Dragons In The Commander Cube!

Abe Sargent makes big firebreathing updates to his beloved Commander Cube! Learn from Abe so that you can fine tune your own Commander and Cube projects!

A new set means we have a lot of cards to consider for all things Cube, Commander, and well, other formats that begin with “C.” As always, I like to take a
look at the latest cards and analyze them for opportunities to slide into my Commander Cube project. Today, we’ll look at the cards that I like, what I
eventually decided on, and then slide over to other changes that I made over the last couple of months.

So, what cards from Dragons of Tarkir really intrigued me? What were the best of the lot?–

Myth Realized Sunscorch Regent Dragonlord's Prerogative Icefall Regent Living Lore Skywise Teachings Damnable Pact Deathbringer Regent Sidisi, Undead Vizier Commune with Lava Thunderbreak Regent Assault Formation Avatar of the Resolute Collected Company Foe-Razer Regent Inspiring Call Shaman of Forgotten Ways Surrak, the Hunt Caller Atarka's Command Dragonlord Ojutai Dragonlord Silumgar Kolaghan's Command Narset Transcendent Pristine Skywise Savage Ventmaw Silumgar's Command Haven of the Spirit Dragon

I want my commanders to have clear identities that are supported by the Cube. Any commander can be used as a sort of good-stuff color holder. I want to
reward players for making the more synergistic deck, especially since good stuff is getting split between various drafters.

Dragonlord Silumgar is a great example. He clearly suggests a Dimir control build. And we have the support for that. Plus, I have space on my Commander
roster; I’m pretty sure where he’d go. I have a commander currently getting played only because he’s part of an uber-cycle, but he doesn’t fit the themes:
Phenax, God of Deception.

Meanwhile, take Dragonlord Dromoka. I actually run the five-mana Dromoka, the Eternal in my Commander Cube. The Dragonlord is better, right? Lifelink,
can’t be countered, and keeps people from playing junk on your turn. But it really seems like more of a good-stuff or control commander. It’s just a
creature. A good creature, sure, but just a creature. On the other hand, the Eternal version plays like the top end of a Selesnya aggro build. And that is
one of my themes, so The Eternal One supports a key theme. Outside of that theme, you can draft Dromoka, the Eternal to play friends with the
counter-centric themes of Abzan. And it’s a strong 5/5 flyer for five mana if you are playing Bant Control. But the Dragonlord version of Dromoka isn’t any
better for other decks than Iridescent Angel or Spiritmonger. It doesn’t support themes; it’s just a big fun creature. The commander needs to be more than

The major question facing my Commander Cube post-Dragons of Tarkir is how much to push (or not) my Dragon theme.

From its very foundation, my Cube had a Dragon theme based on legendaries like Bladewing the Risen and cards like Dragonstorm and Crucible of Fire. Prior
to the release of Dragons of Tarkir, my Commander Cube included a ton of Dragons.

For multicolor Dragon options, I have the full on uber-Dragon cycle of three-colored legendaries, such as Numot, the Devastator and Crosis, the Purger. It
doesn’t matter your shard or clan, there’s a three-color Dragon to lead you.

I also have Karrthus, Tyrant of Jund and Prossh, Skyraider of Kher running around. That’s twelve three-color dragons to lead your squad and a five-color
option with Scion of the Ur-Dragon.

For two-color Commander options, we have three choices: Niv-MIzzet, Dracogenius is pretty keen on leading the Izzet Brigade. We also run Dromaka, the
Eternal in Selesyna and Bladewing the Risen in Rakdos.

Outside of those sixteen commander options, we have a lot more non-changeling Dragons.

We are running eighteen other Dragons, from Steel Hellkite to Eternal Dragon. Now add in the occasional card like Bladewing’s Thrull, Tatsumasa, the
Dragon’s Fang, Sarkhan the Mad, or Dragonmaster Outcast to the list. Dragons are a real thing in my Cube already.

And I could certainly push that even more! I could toss in stuff like Dragonspeaker Shaman. How far do we go at pushing a Dragon theme?

