A couple years ago I put together a Pauper Cube that I was pretty excited about. Playing with and tuning the cube has served as an invaluable learning experience. Chief among the mistakes I made when compiling my list was trying to make poison a thing and trying to make creatures vulnerable to red removal. I was concerned with green being too powerful, and red not being powerful enough. I was so, so wrong on both fronts.
The more that I played, the more that I realized that watering down any element of the cube detracted from the whole more than it helped. Banning and removing elements is the easy way out. Trying to make things work without just nerfing parts is both more fun and more interesting. When I built the cube, I hated the idea of including hexproof creatures, but with green perpetually being the worst color, I recently decided to give them a try, with the restriction that I’d only include hexproof creatures with one toughness so as to make cards like Nausea and Electrickery live against them. So far I’ve been happy with the change, and I’m considering adding some of the bigger hexproof creatures in the future.
Another great learning experience from the cube was with the inclusion of the metalcraft deck. Initially, I wanted a good amount of artifact hate so that a turn two Carapace Forger wouldn’t just dominate games, but over time it was clear that including Ancient Grudge was just a bizarre choice both in that it was too good against decks that wanted to achieve metalcraft and too often a last pick. Not to mention that the metalcraft decks weren’t oppressive to being with.
There have been a lot of great updates to the cube since I originally published it, including the prowess mechanic, the cycle of wedge morphs, and bestow creatures. So far there’s nothing especially exciting from Origins, though there are a couple things on my radar. This is my pre-Origins list. Some things are a little screwy with phyrexian mana cards counting in their respective colors while I consider them colored, and Steamcore Weird showing up in blue while I consider it Izzet, but other than that it’s pretty easy to read.