Secret Lair Alert: D&D: Honor Among Thieves for Cube

Alright, WotC the promotional D&D secret lair worked and now I'm talking about it to promote your upcoming movie.

Recently, we got an early leak of a possible new set of Universes Beyond cards for the movie Dungeon and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. These cards look designed for commander players to build around, however they can fit in with different Magic environments *cough* legacy *cough* that aren't catered to them. This has me looking at them for both traditional and commander cube as multiplayer cards are generally really broken in both good and bad contexts because they weren't designed to be played that way.

Before I continue, if you enjoy my work you can follow me on my socials of your choice.

Meet the Cast (Cards)

Edgin, Larcenous Lutenist is a Dream Devourer colorshifted to Izzet. This will be good in slower decks and cubes for several reasons. The card is decent statted to act as a blocker against the faster decks. it gives you something to do with more expensive cards that you can't play right away by being able to foretell them. Foretelling your cards makes them cheaper to play later and is a solid way to store them.  The color shift is notable as it moves into blue, which typically has more expensive cards already. The card can goad your opponent's creature which will matter depending on the play environment.

Traditional: I do not think this card will crack into any sections as it doesn't do enough. What I think is cool is the foretell can be used as a way to reduce the cost of spells. This will be solid for setting up big storm plays. The goad is a legitimate concern as it can force your opponent to attack you, which may not be your intention to block it. Having the 3/3 body does let it eat smaller creatures acting as pseudo removal.

Commander: Commander cube is where I can see this card being played. The card already has a built in multiplayer mechanic with goad, great for supporting the UR goad deck that came from Baldur's Gate. Giving all of your cards foretell is great in the commander environment since the spells are generally bigger and slower. It adds a different play experience to UR, which makes it always worth considering. I recommend this as an alternative commander choice, dependent on how you want your play environment to be shaped.

Simon, Wild Mage Sorcerer is a card that doesn't really inspire any creativity to me. The card looks to play worse than Archmage Emeritus even with the difference in casting cost. Requiring the 3MV requirement on spells makes the card draw inconsistent.  Thus the baseline for the card is awful and I would much rather play a Cloudkin Seer or Sea Gate Oracle over this. There is two features that make the card interesting: it's legendary and an elf.

Traditional: Nope, play something else.

Commander: This card would be serviceable in the format, but there are other cards. As a legendary, you can run it as a commander. The elf portion of the card matters if you run elf centric strategies since Edric and Leovold both splash into the color blue. Outside of that, I would avoid it/ disregard it.

Xenk, Paladin Unbroken is something I definitely want to build around, though I currently don't have the right builds in either cube to support it. At baseline, the card is essentially a 4/4 with some quirks, though those are negligible in a vacuum. With double strike, he does become ideal for voltron strategies. He further supports this idea by giving auras exalted, a unique spin on this strategy. At face value, you have the option to support him by running pump auras that give stats and keywords, but you can also use it on the removal style auras like Pacifism or Ossification. This ability means he doesn't have to be the one attacking protecting it from removal like Blessed Alliance.

Traditional: I think he's a solid signpost if you run a decent density of auras in your environment. This serves well to cross over with general enchantment strategies. The card looks fun to play with but does need the right environment to play well. In a power focused cube, this card won't make it since White has the most stacked 4 drops.

Commander: I think the card plays worst in this environment as you are dealing with more players but a slower pace environment might also be where this card thrives since it can sneak out big damage. Still definitely needs to be built around for it to be effective.

Doric, Nature's Avenger is easily one of the more exciting cards for me to run in cube. It has okay statted at 3/3 and doesn't outdo a lot of green's other 4 drops, but it can transform into a 6/6 which does. She will also be able to fetch you any Forest card and put it into play tapped when she enters. This sets herself to be a strong beater for a Gruul Fires decks, ramp, and general midrange strategies.

