I think people just like the idea of jumping through hoops for power.
I think there are many reasons why Champion of the Parish isn't as popular as its reputation around here would suggest.
Primarily I think it has do with the fact that Champion of the Parish demands that Cube designers actively curate their White sections to include enough Humans to make sure it can consistently grow. An increasing number of premium one and two drops are non-human. There are lots of Spirits, Cats, Dogs, Kor, Dwarves, Vampires, and even Foxes that people want to be including in their lists that all diminish the power level of a Champion of the Parish. Sure, plenty of humans that are perfect for Cube inclusion, but not every designer is going to want to employ random humans even if they are playable in their environment when there are cooler non-human creatures out there that they could be using. The inclusion of Champion of the Parish now places a premium on the inclusion of Humans in slots that might otherwise go to something else. Likewise, some powerful new cards are explicitly made non-human by WOTC to prevent breaking the Humans deck in constructed formats.
In addition, Champion of the Parish really wants to be included in multiples. The card asks players to build their deck with it in mind, and might not be included in a deck where playing a high density of non-humans would yield a more powerful final product than going all in on the single Champion of the Parish. Therefore, including two or three champions in a Cube is usually a good idea when trying to support its needs. A lot of designers are still hesitant to go in on non-singleton spells. While the winds are changing on this front, there's still a significant number of people who might not see the juice as being worth the squeeze of abandoning the singleton restriction.
Finally, an increasing number of designers simply aren't building base-white archetypes into their Cubes anymore. Over the past couple of years, more and more designers have started building all-midrange environments or shifting their aggro decks from "mono-color with splash" archetypes to "domain zoo" decks. Champion of the Parish simply doesn't have a home in a deck that's playing Kird apes and Loam Lions into Territorial Kavus, Tarmogofys, or god forbid Scion of Dragos by virtue of the lack of humans this deck employs.
Simply put, while Champion of the Parish may offer unique play patterns, several meta-level design reasons bar it from inclusion in an increasing number of environments.
I think you missed the overarching point.These are good points, I agree with most of them in general for many cards, but I think there's something getting lost in translation here. I just think there is so little opportunity cost to make Champion of the Parish work as a card in your typical cube deck that it's strange that it isn't utilized more often. You can bring up all of those non-humans, but I could probably wrestle up an equally long list of incidentally strong humans that have been printed in a similar span of time. I don't think there's a whole lot of legwork necessary to make it an effective inclusion; human "tribal" just tends to exist with how ubiquitous the creature type is in this game. There usually isn't an explicit need to add good humans to a final 360; it mostly just kind of happens at various power levels. If I were to pull up an average aggregate of 360 cubes along a mid-high power band, I'm quite certain that the human subtype will be very highly represented.
From years of experience with the card in my favorite draft archetype, I don't think it's a card that needs to have a deck explicitly built with it in mind explicitly to be effective. It's better if you have multiples for sure, and it'll be much more effective with a clear humans archetype, but I think it takes so little for it to be "above rate" as a singleton beater even without concentrated support. It's not all that rigid like a Goblin or Merfolk lord that are otherwise useless and wholly parasitic, where you need to really bend your design to make it passable. For the Champion don't really have to go out of your way to make it grow into a 2/2 (at which point it is passable for a 1 CMC aggro creature); you could just play another one drop human (which most cubes have an abundance of) or curve into an aggressive 2 drop (which are also mostly humans).
Like if I pull up your list from your cube blog and generate a slot for a Champ and then make these following swaps:
Now you have the density for a clear RW Humans deck without compromising much elsewhere. Unless I'm missing something in terms of synergies or other archetypes, I don't see much being broken elsewhere by these kind of swaps.
So while I agree with many of your points, and Champion is not some sacred cow for every single environment, I do think it is still woefully underused relative to what you'd expect based off an average cube's composition. And I think it's mostly due to many people not going back to re-evaluate it 11 years after release if I'm being perfectly honest.
It's a little telling though when "rebuttal to points in favor of excluding it" includes making 5 swaps alongside it for inclusion (slots that would effectively become locked into being some type of human in order to not lose that density later). My personal opinion is that there's a lot more interesting things RW and other colors can be doing, especially if you are only including 1 Champ.
LPR is a truly great show.I like the idea! It's just a bit too balanced, I hate to say it.
On lucky paper radio they were talking about the cycle of rares that convert the FIRST colored symbol in your PERMANENT spells into phyrexian mana, and how they'd be a lot more powerful, but way cleaner if they just converted them all.
Like I get why enlist only works on creatures that could attack on their own, balance wise. But it's so much this way.
Good luck settling into your new home!Got my first draft in since Dominaria's release, and my final cube draft with my current playgroup, as I'm moving halfway across the world next month.
...unfortunately, none of the cards made it in time, as they'll be arriving by post today.
My Jund tokens deck would've been sick with a Raven Man, though.
It's the only MtG podcast I've found that feels like it has any game design chops whatsoever. Every other cube podcast I've ever listened to I've dropped after a couple episodes because all they talk about are power level considerations. LPR really cares about crafting an interesting environment.LPR is a truly great show.
The only other one I've found is "The Resleevables" -- patrick sullivan and cedric phillips reminiscing about old magic sets. You've gotta sign up for the talk-show vibes and sports tangents, as well as a focus on evaluating cards for competitive formats, but Sullivan does talk about every mechanic from a game design lens, as well as many individual cards. It's really good stuff. Unfortunately, they're on hiatus, but there's a healthy backlog to listen to.It's the only MtG podcast I've found that feels like it has any game design chops whatsoever. Every other cube podcast I've ever listened to I've dropped after a couple episodes because all they talk about are power level considerations. LPR really cares about crafting an interesting environment.
Hey all, the Lucky Paper Community Set Review is live! Thanks for everybody who submitted surveys, this one broke records!
this reminds me i need to make a Raven Man that makes tokens i already haveThanks as always for maintaining these. Would kill to be able to break out cubes tagged with rarity restrictions or that are EDH-focused for the analysis, but I can 1) technically do that myself if I just want to play around in CubeCobra, and 2) I know how much work that would be!
Especially on the heels of the retrospective y'all posted today, I can very much see which cards are going to be over/under-valued, even with just a little bit of play on them.
Evolved Sleeper - Black aggro never seems to have terribly good staying power in the typical cubes on CubeCobra, I don't think this'll be the exception.
Serra Paragon - Just because I adore her doesn't mean she'll stick around for others; white's 4-drops are too competitive, and like you said in your more recent article, this is the kind of card that gets a new shiny version nearly every expansion these days
Haughty Djinn - I just don't think this has the staying power in blue's always-competitive slice of cube. The extra pip needs to represent significant power, and I don't think it does here, archetype support be damned.
Leyline Binding - Again, going back to your thesis from today's article, I think people are strongly influenced by constructed formats in their cube curation. This isn't strictly a bad thing -- part of the fun of Cube is playing with the "best of" from your other Magic experiences -- but I'll be shocked if it's not one of the strongest DMU holdouts in a year's time.
Sheoldred, the Apocalypse - Ditto here, you don't need draw 7s to realize the power represented here. Unreal.
The Raven Man - It's my personal goal and ambition to change the Cube community's perspective on this card. I will make it happen, even if I have to do it alone. Raven Man is sick as hell y'all, and Cube is the perfect format for a novel card like this.