This guide is intended to provide a rough guideline for the minimum number of cards required to support the major given archetypes. This is mostly a compilation of calculations/ theories performed by other cube curators.

There are several recent discussion that really motivated me to write this article. The issue right now is there are a very large number of very strong cards that are almost good enough for a cube, but are they frequently cut because the every slot is incredibly competitive.

I'm not arguing that Hallowed Spiritkeeper isn't playable or all of those cards are better but when thinking we need to keep the rest of the CMC in mind.

Every one of the cards listed above are incredibly strong and competitive in a variety of strategies.
- Hallowed SpiritKeeer, Mentor of the Meek are great for Aristocrats/ Pod
- Mirror Entity/ Lingering Souls/ Spectral Procession are great for tokens
- Flickerwisp/ Blade Splicer are great for flicker etc.

The problem arises is often something on the lines of this:
- If I cut Flickerwisp, does my flicker/ Moat deck lack the minimum support to function?
- If I cut Spectral Procession, would I lose enough tokens for my token/ Polymoprh deck?
- Mirror Entity is really good in the aristocrats deck to pump my team to 4/4, then I could use it remove my board and trigger Blood Artist 5 times to drain the opponent. If I cut Mirror, would the aristocrats deck lose its sufficient consistency in a draft?
- Charming Prince, Gideon Blackblade, Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Exalted Angel, Archangel of Thune all provide incidental lifegain. What density of lifegain payoffs would I need in order for a successful lifegain deck?
etc.

For this article, I will be compiling the minimum amount of support each archetype requires to function sufficiently in a draft. This will hopefully help cube curators identify which archetypes/ support cards could be trimmed for new additions/ archetypes.

The goal of this forum is to provide a sample analysis of how I arrived at the numbers for my cube but as always, these numbers should be revised for different levels of consistency and fine tuned/ tested over time.

As always, positive, constructive discussions are always valued.

Archetypes will be ranked by their ability to function as a value deck. For example, a Blue-White Flicker deck could perform incredibly well if it only has 1-2 flicker enablers and the rest of the deck is filled with value creatures/ control spells. The same could not be said for a deck like storm/ reanimator. Therefore, the recommended minimum support for these archetypes will be slightly increased.

For calculating the minimum number of cards required to support an archetype, I will be comparing the archetype to a similar construct deck to determine the number of reanimation spells/ fatties/ discard outlets required. Cube decks are less consistent than their constructed counter parts. For this reason, I will be using 70% of their number.

For example, BR reanimator in legacy has 12 reanimation, 12-16 discard outlets (Looting, Entomb but also Thoughseize/ Cabal Therapy) and 10 fatties. Cube decks are 40 cards, are therefore the numbers are roughly scale to 5-6 reanimation, 5-6 Discard Outlets and 5-6 fatties. (12 * (2/3 for 40 card deck size) * (0.7 for cube consistency) = 5.6)

The minimum number of cards required for each archetype will be determined as such:
- Assume 720 card cube. (This number could be increased/ decreased by ratio based on the size of your cube)
- Assume 360 cards will be opened in a draft
- Assume 60% of the enablers for the archetype are opened in the 360 card draft (There is variance when opening 360 out of 720 cards in a cube draft. Strong drafters will gravitate towards open archetypes)
- Assume 60% of the enablers specific for an archetype will wheel to the player drafting the deck. (e.g. Entomb for Reanimator, Lion's Eye Diamond for Storm, Fireblast for mono-red etc)

The enablers that are strong in a variety of strategies will also count towards the required count, but will be penalized by a general 0.5 for its unlikeliness to wheel. (e.g. Black Lotus is good for storm, Skullclamp for Aristocrats but they are strong in large variety of archetypes and are much less likely to wheel) *See Enabler Count Penalizer for more detail.

* These are rough numbers and could be tuned depending on your cube group, but these are the numbers I will be using.

Suppose Storm requires 7 sources of fast mana to function in a 40 card deck.

In order for storm to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 7.
- 11.67 pieces of fast mana need to be opened.

X total number of Fast mana * (60% of enablers opened) = 11.67
- 18.6 pieces of fast mana are required for the cube for storm to function.

* These assumptions could be further fine tuned. For more experienced draft groups, the assumption of 60% of the enablers specific cards will be drafted by the player in the archetype could be increased to 65%.

Furthermore, if the playgroup would like the improve the consistency of various archetypes, the assumption of 70% consistency could be increased 80% etc.

There is a second key factor that needs to be considered when aggregating the minimum number of required cards for an archetype. For example, fast mana such as Black Lotus and Sol Ring are very good source of fast mana for Storm decks, but its not reasonable to expect this card to wheel. On the other hand, Lion's Eye Diamond, Seething Song are excellent source of fast mana for storm that will likely wheel.

Suppose this extreme case, a cube contains 12 black lotus, 1 mana crypt, 1 mana vault, 1 of each moxen, 1 dark ritual, 1 cabal ritual, 1 seething song, 1 high tide, 1 frantic search, 1 Goblin Electromancer, 1 Pyretic Ritual, 1 Desperate Ritual. There are 23 sources of fast mana - well above the recommended 18.6 pieces of fast mana required for storm to function effective, but its unlikely for the storm deck to function effectively given that Black Lotus will likely be picked up by other strategies and won't wheel to the storm player. For this extreme example, the storm player would likely not have the required amount of fast mana required for a storm deck.

On the other hand, if a cube contains 23 weaker storm support cards, the deck would also likely suffer. Therefore, a penalizer of 0.5 will need to be applied for weaker support enablers + cards unlikely the wheel.

Here is an example:
- 1 Point will be given to Lion's Eye Diamond - (1 point for Strong Enabler/ but also likely to wheel)
- 0.5 Points will be given to Black Lotus - (0.5 for Strong Enabler/ but not likely to wheel)
- 0.5 Points for will be given to Pyretic Ritual and Goblin Electromancer - (0.5 for Decent Enabler/ but likely to wheel)
- 0.25 Points will be given to Birds of Paradise - (0.25 for Decent Enabler/ but also not likely to wheel)

* For simplicity, I will be writing penalizer applier for card X. The reason should generally be self sufficient

Efficient tutors will start at the baseline of 0.5. They will be penalized if they are more playable in other archetypes:
- Demonic Tutor is a good storm support card, but it is a high pick for both midrange and control decks and therefore will count as 0.25
- Dark Petition is another good support card for storm, but it is unlikely to be picked up by other strageties. Therefore, it will count as 0.5

* These penalizers/ numbers are roughly estimates - More fine tuned penalizer evaluations are strongly encouraged.

