By Alex Kaminsky

Welcome to another episode of Only Built 4 Cubin’ Lynx, the streetest Cube column on the net. After my introductory article last week, many readers were asking to see my Cube list. Ask and ye shall recieve my dear readers! This week I’ll be going over my Cube list, my design philosophy for each section and the Cube as a whole, as well as explaining some more unique inclusions. I’ll be diving into individual sections more fully in future articles, so this entry is meant to serve as an overview of my Cube as a whole. You can draft sample packs of my list here on TappedOut.


Creature / Spell Ratio: 58% Creature / 42% Spells

Aggro / Mid-Range / Control Breakdown: 45% /10% / 45%

Cards that send me into white: Armageddon, Ravages of War, Stoneforge Mystic, Balance, Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite, Elspeth, Knight-Errant

In keeping with White’s flavor, the themes and strategies of white are orderly and well defined. White drafters either focus on a swarm of efficient, small soldiers like Elite Vanguard and Savannah Lions, or head the other direction and control the battlefield with powerful effects and finishers like Wrath of God and Elesh Norn. White’s mid-range creatures leave something to be desired, so it is not a huge focus in my list. Most of the mid-range cards in my Cube either serve as curve toppers for the aggro archetype or recovery tools for the control plan.


Accorder Paladin
Ajani, Caller of the Pride
Ajani Goldmane
Austere Command
Baneslayer Angel
Blade Splicer
Cloistered Youth
Cloudgoat Ranger
Day of Judgment
Dryad Militant
Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite
Elite Vanguard
Elspeth, Knight-Errant
Elspeth Tirel
Enlightened Tutor
Exalted Angel
Faith’s Fetters
Gideon Jura
Glorious Anthem
Grand Abolisher
Hero of Bladehold
Isamaru, Hound of Konda
Journey to Nowhere
Karmic Guide
Kitchen Finks
Knight of Meadowgrain
Kor Sanctifiers
Land Tax
Mana Tithe
Martial Coup
Mirran Crusader
Mirror Entity
Mother of Runes
Oblivion Ring
Parallax Wave
Path to Exile
Porcelain Legionnaire
Ravages of War
Restoration Angel
Savannah Lions
Silverblade Paladin
Soltari Monk
Soltari Priest
Spectral Procession
Steppe Lynx
Stoneforge Mystic
Student of Warfare
Sun Titan
Swords to Plowshares
Thalia, Guardian of Thraben
Wall of Omens
Weathered Wayfarer
Wrath of God

blueCreature / Spell Ratio: 33% Creatures / 67% Spells

Aggro / Mid-Range / Control Breakdown: 0% / 30% / 70%

Cards that send me into blue: Jace the Mind Sculptor, Ancestral Recall, Magical Hacker, Tinker, Upheaval, Bribery

One of my goal as a designer is to allow players familiar with a playstyle to easily be able to pull something together in Cube. As the seminal control color in Magic’s history, I want players confortable playing blue to sit down and be able to draft a killer control deck. The blue section of Cube is packed with Magic’s best counterspells, draw spells, and control effects. The average blue player wins through stealing its opponents creatures and beating with giant unbeatable threats like Meloku and Aetherling. Blue also supports a few more niche strategies like artifacts, Upheaval ramp decks, and my all time favorite, Magical Hacker, who allows you to ultimate planeswalkers for additional counters by reversing their loyalty costs.


AEther Adept
Ancestral Recall
Ancestral Vision
Control Magic
Cryptic Command
Fact or Fiction
Faerie Conclave
Force of Will
Force Spike
Frost Titan
Gifts Ungiven
Glen Elendra Archmage
Increasing Confusion
Inkwell Leviathan
Jace Beleren
Jace, Memory Adept
Jace, the Mind Sculptor
Looter il-Kor
Magical Hacker
Mana Drain
Mana Leak
Meloku the Clouded Mirror
Memory Lapse
Mystical Tutor
Pact of Negation
Phantasmal Image
Phyrexian Metamorph
Richard Garfield, Ph.D.
Riftwing Cloudskate
Shelldock Isle
Snapcaster Mage
Sower of Temptation
Sphinx of Jwar Isle
Tamiyo, the Moon Sage
Tezzeret the Seeker
Thirst for Knowledge
Time Walk
Tolarian Academy
Vedalken Shackles
Vendilion Clique
Venser, Shaper Savant
Waterfront Bouncer

blackCreature / Spell Ratio: 50% Creatures / 50% Spells

Aggro / Mid-Range / Control Breakdown: 33% / 33% / 33%

Cards that send me into black: Recurring Nightmare, Mind Twist, Grave Titan, Living Death, Pack Rat, Braids, Cabal Minion

As a huge fan of combo decks, Black is one of my favorite colors in Cube. It is extremely high variance, producing some of the biggest wins and the biggest duds. It is also the most evenly spread of all the colors in Cube, supporting some pretty impressive aggro builds, combo decks fueled by reanimation, grindy lockout decks featuring Braids, and controlling decks packed with removal on sticks. Black has always rewarded players willing to go “all in” and requires a skilled drafter to know when to hop in or cut losses.


