How Will You Handle the Hybrid-Activation Cards in Your Cube?

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Fate Reforged is fully spoiled now, and the set looks to combine a good level of uniqueness, power level, and flavor. Some of the most powerful-looking cards in the set are in the cycle of mythics with hybrid-colored activation costs.

soulfiregrandmaster torrentelemental1 brutalhordechief shamanofthegreathunt wardenofthefirsttree

These cards are sweet, and based on power level alone, at least some of them will all too appropriate to slot into Cube lists the world over.

But there's a problem: how do you decide which color slots they take up?

Many cubes don't have any three-color cards at all, but assuming yours does, you can include these into the three-color slots you have available. The problem with that, of course, is that these don't play anywhere close to three-color cards. Several of them would be perfectly acceptable as mono-colored cards, in fact—playable without even having access to the activated abilities.

Keep in mind that in practice, these will all play like two-colored cards. You only need to be red/white for Soulfire Grand Master to be good, for example. Warden of the First Tree is clearly best in green/white or green/black lists, and probably just worse in dedicated three-color Abzan lists. However, when trying to slot cards in, it seems a bit unbalanced to call Brutal Hordechief a black/red card and ignore its black/white component.

It's tough to be an OCD gamer, but this is where I'm at right now.

My solution, I think, will be to treat these cards like I treat Lingering Souls: mono-colored cards that happen to have a bonus if you're playing an additional color. This isn't the perfect solution by any means. It kills me that Lingering Souls and cards like it throw off the color balance of my cube, but I simply can't justify leaving out such powerful cards—the color imbalance is less of a big deal than making power concessions in my cube just to satisfy my OCD.

The last option would be to include each card in the cycle, achieving color balance but at the cost of flexibility in your role as a cube designer. This is a perfectly reasonable option, but some of these cards (Torrent Elemental and Shaman of the Great Hunt, in particular), just don't look as attractive or powerful as the others. Achieving color balance is a worthy reason to make this call, but I just don't want my ability to customize my cube down to the last card to be hindered.

What about you? How are you going to approach these cards when you're updating your cube with Fate Reforged goodies? Sound off below.

2 thoughts on “How Will You Handle the Hybrid-Activation Cards in Your Cube?

  1. I am really tempted by the abilities on these cards. But for now, they will stay out of my cube since a size of 360 barely allows room for more than a few double color cards. Besides, triple color cards have tended to make drafting less fun for me,

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