see a reprint of the Urza lands in the Brothers' War set coming next year.

Tron. In Standard.
I don't think WOTC would do this specifically because they want to avoid this reaction ;).

And even if they do, most of the good ramp targets require at least two pips of colored mana these days. Playing tron would either mean waiting until turn 5 to cast anything big or using bad mana filtration cards in order to cast the big spells.
:texas:

I think we're probably safe. :)
 
Tron is dangerous in so far you can build a fairly normal deck that just happens to get 4 extra mana if the game goes long. There were decks that assembled Tron by playing Tidings, it's not absurd.

That said, Tron decks are not inherently broken. Expedition Map and very strong payoffs are the reason of its dominance. I played Tooth and Nail decks for years and sure, it was very strong (it "went off" on turn 4) but I don't think a lesser version would be oppressive.
 
To be honest, it's not that I think it's going to be broken or anything. I'm just imagining the reflexive screaming that'd start from Standard players as soon as they're spoiled.

EDIT: Honestly, the biggest thing about them being in Standard is that they'd also be in Historic/Pioneer, meaning that every constructed format would have the potential for a Tron deck.
 
Anyone here done a battle box? How'd you like it? I scraped one together out of ~100 random cards one day and hated it. Felt too variable and unfocused for me, but it could have been misbuilt? I basically just curved it and made it even on colors.
 
Anyone here done a battle box? How'd you like it? I scraped one together out of ~100 random cards one day and hated it. Felt too variable and unfocused for me, but it could have been misbuilt? I basically just curved it and made it even on colors.
Yes. I have one, and it's awesome :)

https://cubecobra.com/cube/list/sbb

I haven't updated it in a while, but the driving concept is sequencing tension. Roughly the following guidelines are in place:
  • 1 mv drops need to be relevant in the late game.
  • 2+ mv drops need at least two colored mana to be played optimally.
  • there are multiple 3+ mv drops that need three mana of a single color to be played optimally.
  • there are multiple cards that improve if you control a basic land of a certain type.
  • no colorless cards (those provide no tension at all).
  • nothing messes with lands (I even edited Grixis Charm to only bounce nonland permanents).
  • nothing generates mana (other than the 10 lands you start with).
Basically, I made things color-intensive along multiple axes (both mono- and multicolored), and I made sure to include cards that incentivize prioritizing your basic lands instead of your tapped duals, either by requiring multiple colors early on (e.g. Tidehollow Strix), or by outright demanding a certain basic land type (e.g. Loam Lion). The result is that optimally sequencing your lands becomes a real puzzle. The reason I focused on this aspect is because the mana base is what sets Battle Box apart from other formats. Watching other people play my battle box is a riot as well (because of the pained look on their faces when they try to figure out what land to lead with :D).
 
Last edited:
What makes someone win? It's a 50-50 matchup with minimal hidden information (4 card hands). Sure, you can sequence your lands "better" but that doesn't help when someone draws UUU and 1BBB or something.

I'd say a normal cube match is based off drafting a deck with a plan, executing the plan, assessing who's the beatdown, etc. The box decks have no plan, the topdecks might go against the current plan, and the beatdown can change at any moment.

I don't get what's good about it other than only needing a small box of cards to pull it off, which is why I'm even asking lol.
 
What makes someone win? It's a 50-50 matchup with minimal hidden information (4 card hands). Sure, you can sequence your lands "better" but that doesn't help when someone draws UUU and 1BBB or something.

I'd say a normal cube match is based off drafting a deck with a plan, executing the plan, assessing who's the beatdown, etc. The box decks have no plan, the topdecks might go against the current plan, and the beatdown can change at any moment.

I don't get what's good about it other than only needing a small box of cards to pull it off, which is why I'm even asking lol.
People win by tight play, optimizing the cards they draw. It's true that Battle Box does not give the player much agency over their deck, since there is no deck construction involved, however, there are a few things that I like very much about the format:
  • It is compact and portable, making it an ideal 'Magic game in a box' to bring with you.
  • It rewards tight play, giving good players an edge.
  • It lets you play with fun cards that don't really have a home anywhere else, even in Cube or Commander.
 
What’s a tight play?

Can you give maybe two examples? It sounds very interesting and maybe it’s something I should think more about in my cube.
 
What’s a tight play?

Can you give maybe two examples? It sounds very interesting and maybe it’s something I should think more about in my cube.
I think good examples are give in this article, though the term is older. Basically tight play is when your technical game is on point, i.e. you don't make suboptimal plays. For example, saving your counterspell for the real threat, instead of the first feasible target that presents itself, or keeping that Lightning Bolt in hand instead of aiming it at a creature, because your only out to winning the game is dealing enough damage to the face, and pointing it at a creature would just have you die to the next one your opponent draws. I think this Reddit article is interesting as well, and this one by Mike Flores.

Edit: Expanding on the idea in the context of cube, I would say a lot of tight play involves interaction, or rather the opportunity for interaction, and knowing when to seize that opportunity, and when to bide your time. A cube that is rich in interaction and low on uninteractive elements (like True-Name Nemesis, Creeping Tar Pit, Invisible Stalker, Sword of Fire and Ice, or storm) naturally lends itself better to "tight play", I think. Also, a flat power band vastly increases the opportunity for tight play, because there is no bomb to just run away with the game, and players have to get the most out of roughly equal decks.
 
Last edited:

Chris Taylor

Contributor
Though fair warning, have some advil on hand while you play :p
You know how magic is a hugely decision rich game, but you ease into it since there's not a ton you can do on turn 1, so the tree grows as the game goes longer?
Yeah the DMC doesn't have that "problem"
 
Anyone who uses Cockatrice, can you tell it to show you specific basic lands? Right now it's showing the black and white promo MID basics, and they are such a pain to keep track of, especially when small on a computer screen.
 

Chris Taylor

Contributor
Anyone who uses Cockatrice, can you tell it to show you specific basic lands? Right now it's showing the black and white promo MID basics, and they are such a pain to keep track of, especially when small on a computer screen.
Card Database > Open Custom Image Folder

Put an image of your desired basic lands there, named plains/island/swamp etc.
Protip: they don't need to be real ones:
Plains.pngIsland.pngSwamp.pngMountain.pngForest.png
 
I'm a big fan of combat tricks! I think that everyone should get to play at instant speed, even creature-based decks, as it opens up a lot of gameplay space that's otherwise a little deterministic. Here are the other ones that I run/have run/would love to make space for; they're not quite as symmetrical as yours, though.

Running:
More or Less
Dive Down
Centaur Garden

Have run:
Triton Tactics
Invigorated Rampage
Fight As One

Would love to run/has a lot of potential:
Blessed Defiance
 
That's a nice list! I can see a bunch of archetype support in there, and all of those cards present interesting choices to the player.



Do I cycle this to give deathtouch to one of my creatures? Or simply hard cast it for {6}{B}{B} for an 8/8? :p
 
Top