Here’s what’s making the cut:

Sunscorch Regent
This is one of my favorite cards from Dragons of Tarkir. We already have a bunch of creatures that do something like this in the Cube – Taurean Mauler,
Forgotten Ancient, Hamletback Goliath. Having this ability on a white flyer is great because it combines evasion with that you are already doing. Now, the
fact that the Regent also gains a spot of life while growing into a monster-sized flying threat is really useful. It’s cheaper and better than Jareth,
Leonine Titan.

Dragonlord’s Prerogative
I have been looking for a replacement for Jace’s Ingenuity for quite some time, but I never wanted to move to Opportunity, seeing neither one as sexy.
Because this adds a useful upside to Opportunity, I’m going to swap it over. It just fits my Cube nicely with all of the gigantic numbers of Dragons we
already run prior to the changes we are making today.

Skywise Teachings
This gives me another tool for the Izzet instant/sorcery-matters deck and provides us with a great option for making flying 2/2 creatures free for decks
that have fewer creatures. There are some great creature-light builds this would slide nicely into, such as Esper Artifacts.

Sidisi, Undead Vizier
I wish we had better exploit options, because I love it, but most of the exploit cards are more for Limited play than Constructed. Sidisi gives us a great
tool for sacrificing a lot of good stuff and providing a tutor t the same time. She is amazing in the Jund sacrifice shell and a pretty good adjunct in all
of the various reanimation decks.

Damnable Pact
It’s just too good of a card-drawing and player-killing spell not to run.

Commune with Lava
Red doesn’t get card draw this good ever, so running this is basically a no-brainer.

Thunderbreak Regent
– As a four mana 4/4 flyer, it’s already very good. Meanwhile we get a strong shell that suggests to your friends that they should look elsewhere before
killing the Regent and any of your scaled up buddies. I can bench Tahngarth, Talruum Hero. He’s done quality work for us for an incredibly long time, but
this is the era of the Thunderbreak Regent.

Avatar of the Resolute
As an extremely good two-drop, this thing has a lot to offer any potential aggro builds that want green. But the Avatar has another thing going for it – it
works very well with the growing +1/+1 counter theme. You can sort of double dip there. Now, I was thinking about pulling out Wall of Blossoms for it. The
Wall is good with the Bant Blink theme, and I was considering the inclusion of Assault Formation as another support card for Doran, the Siege Tower. So now
I was unsure. I pulled Viridian Zealot instead.

Kolaghan’s Command
– To my mind, the best combination of cost and ability is this Command. You get four options, all of which can create a 2:1 situation with the Command;
it’s incredibly flexible. I could toss it in for a bunch of spells we have in Rakdos, but I’m pulling the sorcery Void because Void is hard to hit on so

Dragonlord Silumgar
Goodbye, Phenax, God of Deception and the fifteen-card god cycle–and your odd milling impersonation. Hello, Silumgar. Your chariot awaits.

Silumgar’s Command
Mystical Teachings is a fun two-for-one, but it requires a very specific set of drafting and building to use it. Silumgar’s Command is not that greedy,
just rinse it, and you are ready to go with four powerful choices all slotted in.

Sarkhan’s Triumph
This will swap one dragon-enabler for another much cheaper version of this card. It’s a pretty solid card, and as we add in more Dragons from this set, it
will get even better.


Jareth, Leonine Titan Jace's Ingenuity Brainstorm Keening Banshee Diabolic Revelation Firestorm Tahngarth, Talruum Hero Viridian Zealot Void Phenax, God of Deception Mystical Teachings Dragonstorm


Sunscorch Regent Dragonlord's Prerogative Skywise Teachings Sidisi, Undead Vizier Damnable Pact Commune with Lava Thunderbreak Regent Avatar of the Resolute Kolaghan's Command Dragonlord Silumgar Silumgar's Command Sarkhan's Triumph

I also want to change some of my other Dragons or Dragon support cards in a few other places to shore up the Dragons of Tarkir theme.

