If you’ve ever watched any of my MTG Arena Cube content, you know that there’s one thing I love to do above everything else: companions! The Arena Cube has been up for a little over a week now and I can’t stop drafting it. I had to pull myself away from playing to write this article, that’s how much I’m playing it. In fact, I’m currently the 17lands.com Best-of-Three Cube Draft Trophy Leader of all-time, to give you a sense of how much Cube I play!
I recently wrote about why I think Cube is an important part of a Limited diet and what it teaches you about drafting. Today, I’m going to focus on one of the main features of Cubing: Drafting with preferences. No two Magic players are going to draft a Cube seat the same way. Unlike a regular Limited format where pick orders coalesce and the community at large comes to a general consensus about the value of certain cards, in Cube, that all goes out the window. You can really do any number of things when you sit down to Cube, and today we’re going to talk about why I think companions are one of the best and most fun things to do in the Arena Cube
Let’s first begin by talking about why Companions are incredibly powerful for Limited. I think it’s clear what makes them so strong in Constructed formats, and certainly before they were nerfed they were essentially a free card in your hand whenever you wanted them. Even with the three mana tax to put them into your hand from your sideboard, they’re still very much worth drafting around for a number of reasons.
First, Limited is more about card quantity than card quality. This is one of the reasons that mulliganing is so detrimental in a game of Limited. Being down a resource significantly reduces your ability to win a game of Limited Magic. Some of the most powerful Limited mechanics of recent memory like learn/Lesson, decayed or disturb are all so good partially because of their ability to give you additional resources throughout the game. Paying three mana to grab your companion is effectively like casting Divination as it leaves you up a card when all is said and done.
And it’s honestly better than Divination! You know exactly the card you’re getting when you grab your companion, and it’s the card you’ve built your entire deck around. So unlike a classic Limited build around, that may never show up in your quest for seven wins in Best-of-One or three match wins in Best-of-Three, your companions are always by your side. That kind of consistency isn’t something you usually get in draft and it’s something I value quite heavily when Cube drafting. The more consistent my deck is, the more reliable it will be game in and game out, and companions are a huge part of that equation. Whatever cards you may be missing out on due to the companion restrictions are often worth giving up because of the added consistency and additional resource you know you’ll have game in and game out.
For the Arena Cube specifically, only four of the 10 companions are included:
Let’s take a look at how each of these operates and how to maximize them.