Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cube Blog: Big Update 2012

I know I haven't been posting much about the Cube (and I haven't been posting any new Crack-a-Packs), but I've been a little dissatisfied with it lately. For the past two weeks I've been looking over the entire Cube list and I've made a ton of changes. I'm still making a few little tweaks and the Cube list hasn't been updates yet. But I've easily swapped out 75+ of the 360 cards.


Here's a short list of the changes I've made so far:

Tribes
  • The soldier and bird tribes have been greatly reduced and are now mostly limited to morph creatures.
  • Rebels is the new main tribe for white and all White Weenie strategies. There is a lot of cross over with existing tribes (bird, soldier, cleric) and Whipcorder also has morph.
  • Ninjas are in. They make attacks and blocks even more confusing when combined with morph and they are able to bounce your own creatures to double down on abilities.
  • Dragons have expanded to promote triple color decks.
  • There are now 4 major tribes: Elves, Goblins, Rebels, and Zombies.
  • There are now 7 minor tribes: Beasts, Birds, Clerics, Dragons, Ninjas, Soldiers, and Wizards.
  • Slivers remain unchanged.
Cycles
  • I've decided that I want this Cube to be a lot more structured in terms of cycles, making it all feel more like a proper "format" and less like a random collection of cards.
  • The Onslaught Decrees were in the old list and are still in the Cube.
  • The Lorwyn Commands are now in the Cube. Like the decrees, they're designed to help bust open stagnant board states (which often happened in Onslaught block drafts). And much like morph, I feel like increasing the number of options available to players is a broad theme of the entire Cube.
  • The Elder Dragon Legends are in the Cube. They are all huge fliers in a format that is light on fliers, but they also are the only 5 cards in the Cube that promotes three color decks. There is are no other three color cards, triple color fixing, or abilities that use three colors. I like the idea of having a set of cards that might sway a player to make a deck that they've never made before. (Dragons are also supported with cards like Crimson Hellkite, Bladewin the Risen, and Bladewing's Thrall.)
  • Full sets of Split Cards are back in. These sets include the original 10 from Invasion Block, 10 wedge split cards from Ravnica, and the 3 mono-red from Planar Chaos. The Invasion & Planar Chaos sets are more important to the Cube because in draft, I think they produce interesting splash possibilities. The 3 mono-red splits are just good fits for the Cube, so they make the cut as well.
  • 10 Flashback spells of allied colors are in. There are 10 and not 5 because I include 1 copy in both directions (Travel Preparations and Ray of Revelation, for example.) Momentary Blink is an obvious inclusion for this Cube.
  • The Mirage Fetch Lands are in the Cube to increase the land count.
Other Changes
  • Cycling is completely out. One of the reasons I've been wanting to make this big change is because I got tired of the Cube being just an extended "Onslaught Cube."
  • The mana artifacts have been reduced to 20: The 5 Mirage diamonds, the 5 Mirrodin talismen, and the 10 Ravnica Signets.
  • The number of single red, 2 direct damage spells have been greatly reduced. There are still a few spells remaining like Assault/Battery, Dead/Gone, Tarfire, and Seal of Fire.
  • A little more reanimator support is supported, partly because of the elder dragons.


Overall, I think the Cube feels much more structured, promotes many different deck types, promotes a lot more interesting splashes, and the tribal theme is definitely a secondary focus. I'll update the complete list as soon as I've finished. In the meantime you can visit my MTG Salvation Thread HERE.

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