Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of the Magic Show. This week we’re going to revisit one of my text articles from last year and focus on the Cube. What is the cube? It’s 410 cards of pure joy, and if you’ve warmed up to the latest Type 4 craze, I think you’ll dig this too.
Gleaming The Cube
Last April I wrote a nice, long piece on The Cube. The Cube, which is ironically not in a cube shape at all, is 50 of the best cards in each color, 50 of the best artifacts and lands, and 60 multicolor cards. Multicolor gets ten more than the rest, one for each three-color combination.
The balance of the colors is important, as every color but Green and Blue get twenty-five creatures and spells. Green of course has more creatures than spells, and Blue, being the best color in Magic, has more spells than creatures. It certainly seems fitting.
What makes The Cube so damn special? Here’s how my buddy EJ sums it up:
[[CLIP: “The cube is broken, and that’s the point.”]]
Its kind of like drafting Vintage. You get to play with what are arguably the most powerful cards a mage can wield, particularly in a Limited environment, and are given the tools for a variety of decks. One of the most fun things you can do is add and remove cards, and relish in the subsequent arguments over their power levels. Let’s take for instance this conversation on Vesuvan Shapeshifter’s new addition to The Cube.
[[Vesuvan Shapeshifter versus Meloku argument]]
But if you talk about how good certain cards are, what about cards that are overrated in The Cube? Here’s one that may shock you:
[[CLIP — Black Lotus is overrated]]
And then of course you have the cards that sneak up on you…
[[CLIP — Scroll Rack]]
Basically you want to build a Cube where the following is true:
[[CLIP — 15th Pick]]
However, the most important thing to note about The Cube is not that you can just draft a bunch of good cards and win. Drafting the Cube, or rather, drafting it well, means that you draft to archetype, not to preference. Here are a few favorite archetypes from some friends of mine.
[[CLIPS — Archetypes — U/R Bounce, Reanimator, Weenie, Mono Red, U/G]]
There are plenty of other archetypes as well, such as Black/White control. A slow deck like that one also relies a lot on discard elements. But those can be dangerous in The Cube, as you’ll see…
[[CLIP — Topdeck]]
Simply, it takes more than picking an archetype to succeed. Here are a few tips from Cube veterans:
[[CLIPS — Tips: Hate draft, Lands, Reusable abilities]]
And of course, no Cube draft would be complete without a kick ass Bad Beat story:
[[CLIPS — Bad Beat Story]]
My friend Joe is convinced he knows why I like The Cube so much.
[[CLIP — Hyperbole]]
What can I say, I love me some exciting adjectives.
Anyway, as you can see, I love my Cube. I think it’s a hell of a draft format. And while it may not be Type 4 with its free mana and insane stacks, it’s just as skill testing, fun, and rewarding. I’m extremely happy to have The Cube back up and running with modern cards and look forward to many updates as new sets are released. I’m also scheduling Gaddock Teeg and Brion Stoutarm for inclusion before the next go-around.
Speaking of Lorwyn, how about those new, official previews?
The Official Lorwyn Sneak Peeks
In this week’s rundown I get to include myself and buddies’ take on the Monday spoilers. First up we take a look at Timber Protector, the card that Mark Rosewater said would make you say “wow”…
[[CLIP — Timber Protector]]
And I mean that. Timber Protector may not make a long-lasting impact, but I’m sure in both block and Standard you’ll see him around. I know he looks like Timmy’s Dreamboat, but again, with such an easy to squeeze in mana cost, a hell of an efficient body to boot, once two hit the board, they’re virtually never going away. Cruel Edict hasn’t been played in ages, and there is no more Barter in Blood. Not a card I would quickly dismiss.
Next up we talk about the card which actually made me say wow, Gaddock Teeg, whose name I couldn’t recall at the time.
[[CLIP — Gaddock Teeg]]
Continuing on here, this little fella is going to change the game for a long time. Hyperbole or no, this guy will forever be a Vintage Fish staple, and will be causing havoc with Tarmogoyf in Standard and Extended for some time. There’s just something incredibly alluring about a card that says “no.” And as long as you can keep him out there, just like Meddling Mage, something that denies cards outright will always find a place. And this one denies a whole bunch, including solid win conditions in old formats (Tendrils of Agony) and new (Tendrils of Corruption).
