First things first, the committee would like to apologize for the relative lack of updates to the cube this year. We’re aware and may adjust the schedule moving forward to better accommodate our personal time needs. That said, this update introduces a change to the way that we handle the wording of these updates. In the past we have presented our updates with formatting that ties cards in pairs, one in and the other out. From this update looking forward, we will be presenting our cuts and adds in a lump group with details about why cards have been added or cut but no longer pairing them to indicate that one was chosen over another. This ties to our change internally with how we will handle updates where we are focused on cards we want to include and then find cards that we feel are no longer pulling their weight/the community opinion on them has soured since their inclusion. This is mostly a non-change but we are hoping that it will be a slight improvement to avoid only like-for-like card swaps.
Also, we’ve taken time to focus on catching up on cards printed since the last update, we do know there are older cards that folks have upvoted on the polling site and will be considering them for a future update.
White might be a bit of boring update this time around, as most of these cards are just slight upgrades, so we’ll use this space to just quickly pay respects to Pacifism, you will be missed, you were good removal but power creep comes for almost all of us. Also Intercessor is a neat first take of what a Fiend Hunter at common looks like.
Blue’s adds for this update pull the curve a bit lower than it’s been to date, Quick Study is maybe one of the more interesting ones, finally putting one of our “draw spells that let you keep up a counterspell as well” at a lower Mana Value slot should help, no matter how little blue needs it.
Murmuring Mystic was making it in from the moment it hit the server. We’ve been fans of the UR spells matter deck, and it’s nice to get some support in the form of a payoff on the blue side of things.
We had some back and forth on Shipwreck Dowser and whether we need 3 of these effects in the cube, we’re going to try it out with the caveat of “if folks complain we’ll retool later”
Mocking Sprite is a riff on a card we’re already playing that seems interesting and does add evasion to the electromancer genre of creatures
Halimar Wavewatch has not been polling amazingly and dodged a few updates where it was a potential cut as the committee felt that it was a useful tool for keeping slower blue decks alive in the early game. Mystic getting in made us feel like it wouldn’t be missed too much.
Shaper Parasite was one that was on the chopping block due to a combo of folks replying negatively in polling to it as well as several opinions that it was a Knowledge check for folks who knew the cube better rather than an actual skill testing card.
Deprive was one of those cards that’s been in the cube for a while now and just didn’t generally have a great opinion surrounding it. This is more of a “I won’t miss it” type of cut.
Errant Ephemeron is leaving for general low performance in polling and a desire to keep the curve a bit lower.
Scattered Thoughts was cut mostly to avoid increasing the “blue cards that are card positive” count too much.
We’re finally giving Omen of the Sea the axe, it wasn’t the greatest option for card draw and doesn’t synergize with a lot of what blue’s trying to do.
Drown in Sorrow was another easy to include option, 3 mana board control is incredibly real.
Mire Triton is just a solid utility creature, not much more to say.
Troll of Khazad-dûm has been finding homes in eternal formats and we’ve loved the options for this style of large creature with land cycling tacked on, but end of day this is the one we felt was the best option to have in the cube.
Legion Vanguard as a downshift was the culmination of many versions of sac outlets we’ve been getting at common in mainline sets that just weren’t there. A bear that can turn creatures into card filtering/draw/counters is a nice little package for the aristocrats decks.
While we don’t have the density for Bargain to just always be active, Rowan's Grim Search has some very neat upside to it, being able to rip through up to 6 cards. If players find that this is more often than not just a Succumb to Temptation we can reconsider down the road to remove additive distraction.
Dunland Crebain comes from a long lineage of “creatures that come with an additional body” and while it’s more on the ground than the Blue equivalents, we’re eager to add this one in.
Candy Grapple May not have polled as highly as some other options, but this is another in the line of “strictly better Last Gasps”. Even without bargain the card’s playable, with bargain you have access to removing slightly bigger creatures.
Gluttonous Slug has utility against aggro decks but is unexciting as a proactive win condition, the committee will always lean more on the side of proactive cards when the option presents itself.
