Welcome back to Cube of Force, the article series where we build a Dungeons and Dragons themed Magic: The Gathering cube step-by-step. Last time, we updated our cube to have more clerics and rogues. Today, we are digging into creature types again by adding a variety of new warriors and wizards.
Looking through the available wizards, the thing that jumped out to me the most was spellslinger effects. Cards like Burning Prophet, Goblin Electromancer and Vodalian Arcanist all encourage you to build a deck around slinging spells, with payoffs like Adeliz, The Cinder Wizard rewarding you for building an army of wizards in the deck that does so. There were also a number of wizards with Prowess or an ability like it, making wizards like Aven Wind Mage, Stormchaser Mage, or Spellweaver Eternal become much bigger after casting only a few spells. It may also only care about instants specifically, but Lunar Mystic is also a great way to keep cards in our hand so we can sling more spells. These wizards are largely in red and blue, making an Izzet wizard deck with a spells matter subtheme among the most likely archetypes you can expect to build.
There was also strong support for a subtheme of enters the battlefield effects, which caught my eye because of Naban, Dean of Iteration and the new Harmonic Prodigy from Modern Horizons 2 doubling those triggers. Harmonic Prodigy even doubles our Prowess triggers! You may want to expand on this theme more in your own cube, but I tried to focus on what my wizard archetypes were already doing, which was spellslinging. That is why the cube has several wizards that return spells to your hand when they enter the battlefield, such as Shipwreck Dowser (which has Prowess!), Salvager of Secrets, Izzzet Chronarch and Archaeomancer. Beyond those, we also have utility enters the battlefield effects like Reflector Mage and Academy Journeymage returning problematic creatures to their owner’s hands, Dualcaster Mage and Naru Meha, Master Wizard to copy spells, and Frilled Mystic and Silumgar Sorcerer to counter spells. Riptide Laboratory pushes this subtheme a little further, letting you return and later replay any of your wizards.
Of course, most of these cards work fine by themselves without actually focusing on a deck full of wizards. But, the we are also adding a collection of “wizards matter” effects to the cube that might make you want to go all in on wizards when you’re deckbuilding. Information Dealer, Windrider Wizard and Azami, Lady of Scrolls are all excellent sources of card selection to keep your hand full of interaction and more wizards. Voidmage Prodigy, Patron Wizard, Ixidor’s Will, Sage’s Dousing, and Wizard’s Retort are all reliable counter magic effects that work better the more wizards you have access to. You can lock out problematic permanents from your enemies using Aphetto Grifter, Galecaster Colossus, and Step Through (which can also be wizardcycled to find the exact wizard you need instead).
As with Clerics and Rogues, I also wanted to ensure we got some utility outside of the two primary colors for this creature type so each deck can assemble a full party if necessary. Magus of the Candelabra can untap lands to help ramp our teammates while Magus of the Vineyard ensures everyone (albeit also the archenemy) has an extra two mana in their first main phase. Kwain, Itinerant Meddler might also give the archenemy a card, but your team drawing three cards means you have a strong net card advantage. Simic Guildmage, Chronicler of Heroes, Sage of Fables, and Fathom Mage all support our cube’s +1/+1 counter subtheme. Possibly the strangest inclusion is Smogsteed Rider, which gives fear to all attacking creatures when it attacks, including those of our teammates.
Warriors didn’t have as many additions as the other creature types, if only because we already included several of the best choices when we worked on BattleBond earlier. The biggest subtheme to explore here wound up actually being cards that care about warriors. We have effects that pump up warriors like Kargan Warleader, Chief of the Edge, and Chief of the Scale. We have utility effects like Mardu Woe-Reaper exiling cards from graveyards, Kor Blademaster granting double strike and supporting our equipment subtheme, and Herald of Dromoka granting vigilance. We gain extra evasion with effects like Blood-Chin Rager granting menace, or Kargan Intimidator and Boldwyr Intimidator turning creatures into cowards. We also have access to numerous token generation effects thanks to cards like Oketra the True, Maja, Bretagard Protector, Oketra’s Monument, Najeela, the Blade-Blossum, Mardu Strike Leader, and Usher of the Fallen. You’ll notice that unlike the other three party-forming creature types, there is a great deal of support for warriors you don’t control yourself, letting your team divide out many warriors as can accommodate your individual builds.
Odds and Ends
Last time, you may recall that we added Tavern Scoundrel, a rogue that makes treasure based on coin flips. I took a look through what coin flip cards we could add, but also decided to look at cards that focus on dice rolls at the same time, because that really captures the feel of playing Dungeons and Dragons. This added fourteen cards total, several of which are silver bordered.
|Ground Pounder||Hammer Jammer||Two-Headed Giant|
|GO TO JAIL||Growth Spurt||Strategy, Schmategy|
|Fiery Gambit||Mad Science Fair Project||Squee’s Revenge|
|Crooked Scales||Hammer Helper||Sorceror’s Strongbox|
|Time Out||Mirror March|
Next month, Adventures in the Forgotten Realms finally premieres, and we will be doing a top-down review of that set for the cube. You can track progress on the cube here. Until next time, rock on!
Paul, The Rocking Bard