Draft Digest: Tinkering Around The Edges

When a Vintage Cube Draft starts with Tinker, the possibilities are endless, but you can’t just phone your picks in! Ryan Saxe guides you through a good problem to have!

I have been having an absolute blast with Vintage Cube. Who needs to play fair? Maybe we can do something busted with this draft too:

Pack 1, Pick 2

The Picks So Far:

This is exactly how I want to start my drafts. We have an absolutely busted card, so let’s take some artifacts and hopefully a Blightsteel Colossus.

The Pack:

The Pick:

This pack has four pretty great options for the Tinker deck. I’m pretty sure it’s between the two lands, though, as both cards are quite busted. While I like speculating on an early Trinket Mage, the other options are better. If this were a blue Signet, it would be in the running, but Selesnya Signet is probably the worst Signet for this deck (it is still very good, of course).

Shelldock Isle is one of the best blue cards in Vintage Cube. It’s hugely underrated, I always take it early, and I’m in a strategy looking to play broken, expensive, cards like Blightsteel Colossus and Sundering Titan. But if we are looking to play a Tinker deck, which obviously we are, I’m pretty sure the other land is going to be better.

Ancient Tomb is a pretty stupid card in most decks, but in a deck looking to play tons and tons of artifacts, especially the mana rocks, it gets completely out of hand. This card combined with any Mox enables a turn 1 Tinker, and it pretty easily enables four mana on turn 2 to drop something like Smokestack or Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas. I’m going to take it here. While Shelldock Isle can do very broken things, Ancient Tomb will do just that on a more consistent basis.

Pack 1, Pick 4

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

Thirst for Knowledge is a very good card, but card advantage isn’t too hard to come by in this Cube. There are so many cards that work in this vein that I only prioritize the best of the best like Ancestral Recall, Dig Through Time, etc. It probably won’t wheel, as it’s blue, but I should be able to get that effect consistently.

Hangarback Walker is pretty good in the Tinker decks, but quite overrated in my opinion. You see, the deck doesn’t often care about incremental value, and while it’s a nice thing to do on turn 2, a good mana sink that gives value when you Tinker, none of those really matter as much as you would think in an average game with the deck. I would rather play cards like Winter Orb or mana rocks, as they are more “on plan.” Win as quickly as possible, or lock your opponent out until you find the proper pieces.

Fixing may be boring, but it’s extremely important in Cube. I have heard the argument that you don’t need to prioritize fixing in a deck like this because so many of your spells are artifacts. And while that does have merit, remember that you almost always end up flush with playables at the end of a Cube draft. Making your mana consistent is extremely important, and the other options aren’t such stand-outs that I think you should take them over a premium fetchland in Misty Rainforest. So that’s what I’m taking, and maybe I’ll get to splash something cool.

By the end of this draft (which was stressful, as I didn’t pick up Blightsteel Colossus until the second-to-last possible pack), I had a sweet five-color Tinker deck. It was base U/B splashing for Kolaghan’s Command, Bring to Light, Shardless Agent, and Balance. That Misty Rainforest pick really paid off!