Saturday, December 17, 2016

Commander Cube: The Commander Overhaul

Brago, King Eternal

Over the past few years, I've dialed it back from going to the shop for "competitive" Commander. At the same time, a couple of guys in my regular play group have started to get into Commander. The Commander 20XX decks that get released every year have made getting into the format simple. If they sell it at Target, and you can ask for it for Christmas, getting Magic-related gifts from non-Magic players is real.

With that in mind, I dusted off my Deckbuilding Commander Cube and made significant changes today. You can see the blog of changes and a current list here over at

If you play a lot of commander, building your own deckbuilding cube is actually pretty cool. It's not only fun to think about a limited number of slots and how each card can support more than one archetype, but it gives you the ability to make new decks while reusing all those great cards.

In my cube, I am trying to keep each individual card in the $1-$3 range. This helps to retain that old school commander feel and keeps me competitive with my more casual friends. I will go above that number if it's a foil or if the card has great utility in lots of archetypes, but not much higher than that.

I build two-color decks. They are easier to assemble than three-color decks, but provide more variability than the stronger one-color decks. Someday, I'll map out what all the two-color combinations are supposed to do in the cube. For now, I just build around the legendary creatures.

PonderTreasure Cruise

Unlike drafting cubes, where you have to worry about balance between the colors, this cube is for deckbuilding and so isn't constrained the same way. Blue, for example, is really strong. That's okay because it's up to me what cards go into the decks that I am building. It's not like everyone at the table is going to be competing for blue in the draft.

Commander's SphereAsh Barrens

The other thing is just how much color-fixing and ramp has come along since I started playing Commander. There are so many fixing lands and ramping artifacts out there that filling in a cube with cost-effective ($) cards that get the job done is easy now.

So, I put together a Blue/White Brago deck for the Commander game tonight. It's not tuned. It's not perfect. But it works. And when I want to try something new, I can sort it all back out and pick another two-color combination to try.