The Decision Cube

Or maybe the Spike Cube?

Many cubes emphasize powerlevel. They have very powerful cards from the history of the game. To me personally, if everyone has powerful cards, the powerlevel still remains flat, so the difference between high and low powerlevel is not that important.

However, I do enjoy well built cubes. Just throwing in a bunch of powerful cards with no planning is not a good idea. Cube is a game and it requires design. Even though draft is self-correcting, you don’t want a cube with eight completely separate themes and then you just draft to see who gets which is not a good idea either.

Since a cube is a game, you should also have a target group in mind. Not everyone is going to enjoy the same cubes, so you shouldn’t try to force a cube for everyone. That would just be a mess.

So, a couple of years back we came up with the idea of building a cube for those players who enjoy the complicated decision making within the game – for you or for your opponent. Of course most spells have a lot of decision making involved. Do you [card]Doom Blade[/card] this blocker or wait for something more threatening? However, in order to build a more complicated environment, we decided to have plenty of spells with different modes.

Since the cube needed some answers, we did make some concessions on various removal, but not too much. And we still use a very different kind of removal package than most cubes would.

This does mean that there aren’t very strong themes in the cube besides this. There’s some, but they aren’t necessarily very strong.

The other goal was keeping the cost fairly low. We wouldn’t get a chance to use the cube very often (in fact, it has never been played), so there’s no point in getting cards like [card]Kolaghan’s Command[/card], which is kind of expensive, even though it would otherwise be a nice, if quite strong, addition.

As you’ll see, finding cards with different modes was quite easy. I do think that the gameplay might be somewhat too much for many, so Ben Stark, this is for you.

Some explanations

On the lands: We decided to go with not that many lands. Only the 10 tri-lands. The problem here is that a certain part of the audience might read this as an encouragement to make three colored decks, but that’s not what we are going for.

Rather, the idea is to enable some splashing, but I’m not sure you really want to do that, unless you can’t find enough playables, which shouldn’t be a problem, so that’s not all. Instead, the idea is that we can do a lot with 10 tri-lands. Suppose we had something like the original 10 duals. Sure, they are better, but if you do want fixing in your deck and more than one land, you can do a lot with the tri-lands. Suppose you want to play Azorius, you can now use the Esper, Jeskai or Band lands to help you fix, whereas you could only use [card]Tundra[/card] from the original duals.

On the color distribution: There’s 51 cards for each color, eight for each 10 guilds and 10 tri-color commands. That plus the lands leaves room for 5 artifacts. That’s a total of 360.

Now, since this cube doesn’t have strong themes outside of the decision-orientation, you could easily go above the 360 and just leave some cards out when drafting. If we had strong themes, those would require us to make sure those themes are strong enough when doing the drafts. we have no such concerns here.

This does leave the problem that there might be a stronger then usual pick order. You can’t really make decisions based on synergies (at least most of the time), although good deck building is still a concern, meaning that you should still make picks based on the curve.

On the identities of colors: They probably aren’t as strong here as they would otherwise be. Sure, there are still going to be big green creatures, but they are not just a 6/6 with trample.

On themes: There pretty much aren’t any. There’s plenty of +1/+1 counters, but the pay-offs are pretty limited. There’s some synergies here and there, but mostly they just aren’t there. It’s possible that all the discard or… whatever might indicate that you might find some, but that’s often not just true. Some players might just assume so. Well, they’ll learn soon enough.


Starting with my personal least favorite color.

