Tuesday, December 17, 2013

MTG - Enlarging the cube!

I listened to Episode 14 of Joy of Cubing while marking at work and decided to enlarge my cube.  Also the Commander 2013 decks provided some cool cards you can't normally find easily.

In the beginning I made my cube 450 cards so that it could draft 8 people with a few extra left overs so each draft would be different.  It was a good size for my group but I had a hard time fitting everything that I wanted.  So things like cool creatures, or cool spells or answers to said cool creatures/spells were sometimes hard to balance.  If I included too many cool creatures they needed answers or games came down to who could play their bomb first as no one had an answer to it.  Similarly if I had too many answers, no one could run the bomby creatures as they would come in and then leave before anything would happen.

Playing sealed was also kind of strange as the pools were kind of all over the place.  No one really got enough of any one theme and we would end up with weird decks that had little or no synergy.  Mind you that is kind of what Sealed is like at times but at least in regular sealed formats the card pool is limited and you can get multiples of cards in regular sealed.  My Cube is highlander (I think most cubes are) so the kind of redundancy in normal sealed is non-existent.

Of course enlarging the cube can dilute some themes but at the same time allows me to add more cards for each theme and in different colours.  Some deck types might even emerge that I didn't think about.  Regardless it should be lots of fun.

On to the additions!  (The full cube list can be found here)

To white I added the following
Each card helps the white themes I had intended, namely tokens, weenie aggro and some control extras.  I know Gift of Immortality doesn't actually work with the heroic mechanic but it's not in there for that deck type.  There are a number of enters the battle field creatures in white (and the other colours) and I thought Gift of Immortality would be pretty amusing with them (especially with a sacrifice outlet like Mortar Pod).

To green I added
Some more mana fixing, mana acceleration and efficient creatures.  Also some more heroic triggers and another giant beater (Green can never have enough giant beaters).  Leeching Bite is especially useful as it can trigger heroic for two creatures or be used to swing a combat in your favour and even removal for any 1 toughness creatures.

Red gets
More dragons, more burn and some nifty tricks.  The extra burn will help red based aggro decks close out games and dragons are always cool.  This will make my mono-red friend happy I think.

The additions to blue are
Additional ways to draw cards, to prevent yourself from dying, to mill your opponent and to finish the game after the board state is locked up with more fliers.  Talrand, Sky Summoner provides another creature for Izzet Blitz decks and can be an alternative finisher for blue based mill decks.

Black gets a little more necromantic with these additions.
A few more reanimator cards and some more removal.  Mono-black will be interesting and if you can get Buried Alive and Phyrexian Delver it will make reanimation really interesting (and they are from the Premium Deck Series so my cube got a little shinier!).  Can't wait to see someone play Buried Alive for Sharuum the Hegemon, Sphinx of the Steel Wind and Phyrexian Delver and then bring them all into play by reanimating Phyrexian Delver!

I only added a few artifacts, Runechanter's Pike to help the Izzet Blitz decks and Door of Destinies for tribal decks (though there isn't a lot of tribal themes in my cube aside from humans and soldiers and wizards)  and I swapped out Sphere of the Suns for a Sol Ring.  I might try to get all of the shard obelisks and some more dual lands to replace the Cluestones/Keyrunes later but for now I'll leave them as is.

To the gold section
Added one more card of each of the shards for anyone who drafts that combination and more things to exemplify the style of each of the guilds.  And while the last five are land and not actually gold cards, you wouldn't really play them outside the colours that their abilities need.

And finally, to support the various colour pairings I added the full set of Core set dual lands
the Alara shard lands
and a random assortment of enemy coloured land
in addition to the full set of guild gates already present.  I will eventually get the full set of Innistrad dual lands and also the complete Temple cycle of Theros block once they are all out.  More mana fixing is never bad and will let players try things like 5 colour control or multi-colour aggro decks which will really make deck building exciting.

Can't wait to try the new cube out this holiday break!

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