Got to play my new Cube, Treats and Tricks, twice this weekend! Had a lot of fun, though as has happened in the past, the board state got kind of stalled out — no board wipes or anything to help break through. Just the nature of how I construct things.
If you click on the link and check out my card list, you’ll notice that some rows are highlighted — those are cards I wanted to add but are currently missing. 1. Maybe having those cards in the Cube would solve the problem? 2. The missing cards are generally not worth anything, so I’m hoping it’s not a case of someone stealing them (most of them were used in previous Cubes) but me just putting them “somewhere safe” and then forgetting.
Especially enjoyed putting in a lot of older cards, as well as cards from Unglued and Unhinged. The Dark (which I hadn’t heard of before!) had a lot of on-flavor cards, and I was particularly thrilled to add Frankenstein’s Monster.
As usual, the most difficult part of construction was color balance. I knew there would be more black than any color, but as a result, I wanted to keep the others fairly balanced, especially since the Commanders were different colors. However, I had more Grixis Commanders than other combos. Red was my next highest color, but it was really difficult finding blue cards that fit the theme, without just buying a bunch of commons from Lorwyn/Shadowmoor.
(Unless the card is really interesting or really old, I try to avoid buying commons.)
I added some fairies to help round things out, and anything with “Trick” in the name, which led to a few merfolk. Which made me wonder: should I include merfolk? And if I did, what about minotaurs or leonin? Where do I draw the line? In general, I kept it to humans, demons/devils, angels, wolves/werewolves, fairies, elves, and a few others
Additionally, I used a new drafting strategy. I think it went well overall but it was time consuming to put together.
A few problems: 1. Drafting took forever 2. People were stuck with commanders that weren’t as powerful and/or didn’t synergize 3. People were stuck with non-basic lands they couldn’t use.
To solve this, I made packets: players chose from 8 3-color commanders. (This part still needs to be ironed out — you can only chose one, so how to draft? On Saturday, we went in a circle with a few face up at a time, replacing the chosen one with a new one; on Sunday, they were all face-up at once and we just went in a circle picking.) Players then received a pack with 2 2-color commanders, 1 1-color commander, and a Planeswalker. The various commanders were all in the same color identity (more or less), and I also made sure that they had good combos, and that no set was crazy over or under powered. Players also received a packet with non-basic lands in their color identity, as well as Command Tower and Sol Ring because I have a million of both, so why not.
After receiving the packets, we drafted 4 rounds of 15-card packs. I included non-basic lands within the draft, instead of a separate round of drafting. Drafting still took a while, but not as bad as previous Commander Cubes.
If you click this link, you can see how I organized the Commanders. If a player chose Johan, they had the option of switching one of his colors to black. I chose him in our second game, and played Black Red Green, and he was a really good commander.
Since every 3-color commander had black in their color identity, we played with Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth on the table (each land is a swamp in addition to its other types). Made it much easier to decide how much land to include in each deck.
Overall this has been a really fun Cube and I look forward to playing throughout October. And probably into November because it took so much time to build. 🙂