FrogsHateBlue Cube

My cube size is closer to 539 with an included mascot.

I enjoy the smug indulgence protruding from the Frog (Well, Toad, but blame WoTC for the oracle text 'Creature — Frog'), sitting there in all of its glory knowing that Blue Mages simply cannot stop it from snacking on rodents to its heart's content.

For whatever reason this one off joke of a card stuck, and has persisted for most of the list's iterations and will most likely remain. (Narrator: "It in fact, did not remain.")

At a high level, I would say my goals for the cube are to:

- Have fun Graveyard Interactions
- Sick Combos :sunglasses:
- Provide a home for cards I enjoy
- Provide a home for cards that have none
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Ding Dong, the Frog is dead....

Many a time have I tried to write about the ideations surrounding my cube. I will be frank, it is hard for me. From writing posts here only to delete them after the fact, to typing up thousand-word documents to leave unposted, I have found it undeniably both difficult and frustrating to translate the passion I have for this hobby into writing. And not just writing my thoughts, but making them understandable and enjoyable to read for others.

As my Mascot finally succumbed to the Sword of Damocles hanging about it for years now, I thought I would once again take a crack at sharing my thoughts, but try to more organically for myself just to put something out there.

I think my biggest mistake previously was trying to atomize my cube down to digestible sections for potential readers. I.E these are the strategies I am aim to support in these colors, with examples to illustrate. While I think this structure is a great vehicle for prospective readers to learn about what my cube is, it completely leaves out why my cube came to be. I didn't come to these conclusions and selections simply to support strategies that are currently present in my cube, there has been a long history of additions and cuts that were essentially a personal Profound Journey to distill what I enjoyed about Magic The Gathering to begin with.

I won't go through much within this post, but I hope to write more about how cube was a personal vehicle for self-discovery about why Magic is important to me and why I love the hobby.

Being the hipster contrarian I am, fuck EDH. Joking aside *pause*, fuck EDH.

Ok, ok, in all seriousness now..... fuc- nah I will stop myself, this will get old. But my feelings do remain true, I absolutely abhor what EDH has become.

And although the hook of this post is obviously being extremely reductive for the sake of hyperbole, EDH was a format for me that really set me down the path of my "Oh god I am becoming one of those 'Magic is dying' people". Which sucked to realize, because man if I didn't absolutely love EDH when I first started playing it. A beautiful Oasis refuge in the dry unforgiving desert of sanctioned formats. Some of my earliest most memorable experiences as an MTG player was brewing Jank Engine EDH Decks with my tabletop group.

Unfortunately for myself, the culture surrounding EDH has changed over the last decade. And to clarify, when I lament the changes I am about to bring up and claim 'Magic is Dying', I want to specify that I always mean 'Magic is dying.. for me'. I actually like that so many people find modern EDH to be a fun vehicle for self expression. This isn't just whingeing for the sake of yucking others' yums.

I have never been a fan of the 'Arms Race' that comes with participating in WoTC supported formats. Constant enfranchisement within a community where you have to buy-in and improve power-levels to participate isn't my jam. It isn't even the money thing, I just find the 'flow' of engagement being purely at the whims of the company printing new, often much more pushed, game pieces not to be interesting. It gets boring quite quickly to me (RIP old modern lol). And this isn't even beginning to address the recent issues the game has had with wordiness and pushed designs to ensure many new game pieces work in 40 life total Multiplayer formats.

Now, formats where impassioned community members take existing pieces, assemble them in expressive ways, and value / share those creations. That, that shit right there. Right in the vein.

EDH used to be that, at least the sides of it I was often exposed to. Of course, Commander Products have existed for a decade now, but the sheer volume coming out the gate reached a critical point where I simply disconnected entirely.

This disconnect influenced a lot of my decision making when initially assembling my cube. While the Cube communities passion was extremely infectious and onboarded me without issue, I originally was quite turned off by the constant bickering about Cube being a homogenous entity where the 'right' way to cube was to include any game piece that was more powerful than its contemporaries. It made it feel hard to participate, as I was often making a point to exclude many powerful new game pieces.

I will say in all seriousness, thanks to the Riptide Labs team. With the centralization of internet discussion often falling on places like reddit, having subcommunities on other forums develop their own ethos / subculture is honestly such a breath of fresh air. Without Riptide I honestly don't think I would've cubed for the long-haul. Y'alls passion and expressiveness was inspiring to read and absorb, and encouraged me to push forward and think about what *I* wanted from my own environment.

