Site News Design Contest Voting and Debate

Vote for your favorite contest submission

  • Green Sun's Zenith and Knight of the Reliquary

    Votes: 9 47.4%
  • Accumulated Knowledge and Kindle

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Splinter Twin

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Young Pyromancer

    Votes: 4 21.1%
  • Scuttlemutt

    Votes: 2 10.5%
  • Phyrexian Metamorph

    Votes: 1 5.3%
  • Tinker

    Votes: 1 5.3%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .

Jason Waddell

Staff member
Well, everything is out of order. Trying to manually adjust timestamps, bear with me. I may take everything down for ~20 minutes.

Jason Waddell

Staff member
Well, Wordpress is a little borked, but everything is up now. The front page is not in the correct order and I don't know why, but there it is.
I really liked the multiple tinker suggestion. Looking over my own cube, I wouldn't have to change too much to test it.
There's some interesting suggestions here. For my vote, I want something powerful enough to hang with other stuff in cube, interesting enough to be it's own thing (build-around), and different enough from what is already happening already in cube or within that color.

I like Pyromancer because it seems powerful and red/x tokens would be different, but I worry that it would just be a red aggro 2-drop most of the time. In other words, I don't know if there's enough incentive to draft a Pyromancer focused deck. With more token support in red though, I could see this, but I also have a hard time seeing the spells matter deck.

I also liked Metamorph, it seems powerful, but doesn't really seem like something I want to build around. Maybe if it was part of a blink package with Crystal Shard and Momentary Blink? It also combos with Reveillark + sac outlet.


I found the argument and implications for Green's Sun Zenith very persuasive. The card is just extremely interesting. It gives life to fun cards that can be difficult to play otherwise. It lends flexibility rather then raw power. It creates interesting choices in play and in the draft. It adds layers of incentives to draft choices that otherwise don't exist. Overall, I found this to be the best case made. I found the argument regarding Knight of the Reliquary much less compelling. The utility land draft made Primeval Titan unplayable for me: it just got too strong. The Knight is a slower grind, but I really don't think I'd want more then one of this effect in cube.

Accumulated Knowledge and Kindle doesn't seem like a good idea and the author really added no value to the suggestion, so I can just pass on this one.

Splinter Twin is an interesting card, but the instawin combos it creates are just banal. In order for me to run this card, I'd have to take other cards out of my cube and at that point is it even worth including?

Young Pyromancer is a decent idea. On the one hand, I have found Purphorus to be a pretty miserable card to play against, but on the other hand I really want a strong, uniquely red/blue archtype to emerge in my cube. Red/blue does generic control well, but doubling up Young Pyromancer/Delver might help to push it into a more unique direction. I'd like to see this expanded upon,

Scuttlemutt is a cute idea, but I really don't like either the other enabler or support cards for color changing. This might be a great idea in the future, but I don't think its there yet.

I'm not convinced running one Phyrexian metamorph is a good idea and the author did nothing to convince me that there is any value in running 2. Its just a powerful, non-committal card like Coalition Relic that adds nothing to the draft process.

Tinker is a fun choice. I ran it for a while, but it carries some weight to it. Merely having tinker in your cube requires you to look at every single artifact in your cube and ask yourself "is this ok if it costs 3 sometimes?" There are either a lot of cards you can't run if you run tinker or a lot of other cards you HAVE to run. Tinker is fun, but compared to Green Sun's Zenith its a lot more work to include.

Jason Waddell

Staff member
To be honest I don't know that there's a clear front runner here. I know which one I was most excited about when I first read the submission, but I don't know how it would come together in a draft process. I feel a little bad because I have already written about the lowest hanging "breaking singleton" fruit, and in the absence of something highly thematic (e.g. I break singleton all over town in the Eldrazi Domain cube), it's hard for me to think of more cards to do it with in a regular cube environment.

Jason Waddell

Staff member
I would actually like to see that article. Write it up Eric? I'm still not sold, but nobody has really tried to sell me on it.
The reason I hesitate to vote for GSZ is that I don't think it does enough different from what green already does, and I don't feel like it would push my to build around it. It's plenty powerful already. Green midrange decks are already decent, and GSZ doesn't make me want to draft them differently. It doesn't have the build-around layers of Birthing Pod, which has synergy with persist/token makers, and requires building to the curve.

Eric Chan

Hyalopterous Lemure
Staff member
have the authors at least been voting for their own entries

cause two more people need to get in there and vote
Wow, there's quite a bit of difference between what people considered an entry should be. How strongly do we feel about the anonymity clause, because I'd like to straighten out a slight misunderstanding.
Having looked through the articles I'm definitely more of an appreciator of supporting archetypes from a variety of angles rather than brute forcing through a single card. Packages like 4x Young Pyromancer could, in my opinion, be better served as 1x each of young pyromancer, kiln fiend, guttersnipe and (wee dragonauts/fluxcharger/nivix cyclops) [if spells-matter is what's being supported, for example]; this variety, slightly janky but fun and effective nature of cube (that rewards deckbuilding) is what I love. On a similar note - splinter twin, accumulated knowledge, tinker and metamorph fall into a similar grouping of taking up space without adding a lot in terms of game experience.

