Firstly congratulations on showing an interest in the most awesome Magic: The Gathering format, The Cube!

Building and playing games of Magic with a cube is a rewarding hobby but more than a little daunting when you first start out. With over 20,000 cards to choose from where do you begin? Cube Tutor is here to help! There is a lot to learn about cube but rather than giving it all to you in one big indigestible blob of text, this article is designed to give short and precise answers to some of the most common questions for first time cubers.

What is a Cube?

Simply put, a cube is a collection of Magic cards that have been put together for the purpose of drafting. A typical cube will contain a minimum of 360 cards in order to support an 8 player draft. Many cube designers also opt to only include up to one copy of each card, although this is by no means a rule. The origins of cube are a little unclear, although Tom Lapille is widely credited with popularising the format.

How are Cubes typically constructed?

A cube can take many forms, but by far the most common incarnation is the "Best of Magic: The Gathering" cube such as Ben's Cube. This sort of cube is great for getting a chance to try out some of the most powerful cards in the history of the game such as the fabled Power 9.

Others choose to impose restrictions on themselves such as "my cube will contain only creatures" or "my cube will contain only Standard legal cards". A great example of this is Andy Rogers '93-'95 cube which shines a light on some of the older cards and gives cube players a new challenge.

The great thing about cube is that you get to build the metagame! If you love the mill strategy then make this a theme for blue. If drafting Lorwyn was your bag then go for a Lorwyn block themed tribal cube.

Where should I start?

First things first, decide if you want to impose any restrictions on the contents of your cube. I would suggest at a minimum that you include an equal number cards of each colour and a set number of multi colour and colourless cards.

The Average Cube lists are a great place to start. These lists are generated by producing an average from all of the cubes on Cube Tutor. They have a "Best of Magic: The Gathering" feel but as they are automatically generated there won't necessarily be a lot of synergy.

If you want to build you list from scratch then great! There are many great resources on the Internet for finding cards such as Gatherer and As you find new cards add them to your cube on theEdit List page. You can create a Blog entry for each new grouping of cards and write a short explanation about your choices if you like.

How should my cube evolve?

When starting out, the best advice I can give is don't worry about getting your list perfect first time. Part of the fun of cubing is in evolving, modifying and upgrading the cards in your list. Perhaps you'll find in play testing that the discard strategy is too good, well perhaps you should try adding Wilt Leaf Liege? Mono-Red burn is losing too much? Perhaps try speeding it up by trading out some three drops for some one drops.

The Draft Charts on the Analysis page are a great place to gleam this kind of information. Cube Tutor has a built in drafting AI so you can run test drafts against the Cube Tutor bots! Either draft the cube yourself or post your link ({myCubeId}) to your friends on Facebook or Twitter and watch the data roll in. It's a great way to see what cards and strategies are over drafted and under drafted.

What else can I do on Cube Tutor?

Why not try...

  • Opening a Sealed Deck from your cube.
  • Categorise, Pimp Out and Classify the cards in your cube on the Edit List page.
  • Check out the Featured Cube or draft a Random Cube on the home page.
  • Improve your ranking on the Most Drafted Cubes page by drafting your cube!
  • Open up a Sample Pack or two.
  • Check out some of the Decks that other people have drafted.
  • Browse the Visual Spoiler
  • Find out where your cube is in need of work on the Analysis page.
  • Get in touch with ideas or suggestions for how we can improve Cube Tutor.

Like the sound of Cube? Just hit the Register button and get started building your cube right now!