Spotlight Cube Series – Alpha Core Set Cube

Posted in Magic Online on September 28, 2021

By Harper O'Neill

It's not every day you get another shot at something big.

In 2018, we unveiled Core Set Cube on Magic Online—a cube with a simple premise: every card had to come from a core set. Would players be interested in something like this? Turns out, yes! It had a clear theme, clever inclusions, a resonant name, and it was a fan favorite.

However, it was clearly time for a change. It felt like it didn't live up to its full potential. It's been about a year since the last time we've seen Core Set Cube, and since then, it's gotten some big upgrades, new perspectives, and a name change.

Hi, I'm Harper O'Neill, designer of Alpha Core Set Cube. I'm the senior retail development specialist for the Wizards Play Network at Wizards of the Coast, and I work closely with your local game stores to bring out their best. I've also organized cube nights at Wizards for almost nine years, and this cube has withstood the test of time. You can find me at @imharperoneill on Twitter. It's wonderful that I get to reintroduce myself to you with my favorite cube.

Alpha Core Set Cube comes to Magic Online on September 29 and will run for a week!

About the Cube

The biggest change is now we have access to all core sets from Magic's history instead of limiting players to Seventh Edition and onwards. In fact, you'll find over 50 cards in this list that were originally printed in Limited Edition Alpha, and the total card list is remarkably different.

A few things to know about the design:

It's powerful!

This cube has a feast of efficient threats and interaction. Don't get caught off guard, and don't underestimate the power of combat tricks like Giant Growth or Feat of Resistance. The land base also got a huge upgrade with the original dual lands.

It's nostalgic.

You'll find classic Magic archetypes and modern draft standouts here. What are some of your favorite strategies from years gone by? Perhaps Blue Tempo is your style, or Red Sligh! Maybe you just want to ramp into Grave Titan or load up your creatures with +1/+1 counters.

It's largely monocolor.

There aren't many multicolor cards available to core sets in general, so this cube has very few. Getting back to basics means selecting the most iconic cards from Magic's history and having a good, old-fashioned color pie battle. The colors do what you expect them to do.

What you won't see:

While Alpha is involved, you won't see Black Lotus, Sol Ring, or the Moxen, and many versions of the cards you'll play with aren't from Alpha itself. There are a few other notable omissions for power concerns. However, this cube's power level remains relatively high despite only having access to a small portion of Magic's overall history and manages to keep its personality fun and distinct from others.

But one member of The Power Nine can be found in this cube: Timetwister's time to twist has come!

I've also removed a great number of low-performing cards and archetypes we saw in previous versions. Over 150 cards were removed or added to make this experience more accessible without luring players into draft traps. Sorry, Enchantress fans!

Alpha Archetypes

  • Birds of Paradise
  • Disintegrate
  • Savannah Lions
  • Demonic Tutor
  • Control Magic

You'll find all the classics here! This cube leans a little less on strict two-color archetypes than previous versions, but you can rest easy knowing all sorts of aggressive and controlling strategies are well represented. Mix and match your strategies and have fun with it. Just some of the kinds of supported archetypes are:

  • White Weenie
  • Blue Draw, Go.
  • Mono-Black Control "MBC"
  • Big Red
  • Green Ramp.
  • White-Blue Fliers
  • Blue-Black Control
  • Black-Red Aggro
  • Red-Green Stompy
  • Green-White Counters
  • Green-Blue Flash
  • Blue-Red Spells
  • Red-White Tokens
  • White-Black Reanimator
  • Black-Green Value
  • And so much more!

Fun Things to Try

Here's some things you could try!

  1. Discard a big Dragon and bring it back with Resurrection. Yes, you heard that right: Red-White Reanimator!
  2. Say "no" to combat with a Turbo Fog strategy. Play a control game while you draw your opponent out with Howling Mine and keep your life total high with Fog and board wipes. Finish them off with Braingeyser.
  3. Dark Ritual into Hypnotic Specter! I'm sure they'll love that.
  4. Create a gigantic Chasm Skulker with Timetwister or Wheel of Fortune.
  5. Double (or quadruple) a creature's power and Fling it straight to your opponent's face! With Berserk and Unleash Fury in the cube, the capacity for massive damage output is quite high.
  6. Show them the Door (to Nothingness). You can pry this Core Set Cube strategy from my cold, dead hands.
  7. Create a team of killer robots with cards like Scuttling Doom Engine and Copy Artifact.
  8. Flood the board with a nigh-infinite number of Goblins using Krenko, Mob Boss and Intruder Alarm. Don't have Krenko? Ant Queen and some mana-producing Elves will work just as well.
  9. Cast or copy an insanely big Fireball. Cards like Mana Flare will help fuel huge flashy spells that can end the game in an instant (well, sorcery).
  10. Discover something new!

