Commander Cube First Pick #4

Which card do you first pick and why?  Assume that your group has decided to draft your generals at the end instead of at the beginning.  How would that pick change if you had drafted a certain general beforehand, instead?

[card]Baneslayer Angel[/card]
[card]Cryptic Command[/card]
[card]Vengeful Pharaoh[/card]
[card]Furnace of Rath[/card]
[card]Concordant Crossroads[/card]
[card]Double Negative[/card]
[card]Crucible of Worlds[/card]
[card]Isolated Chapel[/card]
[card]Hokori, Dust Drinker[/card]
[card]Ray of Command[/card]
[card]Liliana Vess[/card]
[card]Inferno Titan[/card]
[card]Yavimaya Elder[/card]
[card]Death Grasp[/card]
[card]Cloudstone Curio[/card]

7 responses to “Commander Cube First Pick #4”

  1. Ooh, this is a difficult one. I’d probably go with the Crucible for it’s obvious power level and because I love nothing more than playing a Terramorphic Expanse each turn from now until forever.

    Cloudstone Curio comes in a close second, since it would incentivize me to get more CIP guys, which isn’t a bad game plan in general.

    If we had picked generals beforehand or I had a specific color identity already in mind, I might alternately go for the Cryptic, Inferno Titan, or Yavimaya Elder, since they’re some of my favorite cards in all of Magic anyway.

  2. I think I’d take the Curio over the Crucible. The most synergistic cards with the Crucible are also at a high enough power level that I might never see them in the draft. Curio, however, will always have targets no matter which direction my deck goes.

    I think Furnace of Rath might be my third choice, as Red is lower down people’s lists of color power, so I might be relatively alone in red. Plus getting it early means I can plan everything around it

  3. Crucible because it is good in or against Land Destruction, which always seems prevalent in my group.

    Followed by Yavimaya Elder simply because card advantage wins games.

  4. First pick without a Commander to provide some kind of colour guidance is Cloudstone Curio for sure. You can build with it in mind, but don’t need to build around it, and all colours can benefit from it. It’s just a useful card.

    Beyond that, I’ll take Furnace of Rath since it lets you create genuine pressure, which is something any draft deck I designed is probably going to do. Though not really something based on good drafting technique, taking the Furnace also represents a pretty firm colour committment which will keep me from endlessly waffling and ending up with an absurdly diluted pool.

  5. As much as I love Cloudstone Curio, I love green more. There’s usually three or four players in green at a given eight-person draft table, so mana fixing and ramp are at an absolute premium. Yavimaya Elder is both excellent fixing and card advantage, and it comes in an easily-recurrable package. While it’s best in GBx sacrifice/reanimator decks teamed up with things like Skullclamp and Nim Deathmantle, it fits in green decks of every possible description. There are very few green cards I would consider picking over Yavimaya Elder or a comparable spell like Cultivate. Primeval Titan, Avenger of Zendikar, Green Sun’s Zenith, and maybe Genesis Wave. That’s it.

    If neither the Curio or the Elder were in the pack, I’d probably take the Inferno Titan, with an eye towards building a RGx aggro deck. While an Arc Lightning isn’t particularly powerful in EDH, red’s numerous haste effects can let you deal six damage in a turn with Inferno Titan fairly easily – enough to kill opposing titans. It’s also really good with Furnace of Rath, which is almost definitely going to wheel.

  6. cloudstone courio wins out to me on this one. I also like crusible as niether of these commit you to a color but to a play style instead.

  7. Baneslayer, Cryptic Command, Crucible of Worlds, and Cloudstone Curio stand out to me as excellent choices.

    I’d probably go with Baneslayer as a moderate-sized threat that counters some popular generals, plus lifelink.

    Cryptic Command would lock you into heavy blue, and while it’s a very strong control spell, probably not a first pick for me.

    Crucible is hard to let go, and there’s no chance it will wheel. The land advantage possible with fetch lands, strip mine, and wasteland makes this a very attractive Pack 1 Pick 1. It also lets you explore strategies such as Armageddon, Scapeshift, etc.

    Cloudstone Curio (and to a lesser extent, Concordant Crossroads) scream “Combo!” to me. Tell me there’s an Aluren in the cube! If you want to focus on enabling such a combo, maybe Curio is the pick for you. For me, it’s not a pick 1 worthy strategy.

    My pick, Baneslayer or Crucible. Leaning toward Crucible if there are a full set of fetch lands. Picks to look for in the future would be ways to tutor up the Crucible, Stripmine/Wasteland, Life from the Loam, and a good way to take advantage of a significant land advantage.

    If I know Dragons or Demons are extra powerful in the cube, (or if fetchlands or artifact tutors are sparse) I might pick Baneslayer first.