I do not subscribe to the philosophy that a Cube should contain the best of the best in each color, but instead try to play mad scientist with various components while trying to keep the Cube both interesting and fun. I don't shy away from suggested pet cards, and I still "el oh el!" when Ethersworn Adjudicator makes swing plays at a draft table. If my players are enjoying it, then I am generally enjoying it.
Over the years, my modules have started to become a bit less optimized than I would like. There are a number of cards that should ideally be moved out of one module and into another, and 2020 is the year in which I really hope to streamline my modules in order to make sure that the best cards in the 540 are in the module that allows for the best draft experience.
DESIGN NOTES: Ral, Izzet Viceroy has continued to be a strong addition to the Izzet section of Cube, however with the addition of both Lutri, the Spellchaser and Rielle, the Everwise there were no comparable cuts to keep Ral in the cube. Ral, Izzet Viceroy has been moved to the sideboard.
Both Innocent Blood and Mortify have had their time in the sun, it is time to let Orzhov breathe a bit more with the addition of Lurrus. Innocent Blood has always been a great piece of removal, however as Doom Blade variants continue to be introduced into the game, it has become much less of an interesting card within Cube. Because of the memorability of the card, it may return at some point.
DESIGN NOTES: Added Narset, Parter of Veils to help flesh out a loot archetype with the recent addition of Rielle, the Everwise. The initial inclusion is within the 450 card module to help curb lockout potential within smaller drafts with wheel effects. Narset has been given a [TESTING] tag as this interaction is intended to be powerful and will be monitored closely for any needed adjustments in the future.
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage is a classic card within the Cube, but has been filling a rather uninteresting role as a Planeswalker. Tamiyo has been removed to allow for more interesting and powerful interactions and may return in the future if more interesting interactions arise.
Simic has no shortage of interesting cads available to it for Cube. Nissa, Steward of Elements was originally included to help round out midrange strategies within the guild colors, but has failed to offer much power. Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath has been swapped to allow the guild a bit more playability for midrange strategies within the Cube.
+Heartless Act added to 360 card module
-Innocent Blood removed from 360 card module
+Lurrus of the Dream-Den added to 360 card module
-Mortify removed from 360 card module
+Rielle, the Everwise added to 360 card module
-Ral, Izzet Viceroy removed from 360 card module
+Lutri, the Spellchaser added to 450 card module
-Saheeli, Sublime Artificer removed from 450 card module
+Narset, Parter of Veils added to 450 card module
-Tamiyo, the Moon Sage removed from 450 card module
+Uro, Titan of Nature's Wrath added to 450 card module
-Nissa, Steward of Elements removed from 450 card module
+Teferi, Master of Time added to 360 card module
-Clever Impersonator removed from 360 card module
+Barrin, Tolarian Archmage added to 360 card module
-Exclusion Mage removed from 450 card module
+Ghostly Pilferer added to 540 card module
-Dimensional Infiltrator removed from 540 card module
*Man-O'-War moved to 450 card module (from 360)
+Terror of the Peaks added to 360 card module
-Glorybringer removed from 540 card module
*Siege-Gang Commander moved to 450 card module (from 360)
*Wildfire moved to 540 card module (from 450)
+Radha, Heart of Keld added to 360 card module
-Xeangos, the Reveler removed from 360 card module
DESIGN NOTES: Teferi, Master of Time is an exciting addition next to the Ikoria updates bringing in Narset, Parter of Veils and Rielle, the Everwise. Together, I hope that these cards help flesh out a loot archetype that can work as a potential lockout style control deck for players to work out. Clever Impersonator has long been a nice utility card for players to have and has primarily fallen into a popular Sultai planeswalkers deck, however the card has been fairly uninteresting beyond its inclusion in these kinds of decks.
Barrin, Tolarian Archmage is a nice upgrade to Exclusion Mage and has prompted the shift of Man-o'-War from the 360 card module to the 450 card module to help make room for Barrin, Tolarian Archmage. Traditionally, I like offering Man-o-War in the 360 draft experience because of the throwback nature of the card and I think Barrin offers a bit of throwback to old lore himself while offering more value and versatility.
Ghostly Pilferer is a nice upgrade for blue aggro decks as it offers much more utility than Dimensional Infiltrator and can splash itself into a Oona's Prowler-like role. Unfortunately, cuts in blue can be hard to make due to the heavy competition within the color and 540 seems like a fair start.
Terror of the Peaks is a very interesting addition for Cube. A lot of the spots it contests are strong 5 mana hitters with very relevant abilities and stats. Glorybringer has been removed to make room for Terror of the Peaks in hopes to hep diversify this slot a bit more and hopefully bring big red options like Chandra, Flamecaller and Combustible Gearhulk into the forefront a bit more with a more interesting option.
Radha, Heart of Keld looks to be a long overdue iteration of the character and will hopefully bring a bit of density to these kinds of effects within my cube. Her ability to play a supporting role in various different strategies has high appeal, and having a little overlap with Xenagos, the Reveler made the cut seem pretty straight forward. I am sure Xenagos, the Reverler will make a return at some point, but it is nice to have another option.
THE COMMANDER MODULE
The Commander module is a 180 card module that allows up to 6 drafters to draft alongside the core 360 card cube. The Commander module is drafted prior to drafting the core cube and ensures each drafter gets at least 2 packs from the Commander module. Each deck must contain 60 cards, no more, no less.
Visual Spoiler for the Commander Module
Visual Spoiler for core 360 Cube
S T A X
L A N D S
B L I N K
T O K E N S
DESIGN NOTES: I have wanted to build a Commander Cube for a long time now, as Commander is my favorite format following the limited environment of Cube drafting. This module is my attempt to curate a Commander Cube that caters to my love for more traditional powered Cube without filling the Cube with mostly Commander centric cards. This module is most certainly a work in progress, and I hope it can be fine-tuned as time goes on. The module itself aims to add additional support for archetypes not really represented much in the core 360 of my Cube, while bringing forth Commanders that will work with archetypes that do exist within the main 360 card Cube.
The module is not color balanced, this is to help it focus on archetype balance and support rather than filling colors in with filler cards that may not accurately represent the intended power of play for the module. This may be reevaluated at some point, but unlikely.
Deck size and drafting method are also works in progress. The deck size of 60 cards, which includes your commander, may be adjusted depending on the average number of playables drafted. Currently, the draft process leads to drafting the Commander module before drafting the 360 core of the Cube. I am unsure if this will be a long term thing, it may be that it needs to be drafted after - or perhaps even during the initial draft with a counter rotation to it. Ideally, these numbers allow people to draft more than 1 commander option so the second half of the draft can remain flexible once players need to build their decks.
Some archetypes can cross-pollinate as well as bleed into other colors. Tokens for example, is not tied strictly to Ghave, Guru of Spores or even Abzan. Tokens can work with Xyris, the Writhing Storm and The Locust Godwith supporters like Seasoned pyromancer, Tezzeret, Artifice Master, and others. Stax, can function like traditional Smokestack decks with cards like Braids, Cabal Minion and Strip Mine interactions, or it can shift to more of a blue-oriented build using Static Orb effects for a different approach. The aim is to allow drafters to play the same archetypes in different ways and help bolster the card pool available for some archetypes.