The color distribution/ synergy of the enablers should also be taken into account. For example, the Melira Combo enablers are distributed among any non-blue colors - but players should not be expected to draft a 4 color deck. Similarly, storm combo pieces are primarily in Grixis, but players could splash green. Also, aggressive decks should stay in primarily 1-2 colors, given their need for mana consistency on their initial turns.

For simplicity, I found the best way to handle this issue is this:
- The Melira Combo/ Aristocrats deck will assume the player will be playing Abzan/ Mardu colors.
- The aggressive decks will be any two color, non-blue combination. For simplicity, a turn 1 Llanowar Elves is equally strong as a turn 1 Soldier of the Pantheon. (This may not be the case for more burn heavy aggressive decks, but I found this to be a fair assumption. If this is not the case, these numbers should be re-computed with only green 1 mana 2/1 in the computations)
- For simplicity, I will assume all payoffs that require a high density of artifacts - Goblin Welder, Tolarian Academy, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas etc. are all desired by the artifacts archetype.

Finally, I will be having a specific section to handle the calculations for storm - especially given that it is not a safe assumption to assume the enablers/ fast mana in Ritual storm, untap storm and Dream Halls/ Bolas Citadel work equally well in all three archetypes.

* These are over simplified calculations. I strongly recommend cube curators more familiar with the archetype to further fine-tune these calculations based on their specific expectations.

SOI Aristocrats in Standard: https://mtgtop8.com/event?e=12179&d=269922&f=ST
- 4 Sacrifice Outlets
- 4 Aristocrats + 2 Liliana Heretical Healer/ 4 Catacomb Sifter (Weak Death Trigger - count as half) - Roughly 7 Aristocrats
- 4 Collected Company + 4 Duskwatch Recruiter - Very strong creature tutor. Add 4 to each category
Total:
- 8 Sacrifice Outlets
- 11 Aristocrats

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 8 Aristocrats and 8 Sacrifice Outlets. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5 sacrifice outlets + 5 Aristocrats. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency, we would require roughly 3.5 Aristocrats/ 3.5 sacrifice outlets in a cube aristocrats deck to function.

In order for Aristocrats to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 6
- 6 Aristocrats Opened

X total number of Aristocrats * (60% of enablers opened) = 6
- 10 Aristocrats/ Sacrifice Outlets are required for an aristocrats deck to function.

* For simplicity, cheat from hand on to the field are considered reanimation spells such as Through the breach, Sneak attack etc.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 10 Discard outlets, 10 reanimation spells 10 fatties. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 7 Discard Outlets, 7 Reanimation Spells and 7 Fatties. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 5 of each.

It would be ideal to have roughly 5 fatties, 5 discard outlets and 5 reanimation spells for a reanimator deck to function.

In order for Reanimator to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 5
- 8 Opened.

X total number of Reanimator * (60% of enablers opened) = 8
- 13.6 discard outlets/ reanimation spells.

Using these numbers, there should be a minimum of 13.6 discard outlets, reanimation spells and fatties.

* The reanimator deck does not pivot effectively into other strategies. It is essential these decks have the recommended minimum support needed to function. As a result, the minimum number of discard outlets, reanimation spells and fatties will be artificially increased to 15.

* It is not unusual to see reanimator decks on turns 3-4 Dark Ritual/ Grim Monolith into Wurmcoil Engine/ Grave Titan. These could also be countered as half.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 8 Flicker Enablers. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5.3 Flicker Enablers. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 3.85 Flicker.

It would be ideal to have roughly 3.85 flicker enablers.

In order for Flicker to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 3.85
- 6.4 Opened.

X total number of Flicker * (60% of enablers opened) = 6.4
- 10.6 Flicker Enablers

Using these numbers, there should be a minimum of 10.6 Flicker enablers.

* The flicker deck can function very effectively as a midrange creature deck without a flicker support. Therefore, the minimum number of flicker enablers will be artificially lowered to 9, however the recommended number will remain at 10.

The number of ETB creatures should be plentiful in cube.

Given a 60 card deck, 14 1-drops, and 7 card opening hand, there is a 86% chance of opening with a 1 drop. If this number is 8 1-drops, it lowers to roughly 65%.

Traditionally red decks would like to open with a 1 drop - Zoo strategies in eternal formats would mulligan any hand without a 1-drop. However, decks like Ramunap red/ Legacy burn could function very effectively with only 8 drops, but they would require burn spells/ reach in the form of Sulfuric Vortex/ Hazoret, the Frevent to consistently win the game.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be a minimum of 8 1-drops. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5.3 1-drops. However, since density of 1-drops are essential for this deck's strategy, this number will not be scaled downwards for the consistent of draft decks.

In order for 1-Drops to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 5.3
- 8.8 Opened.

X total number of Aristocrats * (60% of enablers opened) = 8.8
- 14.6 1-Drops.

* If these numbers are used for 14 1-drops, this number is increased to 25.5.
* 1-drops are often good addition for tempo based aggro decks/ Aristocrats. These decks could function off a slightly lower number, this number is decreased to 11.

There are usually multiple players drafting aggressive strategies. Suppose there are 3 expected aggressive decks in a 8 player draft, 1 is red aggro (14.6 1-drops), 1 aristocrats (11 1-drops), 1 White-Red midrange (11 1 drops).

Then the expected number is around 36.6 1-drops.

* This number should be tuned depending on your expected meta.

* 6 Card Advantage Engines, 4 threats that survive WildFire

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 25 artifact ramp, 6 WildFire effects. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 17 Ramp effects, 4 WildFire. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 11.9 Ramp effects, 2.8 WildFire effects.

* Card Advantage Engines/ Threats that survive WildFire are plentiful and will not be computed.

WildFire Effects:

In order for WildFire to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 2.8
- 4.6 Opened.

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 4.6
- 7.6 WildFire Effects

Artifact Ramp:

In order for Artifacto be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 11.9
- 19.8 Artifact Ramp

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 19.8
- 33 Artifact Ramp

Thus, in order for an all-in WildFire deck, there needs to be 7.6 WildFire Effects + 33 Artifact/ Land Ramp spells.

* This number could be reduced given the flexibility of the archetype.

* This number could be improved with presence of tutors

The list of commonly played artifact ramp in cube:
* All these effects are desired by other archetypes and will be penalized by 0.5
- There are roughly 42 mana rocks + 2 Sol Lands (City of Traitors/ Ancient Tomb) + 1 Misrha's Workshop
- Dark Ritual/ Seething Song + 2-3 Green 3 mana ramp could also count towards this number.

This would give roughly 25 - short of the required 33 Artifact Ramp.

* There aren't sufficient mana rocks to naturally support a wildfire archetype, and thus the number of wildfire variants are trimmed to the lower bound of 5-6 and these archetypes function closer to ramp/ control decks rather than its Standard All-In variant.

