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Modern Cube for drafting

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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:03 pm    Post subject: Modern Cube for drafting Reply with quote

New and improved. Modern Cube 2.0 is now up and fully functional.

713 cards, balanced on color and cost (still tipping a little toward the high end cards, but I can only cram in so many two drops that are cube-worthy)

This list was built using an mws filter for modern sets, then sorting the entire list by cmc, and adding roughly equal numbers of cards from each color in each cost range. Uncommons are all lands, which puts it at a stable 3 lands per pack. Rares are mostly "game ending cards" or at least limited bombs.

Link to the old patch is here if anyone is nostalgic for it.

Last edited by waigoren on Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, Beta testing of the modern cube patch is progressing okay.

the only technical issues are starting loyalty on some planeswalkers is not visible. Let me know if you see any others.

It also seems that the balance is off between high and low mana cost creatures. I've heard a few people complaining about how card x should not be in here, or the cube seems light on card type y.

I'm all for improvement, so I'd like to hear suggestions.

It is much easier for me to do one-for-one substitutions than it is to just remove or add cards from the list, so if there's a card you think should be included that isn't, suggest another card that you'd replace with it.

We'll keep the 510 card count.

To start off with, I had thought it might be fun to include dragonstorm and scion of the ur dragon as there are quite a few dragons in the cube, but in practice it's not really a draftable strategy.

Also, some people have been wondering about why I chose to do a restricted cube using only the sets in Modern.

Many cards from the early days of magic were badly designed, both from a standpoint of game balance and particularly for limited play. They lack versatility, and are either too powerful in corner cases or just useless. Of all the cards ever printed, the ones that effectively answer planeswalkers are more numerous in recent sets. Oblivion stone hits them, wheras nevinyrral's disk doesn't.

Including more older cards reduces the likelihood of a person getting one of these answers.

Finally, there is a lot of redundancy from older sets where newer cards essentially do the same thing as older cards, but do it better or provide more versatility, and I want to make an effort to keep to the singleton spirit of cube drafts and not just have twelve different versions of wrath of god in red black and white between four and eight mana that are just wearing different nametags.

One of the things that annoyed me about the old cube was that every third card in each pack was a boardsweeper, warping the format and turning everything into a control mirror, also further raising the imbalance between the haves and have-nots in the planeswalker department.

I want to avoid swingy packs. I want the draft to be less like a lottery and more like a contest of skill, even in a format that is purely "for fun". To that end, just having everything in a common pool is not going to cut it.

Finally, if someone knows how to write .ord files or at least colorfix files, that would help a lot. If I could make a print run, there would be fewer multiples of a given card showing up, and the colors in each pack would be more balanced.
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Joined: 14 Mar 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drafted the following deck yesterday and won a few games with it. I opened Elspeth and Koth packs 1 and 2. I felt if I played either on Turn 4 I couldn't lose:

// Lands
1 [DDD] Treetop Village
1 [M11] Terramorphic Expanse
1 [WWK] Stirring Wildwood
1 [GP] Stomping Ground
1 [ALA] Jungle Shrine
4 [M12] Forest (1)
5 [M12] Mountain (1)
3 [M12] Plains (1)

// Creatures
1 [MBS] Hero of Bladehold
2 [M12] Skinshifter
1 [ROE] Vengevine
1 [RAV] Loxodon Hierarch
1 [SOM] Spikeshot Elder
1 [M12] Grim Lavamancer
1 [M12] Jade Mage
1 [PD2] Figure of Destiny
1 [M10] Ant Queen
1 [CFX] Noble Hierarch
1 [M11] Ember Hauler
1 [LRW] Ashling the Pilgrim
1 [ZEN] World Queller
1 [GP] Gruul Guildmage

// Spells
1 [DDF] Elspeth, Knight-Errant
1 [TSP] Rift Bolt
1 [M11] Condemn
1 [SOM] Koth of the Hammer
1 [DD2] Flame Javelin
2 [ROE] Staggershock
1 [TSP] Stonewood Invocation


1) Your always building around planeswalkers. I've only done drafts twice but I haven't seen any walkers passed in pack one for the first 4 picks unless its Liliana or Chandra Nalaar. Realistically, walkers are the best cards in Modern, and end up determining your color choice p1p1, which is not very fun. Both drafts I did I decided one of my colors on the 1st pick, and my opponent told me he did the same.

2) Planeswalkers kill control. The cube has a lot of large, expensive creatures and not so many early drops. This means there could be a lot of games where no one casts a creature of note until turn 5. So if someone is casting Elspeth or Jace or even Garruk on turn 4 with his opponent not threatening to attack it it's pretty backbreaking. Although I only have a small sample size, every time someone resolved a Koth turn 4 the game ended in brutal fashion afterwards. This is because by turn 4 there usually aren't as many creatures out as say, m12.

3) There's not a lot of removal, card draw, ramp. Again I haven't reviewed the exact list but when drafting there always seemed an overabundance of 6-7cc big creatures and not enough of the aforementioned cards.


1) Nerf the planeswalkers: walkers are going to be the best cards in Modern Limited, I think there's no real way around that. At 1 pw per pack, that's 24 per draft, which is way to many. Ideally, in my opinion it should be something like 2-4 per draft; half or quarter of the players have one, the rest don't. If everything is equally, just doing rough estimates of 22/500 walkers, you get about .65 per pack, or 15.5 walkers per draft, still way too many in my opinion.

2) I would really like to see fetchlands, onslaught or zendikar ones. They help with the fixing and complement the duals very well. Makes for more multicolor options/domain/5cc, etc.
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback.

I spent a couple of hours modifying the list, adding more low drops and removal, and making some other changes. Now netdraft won't recognize the new patch.

This is one of those things where I can't look for the line it hangs at, all I know is somewhere in those 3000 lines of text is something the perl script turned into a netdraft nonstarter.

So... it's back to extractor, and building from scratch. It'll likely be a week or two before 2.0 is ready, but I have a clearer set of objectives this time, so the finished product should run more smoothly and produce drafts that are balanced and fun.
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