And one of the first things I wanted from my environment was to ignore the modern glut of new EDH releases constantly leaking out of WoTC's product orifice. Because fuck EDH.

*Wrapping Up* - As a side note, as an Autistic man, the online EDHs communities' rules / social expectations around what gameplay strategies are 'acceptable' are a literal fucking nightmare clown world to navigate :s
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*Wrapping Up* - As a side note, as an Autistic man, the online EDHs communities' rules / social expectations around what gameplay strategies are 'acceptable' are a literally fucking nightmare clown world to navigate :s
The online EDH community is a cesspool for neurotypical people as well. You would be hard-pressed to find worse card evaluation skills than with internet commander players.

You are not alone!
MAGIC IS DYING: PT2 - Foiling & Card Quality

Nah the game isn't dying. I don't know how people keep up the act of hyperbole up in their writing. Moreso than supplemental EDH products, this is one of those topics that actually completely turns me off of a new releases much of the time.

I will be honest I don't know how to really establish my stance here outside of stating that I must share DNA with a Magpie. I like shiny things. I love foil Magic cards to death. To some people, they could care less, but to me foiling my cube is extremely important.

Older foils had a lot of care and attention put into them to accent the art on the cards themselves. I love the way that it made art pieces 'pop', and often placed an emphasis the illusion of dimension that I find immensely pleasing to absorb. If you can ever find a pack fresh foil from 8th edition, my goodness I cannot recommend picking one up enough. GOAT tier set for foils. I'd post some pics of the few I have, but I think the file sizes seem too large and I don't feel like figuring that out right now.

In recent years it has been no secret that the quality of printing in general, and subsequently foil quality has been... suspect, to say the least. Even when foils aren't curling like a Pringle, they are just so fucking bad. They don't accent anything about the image itself, it just adds a flat sheen layer to the entire face of the card. Moreso than bad, a lot of modern foils I see are embarrassing. As in, I don't know why WoTC even bothers levels of pointless. I guess having 8 variants of cards automatically makes it better :marofl:. (edit: I would like to say that my opinion is of modern regular foils, I don't have a strong opinion of variants outside they don't replace the value I feel is lost when regular foils are so weak in effort)

While upsetting to someone like myself, I won't pretend like I haven't made concessions and included cards with shitty foiling options. I usually opt to just purchase a non-foil variant in this case while attempting to ignore the internal OCD tantrum that erupts as I look down at the one card in my list that deviates from the majority.

I more just wanted to address that things like card quality, foiling, and even something as benign as *set symbols* have influenced my choices way more than most probably. If a new card comes out that eclipses the power of an existing, similar game piece in my cube, often times I will not update it purely because I want to use the older, weaker one that looks better. Overall this has contributed to a lowering of my power level in a way that I actually enjoy. An example is keeping the stunning Dissension Tidespout Tyrant over Crimson Vow's Hullbreaker Horror. Of course, Tidespout can bounce lands but I would argue Horror is overall a better card.

If you love MTG foils but the recent years have been falling flat, I cannot recommend the mid 2000s - 2017. It was a great era for modern frame foils. And of course, old border foils are stunning as well. I know this isn't strictly cube related, but foils have influenced my passion for trying new game pieces for years now and wanted to share how that passion influenced my cube.
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Going back to my lack of enjoyment in regards to EDH, I wanted to once again focus on what I originally enjoyed about it. It was format with a wide-breadth of card available to build with from Magic's History. It was expressive. It was at times Janky. At other times, seamless. A lot of fun with the right folks.

Its everything I want out of MTG, to be honest. And I am sure those moments still exist for people. and I think that's amazing and I wish the best for them. However, as my enfranchisement in the Magic community comes to a close, keeping up with EDH just isn't in the books.

I guess in a similar vein to ErikTwice, my cube is somewhat of a farewell letter to my time with the game. A time capsule to shine a light on the good times we had together. And there were a lot of good, but keeping up with the modern MTG release schedule simply doesn't make me happy anymore, and for escapism and hobbies, that's the whole point!