Modern Melira Combo: https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/577266#paper
- 5 Persist Enablers
- 5 Persist Creatures
- 2 Sacrifice Outlets.
- 8 Creature Tutors - Collected Company + Chord of Calling

* Roughly Melria Pod/ Company have a fixed 5 Persist creatures. Somewhere between 1-5 persist enablers, and 1-3 sacrifice outlets. However, they consistently have 7-8 creature tutors.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, 5 Persist Creatures. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 3.3 persist creatures. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 2.3 Persist creatures

Persist Creatures:

In order for Melira Combo to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 2.3
- 3.8 Opened.

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 3.8
- 6.3 Persist Creatures in Cube

Sacrifice Outlets:
- 2.5 Sacrifice Outlets in the cube
- 0.9 sacrifice outlets in the melira deck (this should be rounded up to 1)

* The final number should take into account the expected number of aristocrats decks as that deck would like sacrifice outlets as well.

Creature Tutors:
- 10.3 Creature tutors in the Cube
- 3.71 in the the melira deck

* There may not be enough good creature tutors + persist creature to mimic a melira deck - they may be substituted with extra sacrifice outlets + recursion engines/ value creatures.

* Penalizers will need to be applied to Kitchen Finks/ Murderous Redcap for its playabiity in other archetypes.

* Similarly, Penaliszers will also need to be applied to creature tutors/ sacrifice outlets etc.

* This is list is filled with more value based creature, than engine pieces.

In my first article, Vintage Cube Explained in section #15 Melira Combo, I ran the numbers with a sample of enablers in Red, Green, white, and black and concluded any non-blue tri color combination is sufficient in supporting the Melira Combo.

For simplicity, the Melira combo should be restricted to Abzan and the Aristocrats deck should be restricted to Mardu. It is possible to recompute these numbers such that - all non-blue tri colors could be used to support Melira and all non-blue tri colors minus Naya could support Aristocrats, however the balancing and drafting gets slightly tricky.

There is often a question on how many of each dual land is required for a given cube. Here are some basic numbers:

- Suppose a draft deck has 16 lands (aggressive strategy) and it has 8 of each (Mountain and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 82% chance of opening with either land in a given 7 card hand. If there are 2 dual lands, i.e. 10 of each source, this number increases to 89%.

- Suppose a draft deck has 18 lands (midrange/ control strategy) and it has 6 of each (Mountain, Island, Swamp). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 71% chance of opening with either land in a given 7 card hand. However, tri color decks/ midrange decks are slightly more forgiving about earlier land drops. Suppose the curve starts at 2 (i.e. 7 + 1 card draw), there is a 75% chance of having the required mana on turn 2.

If there are 6 dual lands, or 4 dual lands + 1 Tri land or 2 dual lands + 2 Tri land etc. This number increases to 86% on turn 2 for tri color decks.

If there are 3 dual lands, or 1 dual lands + 1 Tri land. This number increases to 82% on turn 2 for tri color decks.

Based on these numbers, achieving a 82%/ 75% natural consistency using only basic lands is already passable for a limit deck - A very low number of dual lands are required to push these decks to their required threshold for mana consistency.

The problem arises when considering double color cards. i.e. Ash Zealot.

- Suppose a draft deck has 16 lands (aggressive strategy) and it has 8 of each (Mountain and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 51% chance of opening with 2 of each land in a given 7 card hand + 1 card drawn. If there are 6 dual lands, this number increases to 86%.

* For this reason, double color should be avoided as much as possible. If they are included they should only be intended to be played by mono-color decks or playing them off curve is slightly less punishing.

- Suppose a draft deck has 18 lands (midrange strategy) and it has 9 of each (Swamp and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 73% chance of opening with 2 of each land in a given 7 card hand + 2 card drawn. If there are 4 dual lands, this number increases to 85%.

Based off these numbers, you can make a general calculation for the number of lands required for your cube (Here is a sample analysis):
- Assume 75% of lands drafted will be played - Dual lands are required by all strategies. They have a much higher chance of being played
- Assume 2 Color decks required 2 Dual Lands
- Assume Tri- Color decks required 6 Dual lands each.
- Assume half the decks are 2 color and the other half are Tri color.
- 50% of the lands are drafted in a 720 card draft

Total played = 2*4 + 4*6 = 32
Total Opened = 32 / 0.75 = 42.6

42.6 * 2 = 85.2 Lands.

Therefore, somewhere between 8 to 9 set of dual lands are ideal for a 720 card cube.

Nice writeup - your writeups in the last weeks are really appreciated, like the ones from Vintage Cards!

The points you make are good - while I think it is oversimplifyied to some extent, I also realise that it would be undoable to be overly specific while retaining the amount of generality this provides.

One question: You apply a 0.5 penalizer for enablers that are unlikely to wheel, but assume that 60% of the enablers pass to the player drafting the deck. I don't understand why these modifiers would be unequal. Can you explain your reasoning?

Nice writeup - your writeups in the last weeks are really appreciated, like the ones from Vintage Cards!

The points you make are good - while I think it is oversimplifyied to some extent, I also realise that it would be undoable to be overly specific while retaining the amount of generality this provides.

One question: You apply a 0.5 penalizer for enablers that are unlikely to wheel, but assume that 60% of the enablers pass to the player drafting the deck. I don't understand why these modifiers would be unequal. Can you explain your reasoning?

Thanks so much! I really love writing these articles.

* I realized my original statement was assume 60% of enablers will pass to the player drafting the archetype. This should be corrected to assume 60% of *archetype specific* enablers. i.e. enablers that more or less only 1-2 drafters would like i.e. Fireblast/ LED/ Entomb.

I should prob explain this a bit more in detail in the article, but these are the rough numbers I'm working with. Lets assume a more perfect case - Reanimator:
- Exhume
- Animate Dead
- Corpse Dance
- Shallow Grave
- Reanimate

These cards could be played in Melira/ Aristocrats, but 80% of the time, it is played in reanimator decks. Assume there is no hate drafting, it is not unreasonable to expect all reanimation spells opened will gravitate to the player drafting reanimator. For simplicity, I made a rough assumption that 60% of enablers for a specific archetype will gravitate to the player drafting it. (Hate Drafting, Multiple Enablers showing up in the same pack, other archetypes playing it etc.)

It is not reasonable to expect Mana Crypt, Mox Pearl or Sol Ring to wheel to the player playing WildFire - They are first picks no matter which archetype a player is drafting. Dimir Signet is more likely the wheel, but it is also a strong pickup for control/ ramp decks. Thran Dyanmo on the other hand is likely the wheel as only the Upheaval/ Storm/ Artifact deck is really interested in it.

The idea is you cannot expect these Moxen/ Mana Crypt to wheel to the WildFire player in the same rate as the Reanimation spells.

