How to Beat the Magic: Online Legacy Cube
Andifeated may be a spike at heart, but he enjoys every Magic format he can get his hands on when he isn't participating in a competitive tournament. This week, he drafted a bunch of sweet decks in the Legacy Cube Draft format and wants to share his knowledge about this casual master discipline with you.
What is Legacy Cube Draft?
According to the mtg gamepedia, Cube Draft is a casual Magic: The Gathering format where players create a cube, defined as a large pool of cards selected for the purposes of playing Limited.
On Magic Online, players occasionally get the chance to play in phantom events – that means you don't keep the cards you play with and won't be able to add them to your collection after the tournament - with different styles of cubes and one of them is the Legacy Cube. Essentially, the Legacy Cube is a custom-made Magic Edition with 600 iconic and legacy legal cards. You can find the most recent and updated list of cards that are used for the Legacy Cube here.
The Legacy Cube was introduced to Magic Online in 2014 and has been updated with new cards ever since. From time to time, the cube is available for a few weeks and this September, you were able to play it for four straight weeks on Magic Online.
In November, the Modern Cube will be available, where you won't get perfect mana from the original duals like Underground Sea or Taiga. Also, you will need to cast fair spells and won't lose to an unchecked Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary or Grislebrand that gets Entombed and Reanimated on the first turn with a Dark Ritual. But in December, when the Vintage Cube will be brought to Magic Online again during Holiday Season, You'll be able to play games with the most powerful Magic cards, the power nine and other cards that are banned in Legacy like Channel are available there.
There are many different Cubes to draft and the Legacy Cube is very enjoyable in my opinion. I'm a Legacy Aficionado and since you can find many Legacy staples in the cube, you can try and draft limited decks that look very similar to actual Legacy decks and increase your winning chances by knowing interactions of those old cards.
What are the Archetypes in Legacy Cube?
Since all cards are pretty good Magic cards on their own the possible archetypes to draft in this environment are defined by the outstanding and broken cards that are available. There are plenty of those cards and therefore numerous archetypes. I won't explain all of them since that would take far too much time.
Instead, I will go through some cards that are – in my opinion – outstandingly strong build arounds you can always start your draft with them and try to exploit their very special abilities and effects that I use to have success with or enjoy drafting.
This is my favorite archetype to draft and also one of the most broken decks you can get.
I just wrote an article about how you should not be upset when you don't win as much as you want, especially when the winrates you strive for are not realistically, but not winning a trophy with this version of the Reanimator Deck even made me feel a bit unlucky:
For this deck, you essentially want only three kinds of cards:
They fix your draws and get your uncastable fatties into the graveyard where you can cheat them into play for less mana.
Unfair creatures, you wouldn't be able to cast due to their ridiculous mana cost that end the game very fast or are hard to deal with.
Spells that put creatures from your Graveyard directly into play for cheap mana costs
Avoid any other cards since this deck doesn't want to play traditional games of Magic. A card that would be just fine or even great in normal Magic decks will decrease your chance of winning. Don't play any fair creatures, removal spells or Planeswalkers. Every card in your deck needs to do one of the three listed things above or help to protect your “Combo”. For example, you could fit in a Duress or Force of Will, but don't start casting Ravenous Chupacabra.
Draft this Archetype if you receive these cards early:
An Archetype that fits right into my comfort zone as I'm leaning to play those decks in Standard, Modern, and Legacy anyway.
I recently won a trophy with this sweet version of the deck:
Essentially, you need cards like Counterspell, Swords to Plowshares and Wrath of God to keep the battlefield clear, fix your hand quality with some Card advantage Spells like Thirst for Knowledge or Fact or Fiction and then seal the deal with some mighty Planeswalker like Jace, the Mindsculptor or Gideon Jura.
Keep in mind that there are all sorts of archetypes in this format, so a control deck needs to be equipped with a plethora of generic answers in order to disrupt every possible strategy. There are blisteringly fast swarm aggro decks, resilient midrange decks and even combo decks that try to win fast and disrupt your counterspells – bring foils to all their strategies if you want to win!
Draft this Archetype if you receive these cards early:
The fun police are real in Legacy Cube Draft. While everybody wants to draft a sweet, janky deck with lots of colors, planeswalkers and big creatures many players seem to forget that there are plenty of cheap white creatures that can beat you down in a few turns while you're busy drawing cards and fixing your mana. I won a trophy last week with this pile of weenies and both Armageddon effects that are in the cube:
Basically, you need a good curve of cheap attackers and something to back this strategy up since most decks will outclass your battlefield in the midgame. Try to get your hands on Ravages of War or Rishadan Port after you put pressure on the life total of your opponent. Keep in mind that you can't just pick up creatures and pump effects for them – you will need to disrupt your opponent if you want to beat cards like Day of Judgment or Massacre Wurms entering the Battlefield from Graveyards. This archetype also has some kind of token synergies going on – try to make use of that Honor of the Pure and Glorious Anthems that are going around the table late if you managed to pick up some Spectral Processions and stuff, but keep in mind that the token theme is not as strong as backing up your curve with some disruption.
Draft this Archetype if you receive these cards early and especially if the archetype is open late in the pack:
Opposition may be the most messed up card in the Cube. If you can find it with Preordain, Ponder and other cantrips and ramp it out with some number of Fyndhorn Elves, Llanowar Elves or other cheap creatures, you will lock out your opponent pretty fast. Let them go to their upkeep and tap their lands with your swarm of creatures while you will have your Lands available to cast more spells and summon more creatures. If they don't already have an overwhelming advantage or can destroy the enchantment at instant speed, the victory will be yours in most of those games.
Sadly, I didn't get to draft this deck this past season but if you open Opposition, go for it and pick up some mana producing Birds and Elves.
Since I just figured out the Legacy Cube was happening on the last weekend, I wasn't able to play as many drafts as I would have otherwise or I'd have more sweet decks to show you.
A friend of mine recently built his own version of the Legacy Cube in Paper and I'm so excited to play this format on a regular basis with my friends in real life and not only on Magic Online. Follow me on social media in order to get updates on the decks I draft there.
Cubes, especially the versions with all the older cards, are a very good way to improve your abilities to build magic decks and understand different strategies, archetypes, and card interactions while also being the perfect way to catch up on 25 years of card history.
Tell me in the comments if you enjoy cube drafting and what your experience with various cubes has been!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not necessarily Cardmarket.