^3 – Putting White Back on the Map

White Weenie is one of the most iconic archetypes in Magic’s history. It holds a special place in the hearts of many players; there’s a sort of “David and Goliath” feel when piloting any of its limitless incarnations. The deck has more than earned the analogy. During the “Black Summer” of 1996, Necropotence, arguably the most dominant deck to ever see play, was felled by none other than White Weenie at Worlds that year. In those 15 years since, aggressive White decks have remained an indelible part of Magic’s landscape, from the Cataclysm/Empyrial Armor deck of 1998 to Rietzl’s triumph in Amsterdam. The first deck I took to an FNM as a very intimidated 10-year-old featured a suite of prized Savannah Lions (It didn’t perform quite as well as the previous example; pilot error may have played a small part).

White Weenie is Bad

Yet, despite its storied past, White Weenie just does not perform well in a Cube environment. Generally speaking, most aggressive decks struggle against Control in Cube, and I’ve spent much of my time trying to adjust that imbalance. You can read about my suggestions for doing so Here and Here. However, despite the measures I took to give Aggro a boost, nothing could push White Weenie far enough. But why not? Didn’t you see that Black Summer thing? I mean, Necropotence, for Urza’s sake. The problem is that White Weenie, historically, has mainly seen success under only two conditions: when a hole exists in the metagame for it to attack at a very specific moment, or Wizards prints a uniquely powerful tribal strategy that uses overwhelming synergy to retain a perpetual position in the first tier.

The limitations this introduces for the archetype in Cube are clear: the metagame is already naturally hostile to White Weenie, while the restrictions created by a singleton format make the inclusion of a specific tribe nearly impossible. In Cube, you are forced to compete with the best sweepers, spot removal, and card advantage in the history of the game, which are all in plentiful supply. Almost everyone has access to these cards, and they are very difficult obstacles for a white drafter to overcome. Even green players, to whom card advantage is scarce (while sweepers and spot removal are non-existent) have creatures that trump yours anyway.

White Weenie’s game plan is very straightforward, and simple to stop if you put your mind to it. The only options typically available to the white aggro player are to play a creature or play a removal spell, and hope to knock the defending player off balance enough to sneak in the predictable big finish: Armageddon. Therefore, a Damnation, Doom Blade, and a Counterspell are the only requirements to foil your plans. Equipment can offer resiliency, but the most powerful of these cards are first picks, making it impossible to rely on seeing one. Every game essentially boils down to challenging your opponent to have a certain (common) combination of cards, losing if they do, and sometimes still losing if they don’t (Hello, Grave Titan).

Red aggro decks, by contrast, have a wide range of tools to sidestep the kinds of cards that tend to trip up creature decks. They have access to a plethora of burn spells that provide necessary reach when confronted with the kind of defenses most Cube decks present. Disruption like Molten Rain delays the big haymakers in the format, haste creatures render Wraths irrelevant, and cards like Sulfuric Vortex actually give the Aggro player the inevitability! All of this combined with Red’s blistering speed creates virtual card advantage, defined by the number of cards remaining in your opponent’s hand when their life total becomes 0.

On top of this, the very way the typical card pool in Cube is constructed discriminates against white aggro. Each color is divided into an aggro and a control subsection by default, to differing degrees. The difference of degree is the real key here- white is split right down the middle. Red and blue, on the other end of the spectrum, have a special place in Cube since almost all of their cards produce redundant effects.

In other words, if you crack a Cube pack and see Control Magic or Lightning Bolt, you want those cards no matter what your deck looks like. Furthermore, if your opening pack has four blue cards, whatever you take, you are content to have any one of those cards wheel. Wheeling a Chain Lightning is nice, but you’re always content to take a Fire Ambush instead. On the other hand, if you crack a pack and see Wrath of God and Elite Vanguard, those two cards might as well be in different colors for all the interest you would have in the two together. With some exceptions, this is the overarching cause of the power disparity between colors in Cube, and white gets the shortest end of the stick.

The combination of these factors leads to a situation where White Weenie is perpetually under-drafted, and cards like Soltari Priest are seen tabling with alarming regularity. When you see this trend with any archetype in Cube, you know there is cause for concern, and in my experience, it is a ubiquitous one with white aggro. That White Weenie is so often under-drafted would lead one to think that if you just move in, you’ll get all the cards and have a respectable deck. Yet (and this really speaks to the power-level of white aggro), that is often still not enough. Lastly, playing Steppe Lynx in a format full of exciting spells like Bribery and Kokusho can be a little underwhelming for many players.