Have fun! I'll see you in the queues.


Full Alpha Core Set Cube Card List

Card Name Color
Elite Vanguard W
Gideon's Lawkeeper W
Kytheon, Hero of Akros W
Leonin Vanguard W
Savannah Lions W
Selfless Savior W
Serra Ascendant W
Soul Warden W
Ajani's Pridemate W
Containment Priest W
Fencing Ace W
Grand Abolisher W
Imposing Sovereign W
Knight of the White Orchid W
Relic Seeker W
Remorseful Cleric W
Seasoned Hallowblade W
Topan Freeblade W
War Priest of Thune W
White Knight W
Attended Knight W
Banisher Priest W
Fiendslayer Paladin W
Gideon's Avenger W
Hanged Executioner W
Heliod's Pilgrim W
Hushwing Gryff W
Mentor of the Meek W
Resplendent Angel W
Vryn Wingmare W
Archangel of Tithes W
Basri's Acolyte W
Basri's Lieutenant W
Leonin Warleader W
Mangara, the Diplomat W
Master Splicer W
Stonehorn Dignitary W
Sublime Archangel W
Windborn Muse W
Archangel of Thune W
Archon of Justice W
Baneslayer Angel W
Blinding Angel W
Cavalier of Dawn W
Hixus, Prison Warden W
Captain of the Watch W
Lena, Selfless Champion W
Sun Titan W
Sephara, Sky's Blade W
Basri Ket W
Ajani Steadfast W
Gideon Jura W
Condemn W
Gods Willing W
Swords to Plowshares W
Angelic Ascension W
Disenchant W
Feat of Resistance W
Raise the Alarm W
Reprisal W
Swift Response W
Devouring Light W
Exile W
Invoke the Divine W
Pillar of Light W
Chastise W
Basri's Solidarity W
Timely Reinforcements W
Breath of Life W
Day of Judgment W
Resurrection W
Wrath of God W
Cleansing Nova W
Triplicate Spirits W
Ancestral Blade W
Marble Diamond W
Oppressive Rays W
Honor of the Pure W
Pacifism W
Glorious Anthem W
Oblivion Ring W
Pariah W
Angelic Destiny W
Faith's Fetters W
Spectra Ward W
Dauntless River Marshal WU
Spectral Sailor U
Brineborn Cutthroat U
Ghostly Pilferer U
Harbinger of the Tides U
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy U
Jeskai Elder U
Merfolk Looter U
Phantasmal Image U
Quickling U
Thought Courier U
Aether Adept U
Barrin, Tolarian Archmage U
Chasm Skulker U
Exclusion Mage U
Illusory Angel U
Jace's Archivist U
Jhessian Thief U
Mizzium Meddler U
Sai, Master Thopterist U
Serendib Efreet U
Archaeomancer U
Clone U
Dungeon Geists U
Master Thief U
Talrand, Sky Summoner U
Whirler Rogue U
Cavalier of Gales U
Disciple of the Ring U
Shipwreck Dowser U
Soulblade Djinn U
Stormwing Entity U
Arcanis the Omnipotent U
Frost Titan U
Jace's Mindseeker U
Agent of Treachery U
Sphinx of Uthuun U
Waker of Waves U
Stormtide Leviathan U
Jace Beleren U
Teferi, Master of Time U
Tezzeret, Artifice Master U
Brainstorm U
Force Spike U
Opt U
Power Sink U
Quicken U
Spell Blast U
Unsummon U
Boomerang U
Counterspell U
Disperse U
Essence Scatter U
Mana Leak U
Memory Lapse U
Negate U
Remove Soul U
Unsubstantiate U
Artificer's Epiphany U
Cancel U
Dissipate U
Rain of Revelation U
Rewind U
Aetherspouts U
Desertion U
Evacuation U
Discontinuity U
Masterful Replication U
Sublime Epiphany U
Ponder U
Portent U
Preordain U
Prosperity U
Sleight of Hand U
Braingeyser U
Displacement Wave U
Timetwister U
Bribery U
Time Warp U
Flood of Tears U
Sky Diamond U
Copy Artifact U
Claustrophobia U
Intruder Alarm U
Control Magic U
Thopter Spy Network U
Confiscate U
Archfiend's Vessel B
Blood Pet B
Diregraf Ghoul B
Grasping Scoundrel B
Knight of the Ebon Legion B
Stitcher's Supplier B
Vampire of the Dire Moon B
Viscera Seer B
Will-o'-the-Wisp B
Black Knight B
Bloodthrone Vampire B
Graveyard Marshal B
Kitesail Freebooter B
Ravenous Rats B
Reassembling Skeleton B
Crypt Rats B
Doomed Necromancer B
Embodiment of Agonies B
