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The Vintage Cube Returns

Posted on Aug 15, 2023

Oops, I Did It Again: Another Major Vintage Cube Update! 

By Ryan Spain

Greetings, Vintage Cube enthusiasts! The last time we ran the Magic Online Vintage Cube, we made around 80 swaps—a huge amount of change relative to the usual level. Overall, the changes were well-received and successful, but the changes included many cards that we were trying out that wouldn’t all stick, many cards we removed but wanted to bring back in, and many cards that should exit the Vintage Cube that we left alone for the season. Then, The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth™ launched and delivered many more future Vintage Cube staples than the average set. The result? We made 80 swaps seem tame this time! 

The latest iteration of the Vintage Cube has a whopping 108 changes! That’s a lot, even if you don’t count the cards we cut last time that are returning. Why another big change? The first big change had a lot of lessons for us, one of which I spoke to on the Limited Resources podcast: The Magic Online Vintage Cube is not a card museum, it is a premium play experience.  

While nostalgia will always be factor in cube decisions, the Magic Online Vintage Cube has been historically ruled by nostalgia to the point that it was detrimental to the goal of offering the most powerful (but still fun) strategies available. One beauty of Vintage Cube is that it can suffer a lot of chaff and still be a ton of fun. That’s one reason the chaff buildup had become so pronounced: it was easy to let the cards losing their edge keep their slots, because the experience was still fun—plus, you know, nostalgia! 



Farewell Old Friends… 

But the draft and play experience could be so much more fun if we could just make the tough call to say farewell to old friends whose light has faded and give a chance for some new stars to shine! The time had come to take a machete to many of the underperforming cards—nostalgic or not—and thanks to the thriving MTGO Discord community, I knew just who to enlist to help me with the task: the reigning Vintage Cube trophy champion, Chris Wolf (Chris_Wulf1991)! I’ll let him introduce himself and the Discord community that helped turn him into a Vintage Cube trophy machine: 

Hi everyone, and thank you for this opportunity, Ryan! I‘ve said this in private, but I want people to know that it‘s clear that you‘re going above and beyond for this project, and that great times are ahead for everyone‘s favorite format. Personally, I attribute a great deal of my success to Matt Grenier and the hivemind that is his Modern Vintage Cubing server on Twitter. Matt is a great educator and a prolific thinker when it comes to Cube. If you want to ask either of us anything, feel free to reach out on Twitter. I’m here, and Matt is here. Better yet, join the Modern Vintage Cubing server and join the conversation there! You can also drop by Matt’s stream and watch him put his lessons to work, including a stream tonight (August 15th) at 6 pm Pacific, where we‘ll be discussing the Vintage Cube changes and the ideas behind them. 

Thanks Chris! When I saw that our reigning champ was on Discord and offering great thoughts on what was and wasn’t successful about the changes we’d made, I reached out to see if we could hop on a call and talk it over. We had a great conversation, and afterwards Chris was keen to make some specific suggestions. OK, a lot of suggestions. OK, a lot of great suggestions. Chris and I went back and forth on things for a bit, and when the dust settled, we had the biggest changelist in Magic Online Vintage Cube history. 



Welcome to the Vintage Cube!

I will let the individual change notes speak for themselves, but I’ve never been more excited for a Magic Online Vintage Cube season. We had to say goodbye to a lot of comfortable old friends to get here, but I think the result will be the best Vintage Cube we’ve ever run. If you already miss some of your old friends, don’t worry! Many will be back to say hello in future iterations of the Cube; they just won’t be the mainstays they have been to date. Are you excited? Intrigued? Upset? Give the new Cube a shot and let us know what you think about the changes in the MTGO Discord, or tag @MagicOnline with your Twitter feedback! 

Happy Cubing! 

