Ravnica Allegiance Update

Rhythm of the Wild: This card is an upgrade over Samut, Voice of Dissent for the Gruul hasty monsters deck, but what really excites me about Rhythm of the Wild is that it’s a new combo piece for one of my all-time favorite niche archetypes, Infinite Persist Combo. Since Persist-based combos need 3 pieces, they are harder to put together than Splinter Twin would be in higher power Cubes, but like Twin combo most of the pieces are fine Cube cards on their own. This Cube currently runs four persist creatures (Murderous Redcap, Kitchen Finks, Woodfall Primus, and Glen Elendra, Archmage) with 3.25 enablers (Metallic Mimic, Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit, Master Biomancer, and Archangel of Thune for Finks) and 6 free sacrifice outlets (Falkenrath Aristocrats, Carrion Feeder, Viscera Seer, Butcher of the Horde, Greater Gargadon, and Goblin Bombardment). In practice these combo decks typically end up being Rakdos or Mardu, which puts a lot of pressure on Metallic Mimic and Murderous Redcap. I think Rhythm of the Wild could open up Infinite Persist Combo decks to Gruul (or Temur/Jund/Naya) drafters and that this combo is a way to give Gruul, a generally straightforward guild, some more depth in Cube. Landing Woodfall Primus then immediately mowing down ALL of your opponent’s noncreature permanents feels fantastic, but it was hard to pull off when most of the enablers were in the Mardu colors. Also, the “creatures spells you control can’t be countered” clause on Rhythm of the Wild Is relevant as a form of combo piece protection against blue-based control matchups. Dovin, Grand Arbiter: The cut was Drogskol Reaver, whose function in the Lifegain decks is better filled by the on-color payoff Dawn of Hope. I think Dovin, Grand Arbiter will be played in a much wider variety of decks as a tempo-y cross between Bitterblossom and Jace Beleren. Hydroid Krasis: Great value for a rampy color pair. Time to let Trygons be Trygones. Gutterbones: Gutterbones is a fabulous recursive threat for aggro that can also act as a backup Squee for abusing repeatable discard or sacrifice outlets. The cut, Doomwake Giant, was a vestige of an enchantment deck that used to be better supported in this Cube. Doomwake Giant was getting woefully outclassed by hyperefficient threats like Doom Whisperer. Rix Maadi Reveler: The cut was Jaya Ballard, Task Mage. Jaya was intended to act as a discard outlet for Rakdos reanimator that also had utility in mono-red, but I disliked Jaya’s color hosing aspect and the intense mana and card investments she required. Rix Maadi Reveler is a speedier discard outlet for Rakdos reanimator decks that will also feel right at home in mono-red with or without a couple of Rakdos lands. Rix Maadi Reveler is great on turn two in an aggro curve, or as a late game topdeck when you can play your last land into Rix Maadi Reveler to just draw a card or three. Skarrgan Hellkite: I like when red gets some big mana sinks. Skarrgan Hellkite is much speedier than Flameblast Dragon both because of haste and costing one less. In addition, this Cube is rife with alternative ways to give Skarrgan Hellkite a +1/+1 counter, so you can have your haste and burn them too. Incubation Druid: This elf is good as a normal ramp creature and great if you can get an early +1/+1 counter onto it, a feat which this Cube has lots of ways to accomplish. Big picture, I like how Incubation Druid blends green’s ramp and +1/+1 counter themes. End-Raze Forerunners: This gives the Craterhoof Ramp deck some much needed redundancy. The loss of both Sandwurm Convergence and Nature’s Way might make green weak to flying strategies full of Angels or Dragons, but maybe the recent addition of Kraul Harpooner helps mediate that weakness.
Samut, Voice of Dissent > Rhythm of the WildDrogskol Reaver > Dovin, Grand ArbiterTrygon Predator > Hydroid KrasisDoomwake Giant > GutterbonesJaya Ballard, Task Mage > Rix Maadi RevelerFlameblast Dragon > Skarrgan HellkiteNature's Way > Incubation DruidSandwurm Convergence > End-Raze Forerunners

Deathrite Shaman > Grim FlayerNiv-Mizzet, the Firemind > Niv-Mizzet, Parun

Back down to 540 cards

Champion of the Parish > Healer's HawkLightformDocent of PerfectionOb Nixilis, the FallenWar-Name AspirantHooded HydraLightning Greaves

Buildarounds

Champion of the ParishPatient RebuildingOb Nixilis, the FallenLathliss, Dragon QueenRamunap ExcavatorCrucible of Worlds

Yahenni, Undying Partisan > Doom Whisperer

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