Orc sureshot has been spotty for me but I really enjoy playing with the card. Really gives black a tokens angle no other color has.
Spiteful returned is something like... 4 mana lava axe with other mild modes or upsides? I like it enough to vouch for it.
I am somewhat startled that bane of bala ged has been described as an all-star by some. I am currently watching the card to see if it needs to get cut from the cube as it is.
Encampment has something of a renaissance for me last night, with it holding back a bunch of attackers in one game and with it offering up the last 2 damage I needed (and would ever get) in a game the following set. I understand its removal since I am historically lukewarm on the card, but I am just vouching for it a little.
Hooting mandrills has been about average for me, but I'm running 3 terramorphic expanses (which is sorta like running 4.5 or so fetches) and I could imagine it being pretty good if it was consistently 1 mana less.
- Sad to see Frenzied Goblin go, the guy always seems to do more work than I expect it to, but I guess it's a fine swap.
- Personally, I'm not sure if I like Nahiri's Machinations, but I agree Helix is a little boring. It *is* one of the few Boros cards that might draw me into Boros early though.
- Let me know how Hellhole Flailer works out! I've been looking very hard into its general direction and might try it out because of the exact reasons you mentioned.
Morkrut Necropod, btw, probably fits in most black decks as a finisher. It's HUGE and hard to interact with. The only decks I can see not running it are hyper aggressive black decks and super controllish black decks that want to have as much lands in play as they can and don't have many creatures.
- I hope Neonate will surprise me but if it turns out to be bad, the goblin will make its return.
- For me the card that pulls me in to boros is Goblin Trenches. Helix will (almost) never pull me into boros; in the end it is just a solid removal spell, both red and white have those cards aplenty.
- I will!
Hoping it will, too! I can easily see it not working out, though, but I'm sure trying it :).
Agreed about Trenches, although I'd like all my guild cards to be heavy pulls in a certain direction. Either as an above the curve good card or as a loud signal a certain archetype is available in the cube. Helix still falls into the first category for me, although I would love it if something more interesting came along. Anyway, I'm totally open to be swayed by others if Machinations plays well.
Very large update (including Kaladesh). I removed the fetch and (shock)duals and added painlands and the tricolor lands. Lots of other changes as well: removed some archtypes that never worked out while pushing others. Also, pushing control a bit since aggro seems to be the winning strategy now.
Brimstone Volley still seems better than Stoke (even though Stoke synergizes a little better with your tokens). The extra damage can be huge to finish someone off.
Guttersnipe still is my boy, but I agree that you need him less with the Alchemist. Personally I like the redundancy, but I wouldn't know what other card to cut instead. Especially since you have quite enough 3-drops already.
Druid's Familiar seems like a fine cut, because you don't seem to have a lot of double strike or unblockables to pair it with. That said, it might be better in a vacuum than Pack Guardian (how good is this? never gotten around to try it), or Seed Guardian (always felt a little underwhelming, even with a lot of self mill). It's less interesting though.
Guttersnipe hasn't been doing too well in my cube for about 6 months now so even without Thermo-Alchemist he might have been the cut. Especially since, as you mentioned, I have quite enough 3-drops already.
Pack Guardian has only been in my cube for about 6 weeks and I didn't do too many drafts in that time but so far he is fine. However, I can see him being cut eventually (even for Druid's Familiar).
I like Seed Guardian. He's a slightly stronger and way more interesting version of Penumbra Spider even in decks that do nothing with self mill.
Fair enough on Guttersnipe. My cube's a little bigger anyway, which might be it's saving grace. It still performs quite well over here, but we tend to go deeper on building around a card than most drafters.
Other changes: Cloudshift > Ajani's Presence
Flinker is really a deck so I wanted a combat trick with more versatility. Might change to Gods Willing but I think I prefer the +1/+1 and possible multiple targets over the slightly better protection and scry. Ninja of the Deep Hours > Omenspeaker
Ninja hasn't been working for some time. Capsize > Wretched Gryff
Lots of people seem to have Gryff in their cube so I though I give it a try. Not sure if Capsize was the cut? Treasure Keeper > Snare Thopter
Keepr wasn't very good. I don't think I really want Thopter but I couldn't find anything else with which to replace Keeper.