What's a Cube?
This week on Adam Plays Magic, we're doing something a little different. It's Cube season, and I'm all about geometry! Ok, it's not that kind of cube. For those unfamiliar, a Cube is a curated Limited environment often based around a particular theme. Sometimes those themes are lore-driven such as a Ravnica Cube featuring only cards printed in a Ravnica-based set. Others may be based around rarity like Pauper Cube where only cards printed at common can be added. A player could even make one with just the cards they like. The world is your oyster when it comes to Cubing.
What's This Cube?
This time around, I'm playing the Magic Arena Chromatic Cube, which puts emphasis on splashy, high-impact cards and great mana fixing. Each two-color pair has five dual lands, all ten tri lands, and a few other utility lands thrown in. It's also rife with efficient removal and card draw. All of these traits suggest a midrange-to-control style format where the payoffs are mostly interchangeable as long as good mana fixing is prioritized. The Cube also rewards mana ramp and a good curve.
There are small themes in the various two-color combinations and a five-color "good stuff" pile that can help direct draft picks, but in practice, these are gentle suggestions. Cards like Aether Channeler will be good on their own, but get better with Thassa, Deep-Dwelling. With the power level of these cards both higher and more concentrated than in a traditional Limited environment, it's better to just pick things that are useful in a wide range of applications rather than something situationally more powerful but more niche.
It's also important to note that the Cube uses the rebalanced Alchemy versions of cards and digital-only cards are included (and quite powerful). Multi-format staple A-Omnath, Locus of Creation costs five mana rather than four. A-Alrund's Epiphany only makes tokens when cast with foretell and costs seven rather than six mana when foretold. Meanwhile, digital-only cards like Agent of Raffine is a one-drop card draw engine that steals cards from the opponent. Nightclub Bouncer is a Man-o-War with flash that also makes bounced permanents perpetually cost more. Generally speaking, the digital-only cards will be among, if not the strongest cards in the pack and should be taken highly.
What's in the (Digital) Box?
Below is the draft deck I put together for this run. Without going into too much detail so as not to spoil the VOD, my first pick was the always excellent Key to the Archive. Not only does Key act as excellent acceleration from four to six mana, but it also fixes mana and has the potential to upgrade a card from the player's hand to card draw or removal. Sometimes, it even gives Time Warp or Approach of the Second Sun with the mana to cast all of it. It's hard to compete with the acceleration and card quality Key offers, and since it's colorless, it can fit in just about any deck.
Another week and another wrap! Let me know if you're interested in more Limited content like this, or if I should stay in my constructed lane. Leave a comment telling me your favorite play you've made in this version of Chromatic Cube and feel free to suggest a spicy BRO deck list for next week. It might just be featured in the next Adam Plays Magic!