Animate Dead
Blood Scrivener
Bloodgift Demon
Bone Shredder
Booster Tutor
Braids, Cabal Minion
Buried Alive
Chainer’s Edict
Crypt Ghast
Dance of the Dead
Dark Confidant
Dauthi Horror
Demonic Tutor
Diabolic Edict
Diregraf Ghoul
Doom Blade
Geralf’s Messenger
Go for the Throat
Grave Titan
Graveborn Muse
Hymn to Tourach
Hypnotic Specter
Kokusho, the Evening Star
Liliana of the Veil
Liliana Vess
Living Death
Massacre Wurm
Mind Twist
Murderous Redcap
Nezumi Graverobber
Ob Nixilis, the Fallen
Oona’s Prowler
Oona, Queen of the Fae
Pack Rat
Phyrexian Arena
Profane Command
Raven’s Crime
Recurring Nightmare
Vampire Hexmage
Vampire Lacerator
Vampire Nighthawk
Vampiric Tutor
Volrath’s Stronghold

redCreature / Spell Ratio: 57% Creatures / 43% Spells

Aggro / Mid-Range / Control Breakdown: 80% /10% /10%

Cards that send me into red: Shrine of Burning Rage, Sulfuric Vortex, Goblin Guide

Red is the color you can count on in Cube. It’s by far the most consistant color, and you are almost always able to develop a reasonable aggro deck by just plucking all of the burn and aggressive creatures out of the pack. Because red is so all-out focused on aggro, it doesn’t leave a ton of room to do much else. Because of this, the remaining slots are dedicated to improving red as a splash color and creating interesting interactions. Kiki-Jiki can go infinite with Restoration Angel or Zealous Conscripts, Goblin Welder / Sneak Attack can cheat out early fatties, Squee supports various reanimator / pox strategies, and many decks touching red are happy to pick up some of its premier burn spells.


Arc Lightning
Arc Trail
Ash Zealot
Avalanche Riders
Blast from the Past
Burst Lightning
Chain Lightning
Chandra Nalaar
Chandra’s Phoenix
Figure of Destiny
Flames of the Firebrand
Flametongue Kavu
Goblin Guide
Goblin Welder
Gorilla Shaman
Greater Gargadon
Grim Lavamancer
Hearth Kami
Hellspark Elemental
Hero of Oxid Ridge
Inferno Titan
Jackal Pup
Kargan Dragonlord
Keldon Champion
Keldon Marauders
Keldon Vandals
Kiki-Jiki, Mirror Breaker
Koth of the Hammer
Legion Loyalist
Lightning Bolt
Lightning Mauler
Magma Jet
Magus of the Scroll
Molten Rain
Plated Geopede
Rakdos Cackler
Rakdos Shred-Freak
Searing Blaze
Searing Spear
Shrine of Burning Rage
Sneak Attack
Spikeshot Elder
Squee, Goblin Nabob
Stromkirk Noble
Sulfuric Vortex
Thundermaw Hellkite
Torch Fiend
Vexing Devil
Volcanic Fallout
Wheel of Fortune
Zealous Conscripts

greenCreature / Spell Ratio: 66% Creatures / 44% Spells

Aggro / Mid-Range / Control Breakdown: 20% / 60% / 20%

Cards that send me into green: Rofellos, Garruks, Channel, Natural Order, Sylvan Library

Hoping to provide a something for every type of Magic player, green is my cube’s Timmy color. Green is packed with premier ramp spells and mana elves, making it easy to consistantly hit early four- to six-drops. It also has a number of fast ways to get your biggest fatties out, like Natural Order and Channel. Green decks pair extremely well with almost every color (Green / White probably being the weakest, sorry Selesnya) as mana is a resource that nearly every deck needs.


Acidic Slime
Arbor Elf
Avacyn’s Pilgrim
Beast Within
Birds of Paradise
Call of the Herd
Chameleon Colossus
Deadbridge Goliath
Deranged Hermit
Devoted Druid
Elves of Deep Shadow
Eternal Witness
Fauna Shaman
Fyndhorn Elves
Garruk, Primal Hunter
Garruk Relentless
Garruk Wildspeaker
Genesis Wave
Green Sun’s Zenith
Hornet Queen
Indrik Stomphowler
Joraga Treespeaker
Kodama’s Reach
Krosan Tusker
Life from the Loam
Llanowar Elves
Lotus Cobra
Master of the Wild Hunt
Natural Order
Noble Hierarch
Obstinate Baloth
Omnath, Locus of Mana
Oracle of Mul Daya
Pelakka Wurm
Plow Under
Rampant Growth
Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary
Sakura-Tribe Elder
Scavenging Ooze
Scute Mob
Survival of the Fittest
Sylvan Library
Thrun, the Last Troll
Tooth and Nail
Treetop Village
Troll Ascetic
Wall of Blossoms
Wickerbough Elder
Woodfall Primus

colorlessColorless is a really fun section in Cube to maintain. This section has some of the most busted cards in the Cube, and the fact that they can go in almost any deck makes them see a lot more play than colored and especially gold cards. It also allows for a little more play room because the impact of an inclusion / exclusion of a specific card is balanced across all colors, allowing you to take some liberties with pet cards here. My pet cards are the Eldrazi, I love cheating these bad boys out with a well placed Channel or Sneak Attack, or paying the iron price with green’s super ramp package.


