Cube Map Changelog

Maintained by Jett Crowdis and Anthony Mattox
View Cube Map

The geography of the Cube Map evolves over time. Islands big and small emerge, drift, and divide as the cube landscape itself evolves and the number of cubes grows.

Feb 21
21,586 Cubes
May 21
25,665 Cubes
Jun 21
28,404 Cubes
Jul 21
30,583 Cubes
Aug 21
32,872 Cubes
Oct 21
35,760 Cubes
Dec 21
39,612 Cubes
Apr 22
45,793 Cubes
Jul 22
50,206 Cubes
Jul 22
51,932 Cubes
Sep 22
55,201 Cubes
Nov 22
56,110 Cubes
Dec 22
59,907 Cubes
Jan 23
61,950 Cubes
Apr 23
65,196 Cubes
Jul 23
71,438 Cubes
Sep 23
75,592 Cubes

Since we first published the Cube Map More the number of cubes has more than tripled. Different input yields different results. Major themes create features like the Legacy/Vintage, Peasant, and Pauper contents have remained present but their relative positions meander. Tons of new, smaller islands have emerged as the Cube community has gotten more creative.

The layout of the map is also, to a point, somewhat arbitrary. Compressing 25,000+ dimensions down to just two loses some information. There may be many equally valid projections so small shifts in data can have large impacts.

Notes on Select Updates

August 1st, 2022

51,932 Cubes

This update adds another ~2k cubes bringing the total up to 51,931 Cubes! With this update the Commander Cube island has grown to be its own continent, surpassing the cluster of Pauper Cubes. It’s even grown some new features including a few peninsulas driven by popular Cubes. Interestingly there’s also a dense area of Commander-centric lists revealed if we highlight commander cubes as a proxy. These seem to be largely not Cubes but actual commander decks! It’s good to keep in mind we’re not just mapping Cubes, but whatever the community does with Cube Cobra.

July 3rd, 2022

50,206 Cubes

The map now contains 50,205 cubes from Cube Cobra!

The shape of the map has evolved substantially. In this iteration, the regions of Vintage + Legacy, Pauper, and Peasant are markedly less defined and other themes are emerging as the dominant features.

With the exciting release of the Commander Map, the Cube Map can look forward to a long, bright future. While it’s starting to strain under the growing data set, we’ve developed faster tools to handle that 1.2 million point data set of the Commander Map we’re excited to apply to the Cube Map.

April 8th, 2022

45,793 Cubes

After a short hiatus in Cube Cobra’s data pipeline, the Cube Map has received a fresh batch of data and many new Cubes. The map now shows 45,792 unique lists. With this update we’re seeing many smaller islands from very novel design styles pushing out from the main mass of the map and the continents of Vintage, Pauper, and Peasant compress together. The Commander Cube region has grown to be almost as large as Peasant and the pauper island is gradually getting dwarfed by other regions with different themes rivaling it in size.

December 12th, 2021

39,612 Cubes

The number of Cubes on Cube Cobra continues to rapidly grow. This update to the map includes 39,611 Cubes! While it’s exciting to see the format grow, this editor starting to wonder how many points the map can handle without finding more ways to squeeze even more performance out of the visualization.

This update includes a minor adjustment to the ‘scale by followers’ mode. As Cube Cobra grows, not just in terms of the number of Cubes but also community activity, many more cubes have large numbers of followers. The scaling has been adjusted to better fit the data.

October 10th, 2021

35,760 Cubes

The Cube Map now includes 35759 unique cubes from Cube Cobra. We noticed a few shifts and potential new features emerging.

  • The most populous island of plane themed cubes grows another arm with the release of Innistrad Midnight Hunt. We’ve seen enough new cubes from each new set to form an isolated island. Midnight Hunt is unique coming from such a popular plan that it’s island overlaps with other Innistrad cubes.
  • With Jumpstart returning to Magic Arena, we’ve seen a reinvigorated interested in “Jumpstart Cubes”. Many new lists have been added, but their distribution is interesting. There’s one clearly defined island island, but many more are scattered around the map. I suspect that concentrated islands are formed by lists taking direct inspiration from Wizards’ Jumpstart sets. But the mechanics of the set are much more flexible and don’t inform card choices as much as a format like Battle Box.
  • We’ve observed in the past that the northern continent is a spectrum of high powered cubes, with MTGO inspired lists on the East and community driven cubes on the West. Tentatively it looks like the easter MTGO coast may be developing a new feature: a time scale with cubes inspired by the MTGO cubes at different times, from 2019 in the south up to the most recent around the top corner. This may just be coincidence in a small data set, but we’re curious if this pattern continues to develop and becomes more significant.
  • The middle of the map is getting more and more complex and a bit difficult to parse. Where the major continents used to be more delineated by rarity restrictions, the borders have become more complex. This area includes a number of new well defined formats, like Historic, Pioneer, and Arena only formats. It also includes a number of mechanically styled clusters. A prominent linear feature shows an interesting spectrum of strongly graveyard to cycling themed cubes.