Cube Changelist

Color Card Out Card In Design Notes
White Arena Rector Sun Titan The Rector deserves some appearances in the cube, but we'll wait until the "big planeswalker" theme is better supported. For now, we'll complete the cycle of M11 Titans again. Sun Titan is hardly a windmill slam, but it does powerful things in the right deck, and it is familiar to players, which is a good thing to add back in when making this many changes with so many new cards.
White Elesh Norn, Mother of Machines Guardian Scalelord The Mother of Machines proved too specific and too slow to cement herself as a regular starter, but was fine for an iteration that leaned into blink a bit. Guardian Scalelord, on the other hand, is a real evasive powerhouse! Whether as a curve-topper for aggro or a solid value engine for your midrange pile, this might become your new favorite Dragon.
White Guardian of Ghirapur Weathered Wayfarer Guardian was fine for leaning into blink a bit, but only targeting your own creatures instead of any nonland permanent made it no Flickerwisp. We‘ll swap it for a flexible 1-drop doing something other than aggro, which plays nicely with Fetch-lands and Strip Mine/Wasteland.
White Loyal Retainers Karmic Guide Loyal Retainers is interesting, but too clunky and narrow relative to other creature cheaters, so we‘ll show all the Birthing Pod fans some love and put Karmic Guide back in here.
White Mana Tithe Reprieve White Remand! A new staple emerges. Mana Tithe could come back in a spot where we want to push white countermagic, but this is a perfect swap for maintaining a touch of it.
White Ravages of War Sevinne's Reclamation It's been a long time since "draft both Armageddons and build around them" was a winning Vintage Cube strategy. We‘ll keep Armageddon around for now as a good sideboard option for specific match-ups, but having two is suggesting a deck is there that isn't. Sevinne‘s Reclamation is a flexible value engine, which even works on lands!
White Seal from Existence Leyline Binding Seal from Existence is a fine version of this effect, but double white is a real cost, and Leyline Binding is a constructed powerhouse that should be in this cube as long as the Triomes are.
White Temporary Lockdown Touch the Spirit Realm While Temporary Lockdown is a solid effect in the abstract, it proved too difficult to generate a big advantage from it. Touch the Spirit Realm is a little more restrictive than your classic O-Ring effect, but the option to Channel at instant speed gives it that extra spice.
White Teshar, Ancestor's Apostle Serra Paragon An experiment, which turns out to require a little more support.  While we might have Teshar back in the future, we will go with a more reliable recursive flyer for this run.
White White Plume Adventurer Steel Seraph White Plume Adventurer was unfun-good. Still working out what the right amount of such cards is in the Vintage Cube, but for WPA, we don't intend to bring it back without other initiative creatures, and in a no-holds-barred context. Would you prefer an "unfun good" card or two properly supported in each iteration, or would you prefer an occasional "pure power" iteration that doesn't cut powerful cards for their play patterns? In the meantime, Steel Seraph returns to fill the white three-drop role while doubling as a big artifact for decks that care.
Blue Agent of Treachery Hullbreaker Horror The agent was in for the lean into blink, but Hullbreaker Horror can go infinite with multiple pieces of fast mana, and is a more reliable game-ending threat. Welcome back, 'breaker!
Blue Ancestral Vision Hard Evidence Blue is receiving a lot of updates in hopes of improving its chances to compete a little better on the battlefield. Hard Evidence is a flexible piece that provides a decent defensive body, puts a card into your graveyard, provides an artifact, and replaces itself down the line. While this doesn't look exciting on first glance, Vintage Cube isn't only about playing the most powerful cards; you also need a cohesive deck. This is where role-players like Hard Evidence absolutely come in clutch!
Blue Arcane Proxy Murktide Regent Arcane Proxy didn‘t hit the mark, and the Regent would like to come back in and show the proxy how to aim.
Blue Braingeyser Blue Sun's Zenith We're removing Pally, but there are still a couple of infinite-mana-combos to be found, so we'll try this self-recurring instant-speed version, which might be a little more appealing to control decks as well.
Blue Bribery Flash Bribery belongs in Vintage Cube on power level, but its fun factor is abysmal. Too often it effectively ends the game on the spot, either because it finds an Eldrazi, or it finds nothing amazing and the caster can't come back from a five-mana do-nothing spell. Neither result is fun for either player. Flash, on the other hand, is a great addition to “creature-cheat“ strategies and deserves a shot, especially after we cut Show and Tell the last time around and several of the underperforming green creature-cheaters this time.