Crux of Fate
Crux of Fate is a very interesting tool against or in support of a Dragon deck, and I have some other anti-counter/anti-token tools to harness so I don’t
need Aether Snap. (Such as Kulrath Knight and Hex Parasite).

Utvara Hellkite
Meanwhile, I was actively looking for a Dragon to put into my Commander Cube for Redkroma. I was hoping we’d get a really good higher level creature to
help out our scaled ones. That didn’t happen, so instead, I’ll swap in another monster that looks good in the tribe.

Hellkite Tyrant
I currently run Hellkite Igniter, and it’s a bit scattered as an artifact support Dragon. I like moving to Hellkite Tyrant who would give me a different
feeling to the deck, and the Cube’s first alternate win condition.


Aether Snap Akroma, Angel of Fury Hellkite Igniter


Crux of Fate Utvara Hellkite Hellkite Tyrant

By adding in those support cards, I can find ways to push our theme without hurting us by weakening our card choices.

Now, with those draconic changes made, what else have I been doing?

I needed some more one-drop blue creatures. I just had Dakra Mystic. What else could fit?

There are very few one-drop blue creatures. Many just don’t cut it in a Commander Cube, like vanilla Fugitive Wizard, Merfolk of the Pearl Trident, nor the
many creatures that impact stuff like land types. (Many tap to change the type of lands from one to another – see Reef Shaman as one example.)

There are even fewer that have any value at all. So, what do I want?

Beaters? I could run the evolving and flying Cloudfin Raptor, or the hopefully soon-to-be-big Cosi’s Trickster. Shoot, we could even toss in Delver of
Secrets and hope for that flip. Or I could run something that’s aggro-ish but sneakier, like Wingcrafter. But my blue isn’t really an aggro color, and
that’s not the direction I want to push.

I’m feeling support of some sort. So here’s what I want to consider:

Martyr of Frost – If the Cube were more mono-color-focused, this would make the cut, no doubt. But how many blue cards are you likely to have in your hand
when you need to counter something? And are you willing to reveal them to the full board just to counter one spell from one opponent? I doubt it.

Enclave Cryptologist – Getting this is both better and worse than a normal Looter who requires nothing else to do its work, but it also doesn’t have the
chance to draw cards flat out like this can. It’s not a bad choice, and I can just slide one of my Looters to this easily enough.

Hedron Crab / Jace’s Phantasm – Both of these cards sort of support a milling theme, which is not really in my Cube much – it’s not that popular of a
mechanic in Commander world where you’re required to deck a lot more decks with a lot more cards. You could turn the Hedron Crab against yourself to fuel
your graveyard and trigger Sidisi, Brood Tyrant. But I’m still not that sure of either of these rocking the block.

Kraken Hatchling – Getting an 0/4 creature for one mana that can attack if you equip it or something is not bad for the price. We have Steel Wall as a
draftable card here, so this is certainly feasible.

Rootwater Diver / Vedalken Certarch – Both of these cards support the pro-artifact theme of blue in different ways. One can pitch to recur something, and
the other taps stuff down without requiring any mana at all as long as you have metalcraft. But neither really appeal to me.

Sage of Epityr – This is a fine card for your enters-the-battlefield triggers to consider since you can look at the top four cards of your library. But
while it gives you some knowledge, what it doesn’t do is give you any control over your fate – you can’t rearrange them or anything. I’m not feeling it,
and I doubt you’d want to flicker it much anyway.

Nephalia Smuggler – Now this guy, on the other hand, works quite well in the blink deck because it’s another engine. You can tap some mana to blink/flicker
a dork immediately, and it comes right back into play immediately. That has a lot of value beyond merely protecting your creatures from targeted removal or
death by combat or something. You can use it in the Azorius (Brago, King Eternal) or Bant (Roon of the Hidden Realm) decks quite nicely.