In other words, its harder for the WildFire deck to achieve its required density of artifacts using cards that are commonly drafted and therefore, there will need to be a higher density of these artifacts in order for the deck to function.

Lets look at this list:
- Sol Ring - This is never going to be passed. (8 out of 8 drafters would want this)
- Thran Dynamo - Likely to get passed, but still could be picked up by other archetypes (Assume 2-3 drafters out of 8 would want this)
- Firewild Borderpost - Pretty much guaranteed to never get picked by any other drafter/ will gravitate to the wildfire player. (Assume only the drafter drafting WildFire would want it)

Suppose there were 8 Sol rings in the draft, its almost certain that only 1 will get to the WildFire player. If there were 8 Thran Dynamos instead, this would roughly be 3-4 and if it was Borderpost, it would be closer to 5-6.

In the first case, despite having the "correct" number of enablers for the WildFire archetype, the Sol rings never made it to the player and the deck doesn't have the minimum consistency to function. In order to correct the first example, we needed to have around 20-22 sol rings in order for the WildFire player to achieve the same density (3 artifacts). (This is a pretty extreme example, but that's the rough idea).

The idea is I continued with the assumption that Borderpost has roughly 60% chance of wheeling to the player. A card like Dimir Signet/ Sol ring has a much lower chance of wheeling, so I simplified assumed it is half as likely.

* This is not in any way to argue your cube should be filled with Borderpost etc.

This guide is intended to provide a rough guideline for the minimum number of cards required to support the major given archetypes. This is mostly a compilation of calculations/ theories performed by other cube curators.

There are several recent discussion that really motivated me to write this article. The issue right now is there are a very large number of very strong cards that are almost good enough for a cube, but are they frequently cut because the every slot is incredibly competitive.

One example of the discussion for Hallowed Spiritkeeper:

Every one of the cards listed above are incredibly strong and competitive in a variety of strategies.

- Hallowed SpiritKeeer, Mentor of the Meek are great for Aristocrats/ Pod

- Mirror Entity/ Lingering Souls/ Spectral Procession are great for tokens

- Flickerwisp/ Blade Splicer are great for flicker etc.

The problem arises is often something on the lines of this:

- If I cut Flickerwisp, does my flicker/ Moat deck lack the minimum support to function?

- If I cut Spectral Procession, would I lose enough tokens for my token/ Polymoprh deck?

- Mirror Entity is really good in the aristocrats deck to pump my team to 4/4, then I could use it remove my board and trigger Blood Artist 5 times to drain the opponent. If I cut Mirror, would the aristocrats deck lose its sufficient consistency in a draft?

- Charming Prince, Gideon Blackblade, Heliod, Sun-Crowned, Exalted Angel, Archangel of Thune all provide incidental lifegain. What density of lifegain payoffs would I need in order for a successful lifegain deck?

etc.

For this article, I will be compiling the minimum amount of support each archetype requires to function sufficiently in a draft. This will hopefully help cube curators identify which archetypes/ support cards could be trimmed for new additions/ archetypes.

The goal of this forum is to provide a sample analysis of how I arrived at the numbers for my cube but as always, these numbers should be revised for different levels of consistency and fine tuned/ tested over time.

As always, positive, constructive discussions are always valued.

Archetypes will be ranked by their ability to function as a value deck. For example, a Blue-White Flicker deck could perform incredibly well if it only has 1-2 flicker enablers and the rest of the deck is filled with value creatures/ control spells. The same could not be said for a deck like storm/ reanimator. Therefore, the recommended minimum support for these archetypes will be slightly increased.

For calculating the minimum number of cards required to support an archetype, I will be comparing the archetype to a similar construct deck to determine the number of reanimation spells/ fatties/ discard outlets required. Cube decks are less consistent than their constructed counter parts. For this reason, I will be using 70% of their number.

For example, BR reanimator in legacy has 12 reanimation, 12-16 discard outlets (Looting, Entomb but also Thoughseize/ Cabal Therapy) and 10 fatties. Cube decks are 40 cards, are therefore the numbers are roughly scale to 5-6 reanimation, 5-6 Discard Outlets and 5-6 fatties. (12 * (2/3 for 40 card deck size) * (0.7 for cube consistency) = 5.6)

The minimum number of cards required for each archetype will be determined as such:

- Assume 720 card cube. (This number could be increased/ decreased by ratio based on the size of your cube)

- Assume 360 cards will be opened in a draft

- Assume 60% of the enablers for the archetype are opened in the 360 card draft (There is variance when opening 360 out of 720 cards in a cube draft. Strong drafters will gravitate towards open archetypes)

- Assume 60% of the enablers specific for an archetype will wheel to the player drafting the deck. (e.g. Entomb for Reanimator, Lion's Eye Diamond for Storm, Fireblast for mono-red etc)

The enablers that are strong in a variety of strategies will also count towards the required count, but will be penalized by a general 0.5 for its unlikeliness to wheel. (e.g. Black Lotus is good for storm, Skullclamp for Aristocrats but they are strong in large variety of archetypes and are much less likely to wheel) *See Enabler Count Penalizer for more detail.

* These are rough numbers and could be tuned depending on your cube group, but these are the numbers I will be using.

Suppose Storm requires 7 sources of fast mana to function in a 40 card deck.

In order for storm to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 7.

- 11.67 pieces of fast mana need to be opened.

X total number of Fast mana * (60% of enablers opened) = 11.67

- 18.6 pieces of fast mana are required for the cube for storm to function.

* These assumptions could be further fine tuned. For more experienced draft groups, the assumption of 60% of the enablers specific cards will be drafted by the player in the archetype could be increased to 65%.

Furthermore, if the playgroup would like the improve the consistency of various archetypes, the assumption of 70% consistency could be increased 80% etc.

There is a second key factor that needs to be considered when aggregating the minimum number of required cards for an archetype. For example, fast mana such as Black Lotus and Sol Ring are very good source of fast mana for Storm decks, but its not reasonable to expect this card to wheel. On the other hand, Lion's Eye Diamond, Seething Song are excellent source of fast mana for storm that will likely wheel.

Suppose this extreme case, a cube contains 12 black lotus, 1 mana crypt, 1 mana vault, 1 of each moxen, 1 dark ritual, 1 cabal ritual, 1 seething song, 1 high tide, 1 frantic search, 1 Goblin Electromancer, 1 Pyretic Ritual, 1 Desperate Ritual. There are 23 sources of fast mana - well above the recommended 18.6 pieces of fast mana required for storm to function effective, but its unlikely for the storm deck to function effectively given that Black Lotus will likely be picked up by other strategies and won't wheel to the storm player. For this extreme example, the storm player would likely not have the required amount of fast mana required for a storm deck.

