UMA update

Tethmos High Priest just seems almost overpowered considering how effective weenie strategies are within the cardpool. White is now officially the best reanimation color thanks to Resurrection being downshifted. Angelic Renewal is out because of its trigger's limitations. There's no saving a creature after Angelic Renewal enters the battlefield. Pauper now has a comparable Fleshbag Marauder-type effect (albeit on a 4-mana creature). It's something that Black needed because of the utility a sac ability like that has. Mortis Dogs was a fun experimental card. It didn't work out that well thanks to how much removal is available in the cardpool. Sparkspitter is kind of a 'trap' card. It has a strong ability that's quite aggressive but the card itself doesn't really belong in a typical aggro deck. Its better fit would be reanimation decks thanks to its discard cost. Catalyst Elemental simply lacks the oomph that Sparkspitter has. Red doesn't lose that much from losing the RR mana ability. Nightbird's Clutches seemed like an easier card to pass on but after giving it more thought, fits neatly into a bunch of different aggro builds. Red's 'panic' (can't block) ability gets a bit more representation. On top of that, 'spells' decks get an extra spell in the flashback ability. Pursue Glory has been a problematic include for a couple of reasons. One, it's just too expensive to be an enticing card to include in a deck. The cycling ability doesn't lend any flavor, really. That's been my gripe about Cycling since it came out. Arena Athlete is an exciting prospect. Its ability makes for bad blocks or no blocks during its controller's combat phase. Opponents are always going to be a little more on-edge when trying to hold back enough blockers during a damage race. Firebrand Archer was incredibly difficult to take out of its slot but I ultimately went with the reasoning that more fun and interactive play situations would arise from putting Arena Athlete in. Fire // Ice is simply one of those cards that outclasses any of the contenders for its spot. The split card's versatility simply cannot be overstated, especially in Pauper. Either a 2-for-1 or tempo cantrip. Just wow. Eldrazi Devastator and Ulamog's Crusher have returned thanks to the viability of reanimator decks. My old reasoning that I didn't want to include them in the Cube was because I didn't want Colorless to outclass Green in terms of creature size. My mind has changed since then. Green still has the best creatures for the cost across the curve. It doesn't matter much that Green doesn't have the biggest creatures in the card pool. In an attempt to offset just a little the overall loss of fast mana in Red and the exclusion of Skittering Surveyor, I've decided to re-include Lotus Petal. It's a good card to pick as opposed to de-drafting from a non-viable pack. Alchemist's Vial is a surprisingly good tempo card. For three mana total, it can provide an advantage in combat while increasing a deck's velocity. Mycosynth Wellspring will be missed. Foil is simply too good to pass up. This is the closest Pauper can ever get to a Force of Will. Memory Lapse is perhaps the 'worst' counterspell in the Cube but I treat it as more of a tempo card than a counterspell. Mana Leak on the other hand is a good counterspell early on but loses its potency the longer the game goes on, so it was the easier choice.
Auramancer > Tethmos High PriestAngelic Renewal > ResurrectionMortis Dogs > Slum ReaperCatalyst Elemental > SparkspitterPursue Glory > Nightbird's ClutchesFirebrand Archer > Arena AthleteLeap of Flame > Fire // IceSkittering Surveyor > Eldrazi DevastatorSkyscanner > Ulamog's CrusherChromatic Star > Lotus PetalMycosynth Wellspring > Alchemist's VialMana Leak > Foil

Guilds of Ravnica update

Healer's Hawk is too good to pass up. It can start swinging early to pad its owner's life total while more easily stay alive thanks to its built-in evasion. Savannah Lions suffers the 'last pick' effect a lot of the time. It's a good body for the cost but considering how easily the ground gets clogged up early in the game, Savannah Lions doesn't scale up as well as the Hawk later in the game. Burglar Rat is functionally similar to their Ravenous cousins but has the added benefit of being more relevant in a 2HG (or bigger) game. This will be extremely; however, I like to keep that option open. On an unrelated flavor note, I like the fact that Burglar Rat is a single rat as opposed to the plural Ravenous Rats. More rats should be bigger than 1/1, like Chittering Rats which is a 2/2. Torch Courier is taking the spot previously occupied by Emrakul's Hatcher because I want Red to be a little lower to the ground while reinforcing the 'Haste' sub-theme. I was really tempted to take out either Goblin Motivator or Insolent Neonate but decided against that because their early-game synergy with various strategies is quite relevant. Emrakul's Hatcher is the least 'Red' card currently in its color. While the Tokens strategy takes a bit, Morbid and Revolt are reasonably easier to trigger. Catalyst Elemental did come in during the previous update, so there's still 'fast mana' in Red.
Savannah Lions > Healer's HawkRavenous Rats > Burglar RatEmrakul's Hatcher > Torch Courier

M19 addendum

Goblin Motivator is in for Bloodlust Inciter because... Goblins.
Bloodlust Inciter > Goblin Motivator

M19 update

It took a while, but I finally got around to updating the Cube with some shiny new M19 cards. Goblin Instigator is an easy swap-in for Mogg War Marshal. Echo really hurts the versatility of the War Marshal, making it synergize poorly with most effects players would want to get out of it. Instigator gives the player more open-ended options. Catalyst Elemental is a slight push in the direction of fast mana for Red. It's an opposite include to Valakut Invoker's mana sink ability. Skyscanner is going in to provide some more variety on the Artifact front because of its ETB trigger and built-in evasion. Ingot is out partly because the recent addition of Skittering Surveyor seems like enough 'fixing'.
Mogg War Marshal > Goblin InstigatorValakut Invoker > Catalyst ElementalDarksteel Ingot > Skyscanner

Battlebond update+

Generally, Battlebond doesn't have a strong showing for Pauper so there was very little for me to consider including. Peace Strider and Pierce Strider are both exceptional downshifts that deserve provisional inclusion. Guardian Automaton is an easy swap for the former. Reverting the change is highly unlikely to happen. Pierce Strider is a different story. I have my reservations that it might end up like Renegade Freighter, in that both are 'easy' first picks. Four mana for colorless 'burn' is hard to pass up. Tormenting Voice is out because too often am I seeing it as a late pick. Also, it's often one of the first cards to be cut during deckbuilding. Red generally doesn't need the card draw. Fling is back! Elven Cache is coming in just for kicks. It's a 'funny-bad' card because Green has so many better recursion options--but not in Pauper. I'm curious to see if players catch on to its unassuming utility. Hunt the Weak is out just because it's not that exciting of a card. Green doesn't really need that much removal considering its relatively overpowered top of the mana curve creature pool. Adding to Green's slight shift towards variety/utility is Spore Cloud. I fear it might be a little too backbreaking, akin to a Green Time Walk that stops alpha strikes for two whole turns! The good thing is that Spore Cloud isn't an obvious first pick. It's another card that's relatively low key but savvy players will pick up on its devastating power. Beneath the Sands has felt like a filler card from the get-go. The cycling is nice but it's just so underwhelming given its mana cost and effect. Also, there's more than enough ramp at that slot. I think it's redundant to the point of being nothing but a boring include. Double Cleave is less of a Boros card and more of a R/G Beats, or U/R Spells support card. I wanted to add a little more support to Kiln Fiend and friends. Squee's Embrace had two many problems to keep it around. Bounce effects were too effective against it, of which there's a ridiculous amount of in the card pool. The color restrictions also made it less-enticing of a pick early on.
Tormenting Voice > FlingHunt the Weak > Elven CacheBeneath the Sands > Spore CloudSquee's Embrace > Double CleaveGuardian Automaton > Peace StriderPentad Prism > Pierce Strider

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