Legendary Cube

Posted in Feature on November 9, 2015

By Adam Prosak

From Friday Night Magic to the Pro Tour, Adam Prosak loves all types of tournament Magic. Currently, Adam is working in R&D as a developer.

"I'll use my Pyromancer's Goggles to cast Cruel Ultimatum. Copy it with Mirari."

Welcome to the Legendary Cube! My name is Adam Prosak, a developer in Magic R&D, and I'll be your guide through the ins and outs of the Legendary Cube. I've been at Wizards of the Coast for just over two years. I love Cube Drafting, and I've had the fortune of being able to draft dozens of unique cubes. I also help to build and update the current Legacy Cube and Vintage Cube on Magic Online.

Today, I'll be telling you about our new Legendary Cube, which will be available on Magic Online between November 18 and December 9.

What is a cube?

A cube is a collection of cards, usually without duplicating a card, that can be randomized and made into packs for the purposes of drafting them. A few times a year, Magic Online supports a Legacy Cube and a Vintage Cube that represent the most powerful cards that those formats have to offer. Starting November 18, Magic Online will add a third cube—the Legendary Cube—which offers a collection of cards that is not tied to any particular format.

What's the Legendary Cube?

Simply put, the Legendary Cube is a cube where 100% of the creatures are legendary! This is the cube for Avacyn, Dragonlords, and many of your favorite commanders. This means that many creatures that are staples of other cubes, such as Eternal Witness, Noble Hierarch, and Hero of Bladehold, are not present in this cube. As such, the focus of the Legendary Cube is less about representing Magic's most powerful cards and more about supporting the "legendary" theme and providing a unique Cube experience.

The most noticeable difference between the Legendary Cube and most cubes is the distribution of mana costs among the creatures. On average, the creatures in the Legendary Cube are more powerful, but require more mana to cast. While the Legendary Cube contains the occasional Zurgo Bellstriker or Saffi Eriksdotter, most of the creatures feel more at home next to Reya Dawnbringer and Maelstrom Wanderer.

The awesome legendary creatures are supported by some cards that have unique effects or support individual card synergies. There is also a healthy amount of mana fixing and mana acceleration to help you cast these legendary creatures. Although life totals still start at 20 and games are still played one-on-one, games in the Legendary Cube often feel like games of Commander.

This is also the first time that a Magic Online cube contains two copies of the same card in the same cube. Of course, that honor goes to none other than the Brothers Yamazaki! For the record, my favorite Brothers Yamazaki is the left half, but don't tell the right half!

This sounds awesome, but what should I draft?

When you are drafting the Legendary Cube, look for cards that work well together. Many of the cards are open-ended, but require some other cards to unlock their full potential. The two planeswalkers in the cube, Daretti, Scrap Savant and Tezzeret, the Seeker, require a heavy artifact commitment. There are also other cards that reward you for having lots of artifacts, such as Pia and Kiran Nalaar and Trading Post. The five Hondens from Champions of Kamigawa are here, and they work extremely well if you can put multiples together. Temur Ascendancy is a hilarious combo with Obzedat, Ghost Council if you can stomach the hefty mana requirements. These are just a few of the examples; there are countless combinations to discover.

However, you also should pay attention to your mana requirements. There is enough mana-fixing to support three-, four-, and even five-color decks. Progenitus is in the Legendary Cube, and the primary way to get it onto the battlefield is to cast it. In addition to the increased multicolored nature of the cards, the cards also require more mana on average. Don't be afraid to play more lands and mana-producing cards such as Rampant Growth or Chromatic Lantern.

One final note: The classic Aggro versus Control versus Midrange paradigm doesn't really apply here. Aggro decks are incredibly difficult to put together, and the types of threats a control deck has to answer are completely different than normal. Be prepared to answer a variety of different threats from your opponent.

In Magic R&D, the Pit (the place where we do most of our playtesting) was buzzing every time there was a playtest of this cube. It's radically different from any other Magic experience, and we had lots of fun making it. So what does a Legendary Cube deck look like? Here are two interesting decks that were drafted during the playtesting process.

Red-Green Legendary Cube Draft

This was one of the few two-color decks I drafted, but there was a ton of cool stuff going on in the draft. Basilisk Collar was an MVP, in combination with Godo, Bandit Warlord, Kumano, Master Yamabushi, or even Shinka, the Bloodsoaked Keep. I was also able to use Time of Need to assemble both of the Brothers Yamazaki with this deck.

Grixis Spells Matter Legendary Cube Draft

This was the deck that made the triple Cruel Ultimatum play at the beginning of the article. As is typical of many decks without much ramp, this deck played nineteen lands and really needed all of them. I won a few games by casting the same Beacon of Destruction multiple times.

What can I win by playing the Legendary Cube?

Legendary Cube Prize Packs! And Play Points!

What are Legendary Cube Prize Packs?

A Legendary Cube Prize Pack contains six cards from a selection of 149 cards. Those 149 cards contain a selection of cards from the following sets: Commander (2015 Edition), as well as Commander (2014 Edition), Commander (2013 Edition), Magic: The Gathering Commander, Conspiracy, Planechase (2012 Edition), and Commander's Arsenal.

You'll get one rare or mythic rare and five uncommons. There are no commons, simply because most of the above sets don't have very many commons in them.

Most importantly, all 56 of the new cards in Commander (2015 Edition) can be attained in the Legendary Cube Prize Packs. Playing the Legendary Cube is a great way to get your hands on the many exciting cards in Commander (2015 Edition). We've been working hard to build content designed for Magic Online players—and we know that Magic Online players love to draft, especially Cube drafts. Prize Packs get Commander cards into your collection as a reward for Cube drafting!

What cards are in the Legendary Cube?

These cards!

Here's the part where I hand off the Legendary Cube to you. I highly encourage you to log in to Magic Online and try out the cube, even if it's just once. It's such a unique and fun format, and I want every fan of Magic to experience the same joy I have while playing this cube. I know that I'll be hanging out in the queues. If you see Wotc_AdamP in your draft pod, feel free to say hello and let me know what you think!

Until next time, be legendary.

—Adam Prosak, Developer in Magic R&D

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