Time to freshen up.
Every new expansion brings a set of fresh candidates to slot into our cubes. Depending on your cube's size, this can be a handful of cards... or just a single new entry. The smaller the cube, the tougher it is for a card to crack into a list; after all most cubes are representative of the best cards Wizards has ever printed.
Eldrich Moon has some great choices for cube builders - lets take a look at a few and see if they fit into your personal draft environment!
The top three.
If you are supporting green aggro in your cube, this is probably the best card in the set. Lately Wizards has been willing to make better versions of Savannah Lions, and this card continues that trend. The Prowler is a great one-drop and its transform mechanic makes it a relevant card in the mid-to-late game as well. When flipped, the Prowler becomes the Sinuous Predator, an even more aggressive 4/4 that can only be blocked by a single creature. If you aren't in green aggro but you are on a budget you could do a lot worse than putting this in your deck to fill an open slot. A great card.
This is an amazing effect for blue and will see a lot of play across all formats. Don't be misled by the goofy flavor, this card gives blue a way to deal with permanents in play without any meaningful drawback. I don't see how cube builders can ignore this card even if they run the smallest cubes. I am currently running a four person, 180 card cube - and even at that size I'm going to figure out a very painful cut to see this is part of my environment. Buy a copy of this card before the color pie police confiscate them all.
Thalia's second card is just as good as her first. It may cost one more mana than Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, but it packs a huge punch. Thalia has gone from protecting all creatures to punishing those of her enemy. "New Thalia" is a creature version of the classic card Kismet . Thalia cost one less mana than the Legends enchantment and at 3/2 she is a force to be reckoned with. This card is crazy value and by far the best overall card of the set for cube.
Two quick mentions here - Docent of Perfection // Final Iteration is the bigger, badder version of our beloved Delver of Secrets and since larger cubes struggle with the "big blue creature" slot, this will find fans with some cube crafters. Selfless Spirit is another fantastic creature in a set dominated by them. Early game it provides white with a 2/1 flyer and after your board is developed its sacrifice ability can be a game-breaker. I like this card even more for this particular expansion of cube cards. At two mana the Spirit provides a great replacement for the original Thalia if you choose to run the new version.
Finally... remember that a cube is a long term project - and there are times that you need some good cards to just fill a slot for a year or two before that epic trade that lands the card you have always wanted.
Now looking at these two cards, they are far from dollar bin fodder - but they are quite a bit cheaper than the cards that typically fill their respective slots. Liliana, the Last Hope is an amazing three casting cost planeswalker, but she is no Liliana of the Veil. Of course she isn't $125.00 either. Pretty close to the same story with Emrakul, the Promised End. Most people looking for a top end creature for the super ramp archetype are going to first consider the old school Ulamog or Emrakul. Never fear though, even without annihilator the new version of Emrakul is still a bomb that will end games; and a great choice to save some money on the big creature slot. Either one of these two cards are worthy of a budget include and will be great fun to draft and build around.
Those are the Nomad Gamer picks for the cube for Eldrich Moon. Next up, Kaladesh!
Look for our cube article next week when we kick-off of a series on building your own cube - starting with the smallest of the small... 180 cards!