Constructing a Cube

REMINDER: Designing a cube is a monumental task that has a huge pay off at the end. I recommend newer players starting off by building up their Magic foundations before tackling this beast. If you feel ready, proceed. If not, come back when you think you're ready.

Recycle (Introduction)

 As our excitement dies down from opening up boxes of the newest set (at this time it is Double Masters 2022, set symbol :2X2) one of the things that occurs is players wondering what to do with all the bulk from the set. Many Magic the Gathering players ask the question "What can I do with my bulk from all these boosters?" The solution some have found was to build a cube from them. Although I am bias and will say the best draft set to build a cube from was Eternal Masters (which is what I did), almost all Masters sets are great as the foundation for your cubes. One of the things that sets Master sets apart from regular draft sets is the abundance of playable cards outside of the rares and mythics. Since these are reprint sets, the playability of these cards is already known outside of cards getting downshifted. It just so happens that many of these cards happen to be cube staples as well.

Cube is my favorite way to play MTG if you for whatever reason didn't know. The freedom the format offers is the best thing about the format. The format naturally balances itself out by the randomness of draft. This makes it easier to include broken cards and game play interactions. These are always exciting for my play group to assemble since the variation prevents the consistency of these from creating an unfun environment.

While I was looking through other cube construction primers, I realized I had a lot in common with Melissa DeTora's article from way back when and funnily enough around the time Eternal Master dropped. I personally believe her article might be the best one out there for new cube designers as it is straightforward and simple, while still remaining highly informative unlike some other websites I've seen. The best part about it is that much of the information is still relevant today. I built my cube months before she published the article.

This post is intended to help people with constructing their first traditional cube from scratch. I am operating under the assumption that you are an experienced Magic player that has played limited (Draft, Sealed, and Prerelease) before and that you have access to MTG cards whether you buy. proxy, or already own them. I am retreading ground that others have discussed but we'll explore the different topics more thoroughly. Many things have changed or been added to the game that haven't been talked about too much about yet. This is not a guide for Commander Cubes since these are constructed differently.


This is a general guideline for how traditional cubes are constructed. 

For your first cube, you are generally looking at a list of 360 cards. This number comes from the general idea that a draft should have 8 people with each person starting with 3 packs of 15 cards. As you adjust or figure out your cube size, keep the size based on 45 cards per person. I.e. if you are expecting 4 people, 180 might be the size you want. This is a choice with most designers, but typically cubes opt to employ the singleton rule. Some people think it better balances cards and formats. What I like about singleton is that it makes every card feel more important since you know you might lose your chance to add it to your deck. Also it makes trying to obtain the cards easier since you do not need multiple copies. If you choose to not go the singleton route, you will have more consistent draft decks, however balancing your format might get wonky. Be aware that running a larger cube list will give you more variety of card choices, however it will dilute a lot of archetypes that you want to represented. For a more consistent gameplay experience smaller is better.

When it comes to choosing what goes into your cube. You can choose to run an unbalanced number of cards as seen in MTGO's Vintage Cube, however I found it easier for you to balance the number of cards that are allotted to each color. Each color in Magic has different functions and access to certain game play elements running a balance number of cards normally means that all of these game play elements can be seen. When you are finalizing the list, you might find that certain colors will have less noncreatures cards than other colors. This is perfectly fine as that is part of how the colors are different from each other. This would be the numbers I would run for an initial cube.

  • 50 cards for each mono colored section
  • 5 for each dual colored section = 50 cards total
  • 30 Artifacts/Colorless
  • 30 Lands
The monocolored section is the most vital part of your cube as it will determine how your cube is played since it makes up the bulk up of your cube. When thinking about what cards to include it is always best to choose cards that are either versatile or powerful. 

