Spotlight Cube Series – MenguCube

Posted in Magic Online on April 6, 2021

By Andrea Mengucci

Andrea Mengucci è un giovane giocatore marchigiano, che vanta tra i suoi risultati una Top8 al Pro Tour Journey into Nyx e la medaglia di Capitano Italiano per il 2014 oltre alle dieci partecipazioni a Pro Tour.

It brings me great joy to show you the cube that I and my friends from Senigallia, Italy, my hometown, have worked on and improved for almost three years.

My community is mostly Legacy and Vintage players, so it was natural for us to start with Magic Online's Vintage Cube, and from there, we modified it with our personal preferences, set after set.

The first thing we noticed was that the packs were always running out of blue cards, and we would always find ourselves with several white, red, and green cards that none of us really wanted by the end of each pack.

Our play group was more attracted to blue control, artifact strategies, or combo decks. As a result, cards like Honor of the Pure, Baneslayer Angel, and Burst Lightning were just underappreciated. Often, you were forced to draft certain archetypes when you didn't want to, even though Cube Draft is supposed to be an escape from normal Draft and a place where one could draft some of the most busted cards in Magic.

As a result, the MenguCube isn't perfectly color balanced. We have 87 blue cards, 84 artifacts, 72 lands, 66 green cards, 60 red cards, 57 black cards, 57 white cards, and even the multicolor cards skew toward blue. As you can see, the cube includes more of the colors and archetypes that we enjoy most: blue cards and artifacts.

In the MenguCube, you don't need to aggressively cut blue in the first picks, like I tend to do whenever I draft MTGO's Vintage Cube. You can focus on some precious dual lands or artifacts first.

ARCHETYPES

ARTIFACTS

Artifacts is the archetype that I love the most, and it's very hard to come together in the normal Vintage Cube on MTGO. There are only ten Signets, and every player is looking for them. In MenguCube, not only do you have twelve options between Signets and Talismans, but you also have access to Coldsteel Heart, Prismatic Lens, Chromatic Lantern, and Hedron Archive.

You will find every single blue Talisman and Signet, once again prioritizing blue mana fixing since your deck is most likely to be blue and you'll want that extra fixing from mana rocks.

The best payoff for ramping up with mana rocks is Upheaval, but I also love to cast Wildfire and Burning of Xinye. Tinker and Emry, Lurker of the Loch are two very powerful cards that only get exploited in this archetype, two of which you definitely have to pick high if you want to draft this archetype.

A special card in my heart is Thought-Knot Seer, which is castable in this cube thanks to the Talismans and the pain lands such as Shivan Reef.

MenguCube also has plenty of answers for this super-good and fun archetype, with red having access to Embereth Shieldbreaker, Irreverent Revelers, Manic Vandal, Opportunistic Dragon, and Release the Gremlins. Green has Manglehorn, Reclamation Sage, Gemrazer, Acidic Slime, Sawtusk Demolisher, and Nature's Claim. These work to hose this archetype.

AGGRO DECKS

Even though we cut down the number of red and white cards, that doesn't mean this is only a combo or control cube. Boros aggro and mono-red are the most winning archetypes in our cube. If you want to draft aggro, you'll find a higher density of good cards in those colors with less competition, since most people just want to draft the fancy cool stuff rather than beating down with a Goblin Guide.

Since there's a lower number of cards of some colors going around, you have to be aware of that. Picking up some dual lands can really help a Boros or Gruul deck to be ready for a splash. Or, you can go fully Boros. White and red are the two best aggro decks, with red being great at killing fast and white shutting the door with Armageddon and Ravages of War.

As I mentioned, keep an eye on anti-artifact creatures. Those are very important and definitely main-deckable considering the huge number of artifacts going around in the packs.

White-Blue X BLINK

An archetype that we recently added and loved is white-blue X blink. Soulherder is a special card and fun to pair with "enters the battlefield" creatures such as Flametongue Kavu or Avalanche Rider.

Ephemerate is another important piece of the ETB blink deck and is especially nice to pair with evoke creatures such as Mulldrifter or Shriekmaw. You can cast these creatures for their evoke cost and blink them before they get sacrificed to get double (or even triple!) triggers and then keep the creature around.

