Magic: the Gathering in the UK
So my cube isn't too bad for a first attempt, but it is still very much a work in progress. With one draft done and another due on Saturday (plus the awesome ability to draft on CubeTutor) I would definitely like to hear peoples' thoughts on how I can improve it - especially suggestions for awesome cards I might add. Some things I gathered from yesterday:
White sucks, or at least doesn't look very good, since nobody was in it.
Pingers that can do 2 damage are a bit too good when there are so many morphs.
Ramp is really good - maybe even up to the point where Kodama's Reach is too strong!
Hopping Automaton is better than an off-colour Morph!
Main observation is that the board positions got very clogged up, with lots of crap creatures facing off against each other waiting for a bomb to take over.
The level up guys are really good, although probably balanced against the tendency for board stalls as they're all pretty good at breaking them open.
May need to increase the amount of evasion or removal maybe?
Probably worth checking the removal available in Onslaught block to see how WotC dealt with morphs as well?
One card that may help a little (if you don't have it already) based on comments made in this topic is Swell of Courage?
A couple problems I had early on in my cube, which have been at least reduced if not solved, that may be issues you're having too:
Ramp: I had too much artifact mana/fixing playable by all colours. Lead to loss of colour-identity for green, and made it such that low cmc creatures just weren't worth playing. Keep it strictly in green and it should be more of a niche strategy rather than something everyone always does.
Removal: Too much of it, such that playing creatures was strictly worse than always going into Grixis removal/card advantage spells. It's definitely better to have not quite enough than too much.
Curve: Not enough early aggressive creatures (especially in W and R, that were more commonly played for their removal), too much evasion in blue.
If you want to veer away from too much removal and make white a bit better, consider all the combat tricks... things like Momentary Blink (sweet interaction with some Morph cards) are great. maybe we just didn't open the right cards to go into white? a strong color theme could be good as well, like token generators (they tend to be quite powerful in cube formats). traditional cubes tend to have white either as a support removal heavy color, or very aggressive. while all your other colors had their theme (black - removal/discard, green - ramp/fatties, blue - counter/draw/bounce, red - burn/aggro/ping) white just seemed to have 'creatures'.
I know that you are not keen on rares per-se but how about adding a 14:1 ratio of "bomb" rares. I.e. rare versions of the sort of creatures you want but with more powerful effects. It would break board stalls and give you a traditional limited-like ratio of bombs to filler. One of the main problems I found was that it was almost impossible to signal because it's really difficult to evaluate the cards! At least passing a Royal Assassin would provide some sort of signal.
The bot AI for drafting will be improving on CubeTutor soon. They will use pick orders.
P.S. I've significantly improved the ViewCube page for your viewing pleasure: http://www.cubetutor.com/viewcube/1
White really does need a bit of an overhaul I think, 3 tappers might be a bit much - how about adding in 4 squadron hawks to the mix, or swap blinding mage for something like icatian javelineers?
add squire my work here is done
If you don't like bombs the other way you can break things open with is synergy.
Mulch is not very exciting, Dream Twist it thoroughly unexciting, Think Twice is meh, and Spider Spawning does nothing on its own but we all had fun playing that deck.
Are there cards that you can add to your cube that function like bombs, *if you drafted/built your deck right*? Things that don't do anything to win the game from an empty board state like your run of the mill bomb - a Planeswalker or a guild leader - but which can reward you for the extreme number of morphs, tappers, healers, whatever that you managed to draft?
Some very rough ideas from reading your cube list: Venerated Teacher, Champion's Drake, Living End, Living Death , Crucible of Worlds, Life from Loam, Terravore, Tilling Treefolk, Knight of the Reliquary, Astral Slide, Searing Meditation, Saproling Infestation. I would also snap p1p1 Azorius Guildmage, Bind or Suppression Field in this cube! You should also reprint Backslide but as a cantrip instead of cycling.
I didn't even know Bind existed, but that and Reroute seem like solid additions. Suppression Field and Guildmage are definitely out, though, since they hose the one thing the cube is actually trying to promote!
I included the odd support card like Tilling Treefolk (even though he has no activated ability), but I don't really want a bunch of cards that are either useless or insane - something like Venerated Teacher is either pumping your team to ridiculous levels or is a 2/2 for three. I don't really want to include anything that swings games massively - part of the reason I'm probably cutting Ghost-Lit Raider and Orcish Artillery since they dominate in a world of 2/2s for 3.
I should probably point out that my cube has a very specific goal - to generate interesting board states and promote good decision-making. I don't mind combos - and even decks - coming together naturally, but I don't want to force them by including niche combo cards.