August 15, 2022
Magic: The Gathering
Cube, Team CFBUltimateGuard, Magic: The Gathering
I’ve always loved Magic: The Gathering. Now, it’s my job, and I think about it every waking hour. However, even back in the days when I was a student, it was my “escape-from-reality” hobby, and that’s how I made most of my friends.
After school, I kind of lost the non-Magic friends and started living and breathing Magic.
A few years ago, I decided to build a Vintage Cube with some of these friends, the one that were living in my town, and that was by far the best decision I’ve ever made!
Over 3000 matches played
Since then, we created a Magic Community in a town that’s never had an LGS. We made a Whatsapp group with people that wanted to Cube and we’ve recorded every match in a spreadsheet. To this day, it has the records of more than 3000 matches! Not a single card has ever been lost and we’ve had a lot of fun!
I think what we achieved is special and today, I’ll try to share what the key steps are for growing such a good community around Cube!
The first rule that we implemented is to never play for any real stake. While that might look obvious to some, it isn’t for everybody. Lots of Magic players are competitive, and only play to practice for an upcoming PTQ or to win some boosters at the store. That mind set has to go if you really want to enjoy a Cube with your friends and you have to embrace the “for fun” side of Magic - that’s the one that’ll brighten your day!
The second rule was to divide ourselves into teams. The games would be played one-on-one, although you would always have one or more people (depending on how many people are in the draft) to help you out and share the swings that Magic brings. This way, you can share the luck and misfortunes with your teammates, trying to always look at the fun side of Magic and never at the high variance part.
Working together in Teams
Part of this rule is also to avoid complaining. Of course, that’s part of Magic and part of some people, but I want to say that I’m responsible for how some people now approach Magic. I really dislike those who excessively complain about the variance swings and make the game a worse experience for everyone involved, especially in a Team environment.
Since we’re about six to eight people in rotation, we would often form the same teams over and over, challenging around day after day. It’s great to help weaker player get better as well as share suggestions during the game and after the draft.
The Team Draft portion would be done in a way where you know your teammates before you start the draft. For example, if you’d be drafting with four people, you’d draft ABAB. Counter drafting is real, especially since you know some people love to draft certain archetypes. You don’t want them to get a Natural Order when they’re known to be “the green guy!”
I mentioned earlier drafting with four people. Yes, that’s actually the type of draft I love the most. It takes only a few hours so you can slot it in any work day and it doesn’t require that many people who are free at the same time.
We’d usually play two matches each against the opponents, while again helping each other in deck building and during the games. If we found ourselves in a tie (two wins per team), we would choose a captain per team to play in the finals. The team that wins the finals or gets three wins gets the trophy and we record our personal scores and archetypes in the spreadsheet! This is the only “stakes” we play for and that’s the best thing!
Formats and Designs
Speaking of Cube, what would the Cube look like? Well we chose to build a Vintage one, starting from the MTGO one but then changing card after card. This is the full list that gets updated regularly.
Over time, I decided to fully foil it out and, with Ultimate Guard’s Arkhive 800+ and Katanas, it certainly looks great!
Not every cube needs to be worth a fortune though! Pauper Cube is just as great, and so are Modern, Legacy and Commander Cube!
Here’s an article I wrote for ChannelFireball about “How to Build a Cube & an Introduction to MenguCube.”
The most important part of every community is that everyone agrees and wants to work together to build a stronger one.
I like Magic, but I love the Gathering.
Magic the Gathering, Member of Team CFB UltimateGuard
Andrea first learned Magic as a kid back in 2004 at probably one of the most peculiar places to find Magic: the beach. In his expansive Magic career, Andrea’s proudest moment in Magic was winning the 2015 Magic World Cup, representing his beloved homeland of Italy and marks, in his words, his first big achievement in Magic. Learn more about Andrea.