INFINITE TURNS COMBO

Time Vault is a card that appeared in one iteration of Vintage Cube and was further removed for being "unfun." We generally agreed with that and removed most of the regular combo pieces you'd see along with it, such as Manifold Key and Tezzeret the Seeker.

However, we decided to keep the Time Vault combo around. It can only go off with a few specific cards such as Ral Zarek and Kiora's Follower; you can still create an infinite-turn loop, but it'll involve cards that are much easier to remove.

Alternatively, you can also pair the Time Vault with Deceiver Exarch, Pestermite, or Zealous Conscripts to grant yourself an additional turn by untapping the Vault. If you pair them with a Soulherder, you can even get an infinite loop!

RAMP

Ramp is one of the easier archetypes to draft in Vintage Cube, and it's well supported in MenguCube. Green is the second most popular color. When drafting ramp, focus on getting four or five cheap mana creatures, some powerful payoffs, and some key interactions.

The deck is often in Simic colors since you're splashing for some powerful blue cards that you will likely pick up along the way. It's very important to have a Tropical Island or a Breeding Pool because most of the strong blue cards are double-blue and this deck must have at least ten green sources to always kick things off with a Llanowar Elves of some sort.

Once again, it's very important that you prioritize artifact removal. There's plenty of those to choose from, and I tend to main deck all that I draft.

REANIMATOR AND OTHER COMBO DECKS

Just like in Vintage Cube, reanimator, storm, and Eureka/Oath of Druids decks are available. For those who haven't played them, let me explain them.

Swamp, Dark Ritual, Entomb, Exhume is your four-card combo to get a Griselbrand into play as early as turn one. Reanimator isn't just an all-in combo, though. One of my favorite ways to draft a reanimator deck is to pair it with efficient interactive cards, making a blue-black control deck that can hard-cast threats like Grave Titan and Massacre Wurm if it needs to.

My favorite reanimation target is Terastodon since it dodges removal by having a strong enters-the-battlefield trigger. You can often blow up key pieces of the opponent's board to unlock your game or apply lots of pressure by blowing up your own lands and attacking with Elephants.

I tend to take Terastodon very high, since it also works in Sneak Attack, Through the Breach, and Natural Order decks. It's really the perfect card whenever you want to do unfair stuff. If you can't find Terastodon, MenguCube also has Worldspine Wurm, which is great with any of those cards, too.

Storm is obviously a very supported archetype, with several ways to get infinite mana going with Palinchron, High Tide, Mana Flare, or Heartbeat of Spring. After playing storm decks over and over, we ended up cutting Past in Flames, Yawgmoth's Bargain, and Thousand-Year Storm. Despite the fact that these cards are usually associated with storm decks, they just aren't that good. If you want to win with the storm archetype, you should focus on efficient interactions, card advantage, and a win condition. The best option is to deck your opponent with Brain Freeze, but you can also just kill them with Empty the Warrens or Tendrils of Agony.

BLUE CONTROL

Last, but certainly not least, is blue control. With 87 blue cards and many more among the multicolor cards, you'll often find yourself in a blue deck that, of course, can take many different routes: I've already talked about green-blue ramp, white-blue aggro, blue-black reanimator, and blue-red splinter twin. Basically, blue is like parsley: wherever you put it, it'll be a nice addition.

Starting a draft by picking Glen Elendra Archmage and Mana Leak can never lead to a disaster. You can, of course, draft white-blue or blue-black control, but it'll have a harder time than in regular Vintage Cube. There are fewer mediocre Naya creatures, and you'll find yourself winning games less often just by casting a Wrath of God.

Nonetheless, blue control is an excellent archetype. Counterspells plus removal spells plus very good win conditions (Consecrated Sphinx, Bribery, etc.) is a great way to win in MenguCube.

I hope I covered most of the differences between MenguCube and its ancestor, the normal Vintage Cube. I'm proud to assert that we've made a great alternative version of it.

