Gods as Commanders

For my Shakespeare Cube, I included two gods in the Commander packets. They sort of fit thematically, and one was bicolor, important for my idea of four color commanders.

This turned out to be a terrible idea, because I forgot gods are indestructible! They were difficult to deal with, and could easily be recast.

Obviously if someone is making a personal EDH deck, and they want a god as a commander, go for it. But for a casual game with a lot of players, all of whom made up their decks on the fly, it was frustrating and prolonged the game.

Back to the drawing board.

Shakespeare Cube

My schedule has recently changed, which means less time for Cube. 😦

I’ve been working on a new idea for about 3 weeks now. When I learned my store wouldn’t be able to have its Aether Revolt Prerelease event, I wanted to get the Cube finished so we’d have something fun to play. I stayed up late the night before finishing the deck list and pulling cards. When I got up in the morning, I learned the shop was opening late (the weather still sucks), so I was able to spend some time making packs.

This Cube is another Commander Cube, with a fairly small draft pool. I created some new rules and mechanics:

1. All Legendary Creatures and Planewalkers have “partner,” although players could only have two commanders.
2. A new mechanic, “understudy”: “When your Commander returns to the Command Zone, you may search your graveyard and/or library for a creature card, reveal it, and put it in your hand. If you search your library, shuffle it.”
3. Color identity does not apply to special lands.

Before draft, everyone got to choose a packet of Commanders. The packets were based on Shakespeare’s plays, while the draft pool was a little looser — plays, Shakespeare’s life, cards that simply have a Shakespeare quote on them, life in Elizabethan England. Each packet had 4 Legendary Creatures and 1 Planeswalker. Additionally, everyone got a copy of mana fixers like Opaline Unicorn and Sol Ring, and, like, a dozen Guildgates. I’d had some trouble getting a good color balance, but in the end, it seems like everyone got what they needed.

Players only got to see the Planeswalker in the pack, and I also included a list with the four colors in the packet and a very basic description of the type of cards/mechanics in the packet. This is similar to what I did for the Halloween Cube. The difference is that I had a lot more flexibility in creating packets; this time I wasn’t able to make the packets as balanced as I’d like.

After players chose packets, there was a draft of 4 packs of 15 cards. No special lands in the draft pool, though there were additional legendary creatures in the draft pool.

This Cube was one of the most fun of the ones I’ve created. Before we started playing, I got to talk to a couple people about the format. Which, you know, I’ll talk about Cube all day long. When we started the draft, two new people joined us. I love how Cube can bring people in, and you start as just people and end as friends. Six people total played.

We laughed so much while drafting and playing! I was able to include a lot of older cards, so people enjoyed seeing those again. And the new players liked getting to play with cards that are banned in other formats.

We ran into one problem with the commanders, which I’ll write about separately. I was worried about mana fixing with four-color Commanders;  no one had any problems with mana thanks to all of the Gates and such.

The game lasted about 5 hours. A few of us (including me) wound up conceding because the game lasted so long. But that’s okay. The main goal of Cube isn’t to win, it’s to have fun.

Another Game of Horde

Bisclavret was more fun playing it as a “werewolf” deck instead of trying to tell a specific story.

We tried a new rule: if we dealt damage to the horde, we put that many cards from its library into its graveyard, but then played an “anthem” card — a card with text like “all tokens get +1/+1.” That helped even out the power levels.

Dragons kicked our ass, though.

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. 🙂

Finished Card Lists

I’ve finished my Horde decks; we’ll be playing them for the first time on the 17th. I hope everyone enjoys playing them! Not sure if it’ll be a one-time thing or what. My one concern is that I ordered tokens and a tuck box from Superior POD and I don’t know if it’ll arrive in time. I place the order at the end of November. Thinking about back up plans.

I’ve also finished my card list for my All Women Cube. A lot more white than anything else, since I included angels. I thought there’d be more red, because of Chandra and Jaya, but it’s pretty low. I thought there wouldn’t be much black, but there’s Liliana, Gisa, Olivia…..  There’s 753 unique cards, more than enough for an 8 person Cube. I had thought about converting it into a Commander Cube, but I’m not sure I have enough without having to buy more cards.

Planechase

We bought Planechase over the weekend. We used the planar deck with my Cube, and it was super fun and crazy.

I was playtesting my rebuilt Make or Break Cube, so in some ways the planar cards worked well, adding in even more chaos. But it was difficult to tell how well the Cube was working on its own!

The planes sometimes benefit one player, sometimes none, sometimes all. Planar cards are popular in Commander; I think it’d be fun to use with Conspiracy — not only would there be the usual deals, but then add in the “please don’t roll the die and change the plane” element…..So much fun. And possible hatred. 🙂