Blue Chain of Vapor Snap Chain provides some funny shenanigans disguised as a bounce spell, but we can do better on that front. Even without mana-doublers, the “free“ nature of Snap makes it a great tempo play and of course, does some cool tricks for combo decks.
Blue Consecrated Sphinx Torrential Gearhulk Another long-standing staple that used to be well worth the six mana now presents too much of a blowout if it's answered before you can draw. We are even leaning into draw punishing a bit, but this draw punisher punishes the caster too often. Instead we‘re getting another old friend back in to conspire with Dream Halls in casting Magma Opus. The artifact type matters, too!
Blue Glen Elendra Archmage Subtlety The final "pitch elemental" makes it in at last! The Archmage is iconic, but feels a step slow these days, so we'll give her a rest for now.
Blue Mulldrifter Chrome Host Seedshark Everyone loves Mulldrifter, but creatures have become a bit more powerful since Lorwyn. Chrome Host Seedshark comes with a good defensive body for controlling strategies, a payoff for "noncreature spells matter," and the ability to make artifacts to abuse with Urza, Lord High Artificer, Tolarian Academy, and many others.
Blue Palinchron Frost Titan I love Palinchron in the abstract, but as stated in the article: Vintage Cube is not a card museum, it's a play experience. The infinite dreams Palinchron offers are better lived through other infinite combos in the cube. Maybe Frost Titan doesn't make it in if we weren't competing the titan cycle, but in a world where board presence matters a lot, Frosty may surprise you!
Blue Riftwing Cloudskate Otawara, Soaring City Riftwing Cloudskate is another card that has become a little slow in this modern era of pushed creatures. Otawara is also clunky bounce, but having that effect on a land is absolutely huge.
Blue Thassa's Oracle Faerie Mastermind The Oracle is an extremely powerful combo piece, but we will bring it back when it is better supported. Faerie Mastermind almost came in last time, and with Orcish Bowmasters and Sheoldred, a "punish opposing draws" theme is emerging in Dimir, so it definitely makes it in this time, and I suspect it will become a staple.
Black Blood Artist Orcish Bowmasters We‘re saying goodbye to the pushed sacrifice theme for now and welcome a future mainstay! "Punish opponent draws" is an emerging sub-theme for Dimir that has a lot of play in Vintage Cube.
Black Bloodghast Tenacious Underdog Upgrading to a better recursive 2-drop. BB and unable to block is a pretty big ask, and while it's great with Skullclamp, we have plenty of other black cards that fill that role while doing things for other archetypes. Underdog overperforms in both the aggressive and defensive departments!
Black Braids, Cabal Minion Rankle, Master of Pranks We brought Braids back last iteration for the sacrifice theme, but she will not stay. While she offers a unique angle that some players will miss drafting, Rankle will be a worthy replacement until we call Braids out of retirement every now and then.
Black Cabal Therapy Concealing Curtains An 0/4 Defender isn‘t half bad for a mid-rangy to controlling deck, but this also turns into a bolt-proof beater that disrupts your opponent's game plan. The Vendilion Clique-esque effect also supports the draw-punishers like Orcish Bowmasters.
Black Goryo's Vengeance Corpse Dance We gave it a shot, but the cheaper cost of Goryo‘s Vengeance gets outweighed in the end by Corpse Dance‘s flexibility, both in terms of its targets and the ability to buy it back. I dislike including "graveyard order matters" mechanics, but it's where some of the Vintage reanimation power lies.
Black Hero's Downfall Baleful Mastery Another exile removal, which also works nicely with the newly added Faerie Mastermind and Orcish Bowmasters.
Black Makeshift Mannequin Life/Death Mannequin has never been a great performer and now more than ever, mana requirements matter. Even with the ability to theoretically get back an Eldrazi, 4 mana is prohibitively expensive for Vintage Cube reanimation.
Black Mesmeric Fiend Kitesail Freebooter The ability to sacrifice the Fiend in response to its trigger is cute, but since most of the sacrifice-theme is making its departure, we‘ll go with a more resilient, evasive option.
Black Midnight Reaper Gix, Yawgmoth Praetor With a reduction in sacrifice synergies, we are back to getting rewarded for attacking your opponent rather than creatures dying. Gix also comes with an activated ability that most opponents have to be very careful of!
Black Phyrexian Tower Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth The Tower was a bit of a miss, even in sacrifice, so we‘re welcoming back Urborg, which improves Bazaar of Baghdad and the Dark Depths/Vampire Hexmage combo.
Black Ravenous Chupacabra Noxious Gearhulk Ravenous Chupacabra feels overcosted and outclassed in the modern era of Magic, while the Gearhulk offers a bigger body, gains some life back and is an artifact for some Welder-shenanigans.
Black Rotting Regisaur Misery's Shadow The dinosaur is beefy, but hard to optimize even in reanimator. We‘re giving Black an upgraded version of Nantuko Shade, allowing it to be more competitive in the aggro/mid-range department.
Black Shriekmaw Soul Transfer Unlike Chupacabra, Shriekmaw is a little more versatile with Evoke, but the targeting restriction can be brutal, and exile removal has become increasingly important for containing powerful value engines.
Black The Meathook Massacre Massacre Wurm With Sacrifice gone and the static being less relevant, The Meathook Massacre now feels a little clunky, so we'll swap back in Massacre Wurm to keep those massacres flowing!
Black Woe Strider Evolved Sleeper Without much payoff for sacrificing, Woe Strider is a bit homeless, so as we did in White, we‘re smoothing out the curve a little, giving black back a potent one drop.
Red Avalanche Riders Rampaging Raptor Avalanche Riders died of old age a while ago, we‘ve just been carrying around its corpse. Let's bury the rider and add a four drop with haste that red decks can really use.
Red Bloodfeather Phoenix Dragon's Rage Channeler Bloodfeather Phoenix didn't work out--let's channel our rage over that into the one drop we cut last time.
Red Chandra, Acolyte of Flame Nahiri's Warcrafting Chandra is fine but was really in because of sacrifice support. Nahiri‘s Warcrafting fulfills some important roles for Red, providing card advantage, and the ability to get rid of problematic creatures with high toughness such as Sheoldred.
Red Eidolon of the Great Revel Kumano Faces Kakkazan Eidolon is a hard to cast 2/2 for 2 with downside in some matches--another venerable card with better options in modern Magic. Kumano Faces Kakkazan is another exciting 1-drop for red mages, providing 3 power and a ping for 1 mana with the right sequencing.
Red Embercleave Goldspan Dragon Cleave is certainly powerful, but it doesn‘t fit well in every aggressive red deck, much less every red deck. We are bringing back the Dragon for it, which fills a similar role as a curve-topper for aggro while being more broadly applicable. Plus: Dragon!
Red Goblin Bombardment Bitter Reunion With creature tokens tossed onto card effects like candy these days, some sacrifice outlets don't need a sacrifice theme to be a justifiable inclusion. However, Bitter Reunion is an interesting option we want to try with Reanimator often turning to red for discard outlets.
Red Greater Gargadon Etali, Primal Conqueror Gargadon is a fun card, but makes its exit along with some other sacrifice-themed cards. Etali is a powerful threat to reanimate or sneak into play, but hard-casting it is reasonable as well.
Red Past in Flames Mizzix's Mastery As a weak Yawgmoth's Will analog, Past in Flames has felt like a necessary evil to give Storm some cast-your-graveyard redundancy. With Underworld Breach giving us a strong alternative analog, we can let past go up in flames, and instead give you a spell that allows you to re-cast your graveyard all at once! Try yours with Dream Halls today!
Red Puphoros's Intervention Mine Collapse Mine Collapse can get rid of Sheoldred, and alternate, no-mana casting costs are right at home in Vintage Cube. A free spell for your Storm turn, or removal for that blocker in the way of the hasty beater you tapped out to cast. Intervention was only ever here for a quick visit when there was more to do with a bunch of temporary tokens.
Red Red Elemental Blast Rabbit Battery Dedicated sideboard cards are always shaky, especially against Blue, which hasn‘t even been the Big Bad in Vintage Cube of late. Rabbit Battery has the potential to be a premier 1-drop, in that it also boosts your later plays, sticks around for the rebuild after a wrath effect, and enables some hasty reanimated monsters.
Red Rekindling Phoenix Pia and Kiran Nalaar Rekindling Phoenix wasn‘t really bad, just mixing things up a little while getting in another way to sacrifice The One Ring, should the temptation come over you.
Red Young Pyromancer Scrapwork Mutt Similarly, with Third Path Iconoclast and Saheeli representing superior token-spitters, we are benching Young Pyromancer for a scrappy hound that offers support for some different archetypes, such as reanimator. 
Green Court of Bounty Exploration Court of Bounty lost its case on speed and reliability grounds. Exploration is narrow, and not as explosively powerful as big brother Fastbond, but "extra land drop each turn" is a powerful line of rules text that can be built around with reasonable success, especially with several other Lands cards  coming in to replace the clunky side of green's creature-cheating. It still generates a decent advantage, relatively quickly and also goes well with the re-introduction of Field of the Dead.
