Happy Holidays everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that all had great pulls out of their MTG stockings or whatever. Personally, I opened an Elspeth, Sun’s Champion, a Thoughtseize, and a Thassa, God of the Sea! Not a bad MTG Christmas at all!
So the title pretty much says it… I’m building a Commander Cube to draft at my group’s next game night. I’m very excited. I’ll be honest though, it is a daunting task, and that’s what kept me from doing it for so long, but I recently had an epiphany! If I used the cards from the Commander and Commander 2013 products as the base for my cube, that should give me a decent base that I could then build off of.
When I started checking the numbers, I found that with all the cards from all ten Commander pre-constructed decks, removing basic land and duplicates of course, I would have 581 cards. I looked a little deeper, the color distribution in these ten decks is nearly even, with just black and green being favored a little bit! In addition, I would start out with forty-nine potential Commanders, which in a cube of say seven-hundred-fifty cards, would yield a ratio of one Commander in every fifteen cards on average. If we drafted with four people, and six packs per person, then we would see, on average, twenty-four potential Commanders per draft! My goal is actually to bring that number up, and end up with about seventy-five Commanders, which brings the ratio up to one in ten, and the per draft average to thirty-six potential Commanders!
To help alleviate some of the time it would take to draft hundred card decks, I’ve decided that we will instead draft sixty card decks, and I figure that drafting six packs will give us plenty of cards to fill the decks. On average a sixty card deck should have about twenty-four land, leaving thirty-six slots for spells, and with six packs we will be drafting a total of ninety cards per player, which means only about one-third of our drafted cards need to end up being playable. In addition to drafting smaller decks, I also think it will be beneficial to allow some variance to the color rules of Commander. For that reason, with any Commander that contains less than three colors, I plan on allowing a single additional support color. This way you can’t say that you got “stuck” with being limited by a colorless, mono, or dual-colored Commander. Of course, colorless and mono-colored decks will still be very hard to pull off I think.
I have heard of Commander Cubes before on a podcast which originally inspired me to want to build one of my own. One of the issues that they discussed was how to draft your Commander, and their resolution was to have a separate Commander draft where they drafted just the Commanders. I think between the smaller decks, color-rule variance, and the high proliferation of Commanders, that we should be fine drafting the Commanders within the main cube, but if we find it doesn’t work well, then it is certainly a step we can take in the future.
Finally, to give my playgroup a bit of “ownership” in the cube, I’ve asked each of the other players to provide lists of cards that they would like to see in the cube, and lists of cards that they would prefer were not in the cube. From those lists I will include at least a portion of the cards from the former, and I will exclude a portion of the cards from the latter. I feel that this is important, particularly if you play with the same group of four all the time, as I do.
I will spend a few posts in the future talking about how the cube comes together, what works and what doesn’t, and most importantly, how much fun it is to draft Commander!
Happy New Year everyone!!!