I attended a Modern Masters draft on Sunday (pulled a Cruel Ultimatum!). During our game, my opponent asked what formats I liked. “Cube!” I exclaimed. We chatted a little about Cube, then he asked “Where do you get your card lists?”
I get this question a lot, and it always surprises me and my answer surprises the asker: me!
I share my lists here, obviously, and you can go to CubeTutor and find all sorts of card lists. But a big appeal of Cube is the ability to make whatever you want.
So I think about what I would like to see. I have a background in literature and history, so I draw upon that. What stories or events do I like?
Or for other people, focus on the types of mechanics you like, or would be fun to play with.
We’ve been playing the Bestiary cube for awhile, so I decided to try something different: backdraft.
We drafted three packs, trying to construct the worst card pool possible. When I put the packs together, I juiced them a little bit: putting in really good cards, putting in just one of a card that has an effect like “for each card named X, do Y” or putting in multiples of those cards. That was fun, too.
After drafting, we switched card pools with other players; in our case, we shifted them two to the right.
We had five players, so played Star: you couldn’t attack the person on your right or your left.
This had the advantage of making the game go much faster! We got in three games!
After the second game, we switched our decks back to the person who created it.
It was definitely a lot of fun. 🙂
This past weekend was the official “Intro to Cube” event at my local game store. Did I have a good time? Yes. Did it go how I’d hoped? No.
Only one person showed up for Cube. I’ve had more players just randomly join in. Added to that: he was completely new to Magic!
So it was nice that my husband and I could just focus on teaching him, and we didn’t have other, more experienced players maybe getting impatient. But I wasn’t expecting to teach Magic. What should have been a quick game lasted nearly 3 hours.
The man decided to leave after that, but the shop co-owner and another player asked to play. The fourth player was also new to Magic, having only started playing within the last few months.
Overall, the games were really fun, and the Cube itself was a lot of fun.
On Saturday, I will be presenting a little session on what Cube is at the local game shop. I’m so excited! It’s scheduled for the same time as Standard, so I’m real curious who will show up.
I’ve pulled the cards and now I’m going through to make sure there’s not too many copies of any one card. Then I need to make packs, and then we can play!
I get up at 6:30 AM. Commute to work, 1.5 hours. Work 8 hours. Commute back, 1.5 hours. Get home by about 6:30 PM. In bed by 9.
Yet I’m always thinking about Cube.
I’ve just finished the card list for the next one, Bestiary. The cards are based on the Aberdeen Bestiary, a medieval book about the natural world written in the 1100s. Bestiaries are fascinating, and I chose this one because the animal list is long and pretty complete. I also wanted to have some kind of parameters, otherwise why not just pull every creature from Theros block?
Additionally, I’m crafting this as an intro Cube. I’ve talked to my friendly local game shop, and we’re going to make it an event on the calendar. First weekend in March, most likely. A deadline is helpful for getting cards pulled and packs made. And cards from like the last three Cubes need to be organized and put away. Hard to do when I have 3 hours a night during the week!
Anyway, I’m very excited. I even got some neat old cards with things like phasing. There’s more green than anything (since it’s creature based), but I think there’s a good balance among the other colors.
I liked the Commander packet I’d made for my Halloween Cube, so did the same for my Shakespeare Cube. The packs cut down on draft time, and I could ensure everyone got X, Y, Z type of cards (like making sure everyone gets a Planeswalker).
But I was unhappy with the packet balance, so I decided to try a combination: a draft round, but with packs made up only of legendary creatures and Planeswalkers (and keeping the partner mechanic). I only had enough cards for 4 packs of 15 cards; we actually had 5 players, so each pack had 12. Then we did a regular draft of 3 15-card packs.
Overall, it went well. Draft still went fairly quickly, and everyone had a larger pool to draw from. My main concern is number of players: the packets could support 8 players, but draft probably hits a wall at 6 (10-card packs).
I like the partner mechanic, though, and will probably use it in the future, which means drafting this way will probably continue to work.
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.