“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!


“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).


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.

Playing with the Horde

I created three Horde decks to play with my friends: dragons, prehistoric creatures, and werewolves. The werewolf deck was based on the medieval story “Bisclavret,” and so the cards were in a specific order, somewhat like a Theros Hero deck.

First we drafted from my all female Cube. This actually created a problem because I had seeded the decks — for example, every player had at least one Planeswalker. Our decks were actually a little too strong for the Horde.

The Dragon and Bisclavret Hordes have 100 cards; Prehistoric Creatures 60. Dragons and Prehistoric creatures were shuffled before play.

We had three turns to set up defenses, then the Horde started playing. We drew cards until we pulled a non-token card, then everything went on the battlefield. When we did damage, we put cards from the library into the graveyard — eventually we modified that to, “until we reached the first non-token card.”

The Bisclavret deck was a disaster. It never got a chance to take a hold and we defeated it very easily. I’d like to try it again as just a “werewolf horde.” The Hero decks or Archenemy decks have specific cards in them that effect the game state; I didn’t really have that for my hordes.

Another problem, with all of the decks, was lack of recursion. Obviously, zombies are great because it’s pretty easy to get them out of the graveyard. Much more difficult for the decks I made.

Overall, I’d say it was pretty fun. It was fun drafting and no one was hate drafting. 🙂 I still have the Horde decks put together and would like to play them again, especially against, mmmm, less powerful decks. 🙂

Horde Magic

I just learned about the format Horde Magic — basically, the players are united against a Horde (like a horde of zombies). It’s similar to something like Two-Headed Giant in that the players all play at the same time but have their own decks, mana pool, etc. The Horde Deck is meant to be automated — mainly tokens and cards with clear rules, no X mana or “target creature/player.”

I really want to try this format, although I worry it could be a disaster. I’m actually not a fan of cooperative games because usually one player becomes the dominant voice and it’s like you’re not really playing, just doing what Chris tells you to.

But I have an idea…….

……..for a Cube.

Because of how long it took to make, I probably won’t tear apart my Halloween Cube any time soon. I had thought about making a politics Cube, but after Nov. 8, it won’t really be relevant, and since it’ll mostly just be Conspiracy cards, it’ll be complicated to play. Something simple is more appealing.

I’ve been toying around with my “All Women Cube” for awhile, and definitely will be able to make a stronger Cube thanks to Kaladesh. Obviously an all-female Commander Cube is appealing, but I’ve done so many recently.

But I was thinking I could put together a “normal” Cube and also put together a couple of Horde Decks. Wouldn’t really be any card crossover, so we could just play whatever sounds fun — a normal attack-each-other game? Or a game to defeat the Horde?

Beyond that, I was thinking of two different Horde Decks — a dragon deck and a wolf/werewolf deck.

An additional plus side, I think, is that I won’t get as bored with this Cube as quickly, since there are built in variations.


Quick Two Player Variations

The most casual of games — two people and some booster packs.

1. Pack Wars I: Open one pack. Your deck is composed of those 15 cards. Add 10 lands, two of each color, to create a finished 25 card deck. Start life totals at 10.

2. Pack Wars II: Open three packs. Your deck is composed of those 45 cards plus 10 lands. You can use a normal life total of 20.

3. Draft I: Draft three packs as usual. Start with 10 mana; each land is capable of producing any color. Have fun casting giant creatures on Turn 1.

4. Draft II: Draft three packs as usual. Add one mana each turn. (Turn 1 = 1 mana, Turn 2 = 2 mana, and so on; the only limit is the end of the game.) Mana can be of any type, but if a card requires two of the same color, increase casting cost by one.

For example, Aerial Valley can be played on Turn 1 — you need one green mana to cast it. However, Aerie Bowmasters (2 green, 2 generic) would need to wait until turn five; you have four different mana available to you. At Turn 5, you can declare the fifth mana to be an additional green.

I like this version because you can buy packs on impulse and play without lands but it’s helpful to have pen/paper or a counter available to keep track of how much mana is available.