Obviously, a number of these problems are intrinsic, so how do you even begin to address the problem? The fact is, you can’t rely on common wisdom here. These are a few of the most drastic solutions I’ve seen:

-Just add more white cards: Many Cube builders feel tightly bound by unwritten restrictions, one of which is that each section should be the same number of cards. Color balance has nothing to do with literally making the number of cards exactly equal, and in fact, making white the biggest section is one of the simplest ways to adjust for the archetype divide discussed above. You could even scale each color by number according to the degree of its archetypal divide (For example: More white than black cards, more black than green cards, more green than red, and so on).

-Introduce duplicate copies of cards: This is almost the same as the above, as you are still strictly adding more cards, but you can make sure the extra cards are still powerful by just breaking the singleton rule. If your Cube has an extra Armageddon and an extra Ajani Goldmane, for instance, White Weenie becomes more and more enticing. I don’t like this particular move myself since I enjoy the creative restriction the singleton rule imposes, but if you just want to give this one deck a boost, I think your drafters will forgive your transgression.

Fixing White

-Cut the white aggro section entirely. Some Cubers blanch at this idea, and I don’t really understand why. I’ve seen it done with several Cubes and as long as you know the cards aren’t there going in, no one really seems to miss Isamaru. This creates some difficulties, as finding enough cards to fill in the white section without the vast number of aggressive cards that have been printed is quite the challenge. It’s certainly preferable to filling your packs with cards that no one wants to play.

-Make *#@% up: Now we’re talking. This is by far my favorite solution, and the one that people seem to have the biggest problem with. Of course, I understand the purist’s objection to this method. When you’re building a collection of the game’s best cards, it seems cheap to create cards that never existed. Part of showing off your Cube is pimping it out, and filling it with fake cards can take away from the bling factor. I’ve tried making cards out of whole cloth (back when I felt the planeswalker problem was solvable with new cards), and while the design exercise is fun, it does leave one wanting for a “real” game of Magic afterwards. So, I’m in touch with that particular emotion, and I’m here to say you can fix white aggro without jeopardizing the integrity of your Cube.

I’ve extensively tested all of the suggestions I’ve already mentioned, and was in the midst of discovering their various imperfections when I moved to the Bay Area. It was at that time that I heard about Jeff Huang’s Cube, and one of the most brilliant Cube innovations I’ve ever encountered (which I shamelessly stole right away). Remember when I said that White Weenie is only good under two circumstances, strength in a specific metagame or tribal synergies? Huang was the first I’ve seen to seize the second component of that equation, and he tapped into perhaps the most powerful tribe to see print: Rebels.

Huang recognized that the problem with white aggro in Cube is that it doesn’t really get a fair shake. Cube is supposed to be about playing with the best cards in the history of the game, but White Weenie’s best cards are tied up in linear tribal blocks, notably Lorwyn and Mercadian Masques. When you exclude these strategies from your Cube, you are essentially powering down white aggro to the benefit of the other colors. The addition of Rebels corrects this oversight in a surprisingly seamless way. All that is required are the Rebel searchers themselves, and adding creature-type errata to the cards you already have!

The engine of the Rebel deck is the Rebel searcher. Ramosian Sergeant, Ramosian Lieutenant, Ramosian Captain, Defiant Falcon, Defiant Vanguard, Amrou Scout and of course the big girl herself, Lin Sivvi are the most efficient. These cards should be extremely easy to pick up, as they are no longer sought after by anyone, even casual players. So if you’re hesitant to experiment with this, rest assured that it should be an extremely inexpensive move (Around $3.00 total).

Next, start errata’ing the creature-types of the cards you feel should fit into the Rebel deck. You can do this by writing on the card itself like Huang did, though if you’re like me that idea isn’t quite palatable. Instead, since my Cube is double sleeved, I simply printed labels and attached them to the inner sleeve. The card remains untouched and the illusion is very convincing.

The first cards to doctor up include almost all of the white creatures that are strictly beaters, like Savannah Lions, Knight of Meadowgrain, and the like. Once you’ve done that, you can start to get a little bit more creative, but be cautious. Remember that once you make these cards accessible by the Rebel searchers, they also become bullets, so avoid errata’ing cards that will only serve to frustrate players like Mother of Runes, Silver Knight, and Eight-and-a-Half Tails.

