Our Zendikar Rising Cube Prospective article is officially up, and you're the first to know! Our reach for the survey keeps growing, and we've smashed our previous record with just shy of 200 responses this time around. Thank you for your participation. This newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any time, has grown considerably as well — welcome to all the newcomers!
I must say, I was somewhat surprised by the results of the survey. As Anthony, Jett, and I discussed on the most recent episode of Lucky Paper Radio, I really expected the mythic modal double-faced cards to be hits for cube designers of nearly all stripes. They have all the splashy appeal that we've come to expect from ~7 mana sorceries without the risks typically inherent with expensive bombs. I still get a little giddy when I look at Emeria's Call.
And yet, the most popular mythic MDFCs are only being tested by less than half of our respondents, and they ranked just above the middle of our scale with an average rating of ~2.3. Compare that to cards like Murderous Rider and Bonecrusher Giant from Eldraine, which were tested by ~80% of players who filled out the survey, and which ranked at 2.9 and 2.8, respectively, just shy of the best possible score of 3. The biggest factor here, I am sure, is that as the survey has grown, we are not just reaching more cube designers, but also a broader range, further from our own personal values and biases. In a way, the results of our surveys will never really be comparable, as a different, hopefully growing pool of designers will be polled each time. It reminds me of a quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus: "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." I often think about this in respect to cube. In the same way, no player every plays the same cube twice, as we are always evolving as players and our cubes are always changing.
I find myself wondering where the ceiling is on responses to our survey. How many cube designers, enfranchised enough to complete a survey on the subject, exist? What would it take for a new card to be tested by a majority of them? Will we ever see testing rates upwards of 70%-80% again?
I can't wait to find out.
Andy from Lucky Paper