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How Commander Legends Changed my Cube

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Hello folks! I hope that you are having a rocktastic day today! Today I want to look at my Commander Cube and how Commander Legends changed it like no other set before. I also have my Cube up on CubeTutor.com, and you can follow along with the visual spoiler here.

48!

That's how many cards from Commander Legends that made the cut! Crazy! No other set is close - not Alpha/Beta, not Commander 2012, not a great dense set like Mirrodin. Nothing! Nothing is close to Commander Legends. But I am sure you can see why at first, right? This set is all about drafted Commander decks as is my Cube....

What changes did the set make and how has that impacted my Cube? Let's get started!

Also, at the end I'll give my 6 Jumpstart additions just for comparison. And Fun times!

Commander Legends and the Cube

Mono-Color Partners

The first addition? I leaned heavily into Partner. Heavily!

My first additions from the set included what started as 20 mono-colored partners whose archetypes could be folded into the set. I didn't want a card that wasn't eligible to do anything, like the Pirates-Matter theme of Malcolm, Keen-Eyed Navigator or the Elf-Matters of Miara, Thorn of the Glade. After tossing in those two-color partners, twice more I'd add 5 mono-colored partners putting me up to 6 in each color and 30 total with partner, which you can draft around and select colors. In my Cube you draft the Commander with the draft, and I'd recommend taking one early and then drafting around it. There are enough partners that you can easily build around color combinations by drafting one.

Two-Color Leaders

Kangee, Sky Warden

After I added in my first 20 partners but before I added in the others, I tossed in another cycle of 10 two-color leaders to draft around. Prior to this we had 5 mono-colored leaders in each two-color combo that had a different draftable archetype and 5 in each three-color combo. For example, Azorius had Brago, King Eternal for blinks, Geist of Saint Traft as an early threat to add those beats and Isperia, Supreme Judge for control. After the addition of a new leader from Commander Legends? I gave Kangee, Sky Warden which gave the color a Flying-Matters build, and there are... 62 in the color combo not counting artifacts like Pilgrim's Eye, so enough to make it work.

I added in nine other leaders in addition to Kangee that played into new space for my Cube, which brought my numbers of draftable leaders in multicolor to 6 for two-color and 5 for three.

Two-Color Partners and The Prismatic Piper

The Prismatic Piper

The next place I wanted to dig into was the two-color combo cards with partner. I originally had three partners in my Cube prior to Commander Legends because they were among the best in their color combos. Ravos, Soultender which was there because it could pump up going wide or add a nice Orzhov reanimation strategy; Sidar Kondo of Jamuraa for its ability to give Selesnya a small power theme that was distinct from others like ramp and tokens; and Vial Smasher the Fierce, which was here to add a Rakdos painful element that felt a bit Group Slug-y.

I initially pulled these partners out of my build. I pulled them for Kambal, Consul of Allocation (which I just pulled for Lurrus of the Dream-Den since Kambal played too similarly to Liesa, Shroud of Dusk), Mirri, Weatherlight Duelist and Kaervek, the Spiteful respectively. Due to the massive size of my Cube, you never used their partner in this build to add colors, so it was random, but after adding in a ton of mono-color partners? It just was too easy to abuse; we needed to pull them.

I realized that the best way to support partner in my Cube was to push in 10 of the two-color partners, one of each color combo. Now the problem with this is that some duplicate existing archetypes, so we have redundancies. But nevertheless, we can explore this space and I added in anther set of partners and two-color pairs. I also tossed in The Prismatic Piper to add any color to a partner drafted.

Three-Color Leaders

Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign

Then as you can see, I felt my three-color leaders were getting jealous. Right? Right! What did I do? I audited every three-color combo and chose a new three-color leader for that combo that would add a new archetype to my draft. Then I added them in masse. These included Yennett, Cryptic Sovereign's odd-casting-cost-matters for Esper and Obuun, Mul Daya Ancestor's landfall for Naya. Another set of cards added to my Cube!

Cards for Free

Another thing that I began to do a lot of was to add in cards for free into my stuff. I had a tight 13-card window for each two-color combo and 130 for each color, but now I have 15 and 138 respectively. I am looking at adding in another slate of planeswalkers for each color. Previously I added cards by swapping them in save for lands and some artifacts, but now? I have used that tool more commonly.

Here are the swaps I made.

Sample Drafting the Cube

Wanna see a sample draft and break it down a bit using cards from or inspired by Commander Legends? You can find it here.

Kydele, Chosen of Kruphix
Jeska, Thrice Reborn

I opened Kydele and drafted her. My next pick was Seedborn Muse. Two picks later I cracked Jeska and moved into red from my Simic. My next pick was Faithless Looting. For Kydele, you need to maximize card drawing as well as untapping as well as mana sinks for the mana.

Untapping? Seedborn Muse and Kiora's Follower. Mana Sinks? Lands like Urza's Factory and Crawling Barrens. X spells like Commune with Lava and Wildest Dreams.

Card Drawing? The raw card drawing of Mind Spring and Deep Analysis. We had Greater Good and Mindless Automaton. We had Soul of the Harvest and Consecrated Sphinx.

Nasty stuff, right? Right!

Wanna draft my Cube and see for yourself? Sure thing! You can draft it here. Make sure you set it up for 7 bots (default) and 6 packs (3 is default). Enjoy it and save your deck after you are done and leave behind comments so I can make changes to the Cube as I get feedback.

And there you go! Anything I missed? Anything that resonated with you? Just let me know!

Appendix I: Jumpstart Additions

Thriving Lands

Thriving Moor

The Thriving Lands like Thriving Moor are great mana makers in my Cube. I don't run traditional two-color lands like Gruul Guildgate or Stomping Ground as only Gruul and decks with both of those colors can grab it. Instead I emphasize lands like Command Tower and City of Brass as well as Manaliths and other mana rocks that can make any color so that anything from Azorius and Rakdos to Abzan and Grixis can draft them with ease.

Because the Thriving land cycle only has only color identity in it, you have a more draftable card that can make four different color combos that you can focus on and they'll fit any two-color combo that has that color, such as black for the Moor. It's good stuff!

Release the Dogs

I swapped in Release the Dogs for Celestial Mantle. It's the better class of card as it makes four tokens for four mana which is great for decks that are going wide or holding their own in equal manner. Control likes the chump blockers. Narset likes the non-creature way of making creatures. Aggro likes the curve. Token builds like Orzhov and Selesnya love the bodies. It's a solid card!

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