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:
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.
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!
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:
Blue Draw, Go.
Mono-Black Control "MBC"
And so much more!
Fun Things to Try
Here's some things you could try!
Discard a big Dragon and bring it back with Resurrection. Yes, you heard that right: Red-White Reanimator!
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.