Cube Spotlight Series – Gwen Dekker's Dekkaru Cube

Posted in Magic Digital on May 8, 2020

By Gwen Dekker

Magic Online's Cube Spotlight Series has been around for almost exactly two years, and it is a hungry beast. I'm always looking for cubes that might fit our needs, so when I heard about an upcoming event in Wisconsin called CubeCon that was going to feature a lot of different cubes over the course of a single weekend, I reached out to them for a partnership. "Let's run a few of these cubes on Magic Online," I proposed, "and we can help out with prize support at your in-person event as well."

Sadly, recent events have made the in-person event unfeasible for the foreseeable future. However, Magic Online never sleeps, and no pandemic is going to slow us down. So, while the in-person event may be postponed, we're still going to be running two of the CubeCon cubes. And who knows—if you like these cubes, maybe when the event can happen, you'll be inspired to take a trip and play a weekend of Cube with dozens of new friends.

But for now, here's what's happening; starting next Wednesday, we're going to be running two weeks of Cube Spotlights featuring CubeCon offerings. This coming week (May 13–20), we have Gwen Dekker's Dekkaru Cube, and next week (May 20–27) will be John Terrill's Cultic Cube.

Allison Steele
Digital Product Manager, Magic Online


Hello, I'm Gwen Dekker (@GwenDekker on Twitter). You may also know me as the founder and administrator for CubeCobra.com (@CubeCobra1 on Twitter), a website that helps you build and maintain your cube. I have been playing Magic since the release of Zendikar, and much of that time has been spent playing Cube. Part of why I think Cube is the best format is that it can be whatever format the designer wishes it to be. As a cube designer, my goals have always been to create an interesting Draft experience with varied but competitive gameplay. With that in mind, today I am sharing my Dekkaru Cube.

Dekkaru Cube

[Editor's note: The full Cube list can be found at the bottom of this article.]

One metric I always look for first when evaluating cubes is the "archetype focus." I like to think of this as a sliding scale. Some cubes will have very low archetype focus and might look like a pile of "good stuff." On the other end of the spectrum, you may have something like a tribal cube, where every card has been added with the explicit intention of belonging in a select number of strategies. With my cube, I've tried to find a balance where you don't necessarily need to draft a specific archetype to succeed, but there are a few "payoff" cards that heavily incentivize playing to a specific archetype.

Archetypes

In this cube, you can almost always default into a control, aggro, or midrange deck, but there are a number of archetypes you can opt into as well that I'd like to highlight.

Graveyard-Matters

  • Spider Spawning
  • Meren of Clan Nel Toth
  • Genesis
  • Phyrexian Reclamation

This deck attempts to obtain value out of reusing creatures after they've died. Meren of Clan Nel Toth and Phyrexian Reclamation are powerful engines that can easily grind out a victory if left unanswered. Spider Spawning offers a unique build-around where the player is heavily incentivized for trading off creatures during the early to mid-game and then closing the game out with a massive Spider Spawning. Critical to the success of this deck is a density of relevant creatures to recur such as Acidic Slime or Murderous Rider.

Wildfires

  • Burning of Xinye
  • Wildfire
  • Coalition Relic
  • Storm's Wrath

A Cube classic, this control deck uses Wildfire and Burning of Xinye combined with mana rocks to gain mana advantage and keep the board clear of creatures. When drafting this deck, make sure to pick up as many mana rocks as possible. This deck is base-red, but it can play any color as the second for different flavors.

Flash

  • Mystic Snake
  • Brineborn Cutthroat
  • Nightpack Ambusher
  • Draining Whelk

This deck aims to abuse the power of the flash mechanic to play the game on its own terms. Brineborn Cutthroat and Nightpack Ambusher are both powerful cards that reward the player for drafting a high density of instant-speed spells.

