Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

Cube Masters Series | Building The Cube | The Lands

The purpose of lands in a 360 card cube is to colour fix consistently for all archetypes, and to provide utitility lands that are useful across the board.

A good example of this philosophy in practise are the new MBS lands, which provide:

1] 'Dual lands' for Aggro deck's most important turns
2] Fixing for midrange/control (CITP tapped not being an issue here)

Adding to this, Seachrome Coast and Darkslick shores are replaced by Azorious Chancery and Dimir Aqueduct accordingly, and Lavaclaw Reaches (being the worst of the man-dual-lands) makes way for Izzet Boilerworks. This is because neither UW or UB have viable aggro strategies in this Cube, and the Karoo lands are just better for these colours (while being incredibly worse for Aggro strategies).

The 'utility' lands are exactly that - strong for all archetypes, and never 'dead' picks. Cards like Library of Alexandria might be amazing, but it's too redundant for too many decks in such a small cube. The same goes for lands like Volrath's Stronghold or Treetop Village - they're situationally good, and that's not balanced.

 

UPDATED 22 FEBRUARY

 

The Lands (45)

 

Duals

Tundra
Underground Sea
Badlands
Taiga
Savannah
Scrubland
Bayou
Tropical Island
Volcanic Island
Plateau

Shocklands
Hallowed Fountain
Watery Grave
Blood Crypt
Stomping Ground
Temple Garden
Godless Shrine
Overgrown Tomb
Breeding Pool
Steam Vents
Sacred Foundry

Fetchlands
Flooded Strand
Polluted Delta
Bloodstained Mire
Wooded Foothills
Windswept Heath
Marsh Flats
Verdant Catacombs
Misty Rainforest
Scalding Tarn
Arid Mesa

Man-Duals
Celestial Colonnade
Creeping Tar Pit
Raging Ravine
Lavaclaw Reaches
Stirring Wildwood

Other
Ancient Tomb
Academy Ruins
Bazaar of Baghdad
Volrath's Stronghold
Library of Alexandria
Mishra's Factory
Mutavault
Strip Mine
Wasteland
Rishadan Port

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no library

Too narrow for a 360 unfortunately.  :(

Glenn Goldsworthy said:

no library

I don't think Library is too narrow for any deck really. I would probably play it in every deck no matter the archetype.

 

I'm also not sure about excluding Lavaclaw Reaches. It is actuallya n excellent manland for RB. Often RB is the best aggro deck as it can pack disruption, and burn alongside the aggro guys. Reaches is really good against control/combo as it does far more damage than the other manlands. Also including broken cycles kind of irritates my inner obsessive/compulsive :-)

I would kind of like to see coloured utility lands, to be honest, or at least a little more scope for utility lands (with things like Maze of Ith, Library or whatever.) Suggested coloured utility lands - green has plenty of possibilities - Oran-Rief, Cradle, Yavimaya Hollow or Mosswort Bridge, blue has Academy Ruins or Shelldock Isle, white has Karakas, Windbrisk Heights or Kor Haven, black has Volrath's Stronghold or Coffers, red has Megaliths, Keldon Necropolis or Spinerock Knoll. Also agree that if you're going to cut Library, archetype balance doesn't really make sense as the reason to do so.
played library twice this week in Master4 draft and it is bonkers in draft

The problem is space.

 

With only 45 land slots available, adding utility would mean cutting back dramatically on fixing. All the lands you suggest are perfect for bigger cubes, but for a 360 card 8-man draft cube, isn't mana fixing and consistency more important than utility?

Tom Reeve said:

I would kind of like to see coloured utility lands, to be honest, or at least a little more scope for utility lands (with things like Maze of Ith, Library or whatever.) Suggested coloured utility lands - green has plenty of possibilities - Oran-Rief, Cradle, Yavimaya Hollow or Mosswort Bridge, blue has Academy Ruins or Shelldock Isle, white has Karakas, Windbrisk Heights or Kor Haven, black has Volrath's Stronghold or Coffers, red has Megaliths, Keldon Necropolis or Spinerock Knoll. Also agree that if you're going to cut Library, archetype balance doesn't really make sense as the reason to do so.
Hmm, with the level of fixing available are you perhaps running a risk of people being able to cherry pick bombs from each colour, altering the tension between power and consistency and lowering the mono/dual colour decks at the table? The maximum number of dual fixing lands found in any set is ten, and while a 360 cube is bigger than that, and this is more like rochester than regular limited, perhaps a more limited selection of duals would be more balanced? That would free up slots for more utility lands, like library, bazaar (for reanimator?), oran rief, volrath's stronghold, academy ruins, ancient tomb etc?

I like this thinking.

 

I can see dropping the 3 karoos and 3 tap-duals for 6 utility lands - something like:

 

Library

Volrath's Stronghold

Academy Ruins

Shelldock Isle

Bazaar

Ancient Tomb

 

Thoughts?

Paul Hodgson said:

Hmm, with the level of fixing available are you perhaps running a risk of people being able to cherry pick bombs from each colour, altering the tension between power and consistency and lowering the mono/dual colour decks at the table? The maximum number of dual fixing lands found in any set is ten, and while a 360 cube is bigger than that, and this is more like rochester than regular limited, perhaps a more limited selection of duals would be more balanced? That would free up slots for more utility lands, like library, bazaar (for reanimator?), oran rief, volrath's stronghold, academy ruins, ancient tomb etc?
Any of the hideaways would be good (except B as it blows goats) - Windbrisk Heights is always good for W aggro for example.
The best suggestion ive seen for coloured utility lands is to have them in the section for their colour, which IMO is the most fair place to put them, and means you dont have to include bad ones so each colour has the same amount. For example, TTV as a green card. Shelldock isle is apparently stupid in cube as a blue card.
UPDATED 22 FEBRUARY

I agree with the inclusion of Library if what you are after is a pool from which to make the most powerful possible decks.  The thing is nuts.

This is a good list.

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