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Episode 17 October 19th, 2020
How and Why to Build a Cube

In a deviation from our regularly scheduled programming, this episode is specifically catered to new cube designers or players that are interested in building a cube but don’t know how to get started. Even if you’re a seasoned cube designer, we hope this conversation helps you be more conscious of how you frame the format to others.

An outline of our suggestions:

  • Most importantly, just do it! Don’t overthink your first cube. Magic is fun and draft is self-correcting.
  • Cube is a great format for a wide variety of players, whether you just like drafting and want to be able to do it more often and without cracking packs, or you just love game design and worldbuilding and are happy designing a cube even if you almost never get to draft it in a full pod.
  • We propose a very rough framework for a 360 card cube, for those who thrive on structure, but encourage you to throw it aside as soon as it doesn’t serve your goals.
  • Don’t concern yourself with aesthetic details of your cube, like having the same number of cards in each color or guild, or including full cycles of cards, or having an even number of fixing lands. Even substantial inequalities here have very little impact on a draft.
  • Think about the process of cube design as a mutual exploration with your players rather than a polished, perfected design challenge that you, as the designer, are responsible for understanding in its entirety.
  • Be aware that your experience playing retail limited is influenced by all the complicated and sometimes conflicting priorities that Wizards of the Coast has to juggle when designing a set. Often times, what you’re used to from retail limited is not a good precedent for your own cube. For example, most cubes are better off including more fixing and a lower curve than a retail set, regardless of your desired gameplay.

Discussed in this episode:

You can find the hosts’ primary Cubes on Cube Cobra:

No pack 1, pick 1 this week on account of the special format, but if you want us to do a pack 1, pick 1 from your cube on air send a link to your cube, your name, and pronouns to [email protected].

Musical production by DJ James Nasty.

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