— Andrea Mengucci

Full Cube List

Card Name Color
Adanto Vanguard White
Angel of Sanctions White
Archangel Avacyn White
Archon of Emeria White
Armageddon White
Aven Mindcensor White
Balance White
Banishing Light White
Blade Splicer White
Brimaz, King of Oreskos White
Conclave Tribunal White
Containment Priest White
Council's Judgment White
Disenchant White
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite White
Elspeth Conquers Death White
Elspeth, Knight-Errant White
Elspeth, Sun's Champion White
Ephemerate White
Flickerwisp White
Gideon Blackblade White
Gideon, Ally of Zendikar White
Hero of Bladehold White
Iona, Shield of Emeria White
Kenrith, the Returned King White
Kytheon, Hero of Akros White
Leonin Relic-Warder White
Lingering Souls White
Luminarch Aspirant White
Mana Tithe White
Maul of the Skyclaves White
Monastery Mentor White
Mother of Runes White
Oblivion Ring White
Palace Jailer White
Path to Exile White
Porcelain Legionnaire White
Ravages of War White
Recruiter of the Guard White
Restoration Angel White
Seasoned Hallowblade White
Skyclave Apparition White
Spirit of the Labyrinth White
Stoneforge Mystic White
Student of Warfare White
Sun Titan White
Swords to Plowshares White
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben White
Thalia, Heretic Cathar White
Thraben Inspector White
Tithe Taker White
Unexpectedly Absent White
Usher of the Fallen White
Village Bell-Ringer White
Wall of Omens White
Wall of Omens White
Wrath of God White
Ancestral Recall Blue
Anticipate Blue
Brain Freeze Blue
Brainstorm Blue
Brazen Borrower // Petty Theft Blue
Bribery Blue
Careful Study Blue
Champion of Wits Blue
Chart a Course Blue
Commit // Memory Blue
Compulsive Research Blue
Consecrated Sphinx Blue
Control Magic Blue
Cosima, God of the Voyage // The Omenkeel Blue
Counterspell Blue
Cryptic Command Blue
Daze Blue
Deceiver Exarch Blue
Dig Through Time Blue
Drawn from Dreams Blue
Echo of Eons Blue
Emry, Lurker of the Loch Blue
Fact or Fiction Blue
Fae of Wishes // Granted Blue
Fall from Favor Blue
Force of Will Blue
Force Spike Blue
Frantic Search Blue
Frost Titan Blue
Gifts Ungiven Blue
Gitaxian Probe Blue
Glen Elendra Archmage Blue
Gush Blue
High Tide Blue
Hullbreacher Blue
Impulse Blue
Inkwell Leviathan Blue
Jace, the Mind Sculptor Blue
Jace, Vryn's Prodigy Blue
Looter il-Kor Blue
Mana Drain Blue
Mana Leak Blue
Mental Misstep Blue
Mind's Desire Blue
Mulldrifter Blue
Mystic Confluence Blue
Mystical Tutor Blue
Narset, Parter of Veils Blue
Opposition Blue
Palinchron Blue
Pestermite Blue
Phantasmal Image Blue
Phyrexian Metamorph Blue
Ponder Blue
Preordain Blue
Remand Blue
Repeal Blue
Riftwing Cloudskate Blue
Sai, Master Thopterist Blue
Sea Gate Stormcaller Blue
Serum Visions Blue
Show and Tell Blue
Snapcaster Mage Blue
Sower of Temptation Blue
Spell Pierce Blue
Spellseeker Blue
Stroke of Genius Blue
Sublime Epiphany Blue
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage Blue
Teferi, Master of Time Blue
Thassa's Oracle Blue
Thieving Skydiver Blue
Thirst for Knowledge Blue
Time Spiral Blue
Time Walk Blue
Timetwister Blue
Tinker Blue
Torrential Gearhulk Blue
Treachery Blue
Treasure Cruise Blue
Trinket Mage Blue
True-Name Nemesis Blue
Turnabout Blue
Upheaval Blue
Urza, Lord High Artificer Blue
