Hey guys. I was originally updating my Cube thread on the official MTG forums. There's no activity there & this place always seems to be hopping so I'm going to post it here. My goal for my Commons Cube is to make it perfect. This may sound crazy but since it's just commons, I think it's much easier to do than with a "powered" Cube. With each new set it will require tweaking & balancing. The Cube has become an obsession of mine. I will continue to update this as I acquire more cards & make changes. I've been working on it since June 2010. Any feedback is appreciated!
Basic Information Cube Size:
500 cards Breakdown:
500 total cards (301 creatures/180 spells/19 lands)
80 of each color, 31 multi-color/hybrid, 23 land, 46 artifacts/colorless
382 foils/promos Standard or Theme:
Commons Cube! My definition of Commons
It must have been printed as a common & I must use the common version of the card. Snow Lands:
No. Average Number of Players:
Mostly 2-man Winston drafts but also 4-man drafts on occasion. How Often Drafted:
Several 2-man drafts per week & 4-man drafts about once per month.
Card Selection Proxies:
Yes. "Un" Cards:
No. Banned Cards for Power-Level:
Nothing banned, adjustments only made for balancing. Banned Cards for Time Constraints:
No? Banned Cards for "fun" factor:
Again, nothing banned, adjustments only made for balancing.
Cube Design Standard or Multiplayer:
Sure. Color Balance:
Yes. Gold Balance:
Kind of. Perfectly Balanced CMC:
Not perfectly balanced, but working toward some sort of equilibrium.
I played Magic from Revised through Ice Age & started playing again in Shards block. Not having any cards from a 10-year span has made this Cube a fun challenge. I'd rather Cube than play any other format.
My Cube is designed with 2-man drafts as the focus. Sometimes there will be 4 or 6-man drafts but I'm building it with the 2-man draft as the main reason for everything.
After using them for a while, I found the Signets to be annoying. In the Winston draft you almost never took them in a pile when it was the only card. It also makes green's mana-fixing that much better. I have been focusing on increasing the number of mana-fixing artifacts (ex. Prophetic Prism/Mana Cylix).
Green was definitely the best color in the first several iterations of the Cube. I think my balancing has worked & green isn't an auto-include like it was for the first several months of the cube. Green's creatures are still (obviously) the best.
We've come to the consensus that the best card in the Cube is Rolling Thunder. Even with all of the recent additions I would still take this card P1p1 over every other card in the Cube.
Balancing equipment has been a huge obstacle for me to overcome. In the beginning the equipment was insanely overpowered. There wasn't enough artifact removal & there was too much equipment. I've toned down the amount of equipment in the Cube. I've also increased the amount of artifact removal. Maindecking Naturalize is always the correct decision in the Cube. In a recent draft I had both Leonin Scimitar and Bonesplitter. Getting those two cards out in Game 3 carried me to a close victory.
All of the Cube articles say to cut down on the multi-color cards. I'm focusing more on the hybrid & split cards.
1/3/12: Finally updated my Cube list. I've updated it for real three times but I've finally got all the information documented. Most of the Cube cards are now at least solid (though there are still a few less than optimal cards). Will update with DKA in about a month. Hoping to draft this some online!
2/10/11: Another sizeable overhaul & I changed 61 cards. I've cut a lot of the crap out of the Cube & overall it's looking pretty trim. I added 8 morph cards which I'm pretty excited about. There are another 50 or so cards I want to test in the future but that will come with time. This is by far the best the Cube has ever been & I can't wait to try it out. I think the perfect Cube size (with the sets that have been released so far) may be around 450. I'm going to stay at 500 for now to give more cards a chance to be played. Oh yeah, 382 foils & promos equals win
12/24/10: Merry Christmas to my Cube! I just received a large shipment of cards & foils and now my Cube is looking pretty awesome. First & foremost the Cube now has 350 foils/promos! It's pretty nuts. I also have acquired almost every card I want for the Cube. I still don't have all of the foils I want but that will come with time. My ultimate goal is 400 foils. There are some cards that don't exist as foil commons & some that I want to keep as revised commons so that is why 400 is my goal. The Cube is vastly improved since just five weeks ago. The three major overhauls have helped a lot. I changed 93 cards this time & last time I changed another 90+. I just started reading & participating in the MTGS Commons Cube Evaluation Thread. This thread has helped me more than anything else I've read online. I honestly did almost all of the evaluations & work by myself until October but since then I've been reading threads on here & my Cube has developed a lot. It was a terrific challenge for me to try & evaluate every common ever made without having played most of them (anything between 4th & Shards was a mystery to me)...but needless to say my evaluation was off quite a bit. I will continue to tweak the Cube but this is the closest my Cube has been to perfection. I think a perfect Cube is possible but I'm not quite there yet. Hopefully by the time Mirrodin Besieged comes out my Cube will be even better.
