Bruce’s Combat Phase- Casting Broken Cards

CubeWell hello again MTGYOU folks. I’m back and I am excited.  Each week, during the Combat Phase, the lads get to cover off where and what they battled this past week.  I always like hearing the stories so I thought I would get in on the action too. I had an awesome time playing magic this past weekend and want to share my experience with all of you.

You might have already known that I really love to draft and that it is just about my favorite thing to do. Well, what is better than draft? Cube drafting of course! My friend Sam brought along a new buddy of his to our latest card night and Julien brought his cube for us to try. And it was not just any cube…it was a fully Powered cube…meaning all the most broken stuff in the history of the game could be found.  When I heard that we were going to cube draft I was ecstatic because I had never done it before, and boy am i glad I did. It was just about the most fun I’ve ever had drafting and I wanted to share my experience.

So, once we were all shuffled and packs created I flipped through my first pack. There were so many tough choices! In the end I was weighing two cards…Jace, the Mind Sculptor or Umezawa’s Jitte. Wow. What a choice. I picked the jitte because it didn’t commit me to a colour quite yet but I hated to let Jace go.

Pick two was an easy True Name Nemesis and it gave me an awesome target to equip jitte on. Pick Three was Time Walk. Yes folks. A Time Walk. Gross. The blue cards kept coming during the rest of pack one and I got Jace, Vrynn’s Prodigy later in the round and a Cryptic Command. I was very firmly in blue.

Part of the way through pack 1 I started to worry about what colour I was going to pair with my blue. My question got answered about pick 7 or 8 with a late Tarmogoyf! Ok then. Woodland Wanderer and a Greenwatcher of Murasa weren’t far behind along with a Scavenging Ooze. So, by the end of pack 1 I was firmly a blue/green deck and questioning if the two most removal light colours in the game would make a viable option.

Pack 2 got a little helter skelter as I dabbled with a third colour. Black offered up a Chainer’s Edict and a Dark Confidant while red gave me an Abbott of Keral Keep and a little burn. However pack two was really good for landing me a pair of planeswalkers in a Nissa Worldwaker and a Sarkhan Unbroken. I also landed a pretty late Remand meaning that blue wasn’t totally getting cut.

Pack three was interesting because I prioritized a pile of fixing, but not really the fixing I really needed. Dual lands of all sorts got picked up, even some that were totally off colour. Savannah, Badlands, Stomping Grounds, Blood Crypt, Windswept Heath, and on the list went. The reason for so much fixing was to see if I wanted to splash a third colour, but it was also to activate Volrath’s Strongold, maximize the converge on Woodland Wanderer, and play Sarkhan just for value.  I also got a really late Vendillion Clique in pack three that made me feel super positive about my choice of colours.

In the end here was my deck.

Temur black cube draft deck

Scavenging Ooze
True Name Nemesis
Vendillion Clique
Woodland Wanderer
Greenwatcher of Murasa
Jace, Vrynn’s Prodigy
Trigon Predator
Man’o war
Sower of Temptation

Time Walk
Mystical Tutor
Cryptic Command
Scatter to the Winds
Cyclonic Rift

Sylvan Library

Sarkhan Unbroken
Nissa Worldwaker

Mox Jet
Umezawa’s Jitte
Sword of Feast and Famine

Blood Crypt
Stomping Grounds
Canopy Vista
Windswept Heath
Volrath’s Stronghold
Grand Coliseum
2 forest
7 islands

Match one was against Eric who drafted a red white aggro deck. He got out to a very quick start with a turn one Dragon Hunter and a turn two Mother of Runes. I was getting beat down pretty hard and Isamura, Hound of Konda didn’t help matters. I landed a True Name and that helped stave off the worst of the damage and followed up with a Scavenging Ooze. Eric got a little spooked and reached for his deck to rip a Wrath of God that got met with a Cryptic Command taping his stuff down too. I untapped, attacked for 5, cast Mystical Tutor, found Time Walk, crunched him 5 more and then cast Woodland Wanderer as a 6/6. Next turn the beat down was well and truly on when I landed Greenwatcher of Murasa, returned the Time Walk, recast it, and crushed him for the win.

The second game unfolded very similarly but instead of Wanderer, it was Tarmogoyf that did the heavy work. But multiple time walks were just too much and Eric could do nothing but look on in dismay.

Round two was much trickier as I was playing Julien. Game one went badly as he got a turn one Zurgo, Bellstriker out, then a Winter Orb. I just got locked out as he beat my face in and I quickly succumbed.

Game two was much different and I got to go back to the Woodland Wanderer beat down plan backed with some counter magic.  Add in Sarkhan and a Dragon token and we were cooking with gas!

Game three was pretty epic. He opened up by suspending a Greater Gargadon and I got only to watch in horror as the thing ticked down and down. The best I could muster was Jace, but as a 0/2 he wasn’t much good at slowing down my opponent. He was ideal to allow me to find some pieces to get back on track but I was watching my life total drop precipitously low. Time Walk helped me dig, Jace flashed it back and a Man ‘o War and Tarmogoyf gave me some board presence. Umezawa’s Jitte was amazing and I piled up charge counters while attacking with Man ‘o War.  Finally the Gargadon was unsuspended and I was looking at a hungry monster. However, removing the Umezawa’s Jitte charge counters shrunk it to a manageable size and the goyf ate it preserving what little life total I had left. I was in pretty good shape on board, but at a very  low life total and couldn’t afford another hit of any kind. Julien’s only play was to top deck his Thundermaw Helkite and swing for lethal. Well, he ripped Thundermaw and cast it …right into a Remand. I followed up with my own top deck of a Vendillion Clique, made him put the Dragon on the bottom of his deck, and smashed through to close out the match. It was a pretty satisfying win.

It, was at this point I bid my friends good night because it was getting late, but I had a blast. I can only say  that all the cards in my deck pulled their weight. Time Walk was just as busted as I could have imagined and I won every game I played it. What makes it truly busted is that it only costs two mana and can be bought back through all sorts of ways.  Tarmogoyf was good, but I almost preferred Woodland Wanderer more because the vigilance was important and allowed it to play offence and defence. Vendillion Clique was a huge game saver and Cryptic Command is silly good. Even Sarkhan did good work. No, I wasn’t disappointed with anything in my deck and the net result was very good.  I have to concede my mana base looked like it was a bit of a mess, but I got away with it despite it being the weak link in my deck. At the end of the night I could look at my friends and say that I really liked playing busted cards.

It was a fun night and well worth being sleepy the next morning. Was my deck a  master piece? Not a chance! But was my deck fun? Oh yeah! If you have never tried your hand at drafting cube before I would strongly recommend it.  And it doesn’t need to be a powered cube…modern, pauper, block, whatever, but cube is extremely entertaining and well worth the investment of your time.

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you good luck wherever you will be battling magic this week. Until next time, have a great mtg day and we’ll see you back here next time.

Bruce Gray

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