Erik's "The cool side of Magic" cube

've really soured on Crucible. Being colourless gives it this allure of being playable anywhere but in practice even decks that should want it rarely do.
The colorless on Crucible doesn't do much for me either because I've yet to see a non-Green deck use it super well.

So I've been combing through drafts of my cube and Erik's to find decks that use Crucible to prove you wrong and to my dismay, I've learned something. Turns out, you are both right. Not very many decks use it and those that do, are 95% (made up number) Green.

I was under the (wrong) impression that self-mill decks would be using it as a value engine, but that's apparently too narrow. The self-contained engine of LftL is much better for those decks.

I am still considering the Crucible for my MP cube because it is less vulnerable than the Excavator and it has the explosive potential with Fastbond. But thanks for the reality check!
 
Crucible has proven itself in my cube. The main reason you don't see it much is that it archetypes its best in, like Wildfire, are so well-tested that I don't have to draft them anymore. More over, the decks I test the most tend to be ones that don't want either card so they are underrepresented. Still, you can find some if you look for Wildfire, Stax or Pox. Many decks I label as "artifacts" are actually Wildfire ramp decks. Either way, I run a lot of cards that make Crucible good:



The most common colours for Wildfire and friends in my cube are Boros and Rakdos. The trick is to get either the namesaske card or Worn Powerstone first. Green shows up, but this deck doesn't tend to be very creature-based so it's rarer than you might think. The analysis page gives me as many decks with Crucible as decks with Snapcaster Mage, so it's not exactly unplayed.

Out of the three, Life of the Loam is the most useful card because it can be played from the graveyard and mills you for 3. The second most useful is Crucible because it's colorless. The third is Ramunap Excavator, which is harder to build around because, unlike the previous two, it can be easily killed. I was just wondering if I could get by with just two copies of the effect so I could cram more 3-mana creatures.

Self-Mill decks won't play these cards. The exception are some UG control decks running Uro, those often want Life from the Loam. I would say the majority of self-mill decks in my cube are aggressive so there's not much room for the effect. To me it's a controllish synergy card. The only exception is Oath, but that's a extreme example.

Still, I do plan to revisit the Wildfire/Pox/Stax/Wrongfun archetype, which should boost crucible. Here's the thing, my cube has about 380 cards. Any small change has a large impact because you'll see the card almost every time.
 
I couldn't sleep yesterday so I kept thinking. Perhaps I should support Superramp and Monster decks. They are very natural archetypes and it might not take many slots to do so.

I also saw people use Lotus Bloom into Tooth and Nail and now I wonder if it's a way to sneak in storm cards. Oh no :(
 
A couple friends cornered me after playing at the club and asked me when we were going to play with my cube again. On one hand, I can just take it with the improvements I've made so far and it will work perfectly. On the other, I want to keep working on it! I just saw how you can boost Dreadhorde's Arcanist power with Ignoble Hierarch and I want more stuff like that.

Before making any large changes, I think I should make some small changes to some minor cards to improve tribal synergies including artifacts and the like. I think it may prove benefitial for the cube, though I like the replacements less than the original cards:

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Just running a couple more humans in red should allow for more synergies with Xanthrid Necromancer, for example. I'm also 100% sure I need one more green spell to make it a better third option for spells decks. The idea is not to drive the theme into green but simply allow splashes into it, like one already does with black. Hence:



Some cool stuff I'm daydreaming about.

 
Some small changes to improve card types or simply make everything more well-rounded:

Add:


The Golem is a beefy 4-drop that fits well in a wide range of decks. I hope it boosts artifact, taxing and ramp decks.

Containment Construct is very much worth testing. It's a powerful ability and I wonder if it does something in my cube before I start supporting it. I imagine there's a possible build of the cube where I can run these cards and have them support a lot of exciting archetypes:



However, I might instead cut the Construct and run one more card in all colours. This would allow me to stick to 390 cards which I think is a good size.

Improved slots:

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Most of these changes simply replace a card with one with some tribal or synergy benefit. For example, Journey to Nowhere does not trigger Young Pyromancer while Fateful Absence does.

Jolrael just hasn't worked in my cube. I don't have enough cantrips. Sure, I have card draw and cards that work like cantrips but very few of them actually trigger her ability. She has not made any decks and, while cool, I don't think I can support her anymore. Burning-Tree is bland but she's a human shaman.

I think I can cut Golgari-Grave Troll and Genesis for actual graveyard payoffs. Falkenrath Pit Fighter needs to be a human or something exciting at least.

I would love to have a copy of Hanweir Garrison with the trinket text gone, though. Do you have one?