Now wrapping around to the statement I used for my inflammatory titling: "Magic is Dying." A phrase I am sure we have all heard by many individuals, all with seemingly different breaking points or reasons for their dismay. I will admit that I internally dunked on some of these dastardly doomsayers. Now that I find myself in their shoes, I can help but feel a bit bad about my past flippantness. I think a lot of those folks were just outwardly lamenting their relationship with the game was coming to a close unexpectedly. But that is the beauty of cube, in my opinion, it offers people a vehicle to preserve a snapshot of the game in a way that evoked passion for them. And the best thing, is that it is a medium to share that passion with other participants. From the folks who draft it to the people online who discuss it. A lovely hobby, I am deeply happy I eventually participated.

Cube means a lot to me. I think anything that allows folks to channel their inspirations is something that should be held dearly. I might write more next week sometime about actual mechanical build arounds that were muses along my cube journey.
A Couple Changes...

Added some land support in Green. It has always been in my list with varying degrees of support. After some consideration I felt as if it had gotten a little too barren, so I opted for some swaps.

Gilded Lotus --> Golos, Tireless Pilgrim

I just felt as if I had already met a proper density of colorless mana-rocks and that Gilded wouldn't be missed. I don't actually include all too many Lands that themselves act as a combo piece / finisher, but I just found Golos more interesting. Including for now to observe.

Fabled Passage --> Field of the Dead

Passage is a cool card. Great Art, cool foiling (OG Eldraine had some nasty foils). Prismatic is the most similar to it, and ekes it out on power level alone, so this one hit the chopping block instead. Field of the Dead is a *sick* card. Slow, Methodical, predictable. It definitely evokes the feeling of a lifeless gorge that births the undead. I wanted the slower, grindier, win-con for the lands archetype and this one definitely fit the bill. Excited to see it find a home.

Boseiju, Who Endures --> Aftermath Analyst

Analyst: What a fucking cool card. Mill, Elf-synergy, good blocker, and a Splendid Reclamation all in one? Nice. Really been enjoying the newly printed Green cards with self-mill on ETB. Curious to see how it plays with Blossoming Tortoise. I've seen other people excited about this one as well so I have been excited to draft them both. Also, just after my rant on the recent trend of foils decreasing in quality, MKM came out swinging. Cards in this set are really pretty to look at.

Boseiju is amazing as a utility include but I simply don't value that as much at this time.

Kogla, the Titan Ape --> Elvish Reclaimer

While Kogla is a great 6 drop, I have been wanting to lower the cmc of my Green section. Foe-Razer Regent fills a similar spot and I want pieces of my "Generically Good" Top-End to be Dragon Creatures, so it stays for now.

Reclaimer has been in before and works out well enough. Trying to tune my list till this guy can shine, I like the utility he brings to the table.
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Back at it with a larger list of swaps this time.


Gonna start out with some colorless swaps this time 'round. A lot of added Artifact Creature Finishers.

Lotus Bloom --> Ancient Stone Idol

Poor Storm, always the first to lose narrow pieces the moment I want to try something new with my list. This isn't Idol's first time in my list and I always found it to be a solid top-end finisher.

Aetherflux Reservoir --> Sundering Titan

I already run Bolas's Citadel and Thousand-year Storm and felt I could lose one Storm enabling permanent. Sundering has always been more than good when in my list.

Emrakul, the Promised End --> Myr Battlesphere

I have yet to run Battlesphere before, but it seems so generically strong that I cannot imagine it won't fit nicely within my list. Emrakul did nothing wrong outside of Planar annihilation, but unfortunately I value an Artifact more in this slot for now.

Coldsteel Heart --> Noble's Purse

Obligatory time to shill Coldsnap Foils as some of the best in the business. OG Coldsteel Heart foil is one of the prettiest cards in the entire game. However, I am intrigued by Purse's ability to store mana for an explosive turn and want to see how it plays.

Altar of Dementia --> Scion of Draco

Am I worried that losing one of the few sacrifice enablers I use at 540 is a terrible idea? Yes, absolutely. Do I want the funnie Domain Dragon instead? Yes, absolutely.


The sudden addition of an Artifact Creature top-end probably spoils 90% of my changes in Red, but fuck it let's go.