But does it have enough gas to do more? Well, let’s look:

If you combine it with black in a Dimir reanimation or control build, what are you getting? You can Flashback ETB stuff like Nekrataal, Shriekmaw,
Rune-Scarred Demon, Grave Titan, and Liliana’s Specter. There are some good options there. What about with red in an Izzet shell? Sure, we have Ghitu
Slinger, Flametonue Kavu, Manic Vandal, Bogardan Hellkite and even Dualcaster Mage. Green adds Reclamation Sage, Satyr Wayfinder, Acidic Slime, Woodfall
Primus, Eternal Witness, and Wall of Blossoms. We have Mystic Snake and Sphinx of Uthuun, Solemn Simulacrum and Pilgrim’s Eye, Sphinx Summoner and Myr

And that’s just creatures with ETB triggers you want to reuse. It has synergy with creatures like Spike Weaver, Triskelion, Fertilid and Warstorm Surge,
Extractor Demon and Doubling Season. It’s pretty solid as an adjunct to my deck and is the lead candidate for subbing in, by far.

The rest of the options don’t fit our Cube. You could run Galerider Sliver in a cube that supported Slivers, or Mothdust Changeling/Imagecrafter in one
that was tribal in nature.

Not a lot of options; that’s obvious.


Treasure Mage Drift of Phantasms


Nephalia Smuggler Enclave Cryptologist

Another place I want to look is the burn spot claimed by Slice and Dice. I’d like to make that a more useful slot in the red burn suite, and it doesn’t
have to do damage to all creatures. We have Earthquake, Savage Twister, Magmaquake, and Starstorm.

I could toss in Inferno for one more mana if I want to make this a heftier spell as an instant. Other options I like are Volt Charge and Beacon of

There’s a lot of random things to proliferate even when you aren’t building around it. You can easily find yourself with a Vivid land (like Vivid Crag) and
Chandra, Pyromaster when you play Volt Charge. The Beacon of Destruction is a solid five damage/five mana spell that shuffles back for more damage dealing
capacity later on.

I could dig somewhere else, such as Flame Javelin. But I want a more reliable burn spell, and I think I’m skipping out on Inferno for now, so it’s Volt
Charge or Beacon.


Slice and Dice


Volt Charge

We also have some mana issues at work, though. One of the folks who drafted my Cube online at CubeTutor suggested the addition of more lands to help smooth mana. I try to run
as many flexible lands that can be drafted with any color combination as possible. I prefer something like Rupture Spire to a card like Breeding Pool to be
in my Cube.

There are a few reasons for this. The first is that it can be a bit annoying when you are looking to grab some lands for your Cube, but all you flip are
things that you can’t fully play because of Commander’s color rules. I used to run the Shards of Alara tri-tap lands, like Jungle Shrine. But you could
only draft them if you could tap it for all of the colors. Plus, it’s hard to match up the right card. Suppose you are drafting a Simic deck. What’s the
chance that you’ll flip over and get a Breeding Pool? Even if I had five lands of each two-color combination in the Cube, you’d not be likely to make that
pick very often. The only cycle I run is the Karoo cycle, so I have ten lands in my Cube that are a color combination.

On the other hand, any deck that had two or more colors can benefit from City of Brass or Command Tower. Because of this, there are more options for you to
select, but there is also fighting for the cards. How far down do you select a land that will give you every color? Do you grab it first in the pack?
Third? Fifth? Do you hope it will wheel? People fight for them, and that’s a good draft.

However, I could certainly add another cycle or two of lands and increase the Cube by ten or twenty cards.

Instead, I pored over a variety of lands that I am not playing right now, and I decided to include a few more to give a couple more options. Some cards
just aren’t good enough; Gemstone Mine is the perfect example. But there are a few we could totally justify:

Forbidden Orchard
– Forcing an opponent to make a 1/1 token to smooth your mana isn’t as big of a deal in multiplayer and Commander, where you start with 40 life. You can
even use it to play politics. Let’s toss it in!

