Exciting set! I didn't come into this expecting another busted expansion like MID or NEO, both of which still have over 20 cards a pop in my 720 list
, but 10 additions is nothing to sneeze at. Great flavor, my personal pick for the most beautiful basic lands on average to date
(that are all evocative of the flavor and story on top of their aesthetics!), and a thrilling storyline that gives us a meaningful death.....in the form of arguably my favorite MtG character.
I will always love you.
But let's not waste time! Onto my includes for DOMINARIA UNITED:
in for Death or Glory
I mentioned it in the other thread, but Serra Paragon
would be the perfect card if it didn't have the exile clause attached. What's the potential for abuse here, really? Who's going to be looping Fulminator Mage
every turn? It just makes the card wordier, harder to grok, and presents annoying memory issues. That said, Mommy Lurrus is a delight. It's a powerful engine, but it's fair: giving you previously unseen flexibility in white reanimation (3MV instead of 2? LANDS?!) while still slow enough to not be oppressive. Beautiful card.
The only way I wanted to add another 4 MV creatures to white, one of the three most competitive slots in cube (along with white and red's 3 MV creatures for those keeping track at home) was to get rid of an under-drafted pet card, and Death or Glory
, while sweet as hell, certainly qualifies as that. Less Fact or Fiction
and more Browbeat
in the way it plays out, Death or Glory
is just not up to snuff.
in for Man-o'-War
The most obvious inclusion for most of us and the most obvious swap. It makes me not feel as much as a cube "curator" and more of a cube custodian when cards like this are printed, but I knew it was time for Man-o'-War
to go years ago and held on out of aesthetic stubbornness ahead of gameplay value, considering that having the jelly side-by-side with Barrin, Tolarian Archmage
was actually a sweet combo. It was not. Barrin's barely justifying his slot in cube, the fact that he can be a build-around card for a yet-realized self-bounce deck that is technically
supported in the right circumstances is one of the bigger factors keeping him around.
's merits are obvious, and you could get rid of any one of his abilities, even half of his "target permanent
" bounce ability, and he'd be just as solid of an upgrade here. Wow.
in for Agonizing Remorse
Need to find a better cut for this, but Agonizing Remorse
has not been hitting maindecks lately. Not much to say about Cult Conscript
other than I will take as many high-quality recursive aggro creatures as I can fit, and this is one of the easiest to recur of the current suite of black 1-drops.
The Raven Man
in for Hive of the Eye Tyrant
My favorite card of the set! The Raven Man
makes a new deck out of the "discard" deck, loves all the looting support and "pitch a card" effects I try to pack my cube with, and maintains strong value in the late game. I really wish the tokens came for each instance of discard, but even being able to get an extra token on your opponent's turn with a Currency Converter
or the like is pretty sweet. Hive of the Eye Tyrant
has the power level, but hasn't seen enough interest from my drafters. I'm legitimately thinking that the D&D book style was too overwhelming/distracting when folks are just trying to read what cards do.
in for Consuming Vapors
This one is a long time coming. Consuming Vapors
is great -- too
good in some ways when aggro is concerned -- but I'd like to bring down the average CMC of my cube based on my reading on these forums, and Vapors has been close to the chopping block for years now for how clunky it is. I do love the card, but I think it's much better suited to my reject cube
, which is much more of a midrange grindfest.
in for Rabbit Battery
I wasn't sure what to take out for the chick, so I imagine Rabbit Battery will find its way back in before long, but Phoenix Chick
is an exciting one-drop. Having an aggressive creature come back from the yard as an attack trigger for having battalion is the kind of synergy between the looting part of red and its more aggressive cohort that I've been looking for, especially in one drops. The Raging Goblin
-ness of the card is well-supported by its ability to fly and miss obvious blockers / most tokens, and in an aggro environment that is increasingly reliant on equipment, this chick carries weapons real well.
in for Mogg War Marshal
is what I want in a three-power two-drop (which is still somewhat rare for red, especially with upside!). Kargan Intimidator
was close, but having to pay mana for the effect each turn was rough, and only stopped your opponents' creatures blocking the Intimidator itself. Bloodbraid Marauder
had an incredible ceiling, but was too unimpressive on turn 2. Even without
her domain ability, Radha's Firebrand
would be a solid inclusion, but the pump, along with the corresponding scaling of her Goblin Shortcutter
effect, makes this a dangerous 2 drop for your opponent to let you keep around. Excited to play with this one.
As much as I want to support the red token strategy (and I do!), Mogg War Marshall
is not the way to do it -- the ability is obtuse to misleading at first blush, and while I think it's better than the much-hyped Resolute Reinforcements
from the new set for its ability to give you an additional body to sac, the War Marshall hasn't been as thrilling to my drafters as I'd have hoped.
Squee, Dubious Monarch
in for Stormblood Berserker
This is more of a general red section switch-up, as I had the Berserker as a card I'd wanted to cut previously. Squee's benefits have been discussed at length here, and I'm now of the opinion he's the second best Rabblemaster variant. The escape mode is especially exciting to me as someone who wants red to be a big looting/graveyard color, and the more cards that are happy to hang out in your yard that support a variety of different decks, the more I can justify going even deeper on discard/looting effects.
King Darien XLVIII
in for Katilda, Dawnhart Prime
Katilda hasn't underperformed by any means, but King Darien has much more upside and is a clear improvement to nudging Selesnya drafters in a more well-supported direction. Like I said at the leak, "Pretty good anthem effect with plenty of upsides to support the token deck in GW, while still being good for midrangey decks in a pinch. The sacrifice is gravy, I doubt it'll get used much
Shanna, Purifying Blade
didn't really replace any card directly. I was between Bant cards as the set was coming out, and Tamiyo, Field Researcher
hadn't impressed for the several years she was in cube previously, so I thought I'd try out this new version of Shanna. She's cheap for a 3-color card, and reasonably strong on first read. I don't really support lifegain as a dedicated strategy at this time, but this is one hell of an incentive to start doing so, or for an especially clever drafter to treat her as a build-around with the existing incidental lifegain. Having a card that would (reasonably) inspire such a unique drafting prioritization in my current list on the back of a single card is exactly what I'd like to use my 3-color slots for, so I'm eager to see what my drafters think here.
in for Paliano, the High City
Getting rid of Paliano hurts to do, and I wouldn't be surprised if my drafters reject this decision (there are players who will routinely first pick Paliano and base their colors entirely off of that, to pretty good result) but the memory issues make this unfriendly to anyone unfamiliar with it, and it's caused issues in even the draft stage more than a few times. Two-Headed Hellkite
is a neat card that's a fun payoff for the 5c deck, and seems like a novel build-around for a few sessions.
I very much wanted to include Jaya, Fiery Negotiator
as well, but I'm far too happy with my current suite of 3 4MV red 'walkers, and can't imagine swapping any of them out for this Jaya. The 4MV band of red and Rx gold cards is overstuffed as it is, so there's nowhere to cut for her that I was able to find. I ran Zariel, Archduke of Avernus
for a touch last summer, but I already ran into these problems of overstuffing, so I know I can't just get away with it. Could this finally spell the end of my Cube Founding Father Koth of the Hammer
? I can't imagine that, absolutely not. Do tell me how she plays for any of y'all though!