Next we talk a little bit about Shapeshifters.
[[CLIP — Shapeshifters]]
Lastly let’s take a look at what will no doubt be future chase rares, the dual land cycle. Oh yes ladies and gents, there is a dual land cycle and it is frickin’ sweet.
You ready for this jelly? Let’s go:
As Secluded Glen comes into play, you may reveal a Faerie card from you hand, if you do, Secluded comes into play untapped. Otherwise, it comes into play tapped
T: add U or B to your mana pool
The others known so far are a G/W dual for Kithkin, and B/G for Elves. Wow! Now these are some seriously impressive tribal lands. I absolutely love ‘em. I can’t wait to try them out. Be sure to pick yours up as soon as possible.
So that’s a look at Lorwyn for this week. But what about the Invitational Card?
You Make The Invitational Card — Part 4
Okay everybody, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for. It’s time to submit card ideas. But first, take a look at the potential artist for this card. Look at this picture sent to me by Brenden Hickey. He’s set to become an art teacher, and is well on his way. I want to thank him for this awesome artwork and for the hair on my head I no longer have.
Anyway, after we choose a card idea I’ll send it his way for a quick sketch. This is just something to get the juices flowing.
So here’s what I need from you: I need the cost, rules text, and power, and toughness only. Flavor text selection is after mechanic selection, so including it is wasting my time.
There are only two rules: You may only post one card idea. If you post two ideas, I’ll only consider at the last one. And you must submit the idea on the StarCityGames.com forum. No YouTube messages are eligible. Sorry, it’s just easier to keep track of that way.
Next week we’ll take my favorite 8 ideas and pair them with two of my own suggestions, and from those ten you guys will vote for the card I submit to Wizards as my Invitational prize. Sound like fun? Then join in!
And that’s all for this week, everybody. So until next time Magic players, this is Evan Erwin, tapping the cards so you don’t have to.
[[SPECIAL CLIP — Outtake: The Rap Song]]
Evan “misterorange” Erwin
dubya dubya dubya dot misterorange dot com
eerwin +at+ gmail +dot+ com
Written while waiting for Wizards to show me another preview card.
Appendix — Cube List
Decree of Justice
Pulse of the Fields
Return To Dust
Swords to Plowshares
Wrath of God
Akroma, Angel of Wrath
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Magus of the Disk
Mother of Runes
Order of Leitbur
Yosei, the Morning Star
Fact or Fiction
Force of Will
Pact of Negation
Stroke of Genius
Thirst for Knowledge
Keiga, the Tide Star
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Ninja of the Deep Hours
Teferi, Mage of Zhalfir
Uyo, Silent Prophet
Venser, Shaper Savant
Beacon of Unrest
Hymn to Tourach
Cao, Cao, Lord of Wei
Chainer, Dementia Master
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni
Kagemaro, First to Suffer
Knight of Stromgald
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Korlash, Heir to Blackblade
Visara the Dreadful
Genju of the Spires
Hammer of Bogardan
Pact of the Titan
Forge[/author]“]Pulse of the [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]
Wheel of Fortune
Word of Seizing
Akroma, Angel of Fury
Jaya Ballard, Task Mage
Kiki-Jiki Mirror Breaker
Kumano, Master Yamabushi
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Call of the Herd
Defense of the Heart
Pattern of Rebirth
Survival of the Fittest
Birds of Paradise
Kamahl, Fist of Krosa
Kodama of the North Tree
Wall of Blossoms
Sensei’s Divining Top
Talisman of Dominance
Talisman of Impulse
Talisman of Indulgence
Talisman of Progress
Talisman of Unity
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Grand Arbiter Augustin IV
Kaervek the Merciless
Burning Tree Shaman
Glare of Subdual
Angel of Despair
Niv-Mizzet, the Firemind
Simic Sky Swallower
Rith, the Awakener
Teneb, the Harvester
Vorosh, the Hunter
Intet, the Dreamer
Library of Alexandria
Maze of Ith
Miren, the Moaning Well
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth
Forge[/author]“]Battlefield [author name="Forge"]Forge[/author]
Caves of Koilos
City of Brass