Reflecting Pool
– What I enjoy about this land is that it only makes what you already have, so it’s perfect at smoothing casting costs that require multiples of a color,
like Necropolis Regent or Avacyn, Angel of Hope. Because it’s not a useful earlydrop to fix things like most cards with a five-color potential, it could be
something that will get drafted later, and that’s an interesting twist I want to try out.

Rainbow Vale
– I could toss this friendly card in. Play it early and tap it to use it, and it can be passed around to make friends and mana with aplomb. Like Reflecting
Pool, it’s not likely to be a high-priority pick, which makes it more compelling – is the cost worth it?

Myriad Landscape
– I don’t run a lot of fetchlands, such as Flood Plain, the painful normal fetches, or stuff like Terminal Moraine. But there’s no reason not to toss this
into the Cube since it’s a solid double-land fetch, which makes it card advantage. Even in a three-color deck you can ensure you have hit on one of your

Cavern of Souls
– It might look like a tribal card at first, but you can use it to make any mana your Commander needs, and you’ll make it uncounterable. That’s not bad at

I don’t think cards like Ancient Ziggurat are reliable enough for the Cube. I consider something like Mirrodin’s Core or Unknown Shores to be right on the
cusp of playable. But I remain unconvinced.

What about Lotus Vale? Requires a sacrifice and just walks into land destruction, but it can give you a nice bonus to things that untap lands (like Kiora’s

There are a few other lands I’ve been looking at. I was thinking about pulling Llanowar Reborn for Oran-Rief, the Vastwood. I recently acquired some extra
from Commander 2014. It’s reusable and can counter-up multiple creatures at a time (so long as they are green). It’s a better card to support the counter

I’ve had Emeria, the Sky Ruin on my short-list to pull for a while. It’s just too hard to use. There are two cards that would legitimately have a shot at
replacing it –Serra’s Sanctum and Rustic Clachan.

The Sanctum is clearly the better class of card. But I don’t really have a strong enchantment theme. Right now in white, I have 21 enchantments and just
one enchantment creature (Heliod, God of the Sun). With 22 enchantments total in color, it’s hard to see how many roles the Sanctum would play – it
basically supports Zur, the Enchanter, and, um…that’s really it.

On the other hand, the Clachan isn’t that strong. You can reinforce it as an instant, so you get a minor pump ability. It gives the creature a +1/+1
counter if you do, which plays mildly well with Ghave and friends. But at the end of the day, it’s a pretty minor card.

What other white-only cards could be in the running? Kjeldoran Outpost? Mistveil Plains? New Benalia? The Outpost walks into land removal hard, and the
Plains and New Benalia don’t feel like they give you enough oomph.


Let’s try out the Clachan for now, and we can pull it for another card later on.

Also in red, I’ve been looking for a way to pull out Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle. There aren’t that many good mono-red lands for this slot, though. But
one that works is Kher Keep. Kher Keep is surprisingly useful in a variety of red strategies. Consider its value with legendary leaders like Thromok the
Insatiable; Tajic, Blade of the Legion; Wort, the Raidmother; Gahiji, Honored One; or something like Zedruu, the Greathearted. It works extremely well with
Prossh, Skyraider of Kher and other Jund commanders that either want a lot of creatures or a lot of fodder. You can run it with a control deck, such as
some Izzet builds, in order to make chump blockers.


Llanowar Reborn Emeria, the Sky Ruin Valakut, the Molten Pinnacle


Oran-Rief, the Vastwood Rustic Clachan Kher Keep

A lot of people don’t like Ur-Golem’s Eye that much. They don’t want to pay four mana for a Sol Ring. Since you can tap it immediately, you only invest two
mana to bump your mana up two on a mana rock. But there are still a lot of folks who just aren’t taking it at all outside of dedicated artifact decks with
some untapping tricks.

What I have been considering doing is pulling the Eye for Astral Cornucopia. It’s almost always going to be a Darksteel Ingot-style card but without any
other abilities. I think a lot of people would rather run mana fixing than mana pumping, and the possibility of combining it with proliferate or inputting
more mana up front to give it more counters makes people happier to have it.