11/18/10: Wow...what an update! I changed a ridiculous 98 cards in the Cube! I was able to acquire a number of excellent commons in the last week. I still don't own all of the cards I want ( Sprout Swarm and Mind Stone are two that will someday make the Cube). I do have many more cards than I did when I last updated the list. I had two goals with this overhaul... Increase the creature count & decrease the number of multi-colored cards. I think that I accomplished this nicely. I now have 307 creatures in the Cube. This is only an increase of 15 creatures, but removing many multi-colored cards will mean an increase in the number of playables that each deck has access to. I also am experimenting with balancing the colors. That is, I'm running each color with 55 creatures & 25 spells. This helps some colors (green & white) and hurts some colors (red & blue). In the past we would sometimes draft blue/red and wind up with only 12 creatures in the deck. Even though the creatures aren't as high quality as the spells, I think the overall power of the average deck will be increased. It's always been a struggle to get to even 15 creatures & I'm hoping that now we'll be able to sometimes draft a 17 or 18 creature deck. I won't get to try out the Cube until next week. We'll see if all of the changes I made are worth it. I look forward to the day when card availability isn't an issue. I'm up to 122 foils/promos! That's almost one-quarter of the Cube. Pretty sweet...
11/13/10: I mistakenly had all of the updates in the first post & some of my old notes got deleted, so I will update again here. I've made many changes to the cube in the last month. Scars has added some solid cards to the cube & I've been able to acquire more commons. I created a "comprehensive" list in the next post. I went through Gatherer & looked at all of the commons ever printed (slightly insane). I tried to list every common that I think could ever possibly go in the Cube. There are definitely some mediocre cards in there (Phantasmal Terrain jumps out at the top of the list). However, I wanted to list any card that may ever possibly make the cut. My goal is to acquire all of these cards. That way I can edit the Cube as needed. I have all of the cards on this list that are post-Shards. I only have about 15% of the pre-Shards cards. One of these days I'll get the rest of them. Once card availability isn't an issue then I think the Cube will be truly amazing. It's already pretty good right now. One thing I think I may change is to increase the overall creature count. Right now there are 292 creatures in the Cube. That's means 58.4% of the Cube are creatures. If you use this math to an average 23-card/17-land deck then you will only have 13-14 creatures per deck. I've been struggling even when I've tried to draft decks with 16 or even 17 creatures. I know a big part of the Cube is about awesome spells, but I think increasing the number of creatures will help me avoid the 13-creature decks that we have been drafting a lot recently. I'm up to 95 promo/foil cards! A lot of Magic buddies have been very helpful with this endeavor. My goal is to someday get to 250 foils/promos & also have at least one card from every set ever printed (including the Portal sets but not the Un- sets). We'll see how long this takes...
9/18/10: I updated the cube about a month ago but just posted it today. I'm really excited for the Scars pre-release so I can get some more commons for the Cube. The signets are definitely going to go. I also need to acquire some more quality commons to add (I still don't have Mulldrifter). I also wrote the color combinations for the multi-color/hybrid cards so I can even those out a little more. RB is too prevalent and G has a lot of hybrid cards. All part of the Cube evolution
7/28/10: I updated the cube some more and it's up to 500 cards. Over time we've discovered some non-commons in the cube (Puppet Strings, Legerdemain, Heart of Bogardan, etc.) and I've removed them. There may be some more in here. Added quite a few M11 cards & I'm up to 68 foils! I still need to hit up some local gamers for some of the non-$.05 commons from the older sets (Mulldrifter comes to mind). I'm not going to drop $20 on a Sinkhole but I may spend more than $.05 for certain cards if I think they'll improve the cube. We did our first 4-man draft last weekend and it was awesome. Looking forward to trying it again now that it's 500 cards and has all of the M11 cards. It will be much improved in October when Scars comes out. Some of the artifacts need tweaked & this will accomplish it nicely.
7/2/10: Wow! I put a lot of time & effort into finding quality non-vanilla commons and I made a HUGE list of stuff I wanted to pick up. I went through the boxes at my FLGS & found about 70% of the cards I wanted in the $.05 stack. I just finished my second draft of the cube and it's up to 488 cards! My goal is 500 cards but this will do for now. It's far from perfect but it's much better than it was. It's going to take a while to fully update the online listing (a lot of cut/pasting is required). I'll probably do a color or two per day til it's done. I just finished red & white. The red listed above is complete. I'll edit the second half of the post once all of the colors are complete.
6/14/10: I took the time to go through Gatherer to find any commons from previous sets that "looked good." Since anything between Revised & Shards was a total mystery to me, I was using my (very limited) judgment to decide what cards are worth considering for the cube. I plan on picking up many of the commons listed there for possible consideration in the cube. I think I added something like 300-400 potential cards. I think I want my cube to be 500 cards. I need to ensure I keep the creature count up...otherwise many of the decks built will run 13 creatures & 10 spells. I'd like for people to at least have the option of building 17 or 18 creature decks. I'll scour the boxes at my local stores for these commons and post another update in a few weeks.
6/3/10: Cards that need to go include Puppet Strings, Cone of Flame, and Legerdemain. I knew all of those cards looked too good to be common when I bought them, but it was worth the $.05 to find out. 323 cards in the original cube. I think I want to get to 400 cards total. I'll probably add 10 of each color to get to 373. I also want to add a the 3 common dissension lands, maybe 10 signets, prophetic prism, and some more blue creatures.
Order of Leitbur
Blade of the Sixth Pride
Journey to Nowhere
Seal of Cleansing
Cage of Hands
Breath of Life