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 [casthaven]Black Lotus[/casthaven], [casthaven]Mox Sapphire[/casthaven], or [casthaven]Ancestral Recall[/casthaven]. 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 [casthaven]Black Lotus[/casthaven] over [casthaven]Ancestrall Recall[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Opposition[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Upheaval[/casthaven] are very powerful. [casthaven]Control Magic[/casthaven] and [casthaven]Bribery[/casthaven] 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.

[casthaven]Opposition[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Winter Orb[/casthaven], it takes a lot less effort to keep all their mana tapped.

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

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

I was already excited to set up [casthaven]Monastery Mentor[/casthaven] plus [casthaven]Skullclamp[/casthaven], which isn’t quite as crazy with [casthaven]Honor of the Pure[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Monastery Mentor[/casthaven] plus [casthaven]Supreme Verdict[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Strip Mine[/casthaven] out of a weak pack followed up by [casthaven]Young Pyromancer[/casthaven] out of another boring slate of cards—we can build on this. I never saw [casthaven]Sulfuric Vortex[/casthaven], but the deck came together well enough anyway.

[casthaven]Fireblast[/casthaven] is a hell of a card, though I think I had this game pretty well locked up anyway. My opponent revealed [casthaven]Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger[/casthaven] to my first [casthaven]Goblin Guide[/casthaven] 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 [casthaven]Smash to Smithereens[/casthaven], but I never found it or [casthaven]Ancient Grudge[/casthaven] in game three. That deck also had [casthaven]Sulfuric Vortex[/casthaven], which is pretty good on turn ten after attacking five times with [casthaven]Batterskull[/casthaven]. 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.

Carrie O’Hara is Editor-in-Chief of Hipsters of the Coast.

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