Now that you’ve opened the creature-type can of worms, you can feel free to tinker in other areas as well. Huang Rebelized Kazandu Blademaster and Hada Freeblade, and made them trigger on Rebels instead of Allies. I took Wizened Cenn, Captain of the Watch, and Cloudgoat Ranger and made their effects involve Rebels instead of Kithkin/Soldiers. I even dipped into off-color Rebels to add a little surprise factor. The furthest I was willing to go was to errata Oblivion Ring to Tribal Enchantment – Rebel, but don’t feel like you have to stop there. I know LSV has been prodding Jeff for some time to make Thirst for Knowledge a Rebel, though I don’t think he’s caved on that one yet.

Once I made these changes, I realized they addressed all of my concerns. For the purists, the cards are practically unchanged from an aesthetic standpoint. Creature-type is about as relevant as the artist to a Cube card as far as game play is concerned, leaving everyone else’s games unaffected. The Rebel searchers themselves add an incredible amount of resiliency to the White Weenie deck in an efficient card advantage engine. Now the White Weenie deck finally has a trump aside from Armageddon: In a board stall, they are always favored to take over. This also gives the White deck some much needed trickiness as they are now interacting at instant speed. Lightning Bolt on my Accorder Paladin? I’ll Rebel up a Kor Skyfisher and pluck it from danger! You play Grave Titan? I’ll Rebel in Chameleon Colossus at EOT! Best of all, you now have a realistic plan against Wraths and Counterspells beyond drawing well. If your opponent stems the blood flow with a Wrath of God, suddenly now you can recover all of your board presence with Lin Sivvi alone. Artifacts and enchantments get an important power check when you can search out Leonin Relic-Warder or Duergar Hedge-Mage. And, as an added bonus, UW Fish gets an incredible boost, as Counterspells play very well with the Rebel searchers.

For those who might be concerned that this plan creates an isolated archetype in the draft, similar to infect in Scars limited, fear not. The only cards that are specific to the Rebel deck are the searchers themselves, and to a lesser extent Wizened Cenn. The rest of the cards were already in your Cube any way, and now you can finally find a suitable replacement for cards like Kor Firewalker which create the same problem, only in reverse. I’ve even seen people use the searchers outside of the Rebel deck. For instance, Matt Nass recently drafted a deck powered almost entirely by Knight of the Reliquary. When he asked for my opinion on his 23rd card (with an Oblivion Ring in his deck already), I suggested the Defiant Falcon sitting in his sideboard. It was an unorthodox inclusion, but it streamlined the deck in a way that would not be possible otherwise, without a black tutor.

Lastly, you can correct power level issues for cards that you are on the fence about. If you have a card with a unique effect that you want in the Cube but feel needs a little push to see more play, try making it a Rebel! For instance: In Cube, Aether Adept is “strictly” worse than Man-O’-War, since its creature type is totally irrelevant. We can now follow through on the spirit of the card by making its creature-type actually matter. There’s a lot of flexible design space here, and I think you’ll find they make tweaking the Cube much easier.

After making this change to my Cube, I was shocked to discover how balanced the archetype is. White Weenie is now a powerful, fun archetype that regularly posts good results (people even fight over it! Gasp!), yet it remains entirely beatable. Wraths are still excellent if not as back breaking as they once were, and some underappreciated cards like Wildfire (The best anti-Rebel card) or Arc Trail gain new value. The truth is, there is very little you can do that could make White Weenie too powerful, so it’s difficult to overshoot the mark. In the end, the most important part of Cube construction is ensuring that your drafters enjoy themselves, and after the first time you Rebel search for a Mirror Entity to attack for lethal, I think you’ll love it as much as I do.