1 2 3 4 5
[card]Herald of Anafenza[/card]
[card]Hopeful Eidolon[/card]
[card]Anointer of Champions[/card]
[card]Cliffside Lookout[/card]
[card]Glory-Bound Initiate[/card]
[card]Sightless Brawler[/card]
[card]Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit[/card]
[card]Hidden Dragonslayer[/card]
[card]Master of Pearls[/card]
[card]Adanto Vanguard[/card]
[card]Cloistered Youth[/card]
[card]Kor Aeronaut[/card]
[card]Seeker of the Way[/card]
[card]Gust Walker[/card]
[card]Abzan Falconer[/card]
[card]Sandsteppe Outcast[/card]
[card]Eidolon of Countless Battles[/card]
[card]Glint-Sleeve Artisan[/card]
[card]Affa Guard Hound[/card]
[card]Dauntless Aven[/card]
[card]Devoted Crop-Mate[/card]
[card]Kabira Vindicator[/card]
[card]Heliod’s Emissary[/card]
[card]Abzan Battle Priest[/card]
[card]Abzan Skycaptain[/card]
[card]Angel of Condemnation[/card]
[card]Vizier of the True[/card]
[card]Oketra’s Attendant[/card]
[card]Bishop of Rebirth[/card]
[card]Celestial Archon[/card]
[card]Brave the Elements[/card]
[card]Ajani’s Presence[/card]
[card]Alley Evasion[/card]
[card]Sheltering Light[/card]
[card]Valorous Stance[/card]
[card]Seal of Cleansing[/card]
[card]Act of Heroism[/card]
[card]Swift Reckoning[/card]
[card]Forsake the Worldly[/card]
[card]Aura of Silence[/card]
[card]Angelic Purge[/card]
[card]Astral Slide[/card]
[card]Collective Effort[/card]
[card]Skywhaler’s Shot[/card]
[card]Shoulder to Shoulder[/card]
[card]Encircling Fissure[/card]
[card]Sheer Drop[/card]
[card]Cast Out[/card]
[card]Conclave Tribunal[/card]


1 2 3 4 5
[card]Dakra Mystic[/card]
[card]Jeskai Elder[/card]
[card]Spellweaver Eternal[/card]
[card]Stratus Dancer[/card]
[card]Warkite Marauder[/card]
[card]Watcher for Tomorrow[/card]
[card]Daring Saboteur[/card]
[card]Wharf Infiltrator[/card]
[card]Ingenious Skaab[/card]
[card]Mistfire Weaver[/card]
[card]Silumgar Sorcerer[/card]
[card]Nimble Obstructionist[/card]
[card]Vizier of Tumbling Sands[/card]
[card]Crystalline Nautilus[/card]
[card]Eternal of Harsh Truths[/card]
[card]Nimbus Naiad[/card]
[card]Conundrum Sphinx[/card]
[card]Niblis of Frost[/card]
[card]Kheru Spellsnatcher[/card]
[card]Curator of Mysteries[/card]
[card]Perplexing Chimera[/card]
[card]Prognostic Sphinx[/card]
[card]Clutch of Currents[/card]
[card]Twisted Image[/card]
[card]Into the Roil[/card]
[card]Ice Over[/card]
[card]Mirror Mockery[/card]
[card]Phantom Wings[/card]
[card]Singing Bell Strike[/card]
[card]Monastery Siege[/card]
[card]Polymorphous Rush[/card]
[card]Supreme Will[/card]
[card]Scatter to the Winds[/card]
[card]Countervailing Winds[/card]
[card]Aether Tradewinds[/card]
[card]Fortune’s Favor[/card]
[card]Coastal Discovery[/card]
[card]Fuel for the Cause[/card]
[card]Illusionist’s Stratagem[/card]
[card]Hieroglyphic Illumination[/card]
[card]Illusory Gains[/card]
[card]Covenant of Minds[/card]


1 2 3 4 5 6
[card]Gnarled Scarhide[/card]
[card]Guul Draz Assassin[/card]
[card]Bloodsoaked Champion[/card]
[card]Deadeye Tracker[/card]
[card]Disowned Ancestor[/card]
[card]Kitesail Freebooter[/card]
[card]Pain Seer[/card]
[card]Baleful Eidolon[/card]
[card]Silumgar Assassin[/card]
[card]Seekers’ Squire[/card]
[card]Ammit Eternal[/card]
[card]Herald of Torment[/card]
[card]Nirkana Cutthroat[/card]
[card]Mardu Strike Leader[/card]
[card]Vengeful Rebel[/card]
[card]Inverter of Truth[/card]
[card]Bane of the Living[/card]
[card]Silumgar Butcher[/card]
[card]Erebos’s Emissary[/card]
[card]Vulturous Aven[/card]
[card]Shrike Harpy[/card]
[card]Archfiend of Ifnir[/card]
[card]Rakshasa Gravecaller[/card]
[card]Stir the Sands[/card]
[card]Funeral Charm[/card]
[card]Boon of Erebos[/card]
[card]Tragic Slip[/card]
[card]Sinister Concoction[/card]
[card]Subtle Strike[/card]
[card]Malicious Affliction[/card]
[card]Costly Plunder[/card]
[card]Grasp of Darkness[/card]
[card]Imp’s Mischief[/card]
[card]Nameless Inversion[/card]
[card]Bile Blight[/card]
[card]Ruinous Path[/card]
[card]Read the Bones[/card]
[card]Foul Renewal[/card]
[card]Silence the Believers[/card]
[card]Bite of the Black Rose[/card]
[card]Consuming Vapors[/card]
[card]Palace Siege[/card]
[card]Murderous Cut[/card]