Vendilion Clique Blue
Venser, Shaper Savant Blue
Animate Dead Black
Bitterblossom Black
Bloodchief's Thirst Black
Bolas's Citadel Black
Brain Maggot Black
Cabal Ritual Black
Damnation Black
Dark Petition Black
Dark Ritual Black
Demonic Tutor Black
Diabolic Servitude Black
Doomfall Black
Duress Black
Entomb Black
Exhume Black
Go for the Throat Black
Gonti, Lord of Luxury Black
Grave Titan Black
Griselbrand Black
Heartless Act Black
Hymn to Tourach Black
Imperial Seal Black
Inquisition of Kozilek Black
Kalitas, Traitor of Ghet Black
Kitesail Freebooter Black
Liliana of the Veil Black
Living Death Black
Makeshift Mannequin Black
Massacre Wurm Black
Mesmeric Fiend Black
Mind Twist Black
Necromancy Black
Necropotence Black
Night's Whisper Black
Noxious Gearhulk Black
Oona's Prowler Black
Ophiomancer Black
Opposition Agent Black
Pack Rat Black
Painful Truths Black
Plague Engineer Black
Putrid Imp Black
Ravenous Chupacabra Black
Reanimate Black
Recurring Nightmare Black
Rotting Regisaur Black
Rune-Scarred Demon Black
Shallow Grave Black
Sheoldred, Whispering One Black
Shriekmaw Black
Tendrils of Agony Black
Thoughtseize Black
Toxic Deluge Black
Unburial Rites Black
Valki, God of Lies // Tibalt, Cosmic Impostor Black
Vampiric Tutor Black
Yawgmoth's Will Black
Birgi, God of Storytelling // Harnfel, Horn of Bounty Red
Bomat Courier Red
Bonecrusher Giant // Stomp Red
Burning of Xinye Red
Chain Lightning Red
Chandra, Torch of Defiance Red
Char Red
Daretti, Scrap Savant Red
Desperate Ritual Red
Dire Fleet Daredevil Red
Earthshaker Khenra Red
Eidolon of the Great Revel Red
Embereth Shieldbreaker // Battle Display Red
Empty the Warrens Red
Faithless Looting Red
Fiery Confluence Red
Fireblast Red
Firedrinker Satyr Red
Flametongue Kavu Red
Glorybringer Red
Goblin Guide Red
Goblin Rabblemaster Red
Goldspan Dragon Red
Hazoret the Fervent Red
Hellrider Red
Imperial Recruiter Red
Incinerate Red
Inferno Titan Red
Irreverent Revelers Red
Kari Zev, Skyship Raider Red
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker Red
Koth of the Hammer Red
Legion Warboss Red
Lightning Bolt Red
Lightning Strike Red
Magma Jet Red
Mana Flare Red
Manic Vandal Red
Monastery Swiftspear Red
Opportunistic Dragon Red
Pia and Kiran Nalaar Red
Rampaging Ferocidon Red
Rekindling Phoenix Red
Release the Gremlins Red
Rite of Flame Red
Robber of the Rich Red
Searing Spear Red
Seasoned Pyromancer Red
Seething Song Red
Siege-Gang Commander Red
Sneak Attack Red
Splinter Twin Red
Stormbreath Dragon Red
Sulfuric Vortex Red
Through the Breach Red
Underworld Breach Red
Wheel of Fortune Red
Wildfire Red
Young Pyromancer Red
Zealous Conscripts Red
Zurgo Bellstriker Red
Acidic Slime Green
Arbor Elf Green
Beast Within Green
Birds of Paradise Green
Channel Green
Courser of Kruphix Green
Craterhoof Behemoth Green
Cultivate Green
Den Protector Green
Deranged Hermit Green
Elves of Deep Shadow Green
Elvish Mystic Green
Esika, God of the Tree // The Prismatic Bridge Green
Eternal Witness Green
Eureka Green
Farseek Green
Fastbond Green
Finale of Devastation Green
Fyndhorn Elves Green
Garruk Relentless Green
Garruk Wildspeaker Green
Gemrazer Green
Gilded Goose Green
Green Sun's Zenith Green
Harmonize Green
Heartbeat of Spring Green
Jolrael, Mwonvuli Recluse Green
