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Subject: Building a cube and need help (GG for suggestions) rss

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Anthony Gat
United States
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I want to use my old collection (I stopped playing when I was 12) to make a small cube.

My goal is to make a draft cube for two players, so I figured 36 cards of each color would be nice (plus 25 artifacts/lands/multicolored cards). I want each card in the cube to be unique, and mostly want cards from 4th Ed.---certainly no later than Mercadian Masques.

I am looking for suggestions as to what cards I should remove from my cube and what I should replace them with (preferably cards I can obtain cheaply as singles). My primary objective is to remove cards that will be unplayable. My thinking is that if I can spend $20 on singles to make my cube a lot more fun, that’ll be worthwhile.

I’m only looking to swap out about 20 cards.

I only have enough GG to tip the first 14 suggestions.

I’ve listed all of my choices below, in order of casting cost.

Edit: out of geek gold.

Abu Jafar
Icatian Javelineeers
Healing Salve
Indestructible Aura
Death Ward
Sustaining Spirit
Repentant Blacksmith
Wall of Glare
Warrior en-Kor
Errand of Duty
Blessed Wine
Divine Offering
Circle of Protection Black
Energy Storm
Knight of Dawn
D’Avenant Archer
Blood of the Martyr
Reverse Damage
Prismatic Circle
Keepers of the Faith
War Elephant
Spectral Guardian
Kjeldoran Escort
Noble Elephant
Lancers en-Kor
Melesse Spirit
Personal Incarnation
Akron Legionnaire

Birds of Paradise
Elvish Fury
Ghazban Ogre
Llanowar Elves
Scryb Sprites
Rofello’s Gift
Crossbow Ambush
Monstrous Growth
Bear Cub
Wall of Roots
Armor of Thorns
Elvish Hunter
Argothian Pixies
Gibbering Hyenas
Lowland Basilisk
Untamed Wilds
Elite Cat Warrior
Thallid Devourer
Ernham Djinn
Carnivorous Plant
War Mammoth
Hungry Mist
Uktabi Wildcats
Canopy Dragon
Craw Wurm
Craw Giant
Rootbreaker Wurm
Scaled Wurm
Crash of Rhinos

Spell Blast
Power Sink
Unstable Mutation
Blue Elemental Blast
Mind Games
Whispers of the Muse
Sapphire Charm
Mind Bend
Cloak of Invisibility
Psychic Venom
Thalakos Seer
Sea Scryer
Merfolk Raiders
Zephyr Falcon
Sea Sprite
Mana Leak
Memory Lapse
Teferi’s Drake
Merfolk Seer
Wall of Water
Tidal Wave
Dream Cache
Gaseous Form
Wall of Vapor
Labyrinth Minotaur
Kukemssa Serpent
Vaporous Djinn
Touch of Brilliance
Dark Maze
Sandbar Crocodile

Shadow Guildmage
Sewer Rats
Initiates of the Ebon Hand
Marsh Gas
Ebony Charm
Lab Rats
Raise Dead
Endless Scream
Dark Ritual
Drudge Skeletons
Hasran Ogress
Drain Life
Hymn to Tourach
Word of Binding
Animate Dead
Scathe Zombies
Cemetery Gate
Spined Fluke
Priest of Gix
Wall of Shadows
Mindstab Thrull
Bone Harvest
Mind Rot
Hand of Death
Rain of Tears
Murk Dwellers
Reclusive Wight
Bog Wraith
Nocturnal Raid
Cursed Land
Grave Pact
Fallen Angel

Chaos Charm
Mountain Goat
Lava Burst
Mogg Fanatic
Searing Touch
Fanning the Flames
Goblin Tinkerer
Goblin Rock Sled
Final Fortune
Spitting Earth
Wall of Stone
Wall of Fire
Goblin War Drums
Blood Moon
Lightning Blast
Talruum Minotaur
Keldon Warlord
Mountain Yeti
Emberwilde Djinn
Barreling Attack
Lava Axe
Shivan Dragon

Shield Sphere
Havenwood Battleground
Hickory Woodlot
Cinder Marsh
Mishra’s Factory
Tormod’s Crypt
Claws of Gix
Phyrexian Walker
Thran Turbine
Barbed Sextant
Crystal Rod
Iron Star
Ivory Cup
Ashnod’s Transmogrant
Magma Mine
Wooden Sphere
Vitalizing Cascade
Grim Feast
Ashnod’s Altar
Jayemdae Tome
Urza’s Armor
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Cyrus the Great
United States
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One thing that you really need is some better manafixing. If you don't mind using newer cards, I would recommend picking up some Gates:
They should be extremely affordable (pennies each) and help out a lot with your mana.

