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By: TheWolf, Shane Garvey
Jun 23 2017 12:00pm
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I love Vintage Cube. It's my favourite draft format, period. You get to do all sorts of crazy things, play with all sorts of powerful cards, and build decks that can potentially win on turn 1. What's not to like?

I'm going to walk you through a draft of the format this week. I tend to draft Cube decks a bit different to normal formats, especially this Cube: you are drafting what is essentially a constructed deck, so you need to figure out your archetype early and move in. At least, in my experience, this has led to a higher win percentage for me.

Now, I normally provide a video of the draft, but thanks to Australia's you beaut internet (yes, you beaut is slang!), I am severely limited on data at the moment. 

THE DRAFT

  Pack 1 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Let's begin. The cards that jumped out at me here were Searing Blaze for a mono-red deck, Avacyn's Pilgrim for a ramp deck, Faithless Looting for storm, Mox Emerald because, well, it's a Mox, Mana Drain and Balance for control, and Gideon, Ally of Zendikar and Westvale Abbey for mono white or black/white tokens. The Mox, Mana Drain and Balance are probably the most powerful of these cards, so I ended up taking Mox Emerald. It can just about go in any deck, so it would allow me to stay open a bit and see what pick 2 brings.


  Pack 1 pick 2:

  My Pick:

Here I was considering Simic Signet (the Signets in general are pretty good), Lotus Cobra for ramp, Dreadbore for a black/red or Grixis control deck, or Hymn to Tourach for the same thing. Having taken a Mox Emerald, I leaned towards green, and considered either the Signet or Cobra, finally settling on Lotus Cobra.


  Pack 1 pick 3:

  My Pick:

Now that my first two pics leaned me towards a green ramp deck, I was pretty happy to see Wall of Roots, Gilded Lotus, Awakening Zone and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth here. Any of these would be perfectly fine in that style of deck - in fact, I would have picked all of them if I could. But I could only pick one, so I went with Awakening Zone. Not only does it spit out a bunch of mana, the Eldrazi Spawn tokens can be used as blockers should the need arise, and they just keep coming. I hope I get at least one of the other cards back.


  Pack 1 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Sakura-Tribe Elder, Craterhoof Behemoth and Walking Ballista were all cards I'd happily take out of this pack. Even Land Tax might be fine. I went with Craterhoof Behemoth - it works well with a bunch of Eldrazi Spawn tokens, either as mana ramp or pumping them up to attack.


  Pack 1 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Selesnya Signet was the only card that fit my plan here.


  Pack 1 pick 6:

  My Pick:

This pick is one I went back and forth on for a while. It was between Sylvan Library and Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx. Both cards are very powerful in the right deck, though Nykthos doesn't slot into as many decks as Library does. For this reason I took Sylvan Library, and hoped I might get Nykthos later.


  Pack 1 pick 7:

  My Pick:

This pick wasn't hard - Tooth and Nail is perfect for a ramp deck.


  Pack 1 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Again, an easy pick.


  Pack 1 pick 9:

  My Pick:

Back to the first pack, and I am gifted with Mirari's Wake. Although it costs 5 mana, it does give me ramp, and also turns all of the Eldrazi Spawn tokens into 1/2s, giving them even greater versatility. Having picked up Selesnya Signet earlier, I'm confident I'll be able to splash for it.


  Pack 1 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Sideboard pick, though arguably in this format it might be main deck material.


  Pack 1 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 12:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 1 pick 14:

  My Pick:

Woo hoo, Nykthos came back. I'm happy I made the right pick earlier and took Sylvan Library over it.


  Pack 1 pick 15:

  My Pick:

The deck is shaping up nicely. I only have one huge creature to ramp into at the moment, so would like some more, and I didn't get Kozilek back which is a bit annoying. Also, I didn't see any cheap mana elves, which is a bit worrying. Still, there are two whole packs to go.


  Pack 2 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Primeval Titan was a very easy pick here. 


  Pack 2 pick 2:

  My Pick:

This pick was harder. Windswept Heath and Heartbeat of Spring were both high on my list, but I was also considering Golgari Signet and Xenagos, the Reveler. I took Heartbeat, but then remembered that I didn't like it last time I played Vintage Cube very much - if you play it early, your opponent gets to use it first.


  Pack 2 pick 3:

  My Pick:

My first mana elf, with Elvish Mystic. Myr Battlesphere and Hedron Archive would also have been fine choices, but I was conscious of the fact I did not have any cheap ramp.


  Pack 2 pick 4:

  My Pick:

Gaea's Cradle is the perfect card for this deck. If I can get some more cheap mana elves, and can get Awakening Zone out early, this card will provide a heck of a lot of mana.


  Pack 2 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Yavimaya Elder is another great card for the deck, not only providing lands and card draw, but also two devotion for Nykthos.


  Pack 2 pick 6:

  My Pick:

Garruk Relentless seemed like an okay pick up here, providing a steady stream of Wolf tokens or potential removal.


  Pack 2 pick 7:

  My Pick:

I am happy to pick Stirring Wildwood over Acidic Slime here. It helps to cast Mirari's Wake, and can also turn into a creature itself.


