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:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 have to do some reading.

I’ve already reviewed White, Blue, Black, and Red which you should read too!

Okay, so without further ado!

Questing Beast

Our first Green mythic rare has a nearly unbelievable number of abilities. That Questing Beast is also Legendary on top of it all isn’t exactly relevant for cube, but I still feel obligated to mention it. Why not call it The Questing Beast. Like The Scarab God?

Anyway. Our new Word Soup Monster is actually pretty exciting. Taken without any extra text, a four mana 4/4 haste, vigilance, and deathtouch would be fantastic for Booster Draft, as it’s nearly impossible to rumble with those stats in combat. But does it get enough better with these three (!!!) static abilities to warrant consideration into high-power cubes? I think it does!

The psuedo evasion—can’t be blocked by small creatures—has been very relevant in most matchups. You can easily find a board state where you can attack freely into your opponent, especially when Questing Beast comes down ahead of schedule thanks to a mana dork. Later on in the game the Beast sometimes comes down and merely trades off with a big creature on the other side of the table, which isn’t a terrible failstate.

The anti-damage prevention clause, however, is basically flavor text unless you play cards like Moment’s Peace or Constant Mists. There simply aren’t many damage prevention spells or mechanics outside of Fog variants, the Swords, or creatures like True-Name Nemesis. However, it is the last ability to surprise and take down opposing Planeswalkers which holds its true power, where it will actually give you an advantage, and is the number one reason to include this card in your cube environment.

I think this could be strong enough for full powered Vintage cube, and would like to see it available to draft in the MTGO Holiday cube next month. Anything below Vintage and Questing Beast is a windmill slam, especially in environments with lots of Planeswalkers.

The Great Henge

The Great Henge is hard to evaluate. At what point are you happy with the casting cost? I think at eight or nine mana this card is basically unplayable, but at five or six mana it’s reasonable. All you’d need is a three or four power creature in play, which isn’t difficult in a Green-heavy deck. Once on the battlefield, The Great Henge is a serious engine with the potential to quickly overwhelm your opponent with both board presence and raw card advantage.

Getting some of your mana investment back right away will help get the train out of the station, and if you can follow playing The Great Henge up with a two drop creature you’re already off to the races. While this doesn’t win you the game all by itself, it helps churn through your deck provided you have enough creatures to cast once the Henge is in play. Note that this doesn’t work on tokens, so those payoffs that rely on token production like Deranged Hermit or Avenger of Zendikar won’t be completely insane. But when you can turn all your subsequent little elves into 2/2’s that draw a card, you shouldn’t need much more going on to find one of your game-ending threats.

The Great Henge also enables such plays as resetting Kitchen Finks and Woodfall Primus, invalidating WIckerbough Elder, and generally making attacking and blocking miserable for your opponent.

I think this card is powerful, but slow, belongs mostly in Mono-Green, and costs a lot of mana for something that doesn’t end the game immediately. Treat The Great Henge as a build around, and test it in Legacy and Modern environments that support incremental advantages, but I would avoid this card in a Vintage cube.

Syr Faren, the Hengehammer

What we have here is a more efficiently costed and aggressive variant on Wild Beastmaster and Gruul Beastmaster. Wait…why then isn’t this a beastmaster? I guess he’s riding a beast. That’s good enough, I suppose.

In a Low Power or Peasant environment that supports both human synergies and Green beatdown decks, Syr Faren, the Hengehammer might have what it takes to get busy in the red zone. It pairs very well with equipment and creatures like Thalia’s Lieutenant or Mayor of Avabruck, but can also be no better than a mediocre combat trick.

Its failstate is awful, worse than Kalonian Tusker for the same mana cost. I’d be reluctant to test it in anything beyond a Peasant environment; which is a bit of a shame because the potential is there, just not the consistency.

Feasting Troll King

I’m not sure if Feasting Troll King is better, or even equal, to another solid Green six drop like Rampaging Baloths. The body is basically the same, but instead of turning all your land drops into 4/4 beast tokens you get the ability to rebuy this hungry troll from the graveyard. Which, to me, is much worse most of the time. Also, that casting cost is ugly to look at. I would hesitate to test this anywhere, as it’s simply too clunky to cast and doesn’t do enough for the mana investment to compete with the other green payoffs.

Gilded Goose

If you had told me when Throne of Eldraine was spoiled that we’d see the next Birds of Paradise, i’d have told you to go eat a sandwich. Now i’m not saying the Goose is better than the Bird, but the Goose could certainly be let loose on a Low Power cube environment to possibly good effect.

The one-shot acceleration here is fine, but far less reliable when you want to repeatedly slam big Green stuff ahead of the curve. Draw the Goose later on, however, and you have a slow, but reliable little mana sink and way to offset some life loss. Combine this with carrying a sword well enough and you’ve got an interesting little one drop.

It’s not nearly powerful enough without food synergy to compete alongside the more canon accelerants. But i’m interested to see if Gilded Goose can make an impact, so i’ll be looking to test it in my Low Power cube.

Lovestruck Beast

I don’t think most cubes need a three-mana 5/5 creature with a drawback. Lovestruck Beast might be excellent in Standard alongside Edgewall Innkeeper, but I can’t see this making an impact in any environment that will allow it. I would avoid testing this card.

Once Upon a Time

Now Once Upon a Time, on the other hand, is amazing. I’m not surprised at all this is banned in Standard as it’s excellent card selection for Green, and it’s at instant speed. While this doesn’t do as much as say, Oath of Nissa does for multicolored Green decks, you’d be hard-pressed to convince me not to play this card in any deck that can cast it. And that’s not even taking into account having it in your opening hand.