Out :

Ur-Golem's Eye


Astral Cornucopia

Auriok Survivors is a fun top-end support card for equipment decks since it reanimates an equipment for free to the battlefield and gets in a free equip,
as well. You can even use it with white’s blink effects if you have more than one equipment in your graveyard. But as a mere 4/6 for 6 mana, outside of
that role, it’s not really a strong card.

I’ve decided to bring in a very old card to replace it. I picked up an Argivian Archaeologist here at SCG just for this project, and it’ll head in for the
Survivors. Not only can it recur dead equipment to your hand over and over again, but it works just as well with other artifacts.


Auriok Survivors


Argivian Archaeologist

There needs to be a few cards in the Cube that are an answer for when good lands go bad. There are some great non-basic lands out there that cause a lot of
problems. Cards like Academy Ruins, Maze of Ith, Flamekin Village, Cabal Coffers, and Winding Canyons are all running around. Red has always been the enemy
of lands. But Ruination is a bit much. So I’m dialing it back to Volcanic Offering instead.




Volcanic Offering

It’s often hard to draft Engineered Explosives in the Cube for the right deck. In a three-color deck it’s not bad because you can rock it up to
three mana for a decent removal spell. But in anything less it’s just not that good at all. I’ve decided to pull it for another card that’s flexible,
supports a lot of commanders with triggered abilities, and is even better in decks that want to abuse creatures with enters-the-battlefield triggers. Say
hello to Strionic Resonator.


Volcanic Offering


Strionic Resonator

I recently traded for a Demonic Tutor, clearly a needed card for the Cube! I also found an extra Wheel of Fortune and Sword of Feast or Famine. All obvious


False Cure Burn at the Stake Surestrike Trident


Demonic Tutor Wheel of Fortune Sword of Feast and Famine

I’m making a lot of changes in green to flesh things out.

Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger is mean, helps you out so late in the game it’s hardly noticeable, and it’s too overbearing of a card. I am replacing it as a
high-end creature for ramp or green’s “fetch a creature from the library” mechanic. Heading in is a very strong Craterhoof Behemoth that’s cheaper and
plays very well with other themes (like Bant Blink or Selenya/Gruul aggro) as your high end card.

I’m also pulling Utopia Tree for Sylvan Caryatid.

Why am I running Restore when I can run a creature that is better? Titania, Protector of Argoth brings a lot more to the table and is a card people will
draft a lot more highly in green.

Finally it’s time to pull Wellwisher. I have a lot of strong green creatures to consider – Lifeblood Hydra, Skinshifter, Thagtusk, Deranged Hermit,
Vengevine, and Hornet Queen are all on my short list. But I really like Tuskguard Captain. It’s finally time to toss it in. It supports more archetypes
than Wellwisher would.

Budoka Gardener is a fun two-drop for green because you can tap it to accelerate the drops of your lands, and then later, it can make some big tokens. It’s
a useful card because it supports ramp strategies both early and later. However, it’s very fragile. And often a deck will stall on seven or eight lands and
never get to the precious ten lands to trigger it. So I have decided to pull it out for another green mana maker 2/1 two-drop. Say hello to Lotus Cobra.


Vorinclex, Voice of Hunger Utopia Tree Restore Wellwisher Budoka Gardener


Craterhoof Behemoth Sylvan Caryatid Titania, Protector of Argoth Tuskguard Captain Lotus Cobra

Meanwhile I’ve decided to make some major changes to the enchantments in green. I originally included a list of enchantments that were hard to build around
(Oath of Druids, Aluren) or not that strong when you did (Hibernation’s End, Holistic Wisdom, Wild Pair). The result is an uneven green enchantment
section. I began overhauling this area a few months ago, and it’s time to finish it up.

First I wanted to drop Hush for Map the Wastes. Hush is never used, and the Cube really doesn’t want a Tranquility effect. But after consideration, I
decided instead to include Font of Fertility instead of the Map. This gives an enchantment to trigger in-color things like Eidolon of Blossoms and
Enchantment’s Presence. I don’t think you’ll miss the bolster of Map the Wastes much.

