Cube: Magic 2012

I’m running way behind on making modifications to my cube. The summer has been busy with work and family commitments, including finding out that we’re expecting a new little girl at the end of December. I’m very excited for that, but it simply means my wife and I have had to press our schedules further so we’ll have time when she arrives. Due to this, I’ve found very few free moments until now to plan how to mold my cube with the latest sets, but I’ve finally been able to address Magic 2012 and how it changes my list.

Update: I really love Twitter. It lets me tap into the pulse of a large portion of the Magic: The Gathering community and receive feedback that I otherwise wouldn’t have access to without spending large amounts of time on forums and the like. Since I don’t have a dedicated play group to test all my changes in a timely manner, I give a lot of weight to advice I receive from fellow Twitter users who maintain their own cube lists. Based on their feedback after I posted this and shared it on Twitter, I’ve made a couple minor tweaks to the changes. Many thanks to @UsmanTheRad, @kstube, and @theCubeMiser for their input.

White

Blade Splicer » Timely Reinforcements

Blade Splicer is good value, but Time Reinforcements provides white with an awesome recovery spell that can be good at any point in the game. I may shuffly Blade Splicer back into place in another slot, but I have to find something else that I’m willing to part with.

Update: I’ve cancelled this change based on feedback from @kstube, @UsmanTheRad, and @theCubeMiser. I’ve stated that my goal is to enable aggro and he pointed out quite succinctly that Timely Reinforcements is an aggro hoser. I do think that strategies should many times have a foil or counter in place, but since I’ve been pushing aggro in all colors @kstube made a great point that I can’t ignore. All of those who provided feedback to me indicated that they didn’t like this change.

Blue

Tezzeret the Seeker » Jace, Memory Adept

I’ve decided to cap my non-multicolor planeswalker count at three a color. Thus, I’m keeping blue all in the family; the Jace family. Tezzeret the Seeker is a great planeswalker, but I do not value him as highly as Jace Beleren or Jace, the Mind Sculptor as he requires focusing in on a very specific strategy to be successful. Jace, Memory Adept is a force to be reckoned with in limited, and will also enable graveyard-centric strategies in my cube.

Arcane Denial » Phantasmal Image

I’m not a big fan of Arcane Denial. It’s another card that’s been in my cube from nearly when I began it, and I’m ready for a new card in the two slot. Phantasmal Image is a very interesting Clone variant that has proven to be strong against legends; especially adept at killing off untargetable legends such as Thrun, the Last Troll or Geist of Saint Traft. This will likely be a nice foil to have in place when I make changes with respect to Innistrad.

Black

Desolation Angel » Rune-Scarred Demon

I’m moving Desolation Angel out of black, though I may put it into the multi-color section, as many others have choosen to do. The decision of what to replace it with was a bit hard as I really like the power level of the Rune-Scarred Demon, but also find Vengeful Pharaoh to be very tempting. In the end, I think that the pharaoh may be a little harder to get going without other cards to support it, while the demon allows you to Vampiric Tutor for the best card in your current situation, while also providing an excellent evasive body.

Red

Incendiary Command » Chandra, the Firebrand

I’m not quite willing to take Chandra Nalaar out for Chandra, the Firebrand. Adding Chandra the third brings red up to my new arbitrary maximum for planeswalkers in red. While I like the flexibility that Incendiary Command brings, I feel that it’s the right card to pull.

Moltensteel Dragon » Inferno Titan

Inferno Titan is a stronger card than the dragon. What it lacks in evasion and speed of casting it makes up for in its ability to mow down the opponent’s board or flame their face. The dragon is a strong card, in that it opens up a lot of room for skill to matter. However, it also opens you up to major blowouts if you commit to the dragon plan too early and your opponent is able to successfully counter that plan.

Squee, Goblin Nabob » Chandra's Phoenix

Squee is an old stand by, but I think it’s time to try red’s newest recursive creature, in the form of Chandra’s Phoenix. The phoenix is more aggressive and has evasion and, I believe, will serve red’s plan a bit better.

Keldon Marauders » Stormblood Berserker

I believe that Stormblood Berserker is a much better aggressive choice than Keldon Marauders. It complements the awesome one drops that red has and is hard to block early.

Update: Both @UsmanTheRad and @theCubeMiser indicated that they didn’t like this change. I think particularly because the Marauders are really good in the aggro red strategy. Usman provided me a nice list of possible cuts I could make to keep the Marauders in. I’m taking his advice on moving Rack and Ruin out and keeping the Keldon Marauders in.

Rack and Ruin » Keldon Marauders

Green

Primal Command » Garruk, Primal Hunter

Here’s another instance where I feel that a planeswalker is more powerful than one of the commands. Primal Command is one of my favorite of the cycle, but Garruk, Primal Hunter brings to the table a planeswalker that protects itself, provides card draw to green which reinforces its goal of big creatures, and wurms. Lots of wurms.

Harrow » Hunter's Insight

Hunter’s Insight provides a great incentive for green to be aggressive and to capitalize on that aggression. Harrow is great in its own right, but I find it to be one of the weaker mana fixing green spells now that I don’t have as many support cards for it, such as Countryside Crusher or Terravore.

Colorless

All is Dust » Swiftfoot Boots

I’ve not been able to really put All is Dust to good use, despite drafting it a decent number of times. It’s a very powerful sweeper, and with work can be extremely one-sided in your favor. But, continuing my push for lower mana curves and aggressive creatures, Swiftfoot Boots is much more in line with the current goal of my cube.

Innistrad

Since Innistrad has already been released, I’ll be trying to evaluate it for changes soon. The set has a lot of very flavorful and interesting cards, including a few slam dunks such as Liliana of the Veil, Garruk Relentless, and Geist of Saint Traft.

Father, husband, programmer, gamer. Magic: The Gathering enthusiast who enjoys playing and discussing the game with anyone who is willing.

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