Cube and Conspiracies Pt2 Balanced Conspiracies

 This is a continuation of my review of conspiracies in cube. Last time we touched on conspiracies that were generally good for almost all cubes, this time we will be looking at the rest. Interestingly, most of these will come from CN2. During the design of this set,it seemed WotC's R&D might have come to the realization that these cards were too strong and tried to rebalance conspiracies. As a designer, I like the way these cards require a bit more thought before putting them in your deck vs the ones in CNS that were auto shoe ins and generally made cards more broken.

If you want to read part one, you can click the link here to the first part

The List Pt2

We'll start off this list with the 2 conspiracies I was most disappointed in which was Worldknit and Sovereign's Realm. At face value, these cards seem awesomely broken to play with and they are, just not in an EDH cube environment. In this environment, the biggest restriction is the commander identity and 60 card minimum deck. Since both card demand that you play with everything you drafted, this is problematic since unless you play a 5c commander, you are more than likely to almost never be able to use this card.

I not recommend these two cards in  EDH cube, due to the fact that they are difficult to properly build around due to commander color identity.

Unexpected Potential and Emissary's Ploy
both fall into same category of making your cards easier to cast. Both cards are not as powerful in an EDH cube environment because of color identity deck building. Since the ALL of the cards already have to be in your commander's colors, these cards are not as powerful. They will have some use if you run cards that are extremely color intensive such as Benalish Marshall. They may also find a home in 3c or 4c decks, but that will be dependent on how strong your mana bases are. There is a case to be made for Emissary's Ploy and one drops since the requirements for those cards to be played on turn are really tight. Relying on strong  Outside of these scenarios, I do not find a good use for them.

I would recommend these cards based on your design choices for your cube. If your mana bases are weak or you run mana intense cards, this card might find a slot to help smooth over greedier play styles, otherwise I would not run.

Hold the Perimeter is a nice card to start the aggression in a game. The creatures this card creates a situation that encourages your opponent to swing at each other for free damage. The soldier you create should be enough to dissuade opponents from taking a crack at you. In game play, this should start creating some tension between players as the attacks are going around. The tokens can be used to facilitate other strategies such as goblin tribal or toughness matters. The additional creatures will create new avenues of play as well such as use of a Phyrexian Tower on turn 1.

I would recommend this card in any multiplayer environment since it lets player start attacking each other early.

Sentinel Dispatch is similar to Hold the Perimeter, but it only affects you. You will lose the early interactions between players. You still get a defender in the form of a 1/1 construct. This will at minimum stop a single attack and ward off fragile attackers. You can use for any creature interactions such as it being sacrifice fodder. In addition to this, the construct is an artifact as well meaning it plays well with artifact cards such as Goblin Welder or Emry, Lurker of the Loch.

This card is good and might be a fun inclusion, but it is not a card I push to include into cubes.

Colored Conspiracies are interesting in cube design as they should be taking up a color slot instead a colorless spot. In commander cube, there is nothing stopping you from running these cards in deck building since they are not part of your deck. The problem will be generating the correct mana to use their effects, which can be mitigated depending on what type of mana base you run.

Adriana's Valor starts off the list and is mostly okay. It gives your creature indestructible only when you attack with it, which limits the usefulness of it. It is great with cards and commanders who want to be swinging like Geist of Saint Traft or Adriana, Captain of the Guard, but will be lackluster outside of that, which might be fine.

I'm middling on this card since it's very okay. I don't have a lot of experience with it so maybe it's busted, but I am planning to run Shielded By Faith instead of this currently.

Assemble the Rank and Vile is a card I like a lot. For [B], you will be able to generate a zombie from cards that die. This alone is value. Unlike the other conspiracies, this can be stronger on non commander creatures. Playing it on a recursive creature like Gravecrawler or a phoenix will allow you to use this ability multiple times. Had the mana restriction not been there, this card would be absurd. This card synergizes well in aristocrat strategies and since it generates a token zombie, both zombies and tokens can appreciate this card.

I would recommend this card if you're okay with not having full cycles. This card might be the best of the colored conspiracies, but the demand of [B] is hard to accomplish in non black decks. I don't run this card because I have opted not to include a full cycle of colored conspiracies. If they release more that can fill out the weaker conspiracies, I'll  reconsider this card.

I would consider Hired Heist to be the 2nd best of the colored conspiracies behind Assemble the Rank and Vile. This let's you turn any creature into a draw source. In a similar vein to Assemble, your preferred candidates for this card would either be your commander or an evasive creature. Recursive evasive creatures like phoenixes are even better. Every deck will appreciate the extra card draw and this card comes at 0 cost other than a blue mana source. One thing to note that it does trigger every time combat damage is dealt.

I would recommend this card if you run a fair (5%) amount of evasive creatures. The card draw is more universally good and is kept down by colors. As with Assemble because I am currently not running due to not wanting to run an incomplete cycle.

The last two play in a similar vein to one another, so I decided to cover them at once. Incendiary Dissent and Natural Unity both give abilities to your creatures to pump themselves. These both will play great with creatures that can benefit from having more power. Anything with double strike or power matters are the type of cards you might want to pair with these two. This would also translate over to commanders that focused on dealing commander damage to win like Atarka, World Render. The difference between the two is that Incendiary Dissent let's you grow your creature quickly, but at a temporary buff whereas Natural Unity is slower, but it's in the form of a +1/+1 counter. The counters can be interacted with proliferation and similar abilities. 

These two are fairly playable in any environment with Natural Unity being more universal while Incendiary Dissent is wanted only by combat centric decks. I would recommend Natural Unity in any cube,while Incendiary Dissent belongs in cubes where attack strategies are relevant, which should be almost all cubes.

Secret Summoning
is the less playable version of Summoner's Bond. The main problem this card has is that a large majority of cubes are singleton and this simply will just not work. In cubes where the singleton rule isn't applied, this is definitely a strong/ possibly broken card. This will turn any of your creatures into Squadron Hawks. Combine this with other conspiracies and this will get wild.

High recommendation from me if you run non singleton cubes. Otherwise easy skip. 

Echoing Boon is a card that suffers from relying on combat tricks and creatures. Most cubes, especially EDH cube, try to minimize the amount of combat tricks in their format, which hurts the utility of this card. Combined this with the need to target a specific creature and this card is just not in a good spot to be crazy. 

I would not recommend this card as the criteria to make this remotely playable is on par with a lot of parasitic archetypes. This might be playable if you support Feather or Shu Yun in your cube.

Final Thoughts
Overall, looking at all the conspiracies they are generally really powerful. I am tempted to add some of these cards into my 1v1 cube to push the power level, but I'm concerned it might make the game play unfun. I like the power level they add to EDH cube. In this environment the cards are slower and weaker to accommodate for a multiplayer experience. The conspiracies are balanced out by the other players at the table as well as luck. I am tempted to create a conspiracy style cube just to use the weaker conspiracies, but it's difficult to maintain too many different cube when I don't play enough of any of them. I think the conspiracies are a good change of place since they alter the functions of cards. I believe lower power cubes will really enjoy them, while high power environments might not need the extra push.

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