If you read my Vintage Cube drafts, you'll remember that it is my favourite format and I draft it as much as possible when it's available. Legacy Cube, on the other hand, I tend to not like as much. Sure, many of the cards are the same, but you just can't do as many crazy things with it. Still, it's Cube, and the times I have drafted it have not been too bad, but it is certainly not as fun.
Still, let's give it a crack while it's around. I am a little rusty on this version of the Cube, and am not completely up to speed with the best archetypes, so if I did something you would have done differently, please let me know in the comments!
Pack 1 pick 1:
Well I might not know the archetypes well, but seeing Buried Alive gives me a pretty big clue that Reanimator is present. I took it and would see if I could move into it.
Other than that, Woodfall Primus was considered, as ramp is always a thing, and I almost took it. I know mono white aggro is a thing, and I like Hero of Bladehold for that deck. I also thought about taking a good removal spell in Murderous Cut, but in the end decided to pick the Buried Alive to try some shenanigans.
Pack 1 pick 2:
Well, there we go: Entomb is a perfect pick up for our first pick, and already I am going to try and move in on drafting some sort of Reanimator deck. I'm not sure what sort of targets there are, though we did pass the Woodfall Primus before, but if there are some good Eldrazi or other high end creatures I'll be happy.
Mulldrifter is another good card that could have been taken here, as is Birds of Paradise. But I was sticking to the Reanimator plan here.
Pack 1 pick 3:
This pack was a bit harder. Sidisi, Undead Vizier is the only black card, and it's not what I'm quite looking for in a Reanimator deck. Elesh Norn, Grand Cenobite is a fine reanimation target, and I almost took it. But the thing is I am probably looking for green creatures to reanimate (I think...)
In the end, I took Joraga Treespeaker. My thinking on this is that if the reanimation plan doesn't work out, then I could possibly bridge into a green-black ramp deck. If I am going to be looking for green fatties anyway, this could be a fine back up plan.
Pack 1 pick 4:
So this pack had two good green fatties in Verdurous Gearhulk and Rampaging Baloths. It also had Overgrown Tomb, a perfectly good card if I end up green-black. However, I decided to take the Baloths, as I think it's slightly higher impact than the Gearhulk.
Pack 1 pick 5:
Whip of Erebos is our first reanimation spell, and it was out of this or Fauna Shaman, which can also get big creatures into our graveyard. However, I wasn't passing up the Whip; if the Shaman comes back later, that's fine.
Pack 1 pick 6:
And now I pick up the second reanimation spell with Exhume. Nothing else was close in this pick, and I am now firmly on the reanimation plan. From here on in, I'll be looking for big and impactful creatures, as well as more ways to get them into and out of the graveyard.
Pack 1 pick 7:
And right on time, we get a big Eldrazi in Ulamog, the Ceaseless Hunger. Unluckily for us, Unburial Rites is also in here, but with two reanimation spells already and no high impact targets, I had to take Ulamog. I hope Unburial Rites comes back, though.
Pack 1 pick 8:
This is the first pack that really has nothing for us. I did consider Eldritch Evolution for a bit, but discarded that idea as I don't know how heavily green I would be. Asylum Visitor is unexciting, and that only left Vraska, the Unseen, which while not very exciting either, is more splashable for green.
Pack 1 pick 9:
Back to the first pack, and two of the cards I was considering picking have come back, including Woodfall Primus, a great reanimation target for the deck.
The rest of the picks for pack 1 were:
Pack 1 pick 10:
Pack 1 pick 11:
Pack 1 pick 12:
Pack 1 pick 13:
Pack 1 pick 14:
Pack 1 pick 15:
Here's our picks after pack 1:
This is looking okay at this point. We have two ways to get our creatures into the graveyard, two ways to get them back, and two excellent targets. Let's see if we can consolidate our plan in pack 2 by getting more cards in these three categories.
Pack 2 pick 1:
Well, nothing in the three categories I mentioned, so what else is there? Ophiomancer is a card I like in general; Dismember is excellent removal, Sylvan Caryatid is more ramp, and Duplicant is also a good card. Even Bayou is a consideration. In the end, I settled on Dismember as I had no removal yet and I want to focus on being heavier black I think.
