GRN Cube Set Review: Selesnya

Selesnya marks the 5th and final guild we are going to cover for cube. Every other guild thus far has produced a lot of great playable cards. Selesnya already has a lot of ridiculously powerful gold cards, so getting into that section is going to prove to be a difficult task. Let’s see how Selesnya stacks up to the rest of Ravnica!

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Assure // Assemble

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So far the rare cycle of split cards has been really good. The flexibility for casting on the first half, combined with the powerful effect on the second half make for powerful effects that many gold sections would love to have. Assure // Assemble is probably the weakest of the cycle, unfortunately. Paying 2 mana to save a creature is not a good rate, and the other half of this card just simply costs too much mana. Getting 6 power at instant speed is really powerful and an uncommon effect, but I don’t believe it’s enough to crack into GW sections in cube. Grade C

Beast Whisperer

Glimpse of Nature is one of the most powerful cards of all time, and even at 4 mana, it is still something worth considering. There are 2 variations of this effect, either it’s a low cmc spell that only works for the turn, or it’s a permanent that typically costs 6 mana. Making this cost only 4 mana turns an over costed effect into something that might actually see play. Casting this on turn 3 with the help of a dork, and then unloading a barrage of 1 drops is going to be really difficult for your opponent to keep up with. Being an Elf is also fantastic as it fits right into the tribe that would most want to play him. A 3 toughness body isn’t ideal, but this kind of effect for this cheap is worth looking into. Grade B-

Bounty Agent

A bear with upside has to have a lot of upside to see cube play these days. Vigilance is nice, but not particularly exciting. The real reason to play this card is for it’s tap ability. There are a surprising number of permanents these days that are legendary, and Bounty Agent does a good job of getting rid of them. Vigilance makes holding up the activation a lot easier to do. Not being able to target any legendary is a pretty big downside, as one of my main hopes with this card would have been to snipe opposing Planeswalkers. Overall though, a solid card that could definitely see play given the right composition. Grade B

Conclave Tribunal

Another Oblivion Ring variant is something I am always happy to see. Conclave Tribunal is actually really competitively costed given that it has convoke. At it’s worst, Conclave Tribunal is still a 4 mana Oblivion Ring, which is plenty playable. But at it’s best, it’s literally free. Tapping out for a Angel of Invention, and then casting this is a massive tempo swing. The more you support tokens the more powerful this card becomes. Conclave Tribunal has a lot of potential and might even outclass Oblivion Ring depending on the list. Grade A

Divine Visitation

Why are 5 mana do nothing enchantments so freaking cool? If you ever get a chance to untap with this you should just win the game on the spot provided you built your deck right. Casting Secure the Wastes the turn after this is just plain ridiculous. Unfortunately, 5 mana do nothing enchantments are really hard to justify, and even cards as powerful as Sigil of the Empty Throne still require a lot of as-fan in your packs to justify putting it in. If you are playing a Modular cube, this is a slam dunk for any token based module, otherwise, it’s probably just too gimmicky. Best flavor text in the set too. Grade C

Emmara, Soul of the Accord

A 2 power creature that generates tokens. That sounds awfully familiar. Besides the obvious comparison to Voice of Resurgence, Emmara generates her tokens much more differently from Voice. Creating tokens from attacking is the first place we can see her generating value, but it’s more than just attacking. Crewing vehicles, tapping for convoke, and even getting 2 activations of Opposition. The tokens she creates are much weaker than Voice’s tokens, but being able to control when you get the tokens makes for more interesting gameplay. If you strongly support convoke in your cube, I would highly recommend Emmara. Grade B+

Knight of Autumn

Selesnya is an extremely hard guild to break into. So what kind of powerful effect would you need in order to become the next marquee Selesnya card? Knight of Autumn takes a different approach to this question. Rather than having one powerful effect, she plays all of them. Need a Reclamation, Sage? She can do that. Are you getting beat down by a Goblin Guide? Go into Lone Missionary mode. Don’t have any reason to do either of those things? Become a 4/3 beater. And then do it all over again next turn with a Restoration Angel. Knight of Autumn is extremely versatile, and a very exciting new addition to cube. Grade A+

Nullhide Ferox

It’s big and beefy, what else could you ask for? A bigger hexproof Polukranos is impressive, but it comes at the big downside of not being able to play noncreature spells. If you build your deck right, this shouldn’t be a problem, and being able to cast this guy on turn 3 is pretty backbreaking. His ability is also fascinating and can lead to a lot of fun sub-games where your opponent pays for the ability, tries to kill it, and then gets blown out by a Blossoming Defense. And if your opponent slams a Liliana, they may be surprised to see this guy appear out of nowhere. Overall, a lot of power, but it comes at a cost. Should be interesting to see how this guy plays out. Grade B

Trostani Discordant

Anthem effects and army in a can are 2 very powerful effects to have stapled on a card. Angel of Invention is one of my all-time favorite cube cards, due to it’s versatility in so many different archetypes thanks to it’s simple formula. Trostani Discordant follows in a similar vein, and can produce a lot of tokens if it’s flickered or abused in any way. However, as a 5 drop, Selesnya is already packing a lot of amazingly powerful cards chief being Mirari’s Wake. Whereas Trostani Discordant only fits one type of deck, Mirari’s Wake can fit 2 different types of decks in super ramp and tokens. Being the more powerful token card is certainly notable, but I prefer my cards to have as much diversity in deck inclusion as possible. Grade B-

Venerated Loxodon

The more I start to think about convoke in cube, the more I am liking it. Free spells are always great to have, and rewarding yourself for casting free spells feels great. The dream scenario with Venerated Loxodon is to have a board full of 1/1’s that all turn into 2/2’s while also giving you a free 4/4. Even if you can’t live the dream scenario, convoking a few creatures into this still gives you a lot of power on the board for 3 or less mana. Worst case scenario, this is just a 4/4 and nothing else which is pretty disappointing, but considering the potential highs of the card, I think that’s ok. Grade C+

And there you have it, my review of all of Guilds of Ravnica! Returning to Ravnica again has been a very exciting experience so far, and it looks like the set is bringing us a lot of cube staples for years to come. Knight of Autumn, Goblin Cratermaker, and Doom Whisperer are all very powerful cards that many cubers are excited to have. I would like to thank everyone who has followed this cube review from start to finish. I’ll be back for Ravnica Allegiance this coming January, so hopefully, we can get some cards on the same power level as what I just listed above. I hope you have a great week and an amazing Tuesday!

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