So I wanted to make another cube that I could bring to events (my main cube is worth too much and theft has become too common for me to be comfortable with this any more). I also wanted to do something that wasn't a carbon copy, I love my cube but also enjoy common/uncommon cubes (living down the street from Klug's excellent cube). I decided on something in the middle.
I basically have a fake Magic set, all the cards are real and you will draft packs of 11 commons, 3 uncommons and one rare. This means that combat matters, blockers matter, planeswalkers are very rare but you have some sweet rares thrown in. Also there are three copies of each common and two of each uncommon so you can double down on a card you want.
As an additional design constraint all the cards in this are new-border non-foil cards. This has gotten much easier with printing of duel decks, Commander and Planechase.
I'm going to be taking this to GP Philly this weekend and I want to get a lot of playing/testing in. I think the core of the list will be fun but there are some balance concerns. Black seems the weakest and red the strongest.
Feel free to comment, I'll probably not be making changes until this weekend/after the weekend but input is appreciated!
Why do you call this a 'fake' cube? It appears to be exactly what a cube is: a preselected pool of cards to be used for drafting. I'd say it's a custom set, rather than fake. There seems to be very little colorless (land/artifact) mana fixing. Your main cube has duals, fetches, shocks, bouncelands, and even manlands. Have you considered how the lack of these will affect the drafting experience? Also, I'm curious why about half of the cards are bolded - are they the 'core' of the cube, perhaps?
I don't consider this a traditional cube for two reasons:
1. Packs are created by rarity.
2. There are mutiple copies of cards.
There is less mana fixing because that is what normal sets look like. I think green is the only color that supports more than a light splash for a third color. I'm okay with that in the abstract but I'll see how it plays.
So I got in two six man drafts of this cube last weekend and it was a blast. Here is my first deck, don't have a picture of the second (UW control).
Based on these drafts I think it really worked well! The token theme worked, blue tempo decks worked and ramp decks worked. The rares also seemed nice, they spiced up the drafts without dominating them. It can become unbalanced based on what is opened (both drafts I have ~5 rares based on dumb luck) and I do want to keep the overall power level of rares low.
The mana fixing was about right though I'd like a little more. Probably adding one more common that makes five colors of mana. I might add Evolving Wilds on top of Teramorphic. I mostly want this to make the off color flashback type cards work better.
Here are the changes. Mostly to promote more aggro. I'm also moving all gold cards to uncommon/rare and adding enemy colored uncommons.
Cut -> Add
Necogen Scudder -> Diregraf Ghoul
Cone of Flame -> Plated Geopede
Rampant Growth -> Wild Nacatal
Axebane Guardian -> Basking Rootwalla
Treetop Village -> Overrun (Treetop will come back because I know it is solid but I want to give some other cards like Stingerfling Spider a chance to prove themselves)
Armadillo Cloak -> Dryad Militant
Blightning -> Rakdos Cackler
I could calculate it from the sheet, but it's probably easier just to ask you: how many cards does this come to using your 3 per common, 2 per uncommon scheme?
I'm still updating and tuning the cube but it is about 500 cards. It is limited by commons which don't quite support 10 drafters, that means you see each common much more often than an uncommon or rare.