Fleshbag Marauder B
Hooded Blightfang B
Hypnotic Specter B
Isareth the Awakener B
Liliana, Heretical Healer B
Plague Mare B
Rotting Regisaur B
Vampire Nighthawk B
Vito, Thorn of the Dusk Rose B
Xathrid Necromancer B
Disciple of Bolas B
Dread Presence B
Fell Specter B
Kaervek, the Spiteful B
Liliana's Reaver B
Mortivore B
Nekrataal B
Sengir Autocrat B
Cavalier of Night B
Gilt-Leaf Winnower B
Indulgent Tormentor B
Priest of the Blood Rite B
Shadowborn Demon B
Vampire Sovereign B
Ascendant Evincar B
Grave Titan B
Massacre Wurm B
Soul of Innistrad B
Rune-Scarred Demon B
Demon of Death's Gate B
Liliana of the Dark Realms B
Liliana, Waker of the Dead B
Sorin Markov B
Dark Ritual B
Disfigure B
Howl from Beyond B
Ulcerate B
Doom Blade B
Eliminate B
Grasp of Darkness B
Terror B
Dark Banishing B
Murder B
Tendrils of Corruption B
Blackmail B
Duress B
Ostracize B
Consume Spirit B
Demonic Tutor B
Distress B
Macabre Waltz B
Mind Shatter B
Sign in Blood B
Read the Bones B
Blood for Bones B
Languish B
Mutilate B
Beacon of Unrest B
Dark Petition B
Necromantic Summons B
Corrupt B
Sorin's Vengeance B
Charcoal Diamond B
Animate Dead B
Demonic Embrace B
Phyrexian Arena B
Stab Wound B
Demonic Pact B
Liliana's Contract B
Foundry Street Denizen R
Frenzied Goblin R
Goblin Glory Chaser R
Grim Lavamancer R
Mogg Fanatic R
Scorch Spitter R
Abbot of Keral Keep R
Dismissive Pyromancer R
Ember Hauler R
Generator Servant R
Goblin Instigator R
Goblin Piledriver R
Goblin Shortcutter R
Heartfire Immolator R
Hobblefiend R
Stormblood Berserker R
Torch Fiend R
Viashino Pyromancer R
Young Pyromancer R
Ball Lightning R
Bolt Hound R
Chandra, Fire of Kaladesh R
Chandra's Phoenix R
Ghirapur Gearcrafter R
Glint-Horn Buccaneer R
Goblin Chieftain R
Goblin King R
Goblin Rabblemaster R
Guttersnipe R
Scab-Clan Berserker R
Thopter Engineer R
Avaricious Dragon R
Kinetic Augur R
Krenko, Mob Boss R
Ogre Battledriver R
Pia and Kiran Nalaar R
Scampering Scorcher R
Cavalier of Flame R
Siege-Gang Commander R
Terror of the Peaks R
Thundermaw Hellkite R
Inferno Titan R
Soul of Shandalar R
Drakuseth, Maw of Flames R
Bogardan Hellkite R
Chandra, Acolyte of Flame R
Sarkhan, Fireblood R
Chandra, the Firebrand R
Lightning Bolt R
Shock R
Titan's Strength R
Fling R
Incinerate R
Lightning Strike R
Searing Spear R
Shrapnel Blast R
Thrill of Possibility R
Unleash Fury R
Goblin Wizardry R
Lightning Blast R
Stoke the Flames R
Beacon of Destruction R
Crash Through R
Disintegrate R
Earthquake R
Fireball R
Magmatic Insight R
Thud R
Dragon Fodder R
Krenko's Command R
Pyroclasm R
Tormenting Voice R
Volcanic Hammer R
Exquisite Firecraft R
Flames of the Firebrand R
Molten Birth R
Threaten R
Wheel of Fortune R
Chandra's Ignition R
Cone of Flame R
Pyrotechnics R
Wildfire R
Fire Diamond R
Mask of Immolation R
Hammerhand R
Mana Flare R
Arbor Elf G
Birds of Paradise G
Caustic Caterpillar G
Elvish Mystic G
Elvish Reclaimer G
Llanowar Elves G
Sedge Scorpion G
Deadly Recluse G
Elvish Archers G
Elvish Visionary G
Fauna Shaman G
Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse G
River Boa G
Satyr Wayfinder G
Scavenging Ooze G
Skinshifter G
Thorn Lieutenant G
Whirling Dervish G
Azusa, Lost but Seeking G
Elvish Archdruid G
Elvish Rejuvenator G
Hornet Nest G
Llanowar Visionary G
Loaming Shaman G
Managorger Hydra G
Nissa, Vastwood Seer G
Pridemalkin G
Reclamation Sage G
Thrashing Brontodon G
Troll Ascetic G
Wood Elves G
Goreclaw, Terror of Qal Sisma G
Master of the Wild Hunt G
Nightpack Ambusher G
