This seems like a good upgrade. For one mana more, Restoration Angel has improved toughness and does a similarly good job at saving your creature. However, you get the bonus of returning it to the battlefield instead of your hand. This can lead to all sorts of tricks with creature with “enters the battlefield” or “leaves the battlefield” creatures which is something cube lists generally have a lot of.
I’ve been phasing out the White, Silver, Black, and Blood Knight (how come green never got a knight?) over time, mainly due to their restrictive mana costs. Silverblade Paladin seems like a great upgrade. Cards like Knight of Glory and Knight of Infamy from Magic 2013 are good options for filling these slots as well.
Vesuvan Shapeshifter will stay in my on deck binder, as it’s good enough to easily make it’s way back into my list. However, Sakashima’s Student brings an element of surprise to the battlefield that Vesuvan doesn’t have. Surprise is fun, but ninjas are even more fun.
Removing Jace, Memory Adept for Tamiyo, the Moon Sage was the very first change I decided I was going to make with Avacyn Restored. This one doesn’t need much explanation. Jace isn’t very much fun in limited. Tamiyo, on the other hand, brings card draw, psuedo-removal, and repeatable spells to the table.
Keiga, the Tide Star has been on its way out of a lot of cube lists. Fettergeist helps push blue aggro a bit and is a beefy flier, which cushions the loss of Keiga. Fettergeist is also a strong card in control decks as well, as he’s cheaper to play as a loner.
Cursecatcher was in there to support blue aggro, but I feel that Spell Pierce is a better card. It hits the same targets but isn’t vulnerable to removal like the merfolk (*cough* *cough*, Mer-MAN! MER-MAN!), and lays down a greater mana tax on your opponent.
Kagemaro has been in my list for a very long time, but has been on the shortlist for replacement. Griselbrand presents a very strong argument for inclusion. It’s a prime creature for reanimation decks and a solid finisher for control decks.
I think Demonic Taskmaster presents a very interesting card to build around in a cube. It can come down early and it hits hard. I feel that it should be fun to play with, but its drawback has the potential to burn those who play it. It’s not a card to just chuck in any deck, but it has its uses.
The War Marshal is not a bad card, but with all the aggressive creatures in the format, a burn spell that removes the creature from the game entirely is not unwelcome. I absolutely adore Mogg War Marshal in a common cube. My favorite was using him in conjunction with Carrion Feeder and in conjunction with ways to return the Marshal to my hand from the graveyard. However, I think he’s becoming slightly under powered for my current cube.
Obsidian Fireheart is very much a win on the flavor front, however it hasn’t played nearly as well as I would like on the battlefield. The triple red in the cost is very prohibitive, making it only useful in only the most red decks of red decks. Lightning Mauler, on the other hand, is splashable, and gives itself and other creatures haste, which is a very valuable attribute on a creature, especially in the aggressive decks.
Arc-Slogger was underappricated for a long time, but actually was a very useful creature in the right deck. It plays well in decks where you need repeat removal and don’t mind dumping your library into your graveyard. It’ll stay in my on deck binder, as I can see bringing it back in sometime in the future. In its place for now I want to try out Thunderous Wrath. Right now it’s the only miracle card I’m including. However, I feel like Bonfire of the Damned will quickly take its place. I didn’t have a copy of this card when I made this switch, which has proven to be very good. Other miracle cards I’m considering including are Entreaty of Angels and Terminus. However, I want to wait a bit to see how others like the miracle mechanic in their cubes overall.
I really like this change. Zealous Conscripts is one of the more exciting cards from Avacyn Restored, despite it containing quite a few solid cards for cube. You get an Act of Treason on a decent body, only you can steal any permanent… any. Stealing an opponent’s planeswalker just before they ultimate is an awesome event; one that I’d like to experience.
Plow Under is powerful, but not very fun to play against. I have no qualms seeing it in cube lists because it is so very good. However, I’m trying to gear my cube to provide a fun experience as much as possible, seeing as I don’t get to actually draft it as much as I like.
The Baloth is one of my old favorites. But I believe that Wolfir Avenger is a leaner, meaner machine. With flash and regeneration I think it provides more value than being able to sacrifice board position for life gain. You give up a little in the body, but it can be a bigger pain for your opponent than Ravenous Baloth.
Wild Nacatl is one of the best, if not *the* best, aggressive one drops ever printed, but in the cube it’s hard to get it to full power. Ulvenwald Tracker brings some needed repeatable removal to green.
I’m happy bringing in Somberwald Sage in this slot, but I’m not happy to lose Hurricane. It’ll likely be a fine change, as ramping into your bigger creatures is one of green’s primary roles, and the Sage brings that in spades. I’ll miss Hurricane a bit. But, I have been thinking of bringing back Silklash Spider – which gives you a repeatable Hurricane on a scary 2/7 blocker with reach. Silklash was in my original cube list and stayed there for a long time. With the latest spate of awesome fliers in the last few sets – Lingering Souls, Restoration Angel, etc. – he seems ready for a comeback.
Ophidians are great cards as they refill your hand while chipping away at your opponent’s life total. However, with the constant increase in creature power level, they seem to underperform more often than not. I believe that Shardless Agent will be a needed addition to the green/blue decks as those colors have a lot of interesting cards at or under the cost of two mana.
Baleful Strix deserves to be in the cube on its power alone. Not only do you get a flying deathtoucher, but it replaces itself when it hits the battlefield. A pretty good deal for two mana. I chose to keep Agony Warp in over Soul Manipulation, but on another day I could have swung the other way. I’m definitely keeping Soul Manipulation in my on deck binder in case I flip-flop on Agony Warp.
I initially thought I’d switch out Loxodon Hierarch out for Sigarda, but instead I opted for Wilt-Leaf Liege. The Liege has as restrictive a cost as Sigarda, and while it can be “cheated” into play if your opponent makes you discard it, it would only happen seldomly enough that I feel it doesn’t carry enough weight to factor it into the decision.
The Legionnaire had to go, as removing damage on the stack was ultimately when the Legionnaire was neutered. I haven’t classified lands in any particular color before, but I know of many who put lands in their list in the color it makes the most sense in. I’m starting with Slayers’ Stronghold as it’s very clearly a red/white card. Vigilance, haste and two extra power make this land a threat with even the smallest creatures, so I felt it earned a spot.
I meant to get this out and posted before the release of Magic 2013, but I’ve fallen behind in all things Magic of late. Now that M13 is already released, I’ve been looking at what it brings to the cubing table. I’m most definitely making room for creatures like Thundermaw Hellkite and Thragtusk. The new planeswalker, Ajani, Caller of the Pride, will likely have a spot as well. I have yet to figure out if it will be Ajani Goldmane, Elspeth Tirel, Knight-Errant that will be called on to make room though. There seem to be a decent amount of solid cards in M13.