Hi! I’m what you’d call a cube enthusiast. I’ve invested about four years into understanding the best format in all of Magic, especially the process of exploration and iteration. What I mean is, I love to build and refine my cube, which I guess most cube owners do. I’ll be writing about cube theory and practice here, so if that’s an agreeable headspace, welcome.

With that said, Throne of Eldraine looks excellent for cube owners. It’s full of new and unique cards; many of them are strong enough to be meaningful—without being too dominant—inclusions for every power level, or “environment.” I will be evaluating the cards which I believe will, or at least should, be tested and/or included in everything from Vintage all the way down to Peasant cubes.

Some of these cards will become cube staples. Others may find themselves fulfilling more niche roles, freshening up a sometimes-tired assortment of threats and answers. Others will fade or fail. Whatever your cube environment may be, I think new cards are always a good opportunity for discussion, and I’m looking forward to exploring Throne of Eldraine’s impact on our cubes.

I will break down my card evaluations by addressing their relevance to most of the styles of cube:

  1. High Power: This can refer to anything from fully powered Vintage cube to most Legacy environments. Your environment exploits cards like Sneak Attack, Opposition, Upheaval, Gaea’s Cradle, and Balance.
  2. Low Power: This can refer to some Legacy environments, but is probably closer to a Modern Magic power level. Many of these cubes are centered around creatures and planeswalkers, or sweet build-arounds.
  3. Peasant: This is for any cube which only plays commons and uncommons. This can also be relevant to Pauper cubes.

While I might not address your particular environment, I think these “styles” are delineated well enough that you should be able to take away something that applies to you.

I’ll go in color order, WUBRG, then Multicolor and Colorless. After each color I will give a final rank of the top couple of cards for high power, low power, and peasant environments. I will not be handing out grades, so you’ll just have to do some reading.

Okay, so without further ado!

Harmonious Archon

At ten power for six mana spread across three bodies, this is a very well-costed threat. However, the symmetrical effect it has on the battlefield isn’t as humiliating as it might seem on the surface. It doesn’t negate any creature keywords or abilities, only altering the power and toughness. So, if you have three creatures and they have three creatures, the only profitable attack is with the Archon itself, assuming they don’t have a flying creature. And if they kill it, you’re left with two 1/1 humans which, while not the absolute worst, isn’t a great fail state for the mana cost. This might have a place in a Modern power level cube, but the effect simply isn’t powerful enough to compete in Legacy or Vintage.

Syr Alin, the Lion’s Claw

Syr Alin feels right for Peasant cubes, where an aggressive creature that provides an attack bonus to your team is a good place to put five mana. It’s also difficult to rumble with in combat being a 4/4 first striker, so whether you’re in a dedicated tokens deck, or a typical aggressive Boros or Selesnya deck this is a great curve topper, especially in a cube that plays combat tricks or protection spells.

Realm-Cloaked Giant

Our first adventure card is a doozy. Obviously a seven mana 7/7 vigilance isn’t worth a card, but when it comes with a (nearly) clean board wipe attached to it, I’m not only listening—I’m wide awake! At five mana, the wrath is a bit slow for high-powered cubes, but I could be convinced that playing this in everything below a fully powered Vintage cube is correct. In fact, the lower the power level, the more I like it. And once you’re pairing Realm-Cloaked Giant with ways to return it to your hand, either from play or the graveyard, it’s difficult to cast off how much better this card is than, say, Fumigate, or even Cleansing Nova. I’m very excited this card exists.

Charming Prince

Remember when we used to play Lone Missionary? I love this card. At any point in the game, Charming Prince does something effective, and has a very high upside. Being able to blink value creatures, especially In Blue/White value decks, is powerful at two mana. Being able to also gain three and have a 2/2 body against aggressive decks or Scrying 2 on curve makes this card a staple in nearly every cube that will allow it. This is a must play. It might be too low impact for Vintage cube, but it should still be tested first.

Giant Killer

Our next adventure card isn’t exactly a slam dunk, but it’s a wholly unique card and as such, can be hard to evaluate. Play this on turn one and Giant Killer is a slightly more expensive to use Gideon’s Lawkeeper. Late, this is situational removal at best. While not a guaranteed two-for-one, it’s close enough that it warrants consideration, especially at lower power levels where attacking and blocking are at a premium. I suspect Giant Killer will have a place in cube, but only when the environment supports it getting full value from both ends.


