Building My Own Cube 2, pt. 2 – Preliminary Green

The first part

The idea I started with was that green was going to be the control color. I gave each color 50 cards, and this is what I think green should look like at this point.

There’s actually 56 cards here, so there are going to be cuts, but things are supposed to change anyhow.

I’ll present the list on a curve first.

1-drops 2 3 4 5 6 7 X
creatures Permeating Mass
Experiment One
Wasteland Viper
Aquastrand Spider
Deadly Recluse
Den Protector
Elvish Visionary
Gyre Sage
Kujar Seedsculptor
Magus of the Library
Tribal Forcemage
Abzan Beastmaster
Boon Satyr
Byway Courier
Champion of Lambholt
Deathmist Raptor
Graf Mole
Tuskguard Captain
Ulvenwald Mysteries
Yavimaya Elder
Algae Gharial
Armorcraft Judge
Briarbridge Patrol
Deadbridge Goliath
Forgotten Ancient
Masked Admirers
Polukranos, World Eater
Temur Sabertooth
Arbor Colossus
Pine Walker
Silklash Spider
Watcher in the Web
Hydra Broodmaster
Shefet Monitor
Hornet Queen
Krosan Tusker
Pelakka Wurm
Genesis Hydra
Hooded Hydra
non-creatures Prey Upon Provoke
Wall of Blossoms
Bow of Nylea
Carven Caryatid
Hornet Nest
Roar of Challenge
Root Out
Song of the Dryads
Slice in Twain Shamanic Revelation Primeval Bounty
Rishkar’s Expertise
Wildest Dreams

Sorry about the horrible layout, but its just better to look at the curve this way. And looking at your thing thinking about the curve is kind of important.

Note that walls are counted as spells, since they can’t attack and token producing cards are counted as creatures, although I don’t have any here (but they would be).

As I was making the list, certain themes did form, as you can see. There’s clues, +1/+1 counters and morph. I think I’ll keep those for now, even though some cards I like here least are sort of forced onto these themes. I think right now, the most probable cuts would be:

Briarbridge PatrolTribal ForcemageShefet MonitorKrosan TuskerPelakka Wurm
Byway Courier

Some are curve considerations, some just feel underpowered. For some reason I do like Byway Courier, though.

Again, the idea was that green is the control color and I’ll build everything based on that. What does being control mean? It means that instead of trying to bring the game to a quick end, you try to prolong the game and win through gaining value over time. There is a (false) notion brought to the fore by Owen Turtenwald that states that in limited there are no aggro or control decks, only different shades of midrange. This isn’t true. Sure, the spectrum is not as wide as in certain other formats, but at the same time there definitely are decks that try to be the beatdown in most games and decks that try to be the control in most games. That’s the key. I’m trying to find a set of cards, which allows green to be of the latter kind in most cases.

The easiest way to understand gaining value for most players is card draw, but there are other ways you can gain advantages. For this reason, there’s certain other ways of gaining card advantage here, but also there’s the +1/+1 counter theme, which in many ways also brings advantage over time, if you can keep those creatures growing stronger.

Ramping, in certain environments, can also be a good advantage, but in the spirit of making this green different from most, I’ve stayed away from it. This is partly why I might lose some of the more expensive cards, because you don’t get to play them very often when you can’t play them ahead of schedule.

But let’s go through the choices. I’m going to go through them in themes. Some of them won’t fit, so those’ll be a category onto themselves. Others would fit several, in which case I’ll put them where they feel they fit the best.

First, +1/+1 counters.

Experiment OneAquastrand SpiderGyre SageKujar SeedsculptorChampion of Lambholt
CrocanuraFertilidTuskguard CaptainBow of NyleaArmorcraft Judge
Deadbridge GoliathForgotten AncientAlgae GharialLumberknotPrimeval Bounty

Admittedly the payoffs aren’t very great. Armorcraft Judge is pretty good one here, but otherwise getting any meaningful advantage from those counters seems pretty hard. I’ll be sure to drop in something in the other colors to encourage this.

Then, morphs. I just like morphs, so why not? Again, I’ll enforce this in other colors as well, especially since Pine Walker and Deathmist Raptor need more morphs to do any work.

Den ProtectorDeathmist RaptorPine WalkerTribal ForcemageHooded Hydra

Next, card draw and card advantage in general. I’ve already covered some in previous groups, but here’s some more.

Elvish VisionaryMagus of the LibraryWall of BlossomsAbzan BeastmasterByway Courier
Yavimaya ElderCarven CaryatidRoot OutUlvenwald MysteriesBriarbridge Patrol
Masked AdmirersSlice in TwainShamanic RevelationShefet MonitorRishkar’s Expertise
Krosan TuskerGenesis HydraWildest Dreams

Most of these don’t really affect the game that much immediately. You’ll get one extra card on top of some other effect that in many cases isn’t very strong, but if you manage to stall the game, it will all add up. This isn’t going to be cube of haymakers (although there are some), but rather small advantages.

In order to make the game go long, we need some defensive creatures. Again, we have some in the previous list, but here’s some more that are pretty good at simply holding the fort and don’t necessarily bring other value to the table. Well, some, but not necessarily significant or easy to assess kind of value.

Permeating MassWasteland ViperDeadly RecluseGraf MoleHornet Nest
Silklash SpiderWatcher in the Web

We need some win conditions as well. Again, some of the ones before do this job pretty well, but might require a lot of work for not enough payoff. For this reason, I’ll throw in these few.

Polukranos, World EaterArbor ColossusHydra BroodmasterHornet QueenPelakka Wurm

Is this too many? I mean, there’s already a bunch of strong, big creatures and there’s no ramp to be seen. Well, when cutting cards, we should keep this in mind.

Finally, the rest. Some removal, a combo engine and a powerful, if expensive trick:

Prey UponProvokeRoar of ChallengeBoon SatyrSong of the Dryads
Temur Sabertooth

As I said before, this is just preliminary. A cube should be a series of moving pieces, since they all affect each other. Next I’ll try to figure out ways to attack this particular deck without making this too weak. I’m thinking blue might be the aggressive color in this particular cube, although I’m not quite sure if we have enough powerful tools for that. We do have some, but we’ll see. Blue also has plenty of fun morphs, so that’s also something I’ll look into to have a common theme with green.

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