It’s been a while since I’ve done a set review for Cube. Rivals of Ixalan didn’t have many powerful cards, not even for Standard. Dominaria, on the other hand, is reinvigorating Standard and has cards that fit in every other format, even Vintage!
Traxos, Scourge of Kroog
I got demolished by Traxos in Vintage at Eternal Weekend, and it’s not hard to deduce that it could find a home in Vintage Cube, where artifact decks are one of the main archetypes.
On top of that, we have Time Vault in our Cube. Some hate it because it creates some pretty bad games, combo’ing with many different cards easily, but we also have more artifact removal than most (Destructive Revelry and Artifact Mutation, for example).
If you want to push archetypes in your Cube, it’s important to also have the right answers, so that’s where we landed. Traxos hits for a lot, and I will definitely be happy to play it in a deck filled with artifacts.
We used to have Mirage Mirror, and I believe this card will easily replace it, as the mirror does combo with Time Vault but isn’t really good for many other uses. We haven’t played it much, and I won’t miss it.
Helm of the Host
Helm of the Host is one of my favorite cards in Dominaria Sealed. It’s hard to deal with without artifact removal and takes down the game very quickly.
I want to figure out if it’s too slow for Cube or if its power level is reasonable to justify such a high casting cost. Cube isn’t particularly hostile to artifacts, but artifact removal does exist, and this thing demands one or it takes over with the many enters-the-battlefield creatures that populate Cube.
Karn, Scion of Urza
Karn, Scion of Urza is seeing play in every format. It just won GP Birmingham with two copies in both Standard and Legacy decks—it’s not hard to see that it’s the best addition to your Cube, or any Cube.
Obviously it gets better in an artifact deck, where you can beat down hard with your Constructs, but even in a fair deck it is a nice source of card advantage.
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Teferi is better in Modern than Standard because it effectively costs 3 mana, letting you then play a Mana Leak or a Path to Exile to help him survive. I believe that in Cube he’s even better since the starting mana cost isn’t a problem with that so mana rocks, and this card will easily take over the game if left unchecked.
No Goblin Chainwhirler also means that you can -3 it when it comes into play more often.
The Antiquities War
Introducing new mechanics in Cube is always nice, and Sagas are fascinating cards we might never see again, so it’s nice to add at least one in the Cube.
The first two chapters on The Antiquities War are similar to Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas, which we removed from the Cube in favor of Tezzeret, the Schemer, and the last one is closer to Tezzeret, the Seeker, which we also removed from the Cube for its natural combo with Time Vault.
This card can bridge both and make its way into an artifact deck. I’m not sure if the last chapter will be good enough, especially if your opponent knows when it’s coming, but the first two chapters are good enough to justify it.
The Eldest Reborn
I’d also like to try The Eldest Reborn. Many control decks are light on creatures and heavy on planeswalkers are a thing, and if this Saga hits a planeswalker and then reanimates it, it has done a great job! On the other hand, if you are playing against a Llanowar Elves deck or against red-white aggro, this 5-mana enchantment will be underwhelming and overcosted.
Black isn’t the best color in Cube for a 5-mana enchantment, but I’m happy to give it a shot.
We still have Ultimate Price and Go for the Throat in our Cube, as well as Fatal Push. I’m not a fan of these spot removal spells, but sometimes you need them in your sideboard to fight aggressive decks.
I’m not sure if Cast Down is better than any of them, since each has a drawback that can make them uncastable, but I’m willing to try it, especially since I got the beautiful full art foil—it looks great.
Cube is a fun format I’ve had the fortune to play often because my group of friends has a lot of spare time. I love to draft big mana decks and do broken things with unfair cards like Wildfire or Balance. If you still haven’t taken a look at it, here’s my Cube (not updated yet with Dominaria). As soon as I come back from the Pro Tour, we’ll schedule our usual meeting where we’ll decide what to cut and what to add democratically. I have to say that I look forward to that!
As a bonus, I want to share the Sealed deck I played at GP Washington DC on Day 1. It was a Team Sealed event, and my teammates were nice enough to let me play with the best deck. It was probably the best deck I’ll ever play in Limited. It was a blast to feel invincible.