It's midsummer, so that means one thing: time for Cube! (Really, any time is a good time to cube, but go with me here.) We're happy to announce that the Legacy Cube will be available on Magic Online beginning July 31, just in time for Gen Con (which I guess means it's time for two things: Cube and Gen Con). Now, if you're wondering why Gen Con is relevant to a Magic Online Cube announcement, it's because we've shared our Legacy Cube with Gen Con for their Mythic Convention Series Gen Con Championship!
This means that if you're lucky enough to be attending Gen Con, you can play in qualifier events over the course of the weekend (head over to the Gen Con event finder to check out qualifier details) for your shot at the Championship. Eight skilled competitors will battle it out on Gen Con's Twitch stream in a Legacy Cube Rochester Draft on Sunday, August 5, where the competitors get to keep the cards they draft. If that wasn't spicy enough, the winner gets a box of Legends, the third Magic expansion set, released in 1994.
If you're unfamiliar with Rochester Draft, packs are opened one at a time and laid out on the table, then players take turns drafting from that pack. Every pick is public information. This process is repeated until all the packs are drafted. To see this in action, check out coverage of last year's Gen Con Championship Beta Draft, which was also Rochester Draft.
If you're not at Gen Con, you can fire up MTGO and play the Legacy Cube while you watch all the great content from Gen Con on Twitch. And don't forget to set your alarms for 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT on August 4 to catch the Gen Con Championship!
For more information on what's new in the Legacy Cube, check out Reggie Valk's update below.
Digital Product Manager, Magic Online
What do you do if you're like me and looking for any excuse to curve Gideon, Ally of Zendikar into Plow Under? Drafting some Legacy Cube is a great solution! My name is Reggie Valk, an intern on the Magic Play Design team, and I'm a huge fan of Cube Draft in all forms. I recently had the chance to work on some of the updates for this latest installment of the Magic Online Legacy Cube.
If you're not familiar with Cube Draft and are coming from a more traditional Draft background, it can be easy to fall into a few traps; a common way to think about Cube is as a Limited-Constructed hybrid. In Cube, the draft process is the same as usual, but instead of booster packs, you open fifteen-card "packs" of curated cards from a larger total set than normal featuring some of the most powerful cards in Magic history. In normal Draft, you tend to prioritize strong removal and value-providing permanents in open colors, but that rarely leads to a strong Cube deck—more of a midrange pile without much synergy. Instead of just drafting colors, you really want to be drafting synergistic decks. That means that while you're drafting, you're also figuring out a cohesive plan you want to execute in your games. This could be assembling a strong combo, a focused aggressive strategy, or having enough permission spells and card draw to be a true control deck. Another distinction is the amount of strong lands available in the draft—the full cycles of legacy dual lands, shock lands, fetches, etc. You should aim for one to two colors on average, though having so much strong mana fixing can certainly enable some multicolored strategies. At its core, Cube Draft is a collection of sweet cards from across Magic's history, allowing for significant personalization and customization. Many people have a pet card or two in the cube that they'll try to fit into every deck they draft.
Now, let's take a closer look at a few of those deck archetypes that can be good jumping-off points for newer Cube drafters.
One of my personal favorite strategies in Legacy Cube is White Aggro. The main goal of the deck is a low mana curve filled with aggressive or disruptive creatures like Isamaru, Hound of Konda and Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, backed up with some strong removal like Swords to Plowshares or Path to Exile. You should also look for defensive creatures to protect your threats, like Giver of Runes or Selfless Spirit. Ways to grow your team round out the top of the curve with cards like Venerated Loxodon or Gideon, Ally of Zendikar. Some versions of the deck can look to finish the curve with Armageddon or Ravages of War to ensure the opponent can't catch up. The strong draws of this deck can be tough to beat if the other player isn't ready for them! Still, there's plenty to consider when drafting this deck. Look for synergies like Stoneforge Mystic and strong Equipment such as Batterskull, or History of Benalia and other Knights such as Student of Warfare or Hero of Bladehold. Sometimes it's even worth looking for reasons to splash other colors for cards like Sin Collector or Lingering Souls. Part of the fun of Cube is that it's rare to have two decks that play out quite the same way, even in a single-color archetype like this!
