Khans of Tarkir Cards Under Consideration
Now that Khans of Tarkir has been fully spoiled, I can start considering cards for the Pauper cube. Compared to M15, there are less cards under consideration. None of the three-color commons are under consideration either. Both because 1) the cards aren’t good enough to warrant a slot and 2) In general I am reducing the number of three color cards in the cube. None of them were high picks and did not bring the power level that would warrant taking the risk of including a three color card.
The easiest new inclusion is the cycle of ‘Refuge’ lands. The cycle is strictly better in a cube without any gates matter cards. Having said that, the pP cube currently has less lands than the MTGO cube of the same size. I think there is enough room to include the refuge and the guildgate cycle. The only question became what to remove to include the new refuges? I have been pretty happy with the lands in the cube as is, the Cycling lands are the ones I am most likely to cut. I also thought about cutting the Ravnica Karoos, but their beneficial interactions with the Jund spell lands, the cycling lands, and now the refuges, there are too many ways to take advantage of their ‘down side.’ I will be cutting to obelisk cycle from Shards of Alara to make room for 5 of the lands. That cut was easy. The cards were among the worst fixing in the cube and with my trends towards removing triple color fixing, taking out the obelisks was easy. I briefly considered the banner cycle from Khans, but that cycle isn’t worth include. This conclusion made me think about why I include the obelisks at all. The removal of the obelisks frees up 5 slots. The other 5 slots for the lands will come from each color (1 card per color).
Ainok Bond-Kin: The bond kin is the only outlast creature that has caught my eye so far. There have been multiple pauper cubes toying with the idea of a +1/+1 counters matter theme. Mostly using graft cards from Guildpact and cards like Sporeback Troll, Helium Squirter, Aquastrand Spider, and Cytospawn Shambler. Now with Ainok Bond-Kin and Longshot Squad, it would be a hold easier to put together a +1/+1 counters matters theme. Green/Black already has ways to create +1/+1 counters on its creatures, so making some kind of Abzan counters deck is possible.
Jeskai Windscout: Jeskai Windscout is a creature I would include for the R/U Storm-ish deck. While the worst of the four, it has built in evasion and is probably the best of the creatures when you are not storming off. It helps add the balance of storm-ish creatures to R/U.
Singing Bell Strike: Singing Bell Strike might come in to replace Claustrophobia. Singing Bell Strike is better in aggressive blue decks (R/U, W/U, and some B/U) than Claustrophobia. I am interested in testing Singing Bell Strike, but a case could be made for either.
Bloodfire Expert: Bloodfire Expert is a maybe-but-unlikely. It would go in for the U/R deck, but if suffers from having no evasion. The high power is great, which helps off-set that it only gets +1/+1 when you case a non-creature spell.
Mardu Warshrieker: Warshrieker is another maybe-but-unlikely. The card will be included if I think the fixing option of the mana it generates from raid is worth it. I already don’t play Coal Stoker, which is basically just a mono-red making Warshrieker.
Valley Dasher: Valley Dasher is just another aggressive option for a red deck or red/white deck. It doesn’t have any particular synergy with any archetype, but a 2/2 haste for 2 its just find. The downside is a real downside, but with tricks and removal backing it up, the downside should not be too relevant.
Hooting Mandrils. I may just be a fool for a card with ‘Hoot’ in the card name, but I think this creature is the one Delve creature with the most potential for the cube. A 4/4 Trample is a pretty large creature. It works with some of the blue self-mill cards, the b/g dredge cards, or any other cards in your graveyard.
Savage Punch: The cube already has Pit Fight and Prey Upon for fight cards. Hunt the Weak and Time to Feed are a bit too weak to be included. Savage Punch is sitting right between those two groups of cards and might be worth considering. Plus the art is super sweet.
So if you see any of the listed cards at the pre-release (particularly the new lands) grab em’ up so I can trade them for the cube.