Pure Magic Goodness
A little-known fact about me is that I am a glutton for Cube Draft. It combines the purest form of Magic, Limited, with the heavy concentration of top-tier staples typically found in Constructed. In this video, I take on the latest iteration of the Arena Cube with a very spicy Red-Black Aristocrats deck.
Raw Power VS. Flexibility
This cube can pull you into a handful of different directions but emphasizes the importance of card flexibility. This is especially important in best-of-one, where you don't have access to a sideboard to swap out ineffective cards. Some drafters might just take their favorite card out of the first pack and try to make their preferred deck work. It's more reliable though to start off with cards that excel in a variety of different decks and archetypes.
For example, I chose Abrade as my first pick as it's an efficient removal spell for both creatures and artifacts. With most decks playing at least some number of creatures and the cube hosting artifacts like The Immortal Sun and Midnight Clock, it's rarely a dead card.
Notably, I picked Abrade over Magma Opus despite Opus being the stronger card in a vacuum. This is because Abrade can slot in far more decks. Opus fits into control shells and the spell reanimator sub-archetype with Torrential Gearhulk and Mizzix's Mastery. Control though can win with just about any big mana spell, like Overwhelming Splendor or Approach of the Second Sun. Gearhulk and Mastery are strong on their own and work with any number of other spells. Abrade, on the other hand, is just an effective tool that simply always makes the cut.
I go into detail as I make each of my draft picks, but if you have any questions on why I made the choices I did, feel free to leave a comment or tweet me @AdamECohen.