Eyeblight Massacre loses out as a less powerful and more complicated sweeper. There are definitely some stories floating around out there where someone managed to get this to keep their 2 dorks alive to rebuild faster, but that wasn’t enough to keep it around.
Typhoid Rats hits the magic combo of being both unexciting and just having a better version already in the cube.
Twisted Abomination was not tenable to keep in with another similarly shaped big ol’ goober. Rest in peace to a classic limited banger.
Read the Bones has a like-for-like card selection and card draw upgrade available for us to test at the same mana cost.
We’re also dumping Moan of the Unhallowed as one of the less exciting options in the color.
Sinuous Vermin has been on the radar for possible cuts for a few sets now, the time has finally come.
It seems like every new set offers a new token generator, and it is finally time to replace Deathbloom Thallid with something more modern.
Mire's Grasp is, like so many removal spells, slowly being powercrept out.
Guttersnipe already has some sibling effects in the cube and tacking shocks onto your bolts and preordains and so on is pretty cool.
Rally at the Hornburg Might be the best version of a 2 mana red spell that makes 2 1/1s we’ve seen. While we’re not supporting human typal stuff, the first time someone late game gets haste on some other creature for lethal, I’m sure we’ll all hear about it.
Sulfurous Blast is coming in as another option for board control in read that either gives you it at instant speed or getting to go bigger to clear more sizeable threats.
Oliphaunt is coming in as one of the top of curve options for red due to the fact it just won’t be dead in most situations,
Ratcatcher Trainee // Pest Problem is an interesting on that we want to try out. The base body is one that we’ve had variants of in the cube before and they’ve been cut but the hope is that the modality is enough to make this version worth it.
Improvised Club is a boring update to a card you’ll see in the cuts, it’s just better.
Thermo-Alchemist Is going out to make room for other spells matter payloads, being survived by the other ping effects that don’t require waiting a turn.
While we’re not doing 1 for 1 cuts as much these days, you know why Krenko's Command got cut, right?
Dynacharge Is another that’s just beginning to show some age here and we feel comfortable letting this one go now.
Bitter Reunion was added pretty recently but just hasn’t been as big a hit as we had expected, combined with having better draw 2s added since then.
We’re cutting Makeshift Munitions for it being more of a cute card that fits an archetype rather than a really great option. One day we’ll get something closer to Goblin Bombardment and we’ll be happier with that.
Keldon Marauders is also getting trimmed for the time being as our 2s are still really good and we needed to find room somewhere.
Flurry of Horns, a favorite of at least one Committee member has finally been on the chopping block long enough. Rest in peace sweet bull human hybrids.
Viashino Pyromancer was cut since we needed a 2 drop cut for curve consideration and this was the one that we were happiest with at the end of a long discussion
Heartfire got outclassed and folks seemed to like it well enough for its strictly better version to make sense.
Ghirapur Gearcrafter Is showing a bit of age these days.
Generous Ent was one of several options for a green forestcycling creatures. End of the day it made the cut over other options mostly because of that gold standard 1 generic mana to get a land.
Wary Thespian is the type of card it’s hard to be wildly excited about because it’s just generically a reasonable card. The body on its own is unimpressive, but tacking card selection on the way in and the way out is a really nice addition to this shape of creature.
Ambush Viper was just somewhat unremarkable and didn’t have a huge fanbase supporting it.
Nessian Asp was starting to show its age at this point, the idea of it where it’s a mid-game threat that has a late game threat of activation, but I think the
This section’s the one where we can’t really avoid the one to one comparison. Skyclave Sentinel has never been super well loved, Candy Trail we’re hoping will work to fill the “glue” role of making decks more generally playable without being a top pick.
This section is a nice little update. We had 2 lands that polled well that fell into the “utility lands” bin. We have heard the comments that color fixing is currently super plentiful and we came to the idea of axing one set of thriving lands in favor of some more utility slots.
We know that Terramorphic Expanse is likely one that you might be shocked to not see returning but we’ve opted to diversify a bit the types of lands that go in any deck a touch, plus, Shire Terrace is already in the same genre of land.