Cultic Cube video series

Discussion in 'Cube Talk' started by Greater Gnoll, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. I am beginning a YouTube video series that focuses on legacy cube theory and strategy. I posted my third video the other day, which was inspired by a viewer question about whether Tinker or Goblin Welder makes the better first pick. The answer, of course, is Tinker. But I worked up a short presentation on the issue, comparing the cards' relative advantages and touching on the pay-offs that one looks for when drafting either of these cards. I hope that the comparison is useful to those who are less familiar with these cards.

    Do let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, if you have ideas for similar content, I'd love to hear them!

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  2. As part of my Cultic Cube series, I made a video version of my latest cube update so that I could provide brief commentary on the cuts and additions. If you have any feedback on the cube changes or any suggestions concerning their presentation, please do let me know!

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  3. I put the spotlight on Bramble Sovereign, arguing that you should give it a try. In the video, I look at sweet use cases while trying to give a fair assessment of the card's advantages and limitations. I also consider why the card does not see more play than it does.

  4. You should ask Jason about putting this on the front page.
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  5. Time to test Bramble Sovereign, I guess! :)

  6. Nice series! I appreciate the thoughtful brevity. Is there a link to your list?

    I'm curious to hear about:

    Can you rank this among some common fatties in terms of oppressiveness? I sorely want to replace Artisan of Kozilek with a large artifact creature, but I feel it's just slightly too much for my cube. The Idol's ability to play well alongside the same deck that like Chord of Calling keeps me interested. I'm mostly concerned with repeatable abuse with Sneak Attack and Welder strategies than I am with ones shots like Reanimator, Show and Tell, and Tinker. You obviously support a higher powered cube than I do, with the likes of Recurring Nightmare and Sundering Titan, but I'm interested to hear your experience. I'm curious to hear how you compare it to something like Myr Battlesphere and Woodfall Primus.
    Greater Gnoll likes this.
  7. Of course I should provide a link to my cube! I've included it in my sig now, so hopefully it will be more available moving forward. I have operated at different power levels at different moments in time, ranging from more Riptide-friendly to legacy. I'm currently running at high powered legacy.

    I like the big robot a lot. I think he is, on balance, pretty similar in power level to Myr Battlesphere. Idol has more raw power, but the battleball is more abusable. The more fair your environment, the better battleball is, as you likely have access to more ways to get additional value out of him by blinking it, for instance, or by messing around with welding him in and out. The less fair your environment, the better Idol is, as he is, for instance, a better Sneak Attack target.

    Idol has an interesting tension as well in that he can go in a control deck as a big finisher, and the opponent's attack can help you to flash him in at reduced cost. (Of course, your attack can do the same, but I'm imagining that your control deck isn't much interested in attacking.) But he only blocks one creature, obviously; so on the one hand, the wider your opponent goes, the better that is for you in terms of Idol cost reduction, but also the worse it is for you in the sense that more damage is presumably getting through to you that way. I have certainly cast the card in a control deck, but the card is happiest being cheated.

    I'm just now glancing at your list, and I would hazard that Idol isn't a good fit in your environment. A card that might be worth checking out is Meteor Golem. He's a Spine of Ish Sah on a stick. I ran him for a while at modern power level, and I wouldn't say that card was an all-star, but he consistently performed better than people typically expected.

    Thanks very much for the kind words about the video series!
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  8. Jason Waddell Administrator

    Hey Gnoll, you want me to front page this? :)
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  9. Absolutely! I attempted to send you a PM the other day, but I probably did it wrong. I think I started a "conversation" with you. At any rate, if it is of use, I can also provide the transcript of the video.
  10. A cube-focused survey of the good and the ugly of the Ixalan block double-faced cards. (Let's give the bad a miss, shall we?) I promote the idea of jettisoning the rules of Magic in order to run some of the cards pre-flipped as high quality utility lands, ignoring the front sides entirely.

  11. This here alone is worth the like. It's not for my cube (I cut all utility lands on purpose, plus power level), but it's very much an idea that should be put out there for the general public to contemplate. Great work!
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  12. I like Arch of Orazca better than a pre-flipped Conqueror's Foothold, as I think the design is just cleaner, but I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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  13. Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm all for fiddling with with the game to whatever extent feels proper and comfortable in order to sculpt one's ideal environment.

    Thank you! Yes, I'm with you -- I contemplated explicitly comparing Foothold to Arch of Orazca as well as Staff of Nin and Coercive Portal, but I decided to leave it for the sake of brevity and to retain my focus on the DFC themselves. Arch does have a cleaner design and it has the virtue of giving you the effect that you want without mucking around with Magic convention. But the loot mode on Foothold is just amazing. That first mode is where most of the card's value lies for me. The second mode is very good, but 5 mana draw 1 isn't something you're realistically going to do all that often. And the last mode is pure gravy -- it's nice to have, but mainly window decoration.
  14. Jason Waddell Administrator

    Thanks, I'll take care of it this weekend!
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  15. Which titans are hot and which are not for cube? We rank them by power level, we discuss which are appropriate to what sort of cube, and we suggest both higher and lower power alternatives to the titans for your specific environment. This conversation also helps the cube drafter to identify which six drops are windmill slams and which are traps.