Utvara Hellkite --> Goblin Welder

So Utvara is a tough one. I really like the card both mechanically and aesthetically, but its somewhat too cute to stick around whenever push comes to shove and I make cuts. Sorry Hellkite, maybe someday I can get you to stick, but with the addition of Ancient Stone Idol you are simply outclassed and redundant. Welder probably needs no introduction. Red has always been a graveyard support color in my list so I think Welder and friends will find a home.

Gamble --> Goblin Engineer

Golly, Gamble has actually been in my list forever. This cut stings, but everything else felt too important to cut instead. Engineer entombing an artifact is really neat, and I want to try to be crafty with some Stax friends like Winter Orb and Tangle Wire.

Squee, Goblin Nabob --> Feldon of the Third Path

Squee has always been a bit underwhelming and has been a prospective cut for a while now. Still a bit of a softie for the card so hopefully I can find a spot for it someday. Feldon is both neat and seemingly super strong. Plays into reanimation in red very nicely.

Chandra, Torch of Defiance --> Daretti, Scrap Savant

Generically good PW card begone. Honestly the hardest part of cutting Torch of Goodstuff was knowing how bad it would hurt Dragonstorm and Wildfire, but alas, it is what it is.

Soul-Scar Mage --> Reinforced Ronin

I need to stop adding Soul-Scar. I just never really like him all that much. Ronin, however, checks a lot of boxes for me. Artifact, for one. But more than just that, I like how his self bounce prospectively plays with some fellas currently in my list. Both Champion of the Parish and Thalia's Lieutenant benefit from the recurrent bounce. He additionally can pump Shrine of Burning Rage and Runaway Steam-Kin repeatedly. Exciting stuff.

Keldon Marauders --> Scrapwork Mutt

Damn, Marauders has been a mainstay forever now as well. I don't even know why, but I always just liked how he played as a generic aggro beater. Mutt plays nicely with a lot of my supported themes in Red while also being strong in aggro, so it takes the spot.

Rift Bolt --> Tribal Flames

The 'Funnie Domain Dragon' from earlier was a precursor for things to come. I want to give Domain a shot.

Lava Dart --> Hammer of Purphoros

I don't cut Lava Dart lightly, I really like the card and how it plays. At this time I want to try more haste enablers, and Hammer fits the bill pretty nicely. It is an artifact, creates artifacts, puts lands in the graveyard, and grants haste all in one.


No big swaps to support artifacts here like in Red. I don't know why, but I have always liked blue to fall more into the "Generically Good" category and don't really have any desire to wedge anymore archetypal support in at this time.

Tidespout Tyrant --> Evasive Action

Hunky Water-Man my beloved... we were not meant to last. Really quick, I just wanna say how much someday I want to pop off with a Storm Deck that includes Tidespout and Mind's Desire. With the increase of Colorless top-end options, I unfortunately needed to redux the amount of creature finishers in my color sections. Don't think one more Counterspell would be too many and trying to support Domain, so let's give Evasive a shot.

Treasure Cruise --> Serum Visions

I run Dig Through Time so I don't think I am gonna miss Cruise all too much. Just looking for a small increase in density of flexible cantrips.


Nothing exciting going on here, unless you find Anthems to be the sickest type of card in Magic.

Akroma, Angel of Wrath --> Spear of Heliod

Yada yada, reducing top-end, yada yada. Although a bit dated, Akroma still puts work in and her resiliency against some of the best removal colors in my list made her stick around to be a solid threat. I haven't cubed with anthems much at all, but Spear is the one that interested me the most out of all of them. Force of Virtue was a close second. More curious to see how they play than anything.

Journey to Nowhere --> Leyline Binding

D O M A I N (Also been watching Pioneer and Binding seems nasty)


Just a couple o' swaperoonis.

Baleful Mastery --> Shadow Prophecy

I wanted to keep the stronger instant speed removal in Black costing 3 or more. The reduced cost on Mastery was interesting but faster than what I was looking for in the end. Prophecy = Domain = Supported.

Vilis, Broker of Blood --> Noxious Gearhulk

Black is one of the colors I am ok leaving more top-end creatures in since it is the primary reanimation color of my list. Gearhulk is a generically solid target that can interact with Welder so it takes the spot.



Hydroid Krasis --> Growth Spiral

I already run Prime Speaker Zegana as a Simic top-end that refills the player's hand. Spiral was really fun to play during Standard and I think it can help Domain come online faster.