An example of a highly versatile card would be Water Front Bouncer. At face value for 1U, you get a 1/1 Merfolk Spellshaper with an activated ability. The activated ability reads tap Water Front Bouncer, pay U, and discard a card: "Return target creature to its owner's hand." It may seem simple, however the application for cube goes deep. The ability can be used as an Unsummon to bounce your opponent's creatures. It can also be used to bounce your own creatures for whatever reason you need: protecting your creature from your opponent and rebuying ETB abilities. The cost is another tool as you can use the discard cost as a discard outlet for decks that want it. This is combined with the general utility of being a creature. 

In terms of powerful cards, Sun Titan is a classic example. It cost 4WW for a 6/6 with Vigilance. It comes with the ability to bring back permanents 3MV or less from graveyard to battle field whenever this card ETBs or attacks. On its own, this card can overtake games by just overwhelming your opponents with card advantage and its large body. Remembering these two things will be difficult at first, but keep playing and redesigning your cube. With time, as your experience grows with game knowledge, you will have the wisdom to make better evaluations. You have forever to refine your cube, which is the best aspect of cube.

This is typically what kind of cards you will be including in each colored section. There are a lot of other option but these are some of the more popular ones.
  • White
    • Key Worded Creatures
    • Token Generators
    • Universal Removal
    • Board Wipes
  • Blue 
    • Card Draw
    • Counter Spells
    • Bounce Spells
    • Utility Creatures
  • Black
    • Creature Removal
    • Discard
    • Graveyard Recursion
    • Recursive Creature
  • Red
    • Burn Spells/ Direct Damage
    • Aggressive Creatures
    • Token Generators
    • Looting/ Exile Card Draw
  • Green
    • Large Resilient Creatures
    • Mana Ramp
    • Non Creature Removal
    • Fight Removal
Colorless//Artifacts should be seen as the section to supplement your colored section. This is the section where I add mostly utility cards and late game finishers. The utility in this section has huge variety ranging from grave hate, card draw, mana rocks, and tax/stax pieces. These are important as it opens up colors to be able to play in a variety of ways. For example, we are all familiar with red being the low curve aggressive color, but with the inclusion of artifacts,  monored is able to play as a viable control deck thanks to the mana rocks that enable more mana generation. The late game cards are important if you want to support the various fatty cheat/ramp strategies available as you can dedicate colored slots to other things rather than a fatty that may never see play. 

Lands should be focused on making sure that the correct color fixing is reach to play each of your decks smoother. What lands you choose to run does affect how your cube is played. They control the speed and pace of your games as well as deck construction. The inclusion of tap lands inherently force your decks to be slower and without access to untapped dual lands, your aggro decks if any will be encouraged to run as a monocolored deck since the mana is smoother. Be warned about utility lands as they do take away a slot of colored mana, which may or may not matter, but the bigger concern is that some lands don't even produce mana such as Maze of Ith and should not be treated as "lands".

Gold cards or multicolored cards can be a tricky section to handle. One of the questions you need to answer as a cube designer is "Why do my players want to play these cards?". Players always have the option to play any color combination without the inclusion of gold cards. Combine this with the fact that gold color cards are also harder to cast and you have a recipe for a good number of unplayable cards. In retail draft, they are typically used as a signpost (an indicator) of how a certain color combination wants to be played and are harder to typically come by, which is an acceptable design choice for the cube designer. The larger cube community has come to the consensus that gold cards need to be stronger or more unique than their mono color counterparts (think Llanowar Elves vs Deathrite Shaman or Dovin's Veto vs Negate) to justify their inclusion into cube. Avoid the inclusion of worse gold cards (Castigate vs Agonizing Remorse). 

When answering my proposed question as you are evaluating card choices, answer this "How does XX marry my two colors together?" If you want to treat the card as a payoff, your colors need to be supporting the card. If you want to treat the card as an enabler, the card needs to support your colors. A great example of a card that can do both in Soul Herder. The card supports a flicker deck by being an engine that can flicker cards, while as acting as a payoff for exiling cards, which is something both White and Blue can do and will do in a flicker/blink deck. There is a section that will go further into enablers and payoffs later. 

Here is an example of what Gold Color Archetypes for your 2 color sections you can include:

  • Azorius (White Blue) - Blink, Control, Spirits, Prowess
  • Orzhov (White Black)- Tokens, Aristocrats, Knights, Reanimator
  • Boros (White Red)- Aggro, Tokens, Equipment, Burn
  • Selesnya (White Green)- Tokens, Life Gain, Counters, Enchantress
  • Dimir (Blue Black)- Control, Reanimator, Artifacts, Zombies
  • Izzet (Blue Red)- Tempo, Artifacts, Spells Matter, Blink
  • Simic (Blue Green)- Ramp, Tempo, Delirium, Tap/Untap
  • Rakdos (Black Red)- Aristocrats, Reanimator, Aggro, Welder
  • Golgari (Black Green)- Midrange, Elves, Graveyard Matters, Counters
  • Gruul (Red Green)- Ramp, Fires, Dragons, Landfall
As you move up in the number of colors the information here still applies to any section whether it be 2 colors or 5 colors. The card needs to be strong enough that the colors want it, otherwise it will become a wasted slot. When choosing 3+ color cards make sure that it can be the blend of the archetypes already present in your cube. There are some discrepancies with certain cards (Sphinx of the Steel Wind is a fatty cheat target in MTGO's vintage cube and is rarely played as an Esper card), but try to keep this as a general rule.  

Color Identity 

What makes cube list design more difficult is how to identify cards since there is a large chunk of cards that are more ambiguous in how you identify them. There are so many examples of this and I only infer this will get more difficult as WotC pushes the limit of paper card design (Dear God, don't add customizable cubes to digital). If you are commander player, you should be familiar with this term. The general idea here is similar, however there are nuances that come into play here since your deck building is not restricted by color identity. A general rule is think about what deck can play this effectively rather than what are the This section is intended to help navigate through the nuances and develop a better understanding.

Hybrid Mana
cards can be difficult to categorize since you can easily play them in one color or the other. One of the main factors you need to take into account is how many hybrid mana symbols do these cards have. Cards such as Deathrite Shaman cost (B/G), which allows it to fit into any G/x or B/x while still being able to function well. At this cost, I try to keep them in the gold section, but will somewhat cheat and slot these cards into one of their monocolors to make room for another gold card (Manamorphose is an example in my traditional cube). Outside of a single hybrid cost, I resolved to keep them in the appropriate multicolor slot though, they can be played outside of the multicolor decks, their abilities excel in the intended colors. Take for example Kitchen Finks, this card cost 1(G/W)(G/W) and has persist, which means when it dies if it didn't have a -1/-1 counter, it will return to the battlefield with one. My GW section supports +1/+1 counters and if one is placed Kitchen Finks, it will negate the -1/-1 counter and allow the finks to persist again.

Phyrexian Mana
cards are easier to categorize then the other ones in this section. Unless the card has non Phyrexian mana in any of its cost, these cards should be treated as colorless. This is because you can pay 2 life instead of colored mana, increasing the number of decks that can and want to run these cards. Phyrexian mana offers access to tools that normally wouldn't available to certain colors. An example would be Porcelain Legionnaire. This cost 2W to play, but would essentially cost 2 generic mana and 2 life to be playable in any deck. For 2 mana, a 3/1 with first strike is a large threat and great addition to aggro/tempo decks of any color. Another one is being able to play Dismember as the Phyrexian mana has made the card color removal for 1 mana. Until recently I had these cards in their respective mono colors, but with some colorless cards seeing little play, I have made the switch to move some over to the colorless section since these cards function as such anyways.

cards can occasionally come with a flashback cost that is a different color. These cards can be seen as the weird in-between of hybrid and gold cards. I keep these cards in their gold section since they are played best in the correct multicolor decks and make them a great incentive to play in those colors. Though they can be played outside of it, their power is diminished with many of these cards being too weak at face value. The strengths of these cards is the fact that you can cast from your graveyard. The option to cast from your graveyard makes these cards more difficult to deal with and provide you with additional card advantage. Take for the comparison between Momentary Blink vs Cloudshift and/ or Essence Flux. Cloudshift (I am also referring to Essence Flux) is more cost efficient than Momentary Blink while doing the exact same thing. If you were strictly basing it off the face value of both cards, there is no reason to run Momentary Blink. Where Blink has the advantage is that it is essentially 2 cards thanks to the flashback. This means you can get a second use out of it regardless if it got milled or countered etc. To get access to that flashback, you need to playing blue mana as well thus this would be an Azorius card rather than a monowhite card. Therefore, when evaluating where to slot Blink, the card should be in the Azorius spot because it excels in Azorius decks, while not being on par with its monocolored counterparts. Lingering Souls is a personal favorite and good example of this as well. Remember you will always have the choice to slot these in the monocolored slots, but the question to ask yourself is "Would I play this outside of that multicolor?" 

Alternative and Additional Cost
on cards come with a case by case scenario. Cards that have alternative cost need to be evaluated based on the merits of the face value of the card. They can be seen as modal spells since there are technically two modes. Modal spells are great in cube because of their utility and this is the answer that needs to be answered. For cards with an alternative casting cost that is in a different color, you need to evaluate the importance of that alternative/additional color and whether or not the card is playable without it, or whether the extra color mode is the main mode the card is played as. Damn is an example. The card is serviceable removal at face value, but you can opt to overload it for the cost of a Wrath of God to boardwipe. As a cube designer, where would you place this card? For myself, it would be placed into the Orzhov section because it would increase the versatility of cards I classified as Orzhov. Path of Peril is another example of this type of card except I would categorize in the Monoblack section even though there is an BW Cleave cost because the effect at face value is the main reason you're including it, not that you can boardwipe for 4BW. This is a tough section for me to work with as I do not run these cards in my cube since there are stronger choices available.

Two Sided Cards/ Split Cards
are interesting as they generally come in the form of 2 cards that are different colors with some sides being to synergize with each other, while other cards have no real relations with eachother. These are difficult to categorize because they are essentially two separate cards. One of the ways to look at them is as modal spells and with that comes the question "Which side am I playing?" If both sides are playable and usable in the respective multicolor slot, it might belong there. Fire//Ice is a great example of this. It fits into spells matter or tempo, which are both Izzet archetypes I run, so it slots in nicely there. If one side is played more heavily (>75% of the time its played), I would slot it in the respective monocolored section. An example of this would be Life//Death because a majority of the time, you are playing the Death side, which is a respectable choice for reanimator. The Life side of the card doesn't see nearly as much play except in specific circumstances. 

Aftermath cards are another weird one in that they become different cards like split cards when in the graveyard. These seem like the odd middle child of flashback and split cards. When evaluating these cards my main focus would be on the vertical (1st half) part of the card because the second part is harder to cast and functions differently. Generally you wouldn't run these cards because they are more restrictive in application and the first half is weaker than similar cards.

In the Text Box, there are cards that have different mana symbols in them tied to an ability. The utility of the card is the biggest factor in how I determine where to categorize the card. Most of these cards are not good enough without their abilities to earn their inclusion, thus they belong in the gold section. Examples include cards like Tasigur, the Golden Fang. Tasigur can be seen as a weaker Gurmag Angler, but with his activated ability is what sets him apart. His ability does use hybrid mana, so refer back to that section, but the main take away is that he is nothing without the ability and needs to be categorize as mulitcolored.  Mana dorks and rocks are the exception here since their function is to produce mana and it doesn't matter what color they produce as long as they can be used as such.


There are some cards that do not have explicit mana symbols in them and technically any deck can run them to a very small degree of playability, however they play much better when in the correct color. Vedalken Shackles, Shrine of Burning Rage, and Oketra's Monument are the three examples I will be using to better explain this. For Vedalken Shackles, the card is a blue card because it is reliant on Islands for its ability to work at all. Shrine of Burning Rage is a card that I would categorize in Red because it does work outside of Red decks, but it is mediocre in those situation while excelling in Red decks. Lastly, Oketra's Monument is a card I would put in the colorless category. Although, it does encourage you to play white, the main effect is generating tokens, which is not tied to a color. Thus the card is still strong without being played in a certain color. 

I hope these examples provide a guideline on how to approach these more ambiguous cards. 

Design & Philosophies

When it comes to making a cube, design and your philosophy should be one of the most important and probably first things that you identify/figure out. This will make it easier to review and test cards since now you have a clear rubric of how you want cards to contribute to your cube. This isn't locked in stone and you can change/refine it over time. 

Your philosophies is your approach to Cube and the experience you want to create with your cube. This is the what and why you want your cube to play, feel, and look a certain way. Your philosophy can be as simple or as complex as you feel appropriate. For example, my traditional cube came from my experience playing vintage cube, constructed modern, and constructed legacy on MTGO and I resolved to create an environment that allowed people to play as unrestrained as possible, while trying to prevent games where players felt like they lost before the game started. Thus in my design, I try to limit the amount of parasitic card as much as possible. Thus there is a lot more high power cards that are versatile, or at least I try to. It is also for this reason that I do not avoid cards on the ban list, though this varies from person to person. That cube is in a spot I like it at and want to maintain while updating it. Looking at my Commander cube, I chose to have the cube be representative of slower, more battle cruiser style game play that I was used back when I first started playing commander. In my design, the cards were slower and clunkier but would play well in the multiplayer environment. For cube construction, your philosophy is the results you want from playing Cube, while the design is the method of manifesting your philosophy into the game. 

When designing your cube, this is where you really set the parameters of your cube and what play styles exist or can exist in your cube. Reminder that your design is guided by your philosophy. More commonly, you will see this from among cube designers as phrases such as "450 Unpowered Legacy", "Monored Cube", or  "My Azorius section is Blink". These limitations as Mark Rosewater famously said "...breeds creativity." and this is true in this context as well. The limitation on card pool affects what kind of cards are available to you, which in turn affects the power level and utility of various cards. 

This will also impact what kind of archetypes and cards exist in this environment. Take for example the reanimator archetype. The play style of this deck changes at different rarities and this maybe how you want the archetype to feel. If you choose to play it in a traditional, nonrestrictive setting you have access to cards like Reanimate, Griselbrand, Entomb, and Dark Ritual. These 4 cards together can set up for powerful turn 1 plays that might just end the game before your opponents can even get their turn. This is exciting to some player and maybe possibly you or you might find this abhorrent. So outside of this combo, you have access to a large number of other cards that enable this play style to exist. So you may choose to exclude a card like Entomb or Dark Ritual to prevent this from happening, effectively lowering the power level of this archetype. This doesn't kill the archetype and it is still very much playable, just not as unfair. When looking at peasant (uncommon and lower) cubes, suddenly you lose access to both Entomb and Griselbrand, meaning you lost a lot of potential power now with how much slower the deck has to be. Even with the changes, you are able to maintain the play style because there is still a density of cards that fill these roles. Looking at pauper (commons only) cube and this play style is unplayable since there are very little reanimator cards. This is to demonstrate how your design choices can be used to facilitate your philosophy.

Though this seems obvious, it does need to be stated that your philosophy will change over time especially when you have more experience, build more perspective, or when your players start voicing their opinions. Even smallest change you make will ripple across the cube even if its just one card, so be aware. You will keep tinkering around with your design choices until you think you're going in the right direction or maybe even going backwards to a game play you like if you think you advanced to far. One of the coolest things you'll ever see in a cube is how your design choices have changed over time and with other people's cubes how they approach cube building. It's your cube, do what you think is fun.

