The Vintage Cube has been going on Magic Online during the downtime between Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation. I’m not a huge cube addict, but it’s nice to fool around from time to time.

The Vintage Cube is fully powered, meaning you can draft a Black Lotus, Mox Sapphire, or Ancestral Recall. I got a chance to play with a few of these broken oldies. It’s too bad that they tend to show up in the same pack, though. I chose to draft Black Lotus over Ancestrall Recall in one pack, which is a weird decision to have to make. Draw three is probably better, but Lotus is more iconic, more fun to play, and doesn’t require blue mana.

Playing blue isn’t much of a cost in Vintage Cube, though. You’ll hav to fight with half the table for the best cards, but fortunately people don’t realize that cards like Opposition and Upheaval are very powerful. Control Magic and Bribery have been floating around my draft tables as well. You might face off against a Storm deck that doesn’t have good targets, but every deck I faced in five Vintage Cube leagues had good creatures.

Opposition is one of the most iconic cube cards. Get some token generators and you can lock your opponent out of the game. If you also happen to have Winter Orb, it takes a lot less effort to keep all their mana tapped.

That game was crazy to play. My opponent’s early The Abyss kept me from going off with Opposition and Monastery Mentor. Myr Battlesphere was near the bottom of my deck—it was my last win condition after Jace, the Mind Sculptor got Force of Willed. Once I landed the battle ball, finally, the game was over.

Not every broken blue spell is great in Vintage Cube, though. Show and Tell is only good when nobody else knew to bring sometime to show the class. Sneak Attack and reanimation work a lot better than the symmetrical free plays like Show and Tell and Eureka. I got the classic “opponent scoops after their Show and Tell resolves” in another round with that Opposition deck.

I was already excited to set up Monastery Mentor plus Skullclamp, which isn’t quite as crazy with Honor of the Pure out, but is still stupid good. But sure, I’ll play a free battle ball that threatens to kill your planeswalker and eat half your life next turn.

Overall, I found blue-white to be a strange archetype full of all the powerful cards but more of a variety plate than a coherent deck. You see a lot of Monastery Mentor plus Supreme Verdict decks, for example. Good stuff and answers work together in Cube pretty well, though.

After a bunch of similar drafts along those lines, I went for a palate cleanser. First pick Strip Mine out of a weak pack followed up by Young Pyromancer out of another boring slate of cards—we can build on this. I never saw Sulfuric Vortex, but the deck came together well enough anyway.

Fireblast is a hell of a card, though I think I had this game pretty well locked up anyway. My opponent revealed Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger to my first Goblin Guide trigger.

I ended up losing the final round with my fun police deck to another red burn deck, except this one also had Mox Pearl, Stoneforge Mystic, and Batterskull. I won game two with the timely Smash to Smithereens, but I never found it or Ancient Grudge in game three. That deck also had Sulfuric Vortex, which is pretty good on turn ten after attacking five times with Batterskull. It’s also pretty good in general.

I’ve had my fill of Vintage Cube for now, but these decks were a fun Fourth of July adventure. I hope everyone in the USA had a great holiday weekend! Enjoy the Hour of Devastation pre-release as well. I hear blue-green got a lot better.

Brendan McNamara (MTGO: eestlinc, Twitter: @brendanistan) used to play Magic in the old days. His favorite combo was Armageddon plus Zuran Orb. After running out of money to buy cards and friends who were willing to put up with that combo, he left the game. But like disco, he was bound to come back eventually. Now he’s a lawyer by day and a Dimir agent by night.

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