On the other hand, if a cube contains 23 weaker storm support cards, the deck would also likely suffer. Therefore, a penalizer of 0.5 will need to be applied for weaker support enablers + cards unlikely the wheel.

Here is an example:

- 1 Point will be given to Lion's Eye Diamond - (1 point for Strong Enabler/ but also likely to wheel)

- 0.5 Points will be given to Black Lotus - (0.5 for Strong Enabler/ but not likely to wheel)

- 0.5 Points for will be given to Pyretic Ritual and Goblin Electromancer - (0.5 for Decent Enabler/ but likely to wheel)

- 0.25 Points will be given to Birds of Paradise - (0.25 for Decent Enabler/ but also not likely to wheel)

* For simplicity, I will be writing penalizer applier for card X. The reason should generally be self sufficient

Efficient tutors will start at the baseline of 0.5. They will be penalized if they are more playable in other archetypes:

- Demonic Tutor is a good storm support card, but it is a high pick for both midrange and control decks and therefore will count as 0.25

- Dark Petition is another good support card for storm, but it is unlikely to be picked up by other strageties. Therefore, it will count as 0.5

* These penalizers/ numbers are roughly estimates - More fine tuned penalizer evaluations are strongly encouraged.

The color distribution/ synergy of the enablers should also be taken into account. For example, the Melira Combo enablers are distributed among any non-blue colors - but players should not be expected to draft a 4 color deck. Similarly, storm combo pieces are primarily in Grixis, but players could splash green. Also, aggressive decks should stay in primarily 1-2 colors, given their need for mana consistency on their initial turns.

For simplicity, I found the best way to handle this issue is this:

- The Melira Combo/ Aristocrats deck will assume the player will be playing Abzan/ Mardu colors.

- The aggressive decks will be any two color, non-blue combination. For simplicity, a turn 1 Llanowar Elves is equally strong as a turn 1 Soldier of the Pantheon. (This may not be the case for more burn heavy aggressive decks, but I found this to be a fair assumption. If this is not the case, these numbers should be re-computed with only green 1 mana 2/1 in the computations)

- For simplicity, I will assume all payoffs that require a high density of artifacts - Goblin Welder, Tolarian Academy, Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas etc. are all desired by the artifacts archetype.

Finally, I will be having a specific section to handle the calculations for storm - especially given that it is not a safe assumption to assume the enablers/ fast mana in Ritual storm, untap storm and Dream Halls/ Bolas Citadel work equally well in all three archetypes.

* These are over simplified calculations. I strongly recommend cube curators more familiar with the archetype to further fine-tune these calculations based on their specific expectations.

BW Aristocrats in Modern:

https://strategy.channelfireball.com/all-strategy/mtg/channelmagic-articles/deck-of-the-day-bw-aristocrats-modern/

- 6 Sacrifice outlets

- 5 Aristocrats

RTR Aristocrats in Standard:

http://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=4363&d=225422

- 8 Sacrifice Outlets

- 4 Aristocrats + 4 Xathrid Necromancer (Death Trigger) - roughly 8 Aristocrats

SOI Aristocrats in Standard:

https://mtgtop8.com/event?e=12179&d=269922&f=ST

- 4 Sacrifice Outlets

- 4 Aristocrats + 2 Liliana Heretical Healer/ 4 Catacomb Sifter (Weak Death Trigger - count as half) - Roughly 7 Aristocrats

- 4 Collected Company + 4 Duskwatch Recruiter - Very strong creature tutor. Add 4 to each category

Total:

- 8 Sacrifice Outlets

- 11 Aristocrats

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 8 Aristocrats and 8 Sacrifice Outlets. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5 sacrifice outlets + 5 Aristocrats. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency, we would require roughly 3.5 Aristocrats/ 3.5 sacrifice outlets in a cube aristocrats deck to function.

In order for Aristocrats to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 6

- 6 Aristocrats Opened

X total number of Aristocrats * (60% of enablers opened) = 6

- 10 Aristocrats/ Sacrifice Outlets are required for an aristocrats deck to function.

Here are some possible options.

Traditional Aristocrats (1 point each):

- Blood Artist

- Zulaport Cutthroat

- Bastion of Remembrance

- Spiteful Prankster

- Cruel Celebrant

- Judith, the Scourge Diva

- Fireblade Artist

Strong Aristocrat alternatives (1 Point each):

- Hero of Bladehold

- Hellrider

- Purphoros, God of the Forge

- Westvale Abbey

Sacrifice + Aristocrats (0.5 added for sacrifice outlet/ 0.5 for aristocrat):

- SkullClamp

- Bloodthrone Vampire

- Goblin Bombardment

- Yawgmoth, Thran Physician

- Mirror Entity - Could be used to pump team + sacrifice the board by making everyone a 0/0

- Greater Gargadon

- Grafted Wargear - Could be used to pump creatures + equip to each creature to sacrifice them

* 0.5 Penalizer applied to SkullClamp for its versatility in other archetypes

Sacrifice Outlets (1 Point each):

- Evolutionary Leap

- Vraska, Golgari Queen

- Braids, Cabal Minion

- Birthing Pod

- Rankle, Master of Pranks

- Recurring Nightmare

- Viscera Seer

- Carrion Feeder

- Woe Strider

- Ashnod's Altar

- Blasting Station

- Altar of Dementia

- Phyrexian Altar

* 0.5 Penalizer applied to Recurring Nightmare and Birthing Pod

BR Legacy Reanimator:

https://strategy.channelfireball.com/all-strategy/mtg/legacy-rb-reanimator-deck-guide/

- 12 reanimation spells

- 12-16 discard outlets (Looting, Entomb but also Thoughseize/ Cabal Therapy)

- 10 fatties.

Instant Reanimator:

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=28782&d=427205&f=MO

- 4 Reanimation Spells + 4 Through the Breach - 8 Reanimation spells

- 10 Fatties

- 9 Discard Outlet

* For simplicity, cheat from hand on to the field are considered reanimation spells such as Through the breach, Sneak attack etc.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 10 Discard outlets, 10 reanimation spells 10 fatties. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 7 Discard Outlets, 7 Reanimation Spells and 7 Fatties. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 5 of each.

It would be ideal to have roughly 5 fatties, 5 discard outlets and 5 reanimation spells for a reanimator deck to function.

In order for Reanimator to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 5

- 8 Opened.

X total number of Reanimator * (60% of enablers opened) = 8

- 13.6 discard outlets/ reanimation spells.

Using these numbers, there should be a minimum of 13.6 discard outlets, reanimation spells and fatties.

* The reanimator deck does not pivot effectively into other strategies. It is essential these decks have the recommended minimum support needed to function. As a result, the minimum number of discard outlets, reanimation spells and fatties will be artificially increased to 15.

