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By: Doctor Anime, Tomer Abramovici
Jul 18 2014 11:00am
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CUBE?

Don't know what Pauper & Peasant Cubes are? Click here.

You can check out my personal Peasant Cube, which is will be updated with M15 cards once I get my hands on them.

 

GRADING SYSTEM

Staple. The cream of the crop. These cards will be featured in just about any cube.
Recommended. The nuts and bolts of any good cube. I highly recommend them.
Playable. Worth considering adding to your cube.
Unlikely. Either they are bad cards, or they are good cards that require a specific cube that can support them so that they become good.
Never. The bottom of the barrel. Avoid these like the plague.  

WHITE 

Heliod's Pilgrim

An aggressively costed tutor on a stick is always something to pay attention to. Pilgrim is ripe for ETB abuse, bouncing, blinking, or reanimating to repeat the tutor ability. A 1/2 is a glorified speedbump in combat, but slap on that Armadillo Cloak you just tutored for and she's a sweet threat. Or pick up a Pacifism to deal with your opponent's big threat. Flexibility is powerful.

The downside is that she's narrow. You need to have enough auras in your cube that a person drafting her has a good shot at picking up 2+ auras to go with her. If you do run a good amount of Auras that people can draft alongside her, and don't mind running a narrow card in your pool, then Heliod's Pilgrim is a fine inclusion.

Pauper & Peasant: Playable. I've been very impressed with her in M15 so far and the best enchantment is Marked by Honor there. Imagine how sweet she'll be when she can fetch Griffin Guide and Temporal Isolation instead. My Pauper Cube does have enough auras, so that's where she'll go. 

Paragon of New Dawns

White generally lends itself to a strong token theme. This makes the white Paragon's anthem more powerful than the rest of the color cycle. My gripe with Paragon of New Dawns, which is true for the entire Paragon cycle, is that a 2/2 is too small for 4 mana. She'll be too often outclassed when she enters the fray, and I don't know if her anthem and activated ability are enough to compensate. I much prefer Goldnight Commander, whose anthem is more powerful and buffs himself so you can get in for more damage.

Peasant: Unlikely. I don't think it's good enough but I know some people that will be testing it out. 

Sungrace Pegasus

The more Auras or Bestow creatures like Leafcrown Dryad you run, the more viable Pegasus becomes. Never underestimate lifelink on a big creature. But like Heliod's Pilgrim, the question here is cube support. Most cubes probably don't run enough auras / bestow to make Sungrace Pegasus worth it, but if your cube does, then it's worth considering.

Pauper & Peasant: Unlikely. Most cubes can't support Sungrace Pegasus, but if yours can then it may be worth adding. 

Triplicate Spirits

Probably the strongest common to come out of M15. If you've ever played with/against Battle Screech or Lingering Souls in Limited, you'd know how backbreaking it is to fill the skies with tokens. Triplicate Spirits is weaker than the former options, but is notably a common, which makes it the best Pauper has access to.

Pauper: Recommended. One of the best token generators available, up there with Cenn's Enlistment. The Convoke option allows for explosive tempo plays that will leave your opponent severely behind.

Peasant: Unlikely. There's fiercer competition at uncommon, with Battle Screech, Lingering Souls, and Spectral Procession as definitely stronger options, likely Midnight Haunting too. 

Warden of the Beyond

 

Guest designer Isaiah Cartwright is treading into new territory and I'm loving it. This card respects the purpose of an exile zone (gone and can't be directly interacted with, as opposed to the graveyard) but still indirectly interacts with it in a cool and unique manner. I really dig the design of this card.

As for how good Warden of the Beyond is, it really depends on your cube, but Warden can be a 4/4 vigilance more often than some people might think. It's not just Swords to Plowshares, Path to Exile, Oblivion Ring, Banisher Priest etc. exiling stuff. Warden is also turned on if your opponent flashbacks something like Deep Analysis. Or maybe you surprise-exile something with Stonecloaker. How much is enough to make Warden worth it? I honestly don't know.

Peasant: Playable. Warden of the Beyond has to consistently be a 4/4 in the right deck to be worth a slot. It's extremely difficult to know for sure how consistent he'll be without trying him out for a bit, which is what I'll do before making a final verdict. 

BLUE 

Coral Barrier

 

A fine creature for control that shines in the Blue mirror. It also supports a U/W Blink archetype, a pet favorite of mine.

Pauper & Peasant: Playable. At a glance, I'm leaning towards good ol' reliable Calcite Snapper and Sea Gate Oracle over the 1/1 token generator, the closest comparisons I could find for control's 3-drops. Aether Adept gets the nod over this too. If you want a 4th control creature 3-drop, this would be it. 

Frost Lynx

I've had good experiences with Kor Hookmaster. I'm also a fan of Blue Tempo and U/W Blink archetypes. Frost Lynx fulfills those roles perfectly.

Pauper & Peasant: Recommended. Good kitty! 

Quickling

 

An aggressively costed trick on a stick. Use this to save a creature from removal or re-use a powerful ETB trigger, get a 2/2 flyer, all for 2 mana. Very solid.

Comparable to Whitemane Lion. Quickling's flying is a huge boost over Lion. There is a small chance that you'll only have one other creature in play and your opponent will kill it with instant speed removal in response to your Quickling, getting 1for2'd. I assume the chances of that are very low, however, making this much more powerful than the Lion in my eyes.

Peasant: Recommended.  

BLACK 

Rotfeaster Maggot

A fine creature for control in Pauper. 3/5 is a fine defensive body and it will likely be gaining you ~3 life when you're ready to cast it. Not good enough for Peasant, however.

