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 Doom Blade 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 Kolaghan’s Command, 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.
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 Tundra 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.
Key to the City