Legendary Cube Returns!

Posted in Magic Digital on March 23, 2016

By Jules Robins

Jules Robins has always been as involved in Magic as he could be. He’s judged, written articles, appeared on podcasts, and played everywhere from kitchen tables to Grand Prix to remote mountaintops. That’s why he couldn’t be happier now that he has a chance to create it as the Design Intern in Magic R&D.

Welcome to the triumphant return of Legendary Cube! I'm Jules Robins, the latest addition to the design team in Magic R&D, and today I'm going to give you a look behind the scenes at this cube update. I've been at Wizards for about eight months now, and I can't tell you how excited I am to unveil my first project to all of you.

Whether you have been anxiously awaiting its return, never got to play the first iteration of Legendary Cube, or are looking for a new twist to try, the time has come! Legendary Cube will be available on Magic Online from March 30 to April 6.

Legendary What Now?

Okay, great. The guy writing this article sounds really excited, but what's he talking about? My dear reader, I'm very sorry to hear that you haven't had the chance to play Legendary Cube yet, but not to worry! Here's what you need to know: Legendary Cube is an opportunity to draft Magic's most epic spells and creatures and use them to smash face.

Where regular cubes are filled with Noble Hierarchs and Mana Leaks, Legendary Cube has Mana Reflections and Time Stops. The cube is chock-full of legendary creatures (hence the name), and despite being played one on one with 20 life, the games often feel like Commander.

What's New?

If you've already played Legendary Cube, you knew all that. So what's new this time around? Rather a lot. See, here's the thing: the original Legendary Cube was awesome, but your decks didn't look all that different from one draft to the next. And no matter how much fun a draft or gameplay experience is, most of us don't want to repeat the same thing ad nauseam. So for this iteration of Legendary Cube, we've put a lot of time and effort into making sure you'll have new things to try even after you're a few drafts in. To see how, let me walk you through some problems we identified and how the cube's changed to address them.

Colors of the Wind

Magic has a very strong tool for creating varied gameplay in the color pie. Different colors can do different things, so a white-black deck feels different from a red-green one, and white-blue is another thing entirely. In the original Legendary Cube, most decks were four or five colors, which meant there was less pressure for players to fill out their decks with different cards and more pressure to just take the strongest card offered by every pack.

This new version cuts down a lot on color fixing, from both artifacts and lands. You can definitely still play a five-color deck if you commit a lot of picks to mana fixing, but now three colors is a more common baseline. In turn, we've also cut down on the number of multicolored cards and synced up the numbers between allied and enemy pairs. There's still more gold running around than in a normal draft environment, or even a normal cube, but it's toned down enough to keep every deck from looking the same.

Stuff of Legend

Another big change is that we've loosened the all-legendary restriction. The original cube completely eschewed nonlegendary creatures. That helped drafting feel thematic, but it also contributed to the decks' homogeneity. The issue is that there really aren't very many legendary creatures in Magic, and in trying to get enough creatures into the cube, we had to include some that were too weak for you to want in your decks. That meant that certain cards showed up in more decks and therefore made those decks more similar to one another.

All of the nonlegendary creatures added to the cube are in keeping with the philosophy behind it. They're either providing effects to support the format's high-impact, big-mana gameplay, acting as those splashy haymakers themselves, or playing an important part in creating a draft archetype.

Did You Say Draft Archetype?

Yes, yes I did. The final weapon we used to fight repetition in the Legendary Cube is synergy. Having cards that play much better with some pieces than others allows a single cube to host a lot of varied experiences to help keep things interesting. With no further ado, allow me to introduce your archetypes:

Dragons: If you cast Dromoka, the Eternal in a Fate Reforged draft, you might not care much that other Dragons could trigger her. After all, if you had two Dragons out, your opponent was dead. When you frequently find yourself facing down Griselbrand, it's a whole different story. Some of these Dragons are returning from the original Legendary Cube, but they've got a lot more support now. Put your opponent at the Crux of Fate, summon an air force via Dragonstorm, take to the skies, and burn your opponents to ashes!

Artifacts: Here's another archetype with its roots in the original Legendary Cube. If you've enjoyed your trips to the Trading Post or consultations with Tezzeret the Seeker, you're in luck! Draw up plans with Vedalken Archmage, smash the opposition beneath Bosh, Iron Golem, and build an indomitable machine!

Spells: Were you a fan of copying Cruel Ultimatum with Pyromancer's Goggles and Mirari? You still can! What's more, there are some new ways to approach instants and sorceries. Learn from the Mystical Teachings, win it big off Galvanoth, and unleash a flurry of spellcraft upon your adversaries!

Graveyard: But not everything's an expansion on old subthemes. The new Legendary Cube also enables some different takes on old favorite from all across Magic. Like the original cube, the way to get huge spells onto the table is by casting them, but that doesn't mean you can't use your graveyard for fun and profit. Send your opponents running from Kederekt Leviathan, wrap them up in Spider Spawning, and add your opponents to the ranks of your undead army!

Elves: And that's not the only place you can find a Legendary Cube take on something you know and love. These Elves aren't about casting a bunch of tiny spells. They're about winning big. Let your foes hear the Voice of the Woods, run them over with the cry of a Joraga Warcaller, and unleash nature's fury upon your foes!

Enchantments: Last but not least, this iteration of Legendary Cube enables you to pile up game-warping enchantments toward an awe-inspiring board. Grace your opponents with an Enchantress's Presence, make them bow before the Sigil of the Empty Throne, and remake the battlefield in an image of your glory!

To top it all off, there's support for you to try mixing and matching archetypes, and a number of standalone synergies between cool cards. The cube is your oyster!

See For Yourself

Does all of that sound awesome? I hope so. But don't just take my word for it. Have a look at the complete Legendary Cube list!

Now it's in your hands. Soon the cube will go live, and once it does I encourage you to give it a try. If you've never played Legendary Cube, you're in for a unique treat. And if you have, I hope you'll enjoy the new paths you can take as much as I enjoyed designing them. And here, fair reader, I bid you adieu. Perhaps we'll meet again within a queue. Wait for it. It's going to be legendary.


Legendary Cube Event Details

Legendary Cube Single Elimination Draft

Start Time: Wednesday, March 30 after the downtime
End Time: Friday, April 6
Location: Play Lobby -> Limited Tournaments -> Queues
Format: Draft 3 boosters of Legendary Cube
Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Structure: 10 minutes of deckbuilding, then 3 rounds each of which are 50 minutes
Prize Structure:

 

Place Prizes QPs
1st 220 Play Points 1
2nd 160 Play Points 0
3rd-4th 100 Play Points 0

Legendary Cube Swiss Draft

Start Time: Wednesday, March 30 after the downtime
End Time: Friday, April 15 at 10am Pacific
Location: Play Lobby -> Limited Tournaments -> Queues
Format: Draft 3 boosters of Legendary Cube
Entry Options:

  • 10 Event Tickets
  • 100 Play Points

Structure: 10 minutes of deckbuilding, then 3 rounds each of which are 50 minutes
Prize Structure:

 

Match Wins Prizes QPs
3 Wins 150 Play Points 1
2 Wins 100 Play Points 0
1 Win 40 Play Points 0
0 Wins 10 Play Points 0

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