I recently “finished” building a pauper cube (quotations there because you’re never really done with a cube) to use as both a formal draft set and as a quick simulated pack war or battle box. Pauper is cheaper to maintain, the cards were easier to find in random collection boxes, and there’s no harm if a card goes missing or gets damaged. Plus, the format just showcases some really neat cards that would otherwise never get played once their respective booster draft formats ended.
Here’s the cube list on CubeTutor. I started with a few sample cubes on there and added my own flavor.
With Unstable (amazing set!) here and the hype surrounding silver-bordered cards in EDH/Commander, I took some time to consider adding a few common cards from the wacky set to the cube. There’s already one silver-bordered card in the cube – Carnivorous Death-Parrot – but it’s only non-black bordered quality is that you have to read its flavor text aloud each turn; it is otherwise a normal 2/2 flyer for 1U (which is actually fairly powerful for a common – Welkin Tern is the go-to 2-drop flyer, which is only a 2/1 and can’t block groundlings).
Unstable, while a silver-border set, doesn’t really feel like a crazy off-the-wall Magic set. It drafts like a fun-oriented supplemental set like Conspiracy and is mostly fair cards that could be black-bordered if they didn’t involve strange additional mechanics like having to hold the card in the air to give it flying or whisper a word to tap down a creature. These cards are good, fair cards and deserve to be considered for good, fair Magic formats like a Pauper Cube.
In the end, three cards made the cut – two cards that feel like normal picks and a zombie who’s showing up late to the party with a new mechanic.
While waiting for Battle for Zendikar to release on MTGO so I can binge on sealed events, I decided to play a throw-back Khans of Tarkir/Fate Reforged draft – Magic Online has a 6-2-2-2 swiss queue (so you get to play all three rounds regardless of how bad your deck is) that costs about nine event tickets total (seven tix for the packs from a vendor bot plus two tix entry fee). It’s cheap and it’s fun, so what the heck.
Apparently a pile of badness gets there once in a while. I went 2-0 and split the third round to get four packs (two of each set) instead of playing for the 6/2 posted prize distribution.
Sometimes you never know what will win games. Highlight of the event: I won a game by casting Deflecting Palm on a 7/7.
As you probably have noticed, I don’t post on this site very often, but I am constantly tweeting random Magic-related things on my Twitter account. Head over there and follow me @badmagicplayer
Control is back in limited Magic!
I had one of the most exciting Prerelease weekends in recent memory, thanks to the epic shenanigans brought by the Silumgar brood’s Exploit mechanic. Sure, the sealed pools were especially bonkers given the seeded booster pack containing 14 on-color cards for the dragonlord we chose to follow (ex. my choice of Silumgar gave me 14 blue and black cards all in one booster, one being a foily blue/black promo rare), but that just allowed us to dive deeper into experiencing the new Dragons of Tarkir set.
I played sealed events at two great local game stores – Gamer’s Gauntlet in Clinton Township and Stadium Cards & Comics in Ypsilanti (Michigan) – and chose the Silumgar pack for both. I originally intended to run Silumgar for only one event and try a different color pair for the other, but abusing the Exploit mechanic was too much fun for me to only play with it once. Interestingly, I found that the two decks played differently, even though they both contained many of the same cards. It only took a few key cards differing in each deck to completely alter the approaches I took to controlling my opponent and paving the road to victory.
I ended up 4-1-1 in the first event and had a 4-2 record for the second, splitting the Top 8 prize in each. The whole weekend was a blast – I won more than a booster box’s worth of Dragons of Tarkir (DTK) packs, played some fantastic limited Magic with old friends, and gained deep insight into the value-crazy control archetype for DTK/Fate Reforged limited. Read all about my DTK Prerelease exploits, below.
Looks like the Flip it or Rip it! action is alive and well at Stadium Cards & Comics (Ypsilanti, MI). This time the Ripper won a (formerly) $200 foil Dark Confidant from Modern Masters – Congrats!
Remember, it’s only worth money if you know what the card is, otherwise it’s just cardboard! Right!?
For more Flip it or Rip it! fun, check out this video I made at Grand Prix DC last year. Gotta love those player reactions!
The Dragon’s Maze pre-release weekend was one of the weirdest series of events I’ve ever played. And I’m not making a pun about playing Melek, Izzet Paragon in my deck on Saturday. Winning decks didn’t make sense, players did strange things, and cards appeared and disappeared from packs.
Double casting off your library is pretty Weird
Follow me through the Implicit Maze that is my local game store (LGS) pre-release, as I highlight the four most puzzling aspects of my weekend.
Yes! It’s Dragon’s Maze Pre-Release time!
Once again I am going against my better judgment and grinding through the Midnight event at Stadium Cards & Comics in Ypsilanti, MI. I’ll be joining the Church of Orzhov tonight, and then tomorrow I’ll be part of the collective conscience while rocking my favorite Dragon-led guild, Izzet. And I’ve already promised to play every Goblin Test Pilot I open tomorrow.
I know it’s last minute but there’s a sweet Guild Pack viewer over on MythicSpoiler.com that lets you see the options each guild pack (and potential “secret ally guild” pack) can contain.
Here’s to everyone opening awesome things, never getting mana flooded or mana screwed, and having a great time smelling that new card smell! If you’re looking for something to do with those prize packs, check out an old article about Winston Drafts and Pack Wars!
And don’t forget Yoda’s advice –
I’m back from a bit of time in the “real world” becoming a real life Rules Lawyer (aka becoming licensed to practice law in Michigan, win!) to bring you another edition of my namesake series, I’m a Bad Magic Player!
This time we go way back to the Return to Ravnica pre-release events to share two horrendous misplays and screwups!