Joraga Treespeaker Green
Kodama's Reach Green
Llanowar Elves Green
Llanowar Visionary Green
Lotus Cobra Green
Manglehorn Green
Master of the Wild Hunt Green
Natural Order Green
Nature's Claim Green
Nissa, Vastwood Seer Green
Nissa, Who Shakes the World Green
Noble Hierarch Green
Oath of Druids Green
Once Upon a Time Green
Oracle of Mul Daya Green
Primal Command Green
Primeval Titan Green
Questing Beast Green
Ramunap Excavator Green
Reclamation Sage Green
Regrowth Green
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary Green
Sakura-Tribe Elder Green
Sawtusk Demolisher Green
Scavenging Ooze Green
Search for Tomorrow Green
Survival of the Fittest Green
Sylvan Caryatid Green
Sylvan Library Green
Terastodon Green
Thragtusk Green
Thrun, the Last Troll Green
Tireless Tracker Green
Tooth and Nail Green
Vorinclex, Monstrous Raider Green
Wall of Roots Green
Whisperwood Elemental Green
Woodfall Primus Green
Worldspine Wurm Green
Ajani Vengeant Multicolor
Ashen Rider Multicolor
Ashiok, Nightmare Muse Multicolor
Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver Multicolor
Baleful Strix Multicolor
Binding the Old Gods Multicolor
Coiling Oracle Multicolor
Cut // Ribbons Multicolor
Dack Fayden Multicolor
Daretti, Ingenious Iconoclast Multicolor
Deputy of Detention Multicolor
Dragonlord Atarka Multicolor
Dragonlord Ojutai Multicolor
Edric, Spymaster of Trest Multicolor
Electrolyze Multicolor
Escape to the Wilds Multicolor
Expansion Multicolor
Fallen Shinobi Multicolor
Figure of Destiny Multicolor
Fire // Ice Multicolor
Fractured Identity Multicolor
Geist of Saint Traft Multicolor
Hostage Taker Multicolor
Huntmaster of the Fells Multicolor
Hydroid Krasis Multicolor
Izzet Charm Multicolor
Kiora's Follower Multicolor
Kitchen Finks Multicolor
Knight of Autumn Multicolor
Kolaghan's Command Multicolor
Leovold, Emissary of Trest Multicolor
Lurrus of the Dream-Den Multicolor
Lutri, the Spellchaser Multicolor
Maelstrom Pulse Multicolor
Mirari's Wake Multicolor
Mystic Snake Multicolor
Nahiri, the Harbinger Multicolor
Nicol Bolas, God-Pharaoh Multicolor
Oko, Thief of Crowns Multicolor
Omnath, Locus of Creation Multicolor
Progenitus Multicolor
Rakdos's Return Multicolor
Ral Zarek Multicolor
Showdown of the Skalds Multicolor
Soulherder Multicolor
Spell Queller Multicolor
Sphinx of the Steel Wind Multicolor
Teferi, Hero of Dominaria Multicolor
Teferi, Time Raveler Multicolor
Tezzeret the Schemer Multicolor
The Scarab God Multicolor
Thief of Sanity Multicolor
Trygon Predator Multicolor
Vindicate Multicolor
Vraska, Relic Seeker Multicolor
Wrenn and Six Multicolor
Xenagos, the Reveler Multicolor
Azorius Signet Artifact
Basalt Monolith Artifact
Batterskull Artifact
Black Lotus Artifact
Blightsteel Colossus Artifact
Boros Signet Artifact
Chromatic Lantern Artifact
Chrome Mox Artifact
Coalition Relic Artifact
Coercive Portal Artifact
Coldsteel Heart Artifact
Crucible of Worlds Artifact
Dimir Signet Artifact
Duplicant Artifact
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn Artifact
Emrakul, the Promised End Artifact
Everflowing Chalice Artifact
Fleetwheel Cruiser Artifact
Gilded Lotus Artifact
Golos, Tireless Pilgrim Artifact
Grim Monolith Artifact
Hangarback Walker Artifact
Hedron Archive Artifact
Izzet Signet Artifact
