Cube Holistic Wisdom – Magic Online Cube Draft Walkthrough

With Cube’s popularity on the rise thanks to Magic Online Cube, Usman Jamil walks you through a cube draft that he participated in online. Hone your cube drafting skills!

In this article, I’m going to take a break from writing about insomnia-curing articles about Cube design and theory. Since there’s a lot of demand for cube draft videos, in this article I’m going to do a walkthrough of an 8-4 cube draft that I did. Unfortunately when I was recording the footage of the draft, my software decided to crash and the footage of the draft itself went with it. I was able to salvage the footage of the games themselves through recording replays, but unfortunately the draft footage is lost to the aether.

I started the draft in B/R Aggro and had a pretty good base of mid to late game support for the aggressive deck, including a Sulfuric Vortex, Ankh of Mishra, and a Sword of War and Peace. However, I never really saw the early drops that my deck needed (which I found happened when I drafted non-mono red aggro decks in the Magic Online Cube) and ended up with a rather odd deck that I wouldn’t even call aggro when all is said and done. In retrospect, some of the inclusions look really awkward because of it (Stormblood Berserker with only a single one-drop to support it?!). I ended up taking some green midrange cards during the tail end of the draft, and I really should have jumped on that ship as my deck would have been much better.

Just note that when you’re making an actual Cube aggro deck, make sure that you have a lot of one-drops in the deck as they’re vital to get the early damage in since the early beaters are the bread and butter of the deck. Check out the sample Mono Red deck from my friend Anthony Avitollo’s article as that’s the way you want your red-based aggro (not JUST Mono Red) decks to look!

Regardless, this is what my deck ended up as:

All in all, the deck would likely have been a better midrange deck as I didn’t really have the creature support that I would have liked to make it an aggressive deck; the manlands were particularly important to get me even remotely close to the creature count that I’d want for an "attack deck." Like with several cards in the Magic Online Cube, this draft really sold me on Geralf’s Messenger. I was testing the card in my cube and wasn’t fully sold on the card, thinking it was mainly just going to be used in mono-black decks or nearly mono-black decks, but the card worked very well in my deck even with this deck’s rather anemic mana fixing.

When I was recording the replay footage, I was quite rusty with the Magic Online interface and a few times in the draft and that unfamiliarity hit me pretty hard. (You’ll know what I mean when you see those moments in the footage.) I also chose to block out the usernames of the opponents in the draft along with myself, but in retrospect it was rather awkward for me to do so as no one really does that in any form of recorded Magic and it really doesn’t make any sense to do so. Ah well, lessons learned!

Match 1 Game 1

Match 1 Game 2

Match 2 Game 1

Match 2 Game 2

Match 2 Game 3

Match 3 Game 1

Match 3 Game 2

Match 3 Game 3

As I said earlier, if there was a direction that my deck should have taken it would have been as a R/G/B midrange deck, splashing for things like Void, Volrath’s Stronghold, Lavaclaw Reaches, and Bone Shredder, utilizing the green midrange cards that I got later in the draft to take advantage of the midrange leanings of the deck. I would have had to cut some very powerful cards that wouldn’t have worked well in the deck like Hymn to Tourach, Geralf’s Messenger, Gravecrawler, Stormblood Berserker, and Sulfuric Vortex but the overall deck would have been much better. Thankfully, I went with that route as I went with the more midrange build to "go over the top" in match 3.

May all of your opening packs contain Sol Rings!

@UsmanTheRad  on Twitter
My blog featuring my cube lists: http://idratherbecubing.wordpress.com — including AVR changes to my cube!
Cube podcast that I and Anthony Avitollo co-host: The Third Power