Spells-Matters

  • Mizzium Tank
  • Kiln Fiend
  • Murmuring Mystic
  • Saheeli, Sublime Artificer

A deck we've all seen before, spells-matters looks to play a high density of spells and a couple payoff cards that can get value out of those spells. Murmuring Mystic is one the best cards for the archetype. It doubles as a payoff card and a really effective blocker against aggro decks.

Tokens

  • Heroic Reinforcements
  • Hanweir Garrison
  • Intangible Virtue
  • Increasing Devotion

The tokens deck looks to pair anthems with the ability to make a large number of bodies to get the most value out of those anthems. Hanweir Garrison, an impressive attacker on its own, becomes terrifying once paired with cards like Intangible Virtue. If you can't close out the game early, Increasing Devotion will easily give you the tools necessary to overwhelm your opponent.

Aristocrats

  • Falkenrath Aristocrat
  • Judith, the Scourge Diva
  • Blood Artist
  • Hissing Iguanar

Aristocrats decks pair sacrifice outlets with death triggers to build a powerful engine. This deck typically plays as a black-red aggro deck that uses cards like Blood Artist to provide extra reach if the opponent is able to stabilize. Other than the payoff cards, the core of this deck includes as many aggressively costed creatures as you can pick up.

Five-Color

  • Golos, Tireless Pilgrim
  • Chromatic Lantern
  • Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
  • Birds of Paradise

Five-color isn't so much an archetype as it is the benefit that inherently comes from playing five colors. Golos, Chromatic Lantern and Birds of Paradise both enable playing many colors, but you will still need to pick up as many mana-fixing lands as you can. The payoff for this archetype isn't an interaction between cards but the ability to play any card you draft. Golos doubles as an enabler and a powerful payoff as well.

Stax

  • Rankle, Master of Pranks
  • Death Cloud
  • Smokestack
  • Smallpox

This base-black deck uses cards like Rankle, Master of Pranks and Smokestack to apply an incredible amount of pressure to your opponent's permanents. Add in a few token factories such as Ophiomancer or Dreadhorde Invasion, and you will quickly grind out your opponent.

Pod/Toolbox

  • Prime Speaker Vannifar
  • Birthing Pod
  • Fauna Shaman
  • Chord of Calling

Prime Speak Vannifar and Birthing Pod are two excellent build-around cards. When built correctly, they double as a way to allow you to have an answer for whatever your opponent is doing and to have a way to fetch whatever finisher you happen to pick up. Fauna Shaman and Chord of Calling are fun toolbox cards that operate in a similar space.

Devotion/Monocolor

  • Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx
  • Nyx Lotus
  • Benalish Marshal
  • Gray Merchant of Asphodel

Like five color, this isn't an archetype, but I wanted to specifically highlight the payoffs for playing a monocolor deck. There are a few devotion cards that obviously benefit from being in a single color, but there are also a few cards that I consider to be monocolor payoffs, such as Benalish Marshal. In this cube, you can play any monocolor strategy, and there are a handful of cards that will reward you for doing so.

Self-Mill

  • Thassa's Oracle
  • Jace, Wielder of Mysteries
  • Rise from the Tides
  • Bond of Insight

This base-blue deck looks to win by milling your entire library and winning on the spot with Thassa's Oracle; Jace, Wielder of Mysteries; or Nexus of Fate. Nexus of Fate does provide an instant win, as it will give you infinite turns after you mill your deck. You can also play Rise from the Tides as a win condition in its own right.

Wheel Combo

  • Leovold, Emissary of Trest
  • Narset, Parter of Veils
  • Windfall
  • Echo of Eons

Utilizing one of the few combos in this cube, this deck aims to leverage the interaction of Leovold, Emissary of Trest or Narset, Parter of Veils with draw-sevens such as Windfall. After resolving the combo, it shouldn't be too difficult to close out the game from there.