1 2 3 4 5
[card]Firedrinker Satyr[/card]
[card]Frenzied Goblin[/card]
[card]Lightning Berserker[/card]
[card]Reckless Waif[/card]
[card]Village Messenger[/card]
[card]Zurgo Bellstriker[/card]
[card]Sigiled Skink[/card]
[card]Humble Defector[/card]
[card]Battlefield Scavenger[/card]
[card]Nef-Crop Entangler[/card]
[card]Lightning Mauler[/card]
[card]Mogis’s Warhound[/card]
[card]Burning-Fist Minotaur[/card]
[card]Volatile Chimera[/card]
[card]Qal Sisma Behemoth[/card]
[card]Sin Prodder[/card]
[card]Hollowhead Sliver[/card]
[card]Reckless Racer[/card]
[card]Ahn-Crop Crasher[/card]
[card]Fervent Paincaster[/card]
[card]Tormentor Exarch[/card]
[card]Flame-Wreathed Phoenix[/card]
[card]Oracle of Bones[/card]
[card]Manticore Eternal[/card]
[card]Caldera Hellion[/card]
[card]Wolf of Devil’s Breach[/card]
[card]Reckless Rage[/card]
[card]Borrowed Hostility[/card]
[card]Burst Lightning[/card]
[card]Cinder Wall[/card]
[card]Lightning Axe[/card]
[card]Magma Jet[/card]
[card]Jaya’s Greeting[/card]
[card]Tormenting Voice[/card]
[card]Collective Defiance[/card]
[card]Arc Lightning[/card]
[card]Savage Alliance[/card]
[card]Breaking Point[/card]
[card]Sweltering Suns[/card]
[card]Nahiri’s Wrath[/card]
[card]Skewer the Critics[/card]
[card]Devour in Flames[/card]
[card]Magmatic Core[/card]
[card]Throes of Chaos[/card]
[card]Goblin War Party[/card]
[card]Incendiary Command[/card]
[card]Cone of Flame[/card]
[card]Deem Worthy[/card]


1 2 3 4 5 6
[card]Joraga Treespeaker[/card]
[card]Narnam Renegade[/card]
[card]Leafcrown Dryad[/card]
[card]Nightshade Peddler[/card]
[card]Merfolk Branchwalker[/card]
[card]Rhonas’s Last Stand[/card]
[card]Den Protector[/card]
[card]Channeler Initiate[/card]
[card]Noose Constrictor[/card]
[card]Tuskguard Captain[/card]
[card]Boon Satyr[/card]
[card]Trusted Forcemage[/card]
[card]Deathmist Raptor[/card]
[card]Thrashing Brontodon[/card]
[card]Druid’s Familiar[/card]
[card]Peema Outrider[/card]
[card]Emperor’s Vanguard[/card]
[card]Fresh Meat[/card]
[card]Armorcraft Judge[/card]
[card]Crocodile of the Crossing[/card]
[card]Pack Guardian[/card]
[card]Acidic Slime[/card]
[card]Nessian Demolok[/card]
[card]Fated Intervention[/card]
[card]Pine Walker[/card]
[card]Nessian Wilds Ravager[/card]
[card]Hooded Hydra[/card]
[card]Vines of Vastwood[/card]
[card]Burst of Strength[/card]
[card]Elvish Fury[/card]
[card]Evolution Charm[/card]
[card]Evolutionary Leap[/card]
[card]Aggressive Urge[/card]
[card]Grapple with the Past[/card]
[card]Gather the Pack[/card]
[card]Terrifying Presence[/card]
[card]Alpha Authority[/card]
[card]Durable Handicraft[/card]
[card]Cached Defenses[/card]
[card]Clear Shot[/card]
[card]Inspiring Call[/card]
[card]Map the Wastes[/card]
[card]Roar of Challenge[/card]
[card]Bow of Nylea[/card]
[card]Ranger’s Path[/card] [card]Dromoka’s Gift[/card] [card]Wildest Dreams[/card]
[card]Grim Flowering[/card]


