What does Theros hold for Cube? John Cuvelier tells you what he’s thinking about adding to his Cube once the new set is released.




I think we can all agree that Theros is awesome. The set is full of powerful cards as well as balanced ones. I have owned a Cube since it became a thing. As such, the first thing I do when a new set is spoiled is look for cards in it that could make it into the Cube. Usually this process is fairly easy, as most sets have between one and at most ten new cards that really jump out. Theros is a whole other monster.


That’s the number of cards that immediately caught my eye as potential cards to add, which is not counting some others that may have been overlooked at first glance. That’s probably why I’m so excited about Theros. My Cube is a larger one at exactly 600 cards. For those interested in my current list, you can find it here.

Let’s hop to it!

Elspeth, Sun’s Champion

What we have here is a strict upgrade. That is, if you’re using Elspeth Tirel like me. For one more mana you have a sweeper for big problematic creatures, a plus instead of a minus loyalty that makes creatures, and an ultimate that is truly frightening. All in all, the Sun’s Champion has found its way into my Cube without much thought.

Spear of Heliod

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Wait, didn’t I just say that? A new Glorious Anthem that somehow helps us race an opponent even better. Heck, its borderline playable in a control deck with the destroy target creature ability. The Spear will most likely replace Honor of the Pure in my Cube since I like being able to have an additional anthem effect for multicolored aggressive decks.

Soldier of the Pantheon

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Are you seeing a pattern? There’s Savannah Lions, and then there’s this. It’s the same cost as the old Cat but also has protection from gold and randomly gains you a couple of life. It’s hard to believe the power creep of Magic cards over the years.

Thassa, God of the Sea

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Now, what on earth does this card compare to? Think Tank! Duh. Okay, well obviously Think Tank isn’t good enough for Cube. The five devotion is something blue probably won’t be able to achieve. Making something unblockable can be useful for blue decks, especially if you have something like Ninja of the Deep Hours or Ink Eyes, Servant of Oni. I’ll be giving Thassa a shot but wouldn’t be surprised if she’s not good enough.

Hero’s Downfall

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Okay, okay I’ll stop. But seriously, it’s weird they would print this when Murder was around not so long ago, not to mention it’s an obvious duplicate of Dreadbore. Having flexible removal is something that’s always good to have, especially in Cube where you’re almost guaranteed to be dealing with a planeswalker.

Mogis’s Marauder

This guy is something black aggro decks love to have. Essentially, it’s a 2/2 haste creature for B2 that gives your team intimidate. Which often means unblockable. Which most likely means your opponent is dead. We all know how much you like a dead opponent.

Whip of Erebos

We’ve been hearing a lot about this card and its interaction with Obzedat, Ghost Council. The Whip definitely works well in a reanimator style deck. Giving your larger creature lifelink is an added bonus. My only concern is how slow it is and that it may not be a good fit because of that. I’ll be testing this with caution.

Tormented Hero

Black gets another strong one-drop. The heroic mechanic isn’t something that Cube decks can traditionally abuse, but it’s a welcome bonus to a strong card for the aggro black deck. An instant include for pretty much every Cube.

Firedrinker Satyr

What we have here is a strict upgrade. I know I said I’d stop, but they keep giving me strict upgrades! Move over Jackal Pup—there’s a new one-drop in town. Being able to trade up with a big creature later in the game and having a mana sink late in the game is just awesome. Not much can be said about it that hasn’t already been said. This guy is just amazing.

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Now this guy is pretty interesting. The five devotion is something that I think can be achieved in red, especially if you have cards like Blistering Firecat and Ball Lightning in your Cube. On top of that we have an effect that Shocks our opponent every time a creature enters the battlefield. Giving you more reach when you play a random red man is a good thing to have. I can imagine playing this on turn 4 and Siege-Gang Commander on turn 5 as I laugh at my opponent. Then we also have an Orcish Oriflamme effect to top it all off. It makes me think there may be a home in the Cube for him.

