So for a while I've been wanting to create a cube. The thing is, I'll probably only be able to get 4 people together to draft it, instead of the 6-8 usually preferred for draft pods.
With that in mind, I've been thinking about what can make a 4-person cube better. It seems the usual issue with a 4-person draft pod is that the pool of available cards is much smaller, so you can't get as much synergy. Also, the split of colors can be awkward, with one player possibly getting a vastly more open color.
Just adding more packs to the draft is the usual solution, but I'm wondering if I can solve it in other ways (since that adds time and cards/sleeves needed).
More hybrid cards, to give each player a higher proportion of playables.
More split cards
More cards that can fulfull multiple roles in archetypes. For example, Dreampod Druid could work in an Auras deck or a Go-Wide/Aristocrats deck. I'm also planning on creating custom cards for the cube, so I could really hit multiple archetypes in a targetted way.
Making one color much more heavily represented, ala Black in Torment. This way the 4 players can fight over the remaining 4 colors instead of over 5. And it gives an opportunity for a very unique experience and vibe.
A focus on multi-color decks, with 3-4 colors being quite possible. To avoid the opposite end where every player is just playing 5 color goodstuff, maybe I could have one or two cycles of "reject a color" cards. For example:
Embodiment of Grace 4W
Creature - Angel
Whenever you cast a black spell, sacrifice Embodiment of Grace.
Embodiment of Law 3W
Creature - Angel
Whenever you cast a red spell, sacrifice Embodiment of Law.
Any thoughts and strategies on how to make a 4-person draft work well, with card choice?
I would use a regular-sized cube and just Glimpse/Sight draft it instead. Information about those formats are the pinned tweet on my Twitter homepage (link below). Game-changer for 2-4 player draft events, IMHO.
Make your cube first then get feedback from your drafters, its much easier to fine tune your enviroment than theory craft it. The best way to make a cube is just to build one with what you have and develop it over time.
Cubes work with any ammount of people, the decks might just be a little less refined due to not seeing all the cards.
To be honest I dont mind haveing a large undrafted section, it helps variety a bit since not every card shows up in each draft.
We regularly play with 2-4 players from my ~450 card cube with a mix of sealed and draft. We used to do do "pick 1, ban 1" but decks, whilst more streamlined, lacked variety.
We draft four people all the time. We do packs of nine, and just draft regularly. Works well for us. I don’t think I’d want to have a small cube for that purpose, as it gets pretty boring seeing the exact same cards every time. My cube is 500 cards btw.
We just straight up draft regular packs. However, the easiest thing to do is shrink the pack size and draft more packs. That way players get more pick ones. Still, I don't think you actually have to do anything. Definitely don't try and build your cube for 4 person draft. A balanced cube will yield a balanced environment.
We usually draft with 4 people. I have a 360 card cube that I split into 24 packs of 15. Everyone gets 6 packs.
We do 2 rounds of pick per pack, then burn the last 7 cards per pack. This way everyone ends up with 48 picks and the entire cube is "seen."
The decks end up quite strong.
You don't actually have to change anything. I've done plenty of four person drafts with 3 packs of 15 cards, and it works.
Deck quality is less than in 8-person pods, but it's the same standard for each player, so it balances. The main thing is that you need to keep a close eye on available colors. If three people are in black and nobody is in white, you generally do best to abandon black in favor of white, even if your first pick was a great black card. You'll start to notice the trends as the packs keep coming back.
But all the other suggestions people have made are great too. See what your playgroup is willing to try, and what they like to do.
I've done a lot of 4 people drafts and the deck quality does suffer somewhat. One suggestion I would have to helping to support lower number of people drafts is to increase the number of lands per guild. i would add 1-2 per guild and 1 per shard. Encouraging tri-color or quad color decks increases the number of "playables" in the drafts.
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I'm actively maintaining a comprehensive article to help explain to new cube players how some complex vintage level cards work in a cube environment.