Welcome to the very first cube draft report from The End Games. In this article I will introduce you to my all time favorite format, cube and just a brief bit on my own magic history so you get to know me a little.
To start things off my name is Thomas Rowe. I have been playing magic since 1994 when my older brother got me to play with him since the game was still very new at the time. I have been playing off and on since then, taking breaks when necessary like most long term players have do. I started back up in the local standard scene during planar chaos. I have had a little success in the local constructed scene. but I pride myself in limited though. With my ability to evaluate cards very efficiently and being able to pick up reads from the other players while drafting I am at my best playing limited.
Now many of you who read this probably know what cube drafting is, but for those who don’t I will do my best to describe it. A cube is a combination of cards designed by someone to draft or played sealed with. No magic card in the cube is repeated, aka singletons. There are several different type of cubes out there. You have your tribal creature cubes, your pauper cubes, standard cubes, cubes with power nine and cubes without power nine. My personal cube has been powered and un-powered, but currently it sits as semi powered since the main consensus seems to be that time walk and black lotus are just to high up on the power level and need to be excluded. A cube designer takes great pride in making his cube and tries to make things balanced as possible between the different colors, lands, artifacts, and multicolored cards.
Now on to the tournament report:
We had six players this past Monday night. Logan on Rakdos aggro, Derrick playing junk, Chris playing w/b/r aggro, Eli on U/B/w control, Hunter on America, and myself on g/u ramp. These past two cube drafts I have been wanting to try and draft a ramp deck because no one has truly gone all in on that strategy yet and I wanted to see if my cube could muster a solid ramp strategy or not. I do not remember my exact pick order but I did first pick a Joraga Treespeaker. Other notable picks were getting passed Ancestral Recall 2nd pick 2nd pack which was a correct pass by Eli since Upheaval is a must hate or a must play card. I also picked up two on color Mox’s late in packs and a timetwister which was pretty solid for me all night.
Here is the list I ended up running:
Into the Roil
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Feast and Famine
Fact or fiction
Some changes I would make with my main deck after playing this deck. I would of played the Riftwing Cloudskate, the Treachery, and the Staff of Domination main deck I was just worried about the double blue in their casting cost but that did not end up being an issue getting to in my games and I ended up siding those cards in the majority of the games I played.
Round 1 I played against Hunter playing America. In the first game he got off to a very aggresive start and I could not stabilize the board before he killed me. Game two I had the pretty much unbeatable ramp hand, playing a 5 drop turn three into a 6 drop on turn four. The final game I managed to stabilize from Hunter’s early aggression through the use of Staff of Domination and using Tectonic Edge to take Hunter off his 6th and 5th land when I Regrowthed the Tectonic Edge.
Round 2 I played against Chris playing w/b/r aggro. The first game he had a very aggressive start and I tried my best to stop my life total from hemorrhaging but I was lacking the threats I needed earlier in the game and ended up using Timetwister to find all of my threats to late into the game. Game two was another monster hand for me with a turn three Wolfir into a turn four Primeval Titan which was just way too much for Chris to deal with that early into the game. The final game I kept a hand that was very dependent on having my Noble Hierarch live, with the two swords coming out early against him. Unfortunately he Pithing Needle bugged (Phyrexian Revoker) one and then killed my Hierarch before she could pick up the other sword, and proceeded to kill me on his turn five.
Round 3 I played against Derrick and his “Junk” deck. Derrick came out to a very good start with an early Tarmogoyf and Ohran Viper but he made a poor decision to swing into my Deranged Hermit and his four squirrel friends, trading my hermit and two squirrels for his board. I then proceeded to start dropping my bombs onto Derrick’s board and he did not have an answer for all of them. The second game we played started with an aggressive hand from me but Derrick put up a strong defense and soon the board was a stalemate. He tried to end that stalemate with an Eldrazi Monument and turning all of his creatures sideways for a lethal swing, but I had an Into the Roil for the Monument in my hand(incredibly strong card from the games I have played with it in cube) and ate some of his important creatures. I still had the issue of a stalemate on the board and Timetwistered to try and get more of my bombs to lay the pressure on. Eventually I drew my Staff of Domination and with every mana source in my deck in play I took over the game by tapping his creatures down and making him have to make very unfavorable blocks. Eventually I ground out the win with only three cards left in my library!
Logan ended up winning the tournament with Chris coming in second and myself in third. My feelings on ramp are that my cube does indeed have the cards to support it and the games I lost were the typical ramp draws you can get, one with very threat heavy but no acceleration, or very ramp heavy but no fatties. I would strongly recommend this archetype as a serious contender to winning your draft.
This is my first article and I hope you all were entertained or at least learned a little more about cubing. I hope to see some of you all at the next cube draft. I am trying to run them once a week at The End Games starting around 6 P.M.
Thanks for reading! All comments and questions are welcomed =)