Bow of Nylea

This is not your traditional green flavored card. Attacking creatures having deathtouch makes anything with trample or first strike mighty powerful. The Bow then has an activated ability that does a bunch of little things fairly well. The +1/+1 counter makes combat hard for your opponent, the two damage to a flying creature gives you free kills, gaining three life can buy you time to find a solution to a problem, and putting cards on the bottom of your deck is, well, not very useful. I suppose you can shrink a Tarmogoyf or prevent a Puppeteer Clique from bringing creatures back from the dead. Overall, I think all these abilities combined make this card a reasonable inclusion in any Cube.

Polukranos, World Eater

A reasonably costed creature when compared to its stats. Add on the fact that it grows and fights opposing creatures and this thing is awesome and unique. The monstrosity mechanic is well represented here, and there’s no way I won’t find room in my Cube for this Hydra.

Satyr Hedonist

A ritual on a stick is pretty cool. Being able to put pressure on your opponent and then getting mana to drop something expensive into play when normally you shouldn’t be able to is just awesome. It does have the Orcish Lumberjack clause in that you’re pretty much stuck casting a red or green card with this mana, which helps restrict something insanely broken. I’m excited to try this little guy out.

Sylvan Caryatid

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Now I’m just trolling. Utopia Tree was a card that never really saw the light of day thanks to the existence of Birds of Paradise. This guy is particularly interesting in that your opponent can’t just burn it to the ground before you get your ramp on. It also makes for a solid blocker with that three toughness. This is a solid add to any Cube.

Ashen Rider

What we have here is a strict upgrade. Seriously, what the hell? How many cards are they going to make that just mock previous cards, making them nearly obsolete? Poor Angel of Despair never saw it coming. This card has applications not only in Cube but will impact even Legacy for Show and Tell and Reanimator. This is a pretty easy switch for me.

Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver

Talk about a neat planeswalker. I’m really excited to try this guy out. It kind of reminds me of Jace Beleren. It can’t protect itself, but left unchecked it can do some real damage. I can’t imagine playing a control deck and facing down this card turn 3. I’ll be cutting Duskmantle Seer for this guy.

Fleecemane Lion

What we have here is . . . Watchwolf saw a lot of play back in the day, and Call of the Conclave has seen sparse play. The Lion offers an interesting upside for the late game. It being able to upgrade into a 4/4 with hexproof and indestructible is pretty sweet. There’s been a decent amount of hype for this Cat, and it’s cool by me.

Prophet of Kruphix

What we have here is really close to a strict upgrade. Hey, don’t blame me; R&D decided to print existing cards with more text. A new Seedborn Muse that had babies with Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir produced the Prophet of Kruphix. At least that’s how I envisioned it in my head. This is a very powerful creature that allows you to utilize all your mana every turn. You get to represent countermagic while being able to flash in creatures to block or at end of turn. I’m super excited to play with this card.

Steam Augury

What we have here is a strict downgrade. Not by much at least. This is clearly a new spin on Fact or Fiction. We saw one already with the -2 ability on Jace, Architect of Thought. The spin is that since your opponent chooses what stack you get, you can’t guarantee getting what you need like you could with Fact or Fiction. I do like that this one is much more likely to cause mind games with your opponent. Since Izzet has a lot of redundant spells, it will be good to add this to my Cube.

Spellheart Chimera

A flying Magnivore with trample is sweet! This is a really interesting creature that makes Wee Dragonauts feel silly. I’m not quite sure if this is a good fit for the Cube. If it is, it will be in an Izzet tempo deck. I’ll be testing it out and think it will help push that tempo-oriented archetype.

Tymaret, the Murder King

Here’s a unique creature that really shines in Rakdos. My Cube fully supports the "sacrifice" theme with cards like Goblin Bombardment and Greater Gargadon. This is just another example of that theme. The really neat part is that he doesn’t stay dead. Being able to return him back from the dead is really interesting.

Xenagos, the Reveler

Finally, our last card is yet another planeswalker. Xenagos is just another solid ‘walker that can protect himself or help you ramp into a big fatty. The ultimate is reminiscent of Summoning Trap. Having access to Domri Rade, Sarkhan Vol, and Xenagos in just Gruul means someone is getting the axe.

Well, that’s all folks. If there’s a card you think I may have overlooked or overvalued, let me know in the comments. Also, if you have your own Cube, I’d love to compare lists. Theros’ release is right around the corner, and I hope you’re as excited as I am.

John Cuvelier

@JCuvelier on Twitter

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