A quick note about Quick Hits: these posts are powered by patrons and fans like you! Thanks to the awesome discussions in the Pauper cube Discord as well as dozens of contributing patrons, I’m pleased to share first thoughts on the most exciting commons coming in Battlebond.
If you think I missed one, let me know on Twitter or in the Discord—I’ll be sure to take a closer look. Let’s get started.
Three power in flying is typical for five mana in white, and gaining life is still underrated despite plenty of aggressive decks and Flicker capabilities. In general the assist mechanic is meaningless—unless your opponent is up to something—so we’ll be weighing this on it’s full mana cost merits.
Is Wind Drake better or worse than Soaring Show-Off? The discussion on Discord didn’t lead to a decisive conclusion, though many leaned towards worse. I think it’s actually better given white-blue’s plan is often to just stay ahead on tempo long enough to make flying matter—and drawing a bounce spell negates whatever your opponent grabs too. This is a super interesting card to discuss and consider.
Saltwater Stalwart does not come with the “combat damage” rider so many saboteur creatures have these days. The idea of adding this, Horseshoe Crab, Viridian Longbow and some other “ping” effects is dreamy, but probably too thin at just common.
Fan Favorite is a Shade—kinda. Sorta. If you squint your eyes a little. The ability to dump mana into pumping a creature up is terrifying for some decks, and a cool payoff for black-green decks that go long. Assist, again, is blank text for our purposes but if you play any multiplayer with the cube it can be a nice wrinkle and nod.
Azra Bladeseeker is awesome. It’s a smaller Keldon Raider. Honestly, that’s good enough alone I believe—and now the dream curve of filtering on turns two (Thanks Common Iguana!), three and four is possible.
Stadium Vendors feels like an even-handed version of Mardu Warshrieker. Getting two mana back isn’t far off how surge works—basically casting two spells in a turn—but Goblin Freerunner is just stronger with menace. I haven’t heard the bard singing tales of Goblin Freerunner’s overwhelming power yet, either.
Jungle Wayfinder has great rate. It’s basic land search ability, while symmetrical, is excellent for green decks that want to stretch into splashing a third color. The trade off of helping the opponent splash or hit mana too feels fair for the all-in cost to go into multicolor shenanigans.
I cut Ambuscade so green would have some skin in the fight game (among other reasons). Dealing damage is “always” better a fair fight, but requiring two creatures makes hitting one-sided more challenging to accomplish. This is an interesting card if you need more fighting spirit in green.
I love Pierce Strider! Free Lava Spike on a Hill Giant? And it’s colorless too? This is the kind of “filler” card that supports hyper aggressive decks, like burn-focused red and black-red. And like Peace Strider, this is an obvious hit.