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

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:

[draft]Briarbridge Patrol
Tribal Forcemage
Shefet Monitor
Krosan Tusker
Pelakka Wurm
Byway Courier[/draft]

Some are curve considerations, some just feel underpowered. For some reason I do like [card]Byway Courier[/card], 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.

[draft]Experiment One
Aquastrand Spider
Gyre Sage
Kujar Seedsculptor
Champion of Lambholt
Crocanura
Fertilid
Tuskguard Captain
Bow of Nylea
Armorcraft Judge
Deadbridge Goliath
Forgotten Ancient
Algae Gharial
Lumberknot
Primeval Bounty[/draft]

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 [card]Pine Walker[/card] and [card]Deathmist Raptor[/card] need more morphs to do any work.

[draft]Den Protector
Deathmist Raptor
Pine Walker
Tribal Forcemage
Hooded Hydra[/draft]

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

[draft]Elvish Visionary
Magus of the Library
Wall of Blossoms
Abzan Beastmaster
Byway Courier
Yavimaya Elder
Carven Caryatid
Root Out
Ulvenwald Mysteries
Briarbridge Patrol
Masked Admirers
Slice in Twain
Shamanic Revelation
Shefet Monitor
Rishkar’s Expertise
Krosan Tusker
Genesis Hydra
Wildest Dreams[/draft]

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.

[draft]Permeating Mass
Wasteland Viper
Deadly Recluse
Graf Mole
Hornet Nest
Silklash Spider
Watcher in the Web[/draft]

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.

[draft]Polukranos, World Eater
Arbor Colossus
Hydra Broodmaster
Hornet Queen
Pelakka Wurm[/draft]

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:

[draft]Prey Upon
Provoke
Roar of Challenge
Boon Satyr
Song of the Dryads
Temur Sabertooth[/draft]

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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