Pack 2 pick 2:
For me, this pick was out of Phyrexian Obliterator and Toxic Deluge. At this point I was still interested in more creatures, and even though it has such a heavy black mana requirement, I was already thinking I was dropping green (except for the reanimation targets), so I took the Obliterator.
Pack 2 pick 3:
This pack was out of Massacre Wurm or Makeshift Mannequin. It was a close call, but in the end chose the card that can reanimate my creatures.
Pack 2 pick 4:
Although I picked Deathrite Shaman, which is a fine card, I'm actually thinking the correct pick here was Dark Petition. I'm not sure.
Pack 2 pick 5:
There was nothing in this pack except Doom Blade, so Doom Blade it is.
Pack 2 pick 6:
This is another pick I think I got wrong. I had already decided I was off the green plan, and should probably have taken City of Brass, which would have let me cast the green cards I had if it came to it. Instead, I took See the Unwritten thinking it would be handy to cheat creatures into play.
Pack 2 pick 7:
Hero's Downfall is solid removal and I hear planeswalkers are good in this format, so I happily took it.
Pack 2 pick 8:
Another removal spell here with Go for the Throat. I considered Reflecting Pool after not taking City of Brass earlier, but figured the removal was probably more valuable.
Pack 2 pick 9:
I'm pretty happy this came back, as I do like this card a lot.
The rest of pack 2:
Pack 2 pick 10:
Pack 2 pick 11:
Pack 2 pick 12:
Pack 2 pick 13:
Pack 2 pick 14:
Pack 2 pick 15:
So far, these are the cards I will be happy to play, though some cuts will have to be made after the next pack:
The deck is shaping up nicely, though I didn't get any more reanimation targets; I'll be on the lookout for them in pack 3.
Pack 3 pick 1:
Out of the three black cards in the pack, Slaughter Pact was the best in my mind and, while I've already got a bit of removal, I was happy to have more. From what I remember creature decks seem to be more prevalent here than in Vintage Cube, so removal goes up in value.
Pack 3 pick 2:
Hypnotic Specter is one of my favourite Magic cards, going back to when I was playing it in my Necropotence decks way back in the mists of time. However, Dragonlord Dromoka is a good reanimation target, so I went with my head and took her.
Pack 3 pick 3:
With all of the expensive cards in the deck, Dark Confidant would be a liability, so I went with Crux of Fate.
Pack 3 pick 4:
I had eyes for one card and one card only in this pack: Noxious Gearhulk. Reanimating it, especially if it gets hard cast first, is a lot of value, and I will happily play it.
Pack 3 pick 5:
Again only one card in the pack for us, and it's a fatty, so welcome to the team, Rune-Scarred Demon.
Pack 3 pick 6:
I could have taken Sorin Markov here, but in the end went with Vampire Nighthawk. My thought process was that I probably needed some way to win and/or survive if I didn't draw the right reanimation pieces, and the Nighthawk does a good job of beating down and gaining life, or sitting back on defence.
Pack 3 pick 7:
This is another card that potentially gives us some value, by sacrificing a creature then reanimating it.
Pack 3 pick 8:
I was pretty excited to pick up Living Death here, as it slots very nicely into the deck.
Here are the rest of the picks:
Pack 3 pick 9:
Pack 3 pick 10:
Pack 3 pick 11:
Pack 3 pick 12:
Pack 3 pick 13:
Pack 3 pick 14:
Pack 3 pick 15:
I'm not sure if this deck is good or not, to be honest. It has the reanimation pieces, and if it draws them it should do well. If it doesn't, it has a lot of removal to drag the game out, as well as disruption with Hypnotic Specter, lifegain in Whip of Erebos and Vampire Nighthawk, and card draw with Erebos himself.
I added two basic forests in case hard casting the green creatures ever comes up, and also added the Temple Garden for Dromoka, again just in case.
