Hey! Thanks for helping me start my own cube from way back (PMed you and got wonderful feedback in return)! Been following your cube for years, reading all your articles and comments on this thread and (most of) cubetutor.
Recently I started to wonder what exactly is your power ranking, based on your 540 list? I ask because my cube is not as big as yours. Often times I find myself trying to make cuts from your list in order to come up with a 360 one (It's funny how a Modern-only cube such as mine is always referring to a powered list such as yours, but anyways). Sometimes I get a glimpse of your thoughts on ranking certain color/cmc/guilds sections through your comments, but those are really the only info I can get.
Do you think it's difficult to rank cards of each cmc section in your entire list? Now your list on the forum is in alphabetical order. Wouldn't it be nice (educational even) to have it in power order? I know ranking is subjective but it should be reasonable for the creator to make a qualified judgement for his own cube. I mean I searched but I'm not sure if anyone has done it before. And I sure love to see how you would rank them (Your set review rankings were awesome). You are my cube mentor!
Thanks for posting! Glad you're enjoying the cube and the content.
I don't think they should be listed in "ranked" order. Too much of the evaluation is contextual, and it can change from update to update. So whet falls at #3 on my list of white 2cc creatures right now could very easily swap places with #4 or #5 over the course of a couple set updates, even if no other cards come into that specific section. And so much of what determines the "ranking" in comparison to other cards is preference and context in the rest of the cube that it might not do cube manager B any favors to assume their performance will be the same as cube manager A.
For example, I might rank Trinket Mage rather highly, but that information isn't useful to someone running an unpowered cube.
When cubes had more in common, the old P.R.E. rankings were fun and helpful. But now that cube managers can take their designs in so many different directions, I just don't think the information is as useful as it used to be.
Logistically, when someone's scanning a cube list to see what's in it, displaying it by Color -> CMC -> Alphabetical is important, IMO. It makes things easier to find and identify. And it makes it uniform with other people's listing formats.
It can be a fun exercise, but I think the data is losing value as alternative options become more and more competitive, and lists should be displayed in a uniform way to make them easy to review.
Ya, you're more familiar with the list than most, and can probably identify which cards are influenced by cube context and which aren't. But not all people can identify those interactions at first glance, and so the rankings won't be as meaningful for those folks.
But if you have any questions about specific card performance, just ask! I'm always willing to discuss any and all things cube.
For what it's worth, I also frequently compare my own cube to wtwlf's (and a few others) using CubeTutor's compare two cubes function. I don't do this because I want to run the same cube as him, but because I know he gets more reps in than I do and our groups generally enjoy the same archetypes (Wildfire for life, yo). So if I see that he's trying out something sweet or something I maybe didn't consider initially, it benefits me to try that card out in my own cube. On that same note, though, I think it's important to not let the cube inclusions of others fully dictate what you put in yours. To use wtwlf's example of Trinket Mage, we included him for a bit, but ultimately cut him because my group and I just weren't impressed. That may be due to us really only cubing once or twice a month, bad luck, or even poor play, but it wasn't a popular card and frequently went last in drafts. You have to kind of find that happy middle ground when you're looking at other cubes for ideas and guidance. No one else's cube is a perfect card for card guide for what your group wants to be doing on cube night. Just because wtwlf's group loves a specific card or archetype doesn't mean it'll translate well to your own group. So look at the archetypes and cards that you and your group love and mix those in with the cube staples that support more generalized archetypes. For me that's the perfect recipe for cubing, especially at the 540 size where the's still quite a bit of wiggle room to support those pet cards and archetypes.
I assume you're talking about specific archetypes and not just generic goodstuff midrange decks?
If so, Wildfire shells, 'Lark/Recruiter ETB abuse decks and token/anthem builds are all quite successful.
Stax is more of an aggressive/disruptive deck, so I left that off. Reanimator and Sneak/Show are more combo, and the artifact.dec is often a more controlling deck. So I narrowed it down to those 3 above, which really play like generic midrange decks but they're archetype shells for sure.
If you're talking about a generic goodstuff deck in the midrange theater, you can't go wrong with GU.
Yes, I was referring to specific archetypes, thank you for the fine response.
Are goodstuff midrange decks even competitive in your playgroup? With such powerful cards and busted strategies available, it seems that an unfocused deck consisting of dudes and removal would be a little underwhelming, no?
Interesting thought on stax. I always conceived of that archetype as a prison-style resource denial strategy that would fall on the controlling end of the spectrum. Is your thought that you get ahead on board aggressively and then use the stax elements to help cement your advantage?