Big Ramp

  • Incubation Druid
  • Mass Manipulation
  • Primeval Titan
  • Sandwurm Convergence

This base-green deck looks to ramp all the way up to eight mana, and even further. Cards such as Mass Manipulation and Sandwurm Convergence act as excellent finishers, but if you're feeling even more ambitious, you could also opt for Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre. When drafting this strategy, make sure to pick up as many cheap mana-acceleration cards as you can find and try to have a plan for when you're paired against an aggro deck.

Green Stompy

  • Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma
  • Lovestruck Beast
  • Hexdrinker
  • Elvish Mystic

Mana dorks aren't just for the ramp deck. Playing aggressively costed midrange threats a turn or two early can create an enormous amount of pressure. This deck looks to utilize the efficiency of green's midrange threats with the power of mana dorks. When drafting this deck, prioritize mana dorks, and efficient three- and four-mana threats.

Monocolor Aggro

  • Dauntless Bodyguard
  • Stromkirk Noble
  • Diregraf Ghoul
  • Porcelain Legionnaire

Monocolor aggro decks are only specifically supported in red, white, and black. Blue has few turn-one plays, and green only has mana dorks to play on turn one. On the other hand, red, white, and black have a healthy amount of aggressively costed one- and two-mana creatures. Each color provides different strengths: red is best at pushing through damage, white has the most disruption, and black has the most resilience.

Blink

  • Parallax Wave
  • Ephemerate
  • Familiar's Ruse
  • Soulherder

Blink is one of the weakest-supported archetypes. Instead of playing a dedicated blink deck, you could splash these cards into a deck with a healthy amount of enters-the-battlefield triggers for extra value.

Happy Cubing!

There are many more archetypes and variations to explore and try out. I'm very excited to share this cube with you, and I hope you have as much fun drafting and playing this cube as I have!

