Demonic Tutor

Magic: the Gathering in the UK

Reid Duke got a last pick Burning Vengeance at the PT in Pod 1.

Because you can't go Burning Vengeance in pack 1 because there aren't any and two packs of an Uncommon is not enough.

Without the possibility of multiples and a certain level of predictability lots of decks cease to be possible (Spider Spawning, Burning Vengeance).

So, can cubes compensate for this with redundancy - cards that do pretty much the same thing as other cards?  Or could there be such a thing as a cube with multiples that might be better than a cube without multiples?  Would you truly want a 10,000 card cube so that you can have multiples at times but not at others?  Could such a thing be managed online if not in paper?

(Aside: are we going to build our own cube/draft set from cards we have invented and judicious reprints?  One night a week at TGC?)

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my cube accounts for this by playing a lot of tutoring and a lot of overlap of archetypes (I like combo, so my cube heavily favours combo/fish/control decks, with aggro as a metgame option vs the fish decks and the control decks that do nothing for 20 turns):

Redundancy 1: Amrou Scout is a powerful 2 drop for white fish/aggro, but it can also tutor up outrider en-kor to go with life combo, or tutor lin sivvi into chameleon collosus. Ditto fauna shaman.

Redundancy 2: You can play multiple copies of same effect, but tutoring does this too. E.g. I have crystal shard, erratic portal, but also fabricate and drift of phantasms (which you can get with fauna shaman weird harvest or eledamri's call)

Size: Small cube (360 "core" cards + 180 additional cards for more randomness + more players), made by cutting cards that dont serve the purposes of what I am trying to do. Only 8 PWs, uneven colours, but a lot of hate/utility bears. Aggro is playable not because I have powerful aggro cards (I have almost no 100% aggro guys), but because removal is rare and no 4-5cc board sweepers (I have 3 for 6cc, and rolling thunder). Uneven colours.

(Yes to the aside! I would love to do this again. I still had plenty of left over ideas I didn't put in the first time around.)

Because I'm a bit of a hoarder at heart I'm starting to struggle with this issue a little in my cube now as it has probably got too big. Where in the past you probably had a 2/3 shot of seeing the Pandemonium if you picked up an early Saproling Burst in a 6 player draft, now you probably only have half the cube to see it, so combo decks are starting to become really hard.

I even took out all the Mind's Desire and Rebels stuff because it was becoming impossible to reliably get enough key cars for your archetype. Decks like reanimator are possible because there is enough redundancy in reanimate effects and plenty of draw/discard and search.

Until they started printing decent white aggro creatures that weren't WW I did contemplate putting in duplicates of the good white weenies as otherwise white was just an awful colour to draft unless you liked sweepers. I've now migrated it to a more swarm/token style with cards like Midnight Haunting,  Cloadgoat Ranger and Geist Honored Monk.

So even my attempts to provide redundancy by many cards with similar effects is starting to creak due to bloating of cube size. I may have to do a full rebuild of it, but there will be so many cards that give good memories I will be loath to remove.

I think your aside needs its own thread. People who may want to do it might not really care about regular cube. I'd definately be up for doing it again though.

As for the main part of this, I definately don't think you could get away with putting multiples of something in your cube since you'd end up with more than one person trying to draft it and they'd all end up with terrible decks. You need your combo cards to be good enough to play anyway, but even better to build around if you get them early.

i have never understood why you cant put mulitples in.  Everyone runs kodam's reach and cultivate, most high powered cubes i have seen run Armageddon and Ravages (if they proxy/are warren).  

if multiiples are the right number for what you want you cube to be, just do it.

I agree Thom, but people went mental when I had multiple evolving wilds in my cube a while back, so had to take them out...

I agree that in principle running multiples isn't a problem.  My Teachings cube has multiple copies of Mystical Teachings (although it wouldn't really play any differently if it didn't).

What I'm interested in is emergent archetypes like Burning Vengeance, Spider Spawning, Dampen Thought or some of the archetypes in Rise of the Eldrazi.  I really like a draft format that has decks like that so I'm wondering how to create one of my own.  I suppose the equivalent deck in a straight up "most powerful cards" cube is Reanimator?  I know Rob drafted Storm Combo in my Teachings deck once in an 8-man draft and just about made it work.

How do we make something like Burning Vengeance work in a cube/personal draft set?  Put in several Burning Vengeance and some Flashback spells and call it done?  Is it essentially true that this kind of archetype only makes sense in a set/cube that is going to be drafted a lot to let the deck emerge?  Do you think Wizards playtesting knew all about Spider Spawning/Memory's Journey/Runic Repetition down to the last card?  I would guess yes.  I know they miss things in Standard all the time but this seems much more likely to have been deliberate.  Do you think Burning Vengeance was good for them?

I think ultimately there has to be a lot of design in a deep draft format.  Which is why I muddled this thread by also talking about designing our own set.  But if we design it we'll know about the decks we seeded so there won't be a discovery stage like when I watched a guy playing UG Back from the Brink in a side event at worlds with Spider Spawning, too, but to me at the time it seemed like a Back from the Brink deck) and went, "woah, is that actually good?"

This is a good part of the motivation behind my graveyard cube.  If I shove a bunch of cards with related abilities into a cube then surely powerful stuff will emerge.  Rob said, "that sounds like a format I could break" and that's exactly what I want!  (Even better: after someone has broken it a counter-strategy emerges, but that's gravy.)

So, all waffle aside, here is my real question.  How do we, London Magic players, build/design/make a set/cube/thing that after we have drafted a couple of times we want to draft it more and after we have drafted it 20 times we think it was really cool or at least an interesting experiment?  Or should we just wait for Avacyn Restored (which, I think, is going to be very out of the box as a draft format - they keep dropping hints to that effect)?

What I've been toying around with is the idea of adding 'card stacks' to my Cube.

Here's how it works: Picking 1 card gives you multiple cards.

An example:

Picking Yawgmoth's Will also nets you Dark Ritual, Tendrils of Agony, Mind's Desire

The goal of this is to keep the cube to 360 'cards' with 8-man drafting, but at the same time opening up the cube to more strategies other than just Agro/Midrange/Control.

These 'cardstacks' would support all archetypes, and would mean the 'metagame' of the Cube would open up significantly.

I think this would really help to eliminate redundancy, and keep every Cube draft fresh and exciting.

I'd be interested in testing that with you sometime Warren.

With regards to burning vengence: Honestly, if you want combo decks to work you must play a lot of tutoring. The reason those archetypes work though is because of weaker cards that you must seriously consider as cube viable or not (e.g. mulch, forbidden alchemy, think twice). It is much easier to make lightning rift work because the best answer cards all have cycling anyway for when they are not useful... How many flashback cards are really good enough?

Ah, you have not experienced my latest cube - Graveyard Cube.  Although it has Eternal Dragon and some other cube staples it is not a Black Lotus and Recurring Nightmare power-level cube.  Lots of Threshold and Madness and Innistrad cards.  I'm not sure how good Burning Vengeance would be even if you had a bunch of them but pretty good I think.  Spider Spawning and Mulch are both very good.

ah, kk, but the problem with building your deck around vengence is what happens if you don't get vengence, or don't draw your 1 of...

Hence my question about multiples!

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