To give you an idea of what the Rebel deck looks like in practice, here’s one of the lists I drafted from my Cube in a recent 8-man:
1 Ramosian Sergeant
1 Figure of Destiny (Rebel)
1 Mother of Runes
1 Elite Vanguard (Rebel)
1 Goldmeadow Stalwart (Rebel)
1 Defiant Falcon
1 Amrou Scout
1 Kor Skyfisher (Rebel)
1 Wizened Cenn (Rebel)
1 Kazandu Blademaster (Rebel)
1 Knight of the White Orchid (Rebel)
1 Accorder Paladin (Rebel)
1 Lin Sivvi, Defiant Hero
1 Mirran Crusader
1 Spectral Procession
1 Ranger of Eos
1 Reveillark
1 Glorious Anthem
1 Honor of the Pure
1 Ravages of War
1 Path to Exile
1 Oblivion Ring
1 Chrome Mox
1 Rishadan Port
1 Wasteland
1 Mutavault
15 Plains

Happy Cubing.

43 thoughts on “^3 – Putting White Back on the Map”

  1. CHARGE ACROSS THE ARABA. I swear, nobody runs this in their cubes and it would help so much as a weenie finisher

  2. Thanks for the idea, but in my mind Cube is about playing the best of the best real magic cards, not sub-par ones that you made up.

  3. Andy Cooperfauss

    @Bjorn- As I point out in the article, simply changing the creature type of cards ALREADY in the cube is not the same as playing “sub-par ones that you made up.”

  4. “it seems cheap to create cards that never existed”

    And that’s exactly what you are doing here. I’m not talking about the cardtypes you changed, who cares what type a Savannah Lions is. I’m talking about the searchers themselves, they never had (probably) never will have and were never intended to have the abilities you have now granted them.

  5. Actually, changing creature types IS making up cards. Also, including Rebel searchers in the cube IS including sub-par cards.
    In my experience white aggro is a very powerful strategy in cube. Everyone should really check out the cube forum (http://forums.mtgsalvation.com/forumdisplay.php?f=349), which has some of the most powerful and best designed cube lists.
    As examples for cubes with very good card choices I suggest you check out some of the following: wtwlf123, quitequieter, Konfusius, eidolon232, or Usman.

  6. Jesus, you guys still don’t get it. He already stated previously that the point of HIS cube is not to just put the best cards of magic in a box and draft. But to “create a true limited format.” If that doesn’t agree with some of you guys–great. I don’t care. Go write your own articles about what you view cube drafting should be about.

  7. Top notch stuff. I really enjoy reading your articles. Look forward to playing with your cube one day

  8. If you honestly think White Aggro is strong in Cube without some drastic changes, I’m surprised anyone is bothering to discuss it with you. Almost every single Cube includes the same White Aggro staples and unless your opponents are just building some really miserable decks, there’s no reason to go with white aggro. If I wanted to spend my time playing early drops and praying to get luck with Geddon (aka: what white aggro is in 99% of cubes) I’d rather just play a better aggro deck and splash geddon.

    There’s a reason all the good cubes in the bay area either made signficant mods to their cube to make White viable again or just cut the aggro portion of it completely.

  9. As much as the cube I run doesn’t need this since white is very good in it (com/uncom cube) and I doubt I’d ever do it as anything besides an occasional thing as an experiment…I like this idea a lot.

    I like that it makes WW more viable and makes it different then the other aggro strategies in a “real cube”. I also love rebels having played them back in the day =D

  10. @Bjorn: you first complain that he makes up sub-par cards and then say that he has granted them abilities that they have never before had, which sounds like they are better than your run of the mill card and thus, the opposite of sub-par.

    @Someguy: you are stretching if you believe that changing the creature types of cards is much more than a minor edit and it is certainly not tantamount to creating new cards. Only when random interactions occur, for example, Dragons with Sarkhan the Mad and Baneslayer Angel (Demons also), are you likely to even notice what a creature’s type is. What this EDIT is trying to accomplish is provide more synergy within the White aggro archetype that can make up for the reduced power level of its cards. You seem to be giving opinions with the mindset that White aggro decks are naturally competitive in the Cube, while the ideas being presented are coming from someone who does not believe that to be the case. While the white aggro cards that Wizards provided might have been sufficient for you, it was clearly not enough for a certain writer and his cube companions. But that might just be because they wanted to play actual games of magic against their white aggro opponents.

  11. this is a wicked idea, nice one man. Definitely gonna copy it 🙂
    next stop: rebel slivers 😀 😀 😀
    and of course, Patriarch’s bidding – tribal sorcery – rebel ;-D

    keep these hotsauce articles coming

  12. I like this modification, and here’s why:

    A) Minimal affectation of existing cards. To add an additional type to 12 or so pre-existing cards without inherently affecting their standalone power level seems to be a smart (read, unintrusive) level of modification.

