Drafting Digest: Hypercube

Ryan Saxe brings you more Vintage Cube action! If you’re into forcing Storm, he has some spicy picks today…

Vintage Cube is a wonderful experience, and if you aren’t drafting it right now, you probably should go online and do so as soon as possible. My favorite archetype to draft, along with plenty of other players, is Storm! So it’s possible you’ll see some of that bias in this draft…

Pack 1, Pick 3

The Picks So Far:

The Pack:

The Pick:

First off, I want to say that Show and Tell isn’t actually a good choice out of this pack, but I felt I should include it in the poll, as many players may not know this. Show and Tell is often quite a good strategy in Legacy Cubes, but in Vintage Cube too many players are trying to cheat in large creatures and hence the symmetric effect doesn’t break as often as you would think.

Vedalken Shackles falls into a similar category as Show and Tell, except it’s still a good card in Vintage Cube. The problem is that enough decks don’t play good creatures that you can take with the card, and hence I don’t like taking it early. I’ll play it in my decks with artifact synergies or my control decks with enough Islands, but other than that I’m not really looking to prioritize it.

So we’re left with two mana rocks, Everflowing Chalice and Gilded Lotus. Often, when deciding between two cards in Cube, the heuristic is to take the cheaper one. However, here I’m going to take Gilded Lotus. As I previously mentioned, I very much enjoy drafting Storm, and even though Chalice can work for storm count, I believe Lotus is a better mana-rock for that deck. The reasoning for this is that pretty much any time a Storm deck gets access to cards like Lion’s Eye Diamond or Black Lotus, they can win on the turn they use it. Well, if the turn after you cast Gilded Lotus is likely to be the turn you win, taking that card makes a lot of sense!

Pack 1, Pick 8

The Picks So Far:

Between the Lion’s Eye Diamond and my preferences, I’m pretty certain I’ll be going for a Storm deck. That being said, this start is phenomenal for a variety of combo decks, so don’t put on your blinders just yet.

The Pack:

The Pick:

Between Jace, Architect of Thought and Bloodstained Mire, I think I would take the fetchland. While card advantage is extremely important for any combo deck, mana consistency is even more important. If I didn’t already have a Watery Grave, this decision would be closer, but with a fetchable Island, I think Bloodstained Mire is a much better pick than Jace, especially considering the fact that High Tide is a card I may want to play and that Storm is most often U/B with some potential splashes.

So, if I wouldn’t take Jace over Bloodstained Mire, why am I considering Shallow Grave? Well, I’m still taking the Bloodstained Mire here, but considering Shallow Grave is important for two reasons. First and foremost, Reanimator is a good strategy in this Cube, and this is one of the best Reanimator spells for Eldrazi titans. And with Lion’s Eye Diamond as a discard outlet, Shallow Grave’s potential looks high. Furthermore, one of the best versions of Storm uses cards like Shallow Grave to get Griselbrand on the battlefield, draw fourteen or 21 cards, and win the game on the spot. So I’m taking the Bloodstained Mire here, but there’s good reason to consider Shallow Grave.

In fact, I think at the end of this draft, I would have traded Bloodstained Mire for Shallow Grave in a heartbeat because I was not splashing and ended up in the Griselbrand version of Storm. You can see this draft in action in this Twitch video-on-demand!

And here’s where I ended up: