Which Cards in Cube Will You Just Not Pass?

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As I dove headfirst into the Legacy Cube over the weekend, it made clear to me that I have some pretty specific preferences. This isn't all that unique—we all have them.

For example, there is nothing more painful to me than passing Grave Upheaval. The level of disgust I feel for my fellow drafters when I see a late Grave Upheaval going around the table is, to say the least, pronounced. The same goes for Opposition. If one of those rolls around in the middle of pack one, I'll happily abandon whatever else I was doing and get started on a new plan.

upheaval   opposition

Maybe it's because I'm always hoping to get that late Grave Upheaval, but I also really love ramp. Artifact ramp like Worn Powerstone and Thran Dynamo always catches my eye, but that can go in any (non-aggro) deck. What I hate passing are my two favorite green ramp cards in the cube:

oracleofmuldaya   joragatreespeaker

I'm also not a fan of passing Ignoble Hierarch if I can help it, but seeing either the Oracle or the Treespeaker early will push me into a green ramp plan pretty darn quick. There's just something that feels great about having access to twice as much mana as your opponent at all times.

Although I consider myself a blue mage these days, my 1995 roots place me firmly in the red mage camp. I don't force mono-red the way I'll force an Grave Upheaval strategy, but I'm all too happy to jump in if it's obviously open. The best cards for the red deck include Koth of the Hammer, Grim Lavamancer, Shrine of Burning Rage, and Sulfuric Vortex, but I would be hard-pressed to choose those over a good blue card in pack one. The only card I can open that will cause me to instantly jump onto the mono-red bandwagon is this quick little 2/2:


As perhaps the best aggressive one-drop ever printed, this isn't exactly a revolutionary stance, but at least I know what can sway me.

Interestingly, I have found that there isn't an individual card in black or white that will cause me to go into those colors. If I first pick a white or black card, it's almost certainly because there's nothing else good in the pack. Rarely will I choose a good white card over a good blue card, or a good black card over a good red card. If I end up with a black or white deck, it's because those colors were overwhelmingly open.

All of the cards above are very, very good, but are probably not the most objectively powerful cards in the cube. They just represent the strategies I prefer to play—ones where I am even willing to play a slightly weaker deck for a more fun experience.

What cards from the Legacy Cube are your unpassables? What card most sickens you to be forced to pass late? And what card will make you completely jump ship on your first several picks if you pick it up late in pack one? Sound off below.

4 thoughts on “Which Cards in Cube Will You Just Not Pass?

  1. I like to take artifacts early and often because they’ll fit in just about any deck. My favorites are solemn simulacrum, wurmcoil, swords, and anything that costs 2 or less… To be clear I’m talking cube in general. I couldn’t care less about MTGO

  2. Recurring nightmare. Its probably as powerful, if not more so, than any of the swords, and those got cut. It’s just as not fun to play against as well

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