Here are some possible options.

Reanimation Spells (1 Point each):

- Shallow Grave

- Corpse Dance

- Reanimate

- Exhume

- Animate Dead

- Dance of the Dead

- Necromancy

- Through the breach

- Sneak Attack

- Show and Tell

- Unburial Rite

- Life // Death

Mid Level Reanimation spells (0.75 Points each)

- Oath of Druid

- Eureka

- Arcane Artisan

- Feldon of the Third Path

- Quicksilver Amulet

- Liliana, Death's Majesty

Less effective Reanimation spells (0.5 Points each)

- Recurring Nightmare

- Living Death

- Flash

Fast Mana (0.5 Points each):

- Dark Ritual

- Grim Monolith

- Mana Vault

- Basalt Monolith

* It is not unusual to see reanimator decks on turns 3-4 Dark Ritual/ Grim Monolith into Wurmcoil Engine/ Grave Titan. These could also be countered as half.

Black Discard Outlets:

- Pack Rat

- Oona's Prowler

- Entomb

- Liliana of the Veil

- Collective Brutality

- Cryptbreaker

- Thoughtseize / Despise / Divest - Target themselves

- Putrid Imp

*Penalizer applied to Liliana of the Veil, Collective Bruality, Discard spells

Blue Discard outlets:

- Enclave Cryptologist

- Jace, Vryn's Prodigy

- Looter il-Kor

- MullDrifter - Evoke to put itself into the graveyard

- Thirst for Knowledge

- Flash

- Frantic Search

- Forbid

- Chart a Course

- Gifts Ungiven

- Search for Azcanta

*Penalizer applied to Search for Azcanta, Gifts Ungiven (unless Unburial Rites is in the deck), Forbid

Red Discard Outlets:

- Dismissive Pyromancer

- Rix Maadi Reveler

- Goblin Engineer

- Seasoned Pyromancer

- Daretti, Scrap Savant

- Faithless Looting

- Wheel of Fortune

*Penalizer applied to Wheel of Fortune, Daretti, Scrap Savant.

Green Discard Outlets:

- Noose Constrictor

- Wild Mongrel

Multi:

- Dack Fayden

- Izzet Charm

*Penalizer applied to Dack Fayden

Fatties:

- Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite

- Inkwell Leviathan

- Consecrated Sphinx

- Torrential Gearhulk

- Grave Titan

- Griselbrand

- Inferno Titan

- Carnage Tyrant

- Hornet Queen

- Primeval Titan

- Woodfall Primus

- Terastodon

- Akroma, Angel of Wrath

- Dragonlord Atarka

- Dragonlord Silumgar

- Ashen Rider

- Hellkite Overlord

- Sphinx of the Steel Wind

- Myr Battlesphere

- Wurmcoil Engine

- Sundering Titan

- Ancient Stone Idol

- Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger

- Emrakul, the Promised End

Requires instant speed/ Put from hand into play:

- Worldspine Wurm

- Kozilek, Butcher of Truth

- Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre

- Emrakul, the Aeons Torn

Bant Soulherder:

https://strategy.channelfireball.com/all-strategy/mtg/channelmagic-articles/modern-bant-soulherder-primer/

- 8 Flicker Enablers

Standard Flicker:

https://strategy.channelfireball.com/all-strategy/mtg/channelmagic-articles/teamcfb-standard-deck-guide-blue-white-blink/

- 8 Flicker Enablers

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 8 Flicker Enablers. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5.3 Flicker Enablers. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 3.85 Flicker.

It would be ideal to have roughly 3.85 flicker enablers.

In order for Flicker to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 3.85

- 6.4 Opened.

X total number of Flicker * (60% of enablers opened) = 6.4

- 10.6 Flicker Enablers

Using these numbers, there should be a minimum of 10.6 Flicker enablers.

* The flicker deck can function very effectively as a midrange creature deck without a flicker support. Therefore, the minimum number of flicker enablers will be artificially lowered to 9, however the recommended number will remain at 10.

The number of ETB creatures should be plentiful in cube.

Here are some Flicker Enablers:

- Charming Prince

- Kor Skyfisher

- Eldrazi Displacer

- Flickerwisp

- Felidar Guardian

- Restoration Angel

- Ephemerate

- Parallax Wave

- Crystal Shard

- Thassa, Deep-Dwelling

- Soulherder

- Yorion, Sky Nomad

- Teferi, Time Raveler

*Penalizer applied to Kor Skyfisher, Teferi Time Raveler

(If Splash Red):

- Saheeli Rai

- Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker

*Penalizer applied to Kiki-Jiki

Good Flicker Targets in Blue-White (Enablers are primary White- Blue, although there are incredibly strong targets in Red, Black and Green):

- Stoneforge Mystic

- Wall of Omens

- Skyclave Apparition

- Blade Splicer

- Fiend Hunter/ Leonin Relic-Warder - IF used at instant speed, could be used to remove the target forever.

- Exalted Angel - Morph comes back face up

- Palace Jailer

- Angel of Invention

- Reveillark

- Sun Titan

- Vendilion Clique

- Riftwing Cloudskate

- Venser, Shaper Savant

- Cavalier of Gales

- Mulldrifter

- Arcane Savant

Modern Naya Burn:

https://mtgdecks.net/Modern/naya-burn-decklist-by-abelmolto-801558

- 14 1-drops

Modern Zoo:

https://strategy.channelfireball.com/all-strategy/mtg/channelmagic-articles/deck-of-the-day-modern-zoo/

- 14 1 drops

Atarka Red:

https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/daily-deck/pro-tour-dragons-tarkir-winning-decklist-2015-04-13

- 13 1 drops

Ramunap Red (Standard):

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/789127#paper

- 8 1 drops

* This is likely handicapped by the lack of playable 1 drops in the format.

Legacy Burn:

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=29269&d=430316&f=LE

- 8 1 drops

Given a 60 card deck, 14 1-drops, and 7 card opening hand, there is a 86% chance of opening with a 1 drop. If this number is 8 1-drops, it lowers to roughly 65%.

Traditionally red decks would like to open with a 1 drop - Zoo strategies in eternal formats would mulligan any hand without a 1-drop. However, decks like Ramunap red/ Legacy burn could function very effectively with only 8 drops, but they would require burn spells/ reach in the form of Sulfuric Vortex/ Hazoret, the Frevent to consistently win the game.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be a minimum of 8 1-drops. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 5.3 1-drops. However, since density of 1-drops are essential for this deck's strategy, this number will not be scaled downwards for the consistent of draft decks.

In order for 1-Drops to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 5.3

- 8.8 Opened.

X total number of Aristocrats * (60% of enablers opened) = 8.8

- 14.6 1-Drops.

