Drafting a Commander Cube

I used several sources to help me create and draft my Commander Cube. I’ve included a list here, and a discussion of my drafts.

Commander Cube: Drafting with Other People

Building a Commander Cube and Want Tips

Drafting for Multiplayer: The Commander Cube

Commander Cube: Want some help and ideas

After reading through these sites and discussing the logistics with my husband, I decided upon a strategy for drafting.

Be prepared: drafting takes a loooooong time, in addition to deck building and then the actual game. My Commander Cube games have lasted 5-6 hours.

Drafting Commanders
For a 6 person draft, I wanted everyone to have 4 commanders to choose from. Commanders are drafted first so that players can use them as a guide when drafting cards. If the other potential commanders fit the color identity, they can go into the deck.

Commander cards are kept separated from the other cards.

We had four short drafting rounds. Four cards placed in the center of the table, face-up. Player 1 chooses a commander; a new one takes its place on the table. Proceed around the table until everyone has a commander

Round 1: Commanders with 3+ color identity. Start with Player 1, then 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Round 2 and 3: Commanders with 2 color identity. Start with Player 6, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 again.

Round 4: Mono-colored commanders. Start with Player 6, then 5, and so on.

Any commanders that are left are put away. I allow for one trade — if someone is willing to trade you Commander X for Commander Y, go for it.

I like 4 because a minimum of 24 commanders is pretty do-able (I own 108 legendary creatures), and I can usually find enough to meet whatever my theme is.  No matter what you get in draft, you can craft a deck around at least one of the commanders. Additionally, if people chose well, they can be guaranteed at least one legendary creature in their deck. But obviously you can scale that up or down as needed, based on theme and number of players.

Drafting the Deck
Each player received 4 packs of 15 cards. [Note: I’ve found that cards that require 3 or more types of mana are too difficult to play in draft.] Draft proceeds as usual.

Drafting Lands
Non-basic lands are drafted last. Each player receives one pack with 15 cards; draft proceeds as usual. [Note: Make sure that the lands can be used by at least one of the commanders. If you don’t have any Boros commanders, don’t include any lands that produce red or white mana.]

Building the Deck
Decks are a minimum of 60 cards; 20 basic lands + 40 spells is a pretty good basic ratio. All cards in the deck must follow the normal color-identity rules. I have been thinking about relaxing the rules for non-basic lands, because that’s so hard to control for and some players wind up with a lot they can use, and others with very little. I have a lot of Boros and Rakdos lands, but few Boros and Rakdos commanders, for example.

We’ll see how that evolves.


This system was helpful when once a friend arrived very later, as we were building decks. I was able to just hand him 4 random Commanders, 45 random cards, and 15 random lands and he was able to play, and play well, with the rest of us.


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