Now and to the Future

 With 2022 coming to an end and 2023 starting, there's going to be a ton of new products for the new year and a lot of wants that hoped to be fulfilled. I liked a lot of the wackier card designs that came last year that opened up interesting options. However I did notice a problem with my cube. A majority of my cube were cards that came out within the past 2-3 years, much of which was cards designed with the FIRE ideology. From what was described, cards were to be designed interesting and fun. This is not necessarily a problem at face value, however the cards I've noticed are ridiculous in terms of power level and outshine their competitors by a long shot. The cards do succeed in being interesting, but many of them do way too much and maintain their relevancy based on just their power rather than fitting in a specific niche. 

Witness the Future by Anato Finnstark

Fortunately/Unfortunately, WotC has commented on the situation and acknowledged that they would start taking into account other formats when designing newer cards. This is a huge mixed bag as there are many directions that WotC can go with it. What I'm hoping for is that we do not go back to the slog of card designs that existed from Theros up until Kaladesh. Aside from Khans of Tarkir, a lot of the cards that were designed during this time felt under powered and uninspiring. I vividly remember a lot of the cards were just variations of cards that already existed and normally for the worse. There were several outliers, but many of those cards easily got pushed out when WotC went for the slightest power up. For cube, this made things easy as cards rarely made it. The bigger problem is that it left a lot of existing archetypes in cube and other formats stagnant and rarity locked since certain card designs were not available at lower rarities and budgets. What I do want is what happened with Modern Horizons 1 and Baldur's Gate. There were a decent amount of absurd cards that entered competitive play because of these sets however, the card felt like they filled a niche rather than being powerhouses. I like this approach a lot more as it encourages diversity over optimization in card choices. For players, this meant I could build the same archetype that would play differently due to card choices. This keeps your current cards relevant, but provides the option to shift how the deck plays should you feel like it.

Drawn from Dreams

With this in mind, I'm hoping that the new cards WotC releases in 2023 can fill weird niches that would improve the drafting experience of my cube. Here are some of the card designs I would like to see in 2023 or at least some point in the future. These are mostly for cube, though they may be playable in other formats.

An adjusted version of Erinis from Baldur's Gate. If you guys read my Baldur's Gate articles, Erinis was a card that I really liked and was disappointed because it was a small detail away from being amazing for my commander cube. I really would have liked that the card was either an elf or an enchantment or even better both. This would make it desirable for drafters trying to reach the density needed to properly support either archetype, while supporting the lands archetype. The stats and ability on it are fine as is, so really it's just the card types.

In the same, Turntimber Sower was a card I thought was great in terms of what it can do, however I found the cost to recur land of one green mana and sacrificing 3 creatures prohibitive to making the card playable in cube, though I do understand that it is to prevent infinite loops. If they make a strict upgrade of this card where they reduce the recursion effect while keeping everything else intact including creature types that would be a dream for me. 

More enchantment density is another thing I want to see happen in Magic. The archetype is currently parasitic with most of the payoff and enablers having applications only in  most cubes typically have a whole section dedicated to artifacts. There has been some news that WotC wants to make enchantment creatures either deciduous or evergreen rather than be tied to primarily enchantment based sets like Theros. Kamigawa: Neon Dynasty and Theros Beyond Death was a step in the right direction with where I want to see enchantments going and I want to see more of that. Sagas have been awesome to play with and have helped enchantments become easier to run especially with the innovations they took in NEO and DMU. I have no doubt that enchantments will become more versatile as time goes on in the current direction. When looking at the current payoffs, there is a lot to be wanted. I like constellation as a mechanic especially when you compare it to the typical enchantress payoff, but very little of the constellation cards are worth playing. This is mainly because the baseline for the constellation cards are typically bad and this really applies to the enchantresses too. So with this group, I'm hoping WotC creates enchantment reward cards with an adequate baseline like they did with Archon of Sun's Grace or Sanctum Weaver.

One of my favorite archetypes to play Boros blitz, which I covered in my Boros aggro article. Big, fast, high risk damage is what I like about the deck and double strike is one of my favorite keywords in the game because it enables these moments. Temur Battle Rage has been a pet card of mine and Twinferno is a card that I've been finding to play better in most decks, I'm still in the market for a card since I feel the deck is still short on density. I'm looking for something similar to Kaya's Onslaught with a better mana cost . The way I want it, it would 2 mana for an instant version without the foretell or 1 mana for a sorcery speed one. The archetype that wants this type of card wants to be chaining spells to surprise the opponent. At 3 mana, Kaya's Onslaught is clunky to play and foretelling the card is not a real option, when playing on curve is important. It should be noted that we have not seen a power buff and double strike on an instant or sorcery for less than 3 so far and maybe it would be considered too powerful.

Additionally another combat trick for the deck I'm interested in would be one that can function as either a burn spell or a pump spell in red or boros. The problem what it comes the archetype in red is that the pump spells and burn spells fight for the same slots. Additionally, pump spells are generally bad because they need a creature to work, thus a combat trick/ burn spell is a way to mitigate this problem. This seems really janky to look at, but I believe it's been done before with Integrity//Intervention. The main thing about combat tricks that I'm looking for is that they are low cost. Integrity sit that mark with being 1 mana, but the 2nd half was lacking because it was 4 mana to cast. I would want either a reduced 2nd half to 3 mana or an instant that costs 1-2 mana with the text "Deal 2 damage to target" or "Target creature gets +3/+3".  

Self mill/ Discard cards in black have been surprisingly limited from my experience playing and building cubes. This is why in my article for GB graveyard a lot of the early game lower drops were in Green. Black has solid options for getting stuff into your graveyard, I feel that one more is needed. Pack Rat isn't an option as I find the gameplay loop to become Packrat.exe and win from there. Heir of Falkenrath or Mire Triton is more in line with what I'm wanting. This might honestly come down to me reexamining the card pool and the cards just mentioned, but I'm looking for another low cost self mill card to include in both my traditional and commander cube. 

Lastly, Black has been a color that I want to support zombie tribal in and initially zombie tribal was easy to support since the a good amount of the best black creatures were zombies, however as my cube shifted, zombies wave been incidentally getting cut slowly and I didn't notice it until I found Gravecrawler harder to recur. I would want WotC to type shift like Erinis existing black cards to being Zombies since I like a lot of the black creatures WotC has been putting out, but they aren't zombies. This would better support incidental Zombie tribal. 

Closing Time

I think that's all for now. As I keep playing and adjusting my cube, I will definitely find more things I want. I highly doubt that any of the specific things are coming especially with the sets that they announced for 2023, but the more general ones like the zombie request or discard one being way more likely. I would be on peak hopium if one of the things I want happens this year. From what I can guess based on the sets announced, I am expecting lands support to show up again this year and though I'm not sure if it will be on an elf since I am expecting it on Ixalan. There will probably be some more cool big creatures, but that's a constant in Magic at this point and we have a bunch to pick from.

With all that being said, thanks for taking the time to read. If you appreciate my work, just leave a comment to let me know or if you think I'm utter trash. If you have questions or corrections you can use the contact form or leave a comment on Reddit. If you want to stay up to date with my stuff, feel free to join my email list at the bottom of the post or click here for the link to join. If you are interested in buying any of the cards mentioned in this post, you can support me by shopping at TCGplayer (Click Here).