Green Eureka Invasion of Ikoria In addition to being a trap card in terms of results, Eureka is currently bugged. We were going to pull it anyway--there are so many other more reliable dreams to live for four mana! Like, for example, Invasion of Ikoria with Vampire Hexmage lurking somewhere in your deck!  
Green Heartbeat of Spring Call of the Ring With the departure of Palinchron, Heartbeat doesn't have a lean-to home anymore. Meanwhile, Call of the Ring is an absolute beating, providing evasion, looting, attack-deathtouch, and eventually face-bolting. What more could you ask for? "To not have to learn 'Tempt' for one card" is a fair response, given the lessons of White Plume Adventurer, but hear us out: it doesn't need other Tempt cards to function, and the "temptation path" is always there when the card is, so it's like having to learn a wordy planeswalker. If there's a time to see if it belongs, it's when most active players are familiar with the Tempt mechanic.
Green Pattern of Rebirth Ulvenwald Oddity Another dud bites the dust, replaced with a four drop that beats down hard and fast before transforming into a game-ending mini-Hoof!
Green Plow Under Nissa, Ascended Animist Plow Under is another in a long, green line of what I would call "iconic meh." On the other hand, this Nissa is a beast! Incredibly versatile, it also provides another Craterhoof effect, which is at the top of most powerful things Green has to offer.
Green Primal Command Titania, Protector of Argoth MH2 fanatics will know about this Legendary Elemental. Generating 10 power, while ramping you with a Fetchland is a pretty good deal, but imagine Fireblasting your opponents, or turning every single land you control into a 5/3 with Zuran Orb. This one is certainly sad to see Greater Gargadon go!
Green Satyr Wayfinder Delighted Halfling Satyr Wayfinder has some potential to be part of a package to rotate in to support the appearance of a card like Hogaak, but it isn't doing enough for enough decks to be a regular. Meanwhile, Delighted Halfling is a fantastic alt-elf that seems likely to stick around for a while.
Green Springbloom Druid Deeproot Wayfinder Springbloom Druid was trying to help a couple of archetypes, but fell short. One of goals of this update was to give Green more options in the midrange department, and while this one looks rather unassuming, imagine going T1 Elf into T2 Wayfinder + Strip Mine...
Green Terastodon Worldspine Wurm Ol´-Nasty-Terasty hasn't been as nasty in recent years, with the downsides of the effect mattering more as creatures increase in importance. So we're adding another big one to Flash or Sneak.
Green Time of Need Life from the Loam In addition to the support for land shenanigans, Life from the Loam is a nod to Uro, which has been having difficulty getting enough cards in the yard to escape with. It also works well with Boseiju and Otawara!
Green Tooth and Nail Titan of Industry Bringing back Tooth and Nail was an experiment last time, but it just wasn't good enough to chase the dream. This time we're getting another flexible creature, that can be hard cast or cheated for good effect.
Green Toski, Bearer of Secrets Esika's Chariot Chariot almost got in last time, and we're not leaving it out this time. It is an absolute house in Cube, while Toski was never all that great. A lot of the cards coming in make tokens that Esika would choose over another kitty, too.
Green Vorinclex Thrun, Breaker of Silence Weak to sweepers and green removal, nigh-unstoppable otherwise. Certainly maindeckable, and will shine out of the board in the right matchups.
Green Whisperwood Elemental Elder Gargaroth Gargs has a lot of fans who wanted to see this return, and is one of the adds that produces token upgrades for the Chariot. It's swapping one five-mana, green turn-over-turn value creature for another!
Green Worldly Tutor Field of the Dead We leaned away from the lands archetype last time, but it's a reasonable way to give green some archetype depth beyond "big creatures quickly." Field of the Dead is mostly a green card, and gives a solid boost to Primeval Titan.
Multicolor Deathrite Shaman Assassin's Trophy A constructed powerhouse, that‘s very hard the profitably set up in limited and wasn't powerful enough as a counter to graveyard strategies. We'll add some universal removal instead. Also one of the few spells that can deal with Dark Depths, Karakas and Library of Alexandria.
Multicolor Dreadbore Bloodtithe Harvester This is effectively reverting a change from last time. Bloodtithe is more important to the cube as a glue piece and strong early board presence than this clean but ultimately medium removal spell.