Pauper: Playable.

Peasant: Unlikely. 

Ulcerate

Comparable to Disfigure, Snuff Out, Vendetta, the cheapo removal spells. Ulcerate kills more things than Disfigure and isn't restricted to nonblack creatures, but the 3 life cost does sting, especially against aggro decks. In the end, it's a solid option to add to Black's already impressive list of powerful creature removal. Choose whichever combination of them that works best for your cube.

Peasant: Playable/Recommended.  

RED 

Act on Impulse

 

Early/midgame this is a worse Divination. If you really need to hit a 4th land then you can spend a turn digging deep for it. Late game is where it becomes on par and eventually surpasses Divination. At least it's an interesting option in Red.

Peasant: Unlikely. 

Altac Bloodseeker

2/1's need to have an excellent upside to cut it in Peasant Cube and this may be enough to warrant inclusion. If your opponent has creatures out, he/she must respect the potential of removal turning this card into a 4/1 first strike that can lead to nasty blowouts. Altac Bloodseeker also scales much better than most into the mid/late game, as a turn 4+ Berserker slamming for a hasty 4 damage is always good.

The downside is very real, however. Bloodseeker shares the Plated Geopede Problem: good when it's on, bad when it's off. Thankfully this is better than Geopede, since 2/1 is better than 1/1 first strike and 4/1 haste is better than 3/3 no haste. Although the 1 toughness kind of sucks, making it vulnerable to cards like Fireslinger, Midnight Haunting, etc.

One quick comment about the art: It has a very similar color palette to the promo pics used in the Khans of Tarkir release announcement. Washed out greys punctuated by bold red. Perhaps she is from Tarkir?

Peasant: Playable. The real "problem" with Altac Bloodseeker is that our Peasant card pool for Red 2-drops is way too good and plentiful. In fact, I'd say if there was a single thing that we have more than enough of in Cube, it would be aggressive Red 2-drops. So it will be a challenge for me to fit in Bloodseeker somewhere. 

Borderland Marauder

Pretty much a better Gore-House Chainwalker. A bad blocker but amazing attacker. 3/2 swinging 2-drops is exactly what Red Aggro wants. One of the best cards for what it does.

Pauper & Peasant: Staple. 

Generator Servant

One of the most interesting Red 2-drops in recent history. As I said with Altac Bloodseeker, 2/1 is weak, but the ability to power out up to 2 hasty dudes is sweet. Turn 5 Blastoderm, Splatter Thug, swing for 8? Sounds good.

Other times, however, he'll be an underpowered 2/1 that can't attack and there's nothing good you want to sac him for. Also, unlike M15 sealed, we don't have any Siege Dragons to power out. Most the big red finishers are 4-5 mana and much less explosive to accelerate into. 

Pauper: Recommended. Good here, I think. Around the power level of Plated Geopede.

Peasant: Playable. Probably too inconsistent to be worth a slot, considering how crowded the Red 2-drop slots are. Would love some good Red 3-drops! 

Stoke the Flames

Few Red burn spells can deal 4 damage at instant speed. Flame Javelin is the only one I can think of. Which one is better depends entirely on your deck. The fact that this compares well with one of the best Red burn spells available to Peasant Cube makes me stoked to try it out.

Peasant: Recommended. There are a handful of burn spells I still need to try out in my cube. Stoke the Flames is now one of them. 

GREEN 

Ancient Silverback

 

This big ape has been downgraded to uncommon and that means he's ready to rumble in the Peasant arena. 6/5 regenerate for 6 is good value. It's already out of range of most Red burn and can regenerate through most of the best Black removal. The biggest downside is no evasion. Trample would've made this ape totally bananas!

Peasant: Recommended. There's been debate on the mtgsalvation forums whether to run this or Howlgeist. I can see the argument for both sides. Evasion + no need to keep up extra mana vs. bigger body + better longterm survivability. I think Silverback gets better the slower your meta is. If your meta is fast then run the geist. 

Reclamation Sage

A better Viridian Shaman. Much more aggressively costed Indrik Stomphowler or Acidic Slime. Many comparisons can be made, but one thing is for sure: the Sage is the real deal. Disenchant with a 2/1 body that can be bounced, blinked, and reanimated as necessary. It's so good. Run it, love it.

Peasant: Staple. The most anticipated uncommon in M15 for good reason. 

Restock

Double the Regrowth for more than double the price. It's interesting card advantage in Green but probably costs a bit too much.

Peasant: Unlikely. Maybe if it was 4 mana instead.  

COLORLESS 

Meteorite

Flavor win! I was really excited for this card when it was unofficially spoiled as 3 damage. Now that it's been revealed as only 2 damage, it makes me far more hesitant to try it out.

Peasant: Unlikely. Peasant cube doesn't run enough 6+ mana cards to warrant a 5cmc mana rock and there's far better options for removal. I mean, unless you're trying to make 3+ Color Big Mana Goodstuffs a thing, which would be crazy... it's not like I think about forcing the archetype with Etched Oracle, Dragonsoul Knight, (Paragon of Amesha), and sweet sweet Fusion Elemental... alright, maybe I'll try the shock rock. 

BEST NEW PAUPER CARDS: Borderland Ranger, Heliod's Pilgrim, Triplicate Spirits, Frost Lynx

BEST NEW PEASANT CARDS: Borderland Ranger, Quickling, Frost Lynx, Reclamation Sage 

Hope you guys enjoyed this review and I'll be back with another for Khans of Tarkir

PAUPER & PEASANT CUBE ARCHIVE