A good Cube is a well oiled and focused limited environment, ideally allowing each archetype enough cards to be conceivably draftable. This means that sometimes you need to play some cards that are very narrow in order for there to be a critical mass of cards for a certain archetype. I have covered this idea at length in relation to the card Wild Dogs, which now that I have added a small amount of extra support to G/x aggro/tempo decks has received significantly less vitriol.
But what happens when you draft an archetype, and there is a card that you need so that your deck does not fold to a particular card. Example: Opponent slams a Geist of St. Traft. This means that you either need a sacrifice effect, or a board wipe, or some resilient blockers. Fortunately, in Magic, all colors have access to at least one of these types of cards. This means that Cubes have several answers for a card like this, allowing players to not fear (too much) and particular type of card. Almost.
Red has no answers for enchantments. This is the very reason why I do not run Moat in my Cube (I also do not have a Moat, but that is a different story). The mono-red deck is also usually aggressive enough to deal with any problem enchantments by simply killing the opposing player.
Black on the other hand does not have access to enchantment or artifact removal due to its place in the color pie. The color pie is listed as one of the reasons why Magic is as successful as it is. I agree the the color pie is important to the game as a whole, and I certainly do not promote abolishing the color pie and giving everyone efficient answers to all threats. What I do promote, is giving everyone answers to all threats with varying levels of efficiency.
After drafting the mono-black deck several times and straight up losing to enchantments and artifacts, I decided that something needed to be done to make Mono-B able to keep up with decks that don’t attack on the creature angle. I poured through the card database, and came across Gate to Phyrexia, which is undeniably sweet, but is glacially slow, and still does not answer enchantments. After a lot of pondering what to do, I decided to design my own card that fills this hole in black’s ability.
Meet Dark Recompense.
This is also the card that I submitted to this year’s You Make the Card that WotC is offering. It gives black access to threat answers of any type, and does it in a very black way. The card looks very efficient until you realize that to use it the turn you play it, you need to pay 1BBBB, and lose out on a permanent you control. This card is exceptionally powerful in a deck featuring recursive creatures like Bloodghast and Reassembling Skeleton, but so are many other cards. So far this card has been insane, but not any more insane than the rest of Cube.
Remember Cube designers, it’s your format, and you can do what you want. This card initially really upset my players because it does not exist in Magic and therefore was “cheating.” They drafted it anyway to “test it” and the fussing stopped soon afterwards.