1 2 3 4 5
[card]Battlewise Hoplite[/card]
[card]Cartel Aristocrat[/card]
[card]Putrid Warrior[/card]
[card]Tithe Drinker[/card]
[card]Ayli, Eternal Pilgrim[/card]
[card]Honored Crop-Captain[/card]
[card]Sunhome Guildmage[/card]
[card]Truefire Paladin[/card]
[card]Fleecemane Lion[/card]
[card]Qasali Pridemage[/card]
[card]Fathom Feeder[/card]
[card]Disciple of Deceit[/card]
[card]Shipwreck Singer[/card]
[card]Izzet Guildmage[/card]
[card]Nivix Guildmage[/card]
[card]Icefeather Aven[/card]
[card]Kiora’s Follower[/card]
[card]Rix Maadi Guildmage[/card]
[card]Tymaret, the Murder King[/card]
[card]Korozda Guildmage[/card]
[card]Putrid Leech[/card]
[card]Swarm Guildmage[/card]
[card]Skarrg Guildmage[/card]
[card]Anax and Cymede[/card]
[card]Resolute Survivors[/card]
[card]Qasali Ambusher[/card]
[card]Renegade Rallier[/card]
[card]Veteran Warleader[/card]
[card]Dimir Doppelganger[/card]
[card]Jori En, Ruin Diver[/card]
[card]Stormcaller of Keranos[/card]
[card]Bounding Krasis[/card]
[card]Shapers of Nature[/card]
[card]Void Grafter[/card]
[card]Hellhole Flailer[/card]
[card]Catacomb Sifter[/card]
[card]Dreg Mangler[/card]
[card]Fanatic of Xenagos[/card]
[card]Thunderclap Wyvern[/card]
[card]Aven Wind Guide[/card]
[card]Triad of Fates[/card]
[card]Ahn-Crop Champion[/card]
[card]Evil Twin[/card]
[card]Stormchaser Chimera[/card]
[card]Altered Ego[/card]
[card]Bloodhall Priest[/card]
[card]Carnage Gladiator[/card]
[card]Merciless Javelineer[/card]
[card]Reaper of the Wilds[/card]
[card]Mina and Denn, Wildborn[/card]
[card]Raging Regisaur[/card]
[card]Glassdust Hulk[/card]
[card]Maw of the Obzedat[/card]
[card]Species Gorger[/card]
[card]Harbinger of the Hunt[/card]
[card]Raging Swordtooth[/card]
[card]Angelic Shield[/card]
[card]Azorius Charm[/card]
[card]Orzhov Charm[/card]
[card]Final Payment[/card]
[card]Boros Charm[/card]
[card]Nahiri’s Machinations[/card]
[card]Selesnya Charm[/card]
[card]Dimir Charm[/card]
[card]Agony Warp[/card]
[card]Simic Charm[/card]
[card]Rakdos Charm[/card]
[card]Golgari Charm[/card]
[card]Signal the Clans[/card]
[card]Ephara’s Enlightenment[/card]
[card]Roil Spout[/card]
[card]Sigil of the Nayan Gods[/card]
[card]Rhythm of the Wild[/card]
[card]Bant Charm[/card]
[card]Esper Charm[/card]
[card]Grixis Charm[/card]
[card]Jund Charm[/card]
[card]Naya Charm[/card]
[card]Abzan Charm[/card]
[card]Jeskai Charm[/card]
[card]Sultai Charm[/card]
[card]Mardu Charm[/card]
[card]Temur Charm[/card]
[card]Artful Takedown[/card]
[card]Steam Augury[/card]
[card]Brutal Expulsion[/card]
[card]Status // Statue[/card]
[card]Blast of Genius[/card]


Lands Artifacts
[card]Arcane Sanctum[/card]
[card]Seaside Citadel[/card]
[card]Jungle Shrine[/card]
[card]Crumbling Necropolis[/card]
[card]Savage Lands[/card]
[card]Mystic Monastery[/card]
[card]Nomad Outpost[/card]
[card]Sandsteppe Citadel[/card]
[card]Opulent Palace[/card]
[card]Frontier Bivouac[/card]
[card]Lesser Manticore[/card]
[card]Key to the City[/card]
[card]Mind Stone[/card]
[card]Urza’s Tome[/card]
[card]Howling Golem[/card]

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