Obstinate Baloth G
Yeva, Nature's Herald G
Acidic Slime G
Ant Queen G
Cavalier of Thorns G
Kalonian Hydra G
Mitotic Slime G
Silklash Spider G
Thragtusk G
Primeval Titan G
Soul of Zendikar G
Woodland Bellower G
Gaea's Revenge G
Hornet Queen G
Pelakka Wurm G
Primordial Hydra G
Voracious Hydra G
Garruk Wildspeaker G
Vivien, Arkbow Ranger G
Vivien Reid G
Berserk G
Fog G
Giant Growth G
Heroic Intervention G
Return to Nature G
Invigorating Surge G
Pulse of Murasa G
Might of Oaks G
Chord of Calling G
Primal Might G
Farseek G
Nature's Lore G
Rabid Bite G
Rampant Growth G
Regrowth G
Cultivate G
Bramblecrush G
Overrun G
Overwhelming Stampede G
Desert Twister G
Hurricane G
Moss Diamond G
Rancor G
Wild Growth G
Fertile Ground G
Sylvan Library G
Gift of Paradise G
Overgrowth G
Rites of Flourishing G
Primeval Bounty G
Prodigious Growth G
Flinthoof Boar RG
Thunderclap Wyvern UW
Tomebound Lich BU
Blazing Hellhound BR
Radha, Heart of Keld GR
Conclave Mentor GW
Indulging Patrician BW
Experimental Overload RU
Garruk, Apex Predator BG
Heroic Reinforcements RW
Lorescale Coatl GU
Chromium, the Mutable BUW
Nicol Bolas, the Ravager BRU
Hangarback Walker Colorless
Bonded Construct Colorless
Chronomaton Colorless
Phyrexian Revoker Colorless
Runed Servitor Colorless
Steel Overseer Colorless
Adaptive Automaton Colorless
Chief of the Foundry Colorless
Palladium Myr Colorless
Sparkhunter Masticore Colorless
Solemn Simulacrum Colorless
Razormane Masticore Colorless
Scuttling Doom Engine Colorless
Soul of New Phyrexia Colorless
Triskelion Colorless
Meteor Golem Colorless
Pentavus Colorless
Platinum Angel Colorless
Brittle Effigy Colorless
Elixir of Immortality Colorless
Pithing Needle Colorless
Ankh of Mishra Colorless
Fellwar Stone Colorless
Howling Mine Colorless
Mazemind Tome Colorless
Mind Stone Colorless
Ratchet Bomb Colorless
Sword of the Animist Colorless
Druidic Satchel Colorless
Loxodon Warhammer Colorless
Sculpting Steel Colorless
Sword of Vengeance Colorless
Temple Bell Colorless
Haunted Plate Mail Colorless
Icy Manipulator Colorless
Nevinyrral's Disk Colorless
Sisay's Ring Colorless
Trading Post Colorless
Ur-Golem's Eye Colorless
Gilded Lotus Colorless
Pyromancer's Goggles Colorless
Akroma's Memorial Colorless
Chromatic Orrery Colorless
Door to Nothingness WUBRG
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim WUBRG
Adarkar Wastes Land
Glacial Fortress Land
Tundra Land
Drowned Catacomb Land
Underground River Land
Underground Sea Land
Badlands Land
Dragonskull Summit Land
Sulfurous Springs Land
Karplusan Forest Land
Rootbound Crag Land
Taiga Land
Brushland Land
Savannah Land
Sunpetal Grove Land
Caves of Koilos Land
Scrubland Land
Temple of Silence Land
Shivan Reef Land
Temple of Epiphany Land
Volcanic Island Land
Bayou Land
Llanowar Wastes Land
Temple of Malady Land
Battlefield Forge Land
Plateau Land
Temple of Triumph Land
Temple of Mystery Land
Tropical Island Land
Yavimaya Coast Land
Buried Ruin Land
Cathedral of War Land
City of Brass Land
Evolving Wilds Land
Fabled Passage Land
Faerie Conclave Land
Field of the Dead Land
Forbidding Watchtower Land
Foundry of the Consuls Land
Gargoyle Castle Land
Ghitu Encampment Land
Hellion Crucible Land
Mishra's Factory Land
Mutavault Land
Mystifying Maze Land
Quicksand Land
Rogue's Passage Land
Rupture Spire Land
Spawning Pool Land
Terramorphic Expanse Land
Treetop Village Land
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth Land


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