The Community Cube: Worlds

It’s time. Are you ready? The Community Cube debut is here, and the world is invited. The Cube is on site at Worlds, sleeved, prepped, and ready to rumble with the champions. We’re in for a wild ride.

Telling you that everything is ready isn’t the same as showing you. Here is a summary of the goods.

Cut Add
Shade of Trokair Village Bell-Ringer
Wall of Glare Bonds of Faith
Cloud Spirit Stitched Drake
Telekinesis Claustrophobia
Raven's Crime Dead Weight
Geth's Verdict Victim of Night
Goblin Patrol Village Ironsmith
Aftershock Brimstone Volley
Pouncing Jaguar Ambush Viper
Centaur Courser Prey Upon
Sigil Blessing Travel Preparations
Shield of the Oversoul Avacyn's Pilgrim
Tidehollow Strix Forbidden Alchemy
Scuttlemutt Blazing Torch

Let’s recap.

White

Shade of Trokair, my most despised among 1-drops, and Wall of Glare, the most absurd delaying mechanism I’ve seen, got the axe. I can gleefully say that Village Bell-Ringer will delay, but in an interactive way, and Bonds of Faith will remove—far better than an aggressive Shade. Both changes help White’s aggression and defense.

Blue

I don’t always play Blue, but when I do, I prefer to cast Stitched Drake (rather than Cloud Spirit) and Claustrophobia (rather than Telekinesis). And I want to remind voters at home that card eligibility is determined by the lowest rarity across paper Magic and Magic Online, so Telekinesis is legal here since it’s a common on Magic Online. And there’s certainly more discussion to be had about eligibility and rarity. (Though you did vote to make this so!)

Black

The symmetry of the changes in Black is art. Raven's Crime was a Dead Weight, and Geth's Verdict was a Victim of Night. The speed of the spells, the mana costs required, and the desired effects all match up in a beautiful parallel. There isn’t much to say here.

Red

The only change from the Innistrad winners was the addition of Village Ironsmith. This was the compromised victory from last week’s Werewolf voting. Among voters, 40% declined adding any Werewolf, but the next largest cluster was 36% and wanted to add Ironfang. Clearly, “want to add at least one” outweighed “don’t add one at all,” so we grabbed the most desired choice.

One Werewolf, on a close watch for performance, can’t hurt too much. Brimstone Volley easily cleared the hurdle, and together with our new furry friend, they kicked out Goblin Patrol and Aftershock. Good riddance.

Green

Green removal began with a trickle in the form of Arachnus Web in Magic 2012. The oncoming flood is apparent in Innistrad. Both Ambush Viper and Prey Upon are Green removal to the letter. Pouncing Jaguar is awkward, and Centaur Courser is boring, and they won’t be missed.

Multicolored

While I’m still sad that my favorite Limited card from Innistrad, Feeling of Dread, didn’t make it through the voting, a close second is Travel Preparations, and its companion Avacyn's Pilgrim actually made it. This bolsters G/W as midrange color pair—kicking out Shield of the Oversoul and Sigil Blessing helps reinforce that.

In a different way, Forbidden Alchemy was promised to U/B, but you took a different track and removed Tidehollow Strix instead of Mystical Teachings. Now U/B control is the name of the game here.

Artifact

It wasn’t even close. Scuttlemutt is scuttled in favor of Blazing Torch. A random, inefficient dork against a slick removal spell . . . I know where I’d place my bets.

Now, the good stuff.

Archetype Update

If you haven’t drafted the Cube before, or if you are unfamiliar with the common archetypes of the Community Cube, here is a quick cheat sheet you can use to test things out over at the Tapped Out Community Cube online draft!

To be clear, these are oversimplifications of allied color pairings meant to illustrate the most common, and supported, ways to play. Feel free to expand, discuss, and review more details in the comments!

W/U Tempo

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Attack quickly and often with evasive creatures
  • Slow down the opponent while clearing away any blockers

Why It’s Good:

  • In a pinch, you can gain life, be defensive, and play as a control deck.
  • If an opponent plays around counterspells, he is sacrificing tempo and giving you room to attack.

B/R Suicide

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Drop an opponent’s life total into burn range as quickly as possible
  • Overpower and trade immediate damage for long-term stability

Why It’s Good:

  • It punishes slow decks that don’t have a solid early game.
  • It punishes bad draws and bad mulligan decisions.
  • It forces the opponent to play how you want to play.

U/B Control

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Stabilize against anything aggressive using superior cards and two-for-ones
  • Use card selection and draw to pull ahead
  • Land and protect a powerful finisher to close the game quickly once control is established

Why It’s Good:

  • You have better cards that give you the opportunities to make better decisions.
  • Card filtering helps you find what you need, when you need it.

G/W Midrange

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Accelerate as early as possible
  • Play larger, more problematic creatures sooner
  • Use equipment and pump spells to overpower defenses

Why It’s Good:

  • Early efficient creatures are very problematic to answer.
  • Using the largest creatures will allow you to win the ground war.
  • Bits of evasion and removal feel more valuable.

R/G Aggro

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Maximize land-drops to best leverage big, Red {X} spells
  • Gain incremental value at every step of the curve

Why It’s Good:

  • It punishes slower, less consistent decks.
  • It always hits land-drops for big spells.
  • It most easily splashes a third color (usually White or Black).

Multicolored Control

Critical Components:

Objectives:

  • Play the best and most valuable cards in your deck
  • Avoid color commitment and maximize the potential of every draft pick
  • Oscillate between aggro and control when needed

Why It’s Good:

  • Bounce lands and Signets let you cast anything easily.
  • You use the best of everything, both creatures and spells, each game.
  • Opponents will be less able to react to disparate, random cards.

Who Needs Worlds?

If you’re like most of the world and missing out on the San Francisco delight, there is a solution: draft the Community Cube online. Use the Tapped Out version to set up a draft, invite a few friends to join, then let it rip!

To make it easy to share information about your draft, there are a few things you can do:

You can follow along with @GatheringMagic this weekend at Worlds, where we’ll be setting up the inaugural draft and releasing your work into the world.

Thanks for your efforts so far; the best lies just ahead!

Scoreboard

Throughout the Community Cube project, hiccups and issues popped up in everything. I had just a few thanks to share before we turn the project to the next stage.

  • Debbie, thanks for your kind patience. You are certainly one-of-a-kind amazing!
  • To Alex Ullman, Usman Jamil, Thea Steel, Seth Burn, Eric Klug, and many more who advocate Cubing: Without you, bad information and even worse opinions would prevail in the world. Thank you for working hard!
  • Trick, both for being awesome and for directing me toward the challenge. The hardest part of all—letting it go—is something I really looked forward to. Thanks for making it happen!
  • Thanks to the community and readers for all of your votes, thoughts, and ideas. You made the Cube what it is, and you’ll continue to shape everything it can be. Thank you for being there every week! If you see me at Worlds, watch carefully: A box full of the community’s effort will begin giving back!

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