It's hard for me to believe not everybody enjoys playing White Weenie, but I do have to acknowledge that fact. What if drawing cards and winning with a combo finish is more your speed? Blue-Red Splinter Twin has you covered. The namesake of this archetype is one of the more powerful combos available in the cube, combining either Splinter Twin or Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker with Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite, or Zealous Conscripts to generate an arbitrarily large number of creatures to attack for the win. This deck can take advantage of the blue suite of card draw and selection with cantrips like Brainstorm, Ponder, and Preordain paired with cheap interaction like Lightning Bolt or Remand. You can round out the deck with some backup threats too; planeswalkers like Chandra, Awakened Inferno or protection like Glen Elendra Archmage. In my experience, some of the most fun games with this strategy involve executing a plan B of sorts; you haven't lived until you've enchanted a Snapcaster Mage or a Mulldrifter with a Splinter Twin.
Aggro and tempo-combo still not your thing? How about one of the most powerful midrange strategies in the format? What if it featured Squirrels? I'm talking about Blue-Green Opposition. This deck usually plays out as a green-heavy ramp deck in the early turns, relying on mana dorks like Llanowar Elves to accelerate into haymakers such as Deep Forest Hermit ahead of schedule. The Hermit happens to be the best partner for Opposition, letting you seal the deal once you've gained an advantage. If you've never tried tapping down your opponent's lands in their upkeep step before, I highly recommend giving it a try—it's quite the ride. You can even throw in a Plow Under for good measure, another personal favorite. Afterward, you can close out the game at your leisure with Natural Order or Tooth and Nail into something huge like Craterhoof Behemoth. Of course, not every game goes quite to plan, but that's the fun of it. This is a strategy that is super customizable; sometimes you can look to take Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx and strong midrange cards like Courser of Kruphix, or you can go off the rails with Oath of Nissa and mana-fixing and try splashing a Nicol Bolas and Ashiok into your blue-green deck. You can try almost anything!
Again, this is all the tip of the iceberg, and every color combination has some sweet stuff to do within it: Black-Red Reanimator, White-Blue Fliers, etc. The card-by-card changes are listed in full below, but things were kept minor. The general philosophy behind the changes was to slot in some of the coolest new cards that are making a splash in Eternal formats, just to keep things feeling fresh. So, you'll find some of the most powerful planeswalkers from War of the Spark like Narset, Parter of Veils and Teferi, Time Raveler, plus cards from Modern Horizons making waves in Modern and Legacy like Wrenn and Six. None of the cards removed from the cube got rid of an existing archetype, but these changes gave things a new look, like swapping out Dauntless Bodyguard for Giver of Runes as an example.
This version of the Legacy Cube goes live July 31 and will only last for a week, so play while you can! I hope you all have a fun time cubing!
Legacy Cube Changelist
- Dauntless Bodyguard --> Giver of Runes
- Adanto Vanguard --> Hero of Precinct One
- Ranger of Eos --> Ranger-Captain of Eos
- Silverblade Paladin --> Gideon Blackblade
- Mikaeus, the Lunarch --> Serra the Benevolent
- Exclusion Mage --> Bazaar Trademage
- Jace, Architect of Thought --> Narset, Parter of Veils
- Sea Gate Oracle --> Fblthp, the Lost
- Mesmerizing Benthid --> Urza, Lord High Artificer
- Sinister Sabotage --> Force of Negation
- Memory Lapse --> Tale's End
- Liliana, Death's Majesty --> Liliana, Dreadhorde General
- Liliana, Heretical Healer --> Yawgmoth, Thran Physician
- Chainer's Edict --> Liliana's Triumph
- Graveborn Muse --> Smiting Helix
- Isareth the Awakener --> Gatekeeper of Malakir
- Graveyard Marshal --> Rotting Regisaur
- Doom Whisperer --> Cavalier of Night
- Sulfuric Vortex --> Chandra, Acolyte of Flame
- Kari Zev, Skyship Raider --> Dreadhorde Arcanist
- Ire Shaman --> Seasoned Pyromancer
- Skarrgan Hellkite --> Ilharg, the Raze-Boar
- Arc Trail --> Tormenting Voice
- Chandra, Flamecaller --> Chandra, Awakened Inferno
- Nissa, Worldwaker --> Nissa, Who Shakes the World
- Verdurous Gearhulk --> Deep Forest Hermit
- Shaman of Forgotten Ways --> Hexdrinker