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Cube Updates from Modern Horizons

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For any of you who have caught my stream, it should come as no surprise to you how big of a Cube fan I am. Whenever a new supplemental set is released - like Commander, or Masters, or Modern Horizons - I like to take a look at some of the more fun cards in the set to see which ones have applications in the Cube. Which Cube? Well, any, really. Whether you have a powered Cube or an unpowered Cube, cards like Fractured Identity or Leovold, Emissary of Trest should fit just fine, so I don't worry that anything from Modern Horizons is going to be too out of the question.

If you're curious about my own Cube, which is usually the lens I view these cards though, you can find it here. I'm a big fan of 360 card Cubes because you know that every card will be included in an eight person Draft. When you're playing with a larger Cube, it can sometimes be difficult to draft specific strategies or combos, never knowing if the necessary card is even in the selection you're drafting from. My Cube is basically a modified version of the Magic Online Vintage Cube, but I removed the Storm archetype because it took up the most space, while also including the most cards that didn't really do anything outside of the archetype (Brain Freeze, the rituals, Yawgmoth's Will, Lion's Eye Diamond, etc.). Many of those cards simply don't have real homes, with very little overlap, so despite how fun the deck can be, Storm seemed like the obvious choice when it came to archetypes to remove due to its minimal overlap.

With that out of the way, let's take a look at some sweet additions from Modern Horizons.

Seasoned Pyromancer

One thing I like looking for when adding cards is how well they fit into multiple shells, as the previous paragraph can attest. Seasoned Pyromancer checks a lot of these boxes, and in fact, my only issues with the card is that it's double Red, which make it more difficult to splash (understandably so).

Seasoned Pyromancer is great in br midrange decks, decks that want to go wide, decks that want cards in their graveyards, and mainly Reanimator decks. It's also just a solid creature that helps out the Cube's delve cards, like Dig Through Time, or allows you to pitch some flashback cards.

Crashing Footfalls

I'm just generally a fan of this card, and I think it goes well with other popular Cube staples with suspend like Lotus Bloom or Ancestral Vision. This is a nice addition to Green decks that don't simply want to ramp, and can play more of a midrange game with other colors, such as Temur or Sultai. I could also see this playing a solid role in a ug Control deck where you can suspend it on turn one, then keep up counterspells to protect two very solid threats that come down for free on turn five.

Deep Forest Hermit

This isn't an addition per se, but I could see this straight up replacing Deranged Hermit in Cubes, although, to be honest, Deranged Hermit is already extremely powerful, and this just seems like a step up. I don't think that's really an issue, but Deranged Hermit does provide a nice tension where you either have to choose whether to pay the echo, or substantially shrink your squirrels.

Kaya's Guile

If you like Kolaghan's Command, have I got some news for you. This card is pretty nutso, not just for Cube, but for presumably every format it's legal in. The versatility of the card is pretty bonkers and takes over quite a few existing cards that may already be in your Cube, despite falling across two colors rather than the one you might ordinarily need for the same effect. The sacrifice ability takes the role of any card like Diabolic Edict or Liliana's Triumph that you might be using. The graveyard exiling takes care of something like Relic of Progenitus that you may have a spot for. The life gain makes it good against the Red decks that are trying to close out the games quickly.

Ultimately, all of the modes have their own uses, and making a 1/1 flying Spirit is just a fine ability to tack onto whatever mode you might otherwise need. I don't really even have to elaborate on why this card having entwine just pushes it right on over the top.

Sword of Truth and Justice
Sword of Sinew and Steel

There are many iterations of Cubes that have all five existing swords in them. I think with the printing of Sword of Truth and Justice and Sword of Sinew and Steel, and potential printings of future allied-color swords, we're going to have to be more selective with which swords we include in the Cube.

Even after these two have been revealed, I see Sword of Light and Shadow and Sword of War and Peace as the two weakest swords out of the existing seven. Meanwhile, when it comes to these new swords, I think both of them have a place in Cubes.

Truth and Justice is great because, at the very least, you're going to be giving the creature it's equipped to +2/+2. And the best case scenario is that you're going to proliferate onto a good number of planeswalkers or things like Everflowing Chalice, persist creatures like Glen Elendra Archmage, and more. Keep in mind that each subsequent connection with Truth and Justice adds an additional counter thanks to proliferate. (One creature gets a +1/+1 counter, then another +1/+1 counter. Another creature gets a +1/+1, then they both get +1/+1 counters. A third creature gets a +1/+1 counter, then all three get +1/+1 counters, etc.) This can add up quite quickly, leaving this sword a home in both Superfriends strategies as well as any sort of aggressive White decks.

Meanwhile Sinew and Steel has two very relevant abilities in a Cube and might be one of the more powerful additions. Being able to destroy a planeswalker and an artifact with one swing, while also providing protection from two of the colors with the heaviest amount of removal almost seems too good. No longer do you have to decide whether to attack the problematic planeswalker, or attack the player to actually trigger the sword's ability. Now you can do both, and being able to destroy an artifact in a set as heavily laden with artifacts as Vintage Cube is just glorious.

Reap the Past

This one is interesting, even though I'm not 100% sold on it, and I'm not sure it takes the place of anything that exists currently, but it's basically a rg "Draw X" spell similar to something like Sphinx's Revelation. Sure, you don't gain life, and there has to be cards in your graveyard, but I imagine if you're able to draw two or three cards off of this it becomes worth it. This is even more true if you're able to be more selective about which cards you're getting back thanks to something like delve.

This is going to feel a lot better in something like a Temur deck where you're getting powerful things like Huntmaster of the Fells, Remand, or Ancestral Recall back, rather than a deck where you might have a few copies of 1/1 Elves in your graveyard. One thing I dislike about X spells in Green is that they often discourage you from playing the cascade cards, but this one still stands out to me.

Soulherder

Sounherder may look unimpressive at first glance, but it's basically a three-mana Brago that doesn't need to attack to trigger its ability, and also gets bigger based on how much you blink. This is a great card to take advantage of all the powerful "enters the battlefield" abilities that are present, like Mulldrifter, Ravenous Chupacabra, Acidic Slime, Eternal Witness, etc. This also combos extremely well with Sun Titan, allowing you to get back a Soulherder that has died, followed by blinking the Sun Titan at the end of the turn to get something else back. This card seems like an innocuous-but-very-powerful additional to a lot of Cubes.

These have been some of the more interesting additions from Modern Horizons that I could find that might fit into various Cube builds that may exist. I'm definitely curious to hear if you think I missed anything or if you think disagree with any of my choices, so be sure to let me know in the comments before! As usual, thank you so much for reading, love you guys, and I'll catch you next week.

Frank Lepore

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