donderdag 22 november 2018

Winds of Change

We're in the process of making huge changes to the set-up of the cube. There are currently three versions of my cube on CubeTutor. Since we're not entirely sure which of the styles we like best, I've listed them separately.

The latest iteration of my Archetype Peasant Cube. Guidelines can be found here and a rough list of archetypes that are supported, as well as example decks, can be found in this article.

Then, something happened. The shift came about when we felt the Archetype Peasant Cube (see below) was getting too narrow and diluted. To use a popular phrase, it felt like it was 'on rails' a bit. Drafting felt the same each time, we were somewhat burned out on the archetypes, and we kept trying to go deeper and deeper into archetypes to make them feel fresh again. 

The cube had gotten to a point where it had too many cards that were only playable in a certain deck and bad in another. The decks were so focused and linear that games usually ended in one deck 'getting there' and making swift work of the opposition that lacked a couple of pieces. We had gone too deep.

We needed a reset. So, I took apart my whole cube, and we started building afresh. Not with archetypes in mind, but power level. Instead of trying to find weird interactions and fringe cards, we went back to the roots of our peasant cube. 

The Average MTG Salvation Peasant Cube was a huge guideline (shoutout to users Phitt77 for starting the project and calibretto for making this year's version). Even with the amount of experience we have with peasant cube, we felt slightly disconnected from what's 'good' outside of our Archetype Peasant Cube environment.

A couple of drafts in, it became apparent that we had fallen into the traps that a lot of new peasant cubes fall into: we had too much removal. It was to be expected, as a lot of the better peasant legal cards are great removal. 

Apart from the removal, we had a blast drafting it. The drafting was way harder than with the old cube and deck building was even more difficult. With every card being so good, it was basically impossible to make cuts. The games felt harder as well, with a lot of interaction and both players continuously looking for little edges. 

We did some comparing between cubes on CubeTutor (which is a great function to quickly see what the differences between cubes are). We compared the Archetype Peasant Cube vs the Power Peasant Cube, and the Power Peasant Cube vs the Average MTG Salvation Peasant Cube. While we were happy with our new cube, we were sad not being able to include a lot of the cards we cut or were in other cubes. 

Then Ultimate Masters spoilers dropped, and gave us even more cards we wanted to cube with even though we knew they wouldn't crack a strictly 'Power' cube. What should we do? Should we keep the Power Peasant Cube or go back to archetypes? Is building 2 cubes a good solution, but that sounded like a lot of work and bookkeeping. 

We started discussing the possibility of just making a very big cube. This would give us the room to run both the power cards and more narrow cards. The narrower archetypes, like Enchantress or +1/+1, would probably not work. On the other hand, it would help with having too much removal in general. 

After a day or so of back and forth, we decided to try it out: 

This is how my cube sits in the box at the moment. It's at about 900 cards right now, but we're planning to grow it up towards 1200 in the near future.

I have no idea if and how long this version will last, but I'm very optimistic. So far, the variety is something that really pulls me, not a lot of drafts (or decks) will look the same. I also like how it invites drafters to find small interactions and synergies on the fly while always having a functional deck.

One thing's certain, changing things up is exciting.

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