I am on the play in game 1 and mulligan a hand with no land into a hand with three removal spells. Well, let's hope the opponent is playing creatures! I keep and, sure enough, my opponent shows me they are on the white aggro deck by casting Honor of the Pure. I play Hypnotic Specter while they stumble on mana, playing Gather the Townsfolk and passing back. The Specter gets to work, removing random cards from their hand like I have many fond memories of back in the day, and then I land Phyrexian Obliterator. My opponent finds another Plains casts Kytheon, Hero of Akros and then uses Unexpectedly Absent on my turn to get rid of the attacking Obliterator. They then play a Thalia, Heretic Cathar which gets taken down by Dismember, I replay the Obliterator, and keep chipping away with the Specter, and my opponent concedes.
Game 2 is a non-event for my poor opponent as I go turn 1 Entomb (getting Ulmaog), turn 2 Unearth on Ulamog, swinging with Ulamog on turn 3, and my opponent doesn't have an answer.
I start on the draw in this match, keeping a hand with Exhume but no way of getting the creatures into the graveyard yet. My opponent is on blue-red. I start with a Deathrite Shaman and Vampire Nighthawk, while my opponent plays Augur of Bolas and then uses Lightning Bolt on the Nighthawk. Unfortunately, my next two draw steps are Noxious Gearhulk and Ulamog, two cards I certainly don't want in my hand. I get stuck on 4 mana, also drawing Dragonlord Dromoka, while my opponent plays Outpost Siege and Goblin Rabblemaster. Eventually I draw Buried Alive and use it to dump Woodfall Primus, Rampaging Baloths and Phyrexian Obliterator into the graveyard. I use the Exhume to get the Primus out, but my opponent has Control Magic and the game quickly ends.
I am forced to mulligan game 2 into a not-fantastic hand, but I keep anyway. I play out Ophiomancer while my opponent plays Vendilion Clique, which I kill with Doom Blade. We then play out a similar sequence to game 1, with me playing Vampire Nighthawk and my opponent playing Augur of Bolas, revealing Lightning Bolt. However, this time he uses it on the snake-maker. I play Whip of Erebos, which gets Negated, but I have drawn Living Death; I now just need to find some way to get some of my big creatures into the graveyard. In the meantime, my opponent plays Man-o'-War into Goblin Rabblemaster, while on the very next turn I draw Buried Alive; I need two turns to pull the combination off. Thankfully I get them, and my opponent has no more counterspells, so I wipe the board, bring my powerhouses out, and my opponent concedes.
Game 3 turned out to be similar to game 2. I started with Relentless Dead (that I had sideboarded in) and Hypnotic Specter, while my opponent played Stormchaser Mage, which died to my Bone Shredder which I had also sided in. They followed up with Sower of Temptation to take the Specter, but I killed their creature with Dismember to get it back. They then used Phantasmal Image to copy it, and now I had to be careful; I had just drawn Buried Alive, and had Living Death in hand, so I did not want their Specter to hit me at all. Luckily, when they attacked I was able to trade with mine, and was able to pull off the win again in the same manner as game 2.
I get to be on the play for game 1 but have to mulligan a hand of 6 swamps, into a hand with Buried Alive. I start with a Deathrite Shaman, while my opponent plays Mountains, Porcelain Legionnaire and Goblin Rabblemaster, and I know I am in trouble if I don't find something soon, as my hand is pretty poor against a mono red deck. I find Vampire Nighthawk, but my opponent uses Lightning Bolt plus Dualcaster Mage to take both my creatures down, and quickly overruns me on turn 5.
I side out some of my slower cards and bring in all the removal I have. I begin with a hand containing Entomb (which I use for Ulamog) and a couple of removal spells. I am able to deal with the early pressure my opponent puts down; I kill their Porcelain Legionnaire and Firefist Striker, but they follow up with Hordeling Outburst and Sarkhan, the Dragonspeaker. I take a couple of hits before drawing Hero's Downfall for Sarkhan, and also manage to use Crux of Fate to take out the goblin tokens, but I then draw land after land. I eventually lose when my opponent ultimates his Koth of the Hammer.
I'm pretty happy with a 2-1 result, and the deck was a lot of fun to play (though I'm not sure my opponents would agree!) A bit of luck in the third match in order to draw some reanimation spells would have changed the results a bit, I think, but it was not to be.
What did you think of the deck? Would you have picked anything different? Let me know in the comments.