I hate the phrase ‘blue sky thinking’. I also hate the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’. Because they don’t tell you what they mean. They mean thinking without regular constraint. Thinking outside the conventional. Thinking with the dogma of the ordinary.
I’ll give an example. Back when Mirrodin Besieged was released, I cut Flickerwisp for Mirran Crusader. My reasons for doing so were triplicate : It had a low MD % , it had one toughness, and double strike was ‘unique’ like Flickerwisps ability. So I cut it, there was some sadness, but in the end, I was happy with the change.
Fast forward to now. My cube is the best it’s ever been. So , I’m looking for ideas for cube, and I compare my cube to Mark Oberdries’ cube. Literally, I got his list up on screen, went through my cube in my hands, and wrote down every card he ran which I didn’t (he has to run some of these, I’m at a smaller size), but more importantly, I made particular note of the cards I ran which he didn’t. The main culprits stood out : Black Knight and Glorious Anthem.
Why were they still there? In my head, the old dogmatic voice – ‘To promote aggro in a colour, you must have a sufficient density of one and two drops to ensure the deck can curve out properly from as early as possible as consisntently as possible’, so I left Black Knight in. Glorious Anthem though, stood out. With Hero of Bladehold, Accorder Paladin and Soltari Champion at 2,3 and 4 mana, did I really need another anthem? Yes, and that’s why I’ve got Ajani. but after that, really? a fifth one? No. With the variety of superior choices, I saw no reason to take Glorious Anthem anymore, and so I sought for choices ; To Flickerwisp we return. Now, instead of the poor points I listed before, what’s good about it? It enables blink, an archetype which struggles in my cube. It can move blockers. It’s a 3 evasive power for 3. It’s interesting. Boom. Does it matter that a few cubes have dropped flickerwisp? Of course not. Does it matter that I dropped flickerwisp? It used to, but I got over my mental block, and rediscovered a great card.
There’s not a huge point to a lot of my pointless rambling, but I have this advice for any cuber (cubist?) who is stuck for ideas of what to add to their cube. Defy convention.Think past what everyone is thinking, and reanalyse staples. If you don’t experiment, you’ll never know. It was a generally accepted fact that 3 per pair was the minimum you could go to in any size cube for multicolour, but I recently dropped to 2, and the results have been fantastic.
Cheers for reading,