    B) Increasing viability in a measured fashion. This adds a much-needed push to get the WW archetype to a playable level… without going overboard, and swinging it into the category of “overpowered”. It is a deliberate design change to facilitate balance.

    C) Lending a distinct flavor to WW. Sure, WW and RDW both rely on early beats as a means of progressing their win condition. However, aside from the timely pressure, RDW also has a secondary play flavor in its reach; that is, its burn spells can pick up the game after the fourth or fifth turn and provide the means to finish the game (as well as providing control elements simultaneously, but that’s another discussion). However, after the first stage of the game is finished for WW, it doesn’t have many options, aside from continuing to do what it was already doing, and hoping that it’s enough to pull out a win. What this change provides is a secondary “theme”, as it were, to transition to when the game hits its second stage. As an added bonus, the tribal mechanism fits in perfectly with White’s colorpie flavor, in the same way that Red’s burn does, and it even flavors the archetype with a slight combo-esque feel.

    All in all, I’m a fan of the creative thinking and the implementation, and am very seriously considering this approach for my own cube. Thanks!

  13. Why not just make 10 new white 2/1 dudes if you think WW is underpowered? I think this solution aren’t a solution at all. It’s custom card creation and not somthing you should introduce in your cube. If you open this can of wurms you might as well create an entire custom cube.

    If WW is too sucky in your cube your doing something wrong. Don’t fix this problem by making custom cards, but by adressing the issue itself. You need to remove some white control cards and add some more wheenies.

  14. Why does everyone think that WW should be a valid aggro archtype? Lets be honest. Savannah Lions suck. I don’t get why people put them into power cubes, nor do I understand why people think that bear aggro should be a valid strategy.
    It very rarely is a valid constucted or drat strategy, so why make it a cube one?

  15. May as well just have a custom cube…

    Rebels are in my cube, but its a TRUE limited cube, triples, doubles and singletons of some cards and proper amounts of interaction without having to change cards creature types. There are already enough good cards for rebels to search for (Defiant Vanguard, Cho Manno, Big Game Hunter, Mirror Entity, Chameleon Colossus, Rathi Trapper) – plus any sup-par rebel is still a house with a Lin Sivvi or Rebel Informer out…

  16. Honestly this article lost me once it started talking about picking and choosing which White Weenies get the “rebel errata” or not.
    It will be pretty frustrating every time someone it’s someone’s first time playing your cube, and goes to kill Lin Sivvi, only to have them respond fetching up a Kor Skyfisher… Nice…
    I go to Pyroclasm your board… you pull out a Veteran Armorsmith that you’ve scratched out “soldier” and wrote “rebel” on… cute. I’m going to play with real magic cards now.

    Take a look at the 50 ACTUAL Rebels that exist in magic. They have a mechanical theme, and that is that none of them can do anything relevant when tutored up outside of combat (one exception – Big Game Hunter). I think this is a conscious effort that wizards didn’t want you to have to consider a bounce, a board pump, an 8/8 flying first-striker, among whatever else is rebelified EVERYTIME your opponent is sitting with a rebel-searcher available.

    Unless you restrict very vanilla creatures to getting rebel-ified, it would become very unfun to try and play against rebels, constantly playing around more tricks than they should reasonably have access to.

  17. @Fading Thought – that is kind of the problem WITH power cubes. The prevalence of fast mana and inexpensive things that completely shut down certain strategies (good luck beating Sol Ring with aggro). You can either have a powered cube that has “all the best cards” and a sub par drafting environment or you can eliminate some cards that are overpowered and have a much better drafting environment with BALANCE. It is incredibly difficult to have both.

  18. “I think this is a conscious effort that wizards didn’t want you to have to consider a bounce, a board pump, an 8/8 flying first-striker, among whatever else is rebelified EVERYTIME your opponent is sitting with a rebel-searcher available.”

    Yeah, and I bet that wizards didn’t want you to have to consider a counterspell, a bounce, a board pump, and some flash creatures every time your opponent is sitting with a few islands untapped and seven cards in hand.

  19. Neat. Sounds like a fun idea. However, is it really necessary to add so much support for ANY monocolored archetype? While WW is a great, historic constructed deck, was it ever a force in limited? (I really don’t know… does anyone?)