I would cut all of the lands that you are running now (they are unbalanced in terms of color and are all quite weak) and run the Gates in addition to a

There are a lot of cards that would seem extremely weak nowadays, but I'm guessing that you are going for an older-style environment. Here are some cards that are both weak and probably wouldn't be as fun to play with:
Repentant Blacksmith (inefficient)
Errand of Duty (1/1 for 2, even with banding, is not impressive.)
Blessed Wine (does too little)
Akron Legionnaire (a creature this expensive should help you win, not just not lose.)
In general, White has a little too much lifegain/damage prevention and not enough creatures/win conditions. Unless you assemble a few strong creatures with banding, you won't be able to win. I would look for some more efficient creatures, particularly costing 2 mana.

Mind Bend (don't love the card, but in a format like this with lots of color hosers it might be OK.)
Psychic Venom (gives your opponent too many choices.)
Zephyr Falcon (1/1 flyers don't do very much.)
Sea Sprite (ditto)
Touch of Brilliance (both Divination and Inspiration are strictly better.)

I actually like blue quite a bit. It has very strong counterspells, bounce, and flyers and you should be able to build some nice tempo-based decks. My only concern is if you have too many flying creatures that a non-Green deck won't be able to win.

Initiates of the Ebon Hand (you probably won't have enough mana issues to warrant this taking up a slot.)
Scathe Zombies (just weak. Try Walking Corpse (2/2 for 1B) or Warpath Ghoul (3/2 for 2B))
Rain of Tears (you don't have a lot of lands worth destroying, and land destruction isn't good unless you have several cards in your deck that do it)
Mark Dwellers (Nether Horror is a straight-up 4/2 for 3B)

Black is weird. It has many of the strongest cards in the cube (Hymn to Tourach, Dark Ritual, Pox) but also is very low on removal and strong creatures. I would add Terror and Doom Blade. In terms of creatures, maybe slot in Typhoid Rats for one of your 1-drops, and look for any other creatures that may be appealing.

Mountain Goat (In a 2p draft, the chance that your opponent is also red is low. Try Goblin Arsonist.)
Searing Touch (you have so much better burn.)
Goblin Rock Sled (very bad if your opponent isn't also playing red)
Final Fortune (I don't know how often this could win the game. Most of the time when you could win with this you would win anyway.)
Blood Moon (very few nonbasic lands, even after adding the Gates.)
Shatter (no artifacts worth destroying)
Aladdin (no artifacts worth stealing)
Barreling Attack (you aren't playing enough giant creatures for this to be good often enough.)

Red has a ton of awesome burn spells, but not enough creatures. Look at Gore-House Chainwalker and Splatter Thug.

Green is OK overall. The only cards that really need to go are the two Wurms and the Rhinos. Add a Giant Spider, Joraga Treespeaker and a Prey Upon, as well as any other green cards that look interesting.

This all needs to go, except for the Factory, Tome, and Armor (maybe the Oasis). Add in the Gates, as well as some Equipment and other utility artifacts. Perhaps a Wayfarer's Bauble and Prophetic Prism for mana fixing.

I suggested a lot of changes, but the cube should really just be whatever you want to play with. There is no right and wrong (except that the Lucky Charms are very wrong!)
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Anthony Gat
United States
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Thanks for the great post!

Having not played in 10 years, I had some difficulty knowing where to start on this project!

I'm hesitant about adding modern cards (because the project is mostly motivated by nostalgia to begin with), but those look so obviously useful that I won't mind including them.

(Also, if others don't chime in with advice, the rest of my GG goes to you!)
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