We have too many Heartbeat of Spring cards (Rites of Flourishing and Dictate of Karametra are also in the Cube). Let’s pull the redundant Heartbeat for
something brand new. How about Awakening Zone instead? It features the same casting cost, makes 0/1 dorks you can block with, sac for mana to use it as a
pseudo-accelerant, and provides fodder for the various sacrifice effects we have.

Both Oath of Druids and Aluren are tired. They have tremendous tournament pedigree, but just never brought it that much. Instead, let’s put in Hardened
Scales and Foster. I was considering Primal Vigor, but since it works for everyone, I decided against it. The Scales are the better choice for your +1/+1
counter madness, and there are a ton of legendary creatures that can lead your team that get counters. The Foster works well whenever a creature of yours
dies to removal (both mass and targeted), combat, and is a good long-term strategy. But it also works really well as an engine in sacrifice decks as well.

Now, Wild Pair is not bad. It’s another “search your library for a critter and put it onto play” guy, though. We have variants on that theme with several
cards that already do that (Natural Order; Green Sun’s Zenith; Garruk, Caller of Beasts; Birthing Pod; Tooth and Nail; Pattern of Rebirth), so we certainly
don’t need this weaker one. I could look at Lurking Predators or swap it over to a spell with Summoning Trap or See the Unwritten.

I wish I owned a spare copy of Greater Good for my Cube. That’s the card that’d work! But I don’t have one. So for now, let’s move this off the board for
Defense of the Heart and give us a better card in this genre.

So the result of this enchantment overhaul is the addition of a large amount of quality role players that can still support the various themes but have
more flexibility than cards like Oath of Druids did.


Hush Heartbeat of Spring Oath of Druids Aluren Wild Pair


Font of Fertility Awakening Zone Foster Hardened Scales Defense of the Heart

I’ve considered pulling Disciple of the Vault for Moriok Rigger. I’d rather have the +1/+1 counter instead of the damage in most cases, and it plays well
with stuff like Ghave, Guru of Spores or Marchesa, the Black Rose. But I’m moving away from the dead-artifact trigger entirely and instead to Hex Parasite.
It’s an artifact creature that can pull counters off of things like Planeswalkers or the +1/+1 theme, so we have another useful tool to fight a common


Disciple of the Vault


Hex Parasite

More mana stuff! I want to tweak some of my mana-fetching cards.

Crop Rotation can be used as a trap to bring out a special land instantly to spring a surprise. You can Crop Rotate out a Maze of Ith or Winding Canyons or
some such. But normally, you are trading two cards for one (Crop and land for land). Instead I’m switching to the slower but card efficient tutor for any
land. Sylvan Scrying never lets anyone down, and it’s a perfectly suitable card to add to our green mana section.

Meanwhile, Scapeshift is fine, but we’ve pulled Valakut and Emeria for their tricks. I’m not sure that it’s that good early, and I’m not that impressed
with it later. Instead I want to add in Peregrination. It’s a Cultivate that costs four mana but adds scry to the spell. I like land fetchers that get two
lands, they tend to be the best in a Draft setting like this Cube.


Crop Rotation Scapeshift


Sylvan Scrying Peregrination

I pulled out Alloy Myr some time ago for the slightly better Scuttlemutt. In an ongoing effort to provide more generic mana fixing, I’m putting it back in.


Brass Squire


Alloy Myr

Planeswalker time!

Has anyone else noticed that I have two enchantments in Selesnya that pump your creatures, Collective Blessing and Mirari’s Wake? The Blessing is an
awesome Overrun variant that’s permanent. The Wake is one of the most powerful enchantments around. They both work. What I want to do is pull one for a
better card, though. I grabbed an extra copy of Ajani, Mentor of Heroes. I don’t think anyone will question me pulling Collective Blessing for Ajani,
right? Right!

Meanwhile in red, I acquired an extra copy of Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker. It’s an obvious addition to the Cube!

