Firstly, it’s good to be back! Exams are finally over, so I’ve got about three months until I have any more work l; Plenty of time to play some magic, and tinker with the cube!
M12 is looking to be a pretty sweet set so far, with some good cards in most colours.
Angelic Destiny– 2WW – Aura – Enchanted creature gets +4/+4 , flying and first strike. When ~ is put into a graveyard from play, return it to your hand.
Firstly, we can actually consider angelic destiny, despite being an aura – it’s got a rancor ability, so there’s less chance of a 2-for-1. Yay! The actual benefits of the aura are pretty good, turning a 1/1 into something that’ll trade with baneslayer. The benefits for aggro are high – a permanent +4/+4 and evasion on an outclassed weenie could easily give enough reach to win. In midrange, it’d substantially increase the clock against control. In control, it’s of little use.
The main problem with Angelic Destiny is that it costs exactly the wrong mana. White 4 mana is one of the most stacked sections in cube, running wraths, and geddon’s and some of whites best creatures. It could probably be of use in cubes which dont’ run mass LD, since it opens up a slot in 4cc, or in very large cubes, which are loose enough to have large 4cc sections, or dragon cubes, where it’ll allow one titan to fly past another.
Verdict : Dragon cube / 700+ / no mass LD cubes.
Gideon’s Lawkeeper – W – Creature – W, T : Tap target creature, 1/1
A goldmeadow harrier reprint. Surprisingly useful in larger cubes and pauper cubes, but nothing hugely special for regular cubes. Versatile, but too low in power level for most of us.
Verdict : pauper / 800+
Jace, Memory Adept, Planeswalker,3UU, 4, +1 : Draw a card, mill for 1. 0:Mill for 10. -7: Anyone draw 20 cards.
First new pwalker in the set. Anyone can see it’s ridiculously powerful, ending a game two turns after it’s played. The first ability is useful if you’re on the ropes, allowing you to draw some gas, a la jace 1.0 . Not awful, but probably won’t get played unless you’re behind, looking to draw a wrath or a blocker.
The second ability is the real deal though ; the fastest clock on any planeswalker yet. If you can protect it, your opponent has 2 turns to deal with it, since they lose the beginning of their third turn. If you’re crazy, you can also use it to enable graveyard shenanigans, but unlikely.
The final ability is pointless outside of EDH, since by the time you reach it, your opponent will have milled themselves. Cute, if your opponent runs some time spiral shenanigans, but short of that, useless in cube.
I can see Jace making it at 500, certainly. My problem is, blue is so tight, that running it at anything less looks more and more debateable. Maybe 450, but by that point, all bets are off. Not good enough for 360.
Phantasmal Bear , U, creature,whenever it becomes target of a spell or ability, sac it, 2/2
A 2 power 1 drop in the only colour it wouldn’t be good. Useless even in tempo decks, this is technically junk. however,in the far off future, this could be used, with other 2 power 1 drops, in a true blue aggro deck. For now, it’ll have to cry in the corner
Verdict : Don’t.
Phantasmal image, 1U, creature, whenever it becomes target of a spell or ability, sac it, when it comes into play, it clones a creature ,0/0
It’s like the makeshift mannequin of clones! outside of targetted removal, the illusion drawback isn’t terrible. I’m not going to list all the benefits of a clone that costs 2, since I’m sure you can imagine them.
Verdict : 400+, maybe even smaller.
Chandra’s Phoenix , 1RR,creature, flying, Whenever an opponent is dealt damage by a red instant or sorcery spell you control or by a red planeswalker you control, return ~ from your graveyard to your hand, 2/2
Boom! Great new red card. A monocoloured skyknight legionaire which recurs itself. Works great with chandra 1.0, counter burn or any deck with plenty of burn. Adds a huge amount of value to all the divisible damage cards in red and redblue. A great source of reach for aggro, and can act as a recurable block in weird red control.
Verdict: 400+, maybe smaller
Crimson Mage, 1R,creature, R:target creature gains haste til EoT, 2/1
A nice red two drop, not overwhelmingly powerful, but adding haste to some creatures is pretty sweet. I’m not sure whether giving your stuff haste is worth disrupting your curve, but I see it more being used to cast your creatures when you’re not curving out, speeding up your deck.
Verdict : 600+
Stormblood Berserker, 1R, creature, bloodthirst 2, can’t be blocked except by 2+ creatures, 1/1
I can see this being really, really good. Providing you played a one drop, this is a 3/3 with some evasion, for 2. If you can consistently drop a one drop, then it’s a staple. I’d say it’s better than Ember Hauler, maybe even better than that.
Skinshifter, 1G, creature, G:~ becomes a 4/4 trampler, 2/2 flier or 0/8 til EoT, only activate this once a turn, 1/1
Man, this was meant to be the green morphling, and I’m disappointed, The only time this card is good is turns 3 and 4, and after that, it’s medicore. Especially considering it’s disrupting your curve on those turns, when you want to be dropping key creatures in green. I appear to in the minority on this one though, since there’s been a huge amount of support for it in the cube forums. I’m not optimistic.
Verdict : 550+
Overall, so far there are some really sweet cards coming out in M12, but I’m not sure how many will crack my cube. It’s a lot of good news for people with slightly larger cubes, since there’s going to be lots of stuff for them in this set.
Thanks for reading,