I had the pleasure of taking part in a couple of drafts during the weekend the Magic: The Gathering (MtGO) Cube debut. It was some of the most fun I’ve had on MtGO, only surpassed by getting to play the cube run by @wmap and @griffnvalentine. It was an amazing thing to behold. Tons of people descended on the Cube with a fervor I haven’t seen, keeping three separate queues firing nearly continously for an entire weekend.
I had the pleasure of joining in a couple of them. I chose to play the swiss option, trying to maximize my time to money spent as I don’t get to play often and I had a set budget going into the weekend. In the first queue I joined I drafted a solid white/blue deck that had great mid to late game action, but was weak in the early game. With perfect timing, I faced a nearly monored opponent who ran me over pretty easily. I had to drop after the first round, due to poorly timing when I started to play. Everyone in the house woke up and I was conscripted back into dad duty. A sad panda on dad duty.
The second time around I had learned my lesson and put my newfound knowledge to use. I waited until everyone was in bed before joining the queue. I then proceeded to draft this, a green/blue ramp combo deck. My initial thoughts as I built the deck was that it looked fun, and by the end it was that in spades. I ended up winning out, 3-0. Each of my matches was a battle though, as I dropped a game in each match. When the deck went off, it went big and I’d win on turn 5 or 6 with a ton of creatures. I had enough big creatures that I could also grind out games against players that had nothing but removal. I won two games the turn before I would die with Rude Awakening, one of the most appropos card names every minted to a card. Throughout the games, I was continually impressed with one card that I had really never looked twice at:
Edric, Spymaster of Trest came out with the publication of the Magic: The Gathering Commander decks. Namely, as one of the new generals in the Mirror Mastery deck. Very simply put, this card gives every creature you have on the battlefield the magpie ability, a la Thieving Magpie. I can only assume that @norbert88 likes this card.
This one card drew me cards all night. Part of the reason was due to it being in my opening hand in over half of my games. This happened a lot: turn 1, land, Birds of Paradise or Noble Heirarch; turn 2, land, Edric, Spymaster of Trest. Let me just say that this is a great way to start games. One turn I drew eight cards from an alpha strike involving plant tokens, virtually assuring that the game was mine based on card advantage alone. Many times I’d just drop Edric before I attacked with a creature that was either guaranteed to get through or my opponent couldn’t block profitably and net the extra card.
I was very impressed by the performance of Edric. So much so that I’m going to be adding him to my cube list. I’m currently running the following cards in my blue/green section:
Of these, the Sky Swallower and Mystic Snake are staying. Voidslime, and Spitting Image represent blue/green well enough that they’re also safe. This leaves Cold-Eyed Selkie, Lorescale Coatl and Snakeform. Snakeform is situationally very good, as you can get rid of creatures that have some very annoying abilities like first strike, flying, protections (except green/blue of course), and the like. The Coatl is simply a creature that gets bigger every turn, though he embodies a green and blue creature very well. Cold-Eyed Selkie is a fair comparison to Edric in terms of mana cost and abilities. Selkie will normally draw you one card, but has the potential to draw you many. It also comes with evasion, making this card too valuable to cut. This leaves only Snakform or Lorescale Coatl as options for cutting. Lorescale lets us take advantage of Selkie, Edric, and blues bountiful card drawing, plus I find it to be a fun creature. I generally find Snakeform to be underwhelming, so I’m likely going to give it the bench seat first. If Coatl slips any in estimation though, Snakeform will come back in its spot.