Ancient Tomb
Ankh of Mishra
Arid Mesa
Azorius Signet
Basalt Monolith
Black Lotus
Black Vise
Blood Crypt
Bloodstained Mire
Breeding Pool
Celestial Colonnade
Chromatic Lantern
City of Brass
Clifftop Retreat
Coalition Relic
Coldsteel Heart
Creeping Tar Pit
Crucible of Worlds
Cursed Scroll
Darksteel Colossus
Emrakul, the Aeons Torn
Erratic Portal
Evolving Wilds
Flooded Strand
Gemstone Mine
Gilded Lotus
Godless Shrine
Grafted Wargear
Grand Coliseum
Grim Monolith
Hallowed Fountain
Hinterland Harbor
Icy Manipulator
Isolated Chapel
Izzet Signet
Karn Liberated
Kozilek, Butcher of Truth
Lavaclaw Reaches
Library of Alexandria
Mana Crypt
Mana Vault
Marsh Flats
Maze of Ith
Mind Stone
Mishra’s Factory
Misty Rainforest
Mox Diamond
Mox Emerald
Mox Jet
Mox Pearl
Mox Ruby
Mox Sapphire
Myr Battlesphere
Nevinyrral’s Disk
Overgrown Tomb
Phyrexian Revoker
Pithing Needle
Polluted Delta
Raging Ravine
Reflecting Pool
Rishadan Port
Sacred Foundry
Scalding Tarn
Scroll Rack
Sensei’s Divining Top
Simic Signet
Sol Ring
Solemn Simulacrum
Steam Vents
Steel Hellkite
Stirring Wildwood
Stomping Ground
Strip Mine
Stuffy Doll
Sulfur Falls
Sundering Titan
Sword of Body and Mind
Sword of Feast and Famine
Sword of Fire and Ice
Sword of Light and Shadow
Sword of Vengeance
Sword of War and Peace
Tangle Wire
Temple Garden
Terramorphic Expanse
Thran Dynamo
Tropical Island
Ulamog, the Infinite Gyre
Umezawa’s Jitte
Underground Sea
Verdant Catacombs
Volcanic Island
Watery Grave
Windswept Heath
Winter Orb
Wooded Foothills
Woodland Cemetery
Wurmcoil Engine

multiThe multi-color section is such a huge frustration to many Cube designers. The unfortunate truth about gold cards is that on average they get played less than any other card in Cube because of their restrictive mana costs. I have seen stellar gold cards like Sorin, Lord of Innistrad and Ajani Vengeant go around the table and end up in a sideboard pile because nobody happened to be in that color combination. Because of that, you have to place a limit on how many gold cards, no matter how powerful, are in your Cube and in each color combination. I choose to support three in each guild, plus a handful of tri-colored cards which exceptionally powerful. One thing you may note is that hybrid cards are classified under mono-colored sections. This is because unlike gold cards, hybrid mana is actually less restrictive and therefore played in more decks. Its for this reason I don’t impose the harsher limits on them as I do with multi-color.


Ajani Vengeant
Armada Wurm
Baleful Strix
Bituminous Blast
Bloodbraid Elf
Boros Charm
Duskmantle Seer
Geist of Saint Traft
Huntmaster of the Fells
Izzet Charm
Lightning Helix
Maelstrom Pulse
Maelstrom Wanderer
Nicol Bolas, Planeswalker
Obzedat, Ghost Council
Pernicious Deed
Prime Speaker Zegana
Qasali Pridemage
Rafiq of the Many
Ral Zarek
Sarkhan Vol
Sigarda, Host of Herons
Simic Sky Swallower
Sorin, Lord of Innistrad
Spike Jester
Supreme Verdict
Tezzeret, Agent of Bolas
The Mimeoplasm
Trygon Predator
Venser, the Sojourner
Vraska the Unseen

So there you have it Cubers. The list as it stands. Feel free to post comments and questions if you have them. Until then, what would you first pick?


Alex Kaminsky is one Magic player you don’t want to mess with. He has been playing since Ice Age, swinging in with his Polar Kraken against his Hebrew School peers. With a rich knowledge of the history of the game, and an equally rich collection of cards, it is a no-brainer that he is one of New York’s biggest Cube advocates. He currently lives on the hard streets of Brooklyn with his wife and french bulldog Urza.

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