Traditional: She is a solid option at 4 mana value. What I like is that she can turn into a 6/6 the moment she attacks and plays well as a reward piece for a legendary matters theme that has been becoming more prevalent. This won't outclass your other threats in power level, but it fits into a bunch of decks and does more than be strong creature.

Commander: I see this card thriving more here as there's a larger density of legendaries. Additionally the ramp does do much better here since the games go on for longer and the spells are generally bigger. The vigilance is important here as well as it can discourage attacks from the other players in between turns.

Forge, Neverwinter Charlatan is an interesting build around card that seems be hard to pull off. The card's stats as a 2/4 with Menace don't impress me since it does compete with black's other 4 drops. Forge gets bigger with each treasure you have on the battlefield and is able to generate. What's cool is that he can make his own treasures when a player sacrifices his/her creatures. Aside from dedicating space to make it happen, his ward is able to fuel the treasure generation. I foresee him being decently serviceable and he serves as decent overlap between black artifact and sacrifice strategies.

Traditional: Initially, this card didn't really stand out to me, but when I read deeper into the lines, it is actually pretty cool in specific decks. Since the card generates treasures when any player sacrifices a creature, playing the card in a stax build is pretty powerful. You are able to generate 2 treasures per turn cycle and use the treasures as sacrifice fodder for Braids and Smokestacks. Outside of stax, black is fairly strong at generating treasure tokens. This makes it fairly easy to get him big. Otherwise,Forge is not a huge threat until a treasure is on the field, making him easy to skip if you aren't there already.

Commander: Forge is more powerful here as more turns means for sacrifices. For Forge, the treasures are much stronger as they represent both his growing power and the mana needed to make bigger plays. With a proper sacrifice set up, this can be a beast in commander cube. Without it, I'd be concerned.

Holga, Relentless Rager is one keyword short of being amazing. When she attacks, she is able to clear the way for your other attackers by forcing them to block her, while pumping them at the same time. This is absurd since she has haste and I can only imagine that in most cases, playing her is generally lethal. In situations where she doesn't just finish your opponent, she would have devastated their board state. She does have some problems though since she's 6 mana, limiting her usage as she competes with other 6 drops. If she had trample or first strike, I would have been strongly bullish on her

Traditional: I can only see her existing in Fires style decks as she does have haste and can finish games for them, but due to the being 6 mana she is difficult to cast. Aggro decks generally will not have enough mana to comfortably cast the card or their game should have been over before they get a chance to this point. Inferno Titan also exists. 

Commander: Holga struggles here due to the competition at least in my cube. She doesn't really have a niche here and her ability got significantly worse. As an attack focused card, she is beaten by the existence of Moraug as well as all the 5MV dragons with haste that do weird things. This is where I think here having a keyword would have really helped her stand out.

The End Step

Overall, I think these cards are kinda neat, but won't really have a place in traditional cubes unless the curator already has a solid environment to support them. As already mentioned, they demand to be built around something that is easy to do in constructed, but not limited. What makes some of these cards worse is that there are cards that already exist or play a similar role that are just better than them. There are some cards keeping an eye on namely Forge, Edgin, and Xenk. Each of these are in a weird enough space that I can see them being included much later down the line as the right cards become popular. I think it should also be noted, we have no idea what the bonus card will be.

As this is a tie in with the upcoming/already out movie, it does work to convince me to go see it. The movie trailers made the movie seem like a fun watch that hopefully understands the source material. Will update the article when I go see it.

Outside of blog writing, I've been also working on my YouTube channel running a general magic podcast with my friends and making YouTube shorts about cube. It's been an interesting endeavor and I plan on continue working on it, but I don't find it as enjoyable as writing these articles for a variety of reasons. If you want to take a look, just click this link here.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please leave a comment or complaint below, I like the interaction. If you want to support me, please consider heading over to Patreon, ad money is kinda low, but it's currently the only way to maintain the upkeep on this . Thanks.