“Only 90s Kids” Cube

Whenever I describe a new Cube, I’m always nervous the other players won’t like it. I don’t know why; even “bad” Cubes have been fun, and I’ve been to hear suggestions for improvement. Still.

“Only 90s Kids” features cards originally printed in 1999 or early. It was fun to put together:

  1. Look up the release dates for MtG products
  2. Do a search on Gatherer for those products
  3. Copy and paste the list into a spreadsheet
  4. Cross-reference the sheet with my personal inventory
  5. Pull cards

It was neat to see cards like Conviction that have been published just a few times (Stronghold, Tempest Remastered, and Kaladesh in this case).

I also created proxies for the first time, for cards like Black Lotus and Mox Opal. Cards I’ll never be able to afford. I printed them at about 75%, and then glued them to Plains. I used a glue that specifically guarantees it won’t wrinkle. So far so good.

I thought about using the old rules, but I started reading up on them and. . .yeah, no. Only current rules and errata’d text.

We had a ton of fun, and everyone said they really enjoyed it. Most of the cards were pretty bonkers. I got out Kismet on turn 4 and my husband Planar Void on turn 1 and that really locked down the game. I won thanks to lifegain synergies (34 life!) two people loss due to milling, and the fourth player put up a valiant fight but I took him out with a 3/3.

I hope we have more players next week!

Vanguard

“What’s in a Name?” didn’t play as I’d wanted, so this was the last weekend of play. I decided to try Vanguard for its final play.

The short version is that I really liked it. Vanguard is like a precursor to EDH, so it played as a fast Commander game.

I went through the legendaries, finding ones that would make good Vanguards. We passed them out to each player randomly, and each player could choose one and put the others in their deck. The Vanguard is in the Command Zone, but not in play — you don’t cast it, it can’t be targeted, etc. Instead, the card’s text impacts the creatures in play. For simplicity, we decided that the card text would apply to all creatures. The Vanguard’s power was added to the starting life, and the creature’s toughness was the opening hand.

For future play, the main thing will be to balance the creatures, and clarify if text only applies to creatures, or if it might instead apply to upkeep (such as scry or draw effects).

 

What’s in a Name, Part 2

This past weekend, we tried a new draft:

Pack 1: 5 legendaries/planeswalkers

Packs 2 and 3: 15 “name” cards that specifically references the cards in Pack 1

Pack 4: 15 “name” cards that don’t have a corresponding legendary/PW in the draft; lands, as well

Overall, it was fine, but I didn’t really like it. There was too little variety in Packs 2 and 3. I like randomness in my draft.

This coming weekend, I’m going to go back to 3 15-card packs, but balance them a bit to make sure each pack has 2 legendaries/PW. No one will end up with all of the Gods, and all of the drafts will be more random.

“What’s in a Name?” Cube

My newest Cube is all about “named” cards. Think “Chandra’s Outrage” or “Augur of Bolas.” I put in every card with this kind of name, but only put in Legendaries and Planeswalkers that had named cards. So for example, Lovisa Coldeyes isn’t in this Cube because I don’t have any other cards that refer to her.

I also gave all Legendaries/PW’s “convoke.” If you have “Augur of Bolas,” you can tap it to pay one mana of Nicol Bolas’s casting cost. Additionally, if Bolas (for example) is on the field, Augur of Bolas gets +1/+1. Instants and sorceries cost one less if the named card is on the battlefield. (Chandra’s Outrage would cost one less if a Chandra PW is on the field.)

Last week was the first time we played. The randomness was fun, but for this week, I’ve juiced the packs. We’ll do four rounds of drafts. First will be a short, 5-card pack of Legendaries and Planeswalkers. Then two rounds of 15 of cards that only share names with the L/PWs that were in those original packs. Then a final round of 15 cards that include other named cards (for example, Purphoros’s Emissary — I don’t have Purphoros), conspiracies, and lands.

I don’t tend to include lands because they aren’t on theme. (Or if I do a Commander Cube, everyone gets guild gates, regardless of the theme, etc.) But there can be issues with mana ramp as a result. So I just added a bunch of lands. I have a few “named” lands (Desert of the Fervent, for example), so those went in. And then I added any land that named a specific place; no to Rugged Highlands, yes to Crypt of Agadeem.

Definitely excited to play tomorrow!

The next idea

I’ve been wrestling with my next Cube idea. We’re still playing with the Bollywood one; this is longer than I normally play a Cube but for various reasons, we’ve missed a lot of weekends at the shop. In fact, I went on vacation and left my Cube at the shop.

I want to do a Bats Cats Rats Cube, but definitely going to wait until Hour of Devastation is released. Soon!

I think some kind of “group hug” Cube would be fun, but going through the rules text and figuring out the draft pool is daunting.

I’ve been toying with a Tarot card commander Cube. Like each commander would represent one of the major arcana, the draft pool the minor arcana. But finding analogs takes time, especially when I want to try to limit the commanders to 2+ colors. I have 177 Legendary creatures at the moment, and 28 planeswalkers.

Planning is the most fun for me, but sometimes it’s nice to get something finished, too!

Cube and Wizard’s Tower

My most recent Cube was built a month ago, but for various reason, only got to play it for the second time today.

The Cube is Bollywood themed, with a particular focus on the Dhoom movies. The Dhoom series is the Bollywood version of The Fast and the Furious.

This Cube uses Wizard’s Tower to augment the regular draft and gameplay. In the middle of the table is a stack of vehicles, facedown (no vehicles in the draft). Starting on turn three, you can draw and immediately play a vehicle instead of drawing a card from your library. It’s been fun to do something different, and it’s cool that everyone has access to the vehicles without trying to figure out a way for everyone to have an equal number of vehicles or forcing people to include them in their deck.