These changes mean that Ajani and Sarkhan are the second and third characters to have three full iterations of themselves in my Cube. (Garruk already had

For a long time I’ve said that the one card my Cube needs the most is Venser, the Sojourner. He fits two major themes in the Azorius colors – blink and
getting in hits. Whether it’s blinking with Roon of the Hidden Realm or getting in that hit with Rafiq of the Many or Medomai the Ageless, it’s a nasty
support card, and it has to go in. I snagged a copy from SCG, and now it’s party time!

The only question is which card comes out. I love Wall of Denial for the Azorius control builds, and Dismantling Blow is card advantage and removal tied
into one, but one of those has to go. I hate to pull the removal, but it’s the right call.


Collective Blessing Stone Idol Trap Dismantling Blow


Ajani, Mentor of Heroes Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker Venser, the Sojourner

If you have the right build, Horn of Greed is a great way to draw a bunch of cards off your additional land drops. In a draft, that unreliable symmetrical
effect becomes too random for people to want overly much in their deck. Nobody wants their foe to draw a bunch of cards off of an Exploration or Oracle of
Mul Daya. Let’s remove the uneven nature of this card and toss in Temple Bell instead.


Horn of Greed


Temple Bell

Another issue with the Cube is the newly added Oversoul of the Damned. It’s a bit too much like Dark Hatchling, and a lot better. So I wanted to yank the
Hatchling for Gray Merchant of Asphodel. The Gray Merchant is fine in some decks, and better in others. This will replace the too-many creatures I run with
enters-the-battlefield triggers for killing creatures (Nekrataal, Shriekmaw, Oversoul, etc) while giving my black creature base another option.

In other black news, I still have too many of these creatures. So I want to pull out Big Game Hunter, arguably the weakest. That frees up a slot that I
want to slide to a pro-artifact Esper/Dimir/Orzhov theme that black has. Get ready for the pimp! I am tossing in my spare copy of Guardian Beast.


Dark Hatchling Big Game Hunter


Gray Merchant of Asphodel Guardian Beast

Let’s talk some more mana needs.

I run four out of five creatures in the landcycling uber-cycle originally printed in Scourge. Eternal Dragon is a great card for white since you can play
it as a pseudo-Phoenix for white for later in the game as a 5/5 flyer that comes back. I also think Twisted Abomination is a strong card – it fills the
graveyard with a beater for reanimation while feeding your mana needs. A 5/3 regenerator is adequate and acceptable. The only two in the cycle that aren’t
so awesome are Chartooth Cougar and Shoreline Ranger. Getting a 4/4 firebreather for six mana isn’t that best deal we’ve ever seen. But cycling it for a
Mountain is pretty nifty. What really sucks, though, is the 3/4 flying Shoreline Ranger. It’s weak in the red zone later. So…let’s yank that thing out of
this Cube for another unusual blue mana-fetching card – Dreamscape Artist.

Did you know that my Cube runs Force of Will? It’s almost never used as a pitch spell for free. People don’t want to spend the card. Normally it’s just a
five-mana counterspell. So what I’d like to do is pull it for a different five-mana counter that can be used to fetch a land if you have that need. Enter
Traumatic Visions. That’s right folks, I’m pulling a card that costs $100 for a card that costs $0.15!!!


Shoreline Ranger Force of Will


Dreamscape Artist Traumatic Visions

In other news, I’m pulling Voice of All for Emeria Angel. It’s bigger, can churn out tokens for a variety of decks, and the landfall works well with a
variety of themes and cards in blue and green. The one thing Voice of All did better was it was a great blocker in the skies for defensive-minded decks
that named the right color on arrival. But the Emeria Angel is likely a better role player for the Cube.


Dreamscape Artist Traumatic Visions


Emeria Angel


That’s a lot of changes we’ve made in my Cube over the last couple of months. Check out my new Cube. I continue to tweaks things, acquire new cards, and learn more things about the
Cube. So what did you think? What cards should I consider adding in? What would you do with the Dragons of Tarkir cards?