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Innistrad Cube

November 22, 2013

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted on here. For the most part, we stopped cubing regularly and I started doing my updates on Recently, Anthony Avitollo asked me to do a write-up of my Innistrad cube that I recently finished, so this felt like the best avenue to describe it.

Of the past few blocks, there are two draft environments that stand out to me. I have fond memories of drafting both RoEx3 and INNx3 and so I wanted a way to try to recreate one of them that didn’t involve MTGO. This project started about a year ago, as one of the local players had the idea of creating a Rise of the Eldrazi cube, which I then essentially copied for Innistrad. (Shoutouts to Dan Green)

The basis behind the cube is to try to recreate the draft environment as close as possible without having to do a TON of extra work like creating new boosters from real cards, etc. This is done by keeping each rarity separate and recreating packs with their normal rarity counts, as opposed to normal cube which is just shuffle up packs of 15. There is also the added caveat of DFC for Innistrad cube.

The numbers initially settled on by Dan were 4 of each common, 3 of each uncommon, 2 of each rare and 1 of each mythic. I’m not sure how this looks compared to normal pack drafts, but in the few I’ve done with this set up, it has felt pretty similar to the regular environment. We kept the same numbers for the double-face cards, shuffled up all of them together and included one in each pack. With 53 non-DFC rares and 15 non-DFC mythics, the numbers are actually relatively close to normal mythic distribution (a 12.5% chance in a normal pack, a 14% chance for my cube). When drafting Innistrad at my local store, we had everyone proclaim what DFC they opened when starting a pack, just to take away the dexterity issue of people needing to spy on their neighbors.

The other fun aspect about this cube was trying to collect all the foils! Since pimping out cubes is something a lot of cubers already do, it was made it even better when I had people bringing me foil Typhoid Rats in the middle of FNM, or the crushing defeat of SCG being sold out of foil Fortress Crabs when I needed them. At the time of writing this, I’ve currently got 739 of the 763 foils I need, and I’ve also got at least 30 of each basic land foiled out with my favorite Innistrad art.

We did our first Innistrad cube draft last week, and it was a resounding success. The nostalgia each player had when opening packs was fantastic. I ended up 4-0’ng with a pretty nice U/G deck featuring double Elder of Laurels and triple(!!!) Darkthicket Wolf. I went into the draft purposely not wanting to draft Spider Spawning, as I assumed people would be forcing that if possible. I did end up getting one of the three Spawnings available in the cube, however I didn’t have enough fixing to be able to flash it back, and opted not to play it. You can see the deck here:

I’ve toyed around with the idea of eventually modifying the card pool to include some Dark Ascension cards in order to make some more archetypes viable. Cards like Wild Hunger, the uncommon lord cycle, Gravecrawler, Skirsdag Flayer and Hollowhenge Spirit would make different color combinations more viable, so that G/W Travel Prep isn’t the default best deck.

If you have any specific draft environments that you’ve found to be particularly enjoyable, I would recommend trying to recreate them with a cube. Sure, the pack distribution might not be the exact same as live packs, but the overall feel is very similar. Completing this cube makes me want to try a double Ravnica block cube as well, and I know Chas Andres has also mentioned creating a Modern Masters cube. If you have any specific questions that I haven’t covered here, just send them to @kengy5 on Twitter, or comment on the blog post here and I’ll try to check back.

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