Here are some questions to reflect on when you are designing a new cube

  • How do I want people to play the game? (Big splashy plays or Stax?)
  • What would be a cool interaction to see in game? (Stax)
  • Is there anything that you think is crossing the line? (Stax)
  • How do you want each color to feel? (5C stax)
  • How much variety do I want in this cube?

Payoffs and Enablers

Payoffs and enablers is a topic I haven't seen too much discussion about. They are important components when designing and building archetypes within your cube. The payoff cards are the cards that will give your archetype its identity and to an extent create your cube environment, while the enablers are what helps facilitate these strategies.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Enablers are cards that assist you in facilitating certain strategies. They are the workers that create the infrastructure for the payoff cards to shine the brightest. These cards are versatile in application and independent in function. An example of an enabler would be Elvish Mystic (I started with THS-RTR standard, this is what I remember). When you look at the card in a vacuum, the card is a 1/1 Elf Druid that cost G and can tap to generate green mana. This card is desirable simply based on the fact that it can generate mana. Now if you place the card inside an Elf deck, suddenly this card is a lot better because it adds an extra elf to contribute to the density of elves. If you shift decks to ramp decks(really any deck), Elvish Mystic is now another card that can help the ramp deck to drop down larger plays as fast as possible. Now compare this to a Defiant Elf. Both cards are still elves, thus they both can contribute to the elf deck, however outside of that deck no other deck really wants this card because it is outclassed by other options. General rule of thumb, when thinking about your enablers, think cards that can fit into at least 2 decks.

 Other examples of good enablers if you're struggling a bit:

  • Water Front Bouncer- Flicker, Discard, Tempo
  • Monastery Swiftspear- Burn, Aggro, Spells Matter
  • Seasoned Hallowblade- Aggro, Discard, Boardwipes
  • Oona's Prowler- Tempo, Discard, Aggro
  • Vessel of Nascency- Graveyard, Enchantress, Delirium

What good is money if you can't use it?

Payoffs are cards that reward you for playing certain archetypes. These are the face of various archetypes.They are not necessarily just one card either this can be multiple as in the case with reanimator where the pay off was casting Reanimate on Griselbrand. These cards are narrower in scope but their impact on the game should be game winning. These are the cards that people tend to want to build around for their archetypes. Reanimate is the example I am going to use here since it was already mentioned. This card when played independently will do nothing. It needs a target to bring back and even when you have a target, now you need a way to get the target to get into the graveyard. Already Reanimate (any reanimator spell in general) is dependent on the need for two other cards to even function properly. So why play them? Because they reward you handsomely when played correctly such as an early turn Griselbrand or Consecrated Sphinx, which can be near unbeatable in a lot of situations. You can't be running too many payoff cards as it would result in a poor experience with so many dead cards. My general experience says you can get away with 1 or 2 narrow payoff cards, more so if the cards aren't narrow.

You generally want more enablers than payoff cards because these cards are generally highly desirable by multiple decks. There are cards that can function as both an enabler and a payoff, so keep an eye out for those. Priest of Titania is an example since it functions similarly to Elvish Mystic albeit a little slower, however the mana generation scales with the number of elves in play, rewarding you for playing more elves. 

Parasitism and Density

An archetype that requires very specific enablers is a huge problem and one that many cube designers eventually find themselves facing. When you are incorporating such an archetype, you will need to incorporate a large number of cards that will not fit into your cube or do not play well. In the larger context of your cube as a whole, you have a limited number of slots in your cube. When you slot in a narrow card you also take away a card that could have slotted into a bunch of decks. When these cards take up a small percentage of your cube, this is actually normal, however as the number grows this is where it becomes problematic. The cube community has defined these as a parasitic archetypes because they rely on cards that are not playable with the other archetypes. The inclusion of these will be polarizing since it leads to the drafter having an unplayable deck if it doesn't pan out and the other drafters having weaker cards overall. 