    In my cube, we hardly ever see monocolored decks of any type, and the white weenies are always paired–quite effectively–with another color. By stressing the linear white aggro theme, you are also depriving other aggro colors of support, too.

    But it still sounds interesting, and stuff like this is what makes tinkering with a cube so much fun…

  20. Great idea. I think I’m going to try doubling up on cards first, before I move on to more drastic measures. Simply having two copies of Steppe Lynx and Goblin Guide each might go a long way towards solving the problem of making aggro viable.

    I’m not sure I understand deliberately skewing the number of cards in each colour, though. Limited environments typically feature approximately the same number of cards across colours. This helps distribute the colours among drafters more evenly, and is a natural balancing mechanism, in that the weaker colours tend to be underdrafted, so an attentive drafter can snap up all the good cards in that colour. I can see how adding more white cards helps the white weenie archetype, but doesn’t that introduce a new slew of problems?

  21. @Andreas:
    “It’s custom card creation and not somthing (sic) you should introduce in your cube.”

    Why not? Why shouldn’t Andy do what he wants with his cube?
    While I would never willingly rebelize my cube, Andy’s solution works best for his goal: to create a dynamic limited environment. He stated that he wants his cube to be one where white weenie can exist without breaking the one-of rule, adding more white cards, or cutting white weenie altogether. Within this set of restrictions, what is your better solution?

    Me, I like my real cards, but Andy can do what he wants, and I’ll gladly play his cube the day I actually get a call on a Monday.

  22. I don’t think straight White Weenie needs to be good, but White Aggro in general does. In my cube white is often paired with red to great success. I even saw a WU countersliver type deck go 2-1. The key to facilitating this is, as you said, minimizing the number of WW-costing 2-drops. Same with RR, GG, and even BB. I don’t expect any form of monocolor or near monocolor deck to do well in cube*, so I don’t care if WW is good or not. I do care if aggro is good though- that’s why I support 2-color aggro decks with easy to cast 2-drops and specific mana-fixing (the new fastlands).

    * I used to support mono-black but it was way too parasitic. One person would draft that deck taking cards nobody else cared about and stop interacting meaningfully with the actual draft. It turned into a 7-man draft essentially, because nobody cared what he was doing and vice versa. I’d also have a ton of dead cards in the draft if nobody went into that deck. It wasn’t even that great when it came together.

  23. First off, let me say that people are entitled to do whatever they want with their cubes. You can have chimneyimp.cube if you find it fun and such. That said, I do have a few issues with some of the things I’ve read:

    – “Generally speaking, most aggressive decks struggle against Control in Cube”
    Why? Aggressive decks are THE thing that keeps control decks in check! Midrange struggles mightily vs. control, while aggro decks struggle vs. midrange. Can control beat aggro? Of course it can. But I feel as though you are misrepresenting things a bit with that statement. If I get to durdle around for 3-4 turns with my control deck without having to worry about anything, control would be the overwhelming dominant archetype.

    – Rebels is not an aggressive deck. At all. It is about as mid-rangey as you can get, and I daresay this solution doesn’t make the ‘aggressive’ white deck any better. Seems like this would do nothing if not slow the games down a lot.

    – Where do you draw the line? Figure of Destiny is quite good on its own w/o having to make it a Rebel. Why not make every creature (regardless of color) with an ETB trigger a Rebel, so you can really keep your opponent guessing? I could see it winding up like Onslaught limited in a way, where you just draft cards because you can morph them (search them) even if you can’t cast them with your lands. I don’t feel like that is a good thing for the health of an environment.

    – When you play aggressive decks, your individual spells are naturally less powerful and splashy than midrange or control decks. Steppe Lynx obv isn’t as powerful in a vacuum as Bribery or Kokusho, sure, but Lynx attacks for 6-8+ before you have enough mana for Bribery using only lands. If you/your group is hung up on casting those kinds of big spells instead of measly 2/1s for 1, then aggressive decks will have a hard time competing for sure, since no one will want to commit to drafting a true aggro deck.

