I find cube design overwhelming. The thought of having to gather a list of 360 cards together to create a fun drafting environment seems beyond my abilities. Whenever I begin creating a list, I quickly realize I’m in over my head, and that’s before I even begin to consider the financial cost of gathering all the cards together. Once I start adding up what’s it going to cost to compete the cube I give up. For a long time it seemed like I was going to be stuck building block cube based of other people’s list with a few tweaks here and there. Fortunately, WotC created Mystery Boosters.
Initially I dismissed this as another reprint set. It wasn’t until I realized a box of twenty-four packs was exactly 360 cards with an extremely low chance of any duplicate cards within the box. In other words it was an instant cube, albeit an incoherent draft environment. This seemed like the ideal opportunity to try my hand at cube design without starting from scratch.
I had a blast opening the mystery boosters. Typically I only care about the mythic and rares when I open a booster box, but this time was different. This time every card was going to end up in my new cube. I couldn’t help but feel joy when I cracked open a new pack.
Once I opened all the booster packs and took inventory of all the cards I obtained an interesting list of cards with a fairly evenly distributed mix between all of the colors. I merely pulled duplicates of two cards. The first was from the smaller foil pool and the second and more interesting one was from the general pool. I also ended up with ten land cards. These lands aren’t even close to the same power level nor in all of the color pairs. Therefore, it’s an easy first upgrade to swap these out for a single land in each color pair.
As for the new lands, I think I’ll use the check lands. They’ll easily enter the battlefield untapped since a player’s land base will consist of basic lands. They’re moreover a lot cheaper than shock lands, and I already own eight of them. Once I replace the original lands in the cube, I’ll evaluate the remaining cards to identify if there are any archetypes that can begin to be formed.