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The Ultimate Guide to Cube, Part 4 – Aggro

Welcome to the last installment of my series about Cube! Let’s just knock out the two best aggro archetypes and call it a day.

 

Header - Mono White

Thalia, Guardian of ThrabenMother of RunesStudent of WarfareMana Tithe

Mono White (hereafter referred to as WW for “white weenie”) is a deck full of underpowered cards that actually manages to win a ton. When it’s open, which it usually is, this deck can be very good.

Game Plan

Play cheap white creatures and back them up with mana denial and equipment.

 

Key Cards:

  • Thalia, Guardian of Thraben, Vryn Wingmare, Lodestone Golem – In order, these are the disruptive cards you need for WW to really shine. Thalia is by far the best and one of the cards that makes this deck awesome. They really put a damper on all the decks trying to do unfair things and slow them down enough to make them play your game.
  • Strip Mine, Wasteland – These are also critical mana denial elements and can almost serve as Time Walks if the opponent doesn’t have a ton of acceleration.
  • Cheap creatures – You want mostly one and two drops and should be sparing with the amount of threes and fours you play. All the cheap white creatures are viable but you should lean towards resilient and disruptive ones (though beaters are still fine).
  • Armageddon, Ravages of War – Playing one of these on turn four will often win the game on the spot, as you should have spent the first couple turns deploying creatures.
  • Stoneforge Mystic + Batterskull/Swords/Umezawa’s Jitte – I’m not the biggest fan of Equipment in this cube, but Stoneforge is a powerful card that makes some of it worth running. This package is at its best against other fair decks.
  • Mana Tithe – I’d always run this, if only for the satisfaction of Mana Tithing something like Ugin.

This deck is pretty straightforward and one of its advantages is that most of its cards are interchangeable. As long as you have some mana disruption, what you pressure the opponent with doesn’t matter quite as much.

I’ll admit I don’t draft this deck a ton but I do have a lot of respect for it. As long as you lean into one-drops and away from Brimaz.dec, you can crush all the idiots like me by casting a single Thalia.

 

Ways to Get Into the Deck

  • Force it. I know multiple people who’ve done quite well doing just that because the deck is underdrafted. Assuming it’s open from pack one is not the worst idea.
  • Pick up an early Strip Mine and Thalia. If you start with disruption, you’ll do well.
  • Note a bunch of white creatures in packs and have them wheel.

 

Header - Mono Red

Goblin GuideShrine of Burning RageLightning BoltSulfuric Vortex

I used to force this deck in Cube, for reasons unclear to me. Maybe I just like blowing up peoples’ lands? I even drafted it at the World Championship in 2012, the only time (that I know of) that Cube was played on the professional stage. This deck is also quite good and also tends to be underdrafted.

 

Game Plan

Attack the opponent with one drops, disrupt their mana and finish them with burn.

 

Key Cards

  • Shrine of Burning Rage, Sulfuric VortexThese two cards are cards nobody else wants while being the best cards for the deck. They deal tons of damage quickly and without much interaction while Vortex also stops cards good against this deck.
  • Goblin Guide (and other one drops) – All the red one drops are playable but Guide is by far the best. You really want one drops in this deck, the more the better, and twos and threes are so much less important.
  • Strip Mine, Wasteland, Ancient Grudge – Once again, you have to disrupt the opponent. You aren’t faster than the fast combo decks, so cut off their mana and slow them down.
  • Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Fiery Confluence, Fireblast, other burn spells – Likewise, all the burn spells are good and these top four are especially potent. You want as much burn as possible, as it’s what deals the last eight to 12 damage.
  • Koth of the Hammer, Lodestone Golem, Chandra, Torch of Defiance, Thundermaw Hellkite – Cards that cost four or more aren’t a high priority. You’ll play one to three of them but the best version of the mono red deck has one at most.

The deck is pretty single-minded. Attack them early and blow up a land or an artifact and you usually have enough time to burn them out. It’s very important to note that this deck gets much worse if it’s two colors, so I only splash if I have three or four fixers and only splash one to three cards.

 

Ways to Get Into the Deck

  • Like WW, you can just force this deck. It’s a great deck when nobody else is drafting it.
  • See an early Sulfuric Vortex, Goblin Guide or Shrine of Burning Rage. Anyone who passes these cards isn’t drafting mono red, so if you see a fifth pick Shrine, you’re in.
  • Note red cards and see them wheel. Like WW, if the cards are wheeling, you are in good shape, and this is a distinct possibility.

 

Header - Draft More Cube!

That wraps things up for now. Hopefully this guide gives you a good starting point for jumping in or helps refine your strategies if you’re a veteran drafter. Until then, may you always open Power. Maybe I’ll open it some day…

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