  Pack 2 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Genesis Wave is also a nice pick up and is a powerful card in the right type of deck.


  Pack 2 pick 9:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 10:

  My Pick:

While I think Xenagos, the Reveler would be the better card, and I had picked up Stomping Ground with the previous pick, I was worried about having to prioritise finding both white and red fixing. I went with Tarmogoyf.


  Pack 2 pick 11:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 12:

  My Pick:

A turn two or turn three Managorger Hydra can often when the game on its own if left unchecked, even in this format.


  Pack 2 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 2 pick 15:

  My Pick:

The deck is shaping up nicely, though I'd still like some more mana elves and some more higher-cost ramp targets.


  Pack 3 pick 1:

  My Pick:

Courser of Kruphix or Dragonlord Dromoka... that was the question going through my mind. I took Courser, mostly as it could keep my alive long enough to ramp into the bigger stuff.


  Pack 3 pick 2:

  My Pick:

I've seen Mindslaver be devastating in this format, and for a long time it was what I was going to take. But I changed at the last moment to Fauna Shaman. Late in the game, it can get rid of useless creatures to find the bigger ones when you need them and is a strong card.


  Pack 3 pick 3:

  My Pick:

This pick was not even close. Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary is so very, very good if he doesn't die. Your opponent has to kill him on sight or know that you are likely ramping to 6 mana on turn 3.


  Pack 3 pick 4:

  My Pick:

To begin with, I considered Emrakul, the Aeons Torn, but a lot has to go right for me to be able to get to 15 mana (or else I have to find Tooth and Nail). Then I looked at Garruk Wildspeaker or Song of the Dryads, two cards I'd happily have in the deck. I took Garruk.


  Pack 3 pick 5:

  My Pick:

Master of the Wild Hunt might have been okay here, but I took Savannah instead.


  Pack 3 pick 6:

  My Pick:

This will be the third Garruk card in the deck. I'm unlikely to play all three, but there was nothing else in this pack for me anyway.


  Pack 3 pick 7:

  My Pick:

Some decks want Eureka. This didn't seem to be one of them; though, if I had have taken Kozilek and Emrakul earlier I would have played it. (Season's Past), however, should be a good fit for the deck; my mana curve is spread out, so there potentially could be a lot of targets for it.


  Pack 3 pick 8:

  My Pick:

Lotus Bloom is ramp and, while Thragtusk is good, I liked Bloom better.


  Pack 3 pick 9:

  My Pick:

With three white lands in the deck, Dragonlord Dromoka was an easy pick here.


  Pack 3 pick 10:

  My Pick:

Another sideboard pick.


  Pack 3 pick 11:

  My Pick:

Now four white sources.


  Pack 3 pick 12:

  My Pick:

I'm glad to get this back, as it can deal with any troublesome permanents.


  Pack 3 pick 13:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 14:

  My Pick:


  Pack 3 pick 15:

  My Pick:


THE DECK

 

This is not the best version of this deck I have ever had, to be truthful - I didn't get much in the way of cheap ramp, though I did get both Gaea's Cradle and Rofellos. I also didn't get a lot of big targets, so this might be interesting. I am not sure how it will go.

THE MATCHES

Match 1

I got off to a decent start, with an early Courser of Kruphix and Mirari's Wake. My opponent was on Grixis Control, though, and I was unable to kill them before they stabilised the board with about three hundred Planeswalkers. When they used Bribery to get my Primeval Titan, and had killed all of my creatures, they soon won the game.

Game 2 was a non-event, I had to mulligan down to 4 cards before seeing a single land, and then I was stuck with Tooth and Nail and Dragonlord Dromoka in hand.

Match 2

This was against a blue green ramp deck that was, quite simply, better than mine. They won game 1, while I won game 2, in what were pretty uninteresting games, with both of us mulliganing heavily in the games we lost. 

Game 3 started with my opponent playing Fastbond on turn 1, then Channel into Kozilek, Butcher of Truth and Wurmcoil Engine on turn 2. I had nothing to deal with that kind of start, and conceded.

Match 3

I was feeling pretty deflated going into this match. My opponent was on mono white. Game 1 I kept a slow hand, and they were able to out aggro me with cards like Seeker of the Way and (Knight of the White Orchard). I stabilised for a turn when I cast Verdurous Gearhulk, but they had a Fiend Hunter to take care of that.

I won game 2 after managing to play Lotus Cobra into Courser of Kruphix and Gaea's Cradle plus Fauna Shaman, then a turn 4 Primeval Titan. My opponent conceded at that point.

Game 3, and my deck actually did what it was designed to do. Turn 2 Rofellos, Llanowar Emissary; turn 3 Garruk, Primal Hunter; turn 4 Dragonlord Dromoka; turn 5 Craterhoof Behemoth. My opponent didn't stand a chance under that onslaught.

CONCLUSION

The lack of early ramp hurt the deck badly. I'm pretty disappointed in it, I thought it was a bit better than it ended up, but obviously I was wrong. I didn't get to cast Season's Past or Tooth and Nail at all, and at one point hit 6 lands off of a Genesis Wave cast for 6. 

I'll be back for another Cube draft next week, and hopefully it will go a little better.