Multicolor Edric, Spymaster of Trest Kinnan, Bonder Prodigy Edric has certainly been on the weaker side for a while, with a very narrow use-case. Kinnan not only works well with your usual mana-Elves, but also goes infinite with Basalt Monolith!
Multicolor Eladamri's Call Voice of Resurgence The green creature tutors brought in last time underperformed without clear game-winning combos to go for, so with the importance of getting on board and to offer some further support for Birthing Pod, we've brought in Voice of Resurgence for a hopeful resurgence.
Multicolor Goblin Electromancer Magma Opus We had some misses last time around, but Dream Halls wasn‘t one of them, so we‘re adding some additional support for the archetype with Magma Opus and some Ultimatums. The ones that let you keep going of course! We‘ve also added Mizzix‘s Mastery for another way to cheat these onto the stack.
Multicolor Hydroid Krasis Sail into the West Always solid, but never great. That‘s a reasonable description of everyone‘s favorite Jellyfish. Instead we get another draw 7 for four mana, and at instant speed!
Multicolor Koma, Cosmos Serpent Tamiyo, Collector of Tales Green doesn‘t need another big threat, and Koma can be frustrating to play with and against depending on who has what removal suite. Uro has been suffering because it's been hard to fill the yard; Tamiyo shall be the Titan's new partner in crime, while also being a very solid card on her own.
Multicolor Lightning Helix Forth Eorlingas! Another icon that stopped being a high pick a long time ago. Forth Eorlingas! comes in already on the no-fun watch list, but how could we not give this a try? Splashable aggressive cards are perfect for red white. This one might be too perfect. We'll see.
Multicolor Maelstrom Pulse Tear Asunder Pulse is a classic that certainly Does Something, but Tear Asunder does it better on average, exiling just about anything at instant speed, even Kaldra Compleat!
Multicolor Mayhem Devil Fire Covenant The king of sacrifices leaves together with his squad, and might return with some of the better sacrifice parts in a future iteration. The life payment on Fire Covenant is no joke, but neither is a three-mana Plague Wind. If Toxic Deluge is a Vintage Cube staple, Fire Covenant has a case to make as well.
Multicolor Mirari's Wake Sigarda, Font of Blessings Mirari's Wake can join Heartbeat and Palinchron in the retirement home until they can be part of a package that makes sense to bring in. Let's try this powerful midrange legend in that Selesnya slot.
Multicolor Nahiri, the Harbinger Otharri, Suns' Glory Nahiri was a powerhouse when the format was much slower and more defined by Signets. The other one looks like a Dragon, plays like a Dragon, and is actually is a Phoenix.
Multicolor Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh Cruel Ultimatum With Arena Rector out and Dream Halls winning hearts (and games), we switched Grixis 7 drops.
Multicolor Niv-Mizzet Reborn Inspired Ultimatum Niv-Mizzet has big fans, but we will bring him back when the basic plan of digging for two-color gold is more supported. This ultimatum is an inspired way to keep your dream (halls turn) alive.
Multicolor Spell Queller Urza, Lord Protector Spell Queller is great and will certainly return in the future, but we wanted to add The Mightstone and Weakstone, and it feels like a lie to add one of a meld pair to a cube. Urza, Lord Protector is hardly a Vintage Cube slouch, with cost reductions some decks are absolutely looking for. Hopefully this will help Paradoxical Outcome get there while fulfilling the promise represented by The Mightstone and Weakstone.
Multicolor Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas Ertai Resurrected Tezz just made a reappearance and we are sending him away again, but we want to try Ertai with the lean into punishing oppo draws in blue and black with Sheoldred, Faerie Mastermind and Orcish Bowmasters (although not Hullbreacher at this time). Ertai would serve a solid role in almost any iteration of the Vintage Cube, but this feels like the time to put him in.
Multicolor Valki, God of Lies Kroxa, Titan of Death's Hunger Switching from one early discard/late game powerhouse to another. We could have left this alone given all the change, but Kroxa has fans who will be happy to see him back, and the flexibility to change things up in this way without harm is one of the great strengths of cube. 
Multicolor Wear/Tear Zirda, the Dawnwaker Wear/Tear was a fine stopgap while we looked for something more fun to do with the slot. On a further quest to give Artifacts more combo potential (and Boros some archetype depth), we‘ll add Zirda to allow for infinite mana with the Monoliths.
Multicolor Xenagos, God of Revels Dragonlord Atarka Xenagos was an experiment with the addition of Tooth and Nail last iteration, but now both are leaving. Atarka gets the job done, whether it be from the graveyard, through the breach, or hard cast.