August 29th, 2021

32,872 Cubes

With this update, the map looks a little more compact and a few islands have moved around. As always, be aware the relative position of groups is not meaningful, as the mapping algorithm focuses on local and not global structure.

Many trends continue to develop as we expect. The Vintage + Legacy island continues to divide. The old border island is also seeing an outgrowth for cubes that support old-border reprints like Remand and Path to Exile from Time Spiral Remastered. Adventures in the Forgotten Realms set cubes have emerged quickly, indicating that the set has interested Cube designers more than previous sets.

We also see an increase in the number of micro-islands forming around a single high profile cube, joined by a dozen or more forks of it. Such islands are originally contained within the larger landmass, but when enough similar cubes emerge, they can separate. This separation is dictated by the n_neighbors parameter of the algorithm, and more islands will continue to emerge as Cube Cobra becomes larger.

July 25th, 2021

30,583 Cubes

This update includes a brand new feature: you can now search for cards on the map! Searching for a card highlights all cubes on the map that include it. This lets you explore another dimension of the Cube universe, finding patterns and trends in Cube design. It gives us a new way to discover new cubes.

Switch to card search from the gear icon in the search box.

Card Search in the Cube Map

The number of cubes continues to steadily increase and is now up to 30,582.

Some notable changes:

  • With the release of each new set, we continue to quickly see a new island of set cubes emerge.

  • The commander cube cluster has moved back over to the right side of the map. These large movements don’t carry any meaning as the algorithm is focused on revealing local, rather than global, structure of the relationships between cubes.

  • The Vintage + Legacy cube continent appears to be becoming less defined and more complex. On the south, it’s bleeding more into a more defined isthmus of graveyard themed cubes and a variety of budget or high-powered but themed cubes. A series new clusters continues to emerge from the western shore, most of which are defined by the influence of classic and emerging popular cubes in the community.

  • The Vintage and Legacy cube sections of the large content are becoming more distinct. The new card search feature helps us identify some patterns that may explain this, for example looking at vintage staples and payoffs for ‘broken’ archetypes.

  • The east and west halves of the large content show another interesting pattern if you enable ‘scale by followers’. The east coast is a wide range of Cubes which appear to be influenced by MTGO cubes. On the west coast on the other hand is dominated by an array of diverse, popular Cubes. As more cubes are built following the influence of each design, new clusters emerge from the main mass. These new clusters include everything from Ryan Overturf’s Tempo Twobert, Lucky Paper’s own Turbo Cube by Anthony Mattox, A slew of cubes by Ryan Saxe, along with the classics like wtwlf’s Justin Parnell’s SCGCon Cube, and SirFunchalot’s Cube

June 21st, 2021

28,404 Cubes

The number of cubes on Cube Map has increased from 25,664 to 28,403. Notably, this does not match CubeCobra’s ~40,000 Cube number on the home page. Due to a bug in the creation of cubes, about 10,000 empty cubes were generated.

Some notable changes:

  • We see the emergence of new cube clusters, including MH2 cubes, Mystery Booster cubes, Nega cubes, and Sudden Death cubes, which are centered around starting at one life. Sudden Death and Mystery Booster cubes were present before, but they finally acquired enough cubes to form their own distinct cluster.

  • The position of the Commander cube cluster has changed and is now located on the left instead of the right. As a reminder, there is no meaning to this—islands (even large ones) can move around the map fairly freely between data updates.

  • The MTGO associated cubes are continuing to become more defined. LSV and Gaby’s cube now forms its own cluster (because of its publication on MTGO), and the MTGO is continuing its trek away from the mainland. It will never fully separate (as there are a continuum of cubes behind it), but it will likely continue to extend.

May 13th, 2021

25,665 Cubes

The number of cubes on Cube Map has increased from 21,585 to 25,664. Some notable changes:

  • In the dimension reduction for clustering, n_neighbors has been increased from 20 to 25. This is subjective but reduces overclustering as the dataset size increases.

  • Due to an error in card processing, several cards that have named Tokens like Llanowar Elves and Ajani’s Pridemate were not included in calculating cube similarities. This error is now fixed.

  • We see the emergence of various set cubes, including Kaldheim, Strixhaven, and Time Spiral Remastered, which joins the Timespiral/Color Pie Break cubes.

  • Several outgrowths of the largest cube landmass are starting to become more defined. For example, a cluster has formed around Mengucci’s cube, likely a reflection of its recent publicity on Magic Online. As another example, wtwlf123, a well-followed member of the Cube community, recently downsized his cube from 720 to 450. In doing so, the cluster around his cube split into two—those that followed his transition and those that stayed at a cube size of 720.

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