* If these numbers are used for 14 1-drops, this number is increased to 25.5.

* 1-drops are often good addition for tempo based aggro decks/ Aristocrats. These decks could function off a slightly lower number, this number is decreased to 11.

There are usually multiple players drafting aggressive strategies. Suppose there are 3 expected aggressive decks in a 8 player draft, 1 is red aggro (14.6 1-drops), 1 aristocrats (11 1-drops), 1 White-Red midrange (11 1 drops).

Then the expected number is around 36.6 1-drops.

* This number should be tuned depending on your expected meta.

Here are some possible options.

Hybrid/ Colorless:

- Rakdos Cackler

White 1 drops:

- Isamaru, Hound of Konda

- Skymarcher Aspirant

- Soldier of the Pantheon

- Mardu Woe-Reaper

Black 1 drops:

- Bloodsoaked Champion

- Dread Wanderer

- Sarcomany

- Gutterbones

- Carrion Feeder

Red 1 drops:

- Goblin Guide

- Akoum Hellhound

- Stromkirk Noble

- Zurgo Bellstriker

Green mana dorks (0.5 Points):

- Arbor Elf

- Elvish Mystic

- Joraga Treespeaker

- Birds of Paradise

Utility turn 1 plays (0.25 - 0.5 points):

- Mother of Runes/ Birds of Paradise

- Bonesplitter, Thoughtseize, Inquisition of Kozilek etc. are also strong turn 1 plays

- Chain Lightning/ Burst Lightning

- Fragmentize / Dark Ritual/ Land tax

WildFire:

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=9189&d=253016&f=ST

- 7 Sol Lands + 18 Artifact Ramp = 25 Ramp

- 4 Wildfire + 2 Mishra's Helix (land Stax effects) = 6 Prison Pieces

* 4 card Advantage Engine, 8 threats that survive Wildfire

Penny Dreadful WildFire:

https://pennydreadfulmagic.com/decks/122268/

- 24 Ramp

- 10 WildFire

* 6 Card Advantage Engines, 4 threats that survive WildFire

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, there should be 25 artifact ramp, 6 WildFire effects. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 17 Ramp effects, 4 WildFire. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 11.9 Ramp effects, 2.8 WildFire effects.

* Card Advantage Engines/ Threats that survive WildFire are plentiful and will not be computed.

WildFire Effects:

In order for WildFire to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 2.8

- 4.6 Opened.

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 4.6

- 7.6 WildFire Effects

Artifact Ramp:

In order for Artifacto be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 11.9

- 19.8 Artifact Ramp

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 19.8

- 33 Artifact Ramp

Thus, in order for an all-in WildFire deck, there needs to be 7.6 WildFire Effects + 33 Artifact/ Land Ramp spells.

* This number could be reduced given the flexibility of the archetype.

The playable WildFire variants are:

- WildFire

- Burning of Xinye

- Upheaval

- Balance

- Catastrophe

- Destructive Force

* 0.5 Penalized for playbilty in other archetypes

- Parallax Tide

- Plow Under

- Armageddon

- Ravages of War

* 0.5 for desirable 6 drops:

- Elspeth, Sun's Champion

- Chandra, Flamecaller

...

* This number could be improved with presence of tutors

The list of commonly played artifact ramp in cube:

* All these effects are desired by other archetypes and will be penalized by 0.5

- There are roughly 42 mana rocks + 2 Sol Lands (City of Traitors/ Ancient Tomb) + 1 Misrha's Workshop

- Dark Ritual/ Seething Song + 2-3 Green 3 mana ramp could also count towards this number.

This would give roughly 25 - short of the required 33 Artifact Ramp.

This number could be achieved if something like this list is added:

- Generator Servant

- Vessel of Volatility

- Jeska's Will

Lesser Mana Rocks:

- Star Compass

- Sphere of the Suns

- Fractured Powerstone

- Thought Vessel

- Prismatic Lens

- Charcoal Diamond

- Fire Diamond

- Marble Diamond

- Moss Diamond

- Sky Diamond

* Penalizer applied for playability in other archetypes

This gives 3 + 10 * (0.5 Penalizer) = 8.

* There aren't sufficient mana rocks to naturally support a wildfire archetype, and thus the number of wildfire variants are trimmed to the lower bound of 5-6 and these archetypes function closer to ramp/ control decks rather than its Standard All-In variant.

Modern Melira Combo:

https://www.mtggoldfish.com/deck/577266#paper

- 5 Persist Enablers

- 5 Persist Creatures

- 2 Sacrifice Outlets.

- 8 Creature Tutors - Collected Company + Chord of Calling

* Roughly Melria Pod/ Company have a fixed 5 Persist creatures. Somewhere between 1-5 persist enablers, and 1-3 sacrifice outlets. However, they consistently have 7-8 creature tutors.

Roughly, for a 60 card constructed deck, 5 Persist Creatures. When scaled this to a 40 card cube deck, there should be 3.3 persist creatures. Scaling down from 70% of the Constructed consistency = 2.3 Persist creatures

Persist Creatures:

In order for Melira Combo to be drafted, X opened * (60% wheel to player drafting the deck) = 2.3

- 3.8 Opened.

X total number of WildFire * (60% of enablers opened) = 3.8

- 6.3 Persist Creatures in Cube

Sacrifice Outlets:

- 2.5 Sacrifice Outlets in the cube

- 0.9 sacrifice outlets in the melira deck (this should be rounded up to 1)

* The final number should take into account the expected number of aristocrats decks as that deck would like sacrifice outlets as well.

Creature Tutors:

- 10.3 Creature tutors in the Cube

- 3.71 in the the melira deck

See #15 on Melira Pod Options.

https://www.mtgsalvation.com/forums/the-game/the-cube-forum/articles-podcasts-and-guides/818969-vintage-cube-cards-explained

* There may not be enough good creature tutors + persist creature to mimic a melira deck - they may be substituted with extra sacrifice outlets + recursion engines/ value creatures.

* Penalizers will need to be applied to Kitchen Finks/ Murderous Redcap for its playabiity in other archetypes.

* Similarly, Penaliszers will also need to be applied to creature tutors/ sacrifice outlets etc.

Melira Pod

https://www.mtgtop8.com/event?e=6698&d=238469&f=MO

- 5 Persist Creatures

- 1 Recursion Engine

- 1 Sacrifice Outlet

- 4 Birthing Pod + 3 Chord of calling

* This is list is filled with more value based creature, than engine pieces.

In my first article, Vintage Cube Explained in section #15 Melira Combo, I ran the numbers with a sample of enablers in Red, Green, white, and black and concluded any non-blue tri color combination is sufficient in supporting the Melira Combo.