The other slots I think I can put to better use:
 
I want to run Mukotai Soulripper but I don't know which card to cut for it. I run too many sacrifice outlets so as to add another one D:

 
cut your worst sac outlet
And which one is it? I don't know! I mean, I guess one of the spells is one, but I was thinking of the creatures. Carrion Feeder is out of the question. Flesh Carver is cuttable but he's a human wizard. Yawghmoth is OP and an easy cut but I also like that it's a bit OP.
 
I could see Smallpox or Diabolic Intent. I don't know how valuable a tutor is in your format when you have to spend 2 mana + a creature. It would work well with Living Death or Birthing Pod as those are nice build arounds that tend to be creature heavy.
But won't work with other build arounds like Oath of Druids and Sneak Attack which are lighter on creatures.

Also, I've been a fan of



As a discard outlet that randomly creates artifacts. I don't think you need Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar to make it good even though it would also be good in your cube IMO.

And on the subject of Rakdos cards, have you considered Mayhem Devil instead of Judith, the Scourge Diva?
It's bigger and triggers off so much more than Judith for both players: fetch lands, clues, treasures, food, Knight of the Reliquary, Sylvan Safekeeper, Wildfire among others.
 
I think I'm going to do something unusual and that's to cut two sacrifice outlets instead of one. And I think my choices ought to be Flesh Carver and Diabolic Intent. Smallpox is not as well-supported as I would have hoped but I really like the card. So I thought about it and I like the 1-2-4 curve of sac outlets more than 1-2-3 or -1-2-3-4. The only issue is that I lose one Wizard. But Flesh Carver is a bit of a dumb card and I'm always dissapointed it didn't make zombies so eh.

Either way, I have a list of cards that aren't doing much and I'm just revising them slowly. Here's another batch:

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The troll is not doing anything. When I got it into the cube nothing changed, it didn't create or boost more archetypes or anything fun like that. So I'm going to replace it, for now, with Garruk so I have more beef.

Prismatic Vista just wasn't needed. The cube has more than enough fixing and it's less fun to draft than the other options. So I decided to cut the slot.

I could see Smallpox or Diabolic Intent. I don't know how valuable a tutor is in your format when you have to spend 2 mana + a creature. It would work well with Living Death or Birthing Pod as those are nice build arounds that tend to be creature heavy.
But won't work with other build arounds like Oath of Druids and Sneak Attack which are lighter on creatures.

Also, I've been a fan of



As a discard outlet that randomly creates artifacts. I don't think you need Asmoranomardicadaistinaculdacar to make it good even though it would also be good in your cube IMO.

And on the subject of Rakdos cards, have you considered Mayhem Devil instead of Judith, the Scourge Diva?
It's bigger and triggers off so much more than Judith for both players: fetch lands, clues, treasures, food, Knight of the Reliquary, Sylvan Safekeeper, Wildfire among others.
I've been wondering if I should add both Asmorano and her book. I just haven't gotten there yet! A one mana 3/3 with pseudo-madness should be good in my cube.

Regarding Devil, I started with it at first. However, Judith has a few advantages. First, she's just a fun card. The anthem effect is fun, the ping of damage makes combat interesting and she's very well contained. She's also a human and a shaman, which I appreciate. You can play her in any Rakdos deck and have fun but she's better with sacrifice outlets and other synergies.

Devil has a couple issues. The first is that it's a much narrower card. Sure, it works with a lot of stuff, but it has a synergy role as opposed to good-stuff. This is not inherently bad, but I prefer not being able to wheel it. I also miss the support Judith gives to aggro.

Above all, the Devil has a lot of "gotchas". Your opponent sacrifices a fetchland and then you do some trick to pile one extra point of damage and bam, their beater is gone. They think they have a clear attack and bam, you pile on damage and punish them hard. It reminds me a bit of Legend of the Five Rings, which was a great game where not noticing this stuff would cost you the game. I don't know, I'm not sure if it's the most fun card. Above all, I think the issue is that it works with fetches, if it was just other cards or your cards it would be fine but I don't like the way it works with just getting your mana in order.

I do admit pairing it with Wildfire is hilarious, I never thought about that!
 
I'm too much of a coward to make larger changes so I'm just going to try this:

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I'm still like "well, I could try to support storm again but..."
 
I haven't had the time to do this in ages, so I'm going to just plop down all the updates I had in my maybeboard:

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It's just for fun. I don't think my cube should support storm. I'll just get rid of all these cards next time :) Theonly reason I'm doing this is that I don't know which archetypes I can support instead.
 
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