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Subject: Here's my collection - what's the best way to play? rss

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Jeff Coon
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I have a collection of about 10,000 cards. About half are a mix of Unlimited / Revised / 4th Edition, along with some Antiquities, Arabian Nights, The Dark and Fallen Empires. The other half come from the next couple of blocks - a healthy dose of Ice Age, Mirage, Visions and Alliances, with a bit of Tempest and Stronghold.

Some friends of mine are looking for a good way to play, and I'm wondering if my collection could help us out. One thought I had was to create some 15-card boosters from each set, so that we could do some drafting within each set. But then I started reading up on Cube magic, which sounded like an incredibly fun way to play.

So here are a few questions:

1) Do I have enough variety to build a Cube? Or would Cube Magic require cards from a lot of later sets that I don't have?

2) When I'm looking at cubes online, I don't recognize half of the card names, which leads me to believe that the cubes are spanning the entire Magic catalog of sets. How do people build their cubes? Have they really been playing for 15 years, and have collections that span all the sets? Or are they buying singles to fill out their cube?

3) Are the Ice Age / Mirage / Vision / Alliances sets any fun to draft? I don't have any experience with these sets, so I'm not sure if they were "stinkers" or quality sets. Could I build some good "packs" for drafting from these sets?
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http://boardgame.geekdo.com/thread/382910/magic-as-an-afford...
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Andy Stout
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1) Everyone has enough to build "a" Cube, just put together your best 360 cards and have fun!

2) That having been said, it won't resemble just about any other cube that you'll find online, and will be severely underpowered. Yes, most cubes span the entire history of Magic; for me, at least, that's a HUGE part of their fun! I filled my cube out by buying singles (and making proxies using magiccards.info), and I don't think there's *anyone* who built a power cube that didn't; no one has all those cards.

3) Truth is, those sets are...kind of awful to draft. ANYthing post-Invasion, heck even post-Tempest, would be better. But: Magic is such a damn fun game, and drafting is so fun, that it'll be a riot anyway. There'll be a LOT of just godawful cards, but winning with terrible cards is EXTREMELY fun, as is mocking them constantly.
 
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Jorge Montero
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Jeff wrote:
I have a collection of about 10,000 cards. About half are a mix of Unlimited / Revised / 4th Edition, along with some Antiquities, Arabian Nights, The Dark and Fallen Empires. The other half come from the next couple of blocks - a healthy dose of Ice Age, Mirage, Visions and Alliances, with a bit of Tempest and Stronghold.

Some friends of mine are looking for a good way to play, and I'm wondering if my collection could help us out. One thought I had was to create some 15-card boosters from each set, so that we could do some drafting within each set. But then I started reading up on Cube magic, which sounded like an incredibly fun way to play.

So here are a few questions:

1) Do I have enough variety to build a Cube? Or would Cube Magic require cards from a lot of later sets that I don't have?

2) When I'm looking at cubes online, I don't recognize half of the card names, which leads me to believe that the cubes are spanning the entire Magic catalog of sets. How do people build their cubes? Have they really been playing for 15 years, and have collections that span all the sets? Or are they buying singles to fill out their cube?

3) Are the Ice Age / Mirage / Vision / Alliances sets any fun to draft? I don't have any experience with these sets, so I'm not sure if they were "stinkers" or quality sets. Could I build some good "packs" for drafting from these sets?


You can build a cube out of that, but the end results will be very different from those build from newer sets: Pretty much every single set from those listed is today considered quite weak in the creature department, while your assortment of direct damage and counterspells is about as good as it ever was. I'd consider buying some newer commons for variety's sake, but it's not like you can't play with what you have.

Some people have played magic for 15 years, but it's easy to get a lot of variety by just buying bulk commons out there.

Those blocks are draftable, but you might feel like you want to fudge rarities when you create your packs. Those are some of the first sets where wizards even considered limited play, so if all you tried to do was recreate the original packs, chances are that you'd not have a very good set to draft: Unbalanced colors, bad common creatures and all that. But someone that knows what he is doing and has access to enough uncommons should be able to make a draftable card pool out of that.
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Nick Short
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hibikir wrote:
Those blocks are draftable, but you might feel like you want to fudge rarities when you create your packs. Those are some of the first sets where wizards even considered limited play, so if all you tried to do was recreate the original packs, chances are that you'd not have a very good set to draft: Unbalanced colors, bad common creatures and all that. But someone that knows what he is doing and has access to enough uncommons should be able to make a draftable card pool out of that.
Alternatively, you might try setting up drafts as normal, but with 4 packs per person. The additional cards could help make up for a generally weaker card pools and lack of playables. Color balance shouldn't really be an issue, because the weaker colors will attract fewer players, so it should balance itself out.
 
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Michael Nerman
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It's true that there are a lot of crappy cards in those sets, but you have so many cards, I would think you could distill them to make a subset that would be fun to draft. Try it out and see what happens, and you might need to fiddle with it, or buy some commons to fill in where something's missing.
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Jeff Coon
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Thanks for the info, everyone. I may break down the Ice Age block to see if there's enough to make boosters that don't suck for a draft.

I'm still really interested in the concept of building a cube, but I'm now starting to understand that it's more about building a cube from a collection of really good cards that span the entire Magic catalog. So I'm now researching buying singles to see what it would take to put together a power cube, or a common / uncommon cube.
 
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Michael Nerman
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That's usually what people do, but I don't think you necessarily have to do that to enjoy your cube.
 
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Gabriel Manasan
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The absolute power level of your cube doesn't matter so much, as long as the cards actually do things. Remember, the official tournament/sanctioned draft format is played almost entirely with commons and uncommons.

Having said that, the really old sets are really bad when it comes to having cards that don't do anything really. Start by separating your cards into creatures (good) and non-creatures (probably bad) and you can work it out from there.
 
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Pete Lane
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Another thing to remember is that Cube is just as much about fun level as it is being a "greatest hits" of Magic. Many of my friends played heavily during Kamigawa and really see the set as one of the most fun available. This is NOT popular thought, but any cube we put together also has a large chunk of these cards simply for nostalgia sake. We love it, and wouldn't have it any other way. But of course, if we're the only ones playing it... who cares as long as WE think it's fun!

I guess keeping this in mind, make sure your colors are equally ballanced in fun/power/number of cards. It's easy to just throw together every blue counter and card draw... but it doesn't make one want to draft a blue deck... Same with red and burn spells. Make sure you have some good creatures as well!
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Michael Webb
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It doesn't matter what sets the cards in your cube come from as long as the colours are relatively balanced in power. There is nothing wrong with using exclusively older cards. As other posters have noted, creatures were traditionally under-powered and spells over-powered, but it's not an issue as long as you don't have significantly more bombs in one colour over another.

I would probably do some sort of preliminary sorting to remove chunks of completely unusable chafe (but not all of it...I like having a few pieces of complete crap in any given cube, it makes it more amusing when it shows up!) and then work from there...filling in gaps with some commons and uncommons as needed.

You also probably want to address how you're going to sort the thing. Some people play cubes with no sorting, where you just pull X cards out and roll with it. I'm personally a proponent of having things sorted by rarity, but with old cards that's going to be extremely difficult to do. If you do go with no sorting, then you'll probably want to make sure that your rarities aren't too far out of whack. Having too many rares can make for odd limited play because many of them are extremely narrow or require big colour commitments.

Really though, any cube will self-balance with enough play, as players can account for its oddities with time, but I still think that, at the very least, colour balancing adds to replay.
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