Updating Vintage Cube with Amonkhet

A couple of months ago I wrote an article about the Vintage Cube my friends and I had built in real life, explaining which of our choices diverged from the Magic Online list. With Amonkhet, the Cube gets a number of exciting new additions.

It’s always nice to update and change the Cube, because it’s important to recognize which cards are underdrafted and therefore disliked by those who have to play with it. We did that with Aether Revolt, and now it’s time for Amonkhet.

Amonkhet offers some interesting choices, so let’s get into them:

Angel of Sanctions

Oblivion Ring effects are always great, and Angel of Sanctions offers a lot of versatility since it can go in 3 different directions: W/x Controls, White Weenie, and even Reanimator, as it’s a nice card to discard or to Entomb with embalm.

Cast Out

Again, Oblivion Rings are great, and here we have a flashy one that can also be cycled. I will happily pay 1 more mana for that flexibility.

Gideon of the Trials

While Gideon doesn’t excel in Standard, he’s a good planeswalker for aggressive strategies. He’s just overshadowed by Gideon, Ally of Zendikar.

A 4/4 attacking on turn 4 isn’t bad for White Weenie. It’s really a shame that R&D only gave this ‘walker two real abilities, but I think Gideon of the Trials can prove his worth even without an ultimate.

Glory-Bound Initiate

2-drops are important in White Weenie—that’s why we added Accorder Paladin. This one is a straight upgrade, since a 4/4 lifelink is way better than battle cry.

Liliana, Death’s Majesty

Liliana is expensive at 5 mana, I think she’s a nice addition to Reanimator. She can also enable the graveyard by milling 2, in case you haven’t found any way to put your cards in your graveyard.

Ahn-Crop Crasher

This dude hits hard! Unlike AKH Limited, there won’t be many creatures trying to block, but a 3/2 haste that has the option when you need it is going to be fine.

Combat Celebrant

For those of you who don’t know, this combos off with Splinter Twin and Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker, and is also pretty solid in Mono-Red.

This isn’t Deceiver Exarch, though—your combo can be stymied by a couple of 1/5s from your opponent’s side. If I’m not mistaken, if you have Kiki-Jiki, you’ll get to attack with two 4/1s at a time, so that might be a better case.


I’m in love with this Dragon! Flametongue Kavu is a solid card in Cube, as is any 5-mana, hasty Dragons—so there’s not much more to say here. This will be an auto-include in any Cube.

Hazoret the Fervent

This is the only God that I felt was in contention to be added in the Cube because the others look out of place in their archetype. Rhonas is probably the best, but green in Cube isn’t about fatties like it is in AKH Draft—you want to ramp your mana and put really big creatures into play, not just 5/5s.

Hazoret can hit hard in Mono-Red and give you a plan for the long game with his ability to recycle dead draws. He will be a fine addition and this way we get a little taste of the Egyptian Gods.

Champion of Rhonas

If you’re excited to put your Greater Sandwurm into play with Champion of Rhonas in Draft, imagine putting in a Woodfall Primus or a Progenitus. I like green midrange/ramp, and this Show and Tell effect can help mitigate the situation where you draw your Natural Order targets.


Not being able to destroy enchantments really matters. Despite the format being populated by artifacts, I still think Reclamation Sage, Conclave Naturalists, and Acidic Slime are better. I might be underrating the fact that Manglehorn keeps your opponent’s artifacts tapped for one turn, but I think the versatility of the other cards is more valuable.

Cycling Lands

In general, we aren’t in love with taplands—we only have Temples and creaturelands, which are worth the downside. Also, after trying Battle of Zendikar lands (Sunken Hollow), we decided that having more targets for fetchlands was just wrong and made fetchlands even better than they already are. I don’t think these dual lands will be good enough for Vintage Cube, as we have plenty of better cycles to choose from.


So, should we cut from my old list to make room for these 10?

The 4 white cards were really low picks, and are replaced happily by 4 Amonkhet cards.

Bone Shredder might be useful in some Recurring Nightmare strategy, but it always ended up as a sideboard card for creature-based decks.

Village Bell-Ringer makes room for Combat Celebrant—we don’t want to have too many creatures to combo with Twin/Kiki-Jikj, what with Bounding Krasis around. Plus, Village Bell-Ringer is unplayable otherwise.

Brimstone Volley, Reckless Bushwhacker, and Taurean Mauler are the 3 worst red cards, and are getting a good upgrade.

Despite comb’ing off with Dark Depths and Thespian Stage, Crop Rotation just never made the cut and was always a last pick.

Make sure to update your Cube every time a new series comes out—it’s nice to add new cards to your Cube, and give you a chance to keep things fresh.

Because some people asked about it in my last Death and Taxes video, I’m going to post my updated deck list after the Sensei’s Divining Top banning, but I won’t get too deep into it since I haven’t tested it properly yet.

Death and Taxes

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