While I do love a good disruptive hate-bear in cube, Hushbringer just doesn’t quite do it for me. Sure, it’s a cheap evasive creature, and the ability might be relevant in certain matchups. But the ability is symmetrical, and given that some of the best creatures in cube are 187 creatures, I’m not convinced this static ability won’t come around to bite you when you really need some ETBs. This might be playable in lower power formats, but I doubt it.

Archon of Absolution

What makes Archon of Absolution worthy of the spotlight for both Peasant and low-power environments is the Baird, Stewart of Argive tax. While a four mana 3/2 flying pro-White creature isn’t exactly a deal, the tax can be unbelievably swingy in certain matchups. Archon of Absolution is tailor-made for a classic skies archetype, as it makes racing extremely difficult in most situations while being an inherently evasive threat. The protection from White clause is totally arbitrary—I wouldn’t care if it was there or not—so for me, it’s just random upside.

Glass Casket

I’m not as high on this as I’ve been on other permanent-based removal in white. For one, it’s easier to interact with being an artifact and not an enchantment like its predecessors. Two, it’s more conditional than you might think. Only being able to remove cheaper creatures is fine, but it’s not unconditional. I think this works for a Peasant cube, and maybe a low-power cube, but I’d probably want some artifact synergies before including this with the white removal suite.

Shepherd of the Flock

Our next adventure card is one of my personal favorites. A two-mana 3/1 vanilla creature isn’t a great card, but it’s playable in a low-power format that wants cheap aggressive creatures. When you tack on Usher to Safety, suddenly you have a tricky spell that can counter opposing removal spells or bolster a white flicker/value deck. Being able to protect your good creatures, even at a tempo loss, can be the difference between winning and losing a game, and retriggering those ETB creatures is just value. I’ve always wanted to put Saving Grasp in my cube, and this card does that and has a creature attached to it. Perfect for low power and peasant formats, and might even be good enough for Modern power level cube, as it says “permanent” and not “creature” so you can use this to save your planeswalkers.

Ardenvale Tactician

Limited all-star Ardenvale Tactician is excellent. A three mana 2/3 flier is totally playable, and Dizzying Swoop can be a very powerful tempo spell. Together, Tactician allows you to effectively win a race, and can give you a moment to catch up when behind. I will always include this in a Peasant environment and I am testing it in my low power format.

Faerie Guidemother

In case you haven’t already noticed a trend, the adventure cards are very, very good. Faerie Guidemother is perfect for Peasant cubes. It’s a cheap evasive threat that is also a slightly-worse Mighty Leap when you draw it later. This kind of card design perfectly exemplifies why adventures are so good. It takes the worst part of playing a one mana 1/1 flier—drawing it late—off the table, as it doubles as a decent combat trick.


It’s possible that Outflank is a playable trick in low-power cubes. White creature decks can often go wide, so spending one mana to cast Shock—or maybe even Lightning Bolt?—on an opposing attacker/blocker is totally fine. I’d be happy to play this in an aggressive or midrange White deck.

Trapped in the Tower

I wouldn’t play this in anything other than a Peasant cube, and I would only play this card if your white wants Auras and specifically wants Pacifism effects.

Power Rankings—White

High Power

  1. Charming Prince
  2. ?

Low Power

  1. Realm-Cloaked Giant
  2. Charming Prince
  3. Archon of Absolution
  4. Giant Killer
  5. Shepherd of the Flock


  1. Archon of Absolution
  2. Shepherd of the Flock
  3. Ardenvale Tactician
  4. Outflank
  5. Faerie Guidemother

White doesn’t get much at Vintage and Legacy power levels, which isn’t all that surprising. Peasant and low-power environments are probably benefiting the most here. The adventures are definitely the coolest addition to White, but I’m excited to see if Charming Prince is good enough to break into the higher-powered formats. I think we’ll see more of that in the other colors.

Thanks for reading! Join me next time when I go over Blue, the most fun (best?) color in cube.

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