    – White aggressive strategies have actually gotten quite the power boost recently; cards like Stoneforge, Path, A. Paladin, M. Crusader, Hero, Elite Vanguard, Student of Warfare, Kor Skyfisher all have helped a lot. Even cards that aren’t white can really help the archetype as well that are recently printed: Lodestone Golem, all the new equipment (goes nicely with stoneforge, and I imagine your equipment count has gone up as well, making them more readily available to draft), Molten-Tail Masticore, Phyrexian Revoker…the list goes on. You don’t always need a ‘Geddon, either (of which you can play 2), as cards like Tangle Wire, Rishadan Port, Strip/Wasteland, Hokori (who is even white!), Parallax Wave and the like can tie up your opponent long enough for you to win. Depending on what kind of fixing you run, your mana base can easily be accomodating to splashing cards as well…WW doesn’t have to mean mono-white!

    – Doesn’t Lin-Sivvi become an easy auto-hate draft? Did you include Rebel Informer? If no searchers were opened (Sarge, Falcon, Sivvi, Vanguard), don’t you just have a fair amount of sub-par white cards that don’t do much (Amrou Scouts, Gliders, Cenn…)? Why didn’t you supply a list of the cards you changed to Rebel so we could see what you deemed deserving of the change?

    @the grinder- What are actual games of magic? Games that last until a certain turn? Having interactivity? Also, changing creature types certainly is more than a minor edit when you are specifically introducing a fair number of cards to the cube in order to interact with them. It’s not like he is doing cosmetic changes that may affect corner-case interactions.

    That’s all for now. I’m looking forward to your replies. Thanks for writing about Cube!


  24. Lol I live how y’all are blasting him. My friend is thinking about letting us make planeswalkers to put in his cube. At the end of the day it’s his cube if you disagree don’t do it to yours. For one I lobe powered cubes (mainly cuz it’s the only time I’ll ever play with them). Just chill y’all the idea is cool and I you disagree don’t do it. IMA DOG!!!!!!!!

  25. I have pretty much only played with unpowered cubes and white weenie have been pretty good. Without broken mana acceleration and enough good cheap spells white weenie can be a contender.

  26. @ Captain America
    You misread my post, I didn’t say why should their be an aggro strategy in cube, I said why does White Weenie have to be one of the agro strats? Only very rarely is it a valid constructed strat, and when it is it almost never contains savannah lions, yet people think it has to be a cube strat.
    Good luck vs any deck where they go T1 Sol ring, that is just the power of the ring. If you are altering cards to push a VERY specific strat, then maybe that strat isn’t that viable.

  27. @Antknee:

    “Aggressive decks are THE thing that keeps control decks in check! ”
    Apparently several people disagree with this. And most of the time, in cube drafting, I find White aggro decks to have an uphill struggle against most control.

    “Rebels is not an aggressive deck. At all.”
    It is in that cube. I wonder if you have drafted a Rebelized cube at all…

    “Where do you draw the line? ”
    Keyword here is balancing the archetypes/colors. So obviously you don’t paint the town Rebel so to speak… only a few creatures would be errata’d

    “f you/your group is hung up on casting those kinds of big spells instead of measly 2/1s for 1, then aggressive decks will have a hard time competing for sure, since no one will want to commit to drafting a true aggro deck.”
    No idea what you are trying to say here.

    “White aggressive strategies have actually gotten quite the power boost recently; cards like … list”
    Yea, but you forget that powerful splashy white aggro cards can also be used in other decks. Cards like Armageddon or any of the artifacts you mentioned probably would not table or even go past the 4th pick.

    “Doesn’t Lin-Sivvi become an easy auto-hate draft? Did you include Rebel Informer? If no searchers were opened (Sarge, Falcon, Sivvi, Vanguard), don’t you just have a fair amount of sub-par white cards that don’t do much (Amrou Scouts, Gliders, Cenn…)? Why didn’t you supply a list of the cards you changed to Rebel so we could see what you deemed deserving of the change?”
    His point is that Rebels made white aggro actually viable… but not OP. So no one really “hate drafts” a Lin-Sivvi, that is a waste of a pick. If no searchers were opened…. tough luck? It’s kinda hard when you include 5 or 6 of em. Usually we draft with 6 to 8 or more people so most of the time you are sure to get enough rebel searchers in the pool. Otherwise it is easy enough to jump out of the Rebel archetype and into Boros or B/W… etc.

  28. If you are playing all the best cards in Magic and white Aggro strategies are good => you are terrible at magic. Thats the simple truth. Whether you errata types or just add/make up cards it doesn’t matter.