That being said, I’m still not sure its selection criteria would be effective in Vintage cube. I think you still want to run this in environments with lots of creatures, so I’d test this in Legacy environments and windmill slam it in Modern ones. If you run cards like Bond of Flourishing or Adventurous Impulse, this is either another option or an upgrade.

Return of the Wildspeaker

Garruk is back, sort of. What we’ve got here is a spell that imitates an ability of both Garruk Wildspeaker and Garruk, Primal Hunter. With a caveat, of course. Return of the Wildspeaker is only interested in non-humans now; a restriction that makes me hesitant to test this in a Low Power environment where you can play Rishkar’s Expertise.

The flexiblity on this is nice, allowing you to press an advantage or refuel when at parity with your opponent. However, these effects both require a board state; so if you want to cast this and have nothing going on, or a middling board of a few mana dorks, this doesn’t do much of anything. I’m not impressed with this card, and would avoid testing it in any cube environment. Just play the Garruks.

Wicked Wolf

This card isn’t very playable without any Food synergies. And it isn’t worth running something like Gilded Goose to hope one drafter gets to go off when they have both cards in play. There are better fight cards in Green—think Master of the Wild Hunt or Polukranos, World Eater—so I don’t expect Wicked Wolf to make the cut.

Wildborn Preserver

Anytime they print a Green flash creature with a useful ability, I pay attention. Wildborn Preserver is cheap, will surprise your opponent, and can grow out of hand very quickly.

What it lacks in evasion is made up for with efficiency and a fantastic mana sink. It’s not an especially powerful card for High Power formats, as a two mana 2/2, even with flash, isn’t a great topdeck, and requires getting into combat to get it’s value. So, I’d test this in a Low Power cube, but nothing above that.

Beanstalk Giant

Three-mana acceleration traditionally comes as Cultivate or Kodama’s Reach, which each replace themselves with an extra land in hand. Instead of the extra card up front, Fertile Footseps gives us a massive threat for the late game. This is still card advantage, but slower, and perfect for a Peasant or Low Power environment. Unlike some of the other adventures that are greater than the sum of the two separate spells, Beanstalk Giant uniquely provides both the ramp and the payoff in a single card.

Test this in any Peasant or Low Power format. It’s been great for me so far, and I expect Beanstalk Giant to be a staple for these environments going forward.

Keeper of Fables

Keeper of Fables is another unique and exciting card for Green. While a five-mana 4/5 is nothing special, I’ve found you can easily set up turns where Keeper of Fables comes down and immediately gets its money. On an empty board, this card demands an answer and will snowball the game for you if left unchecked for only a few turns.

Keeper of Fables is similar to past Green cards like Ohran Viper, but unlike the snake you won’t have to risk the Keeper in combat to get your card advantage going. So actually it’s closer to Edric, Spymaster of Trest. The non-human clause has been a non-issue so far, as there are usually plenty of little mana dorks lying around that can keep the party going.

I love this card for Peasant cube, and am going to test this in my own Low Power environment.

Oakhame Adversary

It’s wild to me that we have not one, but two Ophidian variants in Throne of Eldraine, and they’re both in Green.

Oakhame Adversary is more along the line of Ohran Viper. The mana discount is odd, and I don’t consider it useful when evaluating the card’s power level. Think of this only as a 2/3 for four mana, so when your opponent plays a Green creature on turn two, and you get to play it early, you feel like you won the lottery.

Oakhame Adversary is always going to trade with something, and at worst it eats a Lightning Bolt and you move one. Cards like this can snowball in your favor very quickly, presenting a mini-game your opponent must solve, and sometimes that means they have to double block or use a good removal spell to stay in the game. I’d be happy with any of those exchanges.

Test this in Peasant cube, but I think you’ll be happy with it without needing the card to prove itself.

Once and Future

Once and Future is a new Regrowth effect, similar to Regenesis; but it plays at instant speed and can get any card back from the graveyard? This card has been excellent in draft, and I assume it will be excellent in a Peasant environment. The adamant clause doesn’t sway me towards wanting to be Mono-Green, but when you do play it with kicker—that is, with the adamant bonus—it can be very powerful.


Our only common being reviewed is an upgrade to Hunt the Weak. Should your Peasant or Pauper environment want fight spells, Outmuscle is a strict upgrade and should be included immediately. Cards like these can be dangerous, as “punch” cards like Rabid Bite are historically better—they don’t set you up to get blown out as hard by bounce or removal spells. But the tempo swing this card represents, especially with the adamant clause, can be excellent. If your environment supports hexproof/auras, and isn’t too heavy on the bounce effects, this could be a great add.

Power Rankings—Green

High Power

  1. Questing Beast
  2. The Great Henge
  3. Once Upon A Time

Low Power

  1. Questing Beast
  2. The Great Henge
  3. Once Upon a Time
  4. Wildborn Preserver
  5. Beanstalk Giant


  1. Beanstalk Giant
  2. Keeper of Fables
  3. Oakhame Adversary
  4. Once and Future
  5. Outmuscle

Green Has a good mix of cards for all environments, headlined by Questing Beast and the potentially sweet engine card in The Great Henge. Peasant cubes get some new card advantage toys to play with, but the big miss for me is the lack of great Adventure cards in Green. The rare, Lovestruck Beast, simply doesn’t do it for me, and the only one worthy enough for inclusion is Beanstalk Giant.

Next week we close the book on reviews with Multicolor and Colorless cards. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

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