All 10 Signets

(1 per color pair)

All 10 Talismans

(1 per color pair)

Talismans are not strictly better than Signets from a rules standpoint, but Talismans are generally better, plus they are strictly better from an interface standpoint. If Vintage Cube is running two-mana color-pair rocks, let's make the experiential upgrade.
Artifacts Coercive Portal Palantir of Orthanc Portal has proven to be very slow in recent years. Palantir might be on a bit of a watchlist for now, but it certainly looks like it gets the job done!
Artifacts Inkwell Leviathan Triplicate Titan Stinky-Inky has lived up to its nickname, for not being all that untouchable. Triplicate Titan is another piece to go with Flash that fits a lot of other strategies nicely as well. Recurring Nightmare, Sneak Attack, Goblin Welder, etc., will all have some fun moving this titan through the zones.
Artifacts Karn Liberated Portal to Phyrexia Karn used to be an early pick, but these days often doesn't give enough of a return on the seven-mana investment. We feel Portal to Phyrexia will prove to be one of the best Tinker targets in the cube, and a future mainstay.
Artifacts Lodestone Golem Mystic Forge Lodestone Golem has a tough time finding a deck that doesn't have to give up too much to play it, or has the artifact density to be good. Mystic Forge certainly isn't easy, but the upside is huge, and it fits nicely with some of the changes made last time and this time around. It combos with Sensei's Divining Top to create wins with Aetherflux Reservoir, and gives the Artifacts deck another way to generate card advantage.
Artifacts Lotus Bloom Mox Opal Lotus Bloom is another relic of the past, so we're swapping it for a different zero-mana Alpha-throwback artifact.
Artifacts Metalworker Crystalline Giant In 2014, I once Metalworkered for 10 on turn two! I think that's the last time anyone did anything with it. We wanted to put Urza's Bauble in this slot for another cheap artifact to go with Saheeli, Lurrus or Underworld Breach, but it's not a card we currently have access to use in cubes. The Giant was a late swap as a fun artifact creature that plays well digitally. It will probably become something else next time, but it can be a curve-filler for any deck that wants to cast and attack with creatures.
Artifacts Oblivion Stone The One Ring The One Ring is an incredibly powerful card, but considering you can't just "reset" it with another one in Cube, one does have to be mindful of the increasing loss of life and on the lookout for sacrifice effects.
Artifacts Sword of Feast and Famine Anduril, Flame of the West Swords have been underperforming as a whole and specific color-hate is also rather problematic. Anduril is just better in vacuum, with an on-attack trigger rather than a combat-damage trigger, and making its own flying tokens to equip to.
Artifacts Timeless Lotus The Mightstone and Weakstone "Mono-Brown" often struggles with drawing enough cards in a deck with so many slots committed to mana rocks, payoffs, and interaction. The modality on The Mightstone and Weakstone comes in clutch here. And who doesn't immediately put melding this thing on their bucket list?
Artifacts Winter Orb Pentad Prism While Orb has fans and is still cute with cards like Urza, Lord Artificer, it's not the card it once was. Prism is a great card for any combo deck, gets you right up to Dream Halls mana and gives another boost to Paradoxical Outcome. We will look at bringing Winter Orb back in a "denial rocks" package in the future.
Artifacts Worn Powerstone Foundry Inspector Worn Powerstone, much like Metalworker, is a hard one to make a good case for outside of Mishra's Workshop. Foundry Inspector is another nod to our combo-artifacts theme, with Top/Forge and Paradoxical Outcome.
Lands Karplusan Forest Raging Ravine See Creeping Tar Pit below.
Lands Rishadan Port Mana Confluence Mana denial in general isn't great in the modern era, but tapping two lands to tap one land is even worse. Meanwhile, fixing your mana never gets old!
Lands Sulfurous Springs Graven Cairns We'll try this over the springs, but we aren't bringing back the creature-land here. Kroxa likes this swap!
Lands Underground River Creeping Tar Pit Creeping Tar Pit was more important to Dimir than cutting it last time gave it credit for. ETB tapped dual lands have a severe drawback in this environment, but this, Raging Ravine, and Celestial Colonnade are worth it for their archetypes.