  29. @antknee42: when I referred to “actual games” of magic, I was saying that White aggro decks rarely have a chance of actually winning games, even if it looks like they are putting up a fight.

    As to the issue of whether to consider alterations to creature type as a major or minor edit, I was referring to how the edited cards interact on their own (like when you play a turn 1 Savannah Lions that is a rebel) not how they work with the rebel enablers (searchers, rebel anthems, etc). Certainly the ramifications of rebelizing the cube is much more profound when discussing Lin Sivvi, but that is not the issue I was addressing. I was simply saying that it doesn’t matter if your first turn creature is a cat or a rebel when all it does is bash for 2. It is the other cards (mostly ones that were already rebels) that are receiving the benefits of the rebel erratas.

  30. I’ve always found that Cube Balance was best taken by looking at the original design of cube: Cube is about drafting Constructed Decks in a limited format. One of the problems with White Weenie is that it’s just a bad strategy in general. With the exception of a handful of block formats, it almost never makes it to the top tables. If your cube allows someone to draft the best decks ever made, there’s very few white weenie decks that jump out as very good. Rietzel’s Pro Tour Amsterdam is good, so obviously you should make that deck draftable, but you could put every White Weenie deck that top 8’ed a pro tour as singleton’s in your cube and not take more than 45 cards. White Weenie is going to do better in cubes that are across a shorter time period. Like an Extend-a-cube (Extended Legal only) or an Over-Extend-a-Cube (masques on).

    That Said, Boros (and Zoo!) should always be draftable in your cube. If you can’t draft Boros, your cube has serious problems. Try making the mana-fixing for Red White better in your cube, as well as including all the ‘playable’ boros cards. If RDW and White Weenie are already being pushed, this really is just a bunch of non-basics, and like 10 cards. You may even want to add a card like Spitemare or Balefire Liege to just give it a little more push.

    On the color balance issue:

    Balance by Color Symbols, not Card Colors. Try using an either MTGO or Workstation for this, since they allow you to check the balance much easier. Example:
    When Counterspell is equal to Steppe Lynxe AND Elite Vanguard, things get interesting!

    Keeping the non-basic land count in the draft to a small number (5-10% range) should also help, with about 10-33% of those being utility or man lands. Evolving Wilds should be a draftable in your cube.

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  32. another great article on cube, there are many ways you discuss to fix white aggro in cube, i think the rebel idea is the best, followed by just adding more cards that are white. I know people are very uptight about new cards or erratas, but really just need to get over it, if you are there to play the game for fun, why not try out something new and see if you like it.
    great article keep them coming.
    Ohio misses you.

  33. “It is in that cube. I wonder if you have drafted a Rebelized cube at all…”

    No, but I played a LOT of rebel decks back when they were legal in standard and block, and those decks were not aggressive at all; they were much more of a midrange deck (even the non-blue ones). The best openings for the deck involved using your mana and creatures to search up the chain (not attack) in the first 4-5 turns which isn’t a very aggressive strategy.

    “No idea what you are trying to say here.”
    -That was a direct reply to: ‘why would people want to play steppe lynx while others are casting Bribery and Kokusho’, that was in the article.

    “Yea, but you forget that powerful splashy white aggro cards can also be used in other decks. Cards like Armageddon or any of the artifacts you mentioned probably would not table or even go past the 4th pick.”
    – So you prioritize them in your own picks…not sure what the issue is there.

    “If no searchers were opened…. tough luck? It’s kinda hard when you include 5 or 6 of em. Usually we draft with 6 to 8 or more people so most of the time you are sure to get enough rebel searchers in the pool. Otherwise it is easy enough to jump out of the Rebel archetype and into Boros or B/W… etc.”
    – Exactly my point, if you include a bunch of crappy rebel cards, that doesn’t help your white aggressive strategies at all, because now you have a boros or b/w deck in which you have to play amrou scouts or a rando glider. Seems like if you miss on searchers, your whole draft is a mess.


  34. I understand this article is about pushing white weenie but I’m curious if anyone has tried simply relegating white to a support color and just putting less white cards in the cube. Is it not fun to have 4.5 colors in a cube?

    Taking out all the white creatures that need a white mana on turn one to be good (all the (w) one drops and all the (ww) two drops) seems like a good start towards making white more viable.

  35. Ya, I’d have to agree with the poster who commented about the title. Putting white on the map? White COVERS the map! Fight the power.

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