The scuttlemutt notion I can appreciate (but probably wont / wouldnt implement :p) because it's available to all colors, supports multiple archetypes and introduces a new mechanic that almost no cubes currently leverage much: card colors and manipulating this. It both fits pretty well into currently existing cubes because there are a TONNE of signet / myr / mana dorcs it could replace along with cards like red / blue elemental blast that it already interacts while also allowing and almost requiring lotsa tweaking and design. I vote for this. (although i'm continue reading the GSZ article because it's probably the best article of all content-wise and see if it can change my mind).
Right, about the Young Pyromancer one: The second paragraph was intended more as an aside. I can certainly understand the confusion, considering it's almost half of the entire thing. Really, it was more like 'hey, it also works with this, if that's your fancy!'. When reading the others, concrete stuff seems to be the norm, so I figured I'd errata it.

Basically, it's an effort to spice red up, and make it a more attractive splash, as well as a more interesting splash than simply including some burn. The fundamental package (of unusual or fringe cards) would simply be a number of Pyromancers, Purphoros, and Goblin Bombardment. Siege-Gang Commander and Gargadon, if you don't already use them. Imperial Recruiter if you are rich.

I hadn't considered the negative synergy with Pyroclasm if you run it, and I love the suggestions of Mortars and Sudden Demise.

Basically, it's a pity it became so much about the spells matter subtheme, because it certainly wasn't meant to :) The primary attraction was Pyromancer and spicing up red.

Edit: Also, it was embarassingly short compared to the others. Don't judge me.
Edit2: Wow, that winking smiley is downright creepy.

James Stevenson

Steamflogger Boss
Staff member
Righto, I like three of these ideas: Green Sun's Zenith, Scuttlemutt and Tinker.

I have a problem with green right now. I am a bad player and I don't really how to midrange, I tend to draft handcore control (like the 4-creature deck I drafted in Antwerp) or hardcore aggro. Supporting decks made out of value cards has been hard for me because I haven't played this kind of thing enough. It feels too much like the result of a bad draft pool in any random draft format (not cube). Having pretty much never played constructed doesn't help. This article, on the other hand, does help. I am genuinely excited to take a look at making my GSZ targets awesome and going and finding a second copy of the card. This is the only submition that is actually going to change my cube, so I think I will vote for it.

That said I don't care abou Knight of the Reliquary. I don't have a utility land draft, so now is probably not the time to include the first KotR, though I am tempted.

Scuttlemutt sounds amazing. You know how nice it is to say the word "cello"? Building a cube with multiple scuttlemutts would mean I would get to say "scuttlemutt" a lot, and that would be really pleasing. Also the card could be amazing, in the right environment, and that environment sounds really cool. I don't know what it is yet and I don't really think the cards are there yet. Who knows what the next few magic sets will bring? Or what Lucre and the other Print-This-Wizards kids will design?

I've been told Tinker is the most fun you can have in magic. I don't run it because there just aren't many artifacts in my cube. But having read the article I'm going to start thinking about changing this and maybe running the first tinker.

As for the ideas I didn't like: Accumulated Knowledge and Kindle are both bad the first time and not even that exciting the second time. Including multiples of these cards will not make them work in draft, though maybe getting 4 copies when you draft 1 would work.
Young Pyromancer: Good card, good archetype, but there's the problem. For me the "spells matters" deck is already good and does not need any help. I think I just traded for a Young Pyromancer; I'm excited to add the first one but I won't consider adding another.
Splinter Twin: No way I do not want these combos happening in my cube.
Phyexian Metamorph: I run one and it's good. It's very cool with pod. But it doesn't do anything specific that I need doing in my cube. I think the idea of having two is really boring, to be honest. I only want to break singleton to push strategies, I don't want to do it for generic good cards. There are plenty of those, and I want variety when I can have it.
So I thought that CM- er... the GSZ author had the best article, but not the best suggestion(s).

I think the best suggestions are metamorph, GSZ, scuttlemutt and tinker. All of them clearly require some designing the cube around, but, you know, that's fine. I do disagree on power level ground with some of the discussion, especially with tinker, which seems sweet if you can build a cube that value artifacts rather than using them as haymakers and finishers 5 turns early. My personal feeling is that metamorph means you can do ugly stuff in colours that shouldn't be able to, but I respect the opinion of the author that, you know, that's the point; and with that as your cube premise, seems like it would fit in nicely in multiples (possibly even in the same cube as multi-tinker). I'm not sold on multi-GSZ; I know you can construct an environment that supports it, and it seems like it could be interesting, but the sort of environment where you draft whatever green you feel like, and then jam in every GSZ you see so you can't have a bad draw doesn't seem like my thing (as I have a low tolerance for power). I could see going to a one-of to enable the odd interesting deck (which I realise that multiples is the point of), but the incentive is in the green creatures, it just so happens that GSZ short circuits the deck building to some extent, which seems awkward to me. Your mileage certainly will vary with that one.

So I voted scuttlemutt, as I'm sure it's something people won't have considered, and really does seem to add an interesting dynamic if you have multiples, although again you need to design your cube around it a bit. Even then though, it's a 2/2, its fixing, its ramp (assuming your cube is slow enough to ramp with a 3 drop), and everyone can use it. With a bit of playing around, it might be interesting to include like 4 of them, and play a bit more with protection from $single_color as then there are opportunities to work around that in a mono deck. Its certainly the one I can see getting the most mileage out of personally.