For simplicity, the Melira combo should be restricted to Abzan and the Aristocrats deck should be restricted to Mardu. It is possible to recompute these numbers such that - all non-blue tri colors could be used to support Melira and all non-blue tri colors minus Naya could support Aristocrats, however the balancing and drafting gets slightly tricky.

There is often a question on how many of each dual land is required for a given cube. Here are some basic numbers:

- Suppose a draft deck has 16 lands (aggressive strategy) and it has 8 of each (Mountain and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 82% chance of opening with either land in a given 7 card hand. If there are 2 dual lands, i.e. 10 of each source, this number increases to 89%.

- Suppose a draft deck has 18 lands (midrange/ control strategy) and it has 6 of each (Mountain, Island, Swamp). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 71% chance of opening with either land in a given 7 card hand. However, tri color decks/ midrange decks are slightly more forgiving about earlier land drops. Suppose the curve starts at 2 (i.e. 7 + 1 card draw), there is a 75% chance of having the required mana on turn 2.

If there are 6 dual lands, or 4 dual lands + 1 Tri land or 2 dual lands + 2 Tri land etc. This number increases to 86% on turn 2 for tri color decks.

If there are 3 dual lands, or 1 dual lands + 1 Tri land. This number increases to 82% on turn 2 for tri color decks.

Based on these numbers, achieving a 82%/ 75% natural consistency using only basic lands is already passable for a limit deck - A very low number of dual lands are required to push these decks to their required threshold for mana consistency.

The problem arises when considering double color cards. i.e. Ash Zealot.

- Suppose a draft deck has 16 lands (aggressive strategy) and it has 8 of each (Mountain and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 51% chance of opening with 2 of each land in a given 7 card hand + 1 card drawn. If there are 6 dual lands, this number increases to 86%.

* For this reason, double color should be avoided as much as possible. If they are included they should only be intended to be played by mono-color decks or playing them off curve is slightly less punishing.

Similarly, if it is to cast a double cost card i.e. Liliana of the Veil

- Suppose a draft deck has 18 lands (midrange strategy) and it has 9 of each (Swamp and Plains). Using the hypergeomtric distribution, there is an 73% chance of opening with 2 of each land in a given 7 card hand + 2 card drawn. If there are 4 dual lands, this number increases to 85%.

Based off these numbers, you can make a general calculation for the number of lands required for your cube (Here is a sample analysis):

- Assume 75% of lands drafted will be played - Dual lands are required by all strategies. They have a much higher chance of being played

- Assume 2 Color decks required 2 Dual Lands

- Assume Tri- Color decks required 6 Dual lands each.

- Assume half the decks are 2 color and the other half are Tri color.

- 50% of the lands are drafted in a 720 card draft

Total played = 2*4 + 4*6 = 32

Total Opened = 32 / 0.75 = 42.6

42.6 * 2 = 85.2 Lands.

Therefore, somewhere between 8 to 9 set of dual lands are ideal for a 720 card cube.

Vintage Cube Cards Explained

In my second article, I go over the minimum number of cards required to support any given archetype.

Minimum Archetype Support

Draft my Cube:

https://cubecobra.com/cube/overview/d8i

The points you make are good - while I think it is oversimplifyied to some extent, I also realise that it would be undoable to be overly specific while retaining the amount of generality this provides.

One question: You apply a 0.5 penalizer for enablers that are unlikely to wheel, but assume that 60% of the enablers pass to the player drafting the deck. I don't understand why these modifiers would be unequal. Can you explain your reasoning?

Thanks so much! I really love writing these articles.

* I realized my original statement was assume 60% of enablers will pass to the player drafting the archetype. This should be corrected to assume 60% of *archetype specific* enablers. i.e. enablers that more or less only 1-2 drafters would like i.e. Fireblast/ LED/ Entomb.

I should prob explain this a bit more in detail in the article, but these are the rough numbers I'm working with. Lets assume a more perfect case - Reanimator:

- Exhume

- Animate Dead

- Corpse Dance

- Shallow Grave

- Reanimate

These cards could be played in Melira/ Aristocrats, but 80% of the time, it is played in reanimator decks. Assume there is no hate drafting, it is not unreasonable to expect all reanimation spells opened will gravitate to the player drafting reanimator. For simplicity, I made a rough assumption that 60% of enablers for a specific archetype will gravitate to the player drafting it. (Hate Drafting, Multiple Enablers showing up in the same pack, other archetypes playing it etc.)

However, suppose we're talking about the Artifact Ramp in Wildfire/ Upheaval. Here are some examples:

- Mana Crypt

- Mox Pearl

- Dimir Signet

- Sol Ring

- Thran Dynamo

It is not reasonable to expect Mana Crypt, Mox Pearl or Sol Ring to wheel to the player playing WildFire - They are first picks no matter which archetype a player is drafting. Dimir Signet is more likely the wheel, but it is also a strong pickup for control/ ramp decks. Thran Dyanmo on the other hand is likely the wheel as only the Upheaval/ Storm/ Artifact deck is really interested in it.

The idea is you cannot expect these Moxen/ Mana Crypt to wheel to the WildFire player in the same rate as the Reanimation spells.

In other words, its harder for the WildFire deck to achieve its required density of artifacts using cards that are commonly drafted and therefore, there will need to be a higher density of these artifacts in order for the deck to function.

Lets look at this list:

- Sol Ring - This is never going to be passed. (8 out of 8 drafters would want this)

- Thran Dynamo - Likely to get passed, but still could be picked up by other archetypes (Assume 2-3 drafters out of 8 would want this)

- Firewild Borderpost - Pretty much guaranteed to never get picked by any other drafter/ will gravitate to the wildfire player. (Assume only the drafter drafting WildFire would want it)

Suppose there were 8 Sol rings in the draft, its almost certain that only 1 will get to the WildFire player. If there were 8 Thran Dynamos instead, this would roughly be 3-4 and if it was Borderpost, it would be closer to 5-6.

In the first case, despite having the "correct" number of enablers for the WildFire archetype, the Sol rings never made it to the player and the deck doesn't have the minimum consistency to function. In order to correct the first example, we needed to have around 20-22 sol rings in order for the WildFire player to achieve the same density (3 artifacts). (This is a pretty extreme example, but that's the rough idea).

The idea is I continued with the assumption that Borderpost has roughly 60% chance of wheeling to the player. A card like Dimir Signet/ Sol ring has a much lower chance of wheeling, so I simplified assumed it is half as likely.

* This is not in any way to argue your cube should be filled with Borderpost etc.

Vintage Cube Cards Explained

In my second article, I go over the minimum number of cards required to support any given archetype.

Minimum Archetype Support

Draft my Cube:

https://cubecobra.com/cube/overview/d8i