Click for Full Cube List

Card Name Color
Champion of the Parish W
Dauntless Bodyguard W
Dragon Hunter W
Giant Killer W
Giver of Runes W
Kytheon, Hero of Akros W
Mardu Woe-Reaper W
Mother of Runes W
Skymarcher Aspirant W
Soldier of the Pantheon W
Thraben Inspector W
Venerable Knight W
Adanto Vanguard W
Ancestral Blade W
Charming Prince W
Consul's Lieutenant W
Hushbringer W
Imposing Sovereign W
Precinct Captain W
Seeker of the Way W
Selfless Spirit W
Spirit of the Labyrinth W
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben W
Thalia's Lieutenant W
Tithe Taker W
Benalish Marshal W
Blade Splicer W
Fairgrounds Warden W
Flickerwisp W
Mentor of the Meek W
Mirran Crusader W
Silverblade Paladin W
Thalia, Heretic Cathar W
Vryn Wingmare W
Hero of Bladehold W
Palace Jailer W
Restoration Angel W
Angel of Invention W
Angel of Sanctions W
Cloudgoat Ranger W
Venerated Loxodon W
Harmonious Archon W
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite W
Elspeth, Knight-Errant W
Elspeth, Sun's Champion W
Condemn W
Ephemerate W
Mana Tithe W
Path to Exile W
Secure the Wastes W
Swords to Plowshares W
Unexpectedly Absent W
Unbreakable Formation W
Settle the Wreckage W
Fragmentize W
Oust W
Declaration in Stone W
Winds of Abandon W
Battle Screech W
Day of Judgment W
Fumigate W
Increasing Devotion W
Spectral Procession W
Triplicate Spirits W
Approach of the Second Sun W
Spear of Heliod W
Legion's Landing W
Intangible Virtue W
Journey to Nowhere W
Banishing Light W
History of Benalia W
Oblivion Ring W
Cast Out W
Conclave Tribunal W
Faith's Fetters W
Parallax Wave W
Enclave Cryptologist U
Pteramander U
Spectral Sailor U
Baral, Chief of Compliance U
Brineborn Cutthroat U
Hypnotic Sprite U
Looter il-Kor U
Merfolk Looter U
Thassa's Oracle U
Warkite Marauder U
Watcher for Tomorrow U
Champion of Wits U
Cloudkin Seer U
Emry, Lurker of the Loch U
Exclusion Mage U
Man-o'-War U
Mist-Syndicate Naga U
Nimble Obstructionist U
Serendib Efreet U
God-Eternal Kefnet U
Murmuring Mystic U
Ninja of the Deep Hours U
Sower of Temptation U
Talrand, Sky Summoner U
Whirler Rogue U
Mulldrifter U
Ætherling U
Consecrated Sphinx U
Draining Whelk U
Agent of Treachery U
Narset, Parter of Veils U
Jace, Wielder of Mysteries U
Brainstorm U
Condescend U
Mental Note U
Opt U
Pact of Negation U
Spell Pierce U
Thought Scour U
Censor U
Counterspell U
Daze U
Familiar's Ruse U
Impulse U
Into the Roil U
Logic Knot U
Mana Leak U
Memory Lapse U
Miscalculation U
Negate U
Remand U
Exclude U
Force of Negation U
Sinister Sabotage U
Supreme Will U
Chemister's Insight U
Fact or Fiction U
Mystic Confluence U
Dig Through Time U
Nexus of Fate U
Ancestral Vision U
Ponder U
Preordain U
Chart a Course U
Scour All Possibilities U
Strategic Planning U
Compulsive Research U
Windfall U
Bond of Insight U
Mass Manipulation U
Echo of Eons U
Rise from the Tides U
Treasure Cruise U
Search for Azcanta U
Control Magic U
Bloodsoaked Champion B
Carrion Feeder B
Cryptbreaker B
Diregraf Ghoul B
Dread Wanderer B
Gravecrawler B
Gutterbones B
Stitcher's Supplier B
Blood Artist B
Brain Maggot B
Glint-Sleeve Siphoner B
Kitesail Freebooter B
Lazotep Reaver B
Mardu Skullhunter B
Mesmeric Fiend B
Order of Midnight B
Pack Rat B
Priest of Forgotten Gods B
Scrapheap Scrounger B
Zulaport Cutthroat B
Bone Shredder B
Grim Haruspex B
Liliana, Heretical Healer B
Murderous Rider B
Ophiomancer B
Plague Engineer B
Plaguecrafter B
Rotting Regisaur B
Ruin Raider B
Woe Strider B
Braids, Cabal Minion B