For example, GW enchantress is an archetype that rewards you  for playing a large number of enchantments. This may seem more open, but this deck requires a lot of support. Starting off with your payoff cards, you are looking at running a lot of cards that cannot function without enchantments and are really weak such as Mesa Enchantress or Enchantress' Presence. The payoff cards are asking that you cast the enchantments as well, which limits these cards even further since that means cards like Sun Titan cannot support these cards. One of the ways to get around this is increasing the density, so that you can land an enchantress early. If the deck can not consistently play as an enchantress deck, the deck is a worse value deck. Enabling this deck can prove just as problematic as you need a density of enchantments. Depending on your cube, you might not run that many enchantments in GW for a variety of reason (both my cubes are currently in that camp). With barely enough to get a deck running if anyone other than the Enchantment drafter gets an enchantment, the deck would diminish in power and playability. To accommodate for this deck, I would have to shift a lot of my cube around. This is an example of why parasitic archetypes are bad and personally I did end up cutting GW Enchantress from my traditional cube.

To avoid or at least mitigate parasitism in your cube, you must first evaluate the play experience you want to create. In the example of GW Enchantress, I wanted a more powerful environment, which ultimately forced me to axe the archetype and this is an option. There are still ways to incorporate parasitic archetype and make them less parasitic, but you will still need to warp your design to better fit them. For the case of GW Enchantress, lowering my power level would have been enough, switching cards like Generous Gift for Oblivion Ring. This might be the approach for some of you. Another option in design would be to warp your entire cube around it. For Enchantress that could mean including it in a thematic cube like Theros or Kamigawa set cube where enchantments are the focus. Another option aside from gutting the archetype would be to proxy/alter cards to fit what you want or wait for WotC to print them. This one is just a matter of time. Lastly, you can base the archetypes on cards you already have in the cube rather than basing what you have on the cube on archetypes. I find that this design is better since you don't have to tear the foundations of your cube to solve the problem.  Hopefully, this helps you better understand parasitism, the problems, and how to mitigate it.

Changing/Balancing your cube

Once your cube is all done and finish, the first thing you want to do is play it. Play it again and then play it again. Play it until something really bothers you and then that's when you start evaluating whether or not you made your cube right. When it comes to balancing/changing your cube, ultimately, it is up to how you feel about it.

Here are questions to reflect on when you are contemplating changes and balancing:

  • "Are games going the way that you think is fun?' '
  • "Do you feel that all of the colors are playing as they should?"
  • "Do you want X to be doing/winning more than it is?"
  • "Are my players just trash and make everything they touch trash?"
  • "What cool thing happened that you want to keep in?"
  • "What card do you feel is not pulling their weight?"
Another factor that will get you looking to make changes is the release of new cards with every spoiler season. Every new set has a few cards that are exciting to try and there's nothing wrong with wanting to include the newest cards. You don't need to update your cube with every set or often. This was a lesson I learned only recently.  Many of the cards that are released are variations of things that you can or already do with some just being straight upgrades (Jackal Pup and Firedrinker Satyr) or sidegrades (Thragtusk and Workshop Warchief). The most exciting cards are cards that break open or better enable certain archetypes like Strixhaven opening up spells matter to other colors or Double Masters 2022 adding more cards to pauper and peasant. When evaluating new cards think about how it will fit into your cube rather than what card to take out for it. It's something that helps me filter out a lot of the cards I want to add while curating a better environment.

Remember this is your cube, my kings and queens, your feelings matter most, though do take feedback from your friends/players/pets. Then rinse and repeat this process, for your ever changing cube.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Please leave a comment or complaint below, I like the interaction. If you want to support me, there are links at beginning on the right side and below for you to click on. Please consider using my link for TCGplayer if you plan to get them online or joining my Patreon if you want to help improve this website. 


  1. I’ve always wanted to make an uncube personally, but I wonder if doing it JumpStart style would work best since I only have 1 other Magic player in the house. - Blaze ‘wertercatt’ Marshall

  2. If that's your main playgroup jump start might be best, unless you want to try winston drafting.


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