Karn Liberated Artifact
Karn, Scion of Urza Artifact
Karn, Silver Golem Artifact
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth Artifact
Kuldotha Forgemaster Artifact
Lightning Greaves Artifact
Lion's Eye Diamond Artifact
Lodestone Golem Artifact
Lotus Petal Artifact
Mana Crypt Artifact
Mana Vault Artifact
Memory Jar Artifact
Metalworker Artifact
Mindslaver Artifact
Mox Diamond Artifact
Mox Emerald Artifact
Mox Jet Artifact
Mox Pearl Artifact
Mox Ruby Artifact
Mox Sapphire Artifact
Myr Battlesphere Artifact
Orzhov Signet Artifact
Phyrexian Revoker Artifact
Prismatic Lens Artifact
Sensei's Divining Top Artifact
Simic Signet Artifact
Skullclamp Artifact
Smuggler's Copter Artifact
Sol Ring Artifact
Solemn Simulacrum Artifact
Sorcerous Spyglass Artifact
Spellskite Artifact
Staff of Domination Artifact
Stonecoil Serpent Artifact
Sundering Titan Artifact
Sword of Body and Mind Artifact
Sword of Feast and Famine Artifact
Sword of Fire and Ice Artifact
Sword of War and Peace Artifact
Talisman of Creativity Artifact
Talisman of Curiosity Artifact
Talisman of Dominance Artifact
Talisman of Indulgence Artifact
Talisman of Progress Artifact
Talisman of Resilience Artifact
The Immortal Sun Artifact
Thought-Knot Seer Artifact
Thran Dynamo Artifact
Time Vault Artifact
Ugin, the Ineffable Artifact
Ugin, the Spirit Dragon Artifact
Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger Artifact
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre Artifact
Umezawa's Jitte Artifact
Vedalken Shackles Artifact
Walking Ballista Artifact
Winter Orb Artifact
Worn Powerstone Artifact
Wurmcoil Engine Artifact
Ancient Tomb Land
Arid Mesa Land
Badlands Land
Barkchannel Pathway // Tidechannel Pathway Land
Battlefield Forge Land
Bayou Land
Bazaar of Baghdad Land
Blightstep Pathway // Searstep Pathway Land
Blood Crypt Land
Bloodstained Mire Land
Branchloft Pathway // Boulderloft Pathway Land
Breeding Pool Land
Caves of Koilos Land
Celestial Colonnade Land
City of Brass Land
Clearwater Pathway // Murkwater Pathway Land
Clifftop Retreat Land
Creeping Tar Pit Land
Dragonskull Summit Land
Drowned Catacomb Land
Flooded Strand Land
Gaea's Cradle Land
Glacial Fortress Land
Godless Shrine Land
Hallowed Fountain Land
Hengegate Pathway // Mistgate Pathway Land
Hinterland Harbor Land
Karakas Land
Library of Alexandria Land
Llanowar Wastes Land
Mana Confluence Land
Marsh Flats Land
Mishra's Factory Land
Mishra's Workshop Land
Misty Rainforest Land
Mutavault Land
Needleverge Pathway // Pillarverge Pathway Land
Overgrown Tomb Land
Plateau Land
Polluted Delta Land
Prismatic Vista Land
Raging Ravine Land
Rishadan Port Land
Riverglide Pathway // Lavaglide Pathway Land
Rootbound Crag Land
Sacred Foundry Land
Savannah Land
Scalding Tarn Land
Scrubland Land
Shelldock Isle Land
Shivan Reef Land
Steam Vents Land
Stomping Ground Land
Strip Mine Land
Sulfur Falls Land
Taiga Land
Temple Garden Land
Temple of Deceit Land
Temple of Epiphany Land
Tolarian Academy Land
Tropical Island Land
Tundra Land
Underground Sea Land
Urborg, Tomb of Yawgmoth Land
Verdant Catacombs Land
Volcanic Island Land
Wasteland Land
Watery Grave Land
Windswept Heath Land
Wooded Foothills Land
Woodland Cemetery Land
Yavimaya Coast Land

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