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  16. I think Primeval Titan is uniquely positioned, in that he can work in almost any environment, regardless of power level. Sure, he's powerful, but green does 6/6 tramples at common, so you're only getting the (admittedly very, very good) ramp ability for it's shift to mythic. It also fits right into green's core identity: ramp and big monsters. The difference in power level dictates what you can fetch out of your deck. In my cube, where I run no utility lands, it purely acts as mana fixing / ramp. In a modern power level cube it may be able to fetch things like Gavony Township (and literally go to town with the pump ability). In a vintage cube it can fetch the "broken" lands like Maze of Ith or Library of Alexandria. It really is a great card!
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  17. Kirblinx Developer

    I think your videos are great Gnoll, they have decent visuals, editing and your voicework is smooth (one could say 'buttery-smooth'). Although in saying that I have only watched the Bramble Sovereign and Titans videos so far. I endeavour to watch the rest when I am piqued by the topics they cover.

    I don't really have any comments on topics that the videos cover, as I think they do a good job of covering everything they need to and transfer your thoughts to me, which shows a great sense of delivery and story telling. I am mainly just curious about the background of the series.

    Like here are some question I have, and you don't need to answer any of them, I just love this sort of thing and love to know the hard work that goes into each of them:
    • How long does the process take to make one of these ~10 minute videos?
    • Do you write a script? How many words is it roughly when you are done?
    • How proficient are you at editing, and how much practice did you have before you started making these?
    • Where do your ideas come from?
    • Have you scrapped any ideas/videos so far?
    • Did your audio improve between the two videos that I watched or was that just my imagination?
    Love the work, may you keep making it and that you interact with us here about it.
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  18. Lol, love the town pun. :) I entirely agree that Prime Time is an actively good card, and one whose brokenness varies in direct proportion to his deck's number and quality of broken lands. For me, he is the "fairest" titan, inasmuch as on his own, he is powerful but isn't doing anything too remarkable; neither ramping nor fixing are typically abilities that I prioritize at the six CMC slot. But as you say, he can find lands that do really silly things. So Prime Time, alone among his brethren, is a card that I think is potentially perfectly well positioned to go in both very high power and very low power environments.

    Thank you for the kind words! I'm happy to share something of my process, which is largely a process of flailing wildly around, lol. I have no experience with video editing. At the moment, my method is that I more or less concurrently develop a script and a PowerPoint presentation (FANCY!). The high-tech graphics come courtesy of Scryfall. I record myself reading the script, and then I edit out the pauses, throat clearing, etc. in Reaper, and then run the audio through a de-noise routine. Then I record the PowerPoint presentation as I play back the audio. I do the final video mastering in Shotcut.

    My script for the M11 Titans video is 1904 words long. Using a script seems beneficial not only as I know exactly what I want to say, but I can also upload the script, and YouTube will automatically sync the text with the audio to create subtitles. The whole process of producing the last video probably took me about twenty hours, I'd say.

    Most of my topics have been inspired by questions that have been asked of me. I am brand new to this content creation game, so I don't really know what I'm doing or what people are interested in watching. I have tried content geared more toward cube drafters and toward cube curators. I think I am a little more interested in the latter, as while the group of curators is much smaller, there is also less content available for us. I haven't scrapped a video yet, no. Once I am however many hours deep into a project, I'm finishing it, damn it! :)

    I have improved audio quality since the Bramble Sovereign video. I'm pleased that you noticed! If you want to see something really rough, check out my first video, which is the Drafting Primer on Mono-Red. That was just me talking into my laptop's built-in mic. Since then I got a USB mic, which represented a huge upgrade in sound quality. And then I also go to know Reaper a little better to improve the quality still more. I learn a little something with each effort!
  19. I'd like to see the Regal Behemoth video... It seems like an interesting topic!
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  20. This guy is my favorite colorless Titan.

  21. I am just starting in earnest to develop a video about the Monarch mechanic! I'll be sure to talk about the dino.

    That guy is sweet! I ran him for a while at Modern power level. A couple of times I got to live the dream of putting him in a deck with Welder and going ham.
  22. I prefer Cuddling Doom Engine...
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  23. I'm quite interested in seeing this. The Monarch mechanic is a good way to encourage interaction and aggressiveness in multiplayer formats where players tend to turtle up and build up their bases before going off, but I haven't had good experiences with it in a 1 on 1 scenario. It's been incredibly snowball-y and gets out of hand so quickly.
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  24. I cubed Regal Behemoth for several months. I thought of it as a fair Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger. It was a pretty good power level for me, but I ended up cutting it for the mechanic's inelegance for 1v1 play (similar to will of the council)
  25. In what respects do you find the mechanic to be inelegant? I'm not trying to give you a hard time at all; I'm genuinely curious. I recognize that the mechanic is a divisive one for 1v1, and I plan to begin by outlining reasons that one might like or dislike it. I totally understand shamizy's concern above about how the effect snowballs.

    I'd love feedback on my prospective list of pros and cons of the mechanic. Do you all have any suggestions, additions, or corrections?

    Potential Pros
    Creates an interesting sub-game
    Incentivizes attacking
    Helps break board stalls, especially in midrange grinds
    Accelerates the pace of games
    Gives non-blue access to card draw

    Potential Cons
    Gives non-blue access to card draw
    Snowball effect can be a feel bad
    Very few good monarch cards exist (introduces complexity for the sake of running relatively few cards)
    Good when ahead and bad when behind (which is why the two best ones come attached to removal, which can help catch you up from behind)

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