The Peanut Gallery Presents: Magic – The Cube

pg_titlecard_030Hello all, and welcome to the June edition of The Peanut Gallery. Last month, we tackled the question of how much a race really impacts on a character in RPG’s. But this month, we’re focusing on a different game, a different concept, and a different way to play with large groups of people.

As most people who read this know, I’m a big fan of Magic: The Gathering. The interplay of cards, the board states, the satisfaction of a plan coming together or a combo going off, that’s the thing I want out of a game. But for others, the cost of playing simply becomes too high. They have other pursuits, things that they wanted to do more, and quite simply, didn’t have the time or finances to spend exploring the world of Magic.

With less people io play with, my time spent tinkering was lowered, and while the extra time was useful, I wanted to give my friends an opportunity to explore the synergies and fun that can come from a well-constructed Magic Deck. Which is why I embarked on a secret project.

I built a Cube.

What’s a Cube? Glad you asked. A Cube is a collective pool of cards, 360 in all. The idea is that you can participate in drafting, a limited competitive magic format. Because the cards are owned, there’s only a start-up cost to make the cube, and once it’s created, you have unlimited free drafts for as many people as the cube can support. Starting at 360, you can support 8 players, who each receive three 15-card packs. Then drafting occurs, and the end result is the same as a normal Magic draft.

See, drafting occurs around a table with the 8 (or 6) participants sitting around it. They take their first 15-card pack, look at it, pick a card, and then pass the pack to the left. This continues until the pack is empty. They then repeat this with the next pack, changing which direction they hand the pack each time. That is, left-right-left for a standard 3 pack draft.

But with a cube, you have a much stronger pool to consider, since you can control what cards you have in the packs. Compared to standard drafts that contain random cards, the cards in cube are only random in position, not content. You can guarantee particular card interactions if you wish.

On top of that, you can create a format that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Take cards from your favourite set, or time in Standard. Combine them. Want to play with the most broken cards of all time, that are banned? You can do that. The scope of Cube is endless.

Of course, if there’s no restrictions, it’s important to set guidelines. Maybe you want a cube that’s a single set? Maybe you want particular creature types to be in a set. These are all themes and ideas that you can use to create your cube, and even when you’re finished creating it for the first time, you can find yourself tinkering with the Cube. Does this card work better than this other card? How does this card change the dynamic of the cube, etc. It’s truely an ongoing and fulfillng experience. I have yet to experience the full cube itself, but I look forward to when that occurs, since it’ll give me a world where all sorts of strange and wonderful things can occur.

Does anyone else have a Cube? Would you be interested in creating one? These are all questions I’d love to hear the answers to. But that’s all I have time for this month. Happy gaming to you all from the Peanut Gallery.

  • I’m so glad you made that cube, it was a lot of fun to get most of our group playing magic together. So many times even people who do play, don’t always have their decks with them, so having a cube around is always useful if we want to kick up a game.

    I look forward to playing this again in the future, and beyond that creating some really ridiculous cubes, like the ones they talk about jokingly on Loading Ready Run: Strictly Worst, Prince or MonoRed.

    It would be glorious! 😛