Welcome back to the final wrap-up for our Peasant cube on a budget! We’ve spent the last nine months constructing a Peasant cube – let’s look at how we did, how to draft it, and where to start changing the list if you want to go about building one yourself!
Firstly, Let’s Remember the Rules
We set about constructing our Peasant cube to the following rules:
- We wanted to build a 360-card cube
- We intended to stick to the rules of Peasant construction – only cards with at least one printing at a rarity of common or uncommon could be legally considered
- Because we were on a budget, we didn’t want to use anything that was more than $3 a copy at the time of writing
- We wanted to build a cube with an even color distribution
- We were going to fill out the top 80% of the cube using the list of Top Cards at CubeTutor.com to identify the most popularly-run cards using our parameters above
- We were going to fill out the last 20% of the cube according to our own personal taste, with an eye on the archetypes we were trying to support
- And finally, we weren’t going to pretend that the end result was the Definitive Real Ultimate 360-Card Peasant Cube… just a half-decent starting point for someone starting out on their own Peasant Cube adventure.
What Does Our Final Cube Look Like?
We’ve used the lists at CubeTutor extensively during our cube build, and there’s really no better way to store a 360-card list (because listing that many cards here just produces a wall of text). So I’ve uploaded the final cube to the site – you can see the full list here, or, if you’re more of a visual person, you can view a full visual spoiler here. You can even see all the hard work we did maintaining a mana curve here.
You’ll see a few cards appearing in the visual spoiler as rare copies – don’t panic. Remember, so long as a card has had at least one printing at a rarity of uncommon or lower, it’s still Peasant-legal. That means Mother of Runes, Control Magic and their friends are perfectly fine to appear in our cube with gold rarity symbols if they’re the only copies we can dig up.
It’s my hope that you’ll look at the lists above and realise you probably have a very large chunk of it sitting around in your collection already… and then be tempted to give this format a try. It really is that easy to dig all of this out of your boxes, shuffle it up and give it a go!
Looks Like Fun… How Do I Draft This, Again?
We covered how to draft a cube when we discussed how anyone can build one back in 2018. The quick recap is that you treat it exactly like you would a booster draft at a store, handing everyone three 15-card packs constructed out of your 360 cards.
“But I’ve never drafted before, and I’m lousy at it” I hear you shout! Don’t worry! You can actually test draft the cube up at CubeTutor.com and give it a practise! To give you an idea of exactly what to look for as you pick your cards, here’s a draft I prepared earlier – you can see the choices I had to make as I drafted the cube, and the rationale I had for my (inevitably lousy) choices!
Let me know in the comments what you would have picked in the same circumstances (some of those were tricky)!
So It’s Not The Perfect Cube… How Would You Change It?
Firstly, there’s been a few sets released since we started building this cube nine months ago… are there any new cards we could have added along the way?
Well, the answer is just about inevitably “yes” with any new set. They’ve all got so many shiny new toys in them, even at Peasant level! We started this cube as Dominaria was released, and we’ve seen some very multi-colored Ravnican sets released since then as well. In that time, I’ve personally made room for Dauntless Bodyguard, Goblin Cratermaker, Justice Strike, Frilled Mystic, Rhythm of the Wild, Wilderness Reclamation and Fireblade Artist in my own cube… but that is a cube designed for children, with cut-down abilities. So these may not necessarily fit above – they’re just examples of new cards that are good enough to at least consider if you want to try this out yourself.
But, by the same token, trying out new cards and testing them in a cube environment with your friends is part of the fun of the cube format. Sometimes, an innocuous little card from the new set turns out to be one that completely breaks apart in the environment you designed.
Secondly, I’ve had lots of great feedback as we’ve constructed the cube together over the course of this series. Here’s what myself and others would do if we were to build this ourselves for real:
- Don’t feel the need to stick to the even balance between creatures and non-creature spells if that means leaving an awesome card out and an average card in. You should value playability and fun over perfect balance;
- If you do want to balance things perfectly, spells that only create creatures (like Raise the Alarm) should get classified as creatures;
- The Alara / Khans tri-lands (e.g. Arcane Sanctum) in place of one of the non-basic land cycles. These rated lowly at CubeTutor for some reason, but make it easier to color-fix and/or splash for a third color (thereby making a bad draft more playable, and therefore more fun);
- Raven’s Crime, Harsh Scrutiny, Plaguecrafter, Bottomless Pit and Torment of Scarabs as cards that could potentially help out the black archetypes we chose;
- Thermo-Alchemist and perhaps Weaver of Lightning to help out the red creatures. Shreds of Sanity for a good red spell that doesn’t just burn things;
- Centaur Glade as another potential green non-creature finisher;
- Vivid lands (e.g. Vivid Grove), Aether Hub and Ash Barrens are also potential non-basic land options;
- After we’ve playtested this cube a bit… does Tinker have enough targets? Does Trepanation Blade do enough? These are both things we’ll only know for sure after a few games.
And finally, all those rules we set when we were constructing the cube in the first place? Throw them all out. Just because you started with these parameters doesn’t mean you have to keep them in place at the expense of fun. Want to throw out a whole bunch of colored cards and fill your cube with Eldrazi? Go ahead! Want to throw in a planeswalker in every color, now that War of the Spark is a thing? Sure! Want to (shriek) add a rare card or two? By all means!
The important thing to remember here is that this cube is just your starting point. From there, where you take it and how you change it is up to you. As long as your aim is to make things more fun, and you have fun changing it in the process.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this series and it’s made you (and your playgroup) want to get a cube together! Even the most of budget of cubes can still produce a night of wild fun for you and your friends!
Martin first caught the Magic: the Gathering bug at university in Australia in 1995, just as Fourth Edition was released (naturally just missing the era of opening dual lands in booster packs). One degree, career, marriage and two kids later, he is still slinging cards across a kitchen table with friends and is spreading the infection to the next generation via cube, EDH and multiplayer formats.