Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Treasure Cruise Broken?

Of all the cards that entered the world with the release of Khans of Tarkir, none has generated more discussion than Treasure Cruise. It has seen immediate and widespread play in both Modern and Legacy, to the point where many are predicting that this Common will be banned in Modern within the new few months. Interestingly enough, from the albeit limited research I've done on the subject, it  has seen significantly less play in Standard.

So what does this mean for Standard Pauper?

First, what is it about Treasure Cruise that makes it potentially so good? This, at least, is easy to answer:

When Treasure Cruise becomes (a Sorcery speed) Ancestral Recall, it is officially broken. Which leads us to the next question.

Second, what does it take to push Treasure Cruise to that point? With a casting cost of 7U, you need a reliable means of dumping a whole bunch of cards into the graveyard quickly while simultaneously actually getting value out of said cards. In Modern and Legacy, this is being accomplished two ways:
  1. Fetchlands - Play a land, sacrifice it, and bring a different land into play. This thins your deck, improves your mana, and places a card into the graveyard. 
  2. Cheap spells - Cast a bunch of spells whose converted mana cost is 2 or less. Typically these are burn spells, counters, or card filtering.
  3. Synergy creatures - Play efficiently costed creatures that synergize well with castings lots of cheap spells or otherwise interact with the graveyard.
So, for our final question, can these strategies be effectively utilized in Standard Pauper? This is not so clear. For the first item, the only Fetchland at Common is Evolving Wilds, which isn't reliable enough. For the second, the format certainly has lots of cheap spells, as illustrated by the Red Deck Wins archetype. And for the third, both Akroan Crusader and Jeskai Windscout come immediately to mind, with other Heroic cards being possibilities.

But whether this is good enough or not remains to be seen.

What do you think? Is there a viable archetype that can push Treasure Cruise to the point of being broken in the format? Let me know in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. In Standard Pauper I think Treasure Cruise belongs in a UR Tempo deck. One that also plays Tormenting Voice to put more cards in the bin. I felt like the deck I played in MPDC did ok, in testing it has been weak to more grind you out type decks (MBC) but the red based aggro decks seem to just fold to my deck. I feel like if we get essence scatter back or another cheap burn spell this type of deck could become one of the more viable decks. Here is some gameplay of me playing in MPDC 27.01 with Treasure Cruise in a UR deck.