Drafting the Cube isn't easy, and neither is playing the games! Cube is a format that provides a unique experience. There are consistently cards being swapped in and out of the Cube, and there are so many different strategies and directions you can take. The first choice is whether to do something broken like a Channel deck that aims to get huge creatures into play during the first few turns of the game, or play a fair game. This time I went in the fair direction, but the combination of Pestermite and Splinter Twin also provided outs to some otherwise unwinnable games.

I knew this, yet I blocked with Pestermite in a spot that I clearly shouldn't have, and it cost a game I would have otherwise won against the green-blue deck. At the time, I was thinking that it was correct because I didn't have Splinter Twin in hand, but I forgot about the fact Ancestral Vision was coming off suspend next turn and would provide four draws to find it. Beyond that, I was way behind in that game, so there were not many outs beyond peeling Splinter Twin. It is those types of mistakes that really linger with me - If I hadn't actually drawn the Splinter Twin would there be the same amount of regret? Probably not, even though that's results-oriented thinking.

This was a deck that played out better than it looked during the draft portion. From early on we were pretty committed to being blue-red, but it didn't feel like the deck was anything that special. Maybe our draws were just very good, but despite punting a game we didn't lose a match. Being able to suspend Ancestral Vision on turn one feels great (who would have thought?) and being able to reuse it with Goblin Dark-Dwellers is just unfair. It felt like our opponents were never able to do anything particularly broken, and this deck was able to beat most average draws.

Unlike traditional Limited formats, this isn't a format where your creature count matters very much. I don't really even consider Cube a Limited format, per se, since with the high power level it is often a mix between Limited and Constructed. There are a lot of planeswalkers in the Cube, and they provide alternative ways to win. Once I took control of the game by having more cards then the opponents and an on-board advantage, the exact means used to finish the game was unimportant.

Now there was a big mistake our opponent made by not casting a Fireblast for lethal during the first match. Clearly our opponent didn't realize that it could be cast for its alternate casting cost in that situation. The fact that our opponent had the perfect set of cards to win that game and didn't actually see it was fortunate for us. Of course, I made mistakes as well – but that's the nature of Cube. I look forward to playing more of this Cube because it is very fun, not only because of all the high power cards but also because there are many picks where it is unclear what the actual "best" card to take is.

Thanks for reading,

Seth Manfield