Gonti, Lord of Luxury B
Nekrataal B
Rankle, Master of Pranks B
Ravenous Chupacabra B
Custodi Lich B
Doom Whisperer B
Gray Merchant of Asphodel B
Massacre Girl B
Shriekmaw B
Ink-Eyes, Servant of Oni B
Tasigur, the Golden Fang B
Gurmag Angler B
Vilis, Broker of Blood B
Liliana of the Veil B
Ob Nixilis Reignited B
Cast Down B
Doom Blade B
Go for the Throat B
Ultimate Price B
Dismember B
Hero's Downfall B
Murderous Cut B
Wretched Confluence B
Duress B
Inquisition of Kozilek B
Thoughtseize B
Unearth B
Agonizing Remorse B
Collective Brutality B
Night's Whisper B
Ransack the Lab B
Smallpox B
Death Cloud B
Victimize B
Consuming Vapors B
Dread Return B
Wishclaw Talisman B
Whip of Erebos B
Bolas's Citadel B
Phyrexian Reclamation B
Dreadhorde Invasion B
Phyrexian Arena B
The Eldest Reborn B
Bomat Courier R
Falkenrath Gorger R
Firedrinker Satyr R
Goblin Bushwhacker R
Goblin Welder R
Jackal Pup R
Monastery Swiftspear R
Reckless Waif R
Stromkirk Noble R
Village Messenger R
Zurgo Bellstriker R
Abbot of Keral Keep R
Dire Fleet Daredevil R
Earthshaker Khenra R
Embereth Shieldbreaker R
Goblin Cratermaker R
Kiln Fiend R
Stormblood Berserker R
Viashino Pyromancer R
Young Pyromancer R
Ahn-Crop Crasher R
Anje's Ravager R
Bonecrusher Giant R
Hanweir Garrison R
Hissing Iguanar R
Krenko, Tin Street Kingpin R
Pia Nalaar R
Rampaging Ferocidon R
Reckless Bushwhacker R
Sin Prodder R
Flametongue Kavu R
Hellrider R
Pia and Kiran Nalaar R
Goblin Dark-Dwellers R
Ilharg, the Raze-Boar R
Siege-Gang Commander R
Zealous Conscripts R
Inferno Titan R
Bedlam Reveler R
Chandra, Fire Artisan R
Daretti, Scrap Savant R
Sarkhan the Masterless R
Chandra, Flamecaller R
Rites of Initiation R
Shivan Fire R
Abrade R
Fall of the Hammer R
Incinerate R
Jaya's Greeting R
Magma Jet R
Thrill of Possibility R
Staggershock R
Stoke the Flames R
Magmatic Sinkhole R
Earthquake R
Faithless Looting R
Firebolt R
Flame Slash R
Forked Bolt R
Arc Trail R
Cathartic Reunion R
Pyroclasm R
Arc Lightning R
Fight with Fire R
Light Up the Stage R
Nahiri's Wrath R
Skewer the Critics R
Storm's Wrath R
Burning of Xinye R
Wildfire R
Shrine of Burning Rage R
Mizzium Tank R
Embercleave R
Goblin Bombardment R
Experimental Frenzy R
Arbor Elf G
Avacyn's Pilgrim G
Birds of Paradise G
Elves of Deep Shadow G
Elvish Mystic G
Fyndhorn Elves G
Hexdrinker G
Joraga Treespeaker G
Llanowar Elves G
Devoted Druid G
Fauna Shaman G
Incubation Druid G
Lotus Cobra G
Merfolk Branchwalker G
Paradise Druid G
Sakura-Tribe Elder G
Satyr Wayfinder G
Sylvan Advocate G
Sylvan Caryatid G
Thorn Lieutenant G
Voracious Hydra G
Wall of Blossoms G
Wall of Roots G
Boon Satyr G
Courser of Kruphix G
Eternal Witness G
Lovestruck Beast G
Managorger Hydra G
Manglehorn G
Reclamation Sage G
Rishkar, Peema Renegade G
Thrashing Brontodon G
Tireless Tracker G
Beast Whisperer G
Bramble Sovereign G
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma G
Nightpack Ambusher G
Oracle of Mul Daya G
Polukranos, World Eater G
Ripjaw Raptor G
Acidic Slime G
Biogenic Ooze G
Deep Forest Hermit G
Génesis G
Ohran Frostfang G
Thragtusk G
Wolfir Silverheart G
Carnage Tyrant G
Primeval Titan G
Avenger of Zendikar G
End-Raze Forerunners G
Hornet Queen G
Pelakka Wurm G
Terastodon G
Woodfall Primus G
Vivien, Champion of the Wilds G
Grapple with the Past G
Return to Nature G
Chord of Calling G
Crashing Footfalls G
Traverse the Ulvenwald G
Farseek G
Winding Way G
Cultivate G
Search for Tomorrow G
Harmonize G
Plow Under G
Birthing Pod G
Mirri's Guile G
Rancor G
Utopia Sprawl G
Vessel of Nascency G
Wild Growth G
Treetop Village G
Sandwurm Convergence G
Reflector Mage WU
Soulherder WU
Sphinx's Revelation WU
Supreme Verdict WU
Fractured Identity WU
Baleful Strix UB
Thought Erasure UB
Forbidden Alchemy BU
Thief of Sanity UB
Fallen Shinobi UB
Discovery // Dispersal UB
Rakdos Cackler BR
Dreadhorde Butcher BR
Terminate BR
Judith, the Scourge Diva BR
Kolaghan's Command BR
Falkenrath Aristocrat BR
Cindervines GR
Rhythm of the Wild RG
Bloodbraid Elf RG
Ruric Thar, the Unbowed RG
Dryad Militant WG
Nature's Chant WG
Knight of Autumn WG
Mirari's Wake WG
Tidehollow Sculler BW
Kaya's Guile WB
Lingering Souls WB
Vindicate BW
Unburial Rites WB
Maelstrom Pulse BG
Meren of Clan Nel Toth BG
Ishkanah, Grafwidow BG
Spider Spawning BG
Find // Finality BG
Growth Spiral UG
Hydroid Krasis GU
Edric, Spymaster of Trest UG
Mystic Snake UG
Prime Speaker Vannifar UG
Izzet Charm UR
Electrolyze UR
Fevered Visions RU
Saheeli, Sublime Artificer UR
Fire // Ice UR
Niv-Mizzet, Parun UR
Figure of Destiny WR
Lightning Helix WR
Skyknight Vanguard WR
Heroic Reinforcements WR
Solar Blaze WR
Cruel Ultimatum UBR
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker UBR
Leovold, Emissary of Trest UBG
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim WUBRG
Epochrasite C
Porcelain Legionnaire C
Phyrexian Metamorph C
Solemn Simulacrum C
Kuldotha Forgemaster C
Precursor Golem C
Duplicant C
Ancient Stone Idol C
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth C
Myr Battlesphere C
Sundering Titan C
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre C
Karn, Scion of Urza C
Bonesplitter C
Everflowing Chalice C
Azorius Signet C
Boros Signet C
Dimir Signet C
Golgari Signet C
Gruul Signet C
Heart of Kiran C
Isochron Scepter C
Izzet Signet C
Lightning Greaves C
Mind Stone C
Orzhov Signet C
Prismatic Lens C
Rakdos Signet C
Selesnya Signet C
Simic Signet C
Smuggler's Copter C
Sorcerous Spyglass C
Chromatic Lantern C
Coalition Relic C
Cultivator's Caravan C
Grafted Wargear C
Heirloom Blade C
Mimic Vat C
Sigiled Sword of Valeron C
Sword of Vengeance C
Worn Powerstone C
Coercive Portal C
Fleetwheel Cruiser C
Hedron Archive C
Nevinyrral's Disk C
Nyx Lotus C
Smokestack C
Thran Dynamo C
Gilded Lotus C
Skysovereign, Consul Flagship C
Mindslaver C
God-Pharaoh's Gift C
Adarkar Wastes L
Flooded Strand L
Glacial Fortress L
Hallowed Fountain L
Irrigated Farmland L
Drowned Catacomb L
Fetid Pools L
Polluted Delta L
Underground River L
Watery Grave L
Blood Crypt L
Bloodstained Mire L
Canyon Slough L
Dragonskull Summit L
Sulfurous Springs L
Karplusan Forest L
Kessig Wolf Run L
Rootbound Crag L
Sheltered Thicket L
Stomping Ground L
Wooded Foothills L
Brushland L
Scattered Groves L
Sunpetal Grove L
Temple Garden L
Windswept Heath L
Caves of Koilos L
Godless Shrine L
Isolated Chapel L
Marsh Flats L
Silent Clearing L
Llanowar Wastes L
Nurturing Peatland L
Overgrown Tomb L
Verdant Catacombs L
Woodland Cemetery L
Breeding Pool L
Hinterland Harbor L
Misty Rainforest L
Waterlogged Grove L
Yavimaya Coast L
Fiery Islet L
Scalding Tarn L
Shivan Reef L
Steam Vents L
Sulfur Falls L
Arid Mesa L
Battlefield Forge L
Clifftop Retreat L
Sacred Foundry L
Sunbaked Canyon L
Aether Hub L
Ash Barrens L
Fabled Passage L
Grand Coliseum L
Mishra's Factory L
Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx L
Prismatic Vista L

 

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