By: Chris Taylor
So in an effort to change things up in my cube, I’ve decided to replace the GWr token theme I had with something a little stranger: A double strike deck. The two decks share a lot of overlap cards, but double strike shares additional synergy with pump spells/equipment.
So here’s the basic cards. Depending on the size of your cube, you may want to double up on a few of these, namely the cheaper creatures. Waiting until turn 4 to start attacking doesn’t work too well.
Hound might seem a little loose, but I’m willing to bet most people’s red 4 drop section has been rather stagnant since the addition of Hellrider. Mix it up a little guys.
The reason for my swapping out the tokens decks for this theme is because quite a few of the support cards overlap between the two archetypes: Fencing Ace gets just as powerful as Gather the Townsfolk with Glorious Anthem in play, after all.
Now here’s the initial warning: if you want to support this archetype, the removal in your cube will have to get worse (or at the bare minimum slower). The whole reason things like auras and pump spells suck in cube is because 9 times out of 10, the creature just gets Doom Bladed in response. Or Swords. Or Pathed. Or Into the Roiled. Or…
You get the point. A lot of those bounce spells become significantly worse by being sorceries, but try out Undo every once in a while. Card is powerful.
Anyways, back on topic. Now that we have a host of fun creatures to suit up, now it’s time to find ways to crack in for lethal. Add a smattering of cards from these categories, or at least realize they just got better in your cube:
- Exalted creatures: Noble Hierarch, Sublime Archangel, Qasali Pridemage, Knight of Glory, Rafiq of the Many
- Battle Cry Creatures: Accorder Paladin, Goblin Wardriver, Hero of Bladehold/Oxid Ridge, Soltari Champion, Pianna, Nomad Captain,
- Anthems: Glorious Anthem, Spear of Heliod, Honor of the Pure, Ajani Goldmane, Elesh Norn (Okay that might be a bit of a stretch), Gavony Township, Curse of Predation, Gaea’s Anthem, Mirari’s Wake, Mikaeus, the Lunarch, Mirror Entity, Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
- Overruns: Overrun, Overwhelming Stampede, Garruk Wildspeaker, Craterhoof Behemoth (Again, probably a stretch)
- Auras: Rancor and it’s bigger cousin Angelic Destiny, but I still see Griffin Guide and Elephant Guide every now and again. Try Boar Umbra and Moldervine Cloak as well, if you like the idea.
- Aura Like Cards: Elspeth, Knight-Errant, Ajani, Caller of the Pride (Double Synergy!), Wolfir Silverheart, Grafted Wargear (I can’t advocate for this card enough)
- Equipment: Really anything with the subtype equipment gets better with these creatures running around, with the possible exception of Worldslayer.
And a few Misc cards like Varolz, the Scar-Striped, Stonewright, Kessig Wolf Run, Edric, Spymaster of Trest and Dreg Mangler. In the same vein as Edric, try Warriors’ Lesson, Mask of Memory and Keen Sense.
As well as pump spells. This part needs a whole section.
First, the small few you might be playing already:
Now a few of those are probably a maybe. Here’s a few more you might want to try:
Also, to tie this theme to red a little more, there’s a lot of good synergy with red cards that care about the power of your creatures:
Now I’ll be the first to admit Soul’s Fire is probably going too deep, but doubling or tripling up on Spikeshot Elder is not out of the question if you want this to be a deck, and not just some incidental synergy that happens to come together now and again.
It’s also worth noting the impact that actually running combat tricks has on your limited environment. Combat becomes kinda rote and by-the-numbers if people know the only downside to attacking is a haste guy from your side. If adding Giant Growth makes games more interesting, I’m all for it. Remember your cube is a limited environment too, not just a giant collection of cards.
Shake it up every now and again.