Mono Red Tweaking

Trying to strengthen mono red strategies by adding another aggressive one drop. There are still enough burn spells in the 1 and 2 mana spot, which might be used in a wide variety of decks, e.g. control or even midrangy strats, either as removal or closing power. Red in general still needs work. Planned additions are Seasoned Pyromancer and Dreadhorde Arcanist.
Lightning Strike > Firedrinker Satyr

Thing in the Ice > Search for Azcanta

Cube ready for next testing, strategy, drafting

STRATEGY, CUTS AND CHANGES In a few days the cube will be drafted. Due to this purpose, colors were made even in numbers. Latest big addition ist the man land cycle from Zendikar, e.g.creeping tar pit and so on. Due to the increasing card number, lands were getting a little lite in drafting. Before that the main concern was to push the reanimate scheme, many reanimate spells were added, e.g. shallow grave and necromancy. In the following draft, it became clear that discard outlets were missing. So we added Oona's Prowler and Putrid Imp to help with that. Mono green finally seems powerful enough, it dominated the last draft, although it is not overpowered and can be opposed. But there are some number of cards, which are definitely debatable. E.g. Genesis Wave. Has never made an appearance in a deck and hence no impact. Genesis Hydra was a former member of the team to and was cut in the end. The idea of ramping out and then playing a giant genesis wave, that puts in some fatties is quite satisfying. But it seems like there is no need for that or at least better alternatives. Maybe a tutor functions better in this position, so we will be testing with the addition of Chord and Eldritch Evolution. Elvish Piper is another problem. This card fits in sneak and show shells, but happens to be green. So it is first considered in green decks with big stuff in it. In the nature of playing green is ramping out lands and producing more mana with mana dorks or things like that. The Piper is kind of contradictory to this line, because it does not demand ramp at the first place to do its thing. In addition to that, it dies to removal very easily because of its fragile body. It needs to stay out a round before it can generate any kind of advantage. At last, there are enough fatties to put into play, maybe Piper can show its potential at last, we'll see. White was - and probably still is - the color with a lack of power. Although it combines well with red in aggro because of weenies or with blue in control because of good and cheap disruption, it in itself feels kind of weak. Whites latest additions were Honor of the pure to push mono white (tried out spear before, not to impressed with that though) and unexpectedly absent, which we always wanted to include, let's see how it goes. White and red aggro, besides mono green, tend to be the colors that are easy to draft, especially for cube beginners or such, not too experienced with the cube format. There is no need for special cards to draft those decks, but there are certain cards like Honor of the pure or sulfuric vortex (in red) that push mono colored strategies. Moat also was a recent addition, it is kind of an unfair card, but it makes white control decks much stronger and is a key strategy card in white. Blue and Black are probably the strongest colors and also happen to be the ones, which offer a wide variety of strategy components. They both have cards, which can be build around. In black there is the reanimate package with discard spells, reanimate spells and also some cool reanimate targets like griselbrand, sheoldred, massacre wurm and grave titan. Black also has quite good removal and the best tutors which can be interesting for many more midrangy/controlish decks or even offcolor combo like storm or twin. Mind twist is without a doubt one of the most broken cards in the cube, it is always on the edge of being cut. With mana acceleration it just ruins the opponents game Blue has stuff like opposition, upheaval, high tide and many more card combos that are very powerful. The only cards of the power nine which aren't artifacts all are blue. Blue allows to draw to you deck faster, so you can find combo pieces or control cards or whatever you want to find. It tends to be a color that is controlish, not the easiest to play, especially for beginners, because the are many descisions to be made. E.g. when playing aggro you are the aggressor and put pressure on the opponent with cards like goblin guide or frontline medic. The opponent needs to react to them if they are on a slower tech or they are gonna die fast. If you are the opponent you have to make decisions like "is it worth to kill one of the creatures now, or do I search for a board wipe" to possibly 2/3/4 for one your opponent, even if you need to take a few more points of damage. Blue almost always wants to be paired to another color, because it is great in supportive play like drawing cards or countering spells. It can be played solo with artifacts though. GENERAL IDEAS FOR DRAFTING CUBE: -How familiar are you with the cube? When not so much, it can be easier to focus on general strategies like aggro, midrange and control and no more than two colors, to go with that. Pick cards that fit into those shells. Do not try to force the colors, some great cards may be open (people do not seem to draft those cards this cube round) which you might miss out otherwise. - Pick strong and strategy refining cards to start if you are more advanced. - Always pick nonblue power if you see it, including sol ring, mana crypt, mana vault (and grim monolith). Only some aggro decks won't need the last ones but moxen and lotus fit in every deck, even if they are off color. Ancestral Recall is probably the strongest piece of power, followed by Lotus and the Moxen then Time Walk and Timetwister. - Great mana, especially ramp, ramp artifacts and lands are often underestimated. Make sure to pick color fixing as early and as often as possible, even if you need to pass a strong card. If you end up with good spells but are unable to play them, that isn't a well chosen alternative either. - Fetchlands are very good. Always think about the colors they can fetch up. For example: You have already picked up a Volcanic Island and a Steam Vents. Now you see a Misty Rainforest which can fetch up an island or a forest. You should consider Misty as a land that at this point is green blue and red, because it fetches both volcanic and the vents. It is a very strong card for you at this time, there are few cards to pick over it. Additionally it allows to maybe splash some green spice. Same thing the other way around with fetchable lands. If you pick up a underground sea, future fetchlands like bloodstained mire or marsh flats are able to get blue because of the sea. This are picks you can do, when there are no real helpful cards in the pack left or your concept is not supported by the cards in the pack. - Most strategies use creatures to win the game. Run enough of them. Numbers vary from strategy to strategy though. In aggro decks you want more creatures than other spells, in control some finishers may be good enough. - Make sure to run some amount of removal, either in form of counters, creature/permanent destruction or discard. Unless you play a very fast combo, but even that you might want to protect with discard, to see if the coast is clear. - Pay attention to the mana curve, it should roughly look like a Gaussian distribution. This also may vary but is true for the most decks. In aggro decks the curve peaks earlier than in midrange or control decks. In combo you should only consider the spells, that are actually cast with mana. Think about the amount of ramp you are using. The more, the higher your curve can be. You normally want to play between 16 and 18 lands. - When playing combo decks, search spells like can trips and tutors often are mandatory. They make you get the important pieces of the combo much more reliably and in general the deck more resilient. Often only a few win conditions are enough like in a tendrils or a brain freeze storm or some fatties and reanimate spells in reanimator. - While drafting, the process of wheeling can decide if you get the right pieces for your deck. It is a more advanced technique and needs a bit of practice and knowledge of the cards in the cube. For example: You are planning on drafting a blue red controlish deck and have the first components for that. Pack number 2. Pick up. You see a splinter twin, which could add a combo to your deck and might be good, but you are lacking any of the payoff creatures like pestermite, deceiver exarch or a zealous conscripts. There are also a lot of other good cards in the pack and you choose to pick a cryptic command. In the next pack there is a deceiver exarch and you have already seen the combo component splinter twin, so you can easily pick it now. Even if twin does not wheel, exarch is a fine card you still might end up playing. Other players might pick twin, but they do not get the information of the existence of that deceiver exarch you just picked with the acception of one player, but that one does not know about the twin. So the chance of wheeling is quite good in that example and you might end up adding a strong combo to a good control deck, which is good to close the game out. If a card wheels often depends on various factors and often can not be broken down to. There is no insurance for wheeling. - Hatepicking is a thing, but not well renowned between most players. So if you see cards, you want to avoid playing against, it is viable to just pick them, so nobody else can get them and use them against you, even if you won't end up playing them. - Changing and tweaking your deck between the games is good. Check all of your picked cards and evaluate, if some might replace main deck cards and even top their performance. It is also alright, to have some sideboard cards like artifact or enchantment destruction, counters removal or other cards that can be advantageous in certain matchups.

Basalt Monolith

Darksteel MutationGoblin RabblemasterThing in the Ice

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