Oath of the Gatewatch Update
Cube List: http://www.cubetutor.com/viewcube/16870
Its been a while since I made an article about my updated Pauper Cube list. With Oath just out, here are the cards I am considering for the cube.
Searing Light: Most of the conditional removal in white is too inefficient or too conditional (Smite the Monstrous, Pillar of Light, Divine Judgement, Kill Shot). The O-Ring types of effects have long been the king of white’s removal in the cube. Celestial Flare has been a bit of an exception since it can hit the hexproof deck. Searing Light is efficiently costed and plays well vs defenders.
Shoulder to Shoulder: Being a sorcery keeps this from having the blowout potential that Common Bond has and Travel Preparations packs more value. Having said that, I have been very impressed with this card so far and it may find a place in the cube. More +1/+1 counter matters cards would make this better. More commons along the caliber of Ainok Bond-Kin and Sporeback Troll would be nice.
Blinding Drone: Blinding Drone is the only <> mana card that I am considering for the cube. Currently there are only six cards in the cube that make <> mana (Quicksand, Haunted Fengraf, Mindstone, Prismatic Lense, Kozilek’s Channeler, and Desert) with a seventh under consideration. As a tapper, it does a good job. The tapping ability is cheap and non-conditional. The body is nice (it can tap or block Guardian of the Guildpact too). If I were to include the card, I would need to consider how or if I would like to include wastes. Having some number on hand to hand over to the player that drafts blinding drone isn’t a satisfactory way to handle it. On the other hand, the list is already pretty tight and finding room for another land that would only be played with Blinding Drone is similarly unsatisfactory.
Slip Through Space: I currently run Artful Dodge (and to a lesser extent, Apostle’s Blessing) to allow the fiend creatures to get through. I think that Distortion Strike is better than Slip Through Space, so I don’t see myself putting this in the cube.
Comparative Analysis: At worst its Inspiration, which hasn’t been in the cube in a while, at best its an instant Divination. It still can’t compete with Compulsive Research or the other niche card draw spells. If I need to bring in another draw card to the cube, I can see myself bringing in Comparative Analysis.
Containment Membrane: This card has been pretty good in Oath limited. It gets even better in this cube where there are plenty of tap effects that can preemptively tap a creature. There are only two of this type of enchantment in the cube now, so perhaps I could stand to add another of this effect.
Kozilek’s Translator: This card fits well with black control decks. Its body blocks well and help generate extra mana to pull ahead with kickers, X spells, and other hay makers.
Corpse Churn: Black has strong graveyard synergies with multiple colors in the cube, but finding cards that milled you that were worth playing have been difficult. Corpse Churn being instant speed is great here. I am confident that I will find room in the cube for Corpse Churn.
Vampire Envoy: Vampire Envoy is almost a two card combo with Kalastria Nightwatch. Its stats are great, flying helps block. The Envoy doesn’t have enough synergies for my liking. The only “whenever you gain life” triggers are Kalastria Nightwatch and Nirkana Assassin, the latter is not good enough for the cube. Perhaps the Envoy will shine if more of those triggers are put at common.
Goblin Freerunner: Freerunner is close enough to a two drop 3/2 menace with relevant creature typing that he will have no problem making the cube.
Zada’s Commando: In the long history of red common 2 drops, red has never had a Youthful Knight. Riot Piker was the closest, but frequently enough found itself being blocked by 2/3s or 1/4s. The commando does not have the same downsides, while still being a relevant creature type with a great body.
Scion Summoner: Scion Summoner is efficient and synergizes well with the morbid cards in Green and the trumpet blast cards in White. The cube is full of X/1s which makes the Scion token a very capable blocker. Green could use some help in the three drop category.
Lead by Example: Lead by Example is best compared to two cards already in the cube, Travel Preparations and Common Bond. Compared to Travel Prep, you get instant speed but lose the flashback. Common Bond is harder to cast and more expensive, but you can put both counters on the same creature. If I make a cut, it will probably be Common Bond, but the Selesnya section of pauper is not particularly deep for the Auras deck.
Loam Larva: Loam Larva is the best blocker in the mana related green 2 drops. But putting the land on the top of the library is a very real downside compared to a card like Sylvan Ranger.
Tajuru Pathwarden: Pathwarden is big and having Vigilance on your finisher is huge. I’ve been impressed with Oakgnarl Warrior and the Pathwarden does a similar job. It is a more relevant creature type. Green five drops are pretty solid as is, but I am sure I will find some room for the Pathwarden.
Vines of the Recluse: When I am considering a combat trick for the cube, it needs to be one of three things. One option is a combat trick with good potential for a 2-for-1. Tandem Tactics and Symbiosis fit this bill. Another type of trick is a bloodrush creature. The third combat trick I would consider is an exceptionally efficient combat trick, like Swift Justice. Vines falls into the third category. When you play it, your creature is likely to survive combat and beat the opponents creature, sometimes ambushing an attacker. Green decks can make good advantage of combat tricks like this.
Crumbling Vestige: This land has been making some waves in constructed pauper, but without a need for colorless mana, I don’t see this land making the cut.
Holdout Settlement: This land is much more likely to make the cut. There are enough ways to make tokens to mitigate needing to tap a creature. The cube can always use more lands that tap for five colors.
Hand of Emrakul: Hand of Emrakul may make its triumphant return to the cube. Kozilek’s Channeler makes casting this more reasonable for non-green decks. Hand is another good reanimator target. I was hoping for another large eldrazi getting printed at common in Oath, but Kozilek’s Pathrazer doesn’t quite cut it.
Dread Drone: Emrakul’s Hatcher did not impress and felt pretty out of place in the cube. RG is less of a ramp deck now, so the hatcher does not have a place in the cube. Dread Drone provides drones which work well with both Morbid and the sacrifice themes in black. Unfortunately black 5 drops is already pretty stacked and I’d bring in Predatory Nightstalker before Dread Drone.
Fiery Temper: I’ve been eyeing Fiery Temper for a while now. I’m partial to any removal spell that becomes premium with a little bit of work. Both Blue and Red have looting effects and using a Fiery Temper to flip a Gathan Raiders sounds incredible. Plus the incoming reprint in Shadows Over Innistrad hints at some more support for red madness (plus the new art is super sweet).
Cuombajj Witches is replaced by Corpse Churn
Returned Centaur is replaced by Predatory Nightstalker
Shadowcloak Vampire is replaced by Dread Drone
Generator Servant is replaced by Zada’s Commando
Emrakul’s Hatcher is replaced by Goblin Freerunner
Volcanic Rush is replaced by Fiery Temper
Glade Watcher is replaced by Scion Summoner
Elvish Aberration is